Creepy Crawlies or just Creepy?
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Spiders. Lurking in dark corners and spinning webs where they hide, these creepy crawlies have received a pretty bad reputation in the past. Scary and unnerving, many of us aren’t particularly fond of our little eight-legged friends, but what if they aren’t as bad as we initially thought? Although they look frightening, spiders can actually be good critters to have floating around our homes, and provide a few benefits to our ecosystem as well. Although many still find them terrifying, understanding a spider’s role in our ecosystem can help to take some of that fear away. Check out the below points and then decide for yourself – creepy crawly, or just plain creepy?
1. Spiders help to keep your home pest free.
Ever stopped to consider what other pests might be lurking around your home? Sure we don’t like spiders, but is that partly because they sit out in the open for us to see? A blot on the landscape of our perfect pest free home that we like to imagine we live in. But did you know that many spiders, particularly common household spiders, are actually a natural form of pest control? A spider’s main source of food comes in the form of whatever other small bugs they can get their hands (or legs) on – including flies, moths, ants and other small creepy crawlies, including smaller spiders. So don’t worry; despite what we may convince ourselves of, their webs aren’t actually set for us humans. In fact, one spider alone can eat around 2,000 insects in just one year! That’s saving us a whole lot of work, and helping to keep those other pesky creepy crawly pests at bay.
2. Spiders help to prevent the spread of disease.
When it comes to transmitting disease, many of us jump straight to bacteria and viruses. But what about the disease-carrying bugs and pests that already lurk in our homes and carry such things? Insects such as fleas, ticks, bedbugs, flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches hide in plain sight carrying all sorts of undesirable diseases, and if not dealt with, increase our potential risk of illness and infection. Queue our eight-legged friends. With a diet predominately made up of smaller bugs and insects, spiders help to minimise and lower the risk of disease transmission to humans simply by going to lunch. This helps to protect both us, and our household pets from harm, keeping our living environment cleaner and healthier.
3. Spiders help to protect your gardens and crops.
Indoor and outdoor, you guessed it – spiders are helpful little critters at also protecting our gardens and crops too. If you have a few spiders lingering around in your yard or flowerbed, it might be time to count yourself lucky. Similar to our indoor pests, these creepy crawlies effectively help to chase away and eat up bugs such as aphids and other insects, which can be harmful to your crops and plants. This means less pruning for us and a healthier garden all year around.
4. Spiders are more afraid of you then you are of them.
Now this is a funny one – it seems that no matter how many times this is mentioned or we are told, dealing with or confronting a spider never gets any easier. Good news though, there is truth in it! Arachnologists and experts agree that to a spider, humans are so large we are merely considered a part of the landscape, similar to a large boulder or tree. As we emit many vibrations (each breath and heartbeat alike), this will normally signal a spiders defence mechanisms and send it running to the hills. For them, it would be the equivalent to taking on a big, scary giant! Very rarely will spiders attack, and if such a thing did occur, it is only because the spider feels threatened. And better news yet, while we tend to think most spiders are dangerous, for humans our threat level is definitely low. Many spider species, although they may bite, are not poisonous to humans or able to inflict any real damage. So while you may experience a small raised, sometimes-itchy welt on your skin, for most this is a worst-case scenario.
So with this in mind, we now leave it up to you to decide if spiders are indeed friend or foe – creepy crawly, or just plain creepy. If the thought of spiders is still making your skin crawl, feel free to take our online test to discover how severe your aracnophobia is.