I was talking with a reader the other day, yes someone reads my column besides you, and they mentioned my recent spider column. Although I didn’t give spiders their own column, just split it with snakes. Perhaps spiders deserve their own column. The reader mentioned that spiders are universal, no matter who you are, you probably run into spiders. If not inside then certainly outside. Most all continents in the world, although I am not sure about the extremely cold places. However places like Australia even things out because they have some of the most venomous spiders in all the world. Here in this part of the globe we have a couple of spiders that carry venom. Down Under they have spiders that are not only poisonous but will chase you down, and they catch and eat birds in their webs. Now those are the types of spiders you have nightmares about.
As I said in my first story on this topic, I tolerate spiders. They eat bugs, which benefits me. I mean a common hated of insects is a good thing, although I don’t think spiders hate bugs, on the contrary they like to eat insects, and realistically spiders are insects. Somewhere I had seen a statistic that the average person swallows four small spiders per year in their sleep. Now this brings up several questions, the most obvious is; who watches a sleeping person for a full year to count spiders, another question; did the spider just wander into the sleeper’s mouth or was he chasing after an even smaller bug? The idea of swallowing a spider, or a spider and his dinner, is enough to keep me awake if only for few extra minutes. I could try to gargle with pesticide before going to sleep, it can’t taste worse than what I use now.
I think most people have a bit of a fear of spiders for a variety of reasons. I mean who has not run through a spider web and then a few minutes later felt the spider crawling down their neck. We are not food for spiders and most spider won’t harm us, so why the fear? Maybe it is how they essentially eat their prey alive. Or how they can sneak around. For something with eight legs one might think it would make some noise. Even a cat with only four legs makes some noise at times and they are the most stealthy animals we have in or around our homes.
My father had a fairly common outlook on spiders, he said; “there are only two types of spiders, dead and not yet.” I don’t share that opinion, occasionally I will capture a spider and relocate him outside somewhere. Sort of a witness protection program for a helpful insect.
It is comforting to know that no matter where you go that people in those countries face the same issues with spiders and webs as we do. Perhaps that is something we have in common that can unite us, or maybe not.
Spiders might give us a lot in our daily lives. They manage to live a productive life while being hated by most of their neighbors (us humans). They also spin a web that is made from a material that is stronger than anything we humans can make. And even with eight legs they manage to remain silent, and probably rarely stub their toe in the middle of the night on a coffee table and yell, or maybe something less specific. So the next spider you see, let him live, unless he does crawl down your shirt collar, then it is permissible to terminate him.