From nursery rhymes that delight and fascinate young children, to scary horror stories that evoke fear, spiders have always played an important role as pop culture references. Boasting an impressive resume of leading and supporting roles, spiders weave their webs into many major movies, the most popular of which is Marvel’s Spiderman franchise. Even though these action packed movies are more about the stunts and computer graphics, Spiderman’s strengths are based on the real features and traits that spiders actually possess, which indeed make them truly amazing creatures.
As intimidating as spiders may seem, they are actually shy creatures that tend to retreat if you advance on them. In rare cases when there is close human interaction, the few spiders that are considered dangerous such as the Black Widow or Brown Recluse, can prove fatal if you are bitten, but most spiders are harmless and will not bite. Not to be confused with insects, spiders are Arachnids with all spiders having 8 legs and 2 distinct body regions. As much as our natural instinct is to get rid of any spider that we encounter, it is important to understand the benefits that spiders provide as they prey on undesirable insects and pest species, making them nature’s own biological vacuum.
Eight Legged Fun Facts
If you suffer with a true fear of spiders (Arachnophobia) it may not comfort you to know that there are at least 40,000 different species of spiders that exist. All spiders have venom and are therefore considered venomous, but most are still relatively harmless to humans. While the sight of them will make you go in the opposite direction, there are so many fascinating traits to these eight legged creatures:
- Unlike insects, spiders do not have antennae or wings.
- All spiders have 8 legs.
- Female spiders can produce up to 3,000 eggs.
- The most poisonous spider is the Brazilian wandering spider, also known as the Banana spider.
- The silk weave spun by spiders is considered the strongest material in the world. In the Spiderman movies, the concept of being able to climb walls and swing from high levels using this spun silk is a huge part of the appeal of his character. In reality, scientists have not been able to replicate this material despite technology.
- The only continent in the world that does not have spiders is Antarctica!
- Spiders are filled with venom which is actually how they digest any food that they intake. Anything ingested is first turned into a liquid substance.
- Jumping spiders can jump up to 50 times their own length (picture Spiderman leaping from building to building!)
- Spiders can live in almost any habitat with only a few species surviving near water. This accounts for their highly diversified species.
- Spidey Senses! Although Spiderman does not have 4 eyes like most spiders, his ‘spidey senses’ are just like that of a real spider. Near sighted, spiders cannot rely on their eyes to help them, so they must hone in on their other senses to help find food and defend themselves.
- The most common method of capturing prey is by creating a web that insects or lizards will get stuck in. Some spiders hunt actively and will search their surroundings for food.
Types of Spiders
Although most of the spiders we encounter are harmless, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the more common varieties in the event that you do cross paths with them in your home.
|Type of Spider||Appearance||Where to find it||Get the bug spray?|
|Common House Spider||
||Basements, garages, under furniture, around windows and near lights.||The common house spider poses no real threat and is more of a nuisance.|
||Around windows, doors, fences, decks and bushes.||If threatened, the jumping spider can bite in defense, but their bite is not dangerous.|
|Long-bodied Cellar Spiders||
||Dark, damp places like basements and cellars. High humidity areas like sink cabinets, bathtubs, inside closets||No real threat as these spiders do not bite.|
|Brown Recluse Spider||
||Under woodpiles, debris, inside storage areas, baseboards, closets and attics.||The brown recluse will bite in defense often leading to a painful bite and associated fever, sores and restlessness. Requires immediate medical treatment to avoid allergic reaction.|
|Black Widow Spider||
||Found in boxes, around woodpiles or firewood and lower level areas.||Female black widows can be aggressive if they are guarding recently laid eggs. A bite from a black widow can lead to high blood pressure, nausea and fever.|
Keeping Spiders Out
Even if we’re inclined to bring out the spider décor at Halloween time, the rest of the year should be kept spider free if possible. The sighting of one or even two spiders may indicate that there is an infestation brewing and should be attended to right away to avoid the problem getting out of hand. To help reduce the possibility of spiders entering and staying in your home, there are a few preventative measures you can take:
- Pressure clean the outside of your home to get rid of webs and possible spider eggs that cling to door frames and windows.
- Repair damaged screens on all exterior openings of your house.
- Remove debris, firewood or garbage away from your home as these areas serve as good resting places for spiders.
- Using yellow light bulbs helps to deter insects, which in turn, deters spiders from feeding on them.
- Any noticeable cracks or spaces should be sealed.
- Minimize the opportunity for nesting by removing bags, boxes and papers that may be lying around your home.
- Keep a close eye out in corners of ceiling, walls and windows and eliminate any cobwebs that you find.
- Contact your Truly Nolen service expert who can effectively assess and treat any areas of the home that you suspect may have spiders.