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Spider Trivia

Most of people know the fact that spiders are hairy and scary and we more often than not avoid them of their scary features. Admittedly, spiders are intimidating. They lurk in dark corners and places building their webs and waiting for their prey and it would be quite a surprise if you suddenly find one in your drawer. However, spiders aren't creatures that you should be scared of. Of course there are those certain spider species that you have to be bothered about. But spiders are actually generally harmless to all human beings. The misconception that a spider bite could instantly be fatal to anyone is terribly a misunderstanding on the spider's part and this has got to go. The truth about spider bites is that they only take place when the spider is threatened and or pressed against its skin. Naturally if the spider is hurt, it will bite as an act of defence mechanism. Therefore, it is upon your prerogative to make sure that you don't accidentally or unwittingly crush a spider to make it a point that you don't get bitten at all. You will eventually do less in fearing them and finally make peace with your fears on them.

Spiders are indeed amazing creatures. You may only discover that if you try to look at their species a little deeper than just considering them as house pests. Spiders have been hosts to many different wonders of earth and you will be surprised to know how magnificent these creatures are. Here are some amazingly true facts about spiders:

Spiders with hairs actually belong to the mammalian classification. Since they are mammals, these spiders are capable of produce unique tasting milk (actually delicious?). The milk is produced in the same glands that are used to create silk threads.

• In physics, a single strand of silk thread in a spider's web actually has more potential energy than the a-bomb dropped in Nagasaki in World War 2. That simply means, if the potential energy in a single silk thread is converted into a usable energy source through fusion, it may potentially wipe-out more than just Nagasaki. Fortunately, spiders don't live in ultra high fusion areas, so we all need not to worry about the possibilities of Armageddon too much.

• In biology, a spider's egg can possibly contain DNA as many as four human beings combined. That's only for one egg. If we talk about the entire egg sac which happens to have hundred of eggs in it, we could be quantitavely equating them to the entire population in India or China.

• Here's a spooker! Did you know spiders can actually live almost forever, if ever such a time frame existed? This is because spiders cannot die in physical causes. That means they don't die out of getting old or aging. If left in unharmed and unscathed condition, a spider may live theoretically as long as it can and could grow as big as it can. In fact there is actually a collection in China of some allegedly "holy" spiders that were already hatched for about 2,800 years ago.

• Did you know that a carapace of a spider (exoskeleton, or outer shell) is strong enough to withstand a nuclear blast? If the carapace is sufficiently scaled, can potentially be stronger than a lead nuclear bunker.

• Did you know there is actually a spider that is worth a fortune? The Kenyan Applecrosser spider species are not only bought for domestication but as well as a high end accessory. They are actually grown with special stones or emeralds in their abdomen. They are perhaps the most valuable spiders in the whole world.

• There is an extremely rare spider species in Eastern African called the Snow spiders. The reason why it’s called a "snow" spider is because of its color, which of course is white. But what's even more amazing about these spider species is that they produce black silk threads.

• Spiders are actually, relatively very powerful creatures and could withstand strong levels of atmospheric pressures. If you are to place a spider to create a web in a vacuum tube, it can most definitely can. Scientists have even discovered certain spider species working both high altitude areas to extremely below sea level places constructing webs.

• The reasons why certain spiders are capable of an apparent flight is because of their capability to produce wind-sailings silks or "parachutes" that enables to fly over the world beneath them. Windcurrent spiders have actually lived for millennia creating webs in the air in extremely high altitudes. They get most of their nutrients from sunlight processing them through semi-photosynthesis mechanism.

• The largest spider in the world ever observed would almost over eight feet long across and weighed about 530 lbs. That's heavier than 3 regular weight human beings combined. However, the spider was too big that it no longer moves. It broke its legs one time because it can no longer carry its own weight.

• Did you know that Orange Magma Spider is capable of withstanding very high levels of heat, as much 5,300 degrees Fahrenheit? However, ironically, these spiders can only be found in South Pole's largest ice glaciers.

• In the field of conventional psychology, in dream interpretations, spiders represent the most dangerous concepts of human subconscious. It symbolizes the eleven stages of grief (eight legs, two antennae, and torso).

• If a Harjack Spider is motivated enough in severe reasons, it can actually produce an amount of silk that can suffocate a human baby in just a matter of a few minutes.

• Did you know that according to neurological researches conducted in Harvard, they have discovered that a spider's brain has more mental capacity than the world's brightest scientists? If their brains have cognitive lobe, they would have found all the answers to the world's questions.

• Did you know that spiders are actually mostly homosexuals? The evolution of spider has been espoused with a population control mechanism. That is why there are more males than females and the same reasons why there is propensity for females to devour their male partners after mating.

Australian Venomous Spiders (Part II)

In the previous article we have talked about the Redback spider as part of the most venomous species of spider found in the Australian continent. This time we will talk about the other spider species that are still found in Australia, that at the same time, you should be very careful with as well.

Unlike the redback spider, these other spiders that will be later mentioned in this article are far more dangerous in terms of looks and in terms of their venom potency that there are already even reported cases of human fatality caused by their bites. Therefore, extra prudence and appropriate precautions should be taken into consideration once you come across or encounter spiders of these species.

Like as what has been always reiterated in any discussions that talk about poisonous spiders, the best way to prevent the catastrophe that might happen in the event of an encounter with a poisonous or highly venomous spider is the preparedness you have when it comes to dealing with them. Preparedness can only come if you are properly informed about the encounter at the first place. That's why there is an utter need for you to know first the species of spiders to avoid and eventually you will then know how to avoid them effectively.

