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And Just What Exactly Are Spiders Afraid Of?

Aug 18, 2007
Spiders are normally thought of by humans as scary beasts that serve no other purpose than to frighten the living daylights out of us. Well, ok, they control the fly and insect population as well I suppose, but mostly they are just not much fun to discover around the home or office.

But have you ever asked yourself, what are spiders themselves scared of?
Well, I've got a few answers for you...

Because they are small, spiders have many enemies.
Many of the larger animals hunt them for food. Common examples being birds, toads & lizards. It is also true that monkeys will hunt and eat them too. And they are also used as food by many of the smaller creatures in the world.

Ticks will attach themselves to a spider and eat away at it for a long time while the spider goes about its business.

But one of the spiders' worst enemies is the Spider Wasp. They will ruthlessly and very effectively hunt down spiders and use them to feed their young larvae.

Spider wasps are found throughout most of the world. There are about 290 species in the United States and Canada and around 4200 worldwide. Most spider wasps are black, metallic blue, or reddish and measure from 1 to 5 cm (0.4 to 2.0 in) long.

The wings range from clear to smoky-gray or bright red-orange in color. Their extraordinarily long hind legs distinguish spider wasps from other wasps. Spider wasps are usually seen walking on barren ground or in tangled undergrowth searching for prey. As they walk, their wings flicker and their antennae tap the ground. They often break their restless walking with short flights.

A spider wasp quickly subdues the spider it preys on. The wasp's sting affects the spider's central nervous system, paralyzing but not killing the spider. Often the spider is too large to carry in flight and the wasp must drag it to the nest. Some species bite off the spider's legs to make it easier to drag and may drink blood that leaks from the wounds.

The spider wasp places a single spider in each nest, which is often constructed after catching the prey. Some species specialize on trap-door spiders and tarantulas, using the spider's own burrow for a nest. The wasp lays an egg on the paralyzed spider, which is eventually eaten by the wasp's larva.

The tarantula hawk is a large, metallic blue-black spider wasp, with violet or bright reddish-orange wings. Tarantula hawks are often seen foraging for nectar on milkweed flowers. These wasps enter a tarantula's burrow and may risk death in a fierce battle. The wasp usually wins even though the tarantula has poisonous fangs and is much larger than the wasp.

And let's not forget another most deadly of spider predators...

You and I. Yes we humans are also big enemies of spiders. Besides stepping on them whenever we get the opportunity, the pesticides we use to control other insects will usually kill spiders too.
About the Author
Nikki Fox, like over 50% of the worlds population suffers from arachnophobia.
For useful advice on how to prevent spiders entering and living in your home or place of work, as well as a very successful and proven cure for arachnophobia, please visit her website www.spiderpanic.com
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