Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders or other arachnids. According to Wikipedia, “in Western societies, as many as 55% of females and 18% of males” experience arachnophobia. Although some spiders do pose a threat, there are many misconceptions regarding these creepy crawly creatures. Here are 10 myths about spiders:
Myth: A spider always has 8 legs
Truth: This isn’t always true. All arachnids have 4 pair of legs (one pair per leg-baring segment). Some individual legs can be lost.
Myth: “Daddy-longlegs” is a spider
Truth: This one can be a bit confusing since different people refer to different creatures as “daddy-longlegs”. The majority of people refer to a Harvestman as a “daddy-longlegs” when actually it is an arachnid, not a spider. Harvestmen have one body section whereas spiders have two.
Myth: Spider specimens can be mailed with a letter in a common envelope for identification
Truth: No. Through the postage process envelopes can take a pretty heavy beating which leads to crushing of the spider. This causes the spider to be unidentifiable. If you would like to send a spider in for identification, call your pest control company or entomologist for special instructions on how they would like the spider delivered.
Myth: Spiders in the home are a danger to children and pets.
Truth: Spiders that are most often found in homes prey on insects or other small creatures rather than humans and pets. It is extremely rare for a venomous spider to be found in a home, and when they are, they are usually unaware of your existence and will not bite.
Myth: A “Daddy-longlegs” is the world’s most venomous spider but it can’t bite you
Truth: As we discussed above, most people confuse “daddy-longlegs” with other species of arachnids or spiders. The fact is, most of these creatures that they are confused with either have no venom at all or such weak venom that it has no effect on its victim.
Myth: A spider leaves 2 puncture marks when it bites
Truth: In most cases, the fangs are so small that there is no visible entry mark. Also, the two fangs are so close together there is little visible separation.
Myth: “House spiders” should be put outside
Truth: Most spiders found in the home cannot survive outside and will perish quickly due to weather and other elements.
Myth: One specimen is enough of a sample to tell what spiders live in a house
Truth: The truth is that there are many different species (10-30) of spiders living in your home. Just knowing one species won’t help you with all of the spiders that could be found.
Myth: Spiders are poisonous
Truth: Spiders are “venomous”, not “poisonous”. In most cases, the venom from spiders is too weak to effect humans.
Myth: Spider bites are deadly
Truth: Although, there have been occasions where people have died from spider venom, in most cases, if medical attention is sought, death from a spider bite is almost unknown.