Entomologist Ed Bechinski decided to create University of Idaho Extension’s series of household guides to spiders, stinging insects and other creepy-crawlies in a self-defense move of sorts. His aim was not so much the critters themselves as creating a way to answer the stream of callers who were either scared or simply curious.
Bechinski’s latest effort, "Homeowner Guide to Spiders around the Home and Yard," addresses the creatures that cause the most discomfort, real and imagined. Addressing one of the series’ most commonly questioned topics, the new publication is available both in print by mail order or online.
The spider guide profiles the 10 most commonly encountered spider families in Idaho using representatives from each to illustrate the nearly 900 species of spiders known in Idaho.
Bechinski welcomes or at least tolerates nearly all spiders he finds at home or in the garden. There are three among them he won’t: the yellow sac (whose bite is as painful as a bee sting) and two, black widow and hobo spiders, that pose truly venomous threats.
As a husband as well as an entomologist, Bechinski admits that most spiders who reveal themselves at home get a swift ride outside on a newspaper. The true threats are just as likely to be swatted.
Spiders, he is quick to say, do play an important role as predators that keep insect pests inside and out in check.
Check out other guides in Bechinski’s series at: