The Itsy-Bitsy Spiders

It’s Summer. And you know what that means…

Spiders are back. They’re in your garden, lurking in your basement, hitching a ride indoors to scare you in your kitchen…Yuck, we know. You’ve gotta be on the look-out.

We are, and we’ve spotted a strange new species near Mesa Park in Fruitland. They tend to gather around six on Monday and Wednesday nights in May and June. Experts have given them the name, “itsy-bitsy spiders.”

They can be identified by their bright red abdomens and a matching bit of red perched on the head. Coloring on the rest of the body varies. They are not known to be poisonous or aggressive. But their behavior is a little erratic—running, bumping into one another, jumping, somersaulting, squealing, tossing and hitting plastic balls…

If you happen to see one of these “itsy-bitsy spiders,” please don’t swat at it. Shoreline Pest Control owner, Rory Clinton, and his wife, Michelle, have it under control…kind of.

It’s Whiffle Ball Season

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Itsy-Bitsy Spiders aren’t really a new species. They are a team of adorable and energetic 3 and 4-year-olds dressed in Shoreline red, learning to play whiffle ball.

You know that expression, “it’s like herding cats?” That’s kind of what coaches Rory and Michelle Clinton (and a few other brave volunteers), go through each week. As one bystander put it, “it’s 30 minutes of adorable chaos.”

Players show up in shorts, tennis shoes, red t-shirts, and red baseball caps. But trying to keep a cap on these little ones is a bit tricky. Most caps wind up somewhere in the outfield for parents to retrieve later.

The opposing team shows up in similar states of disarray. Coaches try their best to line up the wiggling, giggling brood of future ballers for warm-ups. Brightly colored balls fly in all directions, occasionally hitting the targeted mitt… Then bouncing out onto the ground.

When the coaches are satisfied that the kiddos are all warmed up, play begins.

There are no benchwarmers in whiffle ball. One entire team is on the field, the other lines up to take a turn at-bat. Coaches stay on the field with their players, teaching them where their position should be. The key phrase here is “should be.” Once play starts, positions are optional. At 3 and 4, just staying on the field is considered a success.

Coaches start by pitching three balls to their players. And because we’re learning, there are no strike-outs. After three strikes, the little ones hit off a tee. When everyone has had a turn to bat, the other team is up.

These games are all about fun, not competition. Kids are here to learn the basics. You know—throw the ball not your mitt, use your hands not your feet, run to first base not to Mom…

We try to get every ‘little’ to bat at least twice. But attention spans are limited, so the game time is too. And when it’s all over, the moment every Itsy-Bitsy Spider (and Rory) has been waiting for is finally here—it’s snack time!

We Love Our Community

Why does Shoreline do this? Herd the un-herdable through these whiffle ball games? Well, first, it’s just plain fun. As chaotic and wild as a game can be, there is never a dull moment with these little guys and gals. And with the youngest member of the Shoreline family ready to play ball, Rory and Michelle were excited to jump right in.

But most importantly, staying involved and supporting our community is at the heart of who we are at Shoreline Pest Control. We have a long tradition of sponsoring and coaching Payette County Recreation District (PCRD) teams. We love and believe in the values that sports promote. And we love our community. Providing amazing service and giving back to the community, are Shoreline’s top priorities.

The Cutest Show in Town

Our season is almost over. These little ones have come so far this season. They (sometimes) know which base to run to. They can (kind of) throw the ball. They’ve (sort of) learned to hold a bat. And now they (usually) keep a glove on… We’re very proud of our Itsy-Bitsy Spiders.

So if you want to join us for the cutest show in town, you know where to find us.