Researchers Say You Should Never Kill A Spider In Your Home

The first thought you have, whenever you see a spider in your home, is to get rid of it. Most people hate spiders, especially when they see them indoors. However, researchers say we shouldn't kill them. Here's why.

Even though many find them terrifying or gross, spiders are good to have around the house. They capture and kill other insects, that could carry disease. If you can't stand them in your home, at least release them outside, without hurting them.

Most of the spiders you can find in your home are harmless and usually go without being even noticed. You could have hundreds of arthropod species in your home without even knowing. But that's ok!

A researcher who worked on a study entitled "Arthropods of the great indoors: characterizing diversity inside urban and suburban homes", writes:

My colleagues and I conducted a visual survey of 50 North Carolina homes to inventory just which arthropods live under our roofs. Every single house we visited was home to spiders. The most common species we encountered were cobweb spiders and cellar spiders.

Both build webs where they lie in wait for prey to get caught. Cellar spiders sometimes leave their webs to hunt other spiders on their turf, mimicking prey to catch their cousins for dinner.

Although they are generalist predators, apt to eat anything they can catch, spiders regularly capture nuisance pests and even disease-carrying insects - for example, mosquitoes. There's even a species of jumping spider that prefers to eat blood-filled mosquitoes in African homes. So killing a spider doesn't just cost the arachnid its life, it may take an important predator out of your home.

It's natural to fear spiders. They have lots of legs and almost all are venomous - though the majority of species have venom too weak to cause issues in humans if their fangs can pierce our skin at all. Even entomologists themselves can fall prey to arachnophobia. I know a few spider researchers who overcame their fear by observing and working with these fascinating creatures. If they can do it, so can you!

Before you kill another spider, please remember that like most beings on this planet, spiders serve a purpose: They kill mosquitoes, which are so much more annoying and dangerous!

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