Spider Fact

  • Spiders don't get caught in their own webs because they have self-oiling legs.
  • The largest spider in the world is a species of tarantula found in South America where one specimen had a leg span of over 11 inches.
  • A female tarantula found in South America weighed 1/3 of a pound, and had fangs 1 inch long.
  • The large "bird spider" tarantulas of South America have been known to live over 27 years.
  • The most dangerous spider to humans may be the Sydney Funnel Web Spider whose venom is so potent and fast-acting that they could potentially kill a small child within 15 minutes. Since an anti-venom was developed for them there have been no more human deaths.
  • The common belief that the "Daddy Long Legs" spider has the world's most potent venom is a MYTH. There have been no studies on the venom of this spider to determine its potency, and since it is incapable of biting humans it is of no matter anyhow. The "true" Daddy Long Legs - by the way - is not even a true spider. It is a spider-relative called a Harvestman, and it is not venomous, cannot bite, and is a scavenger in nature.
  • The name "tarantula" comes from the wild dancing - called tarantula - that people would do when they were bitten by a large spider, in the belief that the wild activity would save their lives and limit the effect of the venom.
  • Spider silk is extremely strong and extremely elastic. It may be stretched up to 25% of its own length.
  • Black Widow spider silk was used for making the cross hairs in bomb sites of World War II aircraft.
  • Spider silk from some House Spiders has been used to help stop bleeding from wounds, by placing a mat of silk over the wound
  • Little Miss Muffett, of nursery rhyme fame, was a real person. Her father was the Reverend Doctor Thomas Muffett, who lived in England in the 16th century and who had a fascination for things from Nature. Apparently, in order to determine the effect various spiders' bites would have on people Dr. Muffett would subject his daughter to the bites.
  • The Violin Spider lives in the central and southern states of the United States. It does not reside in California, but California doctors report the most Violin Spider bites of people of any state in the country. Similarly, several counties in Florida also report high numbers of Violin Spider bites and no Violin Spiders have ever been found in those counties.
  • Black widow spider bites can cause intense pain and stiffness, occasionally followed by muscle spasms, abdominal pain, chills, fever and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • The brown recluse spider bite is painless but may cause a spreading, tissue-killing wound. Infrequently, reactions include fever, chills, joint pain and convulsions. Death is rare.
  • Problems with spiders were higher in the west (49%)
  • 36% of homeowners surveyed said they had problems with spiders during the past year.