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Why You Should Not Kill Spiders in Your House


Spiders. You Need Them.

In this little article I will do my best to make you see the value in nearly every single little spidery soul in your house and garden. Spiders actually creep me out completely, but I would never kill one on purpose -- and not because I am nice. I let them live because I understand what they do for me every single day. You may not realize it, but without spiders our world would be a pretty nasty place. I hope that after reading this lens you yourself will let spiders live.



Let's Get Something Straight: Spiders don't bite you when you're sleeping!

Before I say another word, let's clear something up -- you have never been bitten by a spider! When you wake up with a mysterious welt or spot, someone is bound to say "Oooh, that's a spider bite." They don't know what they're talking about. The vast majority of real spider bites, if you actually get one, are generally painless and don't result in any welts or symptoms. The very few, and very rare, bites of a brown recluse or black widow are exceptions but about as likely as getting bitten by a poisonous snake. Don't believe me? Check out this study by the Burke Museum about the MYTH of spiders biting you while you sleep!


The Infamous "Butt Spider" Hoax

Some years ago a story was circulated about spiders lurking under toilet seats and elivering fatal bites to several women in the Chicago area. It's 100% pretend, and pretty hilarious to anyone who actually knows anything about spiders.For one thing, the photo of the spider in question, the entirely fictitious Arachnius gluteus, was of an innocent little spider that lives on flowers and ambushes incoming bees. Why would it be found lurking under toilet seats at an airport restaurant? It's also too small to get anywhere with those little fangs it has, especially given the amount of, um, padding it sould have to bite through to do any damage to a real Gluteus Maximus.

Here's Snopes' take on the whole thing, and it's pretty amusing.

Do You Like Flies? REALLY Like Flies?

Then Keep Killing Spiders.

Because spiders eat flies by the ton. Literally by the ton. If you were somehow able to continue your mission of killing spiders until every last one was squashed, smooshed, or otherwise obliterated, then you, my friend, would suddenly have a pretty sizable fly problem to deal with, as in millions and billions of flies and their babies, aka maggots, swarming around your face. Spiders keep the fly population in check, and also the mosquito, black fly, centipede, clothes moth, and every other nasty buggy population. Let Spiders Live!

Why is it when you run into a spider web, you suddenly turn into a ninja?

Incredible Spider Photography Book - Perfect Gift for the Bug Person inYour Life...

Pretty Amazing Insect Art Book


Have you seen this? It's a coffee-table book that will pretty much blow your mind. You can get it here.

A CLOSE-UP of a Spider's Face

camel spider

camel spider

Okay, This Never Happens.

Scroll to Continue

Brown Recluse Spiders -- Okay, these you may need to kill.

Brown recluse spiders come out at night to hunt small insets. That's fine, but they often wind up tangled in bedsheets or clothes left on the floor. Put on yesterdays shirts, and the spider bites you in self-defense. The bite doesn't hurt, but after a little while it can turn into a serious wound that may require surgery to treat. So yes, it's understandable to want to kill brown recluse spiders.

The best way to deal with brown recluse spiders is to use a sticky trap. These catch and hold night-wandering spiders, and are really the only way to deal with them. Most spiders stay in their webs, so you won't really be harming most of the spiders in your house.

Sticky traps are one excellent way to catch and kill brown recluse spiders. Because they typically wander around the floor of your basement at night, looking for roaches and centipedes to kill, brown recluse spiders are susceptible to getting stuck in these simple, cheap traps. Sticky traps fro brown recluse spiders are affordable, easy to set up and dispose of, and non-toxic for pets and kids.

A Pretty Awesome Spider Tattoo - I guess some people take their spider-love even more seriously than I do...

spider tattoo

spider tattoo

spider mom

spider mom

Some Spiders are Mommies!

And pretty good ones, too. This wolf spider is not unusual -- she is carrying around dozens of little baby spiders, called spiderlings (awww...). She'll keep them close to her for as long as it takes for them to be able to grow up and take care of themselves, and maybe someday fulfill every spider's dream of having a family of its own. And this is the mommy that you want to smoosh with a wadded up tissue? Who's the monster now?

Okay. That's my best shot. It's time to vote. Let Spiders Live, or Kill Em All. But next time you have that wad of tissue ready to mash that little guy hanging out in your bathtub, think twice. Think about the flies. Think About Mr. Happy Spider. Think about the Spider Mommy. Just... THINK.

What Do You Think? Convinced Yet? Let's Poll the Audience:

Think about it, and then take our poll. Are you still a danger to our 8-legged friends?

