Why are people frightened of spiders? I have come to the conclusion that being afraid of spiders is an irrational fear. I do, however, understand how this fear arose. Through the long process of evolution, humans developed certain survival instincts. For example, we do not learn to be afraid of brown bears, we are born knowing that certain things can hurt or kill us. The brown bear is a giant clawed creature that could tear you apart with its teeth and paws. When we happen across a brown bear in its natural habitat, our instinct tells us to run away as fast as we can.
Spiders also spark the same survival instinct within many people. The spider has a bad reputation for being a venomous evil creature, but people are actually mistaken. The majority of spiders in the world are not venomous. Yes, you can get bitten by many, but the most severe result may be an itchy bite mark that lasts a couple days. Spiders are also couple with the word “creepy”. It is also true that spiders look weird when compared to puppies and other cute animals. Eight furry legs, tons of tiny beady black eyes, fangs, and webs are all alien to anything human. Spiders are creepy. They instant a spider begins to crawl on someone’s arm and catch a sight of this frightening foreign creature survival mode takes over and a flailing and screaming dance ensues.
I argue that the best way to deal with a spider is in a calm and collected manner. By slowly flicking a spider off your arm or leg, you are much less likely to be bitten then flailing uncontrollably. If a spider feels trapped or in danger, it will bite. A dog or a cat would do the same thing. So the important thing to remember is that even though spiders look “creepy”, you must fight the instinct to be afraid of them. If you can remember that most spiders are harmless and that they actually act as a natural pest control, then you can deal with your next spider interaction in a more positive way.
Reshetiloff, Kathy. “Despite Their Reputations, Most Spiders Are Harmless.” Bay Journal RSS. Bay Journal, 01 Nov. 2006. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.