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I'm pretty sure there's a spider in my ear. I feel it move and hear the scratching (i blame my cat for playing with bugs in the bed). I've gone to the doctor, but all they do is flush my ear with water and it never works. I've decide to just wait for the damned thing to die.
How long will it live in my ear without coming out? How quickly will it die if i flush my ears with peroxide once a day?
any other advice for how to get the stupid thing out?
Orb-weaver spiders are members of the spider family Araneidae. They are the most common group of builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forest. "Orb" can in English mean "circular",  hence the English name of the group. Araneids have eight similar eyes, hairy or spiny legs, and no stridulating organs.
The family is cosmopolitan, including many well-known large or brightly colored garden spiders. With 3122 species in 172 genera worldwide, Araneidae is the third-largest family of spiders (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae).  Araneid webs are constructed in a stereotyped fashion. A framework of nonsticky silk is built up before the spider adds a final spiral of silk covered in sticky droplets.
Orb-webs are also produced by members of other spider families. The long-jawed orb weavers (Tetragnathidae) were formerly included in the Araneidae they are closely related, being part of the superfamily Araneoidea. The family Arkyidae has been split off from the Araneidae.   The cribellate or hackled orb-weavers (Uloboridae) belong to a different group of spiders. Their webs are strikingly similar, but use a different kind of silk.
As its name suggests, the common house spider is the spider most often seen in homes in the United States. They like to build webs in hidden areas of the home, such as attics, basements, sheds, and barns. Most of the webs are in the corners of rooms and very easy to miss.
The common house spider is small, less than a quarter of an inch (0.6 centimeters) long. Females tend to be a little larger than the males. House spiders are brown and some individuals may have brown or white spotting on the abdomen. The legs of males have an orange tint, while the legs of female common house spiders look yellow. One of the most noticeable characteristics of the common house spider is the dark rings on the legs. Each leg has several darker rings, especially at the joints.
Common house spiders will live just about anywhere. They can be seen in gardens, backyards, basements, attics, barns, sheds, and any other type of man-made structure.
When people find common house spiders, they often destroy the web and kill the spider. However, it's important to remember that spiders eat insects, including flies and mosquitoes, and they could be keeping these out of the homes they're inhabiting.
Common house spiders spin webs that are made from thin silk strands. There are several ways to tell a common house spider's web from other species' webs. For one, common house spiders usually spin one part of the web to be thicker than the rest. The spider sits on this thicker portion of the web. In addition, common house spiders like to add a leaf or two to the web so they can hide.
Common house spiders might be seen on multiple webs close together or a web with more than one spider. If house spiders find a good spot with plenty of food, they do not mind if another spider produces a web nearby. However, if the webs are too close, the spiders might attack each other.
A female common house spider can produce several egg sacs in a year. The best time to spot an egg sac is in the summer. They are very small, papery, brown sacs that hang from the web and can have more than 400 spider eggs inside.
Common house spider populations are not considered threatened.
For a short period of time during the breeding season, males and females can live on the same web.
Spider Reproduction and Life Cycle
Spiders give off a very powerful type of chemical when they are ready to mate. The males go in search of the males in order to be able to mate with them. They are able to tell not only if the female is ready to mate but if she is of the same species by the chemicals she gives off.
Many times they will find newly molted females because they are weak. They aren’t going to be very dangerous to a male who is looking to mate with her. Some species have to be more careful about this than others.
Elaborate courtship to prevent the males from being eaten before mating has been successful. Sometimes the female will kill the male and other times she won’t. It is hard to understand what the process is for that decision to be made. Part of these rituals involve the male vibrating the web. If they are able to calm her enough then she will be less likely to take part in aggressive behaviors.
Some species of Spiders also take part in dancing or elaborate moving for courtships. The females often don’t accept the males for mating though and will kill them or run them off. They can be very aggressive during this period of time. It isn’t fully understood why they refuse to make with some males but will with others. Size doesn’t seem to be the only factor that will determine who she will mate with.
The reproduction cycle of the Spider is very different from what many would expect. Mating doesn’t require male and female sperm and egg to match. Sperm is placed on webs and then transferred to the tips of the females. For some species of Spiders though the ritual will end with the male being consumed by the female. There isn’t any real understanding why this is part of their natural survival instincts.
However, this isn’t the case with all Spider species but many people often place that statement on all of them. There are really only a handful of them that follow such rituals and routines.
There are also species of Spiders where the females will die soon after she lays the eggs. Others carry them with her and they will start to emerge but when they so she will die. The circle of life for the Spiders can be very complex to understand.
