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Spiders have an ominous, but often undeserved reputation. Though most spiders are venomous and considered predators, of the thousands of species found in Canada, only a select few are actually considered a health threat. In fact, spiders are helpful in controlling other pests in the home or garden since they feed on other insects.

Spiders are widely recognized for their tiny bodies and 8 legs. Spiders have 2 body regions: cephalothorax (head and thorax fused) and their abdomen. The venom of most species is not very toxic to humans, usually resulting in no more than slight swelling, inflammation, or an itching sensation. In most cases, spider’s fangs are too small or weak to puncture human skin. Spiders will usually not attempt to bite unless accidentally trapped against the skin or grasped. Spiders actively guarding egg sacs or young however, tend to bite and attack more.

Spiders generally bite and inject venom into their prey, which is how they kill their meals. Spiders are often found in secluded, undisturbed areas. They are mostly active at night.

Female spiders usually lay 2 dozen to several hundred eggs in egg sacs. These baby spiders grow by shedding their skin often 4 to 12 times before reaching maturity. Most live for 1-2 seasons, although a few can live as long as 20 years.

Ways you can avoid spiders gathering in your home are:

  • Shaking out any clothing and shoes before getting dresses
  • Inspect bedding and towels before use
  • Wear gloves when handling firewood, lumber, and rocks
  • Avoid using bed skirts, as spiders will be more likely to hide under beds where it is dark
  • Avoid storing boxes and other items underneath beds
  • Seal or caulk cracks and crevices where spiders can enter the home


One way to prevent spiders is to mix peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle, and spray it around your home, in corners where spiders like to gather, and under furniture. Spiders hate the smell of peppermint, so this scent will drive them away. You could also make a natural spider repellent spray using 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of oil, one cup of pepper, and one teaspoon of liquid dish soap. You can use this inside your home, but it’s also beneficial to spray it outside too, along window sills and doors to repel spiders. Finally, the best way to avoid having spiders come in your house is to clean really well, and avoid letting clutter build up.

Yes, spiders do bite, however, it’s not common. Spiders would rather avoid you, so spider bites are rare. Most spiders aren’t built to bite or attack large mammals, and with the exception of large, poisonous spiders like the black widow, most spider’s venom isn’t strong enough to do much damage to human tissues.

Spiders build themselves a sticky web that helps them catch prey, which is usually small insects like flies and mosquitoes. Spiders inject venom into their prey to deteriorate it from the inside out, essentially “liquifying” the bug, which allows the spider to consume it.



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