We all have those house spiders crawling around in our houses sometime or other. Some consider them harmful but they just quietly live their lives. It is time we know some facts about them.
There is a history between humans and spiders
Did you know spiders are descendants of 7-foot long marine animals that lived about 480 million years ago? Spiders truly evolved about 300 million years ago which is even before dinosaurs existed. Yes, they came first! Hence they have been living with us since long and so they are now specially adapted to indoor conditions such as steady climate, less food & even less water. Even in their native countries, they are found to stay indoors usually spending their entire life cycle.
Spider could die if put outside
You probably think getting rid of a spider without killing it could help it survive elsewhere. But you are wrong because they cannot survive outside. Only a few species can adapt to the external environment but not all. Only about 5% of the indoor spiders know to survive outdoors. So ultimately you are likely to kill them if you put them outside.
Not all spiders found in house are House Spiders
You can find house spiders colonizing new buildings via egg sacs attached to furniture or building materials. Sometimes outdoor spiders also wander inside which are actually hunting actively. Like the wolf spiders crawling across the floors & walls. Many house spiders start weaving webs but some actively hunt prey. So one needs to learn to distinguish the features of the indoor and outdoor spiders before deciding to let them stay in or throw them out.
House spiders don’t look alike
Parasteatoda tepidariorum(The American house spider) is one of the most abundant species found abundantly. Native to North America, they are now found around the world. They are yellowish-brown that are tall with round abdomen having two rows of four eyes and measure up to 4-8 mm long. They have mild venom that only bites humans for self-defense. They are found building tangling webs both outside & inside of the buildings.
Tegenaria domestica(The domestic house spider) is another species which is native to Europe but are widespread. They appeared in U.S. shipping ports in the 1600s initially. With reddish-brown head, they are 6-12mm long and have a pale, speckled abdomen. They build funnel-shaped webs and prey on pest insects inside homes.
Steatoda grossa (The cupboard spider) is also widespread from its native region of Europe. Around 4-11mm, this spider is known for building up messy cobwebs. So the name, ‘false black widow’ as people confuse it often with a highly venomous spider. However, the bite of it is more like a bee sting.
Other common house spiders include Badumna insignis (black house spider, native to Australia and New Zealand), Pholcus phalangioides (cellar spider, cosmopolitan), Cheiracanthium mildei (yellow sac spider, cosmopolitan), Eratigena atrica (giant house spider, Europe and North America), Eratigena agrestis (Hobo spider, Europe and North America) and Kukulcania hibernalis (Southern house spider, Americas).
Spiders don’t sneak in through plumbing
House spiders are thirsty creatures who seek water near sink or tub that have few drops leftover. So one might find them trapped in sink or tubs making people to assume they came from plumbing.
House spiders are least dangerous
They rarely bite humans. Even if they do bite, venom from some species causes only mild and short-lived effects. They are not bloodsuckers. They feed on very small insects and have no reason for attacking any creature larger than them as doing so only brings harm to them.
They can be helpful in warding off other insects
They can ward off agricultural pests like aphids, moths and beetle thus acting as natural insecticides. They also feed on common household pests such as cockroaches, flies, earwigs, mosquitos and cloth moth, thus being an effective home pest control.
Manage them humanely
If you still can’t stand them, you could just remove their cobwebs instead of killing them. By doing so, you are just driving them away to lower-profile haunts like garage or shed. Sealing potential entries keeps their feeding preys off, in turn limiting the entry of spiders. There are several myths to keep them away through various stuffs. But instead why not just let them live? Peace out!