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Spiders are a Good thing to have in the House

Although they may not be everyone's cup of tea, spiders are beneficial in the home environment. In the same way as having cats helps to keep the mice down, spiders are natural predators which prey on harmful pests such as flies, moths, bugglies, gnats, mosquitoes, etc.

I have a great many spiders of a variety of species in my house. The number of species of spiders seems to have increased since I started visiting tropical places, even though the house is the same as it's always been.

Clothesmoths are a particular nuisance as... they eat clothes! But spiders eat moths, so that helps to keep the numbers in check. The trouble is the moth maggots are in the carpets, and there's so much junk it's difficult to nobble them all. But by maintaining a good populace of spiders, it helps. Also see advice for hoarders

The thing is that spiders (in temperate climates) do no harm to folks, and the fact that they weave webs that hang all over the ceilings is no problem. It might look dirty, with the smuts from the open fire giving the cobwebs a blackened appearance, but no harm comes of it. In contrast, flies and mosquitoes carry disease, and if you start squirting cans of poison about to get rid of them it's not so good for the health. But the spiders that are resident in the place soon ensnare any flying insects, removing them from the environment without using spray.

Having a good population of spiders resident in the house is self-regulating, as they breed and prosper according to how much food is flying about, so there are always about the right number of them. Looking around this house, there are many, which shows how many insects there must be to support that level of population of spiders!

Resident spiders are amazingly low maintenance, even lower maintenance than having cats, and all that's required is to avoid harming them. If there's one hanging down the computer screen, it's just a matter of carefully moving it out of the way. I don't mind them walking across the ceiling, but if they cross the airspace across the bed there is a mild concern that they don't lose their grip and fall off.

Estate agents, after their first comment of "in all my years as an estate agent I have never seen a place as full as this", sometimes pass comment on the size of one of the larger spiders which they've noticed, but it is no problem as the potential buyers may opt to have the place with or without in-house spiders.

Living with spiders in the house is all very well in a temperate climate, but I am intending to move to the tropics, as this website has done so well I'm emigrating as a tax exile. So, does the same principle apply? Aren't some of the tropical spiders more of a danger to human health? Yes, but the technique is, so I've heard, to encourage large tropical spiders which are relatively harmless to humans but which prey on the smaller tropical spiders some of which are really nasty!

Update: I have now emigrated to Panama and I am a bit wary of spiders, but so far I have found the really large ones stay out of the house, preferring the jungle. The spiders that live in the house seem to be of a reasonable size... so far!

Other resources at this site: Dangerous Things International, How to get rid of spiders in the bath, How to stop being frightened of spiders, Hoarders, Pictures of Spiders and Scorpions, and Gothic Stuff