Spider silk is one of the most interesting materials in nature. Pound-for-pound, it is tougher than kevlar, stronger than steel, and more elastic than rubber. On top of that, it also has antimicrobial properties. Researchers have been able to take this material and create optic fiber cables, violin strings and even bulletproof armor. But as amazing as these applications are, they pale in comparison to what spiders can do with the silk. Here are four surprising uses for spider silk:
Spiders have to face the elements like the rest of us, and they have to find a way to deal with the rain and the cold. Some spider species will seek shelter indoors, but others will use their own silk to create tiny homes, which not only protect them and their eggs from the rain, but also provide insulation from the cold. The Himalayan jumping spider for example is able to use silk in this way with great efficiency, and this allows it to survive the freezing temperatures found at 22,000 feet.
Trap wires and door hinges
Certain species of spiders will dig or find holes in the ground and set up inside them, and from these holes, they will hunt any insects that walk by. These species are known as trapdoor spiders, and the interesting thing about these spiders is that they lay out silk around their holes which act as tripwires and which help the spider detect any movement in the vicinity. They will also use the silk to create door hinges, and then take a stone or a solid piece of dirt and use it as a door, which provides both protection and a better place to hide.
Spiders will get most of their moisture from the prey that they eat, but they also have to find droplets of water to drink sometimes. To save themselves the time of having to crawl around looking for a watering hole, they will lay their webs in a way that allows tiny droplets of water to condense on it.
Dealing with a spider infestation
Despite these great innovations, spiders still mostly use their webs to catch prey, and these webs can be quite unsightly when they are in the home. If you have a spider infestation, you are more than familiar with them. Contact us today and we can help you completely remove the spiders from your home.