Let Spiders Live!
Spiders. You Need Them.
In this little article I will do my best to make you see the value in nearly every single little spidery soul in your house and garden. Spiders actually creep me out completely, but I would never kill one on purpose -- and not because I am nice. I let them live because I understand what they do for me every single day. You may not realize it, but without spiders our world would be a pretty nasty place. I hope that after reading this lens you yourself will let spiders live.
Let's Get Something Straight: Spiders don't bite you when you're sleeping!
Before I say another word, let's clear something up -- you have never been bitten by a spider! When you wake up with a mysterious welt or spot, someone is bound to say "Oooh, that's a spider bite." They don't know what they're talking about. The vast majority of real spider bites, if you actually get one, are generally painless and don't result in any welts or symptoms. The very few, and very rare, bites of a brown recluse or black widow are exceptions but about as likely as getting bitten by a poisonous snake. Don't believe me? Check out this study by the Burke Museum about the MYTH of spiders biting you while you sleep!
The Infamous "Butt Spider" Hoax
Some years ago a story was circulated about spiders lurking under toilet seats and elivering fatal bites to several women in the Chicago area. It's 100% pretend, and pretty hilarious to anyone who actually knows anything about spiders.For one thing, the photo of the spider in question, the entirely fictitious Arachnius gluteus, was of an innocent little spider that lives on flowers and ambushes incoming bees. Why would it be found lurking under toilet seats at an airport restaurant? It's also too small to get anywhere with those little fangs it has, especially given the amount of, um, padding it sould have to bite through to do any damage to a real Gluteus Maximus.
Here's Snopes' take on the whole thing, and it's pretty amusing.
Do You Like Flies? REALLY Like Flies?
Then Keep Killing Spiders.
Because spiders eat flies by the ton. Literally by the ton. If you were somehow able to continue your mission of killing spiders until every last one was squashed, smooshed, or otherwise obliterated, then you, my friend, would suddenly have a pretty sizable fly problem to deal with, as in millions and billions of flies and their babies, aka maggots, swarming around your face. Spiders keep the fly population in check, and also the mosquito, black fly, centipede, clothes moth, and every other nasty buggy population. Let Spiders Live!
Lovely, right? There's more to this spider thing than meets the eye.
That Said, This Is Pretty Awful - Brace Yourself for This One...
Spider Factoid #1
Studies have shown that you're never more than ten feet away from a spider, and one estimate puts you as close as three feet. To be "spider-free" you'd have to go into space in a fumigated capsule.
Why is it when you run into a spider web, you suddenly turn into a ninja?
Spider Factoid #2
Studies have shown that jumping spiders can solve simple 3-D puzzles; they also learn the behavior patterns of other spiders in order to capture them.
Incredible Spider Photography Book - Perfect Gift for the Bug Person inYour Life...
I like this book because it gives cool and pretty gnarly descriptions of spiders and the way they attack their prey. There's some great photography too. Just remember, though -- we need these little monsters to take care of all the other little monsters that try to bug us!
Spider Factoid #3
The decoration in the web of some orb-weaving spiders serves a variety of purposes: It can be a warning so birds don't fly into the web, an attractant so insect-prey fly in on purpose, or an "umbrella" to shade the spider from the hot sun.
Pretty Amazing Insect Art Book
Have you seen this? It's a coffee-table book that will pretty much blow your mind. You can get it here.
Spider Factoid #4
Female wolf spiders carry their egg sacs behind them, attached to their spinnerets. After the spiders emerge, they crawl onto the mother's abdomen and hold on while she actively runs and hunts.
Spider Factoid #5
Bolas spiders use a long line of silk ended with a spot of sticky glue (a bolas), swinging it at nearby moths to catch them, much like a fishing line.
A CLOSE-UP of a Spider's Face
Okay, This Never Happens.
Brown Recluse Spiders -- Okay, these you may need to kill.
Brown recluse spiders come out at night to hunt small insets. That's fine, but they often wind up tangled in bedsheets or clothes left on the floor. Put on yesterdays shirts, and the spider bites you in self-defense. The bite doesn't hurt, but after a little while it can turn into a serious wound that may require surgery to treat. So yes, it's understandable to want to kill brown recluse spiders.
The best way to deal with brown recluse spiders is to use a sticky trap. These catch and hold night-wandering spiders, and are really the only way to deal with them. Most spiders stay in their webs, so you won't really be harming most of the spiders in your house.
Sticky traps are one excellent way to catch and kill brown recluse spiders. Because they typically wander around the floor of your basement at night, looking for roaches and centipedes to kill, brown recluse spiders are susceptible to getting stuck in these simple, cheap traps. are affordable, easy to set up and dispose of, and non-toxic for pets and kids. Sticky traps fro brown recluse spiders
A Pretty Awesome Spider Tattoo - I guess some people take their spider-love even more seriously than I do...
Still In a Spidercidal Mood? Think About THIS:
Some Spiders are Mommies!
And pretty good ones, too. This wolf spider is not unusual -- she is carrying around dozens of little baby spiders, called spiderlings (awww...). She'll keep them close to her for as long as it takes for them to be able to grow up and take care of themselves, and maybe someday fulfill every spider's dream of having a family of its own. And this is the mommy that you want to smoosh with a wadded up tissue? Who's the monster now?
Okay. That's my best shot. It's time to vote. Let Spiders Live, or Kill Em All. But next time you have that wad of tissue ready to mash that little guy hanging out in your bathtub, think twice. Think about the flies. Think About Mr. Happy Spider. Think about the Spider Mommy. Just... THINK.
What Do You Think? Convinced Yet? Let's Poll the Audience:
Think about it, and then take our poll. Are you still a danger to our 8-legged friends?