Is it bad to have spiders in your house?
Spider-Smashing, Yah or Nay?
When it comes to the question of if you should kill spiders, the answer is generally, “No.” This is because they actually do a lot of good both in nature and if they are living within your house (which will be touched upon soon). Now, there are of course certain times it makes perfect sense to kill a spider. If it is one that is highly venomous to humans like a Black Widow and your baby is crawling towards it too fast to stop, then don’t hesitate to smash that spider.
Also, if you have a pet that is trying to chomp-down on a Brown Recluse in your garage should you go in there to do some Spring Cleaning, it is probably wise to kill that spider as well before it can possibly bite your pet and make it very ill. If you or a loved one is in clear and present danger, then you, of course, should kill a spider. However, if you’re in your garage and see a spider hanging-out on its web in the corner, chilling, it is honestly for the best if you leave it alone due to all the good it does. With that in mind, let’s consider why spiders are helpful and if you do need to kill a spider how to do it humanely as possible.
If you are having a serious spider problem and need to get rid of them, read our article How to Get Rid of Spiders Naturally? for some tips.
Why Spiders Are Good in the House/Why You Shouldn’t Kill House Spiders
Unless it is posing an actual threat to you, a house spider (a slang term often used for kinds of spiders that weave webs and are generally found indoors) can be a great thing to have in your home. If it is out of the way in your attic, garage, or shed it is doing you a great service, seriously!
A Natural Pest Control
A spider is like a free form of pest control, able to gobble-up annoying flies, roaches, stink-bugs, and other pests you don’t want in your house. Spiders also can eat termites, something you absolutely do not want making themselves comfy in your home. Spiders prefer to be out-of-the-way in quiet, dark, and warm areas and if you leave them alone they will repay you by taking care of a lot of insects that do get in the way and can be a huge pain to deal with. Should a house spider pose a threat you can capture it and put it outside, but it may not be especially adept at the outdoor life unlike some species of spiders that thrive outdoors. With that said, catching and setting a spider-free still gives it a better chance at being useful for someone else than if you were to just simply kill it.
Why Spiders Are Good in Nature and You Shouldn’t Kill Them
Do you know what creature can really help control the mosquito population? Spiders. You know what creature was discussed above as helping with pests like roaches, stink-bugs, and flies in houses and can actually help control them outside too?
Yep, spiders. Having spiders outside your home or noticing a web on a nature-walk is no cause for alarm. Just as spiders can help keep your home free of annoying pests having spiders near your residence or in a region that would otherwise be teeming with pests can do wonders to control the numbers of insects that otherwise are a big concern (nobody enjoys being bitten by a mosquito). Simply put, just as spiders are good for your home as they are great for the Environment.
Why You Shouldn’t Kill a Daddy Long Legs
It should be noted that there is a kind of Daddy Long Legs that is a spider, but the kind most people think of is, in fact, an arachnid, but not a spider. It is an arachnid that is in the class of Opiliones. These arachnids do not have segmented bodies like spiders, they do not make webs, and they lack venom or fangs to bite a human (their fangs only can hurt insects)–they simply cannot hurt us, making them even less dangerous than a spider.
Are Daddy Long Legs Good?
They make a great predator, however, preying upon flies and other annoying insects. A Daddy Long Legs poses you absolutely no threat, ever, so you should simply leave it alone without any worry.
Will You Get Bad Luck if you Kill a Spider?
In a lot of folklore and mythology, spiders have been associated with luck as well as money. The exact origin of some of these concepts can be hard to trace, but some theories consider how spiders represent hard-work (they spend a lot of time weaving-webs if they are the kind that makes webs), good health, and being clean (spiders kill annoying insects like flies that are often associated with being dirty or unkempt). With that said, a lot of rumors and myths exist around spiders that are either outright false or impossible to prove scientifically.
Facts And Figures
Killing a bunch of spiders may result in, “Bad luck,” in the sense it’ll allow potential nuisances such as flies or termites to have free reign in your home, but there is no actual evidence the presence of spiders in your house will make you rich and their absence will make you poor. However, if you are a bit superstitious, it may help you feel better to know in a number of cultures it is believed if you apologize to a spider before you kill it that counteracts any possible bad luck. Basically, the spider knows too, “Forgive,” you for its death. Therefore, if you have to kill a spider but are worried about it bringing bad luck, just make sure to utter a quick, “Sorry!” before you squish it.
Does Killing a Spider Attract More?
As was just said, a lot of myths exist about spiders. Besides the old urban legend that we swallow spiders in our sleep (which was actually made-up to show how readily people believe silly myths) one of the other common made-up ideas is killing one spider somehow attracts more. This simply is false. There are no magic pheromones released by a killed spider that causes others to appear, spiders will not try to show-up and avenge their fallen brethren, it is all made-up.
Is it OK to leave spiders in your house?
With that said, should a spider be dead another one that happens to be in the area might notice an area is available which once had a different spider in it and this new spider may set-up its new home in that cozy corner of your shed? It wasn’t brought there by a desire to mourn another deceased spider however, it just noticed where the previous spider lived was a great place to, “Set-up shop.”
Did you know that dead ants can also attract more ants? We explain why in our article Why do Dead Ants Attract More Ants?
How Can You Kill a Spider Humanely?
Sometime people will think the best way to kill a spider is to trap it in a glass or vacuum it up. These ways are actually pretty cruel due to the fact some spiders can survive for hours without air due to slowing their metabolism and will miserably suffocate.
Vacuum it up
Also, if you vacuum a spider it will either get smashed around and die violently when sucked-up, or be stuck unable to move in tightly-packed dust and dirt, starving to death over a period of days.
Place a container over it and freeze
Should you have to kill a spider quickly smashing it if able save the spider a lot of pain, or if for some reason you can trap it but don’t want to let it go outside safely (perhaps because it is highly venomous to humans) you should freeze a spider.
When a spider is extremely cold it essentially goes into a hibernation-like state, and if it truly freezes it just dies while in this state of sleep. Trapping a spider in a container, put it in the freezer.
Most humane way
Having the spider die that way is the most humane option should you without a doubt have to kill a spider as opposed to ignoring it or safely capturing it and setting it free away from your house/office/etc.
In Closing: Try Not to Kill a Spider Unless Absolutely Necessary
While there are those times you without a doubt have to kill a spider and kill it fast, generally you should try to avoid killing a spider unless it is 100% required for your health and safety.
A spider suddenly landing on your while you’re in the shower that you quickly kill is completely understandable as that is a situation where you are startled and feel like you’re in danger.
However, if you’re simply rooting-around in the attic for holiday decorations and notice a spider on a web, there is basically no reason to go over and disturb or kill it.
That spider is doing you and everyone else in your house a favor. In the same manner, should you notice a spider crawling-along outside and minding its own business, leave it be, that spider can help take-care of insects that will cause you a lot more trouble than the spider would desire (again, nobody likes mosquito bites).
While sometimes you may need to kill a spider, you should try to do it quickly and/or humanely, but generally, you can safely leave a spider alone and reap the benefits of all the free pest control it provides.
Killing a spider may not actually bring you bad luck, but leaving a spider alive will sure make you feel lucky when your house is free of annoying flies, roaches, or nasty stink bugs, and don’t we want to feel lucky?
If you enjoyed reading this article, why not check out our articles on Everything You Need to Know About Rose Hair Tarantulas and When is Spider Season? The Quick Answer
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