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Did you know...? | Spider news archives

The poison used against insects can make spider plagues even bigger.

Some people believe that using poison for insects on house furniture and stairs will not only kill insects but also the spiders that eat them, assuming that these ones are poisoned for having eaten their preys or just because they ran out of food.
However, a new research carried out by Jamel Sandidge, doctoral student in Kansas University, which was published in November in Nature magazine, shows that the use of insecticide can worsen spider plagues instead of reducing them.
Sandidge explained that according to conventional knowledge, the use of poison kills the insects that spiders usually eat, what in turn reduces their amount of food and leads them to starve to death. But according to Sandidge, someone who is a doctoral student in ecology and evolutionary biology knows this is not the case.
After examining spiders in 71 houses in the city of Kansas and carrying out lab experiments, a conclusion was reached: the spider called Brown Recluse Spider, (Loxosceles reclusa, Araneae: Loxascelidae) of the United Sates, feeds itself on dead insects. In fact- he said-, whenever possible, it prefers to eat dead insects to those who are alive.
“This is really amazing”, added Sandidge. “The brown recluse spider is supposed to be a predator and to feed itself on living insects”. The preference of the brown recluses for dead insects explains why there are so many spiders of this kind in the corners of typical houses, said Sandidge.


Necrosis produced in the bite of a Loxosceles

In his three-year research, he found that houses have an average of 65 spiders of this type. The bite of a brown recluse can cause slight injuries that take long to heal and cause serious damages in the tissue. The bite of the recluse spider can go from slight to serious and sometimes, it can also be lethal.

If using poison in houses does not work, what does Sandidge recommend? The insecticide can kill a spider if it goes straight to it but, in general, spiders do not receive a mortal dose when they move along corners, as it usually happens with insects. In view of these facts, using sticky tramps is a helpful option. Sandidge offers some advice in both of his Internet sites: Recluse Community Project and Problems with Brown Recluse Spider? The last one is a project that started in 2002 to help the owner of a house that needed to face a brown recluse spider.

Besides, Sandidge said that it is a good idea to shake covers and blankets before going to bed as well as shoes before putting them on, so as to make sure there are no spiders in there.


All contents written by Dr. B. Gilmore | contact
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