(CNN) The next time you see a spider crawling around your house, look at the bright side. It’s probably feasting on a bunch of other insects and providing you with free pest control.
A new study released on Tuesday says that spiders eat an estimated 400 to 800 million metric tons of insects every year.
For comparison, the entire human population consumes about 400 million tons of meat and fish every year.
“Our estimates for spiders appear to be of the same order of magnitude as the prey kill by whales in the world’s oceans which has been estimated to be in the range of 280-500 million tons annually,” wrote the authors in The Science of Nature.
The eight-legged carnivores eat an astounding amount, highlighting their natural role in getting rid of pests and insects that transmit diseases or parasites.
They also have uncanny survival mechanisms. Spiders have been found in the northern most islands of the Arctic, the hottest deserts, at the highest altitudes of any living organisms, bogs, sand dunes and other types of habitats. Essentially, they’ll go wherever they can find food.
“There is hardly any terrestrial area on this globe where spiders would be missing,” wrote the researchers, Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel and Klaus Birkhofer of Lund University in Sweden and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg in Germany.
The researchers estimate that there’s probably around 25 million metric tons of spiders in the world.
They used two models to calculate how much prey spiders consume and the average number of spiders per square meter in a certain habitat.
“Our estimates of the global annual prey kill imply that spiders exert considerable predation pressure on insect populations, especially in forests and grasslands,” wrote Nyffeler and Birkhofer.
Listen here. I don’t fuck with spiders. Anybody who fucks with spiders can’t be trusted. I know me being like “Fuck spiders” isn’t exactly a game changer in terms of a strong opinion because most people don’t like spiders but with this new information I want to get ahead of the ball here. This is an example of why sometimes scientists need to kindly fuck off. The negativity they spread with global warming is one thing. Facts are facts and we’ve probably done a lot of things as humans that ultimately have really messed our planet up, so if some nerds want to play with their calculators and do some science and figure out how to fix our mistakes, I’m all for it.
I drink almond milk sometimes, so you could make the argument I’m pretty cultured and immersed in this new age of personal health and global awareness and shit. I like snow, so I recognize that global warming is bad. But now we have scientists going out of their way to spread nonsense about how spiders are actually good and helping us? I don’t want to hear it anymore. I’ve probably killed 1000 spiders in my life. I’ll step on them. I’ll drown them. I’ll pick them up with a tissue and then squeeze the tissue really tightly so it dies.
I don’t know if any of you know what a spricket is, but it’s half-spider, half-cricket. Look it up. We had them living in my basement for a while and they would crawl through the vents and heating system in our house and then hop around at night and they’re fucking huge and very difficult to kill because they’re agile as hell. One night I woke up to one on my face and to this day if my pillowcase or blankets touch my face and I’m not expecting it I immediately am brought back to that incident and freak out. It was traumatic. My point is you can tell me all the good things spiders are doing for the ecosystem and how they actually eat millions of tons of insects a year and all this other stuff but it doesn’t change the fact that spiders suck. Let the record show that I will continue to kill every spider I see, because I don’t like them. I don’t trust them, I don’t understand them, and anything I don’t trust or understand is bad for me. Carry on, nerds.