Why, you may wonder, should spiders be our friends ? Because they
many insects, and insects include some of the greatest enemies of
race. Insects would make it impossible for us to live in the world;
devour all our crops and kill our flocks and herds, if it were not
for the protection
we get from insect-eating animals. We owe a lot to the birds and
beasts who eat
insects but all of them put together kill only a fraction of the
by spiders. Moreover, unlike some of the other insect eaters,
spiders never do
the least harm to us or our belongings.
Spiders are not insects, as many people think, nor even nearly
related to them.
One can tell the difference almost at a glance for a spider always
has eight legs
and an insect never more than six.
How many spiders are engaged in this work on our behalf ? One
spiders made a census of the spiders in a grass field in the south
of England, and
he estimated that there were more than 2,250,000 in one acre, that
like 6,000,000 spiders of different kinds on a football pitch.
Spiders are busy for
at least half the year in killing insects. It is impossible to make
more than the
wildest guess at how many they kill, but they are hungry creatures,
with only three meals a day. It has been estimated that the weight
of all the insects
destroyed by spiders in Britain in one year would be greater than
weight of all the human beings in the country.
T. H. GILLESPIE Spare that Spider from The Listener