Spider identification by humans is important due to their appearance and the fact that some spiders having the ability to produce poisonous venom. Spiders give humans mixed feelings. For example, on one hand we have children’s stories like Charlotte’s Web and songs like The Itsy-Bitsy Spider. On the other hand, we have arachnophobia – the morbid fear of spiders. So, we have an interesting relationship with the spider world.
Spiders belong to the animal kingdom Phylum Arthropoda, which means jointed legs. This phylum also includes insects and crustaceans like lobsters and crabs. They are also in the class Arachnids which makes them more related to scorpions, ticks and mites.
You can identify a spiders because it has eight legs and two body regions. the head is fused into the thorax and they have an abdomen. Most spiders have eight eyes but some only have six. All spiders can create silk and different species will use silk in many interesting ways. Some will create lace like webs, some will create silken tunnels to live in and some will even create a silken net they toss over the insect prey.
Lifestyle and abilities of spiders
The success of spiders is due to their ability to create silk and the ability to use venom to capture prey. Venom generally has some basic component. One component to fast acting to immobilize the prey and another may be slow acting to kill the prey. Generally spiders only bite larger animals (including humans) if they feel threatened or feel trapped.
Spiders can have different lifestyles and methods to capture prey. Some spiders are ground predators that travel around and attack prey they meet. Example is a wolf spider. Some spiders will hide in cracks and crevices and pounce on the prey as it passes. ex: jumping spider. Some spiders will create a web to capture prey. Ex: orb weavers
Some interesting facts about spiders
- There are over 3500 species of spiders in North America
- “Granddaddy Longlegs” (harvestmen) are not spiders, do not have venom and belong to a differnt classification
- Basic spider control measure
Basic control measures for spiders
Basic control measures for spiders is generally based on the elimination of the food supply. Most spiders will feed on insects and if you can reduce the number of insects the spider population will drop.
Web building spiders will build webs around exterior lights and lite porch areas because insects are attracted to the lights at night. Reducing or cutting off the exterior lights will reduce the insects and spiders. Using yellow light bulbs or sodium vapor lamps will be less attractive to insects. Caulking and sealing cracks on the exterior will reduce entry into the structure. Outside perimeter treatments may also be needed to control spider and insect activity.