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Are there venomous spiders in the UK? Yes. Almost all spiders are venomous - that’s how they get things done.

Are there a lot of spiders around you? Yes. Lots of spiders. Lots of them. A 1958 study estimated that the average meadow in Sussex contained roughly 49 spiders per square meter. The world is teeming with arachnids.

Arachnophobia is very common, and perhaps one of mankind’s most shared fears. This isn’t actually all that surprising. Back in the Dawn of Time, our original ancestors were the first creatures to develop a backbone - the vertebrates - and they did so swimming around in primordial seas...with anomalocaris. Anomalocaris was the ancestor of what would eventually become spiders, and he had these hideous fanglike things that were just perfect for making nosh out of newly minted vertebrates. So I believe we all have a deeply imprinted generic race-memory of when we were little proto-fishes living in fear of the great Fanged One, and even though the tables have now turned and we could goosh any of those little anomalowannabes under our heel, they haven’t lost any of their terror to us.

The best way to address an irrational fear is with knowledge. Learn all you can about the spiders around you, until they become familiar, commonplace - boring, even. Here’s an article to start you off:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wired.com/2013/10/you-are-within-3-feet-of-a-spider-right-now/amp

A word to the wise, however - on no account should you watch the 1977 film Kingdom of the Spiders. Its horrid ending still haunts me now more than 40 years later, but far, far worse than that - it starred William Shatner.

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11 hours ago, DogMan said:

Any Australian who saw arachnophobia in the 90s said "But they are just huntsmen" 

 

 

I'm not afraid of spiders because I live in the UK. In Australia? Jesus christ! The wildlife is either incredibly cute or fucking terrifying. Quokkas are the cutest animals ever. But you've also got the house centipede. The word 'house' bothers me there. They might be small but they make up for that by being hideous. Small spiders I can deal with. But aussies are like "You call that a spider? This is a spider". The barking spider sitting on your toilet seat. Well I thought I needed the toilet but turns out I've already shit myself. It's not all cute things like quokkas and kangaroos, there's scary things like huntsman spiders, crocodiles and Bob Katter (not sure if that reference is out of date. Used to talk to someone from the land down under but I don't really know what's going on now. Has Pauline Hanson fucked the fuck off yet?).

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I neglected to mention in my last post that I myself am an arachnophobe, and my arch-nemesis is Loxoceles reclusa, the Brown Recluse, or fiddler spider, so named for the signature violin-looking brown markings on its thorax. Lococeles is one of the most dangerous spiders in North America, because its bite will cause large areas of one’s flesh to rot away. Anomalocaris would look at Loxoceles and say, “That’s my boy!” with a tear in however many hideous eyes it had.

Many years ago I lived in a rental house which I discovered to be infested with Loxoceles. No, infested is too mild a word. Saturated, perhaps. I became so adept at identifying the monsters that I could now distinguish one of the reclusa from across the room. I slew without hesitation ot mercy. “Attercop! Attercop!” I cried, channeling the same heroic desperation that drove back the vile spawn that had bewebbed Mirkwood in the dark days. Wretched creatures.

 I do have to say that for a nation so blessed with relatively benign spiders, Britain certainly takes its arachnophobia seriously. Tolkien amplified them to the stuff of nightmare legend in the form of Ungoliant and Shelob. And you even carry on so about this false brown widow business - we’ve got the full black ones here, boyo, shiny jet black and bulbous with the fire-red hourglass underneath. Gn-AH! One doesn’t idly poke about in the woodpile.

And wolf spiders ~shiver~ every so often one will creep up from the basement damps, five inches across, and I can see its eyes glint right at me from across the room, and I know it’s saying silently, “Remember Anomalocaris? Yes. Of course you do. He lives on in Us. We are Legion.” Then he slips back into the crack and is gone.

 

 It occurs to me that this discussion may not be having the calming effect that @Simba Cub may have been seeking by opening this thread; if not, I apologize. If it’s any comfort, at least know that you are by no means alone in your fears. Sometimes the best way to deal with them is to drag them out into the open and give them a public thrashing.

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10 hours ago, Gearhead said:

@Simba Cub, what Cerb is trying to say is that spiders and creepy- and alarming-looking, but you aren’t in Australia, and there are no spiders in your vicinity that can hurt you. And you can stomp on them. 

Replace the last line with “put them outside”. I 

\annihilate Loxoceles wherever I find them because they’re too dangerous to coexist with. Like the aliens from the Alien movies. One fucks not with them. I will not kill any other spider, however, for these reasons:

1. Spiders are creepy, but so are other insects and if it weren’t for the spiders we would be up to our armpits in bugs. Spiders, and their vast numbers, aren’t a mistake of nature, they’re an integral and essential part of its balance. We eliminate them at our peril.

2. I do not kill any living creature if I can avoid it for the simple reason that I do not have the ability to build one to replace it. In college I once rescued a spider in the dormitory and took it outside, and another student said, “Why didn’t you just step on it?” I replied, “Can you make one?” He didn’t have an answer.

3. Karma. There’s always something with a metaphorical foot big enough to squash me if it wanted, and my track record with karma is pretty consistent. If I went about gooshing spiders I’d probably die from falling into a pit full of Loxoceles.

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3 minutes ago, Simba Cub said:

I know it's not logical and I know they must be terrified of ME! But I just see them everywhere and imagine them everywhere...

Are you able to distract yourself 

 

Like, if you were currently in the grip of a spider attack, and someone says "Hi simba, would you like a donut?" where does your mind go then? 

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18 hours ago, Cerberus said:

It occurs to me that this discussion may not be having the calming effect that @Simba Cub may have been seeking by opening this thread; if not, I apologize. If it’s any comfort, at least know that you are by no means alone in your fears. Sometimes the best way to deal with them is to drag them out into the open and give them a public thrashing.

True. Might have been my fault. Thought I was being helpful saying that they are more afraid of you than you are of them. In hindsight that's pretty weak advice. Sorry Simba, my intentions were good, it was just the words which let me down, as always.

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On 9/15/2021 at 6:53 PM, Fluent In Silence said:

True. Might have been my fault. Thought I was being helpful saying that they are more afraid of you than you are of them. In hindsight that's pretty weak advice. Sorry Simba, my intentions were good, it was just the words which let me down, as always.

Hey, you were of great help. I've just resorted back to taking a Stelazine when I get too paranoid. I will be having a proper consultation with my pdoc in the next few weeks.

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