There was a report in Houston, Texas, that someone saw flying spiders. Well, they weren’t flying – they were ballooning. Also called kiting, ballooning is how baby spiders (spiderlings) move through the air. They put a few threads out and let the wind do its thing. It’s mostly used by spiderlings (remember the end of Charlotte’s Web?) because they are light enough to be carried by the wind, but sometimes an older spider will be seen doing it. And that’s what they saw in Houston.
Be honest – we all shuddered a bit at the thought of it. And we are all happy there are not actually spiders flying around. Having a fear of spiders (arachnophobi) is real, but if you don’t actually have the phobia, you can be open to hearing this: spiders are actually very good for the ecosystem. Waltham Pest Services can certainly help keep these uninvited visitors out of your home, but a large part of the reason is because they should be out in nature helping us all out.
Two ways spiders help:
Keeping the insect population low
Insects, mostly any smaller than they are, happen to be a great meal for spiders. And since spiders live almost everywhere in the world, they are integral to keeping the inspect populations low. Many of the insects they eat are considered pests. Not just in our homes. Farmers, gardeners, horticulturalists, etc. will tell you that since spiders often live during the colder months, they will eat plenty of the insects that can plague the agricultural industry early enough in the season to give the plants a head start. They will even keep their own numbers low by killing other spiders and arachnids – even some in their own species. Sorry spiders, but you’re also a tasty food source for lizards, birds, and some mammals in desert areas.
Helping out the people of the world
Some chemicals used to treat many diseases are obtained from spider venom. Also, molecularly, spider silk has been proven to be the strongest natural material. It has created inspiration in mechanical engineering not to mention being the catalyst for arguably one of the best superheroes ever. The ancient Chinese called them “ximu” – roughly translated to happy insect. If you saw a spider dropping down in front of you, it was considered extremely lucky – as if they were coming from heaven. That is the most optimistic view we have ever heard. There is also an old folktale from Eastern Europe that theorizes spider cobwebs sparked the idea for tinsel! The tale goes that a downtrodden widow didn’t have enough money to decorate the Christmas tree she bought for her children. Even though the kids went to bed sad, they woke up happy when they saw the sun shining on the cobwebs that had collected overnight. And just like that, the idea for tinsel was born! Is it true? Who cares? It’s sweet.
You don’t have to be into comic books, ancient China, or folktales to give thanks to the spiders for dealing with many insects. Didn’t have Waltham Pest Services come out and treat for mosquitoes but still don’t see a swarm in your yard? Thanks spiders! Plant some zucchini and they are thriving because bugs aren’t eating them? Thanks spiders! Had some great luck last month? Thanks spiders – maybe.
There’s no arguing spiders are great for the ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean you want them in your house. And just the thought of an infestation is shudder-inducing. Keep in mind, those spiders are feeding on something, so having a lot of them in your home could be a sign of another pest issue. The good news is you can call Waltham Pest Services today and we can help you with spiders – and any pests they may be feeding on. Give us a call now.