Why do spiders freak us out?
1. A spider really frightened you once. Perhaps it was going on its merry way when you unknowingly sat down next to it and the wind you created flipped the spider on top of your head.
That would freak anyone out, especially the spider.
The woman scooped her child up in her arms and made to the door faster than, well, a spider catching a fly.
If you had a parent or friend like this, it’s pretty certain that you too will get a flight or fight response as a result of those past experiences.
When you first see the spider
Remember that your initial feeling is because you were triggered due to a childhood trauma.
I find find that thinking about my feet helps ground me when I experience triggers (my triggers are usually related to my kid’s behaviors though, not spiders).
Why catch a spider instead of killing it?
- Pushing through that trigger into a calm state of mind is a massive challenge and overcoming it shows incredible courage and inner strength. When you push through it. It’s unlike any feeling you have experienced before. Inner power and restraint feels amazing.
You can do this!
- Once you’ve caught it, and more certainly in hindsight, you’ll feel better about saving something that’s smaller and more vulnerable than you are.
- Spiders are crucial to maintaining balance in the environment. Take away the spiders, and then there are many ripples throughout the food chain. Think about how many extra flies and cockroaches we’d have in the world with out them. Yep, saving a spider is looking good right now, right?! It’s fine if that’s not the case yet. It takes time to push through a trigger and see something from a completely different perspective.
Here is some more reasons that spiders are important.
Catching a spider: What you need
- A container or a cup that’s bigger than the spider
- Gardening gloves (optional)
- A thick piece of paper (or cardboard, if you don’t feel that’s thick enough)
- Someone to open the door!
I should remind you all here to check the type of spider it is before catching it. If it’s highly venomous it would be better left for the professionals.
Catching a spider: How to do it
Okay, it’s time to be brave. Deep breaths.
- Catching a spider works best if your spider is on a flat surface. Have both your cup (or container) and piece of paper/cardboard ready and close by you.
- Grab your cup/container and quickly place it over the spider. Try not to squish those little legs.
- Then, slowly move the paper/cardboard under the cup.
- Put your hand up under the paper/cardboard to keep the spider contained. There, wasn’t that easy?!
- Then, take the cup/container outside, put them on the ground and quickly take your hands away to release the spider.
- Pat yourself on the back, or have a shot of vodka. You just helped the environment in more ways than you know, plus you pushed through a trigger and that’s epic.
Did you do it? Come back and tell me. I’d love to know if I helped. 🙂
Mama Carmody says
I love most bugs but the two that give me the willies are big spiders and millipedes….blah! I would just have to skip that lesson. But I got fanatical with butterflies one time. We had purchased one of the painted butterfly kids. I raised the caterpillars into butterflies and then decided I wanted to continue the cycle so I found out what kind of flowers they liked. They ended up laying hundreds of eggs and I caught all those teeny tiny caterpillars and put them in mason jars and fed them until they grew into butterflies. We released all of them. You should have seen my house. We had jars EVERYWHERE. But it was fun and interesting.
Those two bugs are very squirmy so I can understand why they give you the willies. 🙂
I adore your story about the butterflies, how wonderful that your parents let you go with it and keep all the jars there. Did you get any photos? Those are the memories we cherish forever are’ they!
Mama Carmody says
So sweet that you thought I was a kid when I did that but no, I was an adult. We had purchased the butterfly kid for my niece’s birthday party. (She was more like a daughter than a niece) She had a bug birthday party so we purchased the butterfly kit and an ant farm. I LOVE kids and doing fun educational things so sometimes I can go a bit overboard. 🙂
He he he, Carmody, that’s even more awesome that you were an adult. I think we might be kindred spirits! I have a blog written all about Wildlife education for kids. It’s obvious that I go a bit overboard! :p
Mud Hut Mama says
We love spiders because they eat a lot of the pesky insects that we don’t like in our home so we tend to let the non-venomous ones share our house and we love looking at spider webs.