This is why there is often a myth that the young are never cared for by their mothers. However, some species of Spiders do care for their young. They are very good at doing so which is also interesting to observe. Yet we don’t have a great deal of information about that bonding period. It is more likely that they will be doing more with meeting their needs than with being able to develop strong relationships with them.
Up to 3,000 eggs for some species can be deposited into the egg sac. The young will remain in the egg until they are ready to hatch. When they emerge they are miniature versions of the adult species. Yet there is on a chance for a very small amount of them to be able to survive to the age of maturity. This is why there survival mechanisms involve them offering many offspring at once.
The average life cycle of a Spider in the wild is 3 years. This is due to the various mating rituals. However, in captivity they may not be able to mate. This can be a reason why they are able to live many years longer. The overall life cycle can be very different based on a given species. For example there are Tarantulas in captivity that have survived for more than 22 years.
When you think about where Spiders live, the better question to ask would be where don’t they live? Spiders are able to live just about anywhere and that is why there is such diversification out there. They are ranked at #7 when it comes to the most diversified living creatures in the world. That gives you a good idea of the spectrum of how they have branched out. The only place in the world where you won’t find spiders is in Antarctica.
You will be able to find Spiders living in very dry climates. Some of them have evolved to the point where they don’t need to be around any water at all. They can survive in some of the harshest conditions you could imagine. They get the water they need from their food sources.
The tropic regions are also home to many species of Spiders. Not only are they able to thrive in the climate, they are also able to find plenty of food resources for them to enjoy. These living creatures are known as terrestrial as they almost always live on land. They may be found in trees, on plants, and even living in the blades of grass in your yard.
Spiders are quite versatile and they do well in all types of habitat. They do have to find shelter though when the cooler temperatures settle in. Otherwise their body temperature can change too much and they will die. This is why there are times of the year when you may see them plenty and others that you don’t see them around at all.
It can be tough to fully identify any Spider habitat if you aren’t really looking for them. They blend in very well to their natural surroundings. They are able to chance colors too if they need to in order to blend in with what is all around them. Not everyone believes that the Spider can live in the wetlands but they do.
Some live along the edges of lakes and ponds too. They don’t need the water or the moisture there. Instead, this location offers them a prime area to be able to find lots of food and shelter. It is a winning location for them that helps them to be able to thrive.
Spiders are even making their home in your home! It doesn’t matter how clean you are or how much you look for them. They may be in areas such as crawl spaces, the back of a closet, and even outside in a pile of bricks. If you have lots of clutter in your home though you are offering even more spaces that make an ideal Spider habitat.
Many Spiders live a much longer life in captivity than they do in the wild. However, it depends on how they are cared for. Some of the larger spiders don’t do well being trapped in a small area. They also become very aggressive if they are touched often due to their heightened senses.
Food supply has a great deal of influence in the Spider habitat. This is why you will see some of them in certain areas and not others. They need to be able to build their webs and have enough prey coming along for them to survive. Otherwise they have to look for a new location where those needs can be met.
As humans continue to disrupt the natural habitat of the Spider, they are also branching out in new locations. This is why even dangerous spiders are sometimes seen in places that they never were before. They can get into food shipments and other containers as well. This gives them the chance to find mates and to start to thrive in places that were once vacant of such species.
Wolf spiders are the sprinters of the spider world. Most of the thousands of species in this family don’t spin webs instead, they chase and pounce on their insect prey like the wolves that inspire their name.
Once wolf spiders catch their prey, they either mash it up into a ball or inject venom into it, liquefying the internal organs into a wolf-spider smoothie.
All wolf spiders have eight dark eyes arranged around their heads, or cephalothorax. Two large eyes gleam from the top of the head two more large eyes peer out the front and four smaller eyes form a row just above the spider’s mouth.
Most wolf spiders spend their time on the ground. The dark, mottled colors on their bodies help them blend in with decaying plant matter while hunting or avoiding predators. Sometimes they dig burrows or make holes under rocks or logs to live in.
Wolf spiders have figured out how to live just about anywhere. While some species are found on cold, rocky mountaintops, others live in volcanic lava tubes. From deserts to rainforests, grasslands to suburban lawns, wolf spider thrive there’s likely one nearby. One species has even been found living in wheat crops, feeding on pests such as aphids.
When it’s time to mate, male wolf spiders attract females by rhythmically waving their long mouthparts (palps) or drumming them on leaves. Once mated, the female spins a round egg sac, attaches it to her abdomen and it carries around with her. The young hatch inside, then emerge and climb on mom’s back until they’re old enough to live on their own.
