Fine Lace by Carol Lander for Green Pebble Cards
Wild spiders in England won’t harm you, although if you keep one, read up on tarantula welfare as they are complicated to look after and could harm, if handled the wrong way. Worldwide, there are many types of spiders including bark spiders (spins webs 10 times stronger than Kevlar), jumping spiders (can remember colours), recluse spiders (can live in isolation for up to 6 months) and of course deadly spiders. All are arachnids (8 legs rather than 6 ) and have even-shaped numbers of eyes, usually 6 or 8 – lots to look at you!
Wild spiders mostly live outside (one study found over 5 million on one hectare of Sussex land). However there’s no need to harm any spider (only 5% of house spiders have ever been outside and will just ‘balloon past you’ on their silk, without you noticing. If you put them outside, most will die through a sudden change of temperature – and leave cute spider babies behind – the little white sticky balls you find nearby). Spiders are nature’s way of eatin up house pests like flies, and are more scared of you, than you them!
If you want to live and thrive. Let the spider run alive. American Quakers
Tips to Naturally Deter Spider Friends
- The best way is simply to keep your home clean, with regular vacuuming to avoid ‘stagnant air’ that results in less spiders hiding in corners. If they are already there, just leave them (don’t hoover them up) and they will soon move on to somewhere more hidden.
- Where you find flies, you find spiders! So turn off lights not in use and remove/cover things that may attract flies (fruit, pet food, open bins etc).
- Daddy long-legs (craneflies) ARE attracted to light. However they won’t harm you. Just open a window to let them out or (very gently, to avoid breaking their legs) move them outside.
- Spiders don’t like the smell of citrus rind, lemon-scented cleaners, garlic or conkers. But never use citrus near pets (it’s especially toxic to cats).
- To deter spiders from your wing mirror, spray a mild dilution of water with citrus or peppermint oil (large doses of oil or vinegar can harm).
- If you must move a spider, use a humane spider-catcher. This is an easier version of the ‘glass and card’ method that often harms, if your reflexes are not quick enough. Move the spider to a spare room or cupboard or in a shed/outbuilding if you must take it outside, also moving the ‘white furry babies’ with them on a kitchen towel or card, to keep families together! To move a spider out of the bath, you’ll have to help. Leave a towel on the side of the bath to let it escape (spiders don’t come up plugholes).
- Vets Now does not encourage cats to eat spiders, saying prevention is best by vacuuming/sealing gaps (some cats have reactions).
- If you need help identifying a spider and want to humanely remove it, British Arachnological Society can help (free spider experts!)
Did you know that real silk is made by boiling silkworms (even ‘peace silk’ often lets silkworms to die, as they are too exhausted to eat after chewing their way out of cocoons). There are now vegan silks based on how spiders weave their webs (used to escape from predators or trap prey).
Beautiful Books about Spiders!
Read The Not Bad Animals is by Lancashire artist Sophie Corrigan. This fun book for children and adults looks at the creatures that get a bad rap. From spiders that make us scream, mice that make us jump on furniture and bats that make us shudder (the thought of them flapping about in our hair). But do they deserve their reputations?!
A Web for All Seasons is a children’s tale on appreciating one’s gifts. A spider is bored of spinning webs. She spins webs all day, every day. Until one day, she declares she is done with spinning. But she soon realises that can’t have any adventures – without spinning!