Friday, 19 September 2014

Are you one of the 37%?

According to yesterday's Times, 37% of us  are scared of spiders.  It doesn't say the percentage of men to women but I suspect (and hope actually, because I rely on the farmer to protect me!) this particular fear applies more to women than to men.

I put my fear down to a childhood deep in the Fens of Lincolnshire, before the days of waterclosets, when we had a 'lav' at the bottom of the garden, which was emptied every Saturday morning in a kind of ritual by my Father.  (emptied under a large damson tree actually, and we had a fantastic crop of damsons!)  This building was inhabited by a particular kind of spider.   It had a largish, spherical body and eight long, very spindly legs and at this time of year the corners used to be full of them.   I hated them, although they never moved or showed the slightest inclination to be interested in me.  I just used to get out of there a.s.a.p.

There is, apparently, a new app - 'spider in da house' which means you can sit in front of the television of an evening and every time one of the gigantic things which scoot a bout at this time of year scampers across the room, the app allows you to identify it.

No thanks, I prefer to let out a scream, pull my legs up on to the settee  and allow the dog to chase it (she never catches it).   I do, however, have a small pocket of courage.  I do subscribe to my father's old ethic - 'if you want to live and thrive, let all spiders run alive', so I am brave enough to resort to the postcard and glass method in a dire emergency.  Then, eyes averted, dark or light outside, wet or fine, cold - a foot of snow - or warm  I will put the glass on the floor, shove the postcard underneath and then carefully carry it outside.  At least I am giving it a sporting chance.

As for undergoing a course at London Zoo (as did Hilary Rose, the writer of the article in the Times) no thanks.  Mice I can tolerate (just), Daddy Long Legs (as long as they don't come too near and catch me with those spindly legs, even earwigs (although that is cutting it a bit fine) but I will leave spiders to my brave hero of a farmer, who can pick them up gently and carry them outside with no trouble at all.

20 comments:

donna baker said...

I usually just smash them with my finger, except for the garden spiders. Just the ones in my house.

Pondside said...

Yes, I am one of the 37%. Here on the Island, spiders thrive year 'round. I am afraid of them because they bite me. They leave The Great Dane along - and everyone else in the house. For some reason they bite me, and as the biting season (May through July) goes on, the bites become worse and worse (or my reaction to them) until I must visit the doctor. As strange as it seems, a spider working its way along the floor will turn and come towards me. I must smell very spidery-good!

The Solitary Walker said...

I adore spiders and encourage them into my house. Though not all family members/guests feel the same way! After bees and ants I put them next in my favourite bug list.

jinxxxygirl said...

I generally let spiders be. Live and let live and all that..... Unless they are of the dangerous variety then something must be done... Here in the states we do not have too many dangerous ones..... thank goodness ..... Jinx my cat has a grand time chasing spiders and flies and the like around the house... Its his JOB or so i tell him and he seems happy to oblige..... :) Hugs! deb

Willow said...

Good for you at least resorting to the glass and postcard at times :)

I can tolerate certain spiders ,probably because Mr Mountain Man owns a tarantula ~ he does educate with critters so I endure .lol but I do not touch it,

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I'm surprised there are 63% of the population who are not scared of them. Personally I admire the little darlings for the way they build webs in the most unpromising locations and not only survive but thrive. My father had one that lived in the boot of his car - now how many flies would have blundered in there?

Heather said...

My son can let them run up his arm, but they just make me shudder. Maybe it's the eight legs that do it, and the big ones do move so fast. Perhaps if they only had four legs they wouldn't be so scary!

George said...

Personally, I get rid of every spider I find in the house. My brother was bitten by a spider (probably a brown recluse) a few months ago, and was effectively disabled for about three weeks with a leg that he could barely walk on.

angryparsnip said...

I don't like spiders or crawlies. We have so many poison ones here that I have made a pack, outside I leave them alone but inside my home.... I kill them. Especially Wolf spiders and scorpions.

cheers, pasnip

Joanne Noragon said...

A spider may live anywhere in my house, except my bathroom. I'm death on bathroom spiders. Daddy long legs, which I tolerate anywhere, never appear there. I don't know why.

Barbara Womack said...

It must be that time of year...yours is the third blog post I have seen today that involved SPIDERS!
Personally, I like spiders. They remind me of the story of Charlotte's Web. ...and they eat grasshoppers. (anything that eats grasshoppers is okay in my book)
However, I don't like spiderwebs one bit...particularly in the house.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I have a small butterfly net for catching spiders and putting them outdoors. They do have a purpose so I don't want to kill them. Even mosquitoes serve a purpose - they feed the bats and migrating birds - so I agree - live and let live.

And I've learned that a lot of what we call "spider" webs in the house are not that - they are bits of dust, linked together to form webs - showing that we've not cleaned our house in a while. Although if there is a spider in the house it will actually make a web. I call the other kind - "slobwebs" and get them with my duster as soon as I see them.

the veg artist said...

We keep an old plastic jug for putting over the large, scuttling spiders, then they go outside, still alive and well.
I can generally cope with anything with legs, but hate snakes and even worms. I blame my brother, who used to tell me that he had a new set of fishing flies in a tin to show me, then wait for me to scream when I opened a tin of worms!
Although I suppose that's the sort of thing big brothers are for!

Helsie said...

I'm in the 37% too. As you will know we have some very dangerous spiders down here but they don't have to be dangerous ones. If they jump on me I'm going to die... of FRIGHT !

Cro Magnon said...

I have no fear of spiders, but snakes are another matter.

Arija said...

I am happy to give residence to on large, hairy huntsman in every rood even though one walked across my face one night. They are dear creatures and do away with quite a few mozzies that slip through, under, around the netting n door and windows.

thelma said...

Yes is my answer, though I will never harm one and use the glass and card method. What I dislike at this time of year is walking down the path in the garden and dislodging a web than getting a spider in my hair....

Mac n' Janet said...

I don't like spiders, but I'm not afraid of them. It's snails that scare the heck out of me.

The Weaver of Grass said...

After reading your comments I am just grateful that here in the UK we do not have any poisonous ones - I feel a real wimp being afraid of a common or garden ordinary spider!
Thanks for voicing your feelings and fears.

Linda said...

I am pretty uncomfortable when I see a large spider, but the smaller ones are O.K. You have a very nice blog.