Spider FAQ

Spiders are an insect in the arachnid order. Many thousands of types of spiders are found around the world. They can inhabit water, gardens, houses or live underground. Some people keep spiders as pets, but most people try to eliminate them because of their fear of bites. Sprays and traps are used to remove spiders from homes. Spiders are an important part of the food chain, however. They eat smaller insects and become food for birds and other small animals. Most spiders will not bite a person. Washing with soap and water or using Epsom salts may help to draw the poison out of spider bites. The Navajo Indians used a tea from the Fendler's bladderpod plant for this purpose.

What spiders have in common

Spiders have eight legs. They mostly have eight eyes, but some species have less. Their bodies are made up of a head and an abdomen. Because they sense by vibration, they do not have ears, but use small hairs on their legs to pick up the vibrations. The blood of spiders is blue and fills their entire bodies. This is what makes their legs stiff enough for them to walk. Spiders molt as they grow larger, shedding their skins before they grow a larger one. They molt many times before growing to their adult size. Most spiders live for only one year, but some species live much longer.

Different types of spiders

Spider species include a wide variety of types. Some are poisonous, and some not. Some spiders eat other insects while others eat animals. They can survive in both hot and cold climates. Most build a web, but some burrow. An example of a burrowing spider is the trapdoor spider. They build a nest underground with a door they construct out of leaves and sticks, including a hinge.

The tarantula also lives in a burrow. They can grow as large as five inches long and weigh as much as three ounces. Living in dryer areas, they can be black, red, gold, green or striped. The tarantula moves quickly and has fangs.

The water spider lives underwater. They swim upside down and eat water bugs. They make a nest of spider silk for their eggs. Only found in Europe, the water spider captures air to allow it to breathe underwater.

The black widow spider is poisonous to humans. They are black with a red spot on their stomachs. Living in hot areas, the black widow uses its poison when its nest is disturbed. Their poison is ten times more poisonous than a rattlesnake's. Another poisonous spider is the brown recluse, who lives in warm, southern areas. Other toxic siders include the Brown recluse, the Mouse spider, the Hobo spider, and the Grass spider.

The wolf spider, the Funnel grass web spider and the Trapdoor spider have venous bites as well, but they are not toxic to humans.

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