I realise it may be difficult to persuade you, but please allow me to try: do not kill the next spider you see in your home.
Why? Because spiders are a crucial element of nature and our indoor ecosystems, as well as fellow beings.
People tend to think of their homes as secure havens from the outside world, yet many different varieties of spiders may be found within. Some are unintentionally stranded, while others are passing through. Several spider species even appreciate the great indoors, where they may live out their lives and reproduce. These arachnids are normally quiet, and the majority of them are neither aggressive nor hazardous. And they may provide services such as pest control – some even devour other spiders.
My colleagues and I did a visual survey of 50 North Carolina houses to determine what arthropods inhabit there. Spiders were in every single residence we visited. Cobweb spiders and cellar spiders were the most prevalent species we met.
Both weave webs in which they wait for prey to be captured. Cellar spiders may occasionally leave their webs to hunt other spiders on their territory, impersonating prey in order to snare their cousins for food.
While spiders are generalist predators that will eat anything, they often capture nuisance pests and even disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes. There is also a jumping spider species that loves to consume blood-filled mosquitoes in African houses.
Therefore removing a spider not only kills the arachnid, but it may also remove an essential predator from your house. Both weave webs in which they wait for prey to be captured.
Cellar spiders may occasionally leave their webs to hunt other spiders on their territory, impersonating prey in order to snare their cousins for food.
It’s normal to be afraid of spiders. They have many legs and are virtually all poisonous, however the majority of species contain venom that is too weak to cause problems in people, assuming their fangs can puncture our skin at all. Even entomologists are susceptible to arachnophobia. I know a few spider researchers who overcame their phobia of these wonderful critters by studying and working with them. You can do it if they can!
Spiders are not after you and seek to avoid people; we are far more hazardous to them than vice versa. Spider bites are exceedingly rare.
Although there are a few medically significant species, such as widow spiders and recluses, their bites are infrequent and rarely cause major problems.
If you really can’t bear that spider in your house, apartment, garage, or anywhere, try capturing it and releasing it outside instead of crushing it. It will find another home, and all parties will be pleased with the outcome.
Nonetheless, if you can stand it, having spiders in your house is OK. That is, in fact, normal. And, to be honest, they’ll be there even if you don’t notice them. Consider taking a live-and-let-live approach to the next spider you come across.