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Let Spiders Live!

Updated on July 23, 2017
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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.

Hi.

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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!

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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...

Spiders: The Ultimate Predators
Spiders: The Ultimate Predators

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

camel spider
camel spider

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. Sticky traps fro brown recluse spiders are affordable, easy to set up and dispose of, and non-toxic for pets and kids.


A Pretty Awesome Spider Tattoo - I guess some people take their spider-love even more seriously than I do...

spider tattoo
spider tattoo

Still In a Spidercidal Mood? Think About THIS:

spider mom
spider mom

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?

Are You Still Going To Kill Spiders?

See results

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    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Scratching!!

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      If I find one in the house, I usually catch it and put it out, although I admit I do suck up daddy long legs in the vacuum if they are making webs in the corners. I love the beautiful garden spiders.

    • PTurner56 profile image

      PTurner56 5 years ago

      OK, now I'm gonna have nightmares tonight! I actually have a "spider catcher" that I use to take the little darlings outside where they belong and I think spider webs are some of the most beautiful natural creations.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      This was the hardest quest I've ever done! Not a fan of spiders, love the "ninja" comment - it's so true - and I try very hard to sweep a spider away without killing it. Have tried this once with a Mama wolf spider carrying her spiderlings, not a good idea! Good job!

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 5 years ago

      This it is the first lens that I have read with my eyes closed. I am so afraid of spiders that I can not even bear to see pictures of them (and your pictures are really big). That being said, I never kill spiders. My favorite children's book is James and the Giant Peach. I learned that if you kill spiders a giant peach will land on you. So I don't kill spiders. I make my husband take them outside. Great lens. Happy Friday the 13th.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I pretty much let spiders live. Very interesting facts here. I'm now looking for those spiders that may be three feet from me even as we speak. My favorite thing about spiders is a glorious web. So beautiful when covered with morning dew. Thanks for being a spider's best friend.

    • profile image

      seopintar 5 years ago

      Spider is beautiful and give us many benefit such as killing the bugs. but in other hand it's scary.

    • profile image

      seopintar 5 years ago

      Spider is beautiful and give us many benefit such as killing the bugs. but in other hand it's scary.

    • KathyBatesel profile image

      KathyBatesel 5 years ago

      I actually think spiders are some of the most interesting creatures ever, even though I've been bitten a couple times by black widows and once by a recluse. There are a few that I won't tolerate inside my house, though. Anything poisonous has to go, and so do the giant ones they called "oak spiders" when I lived in Missouri.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I get called to catch indoor "giant, hairy spiders" (tiny) to put them safely outdoors. I had a friend with a pet tarantula, which we let walk on our arms. It molted, and I got the skin. Coooooool. Love these spider lenses. Don't miss the black widow one, folks. "Squid Angel blessed."

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I get called to catch indoor "giant, hairy spiders" (tiny) to put them safely outdoors. I had a friend with a pet tarantula, which we let walk on our arms. It molted, and I got the skin. Coooooool. Love these spider lenses. Don't miss the black widow one, folks. "Squid Angel blessed."

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      More good news: Birds eat spiders. So the next time you see a yucky spider, think: There goes bird food.

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 5 years ago

      As long as they stay outside - they pretty much amaze me - especially the large orb weavers. Just don't come into my house!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      We're a spider friendly household and get attached to the ones that hang around for a long time. Occasionally a big wolf spider will set up camp along our driveway. I always instruct workers who come into our yard to leave them alone. I'm sure they think I'm nuts.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 5 years ago from London, England

      Nice lens. I find spiders fascinating. We only have small harmless spiders here in England, but I have seen some pretty impressive specimens on my many travels.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      I remember as a child we had a spider on our ceiling for a very long time. I named her Mary. I cried when she didn't come back one day. I love the webs in the bush on a foggy August morning. So pretty.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      We used to have a huge, beautiful spider that created a web every night on the outside of our chicken coop...I used to sit for awhile and watch her...she was amazing! :) I still don't want one crawling on me, though...

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      I put them back outside if they find their way inside . . (no poisonous ones here that I've encountered in Canada).

    • pufek77 lm profile image

      pufek77 lm 5 years ago

      If I find the spider in my apartment, I just use a glass or some other stuff to cath it and leave it outside!

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      I n have been known to distract a cat to save a spider....

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Oh gosh, I probably shouldn't tell you about that time, a long time ago, when my dad took a blow torch to a black widow spider in the yard ...

