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Eight Reasons to Love Spiders (Or At Least Spare Them)

big spider with a lot of eyes
 photo credit: Sappymoosetree

Let me start this article off by admitting how petrified I am of spiders. Every man in my life has been transformed, at some point, into an all-powerful spider warrior.

It goes like this: my fiancé will be working quietly in our home office when, suddenly, he’ll hear a shriek from the kitchen; he’ll fall out of his chair and come running with a penny loafer, our 180-pound mastiff galloping alongside him, fur flying. I’ll be in the kitchen when he gets there, pointing wildly and jumping furiously in place.

So, I’m writing this article to spare both my fiancé and me increased potentiality for cardiac arrest in our mid-twenties (no need to worry about our mastiff – he needs the exercise). From everything I’ve been reading, there’s a bunch of reasons not only to get rid of arachnophobia, but to actually embrace spiders (not literally…dear god, not literally) as a wonderful part of one’s natural –– and sometimes home –– environment.

Here are a few that have impressed me as viable reasons to love/tolerate spiders:

  1. Spiders have been revered in hundreds of really awesome myths and folk stories the world over. Sometimes they’re cast in the role of Creator, sometimes as gods and goddesses. Check out some of the stories, if you ever have time. They’re fun reads. Here’s one about Anansi the West African spider god:
  2. In North America, at least, only two kinds of spiders are truly harmful to humans – the brown recluse and the black widow (and, by all means, get rid of them). The rest actually just eat other insects we usually find pretty scary, including mosquitoes carrying malaria (the world’s #1 fatal disease) and flies carrying cholera.
  3. The presence of spiders in your house is a sign that 2,000 fewer bugs per spider will be there every year.
  4. In your garden, spiders eat those bugs that love to damage your plants! In fact, they’re used in organic cotton farming for exactly this reason.
  5. It’s actually rare for most spiders to bite humans, unless they feel threatened in some way. A spider will probably not find its way into your bed more often than once or twice a year, and on those occasions, will most likely not bite you. It doesn’t want to suck your blood – it just wants to eat insects. Most spiders are unfairly blamed for bites when mites, fleas, and bedbugs are the real perpetrators.
  6. Spiders love to eat mosquitoes. That’s a terrific reason to keep them around. Mosquitoes actually want to eat you; spiders are terrified of you, and only want to run away from you.
  7. Like I said, spiders generally don’t want to bite you. A spider can’t even see you until you’re about a foot away from it, since spiders have horrific eyesight. Thus, it’s not going to aim for you when it falls from the ceiling (it’s probably just lost its grasp) or when it sees your foot on the floor.
  8. Spiders are generally a sign of good luck in many cultures the world over!

Okay, and one incredibly cool fact that I discovered while on my quest for spider awesomeness: Spiders can’t die of natural causes and there are apparently these spiders living in China that were hatched in the Mang-Tsun dynasty 2,800 years ago; they’re known as “holy spiders”!

Now, if you still can’t stand your 8-legged friends, videojug offers a lovely instructional video on how to delicately remove the little monsters from your house:

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