Thank You Spider, for Killing the Bugs That Bug Us

Spider_Meme
Image courtesy of Runt of the Web

Poor spiders! They seem to be at or near the top of most folks’ list of creepy crawly icky things that they don’t want anywhere near them. They usually make the sides of pest control vans too, even though they’re practically the opposite of a pest. Spiders never infest your food supplies, but they eat some of the things that do, they don’t bite you without a good reason, and some of them construct super cool webs.

Argiope-aurantia-Black-and-Yellow-Garden-Spider-w
Argiope aurantia, Black and Yellow Garden Spider

According to National Geographic, the average spider eats about 2,000 insects a year, so spiders are good to have around the home.

Of the more than nine hundred species of spider in Texas, only two are potentially dangerous (barring an allergic reaction similar to how some people react to bee stings); the black widow and brown recluse. Both of these are quite shy, choosing to stay hidden and let food come to them.

Black_Widow_wikipedia
The red spot is on the belly of the black widow. Image courtesy of wikipedia
Brown-recluse-wikipedia
Brown recluses aren’t much bigger than a penny. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Spiders are an incredibly diverse and fascinating group of animals. There are small ones, big ones, fuzzy ones; some burrow, some make huge webs way up high, some use silk as a lasso, some take care of their babies for a time, some dive under water taking along a bubble of air. There is even one that spits a combination of glue and venom at its prey-how cool is that? Some are just downright cute.

Phidippus regius female jumping spider. Photo by Thomas Shahan via flickr
Phidippus regius female jumping spider. Photo by Thomas Shahan via flickr

As with other venomous creatures, many people tend to be overly concerned about them. Bites do happen on occasion, though almost always from accidental contact. We come close to many more spiders than we will ever know because of their usual small size and reclusive habits. This Halloween, let’s give spiders some credit and think of them as natural pest control instead of pests themselves!

Comb-clawed spider chomping down on some pesky ants
Comb-clawed spider chomping down on some pesky ants

Find out more cool stuff about spiders – check out Spider Facts on the Discovery Channel website

Wolf spider mom carrying dozens of babies on her back.
Wolf spider mom carrying dozens of babies on her back.

fuzzy-jumping-spider-265

088-spider

spider-with-prey-040



2 thoughts on “Thank You Spider, for Killing the Bugs That Bug Us

Comments are closed.

Want more?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Status Update

In honor of the Chinese animal zodiac, we’re celebrating the Year of the Goat and featuring a goat in our Children's Zoo each month. This month, our keepers write about male goat, Jack, and how guests often mistake him for being pregnant.

www.houstonzoo.org/year-of-the-goat-featuring-jack/
... See MoreSee Less

6 hours ago

View on Facebook

Paula Black Connally, Shonie Shon and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Holly StephensJack is my and my 3 year olds favorite goat. He's so sweet!

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Wilfredo J PenateI know that goat!

4 hours ago
Avatar

Vicente Gonzalez

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Mary FingerI love goats! <3

3 hours ago
Avatar

Isaac MartinezLeann its jack!!!

4 hours ago   ·  2

1 Reply

Avatar

Christina Fezatte-ThibodauxPoor Jack. He's just a tad bit chubby. Poor guy being mistaken for being pregnant. :)

6 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Animals In Action

Recent Videos