Here’s why you don’t kill the spider… why should you?
The typical, first answer is that it bites.
Or that it’s creepy.
Or that it will crawl into your mouth at night… um… well – first things first.

Spiders almost never bite people. 

Many couldn’t if they tried. Those that can, typically won’t. Spiders bite to eat. Just like we do. But it’s more than that...

When they eat, spiders bite, but they don’t chew. That’s an important thing to understand for people who are nervous about spiders (you know who you are). 

Imagine if you could bite but not chew. If you got a big bite of peanut butter and jelly sandwich in your mouth and you couldn’t chew, you’d have a hard time swallowing it. But, if you got a bunch of spit in your mouth and swirled the sandwich around with the saliva… your spit isn’t like water, it has chemicals in it, enzymes, that help you digest your food. Sooner or later you could swallow your mushy meal. It may take some time...

Spiders are the same – except they cannot put their food in their mouths. So their fangs are like hypodermic needles when you get a shot and the doctor pushes the plunger and the medicine goes through the needle into you. They squirt enzymes into their food to turn it into mush… then they slurp up the mush! It takes some time, too... It sounds gross, but it is very important to us.

Since spiders don’t eat people, they don’t waste their enzymes on us – unless they feel they absolutely have to! If we know this, and don’t freak out when we see spiders, they don’t need to feel threatened! 

Spiders almost never bite people.

They get blamed for a lot they don’t actually do. Lots of little things that live around us can cause a reaction that could be diagnosed as a spider bite. Treatment is the same – usually nothing to worry about. Once again, the spider gets blamed, when it is probably actually there eating whatever caused that red bump in the first place! 

I don’t think this means walk up to the next spider you see and make friends. But it could. 

Careful observation of the word ‘respect’ will reveal it’s true meaning ‘look again.’ 

You can’t look again if you’re running, screaming, stomping and flailing. The key to a real respectful interaction is understanding. The better you understand the situation, the more respectful you are (unless you’re bad). If you take a second look at the spiders we live with (knowing they are very unlikely to do anything bad to you) you will be surprised what you’ve been missing in your world. 

Simple, beautiful Nature.

(oh, and as far as a tiny animal crawling into the hot, wet, carbon dioxide spewing mouth of a huge, hairy animal like you – a predator no doubt – look at those pointy teeth! – not likely. Can you say… being eaten? And what if? Look at you – you’re doing just fine whether you eat spiders or not!)