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Killing Spiders In Your Home Does More Harm Than Good, Experts Warn

Look, I'm not saying I have some serious, crippling spider phobia, but I will say I want absolutely nothing to do with those eight-legged guys.

(Flashback to summer '02: a bright-eyed, seven-year-old Caitlyn sits on a dock in the summertime while, totally unbeknownst to her, a massive dock spider crawls its way up her back and onto the top of her head before settling comfortably in the middle of her face.)

So trust me when I say I'm the first person to grab the newspaper when I spot a spidey-friend on the wall. Or I ask my boyfriend to do it. Depends on how brave I'm feeling.

But apparently, we really shouldn't be killing spiders at all.

Yep, put down that newspaper because experts say we're actually doing ourselves more harm than good by killing house spiders.

Unilad recently spoke with ecological consultant and educator Lawrence Bee from the British Arachnological Society who reports that squishing spiders is actually super bad for our ecosystem. And, you know, for the spiders.

"If we don't have spiders around, we'd have all sorts of things flying around," he said. "You'd have far more things flying around and crawling around in your house if the spiders weren't there actually providing that sort of control mechanism."

In fact, Mr. Bee can't think of "any circumstances" where someone could justify killing a spider.

Unsplash | Егор Камелев

"I mean, there's been occasions where people report they've been bitten by spiders and they've suffered serious reactions," he said. "But apart from that, there's no reason at all."

He explains most spiders aren't actually aggressive, and despite what you might think, they aren't particularly eager to start chasing you around. Leave them alone, and they'll go on with their lives.

When you think about it, spiders are responsible for catching some of the other creepiest-crawlies the world has to offer.

Not to mention, they also help out in our gardens, whether we realize it or not.

"They're very effective at controlling some of these garden pests like greenfly and other things which gardeners might be concerned about," Bee explained. "Rather than go out and spray them off, the spiders are really providing a good natural control for these things, so it's certainly worth looking after them and not destroying them."

Bee says humans should be working to protect spiders rather than wipe them out, but unfortunately that's not often the case.

He cites natural habitat destruction, agricultural intensification, and pesticide use as all contributing to the eradication of these eight-legged creatures.

In the UK in particular, some spider species are being affected by climate change in certain areas where it's becoming much too warm for them to survive: "If we carry on in the way that we are doing, then we're going to be losing our natural resource upon which we all depend."

According to Bee, the benefit spiders provide us far outweighs however much they might annoy us, too.

"They're not doing us any harm," he said, "so why do we need to actually destroy them?"

Speaking as someone who, as previously mentioned, has had a bit of a traumatic experience with spideys, I actually feel like it's in all of our best interests to #resistthesquish and let these little guys live. Sure, they can be scary, and sure, they make our skin crawl.

But they're also just trying to help us out. So lets let them, hmm? No? Okay, I tried.

h/t: Unilad