Here is another list of some of the most venomous spiders in Australia, and perhaps among the most venomous in the world as well.

The Funnel Web Spider

Actually, there are a lot of funnel web spider species in the planet and there are 38 known species in Australia alone. The Sydney funnel-web spider is just one of the many species that live in Australia and they are by far as well the most poisonous or venomous funnel web species in the planet. If ranked along-side with the other venomous spiders in the planet like the Brazilian wandering spider which are endemically found in brazil and the American black widow spider, the Sydney funnel web spider would have ranked second venomous, next to the Brazilian wandering spider. Sydney funnel web spiders, like all funnel web spiders would prefer living in certain cool places or habitats. They are commonly found in the south eastern regions of Australia, particularly in Sydney as well. These funnel web spiders prefer to dig holes out so that they can live in there and covering themselves with layers of funnel web structures. The web structures they create serves as a protection against intruders and a tool for the spider's feeding. The funnel web spider would immediately know if there's an intrusion by another insect taking place through the vibrations that travel through the silk threads of the web. In the same manner, these vibrations are also indictor if a prey is ensnared within the trap. The ingenious engineering of the funnel webs are indeed a work of art by nature through the spiders. It's a complete accessory to the species, in both shelter and resources level. The Australian funnel web spider would burrow themselves in certain silk demarcated burrows and live there until a prey may come right passing through.

In order to identify a dwelling of a Sydney funnel web spider, you must first pay close attention to the burrow where it is thought to have originated. Certain tripe lines would normally radiate from the entrance of the burrow to the deep ends of it.

This type of funnel web spider is typically found in about 160 kms radius from Sydney. However, there are reports that the Sydney spiders were allegedly spotted far from its demarcated radius limit.

Funnel web spiders are actually related with the family of Wolf spiders that's why they are normally large in size. Their size would range from 3-4.5 cm depending on the age and the growth of the spider in itself. Funnel web spiders are black in color, quite aggressive, and actually have very strong fangs that it they won't just poison you once you get bitten, it will also deliver quite an amount of pain and groans. The male funnel web spider is more dangerous than its female counterparts. The reason why it is so is because male spiders are the ones that normally transfer from one place to another in order to find their right mates. Because they transfer a lot in order to find a spider mate for reproduction, the funnel web spider are also able to pass by in human residences or people's houses and they could definitely become a reason for an alarm for the entire institution. Summer and autumn are their most conducive seasons in searching for their mates.

Why are they Dangerous?

While it has been said that generally spiders are harmless to humans, these are just one of certain few species that don't belong to the genera of genuinely harmless spiders because Sydney funnel web spiders are truly potently venomous that they can confine its victim to the hospital. That is how venomous a funnel web spider can be.

If ever you get bitten by dangerous Sydney funnel web spider, it is definitely something that you should not condone because once it is left untreated; the patient would have died already because of what Sydney funnel web spider would inject after the bite. The venom induction would entail certain symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain, muscular numbness and many more. It would be wise to consult a physicians help right away to ensure that you are safe from the spiders fatal venom blow. Fortunately there is already antivenom invented to counter the effects of the Sydney funnel web spider. And ever since the antivenom was invented, there had been already a few casualties, even fatalities that are related with the spider bite. The gradual decrease has statistically reached .05 casualties from the funnel web spider bite in each three years. The antivenom that could counter the effect of the funnel web spider venoms was invented in the year 1984, and ever since then there had been only a few reported casualties of human casualties already.

Australian Venomous Spiders (Part I)

One thing you have to understand about spiders is that certain species of them can only exist in specific areas in the globe. That means, there are certain species of spiders that can never find their way inside your house, unless imported deliberately. In other words, you don't have to worry finding a Brazilian wandering spider inside your closet if you know you live in New York; a black widow perhaps, but not a wandering spider. As the name suggests, it can't be found near you. If you are able to understand this concept fully, you never have to worry anymore about the common misconceptions of finding venomous spiders wandering inside your house. Apart from the fact that specific venomous species of spiders can only be found exclusively in certain areas in the planet, generally, most of the spiders aren't poisonous at all.

Knowing what places spiders are endemic, would really help you out in dealing with certain fears you have for spiders as well being too over concerned about the possibility of venomous spiders inhabiting your house.

In this article we will be discussing spiders that can be naturally found in Australia. If you are someone who happens to live in Australia, the information on this page will really be of good help you. It will make it easier for you to identify certain spider species that can be tolerated if found inside your house, thus making you less fearful about them, and what certain species of Australian spiders you should be wary of and make sure to avoid provoking and coming in contact with it as possible.

In Australia alone, there are thousands of species of spiders that inhabit the area and you can almost potentially find any of the species knocking right at your doorstep. Each species may carry different sorts or varieties of consequences to your house. It could be that they could mess up your house's interior fashion statement with massive orb webs hanging all around the place or they might actually envenom you with highly potent poisons which could potentially lead to your confinement in the hospital. The worst case scenario would be that they might cause for you to end up six feet under the ground. That just not good at all in any way, unless if you have decided to deliver yourself a sudden but painful death.

Therefore, after having said that stuff about Australian spiders, it would be totally natural for you to take the initiative to know the species of spiders that live nearby your home in order for you to successfully prevent them from ever entering your house, and knowing what exactly to do in the time when a venomous bite happens. You have to be thoroughly careful though in accurately identifying the specie of spider you are currently witnessing. There are certain species of Australian spiders that look almost the same as the other. Here are some types of poisonous to non-venomous spiders that inhabit Australia and some descriptions of them for to be able to effectively discern each one of them in case there is a possibility of encounter.

