When you see a spider, what is your reaction? For many, the reaction is to scream or yell, followed by a move to immediately kill it.
Part of that is expected. Spiders aren’t exactly the prettiest creatures out there, and many TV and movie depictions of spiders make us think spiders are out to replace humans as the dominant species on planet Earth. But in reality, spiders have little interest in interaction with humans (they don’t want to bite you unless you agitate them), and they are quite environmentally important. Let’s look at three good reasons to let the spiders do their thing inside your home.
They don’t seek humans to bite
Spiders are not out to get you and actually prefer to avoid humans. Bites from spiders are extremely rare. Although there are a few medically important species such as widow spiders and recluses, even their bites are uncommon and rarely cause serious issues. Those recluse and widow spiders aren’t even that common. The most common spiders found in houses are either cobweb spiders or cellar spiders. Now, if you go poking at them or endanger them in some way, they may reach out to bite. But most of these varieties are typically smaller than the famous ones, and is a number of species, their fangs can’t penetrate human flesh very easily, if at all.
They kill nuisance pests
How many spring and summer days have you wanted to leave your windows open and save on the utility bills, but you can’t because of all the insects and critters that would invade your home? What if we told you there was a natural predator that would be happy to rid your house of those bugs for you?
You might think these spiders are creepy, but they actually eat many other household pests such as flies, cockroaches, and even other spiders. Yes, you read that right – cellar spiders sometimes leave their webs to hunt other spiders on their turf, mimicking prey to catch their cousins for dinner. So killing a spider doesn’t just cost the arachnid its life; it may take an important predator out of your home.
They kill disease-bearing pests
Getting rid of pesky insects is one thing. It’s another to consider the disease that some of these awful critters carry. As you may have guessed, spiders can help you rid your home of this problem as well.
We’ve mentioned spiders kill cockroaches, a potentially disease-bearing insect. They also target mosquitoes, which carry such a large array of diseases around with them. There’s even a species of jumping spider that prefers to eat blood-filled mosquitoes in African homes. Killing spiders could actually put your home and family at risk for any diseases that these other pests might carry.
Relocate Rather Than Kill
Hopefully you have now been armed with enough information that you understand that Arachnophobia was just a movie, that situations like that don’t really happen in real life. Hopefully you also understand the benefits of most common spiders. We hope this inspires you to let them do their thing, knowing they will not be a problem to you personally.
However, we understand if you don’t want too many spiders in your home. Cobweb spiders leave their webs everywhere, and a lot of people are still creeped out by the very sight of anything with eight legs. If you must get rid of a spider you find in your home, you can always try to catch it and bring it outside. The easiest way to do this is to get the spider to crawl onto a piece of paper and cover it with a glass. You can then take the spider outside and let it go. But the best thing to do is let the spider hang out where it is, doing your family a favor by taking out the ugly and nasty flying and crawling things that you might otherwise pay big bucks to an exterminator to get rid of.