Why Are People Afraid of Spiders?

Why Are People Afraid of Spiders?

Arachnophobia. The word may conjure memories of one of the more popular horror movies of the ’90s. The movie plays on one of the most common phobias in the world, the fear of spiders. One study revealed that 75% of people have at least some measure of fear when it comes to the eight-legged houses pests we all see far too often. While it might not be a fully developed phobia, chances are you among the many who do not like to see spiders. The question we want to answer in this article is: Why Are We So Afraid of Spiders?

Why Are People Afraid of Spiders?

Arachnophobia, the movie, did very well in the Box Office and is still frequently wanted and rented nearly thirty years later. It owes its success, in part, to how common it is to be at least somewhat afraid of spiders. If you were asked whether you are afraid of spiders, the answer is likely a resounding, “Yes.” But do you know why you are afraid of them? Most are harmless. Even if bitten, spider bites are rarely fatal and are unlikely to leave permeant damage if properly and quickly treated. In the Carolinas and Virginia, there are only four venomous spiders:

  • Brown Recluse: The most dangerous spider in our area, if bitten, you should seek treatment right away.
  • Black Widows: Though not quite as dangerous as the Recluse, these are still spiders you do not want to mess with.
  • False Black Widows: With slightly different markings than their namesakes, these spiders are venomous but not nearly as dangerous as the real thing.
  • Yellow Sac Spiders: Bites will sting from these spiders, but they are far less dangerous than Black Widows and Brown Recluses.

Wolf Spiders are one of the most common arachnids in North Carolina and Virginia homes. They are harmless to humans, but they represent a good case study for our fear. Wolf Spiders are hairy, fast, and they can jump. What could be more frightening? They hang out in dark places and are the kind of spider you will see scuttling across your floor when you flip on the lights to get a midnight snack from the kitchen. Some reasons that might explain why spiders like the wolf scare us include:

Friends and Family: The same study that revealed three-fourths of people are afraid of spiders noted that most people who are of spiders, know someone who shares their fear. It is possible that our fear of spiders is perpetuated by those close to us.

The Venomous Spiders: Similarly to the way people are afraid of snakes, not being able to quickly differentiate between the venomous and non-venomous versions likely lead people to want to avoid all forms. When a spider is scuttling across your floor, you don’t have time to worry about whether it is a friend or foe.

They Move Strangely: Speaking of scuttling, it is the way spiders move that is the source of fear for many. They run, shift, and sometimes jump. You may even find one repelling down a rope of web of its own making like a spy. People hate mice, rats, spiders, and snakes often because of the way they move.

Too Many Legs: People are naturally afraid of things that have too many appendages. Eight-legs are six too many for most.  

Spiderwebs: Many spiders weave webs to trap their prey. For many people, this activity creepy enough to always remain skeptical of their behavior.

The Spider in Culture: Movies like Arachnophobia, attest to and perpetuate the fear of spiders. They are used in popular culture because they are creepy, and they are creepy because popular culture depicts them as such.

Regardless of why we don’t like spiders, we do not like them. We do not want them around. If creepy spiders are making their home at your home, we are here to help. Rid-A-Bug will help you get rid of your eight-legged pests within 24-hours. Contact us if you want the spiders out of your home or office.