The Red Back Spider

The Red back spider is actually very common in Australia. In fact there are certain species of deer that are named after them just because they seem to have certain similar physical attributes. At least they look alike relatively. There are also beverages sold in Australia that are named after the spider, practically containing the same insignias as the one found in the back of the redback spider.

Actually redback spiders are found just right about everywhere in Australia. That means you do not only expect to find them inside rainforests or out in the wilderness, but also in some places of your house. Redback spiders are actually more probably to inhabit in highly urbanized areas which happens to have dense population in them. They seem to perceive that there is sufficient food source in the area. Also because redback spiders prefer congested and warm environments and what could be warmer than staying near human population congestion.

The Australian redback spiders are actually related to the American black widows. They even look highly similar in terms of physical structure and appearance, with the exemption of their body markings. The black widow spider has its hourglass-shaped marking under its abdomen, while the distinctive red marking of a redback spider is found at the back, as the name would suggest.

However, the major considerable difference between an Australian redback spider and its relative the black widow is that the former isn't as potently venomous as the latter. Often, if you go to a clinic and tell the doctor you just got bitten by a redback spider; the doctor would just probably tell to go home and simply place an ice on the bitten part.

Still you can't just be too overconfident about the bite of a redback spiders, as they are related to the infamous and notoriously reputed black widow spiders, their neurotoxins are also in some way similar, only that it is less potent. In two out of ten chances that you get bitten by a redback spider, you will develop in to experiencing the symptoms of being envenomed by spider poison. If the symptoms would later on develop, it's just highly imperative to immediately consult a physician and to have yourself, fully medically examined.

The possible symptoms of a redback spider bite would range depending on the potency of the venom injected upon the bite. Mostly redback spider bite symptoms are just mere rashes, itching and irritation near the bitten part. But the severe symptoms like profuse sweating, nausea, muscle pains, lack of energy or laxness, difficulty breathing and nausea, would truly need more serious medical attention. It's the only the female of the redback spider species that you should fear of as they are the only one capable of aggression and envenoming you potent enough to make you suffer from hellish symptoms of the venom.

To be continued...

Busting 3 Big Myths about Spiders

While it is too easy to be afraid of spiders because of their googly eyes, hairy bodies and freaky legs, majority of the fearsome things we know about spiders are actually nothing more than myths. However, since it is so easy to capitalize on Arachnophobia, a lot of people do not really care enough to help spiders clear their names. Instead, many of us would exaggerate spider encounters to make a good enough story out of it. More than often not, many of those who make such exaggerations are simply afraid of spiders so they do not realize that they are already making the stories worse than they actually are. Experts even say that spiders that lurk in homes do not have to be controlled or killed because they do not cause any trouble anyway.

In fact, spiders are really very helpful creatures. For example, the Vampire spider feeds on mosquitoes that spread malaria and dengue. Other spiders also feed on flies and other insects that can spread all sorts of diseases and illnesses. But, for the sake of those arachnids which cannot defend themselves, let bust some of the most common myths about spiders.

Myth #1: Just like how movies depict them, Tarantulas are really dangerous and deadly to human being.


Perhaps, the only real contribution of the Tarantulas to this bad reputation is their comfort with being handled and their being photogenic. Whenever Hollywood needs a spider to blow-up into a giant monster or creepy crawlies to serve as obstacles in an adventure film, those who are in-charge of the side-effects will not think of other spiders apart from the Tarantulas. These spiders are perfect for a television or movie role because they are so easy to handle and they are extremely safe for the actors and the actresses to work with. Their furry appearance also contributes to the "horror" effect of the spider characterized in the film, thus giving more impact to the scene.

However, beyond all these things, Tarantulas are actually very safe spiders. In fact, many spider lovers choose Tarantulas as pets because of their inherent tamed nature. While it is true that these spiders are venomous, the toxicity level of the venom that they produce is really not harmful to humans. The venom may immobilize other spiders, insects and very small animals, but humans have a very high threshold for poison that a Tarantula bite won't even be noticed after the initial sting felt after their fangs pierce the skin.

Nonetheless, because these spiders are hairy, Tarantula handlers may still experience skin rashes around their eyes and nose area if they handled the Tarantulas too close to their faces. But incidents as such can be easily avoided by regular washing of the hands after handling Tarantulas (well, the same is true with all other pets like dogs and cats, right?). Overall, if we compare the dangers associated to keeping Tarantulas as pets to the possible dangers of having a pet dog at home, Tarantulas would definitely turn out to be better than dogs, just saying.

Myth # 2: Pregnant spiders intentionally bite humans to lay their eggs under the wounds left by their bites.


This myth has actually caused so many people to freak out at the very moment they find out that they have been bitten by a spider. Frankly speaking, majority of the spiders that happen to bite humans (by accident) are non-toxic to us and probably, because many people are already acknowledging this fact, those who are desperate to make spiders look really scary spread this urban legend. Allegedly, some random woman who was on vacation got bitten by a spider on her cheek and after a few days, tiny spiders emerged from the wound left by the bite which apparently was swelling so much right after the incident. While this incident almost seemed like a scene from a horror film, quite surprisingly, many people believed it! However, the truth is that spider eggs barely thrives in an environment where it is not protected by a silk sac weaved by the female spider, let alone under human skin which is very expose to disturbance. More importantly, spiders avoid humans as much as possible thus this event is impossible to happen. It is still a big question why this urban legend continues to spread like wildfire no matter how many time authorities clear spiders on this issue.

