curing arachnophobia?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 88 Old 04-07-2019, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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curing arachnophobia??

OK so I was a serious arachnophobe. Couldn't even look at pics in books without being afraid of touching the page! Worked hard on myself to get over the worst of it so I didn't share the phobia with my kids. My youngest daughter wants to be an arachnologist, so I think that worked!

But after her showing me youtubes of Lucas The Spider - SOOO cute!! And seeing the peacock jumping spider - first pic here, I then found a website on South African jumping spiders - OH MY GOD!!! Some are yuck, but so many are just gooorgeous! Sure to help get anyone over a spider phobia! The link is Jumping Spiders - Homepage & there are a couple of 'taster' pics below...
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #2 of 88 Old 04-07-2019, 07:04 PM
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Why would one want to cure such a sensible phobia?

I used to be very afraid of spiders. Now I'm only afraid of poisonous spiders. Or spiders who are larger than I. The latter only happens in dreams after eating certain foods.

I agree Lucas is cute.
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post #3 of 88 Old 04-07-2019, 07:05 PM
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I was going to say... You live in Aus. It's not a phobia if it's reasonable!
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post #4 of 88 Old 04-07-2019, 07:56 PM
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Those are kind of cute. I used to be terrified of spiders. It goes back to when I was about 2, and had a very bad fever. My mother tells me that when she would try to hold me, I'd scream that there were bugs all over her. I would wake up in the night as a teen, and be convinced my bed was full of spiders. It would take me a few minutes to get over it.

It got cured when I became a parent too. My kids didn't like spiders, and the last thing I wanted to do was transmit my fear to them, so I just pretended that it was no big deal and forced myself to kill spiders or put them outside whenever my kids saw one in the house. Eventually, I started to get over it. They don't much bother me now, though I wouldn't say not at all, but it's not a phobia. But of course there are no deadly spiders here, or very, very few.
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post #5 of 88 Old 04-07-2019, 08:01 PM
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@ApuetsoT , arachnophobia is unreasonable in Australia. There have been no confirmed deaths from spider bites in Australia since 1979, while falling out of bed killed 523 people between 2007 and 2016.

This hails from an interesting little piece on fear versus risk from our ABC here:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-...eality/9277098

If you do pick three things off the list that you think are dangerous, it will tell you how they compare to the actual death statistics for a recent decade in Australia. Will you pick the right three? Then you can compare how the creepie-crawlies go in those statistics.






Gorgeous photos, @loosie , and well done!


We don't have too many spider stories - there's lots of spiders around and we photograph them sometimes, but they're generally not very interactive with humans.

The few that pop into my mind mostly involve huntsman spiders:



That's an example, but our West Australian ones are really hairy and about the diameter of a large mug. They aren't dangerous to humans but will bite to defend themselves if attacked.

I came to Australia from Europe at age 11, and there aren't any big hairy spiders like that in the part of Europe I grew up in. I wasn't aware of their existence in Australia either in the first couple of months, but then... Well, my father had bought a largely uncleared farming block and had this brilliant idea that we were all going to clear the land using axes and elbow grease. He organised four axes for the family members and handed them out to us with various exhortations. This phase was an unpopular phase and didn't last long; our neighbours had a good laugh and before too long he bought a tractor.

Anyway, it was during this axe-clearing phase that I was chopping down some prickly undergrowth near a large eucalyptus tree with really gnarly bark - a favourite huntsman habitat, as I was to find out. As I was chopping away, wearing shorts because of the summer heat, I suddenly felt something tickling my knee and looked down - and next thing I jumped about a mile high, because one of those saucer-sized hairy things was running rapidly upwards on my leg. On coming back to Earth, I launched myself straight into a hysterical sort of anti-spider dance, until I was rid of the beastie.

They're not dangerous, but they do tend to put the wind up people when making sudden appearances, especially on your bare legs. Many years later, a colleague at coffee-break recounted driving her car to work on the Perth-Bunbury Highway and having the same sort of thing happen to her: Dressed in shorts because of the summer heat, tickling sensation on leg, had a look and - eeeek! She told us how almost in a trance she calmly and safely pulled over onto the verge, came to a stop, exited her car and then, and only then, rapidly jumped up and down yowling and flapping at herself until she was rid of the beastie.

As a university student I once had a pet huntsman, because I felt the need to behave like a sensible biologist would behave and see these creatures through a bigger lens than mere cultural arachnophobia. The spider just turned up in my room, and I didn't chuck it out. Far from it, I bid it welcome, named it Freddy and saw to it that it had plenty to eat despite being indoors. My laboratory dissection kit had a lovely long probe with a nice handle which was excellent for catching flies and presenting them live as sort of wiggly shishkebabs to dear Freddy. When I had one, I located Freddy and brought the wiggly fly within about an inch of the spider's head. I always had to hold my breath and get really mentally focused so I wouldn't drop the probe when Freddy did his sudden and very spectacular pounce upon the fly.

