Interesting Facts About Spider Silk

When you think about spiders, one of the most common images that comes to mind is probably a spider web. Webs can be frustrating when they are in or around your home, but spider silk is also pretty fascinating. Here are some interesting facts about spider silk, as well as how to get rid of it!


Spider Silk has “Exceptional Mechanical Properties”

According to Wikipedia, spider silk is one of the strongest substances on earth, meaning it can absorb a lot of energy before it will break. If you compare it weight for weight, spider silk is stronger than steel, though not as strong as kevlar.

Spiders have Specialized Glands

Spiders have unique glands that produces and extrude silk. The visible, external parts of the gland are called the spinnerets. Spiders usually have between 2-8 spinnerets that are typically found in pairs. Behind the spinneret is the rest of the gland that stores and funnels the silk.

There are Different Types of Spider Silk

Spider silk is not all the same, even within the same spider. There are many different uses for spider silk, and the spider can change up the composition of its silk to best meet the different purposes. One spider can produce up to 7 different types of silk.

Spiders Use Silk for Many Different Purposes

We are all familiar with spider webs, but spiders use their silk for many other purposes as well. Spider silk can be used for:

  • Capturing prey in webs
  • Immobilizing/wrapping prey
  • Reproduction and Pheromone trails
  • “Ballooning” or a way of dispersing and floating to new areas
  • A Source of food
  • Guide lines to help them find the way home
  • Drop lines to keep them from falling
  • Lining their nests and creating “trap doors”

Spider Silk Research is Important

While scientists have not found effective ways to extract spider silk and have not yet been able to accurately reproduce it, research on spider silk has led to huge breakthroughs in some very important products like: ballistic armor, athletic footwear, catheter coatings, insulin pumps, and many more. 

Sunshine Coast Spider Control

Spider silk is pretty amazing, but it isn’t something you want around your house. To remove spider webs, you can use a broom wrapped with a cloth or a vacuum with a long hose. These tools allow you to reach high areas without getting the sticky silk all over. If you have an infestation of spiders, the professionals at Radar Pest Control can help. Our special Sunshine Coast Spider control services include an assessment of your home and property, followed by a customized treatment plan. At Radar Pest Control, our mission is to keep your family safe and pest free.

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