Myth #3: Non-venomous spiders are equally dangerous as the venomous ones because they can still cause infections through the germs that they carry on their fangs.


This myth has been around for quite some time already but until this time, no documented case related to such has been made yet. Of course, to help spiders clear their names, scientists from Brazil conducted a series of experiments on different kinds of spiders and found out that about 36% of all the test spiders are found to have pathogens and bacteria surrounding their fangs. Nevertheless, it was also concluded that the pathogens and bacteria are sterile and will not affect humans in any way. These pathogens and bacteria might be sufficient to cause damages to small animals, insects and other spiders on which these spiders feed on, but to humans, they are harmless.


Well, so much have been said about spiders and for so long, spiders have just quietly taken the blame for almost everything nasty about having googly eyes and four pairs of legs. However, myth busters like the three given above continue to prove that spiders are just misunderstood creatures, often hated by people because hating is more convenient than actually looking deeper into their real characteristics. While we cannot change how majority of the people around the world looks at spiders, we can actually change our own personal views about them! By knowing that the most common type of phobia is Arachnophobia or the fear of Spiders, we can easily position ourselves somewhere we can help deliver a greater impact in changing how the world views spiders today.

The Curious Case of the Vampire Spider

Funny, how their name is closely associated to Count Dracula and Edward Cullen, but Vampire spiders do not really harm humans by sucking their blood. Instead, Vampire Spiders feed on the mosquitoes that feed on human blood. This appetite for mosquitoes that have human blood in their system makes them a third party vampire. Of course, since mosquitoes do not only feed on human blood but also on animal blood, Vampire spiders do not just have appetite for human blood but to each and every kind of blood from which their prey feeds on.

Vampire Spider Overview

The scientific name for Vampire spider is Eresus lamiae. These spiders belong to the arachnid family called Eresidae and are closely related to Velvet Spiders mostly found in the caves somewhere in Mongolia. These spiders reached the United States sometime in the late 1900s. It was suspected that they have reached foreign lands through the products traded from Mongolia such as cashmere.

In their natural habitats (that's not your house but in caves), they feed on small cave creatures like mosquitoes that feed on animals inhabiting the caves. When it reached the United States, probably because of the nature by which they are brought it, houses became their normal habitats. They are frequently spotted in bedrooms and in sock drawers. Many experts suggest that their inclination to lurk in sock drawers and inside shoes is due to their attraction to the smell of the human feet.

What about their attraction towards the human foot?

Vampire spiders are able to locate their prey by first locating where their prey feeds on. In the case of the female mosquitoes that feed on warm blooded animals like humans, Vampire spiders would locate the very part of the human body where mosquitoes are highly inclined to bite: the foot. They cannot pierce or bite the human skin, so they simply wait around somewhere close to the human foot. Many people would freak out at the very thought of having a spider by their foot but the simple truth is that these spiders do not really harm humans, in fact, they can be considered out allies because they feed on the insects that bring serious diseases like malaria and dengue. Vampire spiders are really safe around humans that even in the event that they accidentally bite humans, they will not cause any serious harm except for the bite marks that might appear after the incident. They do not have venom too.

Vampire Spiders as Human Allies

Apart from the Eresus lamiae, another Vampire spider specie has been discovered in Kenya some time in 2003. The spider was called Evarcha culicivora. This spider has characteristics that are closely related to the Eresus lamiae specie. First, both these species target mosquitoes that are malarial and those mosquitoes that can carry the disease called malaria. They find these mosquitoes more appetizing when they have just bloated their bellies with human blood because for the real essence of their names, Vampire spiders do love blood, although they cannot get it themselves. These spiders are able to recognize a well-fed mosquito from those which are not because of their appearance and smell.

Blood for Sex

This one is not intended for kids to read, so if you are below 18, just skip this part. In 2009, scientists found out that human blood also serves as an aphrodisiac to spiders. After having their fill of the blood, these spiders become so hyped up for sex that they would immediately look for a mate to release their need for sexual pleasure. Moreover, it was also found out that Vampire spiders that have just eaten mosquitoes retain the smell of the human blood. This smell makes them very irresisible to other spiders of the opposite sex. Thus, it can be said that feeding on human blood ensures the continued survival of their specie.

What's with human blood anyway?

Well, there should be a reason why Vampires love the human blood, right? Today, scientists speculate that this special liking for human blood might be due to the fact that the blood is just like a protein-rich red shake that is filled with so much nutrients. Because it is in a liquid form, it is so easy to digest and since Vampires are supposed to have little or no metabolic activity inside them (that's fictitious, right?), it is the perfect meal for them. In reality, vampire spiders prefer a prey that feeds on human blood because of the same reason. They need to spend minimum energy on food processing and the blood is the best type of food for them to be able to do so.

Vampire spiders are tested to verify this notion. So, scientist prepared groups of mosquitoes that are to be fed to the Vampire spiders. The groups are: (1) male mosquitoes that do not feed on blood, (2) female mosquitoes that feed on sugar juices extracted from fruits and flowers and (3) female mosquitoes that feed on human blood. Even without the use of any device, they were able to observe almost immediately that the Vampire spiders are more responsive to the female mosquitoes that feed on human blood. Moreover, the Vampire spiders are then exposed to female mosquitoes that have just fed on human blood and to those that are still hungry. The scientists are able to verify that the Vampire spiders would go after those that have drunk human blood already.


