All ABOUT SPIDERS

Spiders are arachnids, not insects, yet they both belong to the arthropods, the broadest group of animals on earth having hard exterior skeletons and jointed limbs. Spiders have eight legs and are divided into two bodily parts – the abdomen and cephalothorax. Additionally, spiders have jaws named chelicerae with fang-like extensions at the tip. Certain spider species have modified mouthparts that they use to capture or crush their victim.

What do Spiders eat?

House spiders such as wolf spiders and jumping spiders normally eat mayflies, moths, fleas, earwigs, flies, cockroaches, crickets, ants, mosquitos, moths, gnats, grasshoppers and beetles. They are fantastic at pest control. If you are keeping a house spider as a pet, you may give them a variety of foods including roaches, small caterpillars, crickets, mealworms, and fruit flies [1].

The life cycle of Spiders

The spider life cycle is divided into four stages: egg, egg sac, spiderling, and adult.

 First Egg
Females retain spermatophores after mating until they are all ready to produce eggs. The number of eggs laid varies according to the spider species and might range from a few to hundreds of thousands. Typically, these eggs are enveloped in a silk egg sac[2].

Egg Sac
The egg sac, which is used to shield the eggs from the weather and predators like ants and birds, is also used to develop the offspring. Within a few weeks, the eggs begin to hatch. While some spiders carry the sac until the eggs hatch, others place it in a safe spot such as a burrow, beneath the bark, or amid leaves or vegetation.

Spiderlings
Spiderlings are juvenile spiders that resemble their parents. The spiderlings instantly disperse after emerging from the egg sac, either by walking or ballooning. These baby spiders molt multiple times during their development and remain vulnerable until the new exoskeleton is formed.

Adult
Most spider species achieve maturity after five to ten molts. A spider’s average life span varies by species and might be as little as a year or two. The majority of spiders live for only one season

Reproduction of Spiders

Spiders may lay up to 3,000 eggs, commonly in one or more silk sacs, depending on the species. The female of certain spider specie dies after hatching the eggs. Others attach the egg sacs to their spinnerets or carry the egg sac in their chelicerae. Some spiders conceal their eggs in nests or wrap them into their webs.

Spiders develop larvae within their eggs. Spiders lay such large numbers of eggs because not all eggs reach maturity.   When the eggs hatch, smaller versions of the adult spiderlings emerge[3].

Prevention

  • Remove insects that provide a food source. Look in and around the webs to observe what insects have been caught.
  • Individual spiders that have wandered inside should be captured and removed.
  • To limit the number of good spider sites, remove clutter, boxes, papers, and bags.
  • Webbing may be removed using a broom or vacuum, and any egg sacs found should be destroyed.
  • Examine the area surrounding windows, in corners, and in quiet areas in particular.
  • Spiders can be detected using sticky traps (such as cockroach traps or glue boards).
  • Place traps around the walls, beneath furniture and appliances, and in other areas.
  • Use pesticide in gaps, cracks, and other locations where spiders could hide.
  • Surface treatments and fog are ineffective.
  • The majority of pesticides labeled for cockroaches and ants also include a spider indication.
  • These products are often offered in aerosol and liquid versions that are ready to use.

References

  1. https://www.scienceabc.com/nature/animals/what-do-spiders-eat.html
  2. Edgar, W. D. (1971). The life-cycle, abundance, and seasonal movement of the wolf spider, Lycosa (Pardosa) lugubris, in central Scotland. The Journal of Animal Ecology, 303-322.
  3. Riechert, S. E., & Lockley, T. (1984). Spiders as biological control agents. Annual review of entomology, 29(1), 299-320.

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