Spiders

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Spiders are amazing creatures, having been part of human lore and mythology for thousands of years. Few creatures have the ability to evoke such fear, fascination, wonder, and even admiration as the spider. There are more than 43,000 different species of spiders. Spiders are found on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. Because of how very important spiders are to the environment, we should tolerate spiders whenever possible.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE SPIDERS?

  • Most spiders and spider webs are easy to see

WHAT DO SPIDERS LOOK LIKE?

  • Spiders are Arachnids not insects. However, spiders are similar to insects in that spiders have an exoskeleton and jointed legs.

  • All spiders have 2 body regions and 8 legs (insects have 3 body regions and 6 legs)

  • Spiders do not have antennae (adult insects have 2)

  • Spiders do not have wings

TO IDENTIFY A SPECIFIC SPIDER CLICK HERE

ARE SPIDERS DANGEROUS?

  • Typically not. Most spiders in our area are harmless to people.

  • All spiders have venom and are therefore venomous. However, only a few spiders are considered dangerous to humans, such as brown recluse and black widow spiders.

  • Spiders are shy and not aggressive; they will usually try to escape when confronted.

  • Few spiders bite, even when coaxed.

  • Fortunately, the bites of most spiders rarely break the skin and are less painful than an average bee sting.

CAN MY HOUSE BE DAMAGED BY SPIDERS?

  • Spiders do not cause structural damage.

  • The most common complaint with spider infestations is with the webs and general uncleanness of an infestation.

WHY ARE SPIDERS IN MY HOUSE AND YARD?

  • Indoors, spiders find protection from unfavorable weather conditions and natural enemies.

  • Often spiders are close to their food source.

  • Spiders can be found indoors any time during the year.

  • Spider's numbers usually peak during late summer and fall, when spiders are sometimes found indoors searching for winter hibernation sites.

  • Properties located in areas favorable to spiders, such as lakes, rivers, woods or fields, are more likely to have large numbers of spiders.

WHAT DO SPIDERS EAT?

  • Spiders are predators, feeding mainly on insects, but will eat other arthropods and one another.

  • All spiders bite and are poisonous to their prey.

  • Before digestion process, spiders inject venoms into their prey to paralyze it.

  • Spiders can only digest liquids. So, spiders make a hole in their prey either with their mouthparts or claws and inject digestive fluids into the prey. After that, they suck out the digested liquid food.

WHAT IS THE LIFECYCLE OF SPIDERS?

  • Male spiders may perform certain behaviors, such as waiving their legs, mouthparts, or other body parts to draw the attention of female spiders and to stimulate her for mating.

  • Not all female spiders eat the male after mating. This only happens is a few species of spiders.

  • To protect eggs from predators, spiders lay their eggs in silken egg sacs/cocoons.

  • A female spider may produce several egg sacs during her lifespan.

  • The number of eggs in each sac is species specific. The sac may contain from a few eggs to up to hundreds of eggs.

  • Depending on the species, the egg sacs can be hidden in a web, glued to a surface, or carried by the female.

  • Spiders usually develop and grow in size by molting (shedding their skin).

  • The number of molts varies from species to another and between males and females within the same species.

  • Normally, female spiders live longer than male spiders. Some species of spiders may live for years, but most spiders die shortly after laying their eggs; usually before the winter.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT SPIDERS?

  • Spiders can be divided into two groups: hunting (sometimes known as wandering) spiders and web-building spiders.

  • All spiders produce silk, but hunting spiders do not construct webs to capture food. Instead, hunting spiders rely on their quickness and relatively good eyesight to capture prey.

  • Web-building spiders construct webs in rather quiet, undisturbed places to capture their food. Web-building Spiders live in or near their web and wait for food to come to them. Web-building Spiders generally have poor eyesight and rely on sensing vibrations in their web to detect prey.

4 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SPIDERS:

  • All spiders produce silks.

  • There are 7 types of silk glands and spinnerets, but no spider has all 7 types.

  • Spiders use silks to make webs, as nests, or cocoons for protection for their offspring, they also use it to suspend themselves or to wrap and secure freshly captured prey.

  • Spiders do not fly. Spiders crawl, but jumping spiders can jump as well.