My job is to help people not be afraid of spiders. It’s a pretty cool job actually. I run powerful workshops that teach a variety of proven phobia fighting techniques including education. During my talks I ask what scares them the most about spiders. Many might find it surprising that actually the fear of being bitten is not the main reason. Usually it has to do more with how they move in unpredictable ways.
However, dispelling the huge amount of misinformation and false beliefs about spiders is very important part of the process. One of the biggest myths is about how dangerous spiders actually are. This is largely due to the media spreading false information and sensualising any spider story with a negative spin. Also, the film arachnophobia didn’t help much either as now a whole generation believes that spiders are out to aggressively hunt us down!
I would like to share a chart that I show on my workshop that really helps to put the threat of spiders into perspective! I think this chart is especially 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 together worldwide and do not even make the list in the top 20 deadliest animals. As you see humans actually kill the most other humans second only to mosquitoes! Mosquitoes kill nearly a million people every year! Seeing as spiders eat between 400 million to 800 million tons of insects everywhere year, it is safe to say spiders eat a lot of mosquitoes so they are actually preventing human death!
There has not even been a death from the world’s most deadliest spider, the Australian Funnel Web Spider 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.
The truth of the matter is that most spiders are extremely passive and do not want to bite humans because it puts them at more risks than to simply run away. We are huge creatures that can easily crush them. Spiders are not bright but they are smart enough to know this. Running away gives a much higher survival rate than trying to bite!
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! Most spiders do not even have fangs strong enough to penetrate human skin.
So we really don’t have a lot to be rationally afraid of when it comes to spiders and the fact they eat the animal that kills the most of us every year, we have a lot to be grateful for instead!