Many species are considered to have stable populations. But some, such as the desertas wolf spider of Portugal and the Kaua’i cave spider of Hawaii, are endangered.
Should I kill spiders in my home? An entomologist explains why not to
Matt Bertone does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations
I know it may be hard to convince you, but let me try: Don’t kill the next spider you see in your home.
Why? Because spiders are an important part of nature and our indoor ecosystem – as well as being fellow organisms in their own right.
People like to think of their dwellings as safely insulated from the outside world, but many types of spiders can be found inside. Some are accidentally trapped, while others are short-term visitors. Some species even enjoy the great indoors, where they happily live out their lives and make more spiders. These arachnids are usually secretive, and almost all you meet are neither aggressive nor dangerous. And they may be providing services like eating pests – some even eat other spiders.
A cobweb spider dispatches some prey that got snagged in its web. Matt Bertone , CC BY-ND
My colleagues and I conducted a visual survey of 50 North Carolina homes to inventory just which arthropods live under our roofs. Every single house we visited was home to spiders. The most common species we encountered were cobweb spiders and cellar spiders.
Both build webs where they lie in wait for prey to get caught. Cellar spiders sometimes leave their webs to hunt other spiders on their turf, mimicking prey to catch their cousins for dinner.
Although they are generalist predators, apt to eat anything they can catch, spiders regularly capture nuisance pests and even disease-carrying insects – for example, mosquitoes. There’s even a species of jumping spider that prefers to eat blood-filled mosquitoes in African homes. So killing a spider doesn’t just cost the arachnid its life, it may take an important predator out of your home.
It’s natural to fear spiders. They have lots of legs and almost all are venomous – though the majority of species have venom too weak to cause issues in humans, if their fangs can pierce our skin at all. Even entomologists themselves can fall prey to arachnophobia. I know a few spider researchers who overcame their fear by observing and working with these fascinating creatures. If they can do it, so can you!
An arachnologist’s story of growing up terrified of spiders but ultimately becoming fascinated by them.
Spiders are not out to get you and actually prefer to avoid humans we are much more dangerous to them than vice versa. Bites from spiders are extremely rare. Although there are a few medically important species like widow spiders and recluses, even their bites are uncommon and rarely cause serious issues.
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If you truly can’t stand that spider in your house, apartment, garage, or wherever, instead of smashing it, try to capture it and release it outside. It’ll find somewhere else to go, and both parties will be happier with the outcome.
But if you can stomach it, it’s OK to have spiders in your home. In fact, it’s normal. And frankly, even if you don’t see them, they’ll still be there. So consider a live-and-let-live approach to the next spider you encounter.
As the only spider specialist in a large metropolitan area, I get many spider inquiries from the general public. Since I'm mentioned on the Internet as a spider specialist, some of the public inquiries come from distant places. When I lecture on spiders, adult and child audiences always have questions and comments. So do casual acquaintances when they learn that I work with spiders.
These people's concerns come from a widespread and surprisingly uniform set of assumptions and "general knowledge" about spiders. And almost all of this widespread spider information is false!
I don't really expect that the following, by itself, will make much headway against the flood of spider misinformation. However, I hope that those curious about spiders who find their way here will absorb enough information to ask me some new questions instead of the same old ones. I can hope, can't I?
Questions and Comments. For general spider information go to our resources page . To suggest improvements or additions, or to ask a question, please contact me . But if you hope to show that any of the following myths is actually true, please be prepared with verifiable evidence including actual specimens…
There are eight species of Brazilian wandering spider, all of which can be found in Brazil. Some of the species also can be found throughout Latin America, from Costa Rica to Argentina, according to an article in the journal American Entomologist. Author Richard S. Vetter, a research associate in the department of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, wrote that specimens of these powerful arachnids have been exported to North American and Europe in banana shipments. However, Vetter noted, in many cases of cargo infestation, the spider in question is a harmless Cupiennius species that is misidentified as a Phoneutria species. The two types of spiders look similar.
The taxonomy of Brazilian wandering spiders, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), is:
Kingdom: Animalia Subkingdom: Bilateria Infrakingdom: Protostomia Superphylum: Ecdysozoa Phylum: Arthropoda Subphylum: Chelicerata Class: Arachnida Order: Araneae Family: Ctenidae Genus: Phoneutria Species:
- Phoneutria bahiensis
- Phoneutria boliviensis
- Phoneutria eickstedtae
- Phoneutria fera
- Phoneutria keyserlingi
- Phoneutria nigriventer
- Phoneutria pertyi
- Phoneutria reidyi
Common spiders living in your house
Spiders are extremely common around the house. Although many people are afraid of spiders, these critters really shouldn’t be feared. Most indoor spiders have webs in a secluded corner and won’t bother you unless directly provoked. But they will catch mosquitoes and flies for you — it’s organic pest-control!
