Will Pest Control Get Rid of Spiders — Gabriel’s student essay

Will Pest Control Get Rid of Spiders?

Spiders, just the word alone is enough to send some people with arachnophobia into hysterics. To most people, if spiders were eradicated from the face of the planet they would spend the next day celebrating that they would never have to say the eight-legged, tiny but dangerous, “creatures of death” (as a colleague of mine once aptly put it) ever again. 

Though this would have major environmental impacts that would lead to a major empty niche in the world, it wouldn’t be something that has to be worried about any time soon. This is because pest control simply cannot get rid of spiders completely. According to national geographic, there are more than 45,000 known species of spiders in the world. They can be found in any area of the world (including Antarctica).

Due to their small size and extreme agility spiders can be hard to get rid of. They get in places that humans can’t reach and they are active mostly at night time when visibility is low. Spiders are also highly adaptive and can change almost any environment into their home with their ability to spin webs extremely quickly. 

All these factors combine into an organism that has the ability to lift 170 times its weight, climb walls, and lay egg sacs that contain hundreds of spiders that hatch in two to three weeks. Controlling spiders in a house is hard enough, let alone exterminating them completely. 

To get rid of spiders the only way to do that is not through the use of insecticides (which actually don’t kill spiders unless they are in direct contact with it) but instead getting rid of their food source, which is also a task that is impossible and would have major impacts on nature.

Jumping spider

Spiders can eat just about any living creature that gets caught in its web or succumbs to its venom.Smaller common spiders’ main prey are smaller insects (including flies, dragonflies, mosquitoes, and even other smaller spiders), and for the bigger species of spiders, they have been known to catch birds, mice, rats, and even rabbits. 

The broad spectrum of prey they can choose from means that to kill off spiders you would have to create a war of attrition and remove their food sources to slowly starve them away, but humans have a hard enough time controlling these pests in of themselves, let alone preventing another creature from coming in contact with it. This lack of control means that the only two ways of killing spiders (killing them directly with chemicals or starving them out) are both not viable solutions for killing spiders off completely. This is just how hard it is to get rid of spiders completely that are already in a house. This doesn’t include the difficulty of preventing spiders from entering a house and getting rid of them in the wild.

Autumn morning and spider's web with dew

Spiders are able to get into the smallest of cracks and latch onto any surface without struggle. This means that they have the ability to slide under doors that were opened for just a few seconds or latch onto any pets who were outside for their walk. They can invade a house extremely easily and slowly build their population. 

There is no real way to stop spiders from entering a house, only things that can be done to prevent them from doing it often. Spiders are also in every environment that is known to exist from scorching hot deserts to the tundra of the antarctica. Spiders have been able to adapt to these extreme environments so when it comes to adapting to the environment of a home is extremely easy, it is an extremely desirable area for spiders to grow and reproduce. To get rid of them all is simply impossible.

Author: Gabriel Colin

Arizona State University
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