Myths About Spiders That Have Already Been Busted

Sadly, most creepy-crawlies will be met with the bottom of a shoe once they enter someone's home, spiders definitely included. Those eight-legged arachnids are at the very top of the phobia list for many people. In fact, a study shared by Science Direct found that spiders rank number one on the list of childhood fears, even placed above the fear of being kidnapped.

Why are people so afraid of spiders? Perhaps it's because of horror films like "Arachnophobia" or "Eight Legged Freaks," which perpetuate the stereotype that all of them are out for human blood. Or, maybe you experienced childhood trauma that resulted in an immediate need to take the bug out before it gets you first.

Either way, there are several myths out there about spiders that, while sometimes very convincing, are nothing more than that — myths.It may be true that there isn't anything we could say to convince you that spiders aren't all bad. However, there are some truths we would love to share so you can sleep a little more peacefully at night.

Turns out, most spiders are incredibly harmless

We know what you're thinking: "What about that spider bite I got a few years ago?" We're glad you brought that up. You may be shocked to learn that those spider bites you thought you had were most likely from another insect, such as a flea or mosquito, or a skin infection (via LiveScience). Chris Buddle, an arachnologist at McGill University, told the site that in his two decades of experience with spiders, he'd never once been bitten. In fact, he revealed that "you really have to work to get bitten by a spider because they don't want to bite you."

You would also be comforted to learn that, no, you don't swallow eight spiders a year while you sleep (per Snopes). The thought of a hairy, long-legged creature crawling into your mouth while you're in the middle of your beauty rest is enough to haunt anybody, but fear not! They probably aren't even in your room at all, let alone near your mouth. Oh, and that myth that you're never more than 3 feet away from a spider at any given time? Also not true (via Burke Museum).

Nothing ruins your daily hot girl walk faster than stumbling into a spider web. But, did you know not all spiders make webs? In fact, according to National Geographic, most don't. One spider that doesn't spin webs is the "daddy long-legs," which contrary to popular belief, is a total sweetheart of an insect (via UCR Spider Research).

Spider myths that are actually true

While many spider species don't use their silk to spin webs, that doesn't mean there's no silk being produced at all. In fact, every single known spider produces it, per National Geographic. They utilize their silk for shelter, transportation, communication, and mating. And although humans don't naturally produce silk, there are a few noteworthy similarities between the arachnid and humans that you may not know. For example, you like to get drunk with your besties on the weekend, and so do spiders (well, kind of). Turns out, spiders can feel the effects of several substances including alcohol, marijuana, and caffeine (via The Sun).

Also, spiders exist on every human-inhabited continent in the world, according to Tech Times. From Asia to Africa (but excluding Antarctica), those eight-legged crawlers can be found pretty much everywhere. And yes, all spiders have eight legs! 

While there are spiders out there that are deadly — though the fraction is incredibly minuscule when compared to those that aren't — the chances of you succumbing to the lethal effects of a spider bite are very low (via Britannica). So, the next time a spider finds its way into your home, rest assured that you can trap and release it back outside so that both of you can happily go on with your day!