From the movie Arachnophobia to hearing your mom’s high-pitched scream coming from the kitchen, it’s safe to say that spiders are some of the most feared creatures on Earth. Over the years, they have earned themselves a deadly reputation, invoking fear and chills at the mere sight of them. Despite their notorious reputation, not all the frightening rumors about spiders are true. While some spiders are dangerous to humans they are also an integral factor in keeping other harmful pests at bay. While no one wants a spider infestation, it’s still important to understand these creatures better – and to know when to panic or when to set them free. The experts at ABC Home & Commercial have put together a few myth-busting facts on these misunderstood creatures.
The Truth Behind the Myth
- The average person swallows about 8 spiders a year when sleeping.
No matter who you are, this image is disturbing at best. Fortunately, it is just a myth. Even if you did sleep with your mouth wide open, the likelihood of a spider being brave enough to crawl in is very low. To successfully eat a spider, you would need to catch it yourself.
- All spiders spin webs.
Some spiders spin webs to capture prey. However, not ALL spiders spin webs. Some build nests, live under rocks or burrow and they catch their prey by hunting or pouncing on it.
- Daddy longlegs are some of the most poisonous spiders, but their fangs are too short to penetrate human skin.
Daddy longlegs’ venom has never been known to enter a human. Testing shows their poison does not affect humans.
- All spiders are dangerous.
This quite the opposite. Most spiders will not harm humans. They actually try to hide in dark corners and run when encountered by a human. However, they may bite if provoked, but most do not have venom fatal or dangerous to humans.
- Spiders are insects.
Spiders set themselves apart from insects in many ways. Scientifically, they only have 2 main body parts, the cephalothorax and the abdomen, whereas insects have 3. They also lack antennae and have one or more set of legs than insects. Not to mention, they eat pesky insects!
- Spiders are more common indoors in the winter to escape cold weather.
Spiders are more frequently seen in the late summer and fall because that is their prime mating season. Because they become more visible to humans, people think they are entering their home to wait out the winter. Most of the spiders are house spiders. Less than 5% of them will ever venture outside in their lifetime. These spiders did not migrate inside from being outside all summer. They have just been out of sight until it’s time to mate.
- Spiders are aggressive.
Spiders are not naturally aggressive towards humans and they usually try to avoid us. It is unlikely to have suffered a spider bite, unless the spider was provoked. That strange bite you woke up with is most likely a mosquito, bed bug or flea bite.
- Not all spiders are venomous.
All spiders do have a venomous bite. However, only two groups in the United States pose a health threat to humans, widow spiders and recluse spiders. These bites should always be treated by a physician.
The truth is, most of the spiders we encounter in our homes are less harmful than the common insects we so easily ignore or casually pick up with a paper towel and toss out. In fact, spiders have the same goal as us, to get rid of the insects in our homes. They are just unaware that they are included in our eradication plans.
There are about 40,000 spiders around the world, with 3,000 of those living in the United States. Of those 3,000 in the U.S., almost 900 species live in Texas. This may seem like a lot, but the good news is that out of the 900, only two groups are considered to be poisonous to humans; the black widow and the brown recluse.
When to Call a Professional
If you have an insect problem, then you will probably start finding more spiders as well. If spiders or spider webs continue to appear in the corners of your home, no matter how often you sweep the areas down, then you probably have an infestation. If typical cleaning strategies are not working or you think you see a black widow or brown recluse, call a professional immediately.
Both of these groups prefer to live in dark, sheltered areas such as closets, sheds, barns and other undisturbed places. Brown recluses are more commonly found in houses. Be sure to shake out shoes before putting them on and wear gloves when working in dark areas with low visibility. Check holiday decorations and other previously stored items before bringing them inside.
If you or someone you know has been bit by a poisonous spider, see a doctor immediately. If you think you may have a spider infestation contact ABC Home & Commercial. Our seasoned experts can quickly assess the situation and start an eradication plan for your home. Call 469-549-7300 to schedule an appointment today!