Well, spiders actually differ from each other in so many different ways. Many of the spiders have been proven to be harmless to humans and now, through the curious case of the Vampire spiders, we are actually able to find out that spiders are also very beneficial to humans. This should be left as a point for Arachnophobic individuals to ponder upon. Spiders may look really creepy because of their hair and the many eyes that they have. But if we care to look a little bit closer, we will see that they are also very lovable creatures (finally, I have understood Hagrid!).

Overcoming Fear of Spiders Without Professional Help

While most arachnophobic people would need some medical attention to treat their condition, it doesn't necessarily mean as well that the condition can never be cured by your own. There are things that you can do in order to get rid of arachnophobia for good. But these methods are more often self oriented than process oriented. Meaning, the success of the treatment process solely depends on the patient’s determination and willingness to get rid of his or her fear once and for all. If the patient will fail at some point in the entire process, the process is doomed to fail. Rest assured though, the steps of the process are highly doable and anyone who happens to have arachnophobia may definitely vie for these methods.

Brief Background

Just a brief background run on what arachnophobia is. Arachnophobia is simply the spider phobia. A person, who happens to have arachnophobia, may dread to see a spider in any proximity and condition. Sometimes, an arachnophobic person would begin panicking even if the presence of a spider is just meters away from the person itself. The presence alone could already incite fear in the person thus causing him to indulge into a sense of anxiety. Some arachnophobic individuals undergo through the development of a compulsion, wherein from time to time, they perform ritualistic behaviors just to get rid of their fear or mitigate it in any way possible. An arachnophobic person may also dread the idea of a spider presence in any where that has the possibility of spider habitation. Say for example, getting inside an old room may provoke the arachnophobic person, even if the presence of spiders isn't actually visually seen. The idea alone is strong enough to make the person fear the possibility of encountering a spider any time soon.

People with arachnophobia may oftentimes become quite unproductive and sometimes debilitating to himself and to his daily activities. Office personnel who happen to have arachnophobia may fear getting in some dusty forfeited rooms or corners, and would not get inside them even if they were ordered by someone superior. Of course, the situations would be relatively different from case to case basis, but essentially, arachnophobic people have a lot of deterrence in their productivity and thus impairing their very optimal potentials. Also, there is a possibility of irrational self seclusion that may follow after the fear. It may or may not be a form of compulsion, but what happens is that the person would voluntary seclude his or her self from the outside world just because of his or her fear of encountering spiders in unknown territories. Since he or she would have more confidence that spiders don't exist inside his or her abode or room at least, he or she will opt to stay just inside, isolating him or herself from any human interactions as well. This holds true to really severe cases of arachnophobia wherein at times, compulsion and hysteria will already follow the present conditions of the patient.

Arachnophobia is perhaps one of the most common phobia classifications that most people in the world suffer from. The fear is normally influenced by an earlier trauma caused by a fearful incident with spiders. Sometimes, the fear may be caused by the common misconception of spiders, which happens to be almost present anywhere; television media, hearsays and myths from older folks, etc. The misguided depiction and or portrayal of spiders are often the primary causes why a person would begin fearing spiders. On the other side, you can't blame certain people though if they have started fearing spiders. If you are not a scientist, you may only look at a spider with gross, disgust and fear and never on how beautiful they are actually in a scientific kind of perception. Considering a spider is often found in dark places, or lurking in corners, and is also carnivorous, hideous, and eight-eyed, it is not a surprise anymore why most people would fear the presence of spiders amidst them.

How to Overcome the Fear Alone

There are actually certain ways wherein you can address the problem alone. Though it may truly help to seek advice from a professional phobia therapist, to at least guide you in the maybe longer term process of treating your arachnophobia, rest assured you can still do the process manually and on your own. Ultimately, the primary ingredient for a successful treatment is good mental conditioning and to foster sufficient determination to overcome your own ailments. It may help to set the goal of having a fear-free life, for you to achieve the desired output of the process.

1. Assess yourself first and recondition your mind. You must first foster a considerable amount of willingness and determination in order to combat your fear. Without willingness, the treatment process is surely doomed to fail. You may re-evaluate and recondition your mind by assessing what are the things that are important to you and their value and how much you will lose if you continue on being deterred by your fears.

2. Start slowly exposing yourself to your object of fear. Scientist often call this as the “exposure-response” method. Wherein, you will be subjected to a series of exposure until your compulsive responses in relation to your fear will be subtly and eventually mitigated. The only difference is that, you get to do this all by yourself. It’s not all impossible at all as the process in itself requires only you to execute.

3. Learn more about spiders. Know their wonders and how truly beautiful they are. That could be done be approaching the scientific view or perception on spiders. Accept that spiders are ultimately a part of this world and they bring purpose and balance in the ecological system of existence and life.

4. Acceptance is a key factor to the riddance of arachnophobia. You must embrace the truth that spider is potentially just everywhere, and you can never escape the fact that there will always be a spider encounter impending soon.

Amazing Facts about the Spider's Silk

It might be hard to believe how something as delicate as a spider's web is actually more impenetrable than steel and all the other construction materials that mankind is currently using nowadays. In fact, it is even said that a spider's silk that is as thick as regular pencil would be strong enough to stop a giant aircraft from taking off! It is really amazing how creatures as small as spiders are able to produce a material that man has been envious about for quite some time now. No matter how advanced our current technologies are, we are still not able to replicate the spider's silk or at least culture enough spiders to create an actual industry out of their silk.

