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Humans have been fascinated with spiders for centuries – the contrast of their strange, alien-like bodies with the intricate beauty of their shimmering webs is a sight many have awed at. Like most things, we judge spiders based on their looks, and even if you’re an entomologist (or more specifically an arachnologist), you’ll surely admit that they aren’t quite in line with traditional standards of “cuteness.” Even further, many people identify as arachnophobes: people with a fear of spiders.

At Anderson Pest Solutions, we want our customers to stay as informed as possible, so we’re taking a closer at why spiders have such a bad reputation as pests, and whether or not people have overestimated how dangerous spiders can be.

Are Spiders Dangerous? The Influence of Pop Culture

Humans weren’t always afraid of spiders. In cultures all over the world, there exist tales of spider helpers and storytellers, as well as reverence for the spider as a symbol for the passage of time, cyclicality of nature, and more. It was even considered bad luck to kill a spider in the Victorian era!

However, as the years go on, the times change. Spiders are undeniably different than many of the animals and insects that we regularly encounter, and difference can easily be amplified into fear. Since the 1950s, dozens of movies and pieces of art in pop culture used spiders as the subject of nightmarish horror. Combined with urban legends about spiders, it’s no wonder they are so feared. One popular rumor states that people swallow eight spiders a year in their sleep. This is a creepy thought, but it is simply untrue.

It’s also important to note that spiders are much more likely to leave you alone than bite. Although all spiders are venomous, they are also very hesitant to bite, and only a select few have venom strong enough to be health-threatening (most notably in Illinois & Indiana, the black widow and the brown recluse. If you find either of these in your home, call your local pest control company, and if you experience severe bite symptoms, seek medical attention immediately).

Why Spiders Are Important

Spiders are crucial to the regulation of local insect populations in the ecosystems that they inhabit. Organic farmers have begun to utilize them as a form of pest control in lieu of using dangerous pesticides. A 1990 study found that there are 614 species of spiders living in U.S. croplands, representing 19% of the spider species in North America. These spiders can be just as effective in your home, too. You might notice that a small population of spiders on your property can take out a much larger population of some species of unwanted insects.

Learn More About Spiders

If you are an arachnophobe and are currently dealing with an infestation of spiders, remember that your local spider control experts are always a call away. Don’t rush to deal with spiders on your own, especially if you can’t identify them. We can send out our technicians to conduct a complete spider inspection, determining the active species and all access points and taking measures to prevent them from living inside your home. For a free quote, contact us today!

Eight Legs, No Respect: Why Spiders Have Such a Bad Reputation Serving Illinois and Indiana

Chicago | Illinois


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