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New Book Explores the Misunderstood Lives of Common Spiders

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,NJ Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:07 pm October 27, 2017

New Book Explores the Misunderstood Lives of Common Spiders

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It’s that time of year when spiders are out and about inside your home trying to find a mate, and one entomologist decided to write a book about our common house spiders to try and help us understand these misunderstood houseguests or ours. Dr. Eleanor Spicer Rice co-authored Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Spiders with biologist Chris Buddle, and it is set to be released in January 2018 by University of Chicago Press. Her journey of writing this book started with her being terrified at the sight of these creepy crawly arachnids while she was doing her research, but through the process her initial fear ended up turning into fascination once she began to understand the lives of these common spiders that live amongst us. “After I learned more about them and what they did in the world, I started to like them. And then I started to love them.”

One of her favorite common house spiders is the cellar spider (Pholcus phalangioides). The cellar spider is one of the many spiders feared across the country that lives in our homes and scares the crap out of us when we happen upon one. Dr. Spicer Rice, however, learned to love these creatures, respecting how they live and the actual good they do for us humans. Cellar spiders actually go around eating other spiders that live in our homes. In the dark cracks of your house these spiders will search for another spider’s web, placing its lanky legs on the threads once it finds one and make them tremble slightly to mimic the same kind of vibrations a trapped insect would make. Scientists call this act “aggressive mimicry” or their “death dance.” When the hungry owner of the web creeps out to eat what they think is a captured meal they quickly discover they are the actual prey. The cellar spider then tosses its own silk web over it, wrapping it up tightly and then eating it. But, they don’t stop there. After eating the web’s owner, to add insult to injury, they then eat all of the bugs that were already caught by the web of the eaten spider.

Spiders like the cellar spider have a bad reputation, but they have many traits that actually benefit humans. They act as a kind of natural pest control in many areas of our homes, with cellar spiders eating mosquitos and woodlice in addition to their spider brothers and sisters. Lynx spiders are a godsend to farms, where they roam around eating agricultural pests. They are also not quite the danger to us that we think. Most spiders have no interest in biting people, as opposed to other insects like mosquitos and ticks that feed on human blood. You might want to check out Dr. Spicer Rice’s book in the new year, and see how it changes your opinion of the spiders living with you.

What kind of spider do you see most often around your house? Are you afraid of the spiders in your house and why?

 

 

What Is The Difference Between An Arachnid And A Spider? New Jersey Spider Control

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,NJ Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 9:39 am January 24, 2017

What Is The Difference Between An Arachnid And A Spider? New Jersey Spider Control

Many people use the term “spider” and “arachnid” interchangeably, but do these words mean the same thing as everyone assumes? I personally have always assumed that an arachnid and a spider were one and the same thing. Actually, arachnids include a variety of different creepy crawlies that you probably had no idea were actually arachnids, but not spiders.

There are, in fact, eleven orders of arachnids. These include such bugs like scorpions, mites, ticks, harvestmen, psuedoscoprions, whipscorpions, solpugids, and last, but not least, spiders. Experts compare people’s confusion between arachnids and spiders in the same way that the relation between beetles and insects is misunderstood. Many people, even some experts, don’t realize that beetles are only one order of insect, the coleoptera. And obviously not all insects are beetles, just as not all arachnids are spiders. And that is the end of that.

Are there any other types of arachnids that were not listed in the article?

The Spider That Is So Venomous It Made It Into The Guinness Book | New Jersey Spider Control

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,Spider Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 9:53 am January 17, 2017

The Spider That Is So Venomous It Made It Into The Guinness Book | New Jersey Spider Control

When I think of dangerous spiders I’d rather not meet in a dark alley the first ones that come to my mind are the black widow spider and the brown recluse. However, these two arachnids don’t hold a candle to the Brazilian wandering spider. They are so venomous that in 2010 the Guinness Book of World Records named them the most venomous spider in the world. Basically their ridiculously toxic venom can easily take out a human. Now, lucky for us, an antivenom exists, so if you can make it to a hospital soon enough, you might be lucky enough to survive their bite. Let me emphasize that even with the antivenom death is still a definite possibility. Thankfully, these spiders are located in the tropical South and Central Americas, so if you just stay away from those rainforests, you should be safe from the Brazilian wandering spider…unless it decides to wander up towards the U.S. that is…

What other kinds of spiders scare you to death? Have you ever been bitten by one and had to go to the hospital?

