Spider Extermination and Control pg 2. NOW THE GOOD NEWS: Common over-the-counter pesticides, such as aerosols, dusts, and fogs labeled for spiders and insects, generally work well when brought into direct contact with spiders.

BETTER NEWS: Soap-and-water solutions often work as well as over-the-counter pesticides. Spraying a spider with a soap-and-water solution kills because the spider's respiratory system is vulnerable to aqueous solutions that have low surface tensions. Adding a wetting agent, such as a liquid soap, to water produces such a solution. All three respiratory organs--their outer skin, book lungs, and tubular tracheae--are compromised:

          The spider's outer skin typically provides gaseous exchange for the spider, and serves as a crude lung. Coating the skin with a soap-and-water solution causes that gas exchange to cease.

          Book lungs have stacks of lamellae--plate-like structures like pages in a book--whose surfaces are separated by a thin layer of air; as fresh air is drawn into the lamellae stack and through the thin spaces between each plate, carbon dioxide is released from--and oxygen is absorbed into--the spider's blood. Stuck together by soapy water, the lamellae become useless.

          Tubular tracheae open to the outside through tiny spiracles, or stigmata. Soap-and-water solutions clog these openings, and respiration through the tracheae ceases. NEXT PAGE

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