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Spiders cohabitating with people?


Well this morning I came across a very well written article by the Palm Beach Post. This article implies that spiders will NOT bite you " Did you know that spiders don't drink your saliva, bite you or crawl in your mouth and get swallowed as you sleep? If one is found in your tub or sink, it fell in from above while looking for water and did not crawl up from the drain. "

Now for most spiders, its first line of defense is to bite, you reach into a box or other container, not even seeing the spider and you get bit. Now the spider didn't say to itself "ATTACK!!" you caught it by surprise and in its mind it probably saw you as a predator and went into defense mode.

"Spiders are glad to get away from you, so let them. The big three - the wolf, huntsman and nursery-web - spiders might wander into your house or park themselves just outside the door and catch roaches and other unwanted pests before they can enter.

Although these are large, brown, scary-looking spiders, their bites are not dangerous. And if you learn where they hang out, the two of you can get along without any late-night surprises."

Now as we know spiders are venomous, with only a hand full being medically significant, such as, the Black Widow, Brown Recluse  and few Tarantulas, the Blue Cobalt is not deadly but does require a trip to the hospital. Bites reactions vary and is based on an individuals reaction. I have been bit by a jumping spider, now some people I have spoke to had no reaction, I had pain for several hours and swelling and redness around the bite.

Again This article is a good article, worth a read, but please do not go out picking up random spiders, you could get bit! I would also like to add that one of the best ways to deter spiders is knocking down webs on a regular basis, if you feel you have an infestation please contact your local pest professional. Clark offers Spider control, call Clark today!

Click here to read the Palm Beach Post article

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Garden spiders shouldn't give you the creeps


Eight-legged arthropods help control insect populations

By Michael Womack
Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:02 p.m.

CORPUS CHRISTI - Halloween has given spiders a bad reputation, blowing them up to preposterous sizes and using them to induce fear. But people should have little reason to fear these eight-legged arthropods whose benefit of controlling pesky insect populations far outweigh dangers.

Spiders help keep pests like mosquitoes and flies in check by capturing them in their elegant webs before chowing down on them. If you ask me, I would rather have a spider biting into a mosquito than their bloodsucking prey feeding on me.

Out of the nearly 900 species of spiders in Texas, only two small groups - five species of recluse and four species of widow spiders - are considered poisonous to humans.

Most of these spiders are bashful, hiding during the day. If you are outside or working in a garden shed, be careful, especially when putting on shoes or reaching into dark places.

Surprisingly, the large visible spiders that look ominous in our gardens aren't the dangerous types. The best known is probably the tarantula, which hides during the day and ventures out to capture prey at night. Other smaller but equally hairy and ominous-looking spiders include wolf spiders and small hairy jumping spiders, but these pose no threat to humans.

Click here top read the full story

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Halloween Treat! Tribute to bugs in the movies


In the Halloween spirit (no pun intended) we will be giving our viewers a treat! The 4 days of Halloween. We have compiled the pumpkinstop 4 scary pest related movies, showcased daily. Now these are not your everyday run of the Mill horror movies, meaning no Frankenstien, Dracula or even the Wolfman but instead Giant Ants, Creepy Cockroaches and Scary Spiders (at least portrayed to be scary)!

This time of the year horror movies are plentiful, take the challenge and watch each one we post and then comeback and give a review on the specific movie!


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Vegetarian Spiders?

Today, a Co-worker emailed this article, probably since he know that I think Arachnids (some species)are interesting. This is a first for me, I have never heard of a spider being a vegetarian! Worth the read.

Kinder, Gentler Spider Eats Veggies, Cares for Kids

By Brandon Keim Email Author

October 12, 2009  | 


Each of the world's 40,000 spider species survives by hunting and killing - except, that is, for Bagheera kiplingi, the world's first vegetarian arachnid.

Found in Central America, the order-defying jumping spider eats nutrient-rich structures called Beltian bodies, which are found on the tips of Acacia trees. Trees produce the bodies to feed ants that defend them, which is a textbook example of what's called co-evolutionary mutalism, and one that B. kiplingi has evolved to exploit.

In a paper published Monday in Current Biology, researchers describe the spider's ant-evading habits and provide a molecular analysis of its body composition, proving that B. kiplingi is indeed what it eats: plants, with a few larval ants on the side. (After all, 400 million years of evolutionary habits die hard.)

A few other spiders have been documented consuming nectar, but only as a snack. No other spider is so predominantly vegetarian. And that's not all: It looks like B. kiplingi males help care for eggs and young - something entirely unprecedented in the spider world.