New Guestbook Comments

UKGhostwriter on June 04, 2012:


Terrie_Schultz on May 13, 2012:

If I find one in the house, I usually catch it and put it out, although I admit I do suck up daddy long legs in the vacuum if they are making webs in the corners. I love the beautiful garden spiders.

PTurner56 on April 22, 2012:

OK, now I'm gonna have nightmares tonight! I actually have a "spider catcher" that I use to take the little darlings outside where they belong and I think spider webs are some of the most beautiful natural creations.

Joanie Ruppel from Keller, Texas on April 14, 2012:

This was the hardest quest I've ever done! Not a fan of spiders, love the "ninja" comment - it's so true - and I try very hard to sweep a spider away without killing it. Have tried this once with a Mama wolf spider carrying her spiderlings, not a good idea! Good job!

agoofyidea on April 13, 2012:

This it is the first lens that I have read with my eyes closed. I am so afraid of spiders that I can not even bear to see pictures of them (and your pictures are really big). That being said, I never kill spiders. My favorite children's book is James and the Giant Peach. I learned that if you kill spiders a giant peach will land on you. So I don't kill spiders. I make my husband take them outside. Great lens. Happy Friday the 13th.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on April 04, 2012:

I pretty much let spiders live. Very interesting facts here. I'm now looking for those spiders that may be three feet from me even as we speak. My favorite thing about spiders is a glorious web. So beautiful when covered with morning dew. Thanks for being a spider's best friend.

seopintar on April 03, 2012:

Spider is beautiful and give us many benefit such as killing the bugs. but in other hand it's scary.

seopintar on April 03, 2012:

Spider is beautiful and give us many benefit such as killing the bugs. but in other hand it's scary.

KathyBatesel on April 02, 2012:

I actually think spiders are some of the most interesting creatures ever, even though I've been bitten a couple times by black widows and once by a recluse. There are a few that I won't tolerate inside my house, though. Anything poisonous has to go, and so do the giant ones they called "oak spiders" when I lived in Missouri.

Joan Haines on March 30, 2012:

I get called to catch indoor "giant, hairy spiders" (tiny) to put them safely outdoors. I had a friend with a pet tarantula, which we let walk on our arms. It molted, and I got the skin. Coooooool. Love these spider lenses. Don't miss the black widow one, folks. "Squid Angel blessed."

Joan Haines on March 30, 2012:

I get called to catch indoor "giant, hairy spiders" (tiny) to put them safely outdoors. I had a friend with a pet tarantula, which we let walk on our arms. It molted, and I got the skin. Coooooool. Love these spider lenses. Don't miss the black widow one, folks. "Squid Angel blessed."

SteveKaye on March 29, 2012:

More good news: Birds eat spiders. So the next time you see a yucky spider, think: There goes bird food.

mel-kav on March 23, 2012:

As long as they stay outside - they pretty much amaze me - especially the large orb weavers. Just don't come into my house!

KimGiancaterino on March 12, 2012:

We're a spider friendly household and get attached to the ones that hang around for a long time. Occasionally a big wolf spider will set up camp along our driveway. I always instruct workers who come into our yard to leave them alone. I'm sure they think I'm nuts.

Andy-Po on March 07, 2012:

Nice lens. I find spiders fascinating. We only have small harmless spiders here in England, but I have seen some pretty impressive specimens on my many travels.

DebMartin on March 02, 2012:

I remember as a child we had a spider on our ceiling for a very long time. I named her Mary. I cried when she didn't come back one day. I love the webs in the bush on a foggy August morning. So pretty.

Brandi from Maryland on March 01, 2012:

We used to have a huge, beautiful spider that created a web every night on the outside of our chicken coop...I used to sit for awhile and watch her...she was amazing! :) I still don't want one crawling on me, though...

sousababy on February 28, 2012:

I put them back outside if they find their way inside . . (no poisonous ones here that I've encountered in Canada).

pufek77 lm on February 26, 2012:

If I find the spider in my apartment, I just use a glass or some other stuff to cath it and leave it outside!

cmadden on February 24, 2012:

I n have been known to distract a cat to save a spider....

julieannbrady on February 23, 2012:

Oh gosh, I probably shouldn't tell you about that time, a long time ago, when my dad took a blow torch to a black widow spider in the yard ...

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on February 20, 2012:

We live in the woods, so we have lots of spiders, but very few flies! We generally don't kill spiders. Another insect spiders kill is stink bugs...a very good thing!

