Arachnophobia – irrational or common sense?
Today I read a post listing the reasons that I should not be afraid of spiders!! This comes off the back of a rather scary meeting with a giant spider in my office yesterday. It was so big and so scary I actually called my Dad!! Not an easy thing for a grown, independent woman to do. Incidentally my dad was no help whatsoever – being that he was about 30 miles away and far to busy laughing at me down the line to help me or indeed just join me in my panic!
I’m sure all the animal lovers will be up in eight arms of incensement at the messy ending that this spider met with yesterday, and if any of them wanted to be at my beck and call to humanly remove all future giant spiders from my house then I’m sure we can arrange that. Mostly my instinct just screams at me to run away. I know it’s irrational or is it…….
According to the genuinely great Online magazine www.mentalhealthy.co.uk these are the reasons that I should sleep easy about sharing my home with spiders…
- There are approximately 40,000 species of spiders. (uh hello?? What? How many? I wonder how many of them are in my house?)
- Most spiders are not capable of penetrating human skin. (oh most of them, well that’s OK then, it’s just the minority that I need to fear – oh and them crawling across my face in the middle of the night)
- Most spiders will bite humans only in self-defence. (so me coming at them with a big book, or being 50 times the size of them just seems friendly right?)
- Most spider bites have no more effect than a bee sting or mosquito bite. (fecking ow!)
- Recent studies show that the ‘toxic effects’ of spider bites are often of no medical relevance. (Again, there is that word often, so sometimes the toxic effects are of medical relevance – perhaps making bits fall off?)
- Most venomous spiders are not capable of injecting enough venom to warrant medical intervention and of those that can, only a few cases are recorded to be fatal. (is this list genuinely trying to make me feel better? Tell that to one of the few cases that weren’t lucky enough to get bitten by a spider with only a small amount of venom – oh wait you can’t because they are dead!)
- Most researchers agree that the Australian funnel web spider is the one to avoid because of its aggressive nature, but even so, there are only two recorded bites (not deaths) a year. (One reason not to move to Australia)
- In western society, around 55% of women and 18% of men experience a fear of spiders to some degree. (Glad to know I am not alone)
- In the 20th century there were around 100 reliably recorded deaths from spider bites (one a year on average), but there were 1500 deaths from jellyfish stings. (NOOOO now I’ll have to add jelly fish to the list of things to be ‘irrationally’ afraid of)
- The house spider – usually spotted during autumn running around our carpets looking for a female mate – is not harmful to us. (that was it….that was the fecker I got yesterday, see now I feel bad, there it was just hanging out, trying to attract a lover, no wait, hundreds of baby house spiders arghhhhh)
- Scientists are working with spider venom to create a less toxic pesticide alternative; spider venom can be deadly to insects but harmless to other animals such as pets. – So, not only do spiders catch flies and mites, they may help us further tend to our plants in future too. (Sorry you lost me at ‘scientists are working with spider venom’, it’s the word venom that did it!!)
- Arachnophobia, like many other ‘simple’ phobias, can be treated very effectively these days. (With a large whiskey?)