Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, is one of the most common phobias in the United States, with studies showing that about a third of people in the country suffer from it.
It is possible, however, to be afraid of spiders, but not to have arachnophobia. Arachnophobia is an anxiety disorder – an intense, debilitating terror of spiders and other arachnids that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It’s different not to like spiders. Phobias are best treated with behavior therapy and other measures. But for the ordinary human who doesn’t like to see a spider, the Oklahoma State Cooperative Extension Service has advice on avoiding arthropods.
“We notice them more around this time of the years, in part because they have put on weight at the end of their life cycle and maybe they are protecting the egg sacks,” said Andrine Shufran, a specialist in the egg sack. association OSU Extension to the department of entomology and plant pathology. . “They are also like us in a way: many are preparing for winter, looking for food, water and shelter, which might be inside our homes.
Spiders usually hatch in the spring, so throughout the summer they have months to grow. By the time fall arrives, they are much bigger. Fall is also generally the mating season for spiders, so males will emerge in search of a mate, while females wait in their webs. They may become more visible to humans during the fall months, but it is likely that spiders have always lived in the house and will become less noticeable as winter comes.
While arachnids may seem frightening, only two in Oklahoma are considered dangerous, according to Shufran. The bite of the brown recluse will usually produce a small blister filled with pus, and a large area around the bite will turn red and swollen. The victim may be restless and feverish. The venom can kill tissue and expose the underlying muscle. Healing can take six to eight weeks. However, the soft-bodied brown spider with long legs is not aggressive and normally only bites when pressure is applied.
The male black widow is easily recognized by the button-shaped appendages on the front of the head, while the female is marked with a reddish hourglass-shaped spot on the underside of the abdomen.
The bite of the female can lead to serious medical problems. But the spider isn’t aggressive unless it’s confined or disturbed, according to OSU Extension.
The rest of the spiders that inhabit Oklahoma have much less harmful bites. They are in fact beneficial predators for ecosystems and play an important role in keeping populations of many pest insects at bay.
“It’s hard for people to appreciate this, but spiders are good – they protect our fruits and vegetables,” Shufran said. “By comparison, butterflies and moths are bad – they are responsible for eating a large portion of our crops.”
While they can be beneficial, those looking to keep them away can frequently clean closets, basements, and other potential hiding places. Homeowners can seal cracks in walls to keep them out.
Those who have plants near their front doors and windows may try removing them to remove hiding places. Keeping the house clean, in general, will help keep the insects that spiders like to eat from entering the house.