Just saying the word spider can give some people the heebie-jeebies. For ages, people have feared these eight legged creepy crawlies due to their unusual anatomy, their webs, and the off chance that they could bite them. There have even been instances where people have burned down their homes trying to kill spiders with a blowtorch. Given that spiders like the black widow and brown recluse are venomous, people are understandably afraid. Nobody in their right mind would want a house infested with dangerous spiders! However, many spiders are actually beneficial as they eat unwanted insects in and around the home while simultanesouly managing the pest population.
Spiders— Just the Facts
- It's fairly uncommon to find spiders sitting inside a spider's web. Spiders wait outside of their web for their prey or food-source to get stuck inside of the web. After their meal gets stuck, the spider moves in for the kill. They then proceed to wrap the trapped insect in silk and inject it with their venom. After a while, the spider will suck out the insect from its silk trap.
- If you see spiders in your house (regardless of the location) you probably have other insects inside of the home that the spiders are using as a food source. When homeowners control other insects within the home, they make the environment less hospitable to spiders and consequently see a decrease in their spider population.
- Spiders found inside the home are usually trappers or hunters (meaning they seek out live insects to eat). Hunter-types usually run down crawling insects or use ambush techniques. However, trapper-types use webs to catch insects. Trapper-types are more passive in their hunting techniques, letting the prey come to them.
- The vast majority of spiders have poor eyesight (regardless of the fact that some spiders have eight, six, four or two eyes). Even with poor eyesight, all types of spiders hold the classification 'predator'. Most spiders can detect light-dark intensity changes and rapid movements, which helps them trap other insects moving around near them. Instead of relying on their sight to hunt prey, spiders rely on touch, taste, and vibrations to find potential food sources.
- All types of spiders manufacture silk. However, not all types of spiders spin webs. Spiders manufacture silk in their abdomen, and then squirt it from the arachnid's six spinnerets. Some types of silk are dry and some types sticky. Some spiders manufacture up to six types of silk. Spiders also produce different types of silk for different reasons. Some produce it to make sticky webs to catch prey, some produce silk to make egg sacs, and some hunter spiders use silk as a drag line to serve as a safety net while they walk and stalk their prey.
Most people don't want their house filled with spiders. Though with over 37,000 known species, it's likely you will encounter spiders in your house at some point.