Spiders Need a Warm Bed at Night, Too

Mmm%2C+cozy.

Kayla Daigle

Mmm, cozy.

Kayla Daigle, Writer

For the average person, there is nothing creepier and more panic-evoking than running face first into a sticky spider web with the eight legged, multi-eyed creature that seemingly spun out of nowhere. You feel it wrapping around your face, sticking to your hands after you rip it off, and every single stray piece of hair becomes an angry spider out for revenge for destruction of its home. This year, you may find this happening to you more often than before.

Scientists in the Alabama region have claimed this year to be the year of the spider. What is causing such a dramatic increase in the spider population here? “I would think that the mild winter we had last year, as well as a wet spring and a wet summer has caused an increase in insect populations, and generally when we see an increase in insect populations we see an increase in their predators, and spiders are definitely a predator for insects,” claims Environmental Science teacher Timothy Ames.

Many Alabama civilians have found spiders taking a permanent residence on their porches or in their gardens. “Our children’s swing set has been lost to a garden spider that’s become our pet. She’s really just one of the family,” says Multimedia Design teacher Brandy Panagos.

According to blog.al.com, 95% of spiders don’t have venom powerful enough to do much damage to a person. There is still that remaining five percent though, and two spiders of that percent reside in Alabama: the Southern black widow and the brown recluse, as the insectidentification.org says.

Still, spiders are actually an environmental necessity in Alabama, their webs and eating habits keeping the massive swarms of aggravating bugs like gnats, flies, and blood-sucking mosquitoes at bay. Why do people fear such helpful creatures? “They have kind of creepy eating habits; they build a web, they bite, wrap, pierce, and mummify, sucking out the digested materials in the carcass. They have eight legs, and they’re pretty creepy looking with the way the move and jump. Harry Potter had a lot to do with this because of the spiders [in the books]. People don’t know that you can just put a spider in your hand and let it loose outside,” said Timothy Ames.

What is the reaction of a normal person who sees a spider? “It depends on where I see it,” says senior Alanis Craig. “If I see it outside, it’s just a spider. If I see it in my house, it’s a war, man. I’m going to kill that sucker.”

While there is no such thing as a completely friendly spider, we should look past their hideous appearance and agree the world would be a much more irritating and bug-infested place without their presence.