General Question

cage's avatar

If spiders died out would you miss them?

Asked by cage (3117points) July 26th, 2008

I mean yeah, they remove a few bugs here and there when their webs aren’t blown down by the wind, but we have swatters for that now.
and yes, I understand if you have a pet spider or something, lets say your one can survive the spider-holocaust so you don’t get upset :)

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33 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

Often we don’t see how much one species depends on another until its extinct.

If spiders where to go im sure it would cause a domino effect causing other species populations to thin out. Aside from what you mentioned with spiders eating all those bugs, what about all the animals that eat spiders? What happens to their food source?

cage's avatar

What animals eat spiders? a few birds, that have a food source else where?

El_Cadejo's avatar

Frogs, toads, lizards, birds, shrews, beetles, ants, centipedes, and wasps to name a few.

Its also important to note that just because they eat other food as well doenst mean they can just take the lack of spider in their diet. Even with animals the key to being healthy is a varied diet.

Harp's avatar

I absolutely would; they’re amazing creatures. Their orbs are one of Nature’s most beautiful structures, made of one of its most fascinating materials. Positively magical.

poofandmook's avatar

if all insects died, I’d be happy.

But then I’m sure, somehow, the delicate balance would be destroyed and the world would explode. But there would be no bugs. And since I have entomophobia, you know, that’d be a good thing, for me.

Scrumpulator's avatar

Everything keeps everything in check, we would all miss them for what they do for us. They would not miss us however. ha

cage's avatar

but what is it exactly that they do for us?

Scrumpulator's avatar

They clean. There is a balancing act with all creatures.

richardhenry's avatar

Stop our house from being filled with flies. Those things breed like crazy. Spiders gobble them all up, you have no idea – there was a great documentary a while ago on “creatures in your home” that I enjoyed.

Scrumpulator's avatar

life with out spiders…hmm… it would suck. they eat all the little bugs that would fly in your face and give you malaria.

cage's avatar

well, my house has hardly any spiders in it, and I’m not covered in flies so I dunno! like I said, we’ve got swatters. I say keep your house clean and flies wont need to come in.

Response moderated
Scrumpulator's avatar

The flies breed outside, on dead things, so the spiders feed out there. If there was spider food in your house… They would be there

richardhenry's avatar

@cage: You think that. They were pushing fiber optic cameras into wall crevices and under floor boards, in a brand new modern home. It was mental. They all rush to the warmth. There are an estimated quintillion insects on the planet… 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Not a number to be laughed at.

PS: [Fluther Moderator:] It’s not appropriate to ask if the people who have taken the time to answer your question have MPD. You know better.

cage's avatar

I just shit myself

Scrumpulator's avatar

Termites out weigh all the humans,

marinelife's avatar

I am guessing you are a fellow arachnophobe, cage. I am terrified of spiders. Totally not rational, but the occupy a vast niche in the planet’s ecosystem. Did you know for example that crabs are members of the same genus? (Which when you look at them makes sense, huh?)

Even hating them and fearing them, I would not want them all killed. I am really dismayed that we use all the insecticide we do. We are creating resistant bugs and poisoning ourselves and the planet in the process.

Ever done the spider dance, cage?

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: Is the spider dance the one where you jump as high as you can and your feet are running in mid-air, and it’s most commonly accompanied by “KILL IT KILL IT KILLITKILLIT!!!”? If so, I do that dance often… even outside. LOL

cage's avatar

@Marina, never even heard of the spider dance, and actually I DID know that crabs are part of the same Genus, so are scorpions and lobsters! I actually enjoy all of those creatures, but the way that spiders move creep me out. Anyway, I don’t want them all dead, I was just discussing it.

And yes, I’m pretty much an arachnophobe in some situations, e.g. the other day a friend of mine was taunting me with a really large spider and was threatening it to throw it on me, my friend is a girl and I said to her, if you do that I’ll punch you in the face. I would have done. Instead though I ran out of the house banging into walls and doors on the way, I woke up the next day with an enormous bruise on my hip where I’d caught myself on some drawers. totally worth it. :)

syz's avatar

Have you ever watched an orb weaver build a web? It’s astonishing. It’s no wonder there were so many Greek and Roman myths of spiders as manipulators of fate.

I used to have a huge orb weaver that would build outside my back door (where the porch light supplied her with a smorgaborg of food every night). When she was finished with her masterpeice, I would toss a small twig into a section. She would immediately run over, cut out the damaged portion, and replace the strands to her satisfaction. She was an artiste.

When we talk about the extintion of a species, we look at the impact that occurs when there is a break in the ecosystem. If we were to eliminate spiders, it would not be a break, it would be a collapsed bridge.

cage's avatar

also, @ Marina, it would appear Arachnophobia is only for spiders, Kabourophobia is the fear of crabs.

@syz, yes I have and yes you;re right I have watched it on youtube and on TV, where I feel safe at home :)

poofandmook's avatar

Does entomophobia include arachnophobia? Or do I need to say both?

poofandmook's avatar

@cage: See, now I can’t even do that. I get the creepy-crawlies and then I feel every thing… a breeze, a thread from my shirt, brushing up against my desk… and then when I feel it, I go bashing at it to “get it off me.”

marinelife's avatar

@poofandmook Yes, you captured the spider dance perfectly.

@cage I would rethink labeling that person a friend. My siblings never went that far, but did delight in my torment sometimes.

You know you’re an arachnophobe when:

1. You have rules for how spiders are killed and for corpse disposal.

2. You feel them crawling on you hours after an encounter with one or with a web.

3. Your screams when you see a spider have been mistaken by hearers for someone being murdered.

4. You have an elaborate set of tools and procedures for dealing with spiders when you are alone and see them.

5. The worst thing that can happen is the spider gets away, because then you don’t know where it is.

6. Your spider dance has been mistaken for worship of the goddess Kali because of all the whirling limbs.

7. There are no small spiders.

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: My name is Jessica, and I am an arachnophobe. Hi, Jessica

I am guilty of all of the above. My tools for killing/disposing involve paper plates, hair spray, and medical latex gloves.

cage's avatar

@Marina, I’m not guilty of all of the above, but I know I have a fear of spiders. You know some people do experience it in different ways Marina!

btko's avatar

this story is MESSED

I have a small fear of spiders, mostly when they are in my house. If they are outside I’m fine with that – there are plenty of places for me to run.

The thing about spiders in your home is that the more there are the dirtier your home is. Normal carnivore species make up about 5% of an ecosystem. Spiders can make up around 25% of an ecosystem.

wildflower's avatar

Spiders are our allies against the flies! And at least around here, the spiders are too small to be scary or bothersome. Although I could do without the big ones you get elsewhere… rule is, if I can make eye contact with it, I run!

marinelife's avatar

@cage Each to his phobia his own way. I did not mean anything by it. Just my attempt at humor. Although all of those are true for me.

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: How do you kill spiders? lol

deaddolly's avatar

i wouldn’t miss any bug. Seriously…make them go away. Or at the very least, get rid of mosquitos.

syz's avatar

Spiders eat mosquitoes.

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