We have a lot of misconceptions in our society and I want to bring some to light. Black widows are venomous, and their bites can be fatal, but they are not at all aggressive. They will bite if mishandled, squeezed or if you threaten their egg sacs. They bite in self-defense and to defend their baby spiders. They do not run around a house looking for people to bite. In reality,all species of spiders kill approximately 7 people a year in the U.S. Black widows are responsible for some of them and brown recluse are blamed for a few. Other spiders can cause a problem if the person has an allergic reaction to the venom, but as I said, no spiders will bite you except in self-defense. In the U.S., nobody has died from a scorpion sting in over 40 years and centipedes have painful bites but the species we have in the U. S. are not deadly. In reality furniture kills more people than all the spiders, scorpions and centipedes combined. So watch out for a falling TV set!
Then we spray tons of pesticides in and around our homes to control these so-called dangerous critters. It is a scientific fact that exposure to pesticides that are commonly used by pest control companies can cause children to be 47% more likely to get leukemia and 43% more likely to get lymphoma than children who aren’t exposed to pesticides. The same pesticides have been found to cause pregnant women to have autistic children and have been linked to Parkinson’s Disease. And this is just what we know. When somebody is exposed to pesticides, they may not get sick right away or even in the near future, but the pesticides can certainly compromise their immune systems making them more likely to get sick a few years down the road.
I would never recommend letting black widows, scorpions or centipedes live in or around your home if you have children, as accidents can happen. But using pesticides applied by a pest control company is not a safe way to control them. I asked one fellow who was spraying office baseboards what he was using and he said he couldn’t pronounce it and walked away. Another fellow was spraying the baseboards in a home and using a lot of pesticides. When the homeowner asked him why, the fellow said his nozzle was broken! These are the people who are licensed and certified to spray toxic pesticides in and around your home.
There are safe, non-toxic pesticides you can buy and use yourself. It is cheaper, safer and much better for the environment if you do your own pest management without the use of toxic pesticides.
Be careful. Watch out for falling furniture and some exterminators, but don’t worry about the spiders and other bugs. There is much more to this. I have written three books and several handbooks on this subject and write columns about it in some newspapers. If you have any pest or pesticide questions, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org