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8 Facts about the House Spider

friendly_spider.jpgThis relationship we have with spiders goes way back... like, ancient way back!  We still tend to misunderstand these little buddies and need to know them better. 

They can (and do) live in our attics, crawlspaces, windowsills, and houseplants. They have not just wondered from their natural habitat - this is their natural habitat!

Now, if you are like a lot of folks, and suffer from arachnophobia (fear of spiders), this isn't very comforting. So, let's look at  8 interesting facts that might help us understand this creature better.

1. We have a history.  

Many spiders have lived in our dwellings, well, forever. They often spend their entire life cycle in or under THEIR native buildings.

2. Putting a house spider outside could kill it. 

Only 5% of the ones you see inside have ever set "foot" outside.

Wolf_Spider-124351-edited.jpg3. Not all spiders in houses are house spiders. 

Some, like the wolf spider, come "inside" to hunt for prey such as roaches, silverfish, crickets and flies.

4. They don't all look alike. 

House spiders comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is the American, the domestic, and the cupboard spider which is a false black widow spider.  There is also the cellar, black, and giant house spider. 



Domestic_House_Spider-184468-edited.png5. Spiders normally don't use plumbing to sneak inside  

...though they are thirsty and are probably looking for water (which is why we often see them in sinks , tubs and showers). You will see them in places like these when, in search for water, they "fall in" and can't get back out due to the slick porcelai.

6. They normally pose no danger.

These little guys are hunters, and as mentioned above, and are looking for prey like roaches, crickets, otAmerican_House_Spider-057152-edited.jpgher spiders, etc.  Normally, they'll only bite if they feel threatened, or if you attempt to pick them up with your hand.

7. Most are helpful.

They eat many household pests like moths, roaches, crickets, flies , etc.  If left alone, spiders will consume most of the insects in your home. If you want to make sure they are "doing their jobs" look under their webs to see the discarded carcasses of their prey. While it is an annoying mess, it is evidence of their contribution to the household.

And finally...

8.  There are humane ways to manage them.

SpiderwebTo stay ahead of spider population booms, limit their habitat. Check eaves, windows and other spider hang-outs. Remove webs and generally sweep-up.  This will not eliminate spiders completely, but could help drive them to areas you frequent less often, such as the garage, tool shed or crawl space.

So, as you can see, living with the house spider can be a good thing  - or at least a little less arachnophobic!

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