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When most of us think of spiders, we shudder in fear, disgust, or sheer horror. However, while that may be our first thought, the fact of the matter is that spiders are not our enemies.

In a very informative article, Matt Bertone an Entomologist who works with North Caroline State University explains something I think everyone needs to hear.

While spiders may have a creepy-crawly feel or nature, they are fellow organisms. They are living, breathing creatures, and they are here for a reason.

Most of us tend to believe if we keep our home clean and in order, spiders simply won’t thrive there. However, this isn’t reality. When Matt and his colleagues went and surveyed 50 North Caroline dwellings they found an interesting fact: spiders were in every home they visited.

The vast majority of those were harmless cobwebs and cellar spiders.

While to us, spiders are just a nuisance, these creatures spend their lives catching real pests like mosquitos, fleas, and other bugs that may find their way into your home. And if you have pets, mosquitos put them at risk for heartworms. So, you can think of spiders as your friends.

On a very instinctual level, we fear these creatures. But, as long as you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. And if you simply cannot live in harmony with them, catch them and release them, rather than kill them.

The good part is, you probably have hundreds of them living in your home, and never even see them. By nature, they tend to stick to themselves. They prefer to ignore us as much as we want to ignore them.

And if you have severe arachnophobia, there are plenty of helpful resources online that can help you live with your fear and even move forward from it.