We usually do to but this one was quite big. Also, and i’m not sure if it’s just huntsman spiders, but they seem to like to crawl over your face when you’re asleep, so outside it went 😛
Stephanie Wright says
Found a Huntsman spider this morning on patio & I was initially believing it’s a brown recluse but Google believes it’s a Huntsman I am not afraid I have a snake & Large parrots & was worried it was poisonous to them, I went to ask a neighbor to assist my husband in it’s capture & returned to see my hubby had already got the big spider in a cup & we took it to a natural & semi secluded location that we agreed is a location that is full of trees , bugs & sun& shade & it will hopefully live a long & healthy ” happy spider life”🕷🙋♀️🙋♂️🙏🖐
Penny Whitehouse says
I love this story so much! Thanks for sharing this Stephanie <3
[email protected] says
We currently have a huntsman living in the bedroom as I can’t catch the thing…those blighters are fast…and huge! It will come as no surprise to you that i’m not exactly keen on them but I did love all the information in your post Penny. You always give me such a different perspective on wildlife and how I could turn it into a fun learning experience for the kids xx
Jode you’re the best. You always make me feel good about my posts! Oh and good luck with getting rid of that spider!
and think of you during this hard time too xx
spiders are not too welcome in my house especially with my older girls. The shrieks that emanate from their room when they encounter any kind of bug is truly awesome. My 6 yr old grandson however, loves all types of bugs much to his mothers consternation
Hi Penny, you have a big heart for tiny animals. The kids will surely pass the learning to the next generation.
Lu Sylvan says
I love spiders… but I have to admit I have that squeal instinct too!
In my last house we has lots of those huntsman spiders (or a similar species?) but they were all eaten by the house spiders. (I don’t know what they were actually called… smallish web-builders.) It was amazing (and a little unnerving) to see such giant spiders caught and eaten by something a quarter of their size.
Here in this house we have a huge spider in the garage that ate a lizard once. I don’t know what kind she is. She looks like a huntsman but she has a web.
Gosh, I don’t know any of my spiders’ names, do I? Ha! The little guy and I will have to research…
Im 22 years old and I finally faced my fear and caught one instead of killing it. Im so proud of myself
Oh well done Auri, this made me smile from ear to ear. It must have been incredibly difficult for you.
When I was young I had an EXTREME fear of bugs. I also had had OCD and anxiety, and I remember going to my therapist and not being able to walk in because of a dead bee. I also remember not being able to get into car because a ladybug was on the door. I was petrified of bugs, but I’ve learned that they are living creatures like us. They want to live just as much as we do, so why kill when you can relocate?
They still scare the crap out of me, but I’ve learned to let them be, and if I can, I’ll save and rescue them. If I could face my fears, anyone can. It also helps to think of them as another life.
Penny Whitehouse says
You’re amazing Lauren, thank you so much for seeing spiders and insects as living creatures that are just simply trying to live. I really appreciate the work that you’ve done to push through your fear. I know it’s super harder than it looks. x
Thank you for this penny 🙂
For as long as I remember interactions with spiders have brought up a lot of fear in me. It’s helpful to view these feelings as “triggers” instead of identifying with them as “who I am”. I’m trying to be more mindful of these feelings when they come up and learning to not act on them immediately. I’m learning to view spiders as little, but important, lives. When I see spiders now, I recognize that I’m being given an opportunity to change from my past reactions and that I’m also being given the opportunity to be a caregiver and friend. My present moment fear doesn’t have to define how I treat spiders, and I’m noticing over time, those feelings of fear are subsiding.
Thank you for your passion in teaching and for your care of all little lives.
From Sam and all my friendly neighbourhood spiders 🙂
Penny Whitehouse says
Oh Sam, I can tell you’re emotionally intelligent and thank you so much for having the mental strength to see spiders in a different light. Penny x
Oh my gosh, I am petrified about spiders but always catch & release because I love animals but darn it, spiders are just freaky! I would rather lock myself in my room until the thing moves on but my kids freak & want to kill it so it’s always me that has to save it. I have spiders that are 3” to 5” that might be wolfs & wondering why they never try to run but just sit there while my kids dance around it screaming? I have no trouble putting a glass over them but they really freak me out.
Penny Whitehouse says
You’re a pretty strong person to fight through your fear, so well done Lajean! I’m saying thank you on behalf of all spiders. x