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How to Get a Spider Web Off an Insect

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Tip

Work slowly and keep a steady hand.

Tiny insects may be too small to free without damage or dismemberment.

Warning

Some spiders are deadly. Use a field guide to identify the spider and ensure it's not dangerous before you handle its web.

Trapped insects can still sting or bite. Always use caution when handling insects like bees or wasps.

Spiders have seven glands called spinnerets that they use to spin silken webs. They are one of the few organisms that use silk in their daily lives. A spider's web serves as a home, a nursery and a trap for catching prey. These webs are hard to remove once they are attached, allowing the spider wrap the prey in a cocoon of webs and consume it at leisure. Webs are such effective traps that few insects ever escape a spider's web without help.

Put on the latex gloves to protect your hands and remove the insect carefully from the surrounding web so it is isolated and does not further tangle. This will stop extra web from gathering on the insect while removing the spider web.

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Use the tweezers to remove web from the insect, being careful not to damage the insect's body. Since spider webs are made with amino acids and protein crystals to keep the silk strong, the web may be quite sticky.

Inspect the insect once most of the visible web is off. Pluck any stray web particles that may be visible to fully remove the web from the insect.

Hold the insect firmly and gently put drops of water over it using an eye dropper. This will wash off the excess web. This step can be performed by using push pins through the wings onto a wood surface, but this will injure live insects.

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