Spiders are our friends. Yes, it's hard to bypass their gross exterior to remind ourselves how they're actually contributing to the household. However, part of extinguishing fear is coming to terms with how much they do for us and understanding why you shouldn't roll up a newspaper the next time you see one.

Why You Shouldn't Kill Spiders

1. They Hunt Down Insects

bug trapped in a web

Have you ever noticed a spider just hanging around in your kitchen or on its web? They may look like layabouts with no job, but they're actually waiting for food. A spider's gotta eat too. They catch all the nuisance insects, like flies and ants, so that you don't have to deal with them. While it's common knowledge that they eat those kinds of bugs, they also attack the disease-carrying ones like earwigs and mosquitoes. And hey, spiders sometimes catch other spiders. Spiders impede on each other's turf at times and one will usually wind up the loser, and as the other spider's lunch.

I won't get into all the specifics about how they remain slow in order to trick prey into thinking they're not a threat, though that's why you don't see them moving a ton during the day.

2. They're More Afraid Of You

a spider on the wal

A big thing you need to always keep in mind is that spiders are way more scared of you than you are of them. Are you telling me you wouldn't be just a little nervous if you saw something five times the size of you roaming around, waiting to squash you at a moment's notice? I know they're disgusting to look at and their surprising speed can make them even creepier, but they're out to help us in the long run.

Something else to keep in mind is that they actually tend to avoid us. As I said, we're way bigger and stronger. We're threats in their (many) eyes and they'd much rather hide away waiting for bugs than get into an altercation with us.

If you really can't stand having them inside, either capture them and release them outside or find someone to do it for you.

3. House Spiders Mostly Aren't Dangerous To Humans

a spider on a web

A common fear is the spider bite. I won't lie to you, spiders and house centipedes do bite, and they can bite humans, but it's super rare. Remember that spiders aren't out to make you their prisoners and unless one has specifically told you to watch your back if you attack it, they probably won't bite you. They only bite when they feel threatened. If you've ever woken up with a spider bite, it got spooked because it was caught between you and the sheets. (If only we could tell them to just keep off our beds...)

I know the arachnophobes out there are focussing on the word "mostly" in this headline. While your common house spider will keep its distance, there are some out there that pose threats to us. A brown recluse or black widow have bites that will cause some serious pain and health issues if untreated. You'll rarely see them at home, though.

Common House Spiders

spider on a web

Okay, so we covered why they deserve a chance to prove themselves. Chances are you're still wondering about some common house spiders, though, so we've listed a couple to look out for.

American House Spider

  • Brown or tan in color
  • Usually pretty small
  • Harmless unless provoked

Jumping Spiders

  • Brown, tan, or black
  • Quite small, not even the size of your pinky nail
  • Are typically found outside, namely on window screens or patios
  • Bites are harmless but can sting

Daddy Long Legs

  • Brown or tan
  • Have long legs (six or eight) with smaller bodies
  • Can emit a smell when threatened and can shed their legs if grabbed
  • Have been assumed as venomous to humans, but are harmless to humans
a small black spider on a web

Final Notes

Spiders do much more for us than we thought. They kill critters in the home, even the poisonous ones, and can attack other spiders. They're much more afraid of us than we are of them and aren't half as dangerous to us as we think. Their bites typically aren't harmful to us and they usually only get their fangs out when threatened. At the end of the day, if you don't like them in the home then you can remove them as opposed to killing them.

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