Do All Black Widows Eat Their Male Mates? | New Jersey Spider Control

Do All Black Widows Eat Their Male Mates? | New Jersey Spider ControlBlack Widow Spider

Most of us assume that female black widows always eat their mates after copulation. However, female black widows don’t eat their mates that often, but that does not stop professional entomologists from writing about how females eat male widows after mating. There are even newer textbooks on the market that present this cannibalistic phenomenon as though it is a normal part of Black Widow behavior. It seems as though the authors of entomology textbooks are simply copying off of each other while not actually studying black widows in the wild.

For one thing, there exists many different species of black widow with some more prone to eat their male mates than others. There exists three different black widow species in the United States alone. However, not all black widow species are so innocent of murder. Every once in awhile the black widows that dwell in the southeastern region of the US may attempt to kill their male mates, but the males typically live to see another day. And as for the other two species of black widow that dwell in America, mate cannibalism has never once been observed. Now, black widow mating behavior is a different story in the southern hemisphere.

Are there any species of female black widow that exist in the world that consume their male sexual partners after every reproductive activity? If there are such black widows, then where on the planet can they be found?

HAZMAT Suited Firefighting Team Dispatched To Contain A Single Spider

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,NJ Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:25 am December 19, 2016

After a spider was spotted in a shipping container a panic ensued. Ten different firefighters, all decked out in HAZMAT suits, were dispatched to the alleged location of the very important spider. So why all fear over a single spider that a person only claimed to have spotted? New Jersey Spider ControlLooking for New Jersey Spider Control Experts? Call us today for a free estimate!

Well, the arachnid in question was, after all, the Brazilian wandering spider. These spiders produce a venom that can ultimately destroy a human male’s ability to achieve an erection, so now you can understand the HAZMAT suits.

The BWS transmits a venom through its bite that will cause a painful erection that won’t subside naturally. Even after a few hours of avoiding treatment, the male genitalia can become completely nonfunctional. If that horrific scenario is not enough to make you cringe, then it must be mentioned that bite victims can straight up die from the venom’s resulting oxygen depriving effects on the human body. I think that it is great that people today are becoming less fearful of spiders and insect, but when it comes to humans’ relationship to the wandering spider, I don’t think humans will embrace this particular arachnid.

Are there any other arthropods that possess venom that induces sexual dysfunction?

How Salt Benefits Some Spiders

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:59 pm December 14, 2016

Humans can survive brutally cold winters with much greater success than every kind of bug species. Even if a grasshopper could throw on a parka and muffs it would still die from the extreme cold since spiders cannot regulate their internal temperatures, in other words, spiders are cold blooded. It has been commonly assumed that spiders could not alter their blood temperatures through natural physiological processes, like humans can. However, recent research is telling a different story.New Jersey Spider Control

According to a recently published scholarly article from NYU, a researcher discovered that insects can control their internal bodily temperatures indirectly by influencing the levels of salt present in their circulatory systems. The cold weather causes the insect’s blood to move into its gut, which will result in a fatal buildup of potassium in the spider’s internal structures, successfully killing it. It’s clear that without salt spiders would end up six feet under every winter.

Do you believe another factor is responsible for preventing the deaths of spiders during the winter?

A Type Of Spider May Do Away With Their Males Forever

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:38 pm November 22, 2016

A bug known as the “cottony cushion scale” is a common agricultural pest, but not just any pest. This super-small bug is able to procreate without the help of males, well…kind of. It is more like the females absorb the males, and are then able to reproduce as anatomical hermaphrodites.

Sometimes when females are developing in fertilized eggs, extra sperm will find its way into the bodies of the developing daughters. This sperm will then develop in the eggs of the female. What results is a female that is able to reproduce on its own with her father’s reproductive organs. In other words, the female’s father is both the father and the grandfather of her own offspring.

Researchers from Oxford University believe that soon all males of this particular species will become obsolete after several generations, and the males will only exist in the parasitic state described above. Talk about a dysfunctional family.

Can you think of any other insects or spiders that show strange reproductive habits?

