Friends of the ecosystem
For many, spiders are terrifying beings, the subject of nightmares and phobias. However, spiders do more good than harm. Most people fear spiders because of their bites. But of more than 37,000 species worldwide, only 27 are harmful to humans. For example, only two types of spiders in the entire United States (the black widow and the brown recluse) are poisonous. Spiders have an undeserved bad reputation!
By the way, spiders are not insects, they are arachnids like scorpions, ticks and mites. Their body is divided into two parts, they do not have antennae and they have 8 legs.
- Spiders contribute enormously to our ecosystem, they eat insects, lots of them. A spider can eat more than 2,000 insects a year. Without them, our homes and gardens would be invaded by flies, mosquitoes and beetles.
- All spiders are predators, some of them spread a network of silky threads known as “web” through which they catch insects. Some of those threads are sticky, while others are not.
- Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders capable of feeding on birds, mice, and lizards. However, most tarantula species do not pose a threat to humans. These spiders do not build webs, but instead open tunnels or burrows in the ground and use their silk at the entrance as a door where they patiently wait for their prey to attack.
- Spiders create a pocket with their silk to protect their eggs.
- Spiders cannot chew their prey. Instead, they inject a poison that dissolves the animal’s interior. They then sip the liquid like you do with a straw, through a feeding tube.