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General Fallacies

Your house (and any other house) contains 10-30 spider species, not just one!


Why, oh why, do people think any unfamiliar spider must be "new to the area" and presumed dangerous?


The spider you're trying to identify does not have to be one of the few species you've already heard of!

Pulverized spider remains

Spiders sent for ID in an envelope (even if padded) are likely to arrive powdered! Send it in a rigid container, preferably in alcohol.


Don't trust physicians and pest control operators to correctly identify a spider; only an arachnologist has the required training and skill.

Cybaeus reticulatus on yellow background

A picture that "looks just like" your spider does not identify it!

Spider on quarter

Please use inches or centimeters, not "silver dollars" or other coins, to describe the size of spiders!

Tip of leg of orbweaving spider, showing claws.

The oft-repeated "spiders don't stick to their own webs thanks to oil on the feet" is wrong — the story is much more complicated.

Remains of rove beetle

Books say spiders don't eat solids but "suck the juices" of their prey. False! All spiders digest solids externally with vomited enzymes.

Cartoon by Owen Curtsinger showing a concerned commuter 3 feet from a spider

Despite "common knowledge," the nearest spider could be hundreds of meters away—or right under your feet. It depends!

Cartoon by Owen Curtsinger of spider taking it easy in the summer

In late summer when people notice garden orbweavers and giant house spiders, most native spiders are juvenile.

Illustration of dictyna sublata female and male.

It's easy to tell males from females, so please don't call all spiders "he" or "him."


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