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Spider Problem back...
I mentioned the nasty looking spider I saw outside my neighbour's apartment. Well, hopefully I'll never see anything like that in my apartment, but I have been getting small black and white spiders that can jump several centimeters at a time.

Generally I just try not to think about it too much. But it seems like their favorite place to be is on my bed...Whenever I see them they are either climbing towards or over my bed. Still, I haven't been losing much sleep over it.

However, where I would ignore or relocate them before, they have now made my kill list.

Sounds to me like it may be one of the many spiders belonging to the family Salticidae, better known as Jumping Spiders. They are my fave spiders, due to their inquisitiveness, lack of fear, and athletic ability.

Traits..Jumping Spiders are active hunters and do not build webs to catch their prey, but like the Wolf Spiders, will hunt them down actively. They are very easily identifiable as they have a row of four large eyes, two of which are exceedingly large, and above them, there is a row of four much smaller eyes. The two very large eyes, will positively ID the spider as a Jumping Spider. Jumping Spiders have very good eyesight, for a spider. There are almost 5000 different species of Jumping Spiders, and most of them are quite small.

Inquisitiveness,,,Unlike many spiders that will run and hide when approached, a Jumping Spider will sometimes advance towards a hand that is placed in front of them and will often hop right on. They are fearless, and will not flee, even if a finger is waved in front of them, but will rear up their front ends with legs in the air in a defensive posture. Jumping Spiders will not bite unless they feel threatened and almost all Jumping Spider venom is harmless to humans and will only cause a localized reaction, similar to a bee sting or mosquito bite.

Acrobatics...Jumping Spiders have the ability to jump very long distances as compared to their size. When jumping off of a ledge, a Jumping Spider will leave a web strand tag line just in case it's leap becomes errant and they wind up where they don't want, or miss their target completely. They can simply climb back up that tag line and try again.

The most amazing thing about Jumping Spiders is the way that they jump. If you look at their bodies, their legs do not have the muscle tone that you would think necessary for them to propel themselves for such great distances. Jumping insects like grasshoppers, and crickets all have rear legs that are both muscular and allow them to apply leverage in order to make their great jumps. Jumping Spiders do not have these type of legs. The fact is, is that these arachnids do not use muscles to propel them into the air, but have the unique ability to regulate their blood pressures. This is unique in the entire animal kingdom. By pressurizing the blood vessels in their legs, they are able to use a type of hydraulic pressure in order to make their legs move with such a force that would propel them into the air.
It is quite amazing.

Bottom line...Jumping Spiders are not dangerous and are as interesting to watch and even handle, as they are beneficial. They rarely bite, and even if they do, it is only mildly painful, like a bee sting. I love looking into those two big eyes, and wonder what that spider is thinking of.

Well, I'm thinking that probably explains the mysterious mosquito like bites I've been getting at night. They may only bite when threatened but then I do move a lot in my sleep. So I've decided they kind of have to go.

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I don't usually kill spiders but, yeah, I agree. Sounds like it's worth getting rid of these.
by pete (Peter Mapley)