Will a spider survive if you put it outside?

There are three types of people in the world: those who kill spiders on the spot, those who let them live and those who safely trap the eight legged arachnids, usually with a cup and piece of paper, and release them safely outside.

You may think you’re doing the humane thing and putting it outside, onto the grass.

But University of Canterbury’s Dr Fiona Cross, aka Doctor Spider, says whether it will actually survive the trip depends on a couple of factors.

“If for instance, it was nice and warm and it was a cold winter’s night and you moved a spider outside, into that cold, perhaps damp environment, I think the poor little spider’s probably not going to have much of a chance.

“But there are other spiders that can come into people’s houses, like for instance, jumping spiders that don’t build webs and they wander around houses. They might accidentally come into our house through a window or an open door.”

If was a sunny day, you find one of those spiders lurking around and you put it outside, it should be absolutely fine, she said.

“If we are talking about a spider that has built a web inside our house and it’s been established there, it would be a bit mean to just put it outside just because we didn’t want to see it.

“And the spider’s probably unlikely to live because it’s found itself a place that works well for it.”

It may have found a place easy to find food, and somewhere sheltered.

If you move the spider to a shed, or another structure where it could build a web, and find a food source, she said that might be a different story, and it might be fine.

“But if you just throw it outside, just anywhere, then the poor old spider’s probably not going to do too well.”

Cross said you’re likely to see daddy long-legs spiders in your home.

“There’s that myth about the dady long-legs that it’s the most dangerous spider, if it could bite – but it’s not true.

“From what I understand, it’s got barely enough venom to take down it’s prey, let alone bite someone as big as a person.”

Or you might come across a jumping spider. Perhaps surprisingly, they have remarkably good eyesight.

“The way that you tell that you’ve found a jumping spider is simply by looking at a spider and then seeing if it looks back at you.”

There may also be little cobweb spiders hanging around – in Cross’ house there’s a bathroom spider she’s named Bella.

“You don’t know how much good they’re doing because you don’t see all the insects that come into our houses.

“I know that my little bathroom spider is able to capture prey that I’m not seeing, because she’s quite a good size.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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