Spiders developed all sorts of uses for the silk that they produce. They make houses through it, protect their eggs with silk-sac, and make traps to catch prey and so much more. Many spiders use their silk for personal protection too. They shoot their silk to an aggressive insect or to another spider whenever they are threatened or offended. The black widow is a classic example of a spider that truly makes use of its silk to kill other spiders; after mating, the black widow is inclined to kill its mate by wrapping it with its silk until it suffocates to death. The black widow either feeds on their mate or stores the wrapped mate for future needs.

In an industrialist's point of view, silk is a very ideal construction material that can be used in the medical industry to warfare and so much more. With 50% of the spider's silk being pure polymerized protein (scientifically known as fibroine), the spider's silk took on an amazing molecular weight of 200 to 300 mols, which is actually heavier than so many other elements in the periodic table. Furthermore, microscopic images of the spider's silk revealed that the fibroine making up the silk is actually in a very systematic orientation, contributing to the extra strong characteristic of the material.

How Do Spiders Spew Solid Silk?

First, spiders have this unique characteristic to spew liquid silk that only becomes solid when exposed to air. The liquid leaves the spider's body through their glands and then hardens or polymerizes after in is exposed to air. Being made from protein and other organic materials, the polymerization of the liquid becomes too difficult for us to replicate. There are seven types of glands in a spider's body that are responsible for the production of silk, however, no spider specie has been found to have all these six glands. However, all spider species have the Glandula Aggregata which is the main gland for producing the sticky material that polymerizes to become the actual silk. All the other five glands may or may not be present in a specific spider. So, the glands are:

1. Glandula Aggregata - The gland for producing the sticky material that is the main component of the spider silk.

2. Ampulleceae (major and minor glands) - This is the gland most commonly found in hunting spiders. They use this gland to produce the walking threads which help them get from one place to another.

3. Pyriformers - Of course, the silk will not attach itself to walls, ceilings or other materials if the spider will not make it to. The only way by which spiders are able to do so is by utilizing this gland.

4. Tubiliformes - Have you ever seen a spider egg-sac? The egg-sac takes a very unique shape if compared to the regular structures made by the spiders. In order to make such a protection chamber for the eggs, the spider has to make us of its Tubiliformes.

5. Aciniformes - This glands works very similarly with Tubiliformes, the only difference in their purpose is that this is gland is used to encapsulate the prey and not the eggs of the spider.

6. Coronatae - If ever you have seen a spider's nest, you will see that their nests have an axis for sticking the threads around it. This axis is made by the gland called Coronatae.

Another very interesting thing about spiders is that they can just recycle their silk as easily as eating it. The silk can give them nourishment too (being made of protein). Thus, whenever their spider traps or house loses its adhesiveness maybe because of the rain or of any other damages, they can simply eat it and then construct a new one without wasting anything or whatsoever. The spider has a special organ for digesting the web since the web is actually a very strong material that cannot be easily digested under normal circumstances.

Current Advancements

According to spider silk experts, we are far from mimicking the complete characteristics of the spider web but on a yearly basis, we are also making good progress in this endeavour. At present, we are able to produce a silk that is closely related to the spider web. It is made from yeast and other bacteria that are laboratory-synthesized to have characteristics similar to the spider's web (although not quite). Developers of the material are hoping that it can be used for many different construction purposes in the near future.

Although our scientist today do not really understand yet how the actual silk is made by the spiders, the findings alone that the silk is made of at least 50% protein is already helping them so much in their quest to make good uses of the spider web, artificial or not. This understanding will eventually lead these scientists into finally developing a material that may replace plastic and Styrofoam, a really big breakthrough in materials engineering really.

Scientists are optimistic of that day when they will be able to crack the genetic code that makes up the spider's silk. Only by then will they be able to completely replicate the silk and start using it for things that can bring about great changes into humanity.

Systematic Desensitization: Empirical Cure for Arachnophobia

Arachnophobia is perhaps listed as one of the most common fears of humans in this world; along with claustrophobia, hematophobia, and certain others that often leads to a person's unproductiveness and hysteria which could potentially be dangerous to the person himself and or the other people around him. Panicking are often the most conspicuous symptoms of Arachnophobia. People would immediately resolve into a state of neuroticism even if just placed or situated in a location where there is a possibility of spider presence. This fear often influence sufferers in their major decision making processes, as to where they live, or where they work, even to the kind of places they pass by out on the streets. The fear itself is a greater influence to the person who is suffering it than any other things the person experiences.

The intensity of a person's fear in spiders may depend on the consideration of the amount of trauma the person has experienced regarding spiders. The origin of the fear would more often than not take place in an individual's earlier experiences, usually in the childhood stages wherein stories of how disgusting and fearfully venomous spiders are to people, which also happens to be an urban myth since all the spider species are generally not harmful to humans at all. There may be very, very few spider species that could potentially be fatal to a human being but they are also rarely seen and are located endemically or only in specific places on earth.

Compound that with media move innovations, particularly in the fiction, horror realms of the industry which often portrays spider terrorism in a highly exaggerated perception, children viewers would often perceive the wrong information about spiders in an early age; carrying the fear eventually for the rest of their existence unless countered with another offsetting situation. Appropriate education regarding spiders is the most viable solution to the fear of them. However, they may not be as useful when the origin of fear is highly traumatic. For example, who happens to be bitten by a banana spider (see Brazilian Wandering Spider) and have survived the fatal call may live to fear spiders for the rest of his life. In that sort of cases, no amount of education will ever be sufficient to counter the fear of the individual, if ever he develops it.

