How to save money and build your own house spider
A new breed of house spider is emerging in cities across the U.S. and the U of T’s College of Architecture is helping to make them more common.
The house spider’s name comes from the shape of its abdomen, which is a round tube.
But its most unusual feature is the size of its egg sac.
The sac is only about two centimetres wide and is covered in a dense web of silk.
“The web is not very flexible, so if you push it, it gets squeezed,” said Laura Leblanc, associate professor in the College of Art and Design.
“So the egg sac is really like a ball with a ball inside it.
When you push against it, you pull out the ball.”
Leblanc said the egg-sac web is particularly effective for capturing the scent of spiders, and keeping them from escaping.
“If the web is loose, they’re easy to grab,” she said.
“You don’t have to worry about spiders escaping the nest, or catching them and eating them.”
LeBlanc is also working on a new project that is using the egg and sac web to catch house spiders.
“We’re trying to find ways to use the web to capture spiders,” she added.
“We are looking at ways to put spiders on the web so that they can’t escape, but we don’t know what we would do if they could.”
Lebron and co-researchers have been working on the project for the past two years, and have already captured more than 70 spiders.
They have been experimenting with different methods, such as placing a camera inside the egg to capture the spiders’ scent, using a small tube that can be hooked to a wire, or using a net and a spider-catching device.
“One of the things that makes this really unique is that it’s using the web itself,” Leblanc said.
“The egg sac can’t be seen.
We can see the spider’s web underneath, and it’s really difficult to get close.”
The egg-web method works best when the web has a thick layer of silk, Leblon said, but a web can be too thick to capture a spider.
“With the web being so thin, it’s like trying to catch a ball that’s not very hard,” she explained.
“You’re trying hard to grab it, and you can’t do that.
It’s a very effective capture method.”
Le Blanc and her colleagues have been able to capture more than 100 spiders using this method, and Leblanche believes the web captures the spiders more easily than a net.
“It’s really nice that it works in a very specific way because it’s very efficient,” she laughed.
“What we’ve learned is that you can do it in any weather and you don’t need a large net, you can just put it in the garage or whatever.”
Lebezle’s team has been using a large mesh net, which they call the Tumulus.
She said they have seen spiders escaping from a mesh net as soon as it is put in place.
“I can see why people are getting frustrated by spiders escaping,” Lebez Leblanca said.”[The mesh net] is very flexible.
We put it on the garage, on the street, it goes wherever the weather is good.”
The spider trap is just one of many ways Leblans researchers are working to capture house spiders and keep them from leaving.
Leblanches team is working on other projects to control pests, such the spider trap and trap doors.
“There’s a lot of things that we’re trying in our projects, and we’ve really developed a system that we use in our workshops, to get spiders out of our trap, or to get them out of the trap door and then put them in a trap,” LeBlanc said.