SPIDERS REALLY NEED GOOD PR, BUT ARE THEY REALLY HARMLESS?
Are you frightened by spiders? Perhaps due to its physical looks, spiders have always had a bad reputation, one that is fearsome and dangerous. People are so afraid of them, myself included. Books, movies, and t.v. shows always put spiders in a bad light; can you recall a movie wherein spiders were the good guys?
Take for instance my favorite movie, The Lord of The Signs: Return of The King. We have there Shelob, the giant spider who is a flesh-eating spider, waiting for whatever prey is available: elves, dwarves, orcs, hobbits, and humans. The giant spider really looked terrifying, since the author of the book, the great J.R.R. Tolkien, intended her to be that way – monstrous. And who can forget “ Arachnophobia’? That movie produced a lot of nightmares for those who watched it, I am sure.
Spiders are the good guys
In spite of their appearance, spiders can be considered the good guys. In fact, they are very shy and avoid humans. You probably do not know this, but you are probably sitting right in your home with a spider just 3 feet away from you. It has been said that we are all within 3 feet of a spider at home, yet you do not feel their presence at all. What they do is they eat those pesky flies and bugs and even cockroaches. Spiders are natural predators of many other household pests like moths, gnats, and mosquitoes.
Moths have two types, and each type does its own thing in creating damage inside your home. One is the clothes moths, and the other is the pantry moths. Clothes moths, as their name suggests, eat your clothes. Pantry moths attack your pantry to get some dry food, like flour, pasta, sugar, rice, cereals, and powdered milk. These two types of moths are nuisance pests that do a lot of economic damage.
Mosquitoes are another pests that are more than just a nuisance; they are disease-carrying pests. They transfer diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. That is aside from the red, ugly, and itchy bites they leave on the skin. They transmit diseases to humans by feeding on human blood through their bites.
Cockroaches are those very filthy insects that we should really get rid of. Because of their habit of living in dirty places, they carry with them bacteria and viruses which they then transfer to humans, causing many types of diseases like cholera, typhoid fever, salmonellosis, allergies, and asthma, to name a few. The transit diseases either by getting into direct contact with our food or getting in direct contact with surfaces that in turn get into contact with our food. Lately, studies have also shown that cockroaches are already getting some form of resistance from insecticides, which used to be so effective before. Cockroaches have survived all types of weather conditions and were already around since the dinosaur era. They cannot survive a spider’s hunger, though.
Flies are probably just as dirty as cockroaches. Flies, like cockroaches, eat anything. They eat rotten food, dead animals, feces, and other decomposing matter in the trash. Because of that, they carry bacteria and viruses just like the cockroach. When they get inside our homes, they land on the food we eat, thus contaminating them. That way, they get to transfer the bacteria and viruses to us humans, resulting in illnesses. Food poisoning, cholera, typhoid fever, and salmonellosis are just some of the diseases they cause.
Worry not, spiders eat them all, and then some. Spiders are good natural pest busters, so maintaining a good number of spiders in your house is always a good move. You also do not have to worry about having too many spiders in the house, because they are self-regulating. Their numbers are proportionate to the number of insects that they can feed on. It is definitely much better to have the scary-looking but harmless spiders than all these disease-carrying pests in the house.
The downside of having spiders though is that ugly looking web at the ceiling. But that should be the least of your worries.
Spiders are also used for medical research and product development
Studies have shown that spiders venom can be used as safe painkillers. Scientists are also exploring its effect in treating strokes and muscular dystrophy. Spider venom is also used as anti-venom for other spider bites.
Of course, there are reports that humans get bitten, but spiders only do so when disturbed or threatened.
What about those venomous spiders?
It is a natural reaction to be frightened of spiders, especially the larger ones. A lot of people think that those large ones are venomous, and use that venom to attack humans. This can be no farther from the truth. In the United States, there are 4,000 known species of spiders, but only two are venomous: the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. It is important for us to know how to identify the venomous ones so we would know which ones to avoid, and which ones are okay.
The black widow spiders are the most common venomous spiders in the United States and the most venomous of all the spiders in North America. The venom of a black widow is said to be 15 times more powerful than that of a rattlesnake’s. A female black widow has a shiny black body with a red hourglass marking on their abdomen. This red hourglass markings serve as a warning to other predators that they are toxic, and thus cannot be eaten. They are about 1.5 inches long. The males, on the other hand, are about half the size of the females, lighter in color, and have either red or pink spots on their backs. Males do not bite. The good news is that their bite is not fatal to adult humans. It is a different story for children and the elderly though, as it can be fatal to them. The black widow got its name because of the female black widow’s penchant for eating their male counterparts after mating. The female black widows can live up to three years, while the males can live up to a year.
In the event that you are bitten by a black widow spider, wash the bite with soap and water, then apply a cold compress as a first-aid precaution. Then go to a doctor. If possible, catch the same spider that bit you, whether dead or alive. Present it to your doctor so he or she can make an informed decision on the type of care and treatment that you need.
The diet of the black widow includes other insects and arachnids. They use their webs to capture their prey. They feed on mosquitoes, flies, ants, termites, and roaches; those that we consider useless pests. Once these insects get trapped in the web, the black widow then approaches it and covers it in silk. It then bites into it to release an enzyme that would liquefy their prey. Black widows only eat liquefied food.
The only other venomous spiders in the United States is the brown recluse spider. They are recognized through the violin-shaped marking on their bodies. What differentiates them the most from all the other spiders is their 6 eyes, instead of the usual 8. These are arranged in three pairs. These spiders are very shy, that is why they are called the brown recluse. They are also nocturnal, so they hunt for food only at night. The brown recluse spiders also need to mate only once in a year to be able to produce 150 eggs a year.
If you are being bothered by their presence inside your home, you do not have to destroy them since it would be a waste to lose some of nature’s best pest controllers. Try to handle them carefully by trapping them inside a box if you can, or some other material that can hold them, then let them loose outside your house. If you cannot do it yourself, then you may call the best pest control management in North and South Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why choose Go-Forth Pest Control
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that has a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina.
We bring in a new and fresh approach to the pest control industry, using family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination that caters to your specific needs. Our expert experience in exterminating pests like cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders can really make you say goodbye to these pests in your home. You may check us on Facebook or Google us to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.