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Could Spiders be Helpful?

Among those that HATE spiders, the joke goes like this:

Q:  What should you do if you see a spider in your house?
A:  Burn down the house!

Now we certainly don’t recommend this approach.  And if you see a spider in your house and don’t wish to deal with it, simply call us and we’ll be happy to come out and work with you to take care of any spiders.  However, it’s important to realize that spiders do have a reason for being.  And these reasons are very important to us as humans.  Let’s look at how spiders can actually be helpful:

  1. They eat insects.  Although most people don’t want spiders in the house, if you do see one or two, you can rest assured they will trap, kill and eat other bugs that are in your house.  In fact, spiders are considered superb predators.  They eat aphids, ants, flies, plant bugs, grasshoppers, mosquitoes and more.  They are so prolific at controlling other pests and insects that some gardeners actually order specific species of spiders to release in the garden.  .
  2. Spider silk is valued all over the world and has many different uses. It is one of the strongest and most elastic of the natural fibers.  In fact, spider silk is stronger than steel and Kevlar.  Some of the ways we use spider silk include:  building robotic systems, as an underwater adhesive, in bullet-proof clothing, as band-aids, to make ropes, as artificial tendons, in biodegradable bottles, as surgical thread, in airbags, as protein powders in shampoo, and of course – as silky clothing.
  3. Spider venom is being researched for use in a natural and potent bug spray. This spray would kill insects and other pests, but is completely non-toxic to humans.  To date, the results look promising, but no product has yet been released for purchase.
  4. Spider venom has promising medicinal uses. Researchers are using spider venom to help with erectile dysfunction, to relieve pain, as naturally antibiotic sutures, as naturally antibiotic wound covers and even as a medication which induces temporarily paralysis.  Some interesting research also shows that spider venom may inhibit the growth of new cancer cells and may stop Alzheimer’s from progressing.
  1. And last but not least, some spiders are supposedly a tasty source of protein. They are considered a good dinner for some of the locals in Venezuela and Cambodia.  Please note:  we do not recommend you eat spiders.

One final tidbit for your inner arachnophobia:  Studies have shown that anyone with a very deep fear of spiders can reduce that fear simply by staring at pictures of spider-like objects over a period of time.  The objects used in the study were tripods, carousels and dreadlocks.

So the next time you see a spider, remain calm and remember all the good that spiders can do.  And then call us – because we can help you keep your home spider-free.

23 Mar

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