 

 

 

 

 

Spiders Were Early Explorers Of Land And Sea

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 1:14 am November 18, 2016

These days it is becoming more and more of a legitimate claim to say that Columbus was not the first person to discover America. Of course, many experts point to the Vikings as the original explorers to set foot on North American soil. And there is some pretty convincing evidence to demonstrate the latter scenario is more plausible. However, despite how smart, inventive and resourceful mankind has proven his own type of people to be, we can never measure up to one particular creature who makes navigating the harsh oceans look like a boring day at a water park. That creature is known, of course, as the Amaurobiidae spider.

This particular seafaring arachnid accomplished the impressive feat of traveling from continent to continent over ten million years ago. This aquatically gifted spider arrived in South America and South Africa Millions of Years ago. The seafaring spiders are believed by experts to have used pieces of algae or other small pieces of floating debris in order to survive their transcontinental trip by sea. The fact that this particular spider is able to survive months without food is pretty beneficial when it comes to boat rides that last from months to years, not to mention the fact that this particular genus of sea-friendly spider is miniscule. That is, the spider’s body grows only to a centimeter and a half in length. If this spider did, in fact, make a several thousand mile transcontinental trip across the sea while staying afloat on nothing more than a crummy piece of algae, then perhaps these ants live in a culture that values exercise and extreme feats of physical fitness.

What do you think the Amaurobiidae spider consumed for sustenance during its oceanic travels? Do the spiders have to eat during their sea travels, since the trips must last longer than a few months?

Do you think that the Amaurobiidae genus of spiders spread to different continents for reasons more plausible than transcontinental travel by ocean? Is such a small spider capable of withstanding the harsh ocean waters for thousands of miles without incident? Is there a more plausible explanation behind, what looks like, an intense desire on the part of the Amaurobiidae genus of spiders to indulge in extreme feats of physical prowess?

Trap-Jaw Spiders And Their Lightning Fast Bite Of Death

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:23 pm November 16, 2016

Did you know that not all spiders use webs to catch their prey? The tiny trap-jaw spider is one such web-less arachnid. These critters, which can be found in New Zealand and South America, have jaws that pack a powerful punch at incredible speeds that are almost impossible to catch with the naked eye.

The trap-jaw spider has an unusual, highly maneuverable mouth structure that acts much like a mousetrap, clamping down on their prey at lightning fast speeds. They hunt on the forest floor, stalking their prey with their mouth held wide open until they get close enough to pounce on their prey and snap their jaw shut on said prey at incredible speeds. They’re kind of like a living bear or mousetrap…pretty terrifying if you ask me.

The amount of power required for their jaws to snap shut at the speed and strength that they do is impossible to achieve with only the power of their muscles. The trap-jaw spider actually evolved another mechanism that accounts for the large amount of power their jaws release that scientists are currently studying. The phenomenon is known as “power amplification” and has only been observed in a few ant species, and never before in spiders, making the trap-jaw spider the first to demonstrate it. This spider is truly a unique specimen that scientists are now studying in order to see if we can replicate the mechanism their jaw uses to create so much power. It could literally revolutionize modern technology.

What kind of practical applications could a mechanism that creates so much power have for us humans?

Most Amazing Spiders in the World

Filed under: New Jersey Spider Control,Spider Control — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:53 pm November 7, 2016

Most of us aren’t too fond of spiders, and would rather crush one with our shoe upon seeing it scuttle across the floor that pick it up and cuddle it. Spiders are truly amazing creatures, though, and I’ve got some spiders here that may just make you a little more interested in and sympathetic towards these eight-legged freaks. Who knows…you may even be inspired to buy one as a pet.

The Antilles pinktoe spider changes color as it matures. As they grow older the Antilles pinktoe spiders change from first blue to eventually pink or red. The carapace even turns into a metallic green color. These spiders kind of remind me of the fad of buying brightly colored baby chicks that was popular when I was younger. These are like the spider versions of bright pink, fluffy chicks. How adorable is that!

The Mexican fireleg tarantula is named appropriately for its bright red and orange hairy legs. When trying to defend itself against other predators, the spider kicks hairs off of its body onto the opponent, which act as irritant. Imagine getting some of those flung right in your eyes! That would make me think twice about messing with this guy.

There are many more amazing spiders out there! See how many different ones you can discover!

What is a species of spider that you actually think is rather cool and worth a little more respect?