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What You Didn’t Know About Spiders

March 31, 2016

Some spider facts are well known by everyone (thanks, Spiderman movies). For example? They have eight legs, the same number of eyes, they spin webs of any size, and are the largest buggers in the arachnid family.

These creepy crawlers are fascinating creatures – minus the common house spider, cellar spider, and wolf spider that you’re sick of seeing in your home – and misunderstood anthropods. Get caught in our web of knowledge with these facts about spiders that’ll surprise you:

spider facts spider bites facts about spiders

Spiders can see things we can’t.

Salticids, or jumping spiders, have such good vision they can see into the future. Just kidding. But they can see light spectrums the human eye cannot. Their many eyes pick up UVA and UVB light – or ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Oddly, their actual vision is horrendous; they’re near-sighted and nocturnal creatures, like a university student.

Spiders are predators – except one.

Of the 38,000 different types of spiders on the planet, only ONE identifies as a peaceful omnivore. The Bagheera kiplingi is the only vegetarian in the family, so they aren’t invited to dinner parties as often.

Spinning webs = spinning lies.

You know the Spiderman jingle, ‘spinning webs of any size’? That’s a big fat lie. Not all spiders actually spin webs, but ALL spiders do spin silk. The spiders that don’t use web traps are traditional hunters.

Scary spider bites.

Some spiders – none you’d find in Canada, like the aforementioned house spider, cellar spider, and wolf spider – bites are infectious, able to cause blood disorders in humans. Venom from brown recluse spiders can cause red blood cells to pop, leading to kidney problems and jaundice (yellow skin pigmentation).

One of the deadlier venoms comes from the infamous black widow spider. The venom blocks the signals from nerves to muscles, causing muscles to contract repeatedly. Nerve-related problems such as severe facial spasms and high blood pressures are consequences of a black widow bite.

Spiders’ bodies are inside out.

The human anatomy generally consists of muscles covering bones. For spiders, it’s the other way around: their muscles are on the inside, with the spiders’ exoskeletons protecting their muscles.

Spider silk is as strong as steel.

No, we’re not saying you can save some money in building materials by replacing steel beams and investing in spiders’ silk. But in relative weight, spiders’ silk is stronger and more resilient than steel. The Darwin bark spider creates the strongest material on the planet – it’s 10 times stronger than Kevlar. Scientists have yet to create any material as tough and with the elasticity of spiders’ silk.

Spiders use hydraulics.

If you can’t touch your toes or sit cross-legged, don’t feel bad: spiders can’t even extend their legs naturally. Once they curl their eight legs in, they have to pump fluids into their legs so they extend out again. So spiders’ legs are more or less powered by their own hydraulics system. Despite the lack of flexibility, spiders like the wolf spider can move at an Usain Bolt-like two feet per second. Jumping spiders leap 40 times their own length – that’s like a human jumping over 230 feet.

Spiders have wild implications to human medicine.

Most spider bites are irritating or debilitating, but some have scientists excited about their potential contributions to human medicine. The Brazilian Wandering spider’s venom causes long erections in humans; the South American tarantula bite calms irregular heartbeats. Both are being harnessed into usable drugs for humans.

Spiders don’t need dentists.

Spiders have no teeth, so they consume their prey in an odd way: liquefying their victim. The spider injects a digestive juice inside its meal, turning their insides into soup and sucking it all up. Yum!

They can lay a ton of eggs.

Some spiders can lay so many eggs for potential baby spiders scurrying around, they can have their own TLC series. Certain species can lay up to 3,000 eggs at a time. Spiders don’t typically stay with their offspring, but the wolf spider for example, carry their kids on their back.

Females are the boss.

Not only are female spiders usually larger than male ones, they wear the pants in the dynamic, too. The most extreme case could be the red widow relationship: the female begins eating the male while they mate. Instead of trying to escape, the male not only accepts his fate, but embraces it. The male forces itself into the female’s mandible, and if she spits him back out, he persists until he’s eaten. Still a better love story than Twilight.

While spiders are incredible organisms, they’re best admired from a far and kept out of your home. If you have house spiders, cellar spiders, or wolf spiders crawling all over the house, Magical Pest Control specializes in spider control. To book an inspection, use our contact form or call us directly at (905) 738-6676.

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