Myths About Spiders Debunked

You have to feel a little bit sorry for spiders… They are some of the most misunderstood creatures in the world. It doesn’t help that we call spiders “creepy crawlies” which just reinforces their reputation as creepy, malign creatures — the stuff of nightmares. A lot of people suffer from arachnophobia and are automatically afraid of spiders. This ends up with them being treated as unwanted pests when these eight-legged creatures appear in our homes. A lot of the time spiders needlessly die because of these myths. Spiders are really not as bad as you think they are…

8 Myths About Spiders Debunked

1. Spiders are insects

When people see a small animal, they automatically assume that it’s an insect. But this isn’t true at all. There are many small animals that are biologically not considered insects, such as spiders. They are considered arachnids.

When people see a small animal, they automatically assume that it’s an insect. But this isn’t true at all. There are many small animals that are biologically not considered insects, such as spiders. They are considered arachnids.

This is a particularly important fact when it comes to pest control. Uninformed people may use insecticides to get rid of spiders. But since insecticides are specifically formulated for insects and not spiders, there is a possibility that they won’t be effective. Some insecticides do work against spiders, but it’s better to buy commercial products that specifically say they can get rid of spiders.

2. All spiders are dangerous

It’s true that many spiders are venomous. But only a handful are actually dangerous to humans. Black widows are particularly dangerous and their bites are even considered medical emergencies if the victim experiences symptoms. Brown recluses are no better, capable of attacking cells and killing tissues.

Outside of these two, most spider bites are not that dangerous. They can only give you minor symptoms like itching, redness, and swelling. All spiders and their bites being dangerous are some of the biggest myths about spiders. Some people end up being irrationally afraid because of this misconception.

3. Spiders go out of their way to be a danger to you

Some people are just deathly afraid of spiders. They think that spiders are always nearby, waiting for an opportunity to inconvenience them. But nothing can be further from the truth. You don’t like spiders nearby, and they don’t like you either.

Spiders don’t want anything to do with you simply because you are too big to hunt. Spiders are predators, and they prefer to be around those their size, such as ants, bed bugs, and cockroaches. Only bloodsuckers like mosquitoes and ticks have the incentive to be around bigger targets such as humans. And spiders are not bloodsuckers.

Spiders don't want to be around you because you are too big to become their prey.

4. Spiders like dirty and untidy homes

One of the most common myths about pests in general, not just spiders, is that they only like homes that are dirty and unkempt. There is some truth to this. After all, a dirty home has a lot of leftovers that they can use to sustain themselves and clutter that they can use to protect themselves from the elements.

But a home doesn’t have to be dirty to attract pests. For example, a clean home can still have cockroaches if the home is easily accessible from the sewers. In the case of spiders, a clean home can still have them if the home has other pests such as ants. After all, spiders are predators. They are not attracted to your leftovers. They are attracted to the pests that are attracted to your leftovers.

5. You should completely get rid of spiders — including those outside

Getting rid of spiders is a top priority for some people. They would even face their fear of spiders just to completely get rid of these pests. This is understandable since many myths about spiders give them a bad reputation. But here’s the thing — spiders can actually be beneficial.

Since spiders are predators, they help control the populations of other common household pests like ants and cockroaches. You can let them thrive inside your home. But if this makes you uncomfortable, you can bring them outside and let them thrive in your garden instead. They help control garden pests too, such as aphids, beetles, and even those as big as wasps.

6. You swallow multiple spiders a year

One of the most commonly talked about “facts” about spiders is that humans swallow multiple spiders a year. There are many versions of this “fact.” Some say we swallow them while we sleep. And some say we eat them unknowingly with our food. But they are all the same — they are trying to scare you with spider “facts.”

Humans swallowing spiders unknowingly is one of the biggest myths about spiders out there. Spiders don’t want anything to do with you. They are not likely to get near you, let alone enter your mouth for whatever reason. This has been reiterated multiple times by spider experts.

One of the most common myths about spiders is that you swallow multiple spiders a year in your sleep.

7. Spiders are always lurking nearby

Another common “fact” about spiders is that there is always one near you at all times. When you are lying down in your bed, a spider may be hidden somewhere near your bedroom wall. When you are mowing your lawn, a spider may be hiding somewhere in the grass.

This “fact” is not true at all. Sure, there are more than 40,000 species of spiders out there. But this doesn’t automatically mean that at least one of them is near you. It will also depend on your location. If you are on top of a skyscraper, for instance, there is a high chance that there is no spider nearby.

8. All spiders spin unsightly webs around your home

Many people don’t want spiders around their homes not just because of the danger they bring, but also because of the spider webs that they may leave all over the place. Spider webs are eye sores. They may also trap insects that will otherwise just pass by.

In reality, not all spiders weave webs. Sure, many of them do as part of their hunting strategy. But there are others that use minimal webs or don’t use them at all. Look at jumping spiders, for instance. They rely more on their good eyesight and quick movement to catch prey.

Myths about spiders

It’s okay if you don’t want to live with spiders. You can get rid of them if you want. However, it’s important to note that some myths just give spiders a bad name. Spiders are not out there to get you. In fact, they mostly bite out of self-defense. They also don’t always weave obnoxious spiderwebs around your home. Spiders are really not that bad, and they can even be beneficial because they can control the population of other pests.

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