Spider fear is curable. Unlike certain very severe phobias that are hard to treat, arachnophobia can be relinquished with proper process and therapy. Perhaps the most effective treatment of arachnophobia so far that are most availed as well by many people suffering from the same fear is the process of systematic desensitization. The process is actually old, innovated during 1950's by a south African scientist, Joseph Wolpe. The treatment goes by relaxing the patient upon exposure of the things that they fear most, which in this case are spiders. The outcome would be that the person who has the fear would become less sensitive over his source of fear.

The first step of the process would entail the stratification of the levels of fear triggers of the patient. The list would count starting from the most feared manifestation to the scenarios or situations with lesser responses. For example, an arachnophobic person would treat encountering a spider first hand would be the worst case scenario for him. That would then be enlisted as number one in the list rank. And if simple pictures of spiders will have milder reactions or responses, it would be enlisted then as last in the rank. Following the first step is the process of relaxing the patient as much as possible by using certain techniques in hypnotherapy and patient may relax partially to becoming totally subconscious about things around him or her.

Often the process of relaxation would entail a follow up approach of regression wherein the patient would be ask to imagine or visualize the idea of spiders in his or her head. The approach would also be inclusive of proximity visualization; imagining the image of a spider up close to a considerable distance. If the therapist would sense any particular reaction coming from the patient along the way, the treatment is then paused. The therapist would then again ask the patient to relax once and the entire process is repeated, vice versa. The goal is that eventually the patient will become overly exposed in the image in his or her mind that he or she will eventually diminish the responses later, making the person less sensitive in his or her object of fear. And then later on, he or she would be much more indifferent in imagining his or her worst case scenarios.

The process of imagining or visualizing the object of in sparring distances is called vivo exposure. The person, who happens to fear spiders, will be asked by his therapist to go and expose himself with spiders around him. He may ask the patient to go to the zoo with him and ask him to touch a tarantula, which should be most likely docile. The therapist would initially demonstrate the process to serve as basis or model to the patient and then gradually, the patient will be persuaded to the same thing the therapist did. A progressive reinforcement of assurance is often entailed in the process of exposure making the patient more confident about his fear and eventually overcome it subtly. Ultimately, the patient will then pick up the spider at his own free will.

However, the process may vary from to time depending on the degree of certain aspects of the person's fear. Reassessments and re-evaluation may have to be considered from time to time in order to make the process truly effective and efficient. Goals would be altered every once in a while to really convey the root of the fear of the patient and essentially get rid of it. The attack towards the root of fear may differ in terms of hitting the mark. Accuracy may depend as well in the amount of cooperation the patient will put forth in the treatment process.

Spider Phobia 2.0

Fear is a terrible thing for anyone to have. All the more of it's a directed fear. The fear of a specific thing, action, or situation can be very deterring and at the same time debilitating to an individual, turning the person unproductive in his or her daily activities and making things even more complicated to accomplish even the simplest of things. The development of anxiety would then eventually devour the person into a state of anxiety; a further complication to the degrading state of the person which could potentially lead to more serious self-destructive behaviors and even suicide. There's more to fear that you should fear than fear itself.

Phobia is a self debilitating condition wherein the person suffers from irrational fear over an object, situation or a particular activity, that he or she will avoid to engage them even to the direst circumstances. Because of this condition, the person suffering from a phobia will live a highly restricted and constricted life, unable to move freely because of his or her fear on engaging the things that he or she doesn't want to engage. What's worse is that the person is actually aware and conscious of his or her irrational behavior over fearing something.

Oftentimes, phobia and anxiety are intertwined. Sometimes, phobia can be a result of a preceding anxiety over something and other times it's otherwise, wherein the development of anxiety will only come later. But more often than not they are concurrent to an individual suffering from it. To identify a phobic anxiety over the other forms of anxiety, you must first distinguish the situations when the anxiety strikes. If the anxieties are more directional, meaning it triggers only upon encounter of specific conditions, and it the trigger factors could be targeted immediately, or easily identified, then the person is experiencing a phobic anxiety. All the other typical symptoms of anxiety will then follow after, such as rapid heart palpitation, nervousness, nausea, upsetting of the stomach, frequent urination, profuse sweating and all other physiological disorders. Often there are occasions when the person suffering from the anxiety will experience swooning and losing consciousness due to the extremities of his or her condition. But that would only take place of course upon the encounter on the object of fear. More than half the time the person suffering from phobia will do everything in his or her power to avoid the object of fear and thus in return, the sufferer will lose most of its freedom.

There are different types of phobias and they classified according to their effects' severity to the sufferer. The first type of phobia would concern more on much simpler basis. This type of phobia would include the fear of certain objects or animals, deep waters, closed spaces and heights. They are more often than not less interfering with the person's daily activities and productivity. Since the triggers are more specific, they tend to be less triggered because it would require a more exigent circumstance. The second type of phobia is the kinds of fears that considerably disrupt the person's activities like agoraphobia, or the fear of public spaces. This phobia is often accompanied by hysteria and anxiety and would often force a person to place his or her self in ultimate seclusion, depriving him of any civil interactions. Third type of phobia is more social in nature, instigating fear even in person to person interactions.

