Arachnophobia, or a fear of spiders, seems to be something that much of the human population shares, myself included. I’ll never forget the morning I was home on college break and about to take a shower. As I opened the curtain, the first thing I saw was a spider the size of a silver dollar with six legs. Needless to say, I freaked out and called my mom, who ended up leaving work to come kill the spider. While I could easily write an article on what a wonderful mother I have, writing one on spiders seems more altruistic. Next time you see a lint ball with six legs, try to remember these five reasons you should leave your arachnophobia behind and face your fear.
Number Five: Very Few Spiders Are Dangerous to Humans. All spiders have venom in order to incapacitate or kill their prey, but in most species of spiders it is only harmful to their food. At present, there are about 34,000 species of spiders on record, and of that number only about a dozen have venom that is harmful to humans!
Number Four: Spiders Eat Insects That Are Harmful to Humans. Spiders use their venom to hunt other insects. Take the Huntsman spider for example. This guy’s body is about the size of a human hand (let alone his leg span), but he is more interested in cockroaches and moths than your flesh. Unfortunately, Huntsman spiders will not only infest your home, but they also carry diseases, which can be harmful to your health. Thank goodness he’s not interested in you.
Number Three: They Can Be Cute, Too. Sure, most people find all the eyes, pointy legs, and the bulbous body disgusting, if not terrifying. But contrary to popular belief, cute spiders do exist. The Peacock Spider (Maratus volans), for example, has puppy dog eyes, and the males have red, blue, and black colored extensions on their abdomen that they can flip up during their mating ritual. Just ignore the fact that they are a type of jumping spider.
Number Two: They Are Probably More Afraid of You. Any time you actually see a spider, it’s a safe bet that they are after their next meal (a mosquito, perhaps?). So when you grab your shoe in the hopes of showing it whose house this is, its frantic scurrying is a sure sign of how terrified it is. It’s running away to hide in a dark corner, not towards you to make you its next meal.
Number One: Ultimately, They Are Easy to Kill. Though hopefully I have convinced you NOT to kill spiders (and instead relocate them), arachnophobes the world over can all agree: spiders are not hard to kill. Although their exoskeletons are sturdy enough to protect them from other insects, nature, or the back of your bookshelf, a napkin and minimal pressure is all it takes to take them from scream-able to flush-able. However, this should be your last resort.