Spiders in the House - Friend or Foe?

Spiders are among the most prevalent household pests, crawling their way into two out of three American homes. At the same time, the most common creature-based phobia in the world is arachnophobia, the fear of Spiders. So, when most homeowners spot one, they tend to employ the nearest form of DIY pest control –a vacuum or shoe.

But a few fearless folks adopt a live-and-let-live motto, hoping to enjoy some of the good that Spiders do. If seeing one dangling in a web or scurrying across the floor does not make you shudder, you might want to share your home with a few.

One word of caution: It is always best to avoid touching a Spider. While they never actively seek human contact, they will bite if they feel threatened or endangered. Their venom causes reactions that differ from species to species and person to person. Symptoms of a bite may include a stinging sensation, red mark, localized swelling or an injury requiring hospitalization. Consult your doctor if you have a concern.

Before you squish the next Spider you see, consider how this eight-legged wonder might improve your life.

Benefits of Spiders - 3 Ways They Help in the House

1. What Spiders Eat Spiders feed on common indoor pests, such as Roaches, Earwigs, Mosquitoes, Flies and Clothes Moths. If left alone, they will consume most of the insects in your home, providing effective home pest control.

2. What Eats Spiders They kill their own kind. When Spiders come into contact with one another, a gladiator-like competition frequently unfolds –and the winner eats the loser. If your basement hosts common Long-Legged Cellar Spiders, this is why the population occasionally shifts from numerous smaller individuals to fewer, larger ones. That Long-Legged Cellar Spider, by the way, is known to kill Black Widows, making it a powerful ally.

3. They help curtail disease spread Spiders feast on many household pests that can transmit disease to humans –Mosquitoes, Fleas, Flies, Cockroaches and a host of other disease-carrying critters.

Seasonal Appearances

Typical house Spiders live about two years, continuing to reproduce throughout that lifespan. In general, outdoor types reproduce at some point in spring and the young slowly mature through summer. In many regions, late summer and early fall seem to be a time when Spider populations boom and they seem to be strongly prevalent indoors and out.

In reality, Spring's Spider babies have simply matured, and since they're bigger, they're more easily spotted. Mature males begin actively searching for mates, so they are mobile and frequently scamper into homes.