The researchers are now studying whether there's a link between B. kiplingi's predilection for plants and parental concern. Maybe going veggie softened its heart.

Image: Current Biology

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Myths and Urban legends about Spiders...Fact or Fiction



Myths have been around since ancient Greece, with stories being told of Greek god and goddesses such as Achilles and Hercules just to name a few. Throughout time there has been many myths about spiders, and I can honestly say I believed in a few myself.

I wrote this article to clear the air, focusing on 4 well known myths that revolve around spiders.

The Tarantulas namesake:
As the myth implies, the Tarantula received its name in fifteenth century Italy in the town of Taranto, if bitten by these large spiders It could inflict a disease called Tarantism, In the 15 th to 17th centuries, the city of Taranto in southern Italy was the center of Tarantism which spread across most of southern Europe. The term "tarantism" (also called tarantismo or tarantolismo) comes from the town of Taranto. The large and very venomous tarantula is also named for the city of Taranto. The only cure was to engage in a dance called the Tarantella.

Myth: YES

Tarantulas did get their name from Taranto,Italy. The peasants of Taranto in the fifteenth century were suppressed of any fun activities such as dance, it is believed that the peasants used this as an excuse to dance.

Tarantism: A disease once thought to result from the bite of the tarantula spider. This extraordinary affliction was associated with melancholy, stupor, madness and an uncontrollable desire to dance. In fact, dancing off the tarantula venom was considered the only cure. The dancing was violent and energetic and went for 3 or4 days.


Only the Brown Recluse can shed its skin:

It is said the only spider in existence to be able to shed its skin is the Brown Recluse.

Myth: YES

All spiders shed their skin, but its not really skin it is their exoskeleton. Spiders do this when they grow,  like buying a toddler a coat, in a year they grow out of that coat and need a new one, so when the spiders "Coat" gets too tight they have to get another. This process is called Molting.

Black Widow lays eggs in a womans hairdo, she was bitten and dies.

This myth/Urban Legend stems from the Bouffant hairdo or also known as the "Beehive". This hairdo was all the rage in the 1950's, and it was said that a woman ratted up her hair very high and used a can of hair spray on it. The woman did not wash or comb her hair in fear of ruining her "Do". over time a Black Widow spider crawled into her hair and laid eggs. When the eggs hatched, she was bitten so many times he had died.

Myth: YES

This never happened, Spiders do not find the human hair or even the body a good place to lay their eggs, and the eggs of a spider is not easy harvest in any amount of hairspray.

Tarantulas Can Jump 3-4 feet.

So I have heard this one personally by a co-worker that said his sister was poking and pushing a tarantula when one of her friends said that she shouldn't do it because tarantulas can jump real high. I have also seen this on the web (no pun intended).

Myth: YES

As a tarantula keeper, I am in and out of their enclosures all the time, and can say from experience Tarantulas DO NOT JUMP!  What people do not realize is that... say a tarantula jumped 2 feet, from the fall alone the poor thing would die. Tarantulas are very fragile creatures, regardless if they are a U.S. native or not.

These are only a few that have been out in circulation for many years, from exploding cactus filled with tarantulas to black widows laying eggs in your hair they are all fiction. Hope you enjoyed this article!

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Spider spin doctor says arachnids getting bad rap


'Rosie' the rosehair tarantula helps Tyler Cobb's learn to love spiders.

Halloween is a time when people don't seem to mind decorating their doorways with spider webs. But during the rest of the year, eight-legged creatures are on the wrong end of some bad press, according to one University of Alberta graduate student.

"I'm not sure I totally understand arachnophobia, but it's been a part of Halloween for such a long time," said Tyler Cobb who teaches Conservation and Management of Endangered Species (ENCS 464) at the U of A. "I think the way spiders get treated in movies is unfair. Moviemakers are just tapping into that fear of the unknown, but usually when people learn about spiders - what they're really like - that fear starts to go away."

Cobb uses spiders to help his students understand that all creatures - even those that aren't cute and cuddly - deserve respect and protection. When Cobb sees a spider in his home, he's not one to reach for the rolled-up newspaper.

"I just think it's cool. I'm totally fascinated by spiders," he said. "There seems to be a fear of them, an innate fear, and I don't know where that comes from. I think every kid starts off with that bug fascination phase and then, somewhere along the line, that curiosity about the unknown becomes fear of the unknown."

For the past few years, Cobb has been using live tarantulas and other cool creepy crawlies (scorpions, mantids, etc.) as part of laboratory demonstrations in the ENCS 464 class. He's been attempting to "spread the word" about the importance of invertebrates in conservation and ecology, dispel myths, and assist students in getting over their fears.

