If there is one group of creatures that polarize opinion, it’s undoubtedly spiders. While some people are arachnophobes, fear of spiders is among the commonest of all phobias – others find them fascinating. However, while one spider crawling about the home may not be a great problem, there is a limit to how many you want to share your house with. How can a creature with eight legs and eyes not be?
However, as we’re about to explain, a home with a few spiders may be preferable to one with none! Let’s have a look at some facts about these unique creatures.
Facts about Spiders
There are more than 45,000 species of spiders known to exist across the world. Experts believe that there may be twice that number in reality, with many having yet to be discovered. In the USA, there are known to be 3,500 different species of spider. We will look at the dangerous examples in the next section – don’t worry, there are very few – but first, here are some interesting facts about spiders.
- Spiders are not insects; they are arachnids. This is a class of creatures that has two parts to the body and eight legs.
- Not all spiders have eight eyes; some have six, and some have fewer.
- Not all spiders make webs. Some simply hide in dark places, such as cracks and crevices. However, the spider web is one of nature’s most beautiful and amazing constructions.
- Spiders eat many insects. A single spider may take hundreds of small flies in a day. Hence spiders are natural insecticides. This is why we suggest a home completely free of spiders is not the preferable option.
- Most spiders are ‘sit and wait for predators, adopting a still position where insects may visit. A few – the Wolf Spider, for example – are hunters.
- Many species are cannibalistic and will even eat their young. Contrary to belief, not all female spiders kill or eat the male after mating, but many do.
Nature has evolved a unique creature in the form of the spider, and it is quite easy to see why some people fear them. To put your mind at rest here’s some information on the presence of poisonous or dangerous spiders in the USA.
Are there Poisonous Spiders in the USA?
When it comes to poisonous spiders in the USA, you should be reassured that only two species are considered a danger to humans: the Brown Recluse and the famous Black Widow. Of the 45,000 species known to exist, only thirty across the world have been responsible for human deaths. This is because spider venom is intended to paralyze small creatures, not large humans. Therefore, most poisonous spider bites will result in pain, perhaps akin to a bee sting and swelling of the skin. It is recommended you visit a poison clinic should you be bitten to be on the safe side. Let’s talk briefly about the main dangerous spiders in the USA.
The Brown Recluse spider is present in the west and south, and in lesser numbers in the north, of the USA. This unassuming creature – with a body of just ¼ inch and a leg span of perhaps 2.5inches – injects venom that breaks down the blood cells. The danger is that this causes an open wound that can lead to infection and further complications if left unattended. Death by brown recluse bite is very, very unlikely but do get the bite seen to.
Famous for its distinctive black body with red decoration, the Black Widow is usually the first spider thought of when we talk about dangerous spiders. However, no deaths to humans have been attributed to the Black Widow in the USA. If bitten, it can cause cramps, nausea, and difficulty breathing, so victims should get aid immediately.
So, you want to get rid of spiders? Let’s get down to business! Others such as the Brown Widow and Red Widow are also poisonous, but it is worth knowing that they will most likely retreat – as will all spiders – rather than become aggressive towards humans.
DIY Spider Removal
We’ve already explained that spiders eat flies, so leave it alone if that little web in the corner doesn’t bother you too much. The spider is unlikely to be a dangerous example and will help keep your home otherwise insect-free. Here are our tips for getting rid of spiders:
- Spiders do not like citrus. You can buy an anti-spider spray that includes citrus or simply mix the juice of a lemon with a little water.
- Catch the spider in a tumbler and put it outside. This is the humane way but may take some time and bravery!
- If you have a cat, it may enjoy chasing and killing spiders.
- Get your vacuum to work and hoover up spiders.
- Other natural products include cinnamon and vinegar, which can also be used in a spray.
Perhaps the most important step is to check around your home for cracks and other gaps through which spiders can enter the house. Other insects will also use these, and even mice, so they should be sealed where possible. Let’s finish by having a quick look at what we have learned about spiders in the home.
The spiders in your home eat a lot of other insects, so they are naturally keeping the numbers down. However, while a harmless spider may be left alone, you may want to remove venomous ones, especially if you have children in the house. We recommend that you contact professionals to remove, for example, the brown recluse and black widow, as while not naturally aggressive, they may bite if threatened.