Einar A on February 19, 2012:

Great lens! I always welcome spiders in and around my house--aside from black widows, of course.

AnnaAdam LM on February 10, 2012:

Very beautiful presentation about spiders. Really we don't realize that spiders help to make our environment clean.

goo2eyes lm on February 09, 2012:

i let the spiders live but if they nest inside the house, they better run for their lives. just kidding. angel blessings.

TransplantedSoul on February 09, 2012:

Hate mosquitoes, so spiders are OK.

JoshK47 on February 07, 2012:

Very nice lens - I tend to let spiders live, unless, of course, I know they're extremely poisonous. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

vkumar05 on February 04, 2012:

Spiders in real life are important scavengers - an important part of the ecosystem. Great Lens. Thanks for sharing

LouisaDembul on February 01, 2012:

I usually allow a spider or two in the house, to catch flies. Loved the thing about turning into a ninja when walking into a spider web, that's me!!

verkeerd on February 01, 2012:

Nice lens! Used to find some Argiope bruennichi easily when I was a kid.

Mark Falco from Reno, Nevada on January 30, 2012:

Wow, love that neck tattoo! I wonder how often she's been slapped hard by a complete stranger trying to rescue her? lol

Iudit Gherghiteanu from Ozun on January 30, 2012:

Great lens. Spiders are cool. I never kill spiders.

Ben Reed from Redcar on January 30, 2012:

Wonderful pictures. Those spider eyes....gave me chills.....

anonymous on January 26, 2012:

Absolutely stunning pictures and amazing factoids. Enjoyed the visit!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on January 26, 2012:

I'm with Tipi, love that happy spider! I've never liked killing spiders, but there are times when it's either me or it, and "me" wins. We have tarantulas in our neighborhood and I often see them crossing the road. I always aim to miss - I figure they can take care of some pretty bad little critters that I don't want to have around.

anonymous on January 25, 2012:

I have declared a truce with spiders! That happy spider won me over with his smile.....or was it really a "come into my parlor" smile! Delightful! I go with what Heather mentioned for sure.

Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on January 24, 2012:

What a great lens. I saw my first jumping spider, and you CAN'T kill them. They jump too fast!

JessyGene on January 24, 2012:

Awesome lens! Great photos, funny and interesting facts! I really enjoyed reading this lens. Me and my sister caught a wolf spider when we were kids. We thought it was just a spider with a really big butt so we put it in a jar to show (scare) our mom. Then a little while later we looked in the jar and it as crawling with tons of tiny baby spiders and the mom spider was actually pretty small. It totally freaked my mom out, but I thought it was pretty cool. She made us go dump them outside somewhere far away from our house--but we didn't kill them!

Ram Ramakrishnan on January 24, 2012:


Stephanie Tietjen from Albuquerque, New Mexico on January 23, 2012:

WOW! This is a great lens! The photos of these beautiful creatures are fantastic...I'd still be scared if I saw one in person. Waiting to see you write about Moths...

dvdmoviereviews on January 23, 2012:

brrrrrr.....shivers down my spine. YIKES!!

davies86 on January 23, 2012:

i appreciate your lens and i don't kill spiders as much now i have to say but spiders are just not something i think i will ever take to my heart. Great lens.

mary lighthouse15 on January 22, 2012:

Great presentation! I love it!

GreenMind Guides (author) from USA on January 22, 2012:

@Heather426: Thanks for the photo tip -- I'm a newbie and just figuring out some of the finer points!

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on January 22, 2012:

hmm, I never kill them, but am completely afraid of spiders. Hubby has to let them outside for me. Just wondering, where did you get the photos. You really should credit them. otherwise it can look like copyright infringement....

CatJGB on January 21, 2012:

I know they do good work so I try to live and let live. Though the huntsman living in the doorwell of my car had to go....Love those tattoos, so realistic.

Marika from Cyprus on January 19, 2012:

A cringy blessing from me too (cringy because I wouldn't have checked this lens if Rae hadn't pushed me to see it) - I'm a bit phobic when it comes to spiders....Darn, that happy spider left me chuckling lol.

TravelingRae on January 18, 2012:

I have a difficult time cohabiting with spiders even though I know how much good they do. That said, I do not kill them but rather trap and release outside. I used to be very arachnaphobic, but I am getting a lot better. Reading information like this is very helpful and so is seeing non-threating looking photos. I especially liked the happy spider; it made me laugh. ::: blessed:::

terracroatia on January 18, 2012:

I like spiders provided they don't come too close... and they are not too big... and they are not poisonous... and they are not in my bed!

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