"For example, with careful encouragement, we are regularly able to get someone who is terribly afraid of spiders to hold a large live tarantula and leave with a new understanding and interest in these animals," he said.

"Occasionally, through education, we can give that childhood fascination back to them, such that they look at the invertebrates in their own back yard with a more sympathetic eye. In the long run, this can lead to increased awareness about biodiversity conservation."

'Rosie,' the rosehair tarantula who makes regular appearances in Cobb's classroom, has helped a lot of students reclaim their natural curiosity.

"There are all sorts of myths out there about tarantulas being lethal, but it's a big spider. It's normal to be nervous," said Cobb. "By handling Rosie ourselves and letting it walk across our hands, we can convince students who are nervous to give it a try.

Usually, those students who are not really afraid will start handing Rosie, and then eventually you can get students who are deathly afraid of spiders to handle her with a glove on."

"By the end of the class, you occasionally get that magical moment where somebody who's totally afraid of spiders, who didn't even want to be in the room, is willing to handle Rosie and leaves with a new awareness of how cool spiders really are.

" Cobb says he just never outgrew his fascination with bugs of all kinds. Although most of his own studies focus on beetles, spiders hold a special lure for him. "When you start to look at the details of their lifestyle and their behaviours, how they look, the things they eat and their role in the ecosystems, respect builds on that," he said.

"I love the way tarantulas walk - they're so slow and methodical. Jumping spiders move very, very quickly, they just leap on their prey. Something like the ballooning behaviour is absolutely incredible. Baby spiders will leave the nest by spinning little bits of web that catch the wind and disperse them - when you're walking in the woods and you feel that little bit of web on your face, that's probably from ballooning." While leaping and flying spiders might not put the fears of an arachnophobe to rest, Cobb points to helpful behaviours such as helping to control mosquito populations as reasons to gently release the next eight-legged visitor outside instead of reaching for the Raid.

"It would be nice if they could get people to look at spiders like they look at other cute and furry creatures and offer them some respect," said Cobb. "We're trying to get people interested in the conservation of these poorly studied organisms. We use these big, showy invertebrates, like the tarantula, to raise people's awareness about the spiders and beetles in their own back yards. In the process we get to help people get over their fears."

Source: University of Alberta

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Man set house on fire while trying to kill a spider


I found the article in the "Telegraph" a UK based online publication, you are not going to believe what someone will do to try and kill a spider!

A man had to be rescued after setting the front of his house on fire while trying to kill a spider with a lighter.

Published: 11:09AM BST 27 Apr 2009
Source: www.Telegraph.co.uk

Firefighters say the man, in his 40s, had been trying to set fire to the spider as it crawled up the front of the semi-detached property

But sparks reached material behind the cladding and caused a fire within the walls, shortly before midnight.

Three fire engines raced to the scene in Portsmouth, Hants, and found the man trying to put out the flames with a garden hose.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus removed the cladding and spent two hours putting the fire out.

Watch manager Steve Pearce said: "The man was trying to put the fire out with a garden hose when we arrived.

"The whole thing had clearly scared the life out of him.

"There was a gap in the cladding where he was trying to kill the spider and so the sparks got through to the material behind and started spreading upwards towards the roof.

"Our concern was that it would reach the roof and the property would be lost.

"We sent firefighters up into the loft to put it out and fortunately we were able to stop it in time.

"Surprisingly there wasn't much damage to the house other than to the cladding.

"We obviously had a chat with the man but I don't think he'll be doing this again."

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Tarantula Facts and Clark Gets a new pet Tarantula


First lets start off with some interesting facts and information about the Tarantula.

  • Females can live up to 35 years, males up to 15 years
  • Most breeds are considered docile creatures
  • Sheds their exoskeleton (MOLT)
  • Can be found in the harshest Deserts to tropical settings
  • May fast for a month
  • Most are not poisonous
  • 2 types - Terrestrial: Literally "living on the ground usually in a burrow" and Arboreal: Literally living in trees.

  • Are invertebrates: A general term for all multiple - celled animals that lack an internal skeleton, that is, are not vertebrates.

  • Are wonderful to watch

 We here at Clark have just purchased and adult female Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula, She is 5 1/2 inches in diameter and will probably reach 6 1/2 inches over the next few years. Her name is Charlotte (Charli), Charlie is very sweet and new addition to the Clark family.

Charlie has been with us now for a full week now and has been great. She gets lots of visitors and enjoys her time chasing crickets. I would have to say that Tarantula's make great pets! We wil post updates regularly.

Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

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