Spiders are in the same group as ticks and mites: the Arachnids. 45,700 different species exist in this group and are found in nearly every habitat worldwide. Spiders play a significant beneficial role in our environment by consuming nuisance insects and other arthropods that often annoy humans. There are about 2,000 identified species of spiders in the U.S.

All spiders use venom to kill and digest prey. The specific components of spider venom varies significantly between species, but most spiders are of little public health significance since few possess venom that will affect humans. Still, spider bites can result in uncomfortable pain and swelling. Spiders usually only bite people in self-defense, or because someone has accidentally disturbed a spider in an unexpected area.

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A Guide to Spiders

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