Which ignorant person killed the spider in the kitchen?

Friday October 22 2021
Spider pic

Spiders are resourceful in our houses utilising their webs to ensnare and trap unwanted insects.

By Freddy Macha

I started noticing small fruit flies roaming the kitchen had vanished. Flies are a menace we all detest. This is not because they bite. They are harmless little monsters. All they do is eat dirt. Just that.

Everywhere across our planet you find words like “the place stank and was filled with flies”, (UK); “Platsen stinker. Den Ar Fylld med flugor” (Sweden); “O lugar fede. Easta cheio de moscas” (Brazil); “Jagah badaboo aa rahee hai. Yah makkhiyon se bhara hai” (India); “Yantin almakani. Anaha maliyat bialdhubab” (Middle East); “Botawi yishetali. Bezinibochi temolitwali” (Ethiopia)... etc, etc.

Flies are associated with filth, stink and consequently, illness. That is why we boil water, wash hands and utensils with soap and keep our foods covered. Flies annoy us 24/7.

But if we throw away this science of self-preservation, flies are actually quite significant. Highly sensed and clever. Who else is SOOO punctual? You drop any stinker around, be it faeces or vomit. In less than a minute you will see a fly. Masters of communication. Faster than police and ambulance answering 999 calls.

What does that mean?

It means they are significant in the food chain. A number of creatures we detest and abhor serve a purpose. Imagine if vultures and hyenas and rats did not exist? Who would have gotten rid of the carcasses in the wild? Would we drive our takataka lorries to clear up jungles with leftovers of dead creatures? What about THAT which CANNOT be eaten, even by hyenas?

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Maggots feed on the very last meal on earth. Maggots are ALSO significant in the food chain. So are rats and foxes and dear flies. They keep our planet spotless. Yes, we do clean.

However, can we do everything? Nature is much stronger than us, although over the centuries humans have managed to create tools of hygiene.

Hygiene is a word worth giving an award. That is why we have ministries for health and government departments that authorise, oversee, and make sure that the foods and clothes we love are of a certain standard. We have to maintain good hygiene: a mantra taught from when we start crawling, through school and learning to count to ten.

That is why I was ecstatic not seeing any flies in the kitchen. A communal kitchen at a place I frequented. I did notice the cobwebs each time I trekked past the premise. Cobwebs of that amazing insect. An insect that has according to Wikipedia, been around our globe for over 300 million years.

Spiders belong to “a class of joint legged invertebrate animals” known as arthropods. Arthropods include scorpions and ticks. Ticks are as disliked as flies, not only for spreading diseases but being parasites, who bite and suck the blood of livestock, birds and us. Scorpions? Trillion words to describe scorpions. One popular example is horoscopes. It is alleged by astrologers that people born from October 24 to November 22 are Scorpions. Among their characteristics is “being extremely emotional, deep and intense”. No wonder Scorpions are associated with being control freaks and sexual.

But that is astrology and sun influence. The actual scorpion itself is a predator akin to spiders. Slightly older (at least 435 million years) Scorpions prefer dry areas, e.g. deserts. They are eaten in various countries. You can sip and relish and enjoy scorpion wine in Vietnam, for example. Yummie!

Now.

With spiders , it is similar info. Like scorpions, spiders have eight legs and are equally, deadly predators. Add the eight eyes. The word “website” was inspired by spiders’ silk design.

This amazing web creation has already been used to design bullet proof vests. Spiders are resourceful in our houses utilising their webs to ensnare and trap unwanted insects. And being so wonderful why kill them? We humans just adore smothering spiders. The fear of spiders is considered key, but without sounding over sentimental, these creatures are our unpaid police.

This column has chatted about spiders and why crushing and “murdering” them is stupid. Of course there are types that are very poisonous like the infamous black widows, the Brazilian wandering spider and Australian funnel-web spiders. Nevertheless, the majority are potential cleaners and guardians of our environment.

“Without spiders to eat pests harmful to agriculture, it’s thought that our food supply would be put at risk.”

I quoted Emily Shackleton in her 2015 London Metro article listing nine advantages of spiders.

As we speak scientists in Chile are exploring the spider’s venom to create a cure for erectile dysfunction and “as a male contraceptive pill”.

With the way the world is currently going and young males losing potency due to unhealthy lifestyles, spiders could be both a love and life saviours.

That is why I was not happy with the person who squashed the huge spider in that London communal kitchen.