Most common household spider species are very flexible about what they eat and where they live, so they can survive in lots of different environments and continents. Here are some of the most common household species so you can try to identify your roommates.
The American house spider
The American house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) is known as the house spider in the USA because it is the most common household spider species. These spiders are about 4/5 cm (1/4 inch) long. They are brown with some black or white spots on the abdomen. They produce distinctive egg sacks that are shaped like a teardrop with a papery brown exterior. House spiders will only bite humans when directly provoked. This species is found around the whole world and usually in or near man-made structures. House spiders build messy cobwebs in the corners of rooms and in sheds and barns. They mostly eat flies, mosquitoes, ants, and wasps.
The domestic spider
The domestic spider (Tegenaria domestica) is also known as the house spider in Europe. Domestic spiders have mottled bodies, often with a chevron pattern on their abdomens. They make a messy funnel shaped web built around a flat surface, with the spider waiting at the bottom of the funnel. Small to mid-size insects are usually the prey of choice. Domestic spiders are not aggressive and will often back off to their web when confronted. If the web is attacked, the spiders will flee or huddle in a ball. Males are known to get stuck in bathtubs and sinks at night. Domestic spiders are not known to bite often, but even if they do it is painless. These spider has also spread everywhere through human transport they are found across Europe, North America, and parts of Western Asia.
There’s a European house spider in the bath! Image credits: Sanchom
The cellar spider
Cellar spiders (in the Pholcidae family), are often confused with daddy longlegs the Opiliones (read explanation here) due to their long thin legs. However, cellar spiders have 6-8 eyes and two distinct body segments. They are often found in dark, isolated places as basements, attics, and cellars. In the wild, they build webs under logs and in caves. They set up in a corner and build a messy 3-D web. The threads in the web are not sticky, but when something flies into it they vibrate and the spider appears quickly to grab and wrap its prey in silk. Cellar spiders eat insects, arachnids, and other small vertebrates they are especially fond of ants. These spiders can survive months without eating.
They are also found on every continent except Antarctica, from deserts to tropical forests. In particular, the species Pholcus phalangioides likes living in houses and has been spread around the world through human movement. All of the species are harmless they don’t bite often and are not known to cause any harm to humans.
A special mention on this list is are daddy longlegs, also known as harvestmen. They are actually not spiders they are arachnids more closely related to scorpions than to spiders. Daddy longlegs belong to the Opilione order. They have a compact oval body (no distinct segments), two eyes, and eight thin long legs. They don’t have any venom glands so they are completely harmless. Daddy longlegs are common around the house and outside. Opiliones scavenge food to eat, including dead insects or food waste, and prey on everything from aphids to spiders. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, and can live in many different types of habitats such as forests, meadows, caves, and wetlands.Daddy longlegs are distinguishable from spiders with their compact body and two eyes. Image credits: Luke
Black widows (Lactrodecus genus) are considered the most venomous spiders in North America, but they only bite when disturbed. Most victims aren’t in serious danger — death by black widow is extremely rare very old, young, and sick victims are the most at risk. Female black widows are a shiny black color with a distinctive red hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen. Males are a dark grey or brown color they sometimes have red or pink spots on their backs. The female spider’s poison is 3 times stronger than that of the males it’s lucky that the females are very easy to recognize!
Black widows occupy dark dry shelters in trash, garages, basements, and sheds. They are found in temperate regions throughout the world, in North and South America, Southern Europe and Asia, Australia, and Africa. They eat flies, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, beetles, and caterpillars. The spiders wrap their prey in silk and insert digestive enzymes into the package to enjoy a liquid lunch.
Female black widows are easily recognizable by the red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Image credits: skeeze
Jumping spiders (Salticidae family) are mostly found outdoors but can also find their way under furniture, below doors, between shelved books, and in the folds of fabrics. They are recognizable by their square-shaped heads, compact body, and two very large eyes (plus 6 smaller ones). They have the best vision of any spider these little spiders can see up to 20 cm (8 inches) away! Jumping spiders are named as such because they can jump many times their body length to catch prey they are active hunters. They eat insects, arthropods, and even nectar. One species in Africa specifically targets mosquitoes that transmit malaria parasites, helping in malaria prevention. They do not build webs and instead use silk to communicate and build “pup tents” where they shelter and overwinter. Their bites are harmless unless you’re specifically allergic.
