Recently, we linked to an article on our facebook page by an entomologist blogger who discussed the use of scare tactics in journalism, particularly in relation to extremely unpopular pests like spiders. Now granted, we’re not afraid to employ the spook factor on occasion to make people’s jaws drop because there really are some pests in the world that no one wants to meet during daily life. However, we want people to have a proper perspective on pests. Right now, spiders are a hot topic in Knoxville and surrounding areas because it’s been an extremely webby year, so let’s talk about them for a bit.

The article linked above said that, on average, people should assume that they’re within six feet of a spider at any given point. This is not good news. There are some people who just don’t mind the presence of spiders (I live with one of those people, and it’s completely baffling to me). However, most people don’t want to think about being less than half a room away from a spider while they sleep. Let us be reasonable, though. Most of those spiders are really tiny, and you probably wouldn’t even notice them if you passed them in broad daylight. There are a lot of arachnids in our country that are so small that they couldn’t bite you even if they wanted to. Their jaws are just too tiny to get through our thick skin, and all of those spiders are more than eager to get out of your way as quickly as possible if you cross paths. Of the ones that could bite you, the vast majority of them are 100% motivated not to do so (since it’s almost assuredly going to spell certain death for them). Of the ones that could bite you and might do it, most will hurt noticeably less than a bee sting and will leave behind a mark that will be gone within 48 hours. The pool of truly troublesome spiders in the U.S. is just not very large.

However, we’re in the pest control industry. We’re in this business because we understand that people can recognize that most spiders are not going to hurt them while still maintaining the conviction that sharing space with them is unacceptable. We get that. This is a service industry; we’re here to help people and relieve some pain or stress in their lives.

So, here’s the perspective that we like to convey to people. In most cases, pest control is about controlling pests, not eliminating them everywhere forever. You would be very upset if we blasted every spider off your property because your house would quickly be overrun by all manner of scuttling and flying pests. Spiders really do have a crucial part in the circle of life around your house. We want to keep the spiders out of your house so they don’t bother you while still allowing them to help with the pest control on the rest of your property.

We absolutely do treatments for spiders, and we would be glad to talk to you about that if you need one. We’ll also knock down their webs around your doors and windows when we come to do a pest control treatment; this makes good sense because a spider who is not living right next to an entrance to your home is a lot less likely invite herself in to stay for a while. We don’t want to you meet wolf spiders while doing your laundry, so we’ll pay particular attention to areas that are most likely to foster hunting grounds for large spiders like that. But, try to remember that spiders can be a little bit cool (from a distance) and that they’re absolutely crucial in the scheme of the world.

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