Spiders are not a pleasant sight to see at home, however something not many people appreciate is the fact that spiders can often be described as nature’s pest control.
What do spiders eat?
Spiders are at the top of the food chain in the insect world. They’re not exactly insects, but are classified as arachnids. Their diet includes basically any insect that flies or crawls, including: ants, bees, mosquitoes, cockroaches, centipedes, aphids, flies, beetles, scorpions, even sometimes small vertebrates, such as frogs and bats.
So, why do spiders invade my home?
They usually make their home in people’s houses to hide from the harsh elements outside. Once they have found a warm cosy place, they would wait for any other unwelcome insect, like a mosquito for example, to fly by their web.
If there is no food around, they would find another place to live. Still, it’s not pleasant to have them at home, and if their population goes out of hand, you might need to give a call to a spider control professional.
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How Effective are Spiders in Pest Control?
In a word – very effective. The world’s estimated 25 million metric tons of spiders eat between 300 and 800 million metric tons of food per year. This means that on average, a single spider eats about 25 metric tons of food each year. This food mostly consists of insects, small vertebrates and a small part of it is also plant matter.
How to Make Spiders Useful in my Garden?
After learning this mind numbingly large number of food they eat, the first thing one would think about is how to put these hungry little creatures to good use? The best idea you can have is, unleash them in your garden.
There are already stores where you can buy spiders and praying mantis (the other insect predator) to use as a biological weapon against all those pests who eat your garden plants. The good thing about spiders is that only a few species are known to eat plant matter, so as long as you don’t get any of those, you’ll be fine.
Now, you won’t need to spray your garden with any harmful insecticide.
An elegant idea like this is unfortunately not as widely spread as it should be, since people are squeamish when it comes to having to deal with insects of any kind. This huge number we mentioned earlier is measured mostly in forests and mountains where the spiders play an important role in keeping the insect populations under control.
But, utilizing them for personal use can only work for the better.
Is there a Con of Using Spiders in the Garden
One of the problems you may encounter is that spiders are relatively likely to also attack other spiders, since they can get aggressively territorial. This might reduce the beneficial insects in your garden. However so far it never was regarded as the kind of drop that would increase the population of the harmful insects.
When you introduce a predator to an environment with lots of food, it’s normal that they grow in population, and eventually they will have to compete. It’s all part of evolution.
Spiders can be a very effective form of insect control if you have a flower or food garden. They would kill all unwanted pests, while preserving your plants and even decorating them with beautiful shiny webs. Do you agree with us? What other tips and tricks do you know about biological pest control? We’d love if you share them below in the comments.
Picture source: prdyapim / shutterstock.com
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