My, what big eyes you have. Image credits: Thomas Shahan
Dozens of Insects and Spiders May Live in Every Room of Your House
When cockroaches infest a kitchen or bedbugs take over a mattress, human residents notice. But it turns out there are plenty of other six- and eight-legged creatures that more subtly coopt our homes.
Based on the results of a multi-home survey, our houses contain a shocking diversity of arthropods—the group of animals that includes insects, spiders and crustaceans. In some cases, more than 200 arthropod species were found in single homes.
Most household entomologists focus on pests, but the authors of the study, appearing this week in PeerJ, were interested in getting a handle on total arthropod biodiversity in our sanctum sanctorums.
“Basically, no one’s ever looked at what’s living around us,” says Matthew Bertone, an entomologist at North Carolina State University. “We explore these far-off jungles and deserts and whatnot, but people don’t focus as much on what’s in homes because they think it’s uninteresting or sterile.”
To put those assumptions to the test, Bertone and his colleagues first needed to recruit some homeowners in the Raleigh area—a task that proved surprisingly easy. After the researchers put out a call for volunteers on the news, more than 400 people got in touch within the span of a few days.
“People were almost going to pay us to come look in their homes,” Bertone says. “Some were just interested in science, some wanted us to come see what they had so they could kill it and some said, ‘My house is so clean, you’ll never find anything!’”
In the end, the researchers selected a sample of 50 random houses representing different dwelling types in the area, from new to old and small to large. A legion of entomology graduate students helped the researchers comb through each room in every home. They searched floor to ceiling, collecting a sample of every type of arthropod they came across. The only places they didn’t search were drawers and cupboards because of privacy concerns, or behind heavy furniture, for safety.
“So our estimates are probably lower than the actual diversity in homes, since there could be things hiding behind bookcases and walls,” Bertone says.
Some of the arthropods they came across were dead—creatures that had wandered in from outdoors and couldn’t survive inside. But others were alive and well when the team collected them. Rather than sample for abundance, they went for diversity. If a room contained 100 dead pillbugs (aka, rolly pollies), for example, they only collected a few specimens.
In the end they wound up with around 10,000 specimens. Out of about 550 rooms, only five—four bathrooms and a bedroom—were completely free from arthropods. Both the researchers and the homeowners were caught off guard by the sheer ubiquity and abundance of organisms.
“Homeowners were extremely surprised, and some were appalled,” Bertone says. “But basically, that surprise goes to show that arthropods really don’t bother you.”
This chart shows the types of arthropods found during the survey. (Matthew Bertone)
Bertone and his colleagues then set to work identifying the species they found. Individual homes contained 32 to 211 species covering 24 to 128 arthropod families. Flies, spiders, beetles, wasps and ants made up nearly three-quarters of the average room diversity. Cobweb spiders, carpet beetles, gall midges and ants turned up in 100 percent of homes, closely followed in prevalence by book lice and dark winged fungus gnats.
“There’s a myth that says you’re never more than three feet from a spider,” Bertone says. “After finding cobweb spiders in 65 percent of rooms, I think that could be true.”
To homeowners’ relief, inconspicuous and harmless species were much more common than pests. German cockroaches occurred in just six percent of homes, while bedbugs appeared in none at all. Likewise, many homeowners expressed a fear of brown recluse spiders, but the researchers didn’t find a single one. A lone black widow turned up, tucked into a basement crawlspace.
“One message that we want to get across is that most things that are alive in our homes are fairly benign,” Bertone says.
“Urban ecology has been very neglected but we are beginning to see that species diversity in our cities is quite high and also very important,” says Michael McKinney, a professor of earth sciences at the University of Tennessee who was not involved in the research. “I think this paper is very significant—indeed, I would say cutting edge—and I hope it stimulates much further research in this area.”
The researchers have a few follow-up studies either planned or in the works. For starters, they’d like to figure out whether there are any correlations between the house, its owners’ habits and arthropod diversity. For example, will a large house in a new suburb with owners that keep the air conditioner running contain the same abundance of species as a smaller one in an older development where the owners prefer to leave the windows open?
The scientists are also interested in investigating arthropod diversity in homes outside of North Carolina and have already collected samples in San Francisco, Peru and Sweden for comparison.
For now, the researchers hope that their findings bring some Raleigh residents relief by knowing that they’re sharing their homes not with an abundance of pests but with harmless creatures that are “just living out their lives,” Bertone says.
“Some people might never get over the fact that there are things living in their homes,” he continues. “But if we can give them a little knowledge about these arthropods’ biology and point out that they’re not going to do all these horrible things, then maybe people won’t apply as many pesticides.”