I’m not usually scared of spiders; however the one I found in the bath the other day was enough to make even my creepy crawly loving son scream. I know they are generally harmless but there is something a little unnerving about them. Co-incidentally my son had a project at school on spiders so we started to look at some facts.
The common house spider’s scientific name is Tegenaria domestica and like all spiders they have eight legs, a fused head and thorax and an abdomen. Including their legs a spider can span up to 50mm, although giant house spiders can have a leg span of up to 75mm. The webs they weave form an untidy sheet with a funnel shaped retreat usually somewhere near the edge. They lay their eggs in batches in small silk cocoons and the young spiders live here for the first 2-3 days, a male spider can live for as long as two years.
Surprisingly we found out that it is a myth that spiders can come up from your bath plug hole, they would not be able to pass through the water in the u shape bend, something I had never thought of! The spiders that you find in the bath are usually males on the hunt for females, they fall into the bath and can’t climb up the smooth sides.
Spiders generally are harmless but there are occasions when you may need to be concerned. Infestations of spiders can arise if a food source is nearby for example a large number of flying insects for the spiders to feast on. Removing webs regularly can help control spiders within the home, even is a spider is not in the web, they tend to hide away from light and predators in cracks and crevices. In extreme circumstances venomous spiders can be carried over in fruit or vegetables from overseas and this type are hard to identify and can potentially be harmful – I would defiantly scream and run at this type! If this occurs professional help should be sought.
Next time I come across a spider in the bath I won’t think its climbed up the plug hole!