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 5 years ago from Concord VA

      We live in the woods, so we have lots of spiders, but very few flies! We generally don't kill spiders. Another insect spiders kill is stink bugs...a very good thing!

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      Great lens! I always welcome spiders in and around my house--aside from black widows, of course.

    • AnnaAdam LM profile image

      AnnaAdam LM 5 years ago

      Very beautiful presentation about spiders. Really we don't realize that spiders help to make our environment clean.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i let the spiders live but if they nest inside the house, they better run for their lives. just kidding. angel blessings.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      Hate mosquitoes, so spiders are OK.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Very nice lens - I tend to let spiders live, unless, of course, I know they're extremely poisonous. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 5 years ago

      Spiders in real life are important scavengers - an important part of the ecosystem. Great Lens. Thanks for sharing

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      I usually allow a spider or two in the house, to catch flies. Loved the thing about turning into a ninja when walking into a spider web, that's me!!

    • verkeerd profile image

      verkeerd 5 years ago

      Nice lens! Used to find some Argiope bruennichi easily when I was a kid.

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Wow, love that neck tattoo! I wonder how often she's been slapped hard by a complete stranger trying to rescue her? lol

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 5 years ago from Ozun

      Great lens. Spiders are cool. I never kill spiders.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      Wonderful pictures. Those spider eyes....gave me chills.....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Absolutely stunning pictures and amazing factoids. Enjoyed the visit!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I'm with Tipi, love that happy spider! I've never liked killing spiders, but there are times when it's either me or it, and "me" wins. We have tarantulas in our neighborhood and I often see them crossing the road. I always aim to miss - I figure they can take care of some pretty bad little critters that I don't want to have around.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have declared a truce with spiders! That happy spider won me over with his smile.....or was it really a "come into my parlor" smile! Delightful! I go with what Heather mentioned for sure.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      What a great lens. I saw my first jumping spider, and you CAN'T kill them. They jump too fast!

    • JessyGene profile image

      JessyGene 5 years ago

      Awesome lens! Great photos, funny and interesting facts! I really enjoyed reading this lens. Me and my sister caught a wolf spider when we were kids. We thought it was just a spider with a really big butt so we put it in a jar to show (scare) our mom. Then a little while later we looked in the jar and it as crawling with tons of tiny baby spiders and the mom spider was actually pretty small. It totally freaked my mom out, but I thought it was pretty cool. She made us go dump them outside somewhere far away from our house--but we didn't kill them!

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 5 years ago

      Wonderful!

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      WOW! This is a great lens! The photos of these beautiful creatures are fantastic...I'd still be scared if I saw one in person. Waiting to see you write about Moths...

    • dvdmoviereviews profile image

      dvdmoviereviews 5 years ago

      brrrrrr.....shivers down my spine. YIKES!!

    • davies86 profile image

      davies86 5 years ago

      i appreciate your lens and i don't kill spiders as much now i have to say but spiders are just not something i think i will ever take to my heart. Great lens.

    • mary lighthouse15 profile image

      mary lighthouse15 5 years ago

      Great presentation! I love it!

    • greenmind profile image
      Author

      GreenMind 5 years ago from USA

      @Heather426: Thanks for the photo tip -- I'm a newbie and just figuring out some of the finer points!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      hmm, I never kill them, but am completely afraid of spiders. Hubby has to let them outside for me. Just wondering, where did you get the photos. You really should credit them. otherwise it can look like copyright infringement....

    • profile image

      CatJGB 5 years ago

      I know they do good work so I try to live and let live. Though the huntsman living in the doorwell of my car had to go....Love those tattoos, so realistic.

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      A cringy blessing from me too (cringy because I wouldn't have checked this lens if Rae hadn't pushed me to see it) - I'm a bit phobic when it comes to spiders....Darn, that happy spider left me chuckling lol.

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 5 years ago

      I have a difficult time cohabiting with spiders even though I know how much good they do. That said, I do not kill them but rather trap and release outside. I used to be very arachnaphobic, but I am getting a lot better. Reading information like this is very helpful and so is seeing non-threating looking photos. I especially liked the happy spider; it made me laugh. ::: blessed:::

    • terracroatia profile image

      terracroatia 5 years ago

      I like spiders provided they don't come too close... and they are not too big... and they are not poisonous... and they are not in my bed!