Today’s blog post was written by Camilla Sherman, a Water Conservation Office Intern and spider warrior.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!” This is the sound we involuntarily emit when most of us see a spider, especially when it is in our home. How dare this wild, and terrifying creature, come into our homes and act like it owns the place. Our first reaction is to find a way to get rid of it. You may look around and find a few household items, MacGyver them together, and use them to oust the arachnid. In the heat of the moment, you may go with the cup capture method. This leads to a live little monster trapped in a cup, which you now have to figure out what to do with. What do you do now?! I’m guessing you do not want to stick your hand in there to try to squish the spider. You toss the creature into the toilet and flush to avoid any other contact. Round and round and down it goes. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Whew, thank goodness I’ll never see that thing again.”
WRONG! Spiders can actually hold their breath for up to 72 hours in some cases. The spider you flush down the toilet can actually end up finding it way back into the sewer
systems and back into your home (or your neighbor’s home). That’s right, the spider you just worked so hard to flush could crawl up your drain and you to have to start the freaking out process all over. Is it worth the risk and the waste of water? Each time you flush your toilet, you are using about 3.5 gallons of water. The best option is to take the spider-in-a-cup outside and let the spider go. Or, if you do not want to risk catching it, you can just squish it with a paper towel and throw it in the trash. Check out a black widow holding its breath and more information: Never Flush Spiders Down the Toilet
Going along with spiders, there are many other things you should avoid flushing. Not only to save water, but also to prevent future problems that will cost you lots of moola. Did you know that FOG is not just clouds settling near the earth’s surface? FOG stands for fats, oils, and grease. These are the big 3 that you should not flush or wash down the drain. They start out as a liquid but will eventually turn to a solid that can lead to a clog in the sewers. They also coat the pipes and make them “sticky” and more likely to catch other debris that will lead to a build-up. There are a few other common items that people may not think twice about flushing or washing down the drain that are actually a big no-no.
These include: floss, band-aids, “disposable” wipes, paper towels, pads and tampons, condoms, hair, cat litter, and medication.
If you are wondering how to keep a happy toilet and what is okay to flush (and what won’t come crawling back up *yikes*) stick to the 4 P’s. The 4 P’s are toilet Paper, Pee, Poop, and Puke. If you stick to these 4, you should have no problem conserving water, avoiding expensive clogs, and preventing the nightmare of your spider friend coming back to visit.