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Spiders — Do They Get a Bad Rap?

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It seems we’ve vastly under-appreciated spiders as a species. We scream when we see them, squash them with our shoes, and even write whole horror movies about them. Come to find out, however, arachnids are supremely important to the world’s ecosystem. In fact, recent science says they are far more important than we thought.

Here are some stats from the latest cutting-edge spider research:

How many spiders exist on Earth today? Scientists used data from 65 previous studies to deduce that there are roughly 25 million metric tons of spiders around the planet. Most spiders live in forests, grasslands, and shrub lands, although farmland, deserts, and urban areas follow close behind.

How much do spiders eat? Newly published research found that spiders consume between 400-800 million tons of food each year. More than 90% of that consists of other insects. To put that in to perspective, we humans eat about 400 million tons of animal protein each year. That means spiders eat even more meat than we do. In fact, they eat more than whales, which consume 280-500 million tons of seafood each year. That’s quite the appetite! Many of the insects they eat are actually harmful to other plants and produce, like wheat and rice, making spiders a strong ecological force in keeping potentially destructive pests in check.

In addition to consuming pesky critters, spiders are a key source of food for a whole spectrum of wildlife. Somewhere between 8,000-10,000 predators feed exclusively on spiders. They are also a dietary staple for somewhere between 3,000-5,000 birds. In the global scheme of things, spiders are pretty darn important.

If you’re like most people, however, it doesn’t matter how beneficial science determines spiders to be. We are happy to appreciate them from; we simply don’t want to do it in our own homes! Now that it’s spring and the weather is becoming warmer, chances are that your home and yard have their fair share of spiders waking up from their winter shelters.

To protect your home from spiders or any other sort of spring invader, call Green Pest Control today. Our technicians know exactly what to look for, how to prevent future problems, and use only the most environmentally friendly methods of pest eradication, allowing you to safely admire arachnids from afar.