When you look around the spiders, you think of a spider web. Some spiders use silk that enables them to travel distances through wind currents. No other fibers are as strong as spider silk.
Spider silk is one of the most dynamic natural materials known to the world. With its many functionalities such as elasticity, stickiness, and strength, it plays multiple roles in the life cycle of a spider. Spider silk can be fascinating, but it can be frustrating when they are in and around your home.
Let us understand in brief the details of spider silk.
What is spider silk made of?
Spider silk is primarily made of a combination of proteins that have a large quantity of nonpolar and hydrophobic acids like glycine. Its contents make it one of the sturdiest elements known to man, with its strength often being compared to Kevlar or steel. Spider silk is liquid in form when it comes out of a spider but eventually turns solid as it forms a spider’s web.
Types of spider silk and where they come from:
There are multiple types of spider silk, and it is possible for one single spider to produce more than one type of silk.
- Achniform gland: Produces swathing silk which is used to wrap and immobilize prey.
- Cylindriform gland: Produces silk used for protective egg sacs.
- Pyriform gland: Produces silk threads that are used to attach a spider web to a surface or foundation.
- Aggregate gland: Produces an adhesive or glue-like substance which makes the silk threads sticky.
- Flagelliform gland: Produces the elastic core fibers which form the web’s lines.
- Ampullate gland: Produces silk for the draglines which are not sticky. The ampullate gland also has a minor which produces silk which is only half as strong as the one that comes from its major gland.
What is spider silk used for?
- Building webs: Spider silk is the primary material using which spider webs are made. Using spider silk, spiders create intricate and structured webs, which are then used for multiple purposes.
- Catching and immobilizing prey: Spider silk’s biggest function is its ability to catch and smother prey for spiders. Due to its stickiness, spider silk is highly effective in trapping prey, after which the prey is wrapped and suffocated.
- Mating and reproduction: Male spiders use silk to weave sperm webs, which is where they deposit their sperm. Once this sperm is transferred to their front palps, the male spider places it on the genital organs of the female spider.
- Protection of offspring: Dragline silk connects a spider to its web, ensuring that a spider or its offspring doesn’t fall or separate from its web.
Spider silk is fascinating, but it is something that you do not want around your house. To get rid of spider webs, you can use a vacuum with a long hose or a broom wrapped with a cloth. You can reach high areas with the help of these tools without getting sticky silk all over. Our special spider control services will recommend you a customized treatment plan for spider infestation.