Arachnophobia quick facts

Arachnophobia is the term for the 'phobia of spiders'. A phobia differs from a fear in the fact that it will often overwhelm the sufferer, with the fear being greater than the risk. So for example, it is natural for us to feel fear if encountering a poisonous creature at close range, but an arachnophobic would experience this sort of intensity of fear, even when the danger to their health or wellbeing is not real or present.

Arachnophobia is one of the top ten phobias experienced around the world, with millions of sufferers across the globe, but are spiders really to be feared? We have some interesting quick facts that may shed some light on why our eight legged friends are really not that scary afterall...

You may want to know more about arachnophobia including facts, causes and cures on our What is Arachnophobia page.

Arachnophobia facts 

  • There are approximately 40,000 species of spiders.
  • Most spiders are not capable of penetrating human skin.
  • Most spiders will bite humans only in self-defence.
  • Most spider bites have no more effect than a bee sting or mosquito bite.
  • Recent studies show that the ‘toxic effects’ of spider bites are often of no medical relevance.
  • Most venomous spiders are not capable of injecting enough venom to warrant medical intervention and of those that can, only a few cases are recorded to be fatal.
  • Most researchers agree that the Australian funnel web spider is the one to avoid because of its aggressive nature, but even so, there are only two recorded bites (not deaths) a year.
  • In western society, around 55% of women and 18% of men experience a fear of spiders to some degree.
  • In the 20th century there were around 100 reliably recorded deaths from spider bites (one a year on average), but there were 1500 deaths from jellyfish stings.
  • The house spider – usually spotted during autumn running around our carpets looking for a female mate – is not harmful to us.
  • Scientists are working with spider venom to create a less toxic pesticide alternative; spider venom can be deadly to insects but harmless to other animals such as pets. - So, not only do spiders catch flies and mites, they may help us further tend to our plants in future too.
  • Arachnophobia, like many other ‘simple’ phobias, can be treated very effectively these days.

So there you have it, in black and white, reasons to sleep easy. We do understand however that phobias are real conditions that sometimes need help, please do see our counselling directory for help in your area.


Further reading


You may want to know more about arachnophobia including facts, causes and cures on our What is Arachnophobia page.

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