You all know this famous nursery rhyme “Incy Wincy spider climbed up the water spout, down came the rain and washed the spider out, out came the sun and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again!” This nursery rhyme was meant for toddlers and recited by many-a-pre school kids all over the world. And yet, why are so many people, women all the more, so afraid of the spider?

Actually, most spiders mean more help than harm. They are one of the best pest controllers we may have in the house.They feed on flies, mosquitoes, roaches and unwanted bugs. These eight legged arachnids are found in almost every corner of our house or even in our gardens. They are harmless little creatures that spin sticky webs to catch insects. The most common household ones are called Portia or jumping spiders. Those found on corners are known as daddy long legs. They have a miniscule round body with eight long legs. Despite its tiny size, many of us would scream with fright upon seeing a spider. Others would instinctively swat the hapless little critter to death. Fear of spiders is called arachnophobia. The common little house spider must be considered a friend. They may look scary but they mean no harm to us.

Spiders are found everywhere in the world except in the Antartica. Yes, there are venomous and deadly arachnids like the Black Widow spider, commonly found in Australia. It is so small, but its bite can kill a human being.

In South America and some parts of Africa, large spiders as big as a dinner plate are likewise venomous. They are called Tarantula’s. These big and colorful hairy spiders prey on birds and mice. At least we do not have those kinds in the Philippines except for the Red Back spider. It is a cousin of the Black Widow but are rarely found. We have garden spiders called Crab spiders that has a hard shell similar to a crab. They are likewise tiny and harmless. The Electric Cable spider is the most common mid-sized spider found in mostparts of the Philippines. They are usually found hanging with big webs on street electric cables or tall trees. Quite large but they are non-venomous. There are many other species of spiders that abound in the tropics.

In the Philippines, spider fighting has gained popularity similar to cockfighting. Big bets are placed on the table while two gladiator spiders fight to the death while perched on a broom stick. They are housed in small partioned cubicles inside match boxes. Betting can reach thousands of pesos in some places. This “sport” originated from Japan where it is practiced seriously and professionally.

So, next time you see an incy wincy spider, just relax and let it be. Spiders are the scourge of house flies, mosquitoes, and other insect pests. However, should you encounter a venomous spider that’s a different story. Many people in Australia, South America and Africa view these bad guys as the devil re-incarnate.

Since a big majority of house spiders are completely harmless, let’s protect them. They are our pests irradiators. And they doit for free! And hey, don’t believe the notion that being bitten by a spider would turn you into SPIDERMAN!

[Originally published at bitLanders.com rated 4/5 Star]


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