Why you shouldn’t kill spiders in your home
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Picture this: It’s 11 at night and you’re getting ready to go to bed. As you lay down you notice a black spot wriggling around on your ceiling. It’s your worst nightmare: A spider. What do you do? If you have arachnophobia like many others do, chances are your first instinct is to kill it. However, killing this creepy, crawly friend may actually be to your detriment.
To many people’s disbelief, spiders can provide some benefits that go unnoticed and are important to our ecosystems. For one thing, they kill all the other bugs in your house that you don’t want such as mosquitos, flies, moths, earwigs, roaches, and even other spiders. So, killing them would mean a lot of other insects might become permanent guests in your home, which is a lot more annoying than one tiny spider friend. Spiders also help to pollinate plants, recycle other dead insects and animals, and are a food source for many other animals such as birds, fish, and mammals. Killing them may seem like the easiest option, but it’s not the smartest one.
Spiders aren’t as scary as they look and don’t often do harm to people. You don’t need to be afraid of spiders biting you because they’re not biologically built to attack large mammals; most species either physically can’t puncture our skin or aren’t venomous enough to have a serious effect on humans. They almost always only bite if they are provoked and usually try to avoid humans.
If you really are uncomfortable with spiders in your home, I would recommend catching them and then releasing them outside rather than squishing them. Before you do that however, I think it’s important to note that many spiders are accustomed to living indoors and have little chance of survival outdoors. Putting them outside could be fatal to them because they are not adapted to the cold.
Spiders are the unsung heroes of pest control; you don’t realize how much work they do for our ecosystem until it’s too late. They won’t hurt you unless you hurt them first—so if you ever find them in your house they should be welcomed and not cast out like vermin.