Coexisting with Spiders

Learn to coexist with harmless household spiders, determine if a bite is a venomous spider bite, and what to look for them when selecting produce.

| April 2019

 Wolf-Spider-Camaflouge
Photo by Sean McCann

What do I do with spiders if I find them in my house?

If you care about spiders, the best thing to do is let any spiders you find hang out in your house. After all, these animals help to control other insects in your house. But, to be fair, the spider poop can make a bit of a mess, and if you are an arachnophobe, or live with one, you may need to deal with the situation . If you don’t want to handle your spider but need to move it, do the old “cup over paper” trick, place a cup over the spider and gently slide it over a piece of paper so the spider is now captured. But what to do now . . .

It gets a little tricky: people generally have a belief that an indoor spider is really just an outdoor spider that is somehow trapped inside. They feel they’re helping the spiders to “free” them outdoors. But remember, many spiders found in our homes are actually in their preferred habitat already (e.g., the cellar spider), and sometimes it’s much colder (or hotter) outside than inside. So even though releasing your spider back into the wild may make you feel better, you are probably actually killing your spider by releasing it into the wild outdoors.

Perhaps the best thing to do is move your house-loving spider to a part of your house where it can live peacefully and without bothering you: perhaps your basement or a sunroom with lots of houseplants or a closet. Give your spider a room of its own.



Wolf-Spider-Eating
Photo by Sean McCann

Can all spiders bite? Are all spiders venomous? If they bite me, will I get a bacterial infection?

While it’s true that all spiders are venomous, not all spiders can bite humans (remember that many species are very, very tiny!). Even those species that can bite humans rarely do. Spider venom is mostly suited for their insect prey and not generally strong enough to affect humans.






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