Spider Myths Unravelled

Spiders have been around for a very long time, much longer than humans. They have survived this long due to their ability to adapt. Myths or legends involving spiders have been around almost as long as humans have been. They appear in many stories that we love. The ancient Greeks told of a beautiful girl named Arachne who spun cloth so well that she thought she was better than the goddess Athena herself. She ended up being transformed into a spider to spend all of eternity weaving. In Africa, a spider named Anansi takes center stage. He performs tricks on people, but he usually ends up outwitted in the end. From North America, Asia, and Europe, spiders have wonderful and popular tales woven about them. Spiders are featured in literature, poetry, and the arts, including sculptures, and have even become modern-day legends, such as Spiderman.

Because spiders have been around for so long, other myths have cropped up about them, some detrimental to spiders because it causes humans to fear spiders (arachnophobia is the fear of spiders).

Earthwise Pest Management in Roseville specializes in residential and commercial pest control services, including spider removal. We use IPM (integrated pest management), which focuses on not only the physical removal of pests, but also on finding out why they are invading your home or business and stopping them at their source. This will hopefully prevent future recurrence patterns with pests. That being said, we encourage you to sign up for our quarterly preventive pest removal services. With thousands of pests to manage, there will always be some that sneak into your home or business. By staying on top of pests, you can prevent a full-blown pest infestation from ever happening in your Roseville home or business. Below, we’ll take a look at some common spider myths. Contact us today for your pest removal services!


Spiders are insects.

Spiders are most definitely not insects. Spiders, although in the same group as insects (known as Arthorpoda, which means “jointed foot” in Latin), they are in different classes, Insecta for insects and Arachnida for spiders. This should lead you to believe that all insects and spiders share in common are jointed feet or legs, which is not quite true, but that is where scientists have deemed that the similarities end. Spiders, or Arachnidae, have:

  • Two body parts
  • Eight legs
  • Eight eyes
  • Fangs
  • Produce silk

Insects have:

  • Three body parts
  • Six legs
  • Wings
  • Antennae
  • Two compound eyes

Spiders spin webs.

Not all spiders spin webs. All spiders can spin silk, but not all spiders spin webs. There are burrowing spiders that hunt from the ground and use their silk to protect themselves in the winter and for their egg sacs. Tarantulas hunt on foot and shoot silk streams only to get grips on surfaces.

Spiders bite humans.

Spiders are mostly afraid of humans. They hunt tiny insects and other small creatures, not huge humans. Spiders only bite you if they feel threatened and that’s if you sit on them. Spiders never seek out humans to bite them. In fact, spiders natural instinct is to run and hide, which is why you see them crawling across the floor away from you when they sense your vibrations nearby. Spiders don’t actively run towards you.

It’s nice to rescue spiders.

Spiders are perfectly capable of surviving on their own; they don’t need humans. If you find a spider inside your home, odds are, it’s a house spider who makes its home in your home. It doesn’t want to go outside. By putting it outside, it will just find its way back in, or it may die. You truly are not helping it. If you don’t like the spider where it is in your home, you can either call Earthwise Pest Management in Roseville for spider removal services or move your spider elsewhere to where he or she is not bothering you as much.

You swallow eight spiders per year while sleeping.

This is a myth that was started back in the 1990s by a newspaper columnist who wanted to prove how fast falsehoods could spread. Spiders, as mentioned previously, avoid humans, even humans that are sleeping, which spiders can tell. Odds are, you have never swallowed a spider while sleeping and probably never will.

Spiders in your home

Spiders are always within three feet of you.

This is another spider myth started in the 1990s by an arachnologist (someone who studies spiders) who used this analogy to try to explain how many spiders there are in the world. Unfortunately, people took this literally. The truth is that no one knows how close spiders are to you.

Spiders come inside during the winter.

The spiders you see inside your home are mostly house spiders. You are seeing more of them in the fall and winter for two reasons. First, it is mating season so they are on the move, looking for mates. Two, the baby spiders that were in your home since the spring are now all grown up so you notice them more when the truth is they have been there the entire time.

Spiders are dangerous to humans.

In truth, only insects and spiders’ prey should fear them (but, luckily they are insects and have no concept of fear). It is true that all spiders have venom, but very few have venom powerful enough to harm us and very few bite us. Some spiders’ fangs can’t even penetrate your skin if they are small spiders.

If you are bitten by a spider, you may have a rash or a bump from its venom similar to the reaction you get from a mosquito bite. Tarantulas get a bad rap because they are big, hairy, and scary. Yes, they can bite if you scare them, but for most people, their venom will impact you less than a bee sting will.


Earthwise Pest Management in Roseville notes that the only spiders in the United States that can hurt you are Black Widow spiders and Brown Recluse spiders. In California specifically, there is the Western Black Widow, the Desert Recluse, and the Chilean Recluse spider that could pose a threat. Black Widow spiders are more common and since the Desert Recluse lives in the desert, they are largely unseen by California residents. The Chilean Recluse only lives in a very few pockets in southern California. The Brown Recluse, the most common recluse spider, does not live in California. In our next blog post, we’ll review how to avoid spider bites.

Earthwise Pest Management is the best exterminator in Roseville. We specialize in pest removal services. When you call us for a free pest control estimate, we will come to your home or business and assess the pest infestation. We are not only looking for the best way to remove your pests, but we are also looking for the source of your pests and trying to determine how they entered your home or business and why. Through this pest control technique (known as IPM, or integrated pest management), we help to prevent future pest infestations. Contact us today for a free pest removal estimate in the Roseville area!