Spider lore has changed over time. According to medieval superstition, people believed that if you saw a spider on all hallows eve, it was the spirit of a dead loved one watching over you. When humanity started the witch hunt era, spiders became associated with magic, witches and the supernatural, right along with bats and black cats. They also become representatives of danger, fear, ensnarement, and deception (think of the phrase “caught in a web of lies”).
Their odd anatomy and physiology (multiple eyes, crushing mandibles, 8 legs, and bulbous abdomen) creates aversion and fear in some individuals.
Add in their habit of seeking out cracks and crevices to hide in, their skittering and jumping movements and their nocturnal foraging activity, not to mention their ability to create great sticky webs, and what you have is the basis for “arachnophobia”, or the fear of spiders.
So now that we are convinced that spiders are loathsome creatures, our imaginations add magnitudes of size and deadliness, making them truly Halloween icons.
The true nature of spiders isn’t to be scary. But if you are perceived to be scary, then nobody messes with you, hence you may live longer.
Spiders have acquired a bad reputation over the centuries. Going from lucky charms to fearsome, evil specters. What they really are, are natures clean-up crew. Spiders eat other insects. Their diet consists mostly, of flies, roaches, moths, earwigs, aphids, caterpillars and even pesky mosquitoes. Some of these delicacies, spread disease, so spiders help humanity stay healthy.
While we fantasize spiders into huge, deadly, horror creatures, remember they are also the inspiration for a much beloved super-hero, Spider Man.
You may be noticing more spiders out and about. It’s Fall, otherwise known as Autumn, and this is the time of year when many male spiders are out searching for a mate. This is true for house spiders and garden spiders, alike. If you are seeing more spiders inside your home, they may have came in from the cold, but more likely that they have been hiding in your wall voids all summer, venturing out, now into your living areas looking for mates. Once they mate, chances are, the males will die and the females will go back into hiding, lay their eggs and then, you know, “die”.
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