It is always worth remembering that the term does not apply to spiders, mites, and ticks, which are arachnids, a different class of creature altogether. Although some dictionaries (American Heritage, for one) allow the looser usage in informal or in nontechnical writing, it is unquestionably incorrect and thus better avoided almost always. If you need a term to describe insects and spiders together, the word is arthropods.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

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