I will admit, I’ve got a bit of arachnophobia. If I see a spider, no matter how small or harmless, I will scream and run away. In fact, last summer while in Oregon for a friend’s wedding I ended up having a spider scare. I woke up to what I believed to be a brown recluse crawling across my hotel ceiling at 4:30 in the morning. One trip to the front desk later, and rather than the new room that I requested, they sent up someone to kill the spider. It also turned out that the spider was just a regular spider and not a deadly brown recluse.
For my fellow arachnophobes, it would be nice to be able to identify your eight-legged opponents. And thanks to technology, now there is an app that lets you tell the difference between the creepy crawlers that terrify us so much.
“Spider in da House” is the app that is full of photos, identification tips, and other helpful information to help you identify what it is that is crawling around your home. While we may see them as the enemy, one University of Gloucestershire researcher, Adam Hart, pointed out that they do serve a function. Even though they might not be the most ideal houseguests, Hart did note that they do function as pest control since they eat flies and other insects that can cause problems in the home. Hart said spiders “are important in ecosystems. They often feed on the most common species, preventing a few species from becoming dominant.”
The app was sponsored by both the University of Gloucestershire, as well the UK-based Society for Biology. At the moment, many of the spider species put on the app are of the European varieties, but there are also a lot of those common European spiders, such as the hobo spider or the European garden spider, that are also common in the US as well.
According to a statement by the Society of Biology, they were inspired to create the app after a public survey yielded some really alarming results – no one could identify spider species. As Hart stated, “We want to encourage people to respect and learn more about their little house guests.”
Now that the app is out there, there is a wealth of identification information on spiders in order for you to be able to tell what spider is in your house. And it’s free and available on both Apple and Android devices.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.