JOPLIN, Mo. – Spiders are a source of much fright, but after learning how beneficial they are to humans, people should be appreciative – not afraid – of these eight-legged creatures.

People can learn more about the benefits of spiders at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) program “Spider Safari” from 6:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin. This free program is best-suited for ages 5 and up. People can register for this program at

Missouri is home to more than 300 kinds of spiders that come in a variety of sizes and colors. It’s estimated that more than 30,000 spiders can be found in a typical acre of a Missouri woodland and more than 2 ½ million reside in an acre of grassland.

These numbers may be frightening if you don’t like spiders, but before you reach for a can of insecticide or a rolled-up newspaper, consider this number: Most spiders consume at least one insect per day. Spiders eat more insects than birds and bats combined. Their eating habits provide a huge benefit to agricultural lands and gardens by destroying huge numbers of crop-damaging insects. Learn more about spiders on MDC’s website at mdc.mo.gov.

MDC’s Shoal Creek Education Center is located at 201 W. Riviera Drive. People can get more information about this program and others by calling 417-629