During my talks, when asked, most people are not actually afraid of spiders because of them biting. Usually it has to do more with how they move. However, I wanted to write this quick blog and share a very informative chart to dispel some of the myths of how dangerous spiders really are. I think this is helpful for people who are afraid of spiders and are getting ready to travel where some more venomous spiders might live.
This chart shows what animals are the most dangerous to humans by the amount of people they kill each year. As you will notice spiders are not even on the chart because they kill less than 10 people all over the world and are not considered in the top deadliest animals to humans. As you see humans actually kill the most other humans second only to mosquitoes! Mosquitoes kill nearly a million people every year! Spiders eat a lot of mosquitoes so they are actually preventing human death! So we really don’t have a lot to rationally be afraid of when it comes to spiders.
Even the world’s most deadliest spider, the Australian Funnel Web Spider hasn’t even killed anyone since 1981 when the antivenom was created. Spider bites, even the most deadly ones, can be easily treated. You are actually 300 times more likely to be struck by lightning than be killed by a spider.
Furthermore spiders get blamed for a lot of other insect bites or other skin conditions. Unlike a lot of other insects, spiders are not out looking to purposely bite you as they have no interest in your blood! And they are putting their own lives at risk if they do bite you so most would prefer not to.
I actually use this chart in my informative talk during the Spider Courage Experience and I think it really helps illustrate at least on the rational level how spiders are nothing to be afraid of.