Save a Spider Day

14th March is Save a Spider Day and Bristol Zoo has some top tips to try and help save spiders.

Mark Bushell our Assistant Curator of Invertebrates at Bristol Zoological Society has given us some top tips.

Spiders get a lot of bad press, especially recently following the story of a “deadly” spider found in a bunch of bananas.

Many people find spiders fascinating but for others they are simply terrifying and can seriously affect their lives. Our culture does nothing to dispel the myths, with spider television programmes often accompanied by sinister music and gothic lighting.

90% of spider are, however, completely harmless. The egg-sac, if that’s what it was on the banana, most likely belonged to a harmless spider.  

Q. How should I remove spiders from my house?

For those who are unaffected by the presence of spiders, try and leave them be suggests Bristol Zoo’s assistant curator of invertebrates, Mark Bushell, who says “the best thing to do with spiders in your house if just ignore them. Spiders are harmless and are actually doing you a service by eating flies that are also in your home.”

For those who would like the spiders removed then the classic ‘glass and a stiff piece of card’ technique is the best way to pop them outside.

Q:  I found a spider in my shopping…what do I do?

The majority of spiders that come into the UK as accidental imports such as on bananas are completely harmless.  A lot of them are bigger than our native species which can add to the illusion that they are all dangerous. If you are genuinely concerned that the spider may be harmful, contact your local zoo.

Q. Why should we save spiders?

Spiders carry out an essential role. They are a key part of ecosystems, eating other bugs and in turn being eaten, passing the nutrients up the system. As for in your house, they can act in much the same way, trapping and limiting the number of other flies. They fill a vital role as predators in a wide range of ecosystems. There are at least 36,000 species of spiders and without them the most diverse food webs in the world would collapse. Through their choice of prey species, spiders also help limit the transmission of insect borne diseases.

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