And so Freddy and I had a happy association lasting many months. I'm sure you're interested in how it ended. Well, one morning I woke up to the sight of Freddy on the ceiling right above my bed, and initially I just marvelled at the amazing ability spiders have to cling to the undersides of relatively smooth surfaces. Their legs have a few helpful structures for these sorts of acrobatics and it's all terribly admirable. But then I asked myself the question: Do they ever make a mistake and fall off? And since none of us are infallible, spiders included, I caught Freddy by means of a carefully placed huge glass pickle jar and piece of cardboard to slide between the spider and the ceiling once I had him surrounded. I then carried him in his jar out to the garden and re-united him with the great outdoors, in which he was free to find his own prey and perhaps a lady spider. With any luck, Freddy's descendants are still out there.


You might be interested in a few more things I dug up for an article...


Miturgidae Prowling
by Jean and Fred, on Flickr

"The speed of various Australian Huntsman spiders was recently measured, and found to range from an impressive 40+ body lengths per second for a species from Queensland, to a respectable 15 body lengths per second for the slowest species tested. Many of them can also jump very well. No wonder people feel their hearts in their throats when one of these big spiders suddenly appears at top speed."

"Spiders, like sharks, are far more frequently harmed, and even eaten, by humans, than the other way around. There have been no confirmed deaths from spider bites in Australia since 1979. Also, few of us personally know anyone who has been attacked by a shark, but virtually all of us have eaten shark in the form of fish and chips. Spiders were firmly on the edibles list of nomadic hunter-gatherers throughout the world, and in South America and Cambodia, deep-fried tarantulas are still eaten as a delicacy. And why not, considering that spiders are closely related to lobsters, and few Westerners would think twice about tucking into those. Deep-fried tarantula fans describe these beasties as wonderfully crunchy on the outside and delightfully chewy on the inside; a texture contrast us ordinary folk enjoy in potato croquettes or falafels.

While researching this topic, I came upon a delightful story from the 18th Century. French astronomer de Lalande used to visit the naturalist d'Isjonville each Saturday, and there, to eat such spiders and caterpillars as he could find in the garden. Eager to be a good host, Madame d'Isjonville began to collect them beforehand so she could serve them to him on his arrival. Monsieur de Lalande, like many other spider-eating enthusiasts, reported that spiders taste of hazelnuts."

That 18th Century story came from an old zoology encyclopaedia. Doesn't that little snippet just make you want to write a novel based on de Lalande and the d'Isjonvilles? Madame d'Isjonville especially seems like a really fun character!

SueC is time travelling.
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post #6 of 88 Old 04-07-2019, 08:55 PM
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I tend to just let spiders go about their business. I'm not afraid of spiders, but you couldn't tell that from my reaction when one lands on my neck and starts toward my collar.
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post #7 of 88 Old 04-07-2019, 11:01 PM
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I never get rid of cobwebs in the barn except for the ones above doorways and other places where you can run into them. I've seen enormous horseflies be eaten by even more enormous spiders. The spiders can stay. They don't hurt people and they keep the bugs away.
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post #8 of 88 Old 04-08-2019, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
I was going to say... You live in Aus. It's not a phobia if it's reasonable!
True, we have funnelwebs & redbacks, but for the most part, our spiders are pretty harmless. And I was just as afraid of Daddy Longlegs & huntsmans as the few poisonous ones... come to think of it, I remember one xmas morning as a kid, when I was trapped in my bedroom, unable to go see what Santa brought me because there was a small Huntsman on my door! And how sensible is it to be terrified to touch the page of a book because of a PICTURE of a spider?? Tell me that??

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #9 of 88 Old 04-08-2019, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
a colleague at coffee-break recounted driving her car to work on the Perth-Bunbury Highway and having the same sort of thing happen to her:
You see, my 'rational phobia' would probably have had me jump out of the plurry car while I was driving along! Which reminds me of a funny story - my Chinese neighbour was so terrified, he actually did that - luckily was in a parking lot going very slow, so neither he or the car were badly injured! And then next time he was at traffic lights & a huntsman ran across his dash, he remembered the injuries & stole himself to quickly grab the spider & fling it out his open window... only to hear a scream - he'd thrown it into the open window of the next car, onto a woman's lap!

Thankfully the only time I've got in the car, put my visor down & had a huntsman on it, I had my 3 & 4yo kids in the car - I shot out, got them out & stole myself to deal with it... but before I could, my eldest had found a plastic cup in the car, jumped in & put it over the spider & said 'quick mum, get me a piece of paper to put under him!'

When my daughter had a 'pet' huntsman for a while, I actually touched him(for a split second at a time) occasionally... felt extremely brave!

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #10 of 88 Old 04-08-2019, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
But then I asked myself the question: Do they ever make a mistake and fall off?
Bleh, yes they do! Years ago(when I was very phobic), camping (in Pemberton, WA actually) I was woken by a strange sound near my head. Sort of a scrape, scrape, scrape on the canvas then a plop. Then scrape, scrape again. Turned on the torch & it was the biggest huntsman I'd ever seen(well, maybe at such close quarters), climbing up the tent wall right near my head, only to drag it's big A body up so far until it fell off with a plop! Bleh!! I shot out of that tent so quickly & altho my husband got rid of it, I spent the rest of that night in the car & ensured the bed wasn't close to the tent walls after that!
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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