Friday, January 13, 2012

Spiders: Friend or Foe?

Spiders are beneficial creatures and are the best bio-control agents known.  They should be tolerated as much as possible since they feed on large quantities of insects such as aphids, ants, thrips and termites. 

Most people would rather not have a house full of cobwebs. But spiders capture and consume many household pests including flies and once in a while, a centipede. Spiders are actually classified as arachnids and not insects; spiders have eight legs, insects have six.
There are over 3,000 species of spiders in the U.S., and only a small number of these are dangerous to people; very few are equipped with mouth parts that can actually pierce the human skin. 

For people who won’t tolerate spiders, here’s what to do.
·        The easiest and safest way to rid your house of spiders and their webs is to vacuum rather than spray.  The dust inside the vacuum bags will quickly suffocate any spiders you catch. If you’re willing to share the house with a few spiders, you can periodically vacuum up the webs that are eyesores and leave the spiders to continue their job of controlling the household pests.
·        If you can catch a spider in a jar, take and release him outside where he can continue working.  You might try caulking cracks and installing screens to prevents more spiders from coming inside.