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  • Bryan W. Alaspa

A healthy respect for spiders

It's a funny thing how life works sometimes. Not too long ago (keep in mind, I still think the 90s were "just a few years ago"), I wrote a blog about how I hated and feared spiders. I killed spiders left and right anywhere and anytime I saw them around. I especially enjoyed spraying them with things so that I could see them crawling around before dying. Yeah, I was a spider serial killer.

Then I started working for, of all things, a pest control company. Yeah, my day job involves writing and optimizing website content and doing social media for an international pest control company. One of the pests we can help with - spiders. However, writing blogs about spiders forced me to learn about spiders and as I learned about them I soon discovered something amazing...

They're actually pretty cool.

Look, I still don't want the eight legged critters dropping down on me in the shower. I still would prefer that they spend their tie outside in their webs and not scaring me when I move a cup in the kitchen and one goes scurrying away, but the fact is, they usually have no desire to interact with humans at all. Even the spiders with the reps of being so poisonous are not likely to bite people.

Of course, this does not apply to those of you living in Australia. Sorry guys, but those Redback and Sydney Funnel Web spiders are dangerous and real bastards. You guys just have all the things that can and want to kill you.

However, for the most part, spiders are shy and just want to be left alone. They are often very beneficial. If you have a lot of mosquitoes around where you live, first, you probably stand a greater health risk with the mosquitoes. Those little bastards are actually the deadliest creature on the planet. Yeah, I know...not sharks or bears or anything, but mosquitoes. Because those little assholes carry all kinds of potential diseases and almost all of them are really bad.

Spiders love those guys. I mean, if you have a lot of them in your area, and you take a look at the spiders in the webs, you are likely to see some fat, lazy, well-fed spiders. The very last thing they want to do is bite you. Why would they? A person is way too big to eat and it would be a waste of venom. So, leave 'em alone out there and just let them take care of the mosquito population for you.

The problem can come into play when there are a lot of kids running around. Running full speed into a black widow web will not be looked upon kindly by the resident spider and could end up with a bite. A brown recluse bite, not treated and in the wrong place, can be risky.

All that said, you have to respect them. They devour bugs like crazy and a lot of them much worse bugs than they are bad arachnids.

At the same time, they are very alien. So many eyes. So many legs and they can crawl across your ceiling and drop down on a thin line of web. There is still fear there and there are still a lot of people who fear them

So, respect them, but also be cautious around them... Also, they made the perfect villains for my latest

horror book S.P.I.D.A.R. because of how many people are afraid of them and their ability to be tough, strong, sneaky and scary.

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