Arachnophobia is the 3rd most common of all phobias in America. Considering that there are at least 4,000 known spider species living in the United States, it’s not hard to see why so many people get upset about finding a spider in the house.
Understanding the purpose of spiders, and a few fun facts about spiders can help ease some nerves and make them less scary. Find out more below!
What do spiders do?
There are many benefits of spiders. First and foremost, spiders eat insects. While, the details can seem a little gruesome if you think about an unsuspecting insect being caught in a sticky web and consumed by an eight-legged arachnid, the fact is that spiders keep the numbers of bloodsucking, disease spreading, crop destroying pests under control. That is something we can all appreciate.
A few more interesting, and lesser known facts about spiders include the benefits they are providing for medical research and product development. Spider venom has the potential to act as a safer painkiller, and may be able to treat strokes, muscular dystrophy, and of course, is used for antivenom in cases of harmful spider bites. The silk spiders use to spin webs is one of the strongest materials ever discovered. It may not seem like much when you’re swatting it away with your hands, but the tensile strength of spider silk is comparable to high-grade alloy steel.
Why are spiders important?
Determining the importance of spiders really depends on who you ask. A gardener or farmer is likely to recognize how helpful spiders are at preventing pests from destroying crops. A doctor, scientist, or engineer may appreciate the innovative possibilities related to the study of spiders. However, the average homeowner would likely argue that spiders don’t belong anywhere near them because spiders are gross, creepy, and scary!
Being scared of spiders is a normal response, and it makes sense because there are a few types of dangerous spiders. However, most spiders generally prefer to avoid contact with people. Even in instances of spider bites, healthy adults can usually survive without serious consequences. Just because you don’t want to see any spiders inside your home doesn’t mean spiders don’t serve an important purpose. Keeping spiders outside where they belong is the best way to keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy.
Fun facts about spiders:
Before we tell you how to get rid of spiders, let’s just take a moment to enjoy a few cool spider facts.
- Spiders have either six or eight eyes depending on the species.
- Despite having so many eyes, many spider species have poor eyesight. They make up for it with the tiny hairs that line their eight legs. The hairs are able to detect scents, helping spiders find food and potential mates.
- Spiders are found on every continent, except Antarctica.
- All spiders produce silk, but not all spiders spin webs.
- Some spiders are actually kind of cute.
- A spider’s leg hair is also designed to sense vibrations, such as when prey lands on their web. This is one reason why they don’t like areas with a lot of action or noise.
- Trapdoor spiders have been documented to live up to 35 years in the wild!
- The Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula is the largest spider in the world, which can reach up to one foot long in body length and have fangs that are a full inch long! Don’t worry, its natural habitat is in the rainforests of South America.
How to make your home spider-free:
Getting rid of spiders is a common request among homeowners, but finding a safe and effective method of spider control is crucial. No one wants pest control that harms to people or pets. There are a few steps you can take to get rid of or prevent spiders in your home naturally.
The first thing you can do is keep a clean home, clear of clutter and debris. Spiders prefer to hide in sheltered, undisturbed areas such as behind an old bookshelf, in a rarely used closet, or down in a dark, dusty basement.
Next, make sure you maintain a pest free home. Spiders won’t live somewhere without an adequate food supply, so keeping other pest problems under control will also control spiders. Don’t neglect repairing any damaged window screens, weather-stripping around doors, and any other small gaps or openings around your home that a spider might use to get inside.
Finally, take a moment to learn more about the habitat of a spider so you can better understand how they get into your home, and how to keep them out.