Sunday, 21 September 2014

It's that spider-y time of year again...

Autumn. It's finally starting to cool down here in the UK after a most horrendously hot summer. Yuck! Yesterday was unseasonably warm and muggy, and the heat held out until late last night when we had the most amazing thunderstorm.  The pressure in the air instantly dissipated and the temperature dropped, it was quite lovely. But still most nights we have to keep the bedroom window wide open because our bedroom is the warmest room in the house, thus leaving us vulnerable to bugs. I'm not overly keen on most bugs, particularly the crane flies that seem to have bombarded us in the past week, but my worst fear is the spiders. I have been thinking of writing about this for a little while now, and have finally built up the courage to do it (just thinking about spiders makes me feel icky, and seeing photos make me panic) in the hopes that discussing them at length will help me get over the fear a little bit. I've wanted to try and do something about my phobia for years, but really would just rather not think about it at all. This is the most in depth look I have ever taken at spiders and their kind, even reading about them creeps me out.

I had a couple of traumatic incidents with them as a child, and have been afraid of them most of my life as a result. Just lately it seems as though everyone is spider obsessed again, as apparently the hot weather we experienced during the summer has produced some unusually large house spiders. Shudder.  I've been growing increasingly paranoid about my chances of encountering a spider lately, as usually when I haven't had an 'incident' for a while I know I must be due to see one soon. And this time of year is the most likely time to encounter one because they are all making their way into our homes for the winter.

It's a funny thing really,  to find them so scary.  They make for wonderful imagery and are pretty goth if you ask me! Ha. Plus, the are actually very cool when you think about it. They way they can spin a web and use it to their own advantage to take care of all those other nasty bugs we don't want around the house is quite useful. Almost all spiders are venomous,  because they are all predators that use venom to subdue their prey. This is because they cannot digest solid food, so they must use a digestive enzyme to turn their victims into a digestible liquid form.

However  big and scary house spiders can appear, the ones you usually see scuttling across the carpet or climbing out of the plughole in the bath are more likely to be the males, who are smaller than the females. The females are usually in their web or nest waiting for a male spider to come along, although its quite likely that she will eat him before he has a chance to identify himself. Which is why they must use courtship rituals from a safe distance,  for example the jumping spider will perform an elaborate dance to attract the attention of the female.

I was going to try and include some pictures in this post, but I just couldn't bear to even look at them! Just doing this teeny bit of research was pushing my limits, and it took me a little while to write because I could only write in by the light of day... pathetic I know! But maybe now I'm a teeny bit closer to feeling ok about spiders in general.  I don't mind them living with me, I'd just rather not know they were there.


  1. I love this, putting your fears and vulnerability out there. Bravo. I think this is a positive first step. I have a ridiculous fear of ants. I am getting a creepy feeling just typing that... ugh. I completely understand. I don't mind them if they aren't surprising me, if that makes any sense

    1. Thanks :) my mum actually suggested I get therapy.... lol. I probably should now I'm a mum myself, I don't want to pass my fear on to my daughter unnecessarily! Totally get that though, its the shock of initially seeing them thats most unpleasant I think.

  2. I am not a big fan of spiders either. One every once in awhile is okay. I can't believe some people have them as pets, couldn't live with someone who did. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I don't know if you've ever tried to use those hedge balls before. They look really creepy but if you put them around your house, it will keep spiders and other bugs and things away. Seems to work around here. On another note, I wish the weather here was as nice. We got the windows locked shut and are putting plastic around them to keep the cold out.

  3. Yeah, they used to keep tarantulas in the science labs when I was at school, I just couldn't concentrate during those lessons. Hmm ok I'll look into that! Apparently conkers work too. Haven't tried that yet either! Wow thats pretty cold! It's slowly cooling down, but I'm more of a winter person anyway so I don't mind it :)