Vampire spiders could help fight malaria but not by sucking on humans

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Malaria kills more than a half million people each year

The spider does, indeed, suck human blood — but only when served in a mosquito. It does not consume the blood by preying directly on humans.

The mosquitoes that the spider eats carry malaria. Not only does the spider fill its belly with the malaria-carrying insects, it also becomes more attractive to prospective mates after eating them.

And, therefore, arachnologist Fiona Cross says it’s time to “embrace the spiders” and use them to help control malaria

In the meantime, while you are thinking about embracing that spider, you may want to simply take a prescription medication to avoid the disease if you are traveling in an area where you could contract the disease.

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