Spider phobia belongs to the first type of phobia as they are more related on simple and specific orientations, particularly on spiders.

Arachnophobia is basically the fear of spiders. This kind of fear are most likely not innate or inherent to an individual and mostly triggered and developed in growth eventually. The fear may stem out of certain circumstances or situations where the person or an individual has undergone traumatic memories that is related or at least somehow related to spiders. Most of the arachnophobia cases would stem out beginning in most people's childhood days. Whether by watching a scary movie about spiders or a spider bite them and have caused considerable worries afterward, any of these factors could lead to the development of a person's fear on spiders and they will carry that fear for the rest of their life unless if treated appropriately. That's why, there are certain situations where a person, who is not originally afraid of spiders would start fearing them as well because of the certain influences that would affect his or her mentality. An example of this is the misguided portrayal of spiders in certain fiction horror movies and misconceptions of most people about venomous spiders. These kinds of things would often trigger a person to begin fearing about spiders.

One reason why most people are inevitably afraid of spiders is because of how most people would perceive a spider be. They are more often than not considered to be ugly and disgusting and creatures, even scary by nature. While a lot of people believe this, youngsters and certain individuals who are not really afraid of spiders would learn from the misconception of others and would begin to believe as well, installing fear within them.

Perhaps the best way to combat the fear on spiders is to have sufficient information about the creatures and to acknowledge their real natures without prejudice. Studying spiders and understanding would open up levels of appreciation and that could ultimately prevent or cure the fear of a person on them. But there are these certain times wherein the person is just to rooted in his or her fear that she wouldn't believe anything anymore that is later introduced. These kinds of people are most likely to suffer more from their fear, developing symptoms of hysteria and anxiety. Compulsions may also develop later as a symptom in an individual who has a certain fear over spiders. Compulsive behaviors like exaggerated sanitary behaviors are the most common in a person who has utter fear on spiders. They will do whatever they can to make sure that spiders will never be encountered inside the house.

Citrus-based Spider Sprays

If you can stand the thought of having to deal with spider control on your own then you are not Arachnophobic. Perhaps, the reason why you want to repel and control spiders is not about fear or whatsoever; rather it is just your preference to live a spider-less life. Being a do-it-yourself advocate means wanting to make your own spider repellents too. Thus, this article is all about the natural spider repellents that you can make by yourself.

Is the use of natural control methods a good idea?

Although it is already a given fact that the most effective way to control pests, insects and other creatures is through the use of chemicals, there is still merit to using natural control methods. First, you would not want to expose your beloved pets to poisonous materials, don't you? If you use poisonous pesticides, there is a possibility that the poison hits non-target animals like your pets. In rare cases, even infants and toddlers are poisoned by such chemicals. Thus, if you are the kind of person who values safety above anything else, it can be said that the use of natural control methods to deal with spiders is a very good idea.

Repelling versus Killing

Since it has been established that if you want to do the control methods on your own you are definitely not an Arachnophobic person, those with Arachnophobia would never want to have anything to do with spiders except for stopping them from ever coming into their lives. Arachnophobic individuals would prefer to repel spiders and hinder them from ever entering the house in the first place. Nevertheless, there are certain methods that can kill spiders on the spot and many people who only got concerned about spider infestation right after they found out that spiders are already infesting in their homes have to deal with the extermination. The fact alone that they have not done anything prior to an infestation proves that they are not that concerned about spider infestation. Thus, we can conclude there that spider repelling is for Arachnophobics while spider extermination is for those who simply don't like spiders around them.

For Arachnophobics Wanting to Repel Spiders

Now, having known that you cannot stand the possibility of living with spiders under the same roof, you are confronted by the need to make certain that you make your house spider proof in the very place. Here is a simple spider repellent recipe which you can follow:

Citrus Spray

Do you know that spiders cannot stand the taste of citrus? I don't really know the scientific explanation behind this but from what I have read, spiders are said to be oversensitive to citric acid that exposure to it can kill them. So, having known this, let's make a fancy citrus-based spray that will surely repel spiders out of your house (apparently, spiders taste using their feet so, if you spray this on surfaces around your house, they will not even want to walk anywhere in your house).

You only need three things: (1) Any citrus fruit (orange, lemon, citronella, lime, etc.) or essential oils of these fruits, (2) water and (3) a spray bottle. If you are using real citrus fruits, boil the peelings of the fruits in water and that will be your entire spray mix. However, it is still better if you use essential oils because the citrus "taste" will be stronger if you use oils. Make sure that you are not using synthetic essential oils because these oils do no really have the same characteristics as the actual thing; you will only be wasting your efforts if you will do so. Do not buy the oil if it is labelled "fragrance oil", make sure you buy the "essential oil" or else your spray will be ineffective.

Do not be confused with the name "essential oil" and expect a liquid product that closely resembles that of oil, in fact, essential oils appear like water when it comes to consistency. You can buy these oils in most drugs stores but some grocery stores are also selling such products. These are laboratory-extracted oils from citrus fruit peelings and the oil retains most of the chemical characteristics of the fruit from which it is extracted from. Once you have the oil in your hands, mix it with some water. Make sure that you measure the amount of water accurately so that you will get the most effect from the essential oils. One quart of water is enough for exactly a teaspoon of 100% pure essential oil. Place the mixture in the empty spray bottle and shake well before you spray.

Choose areas in the house where spiders are most likely to lurk. You can spray the basement floor and ceiling, closets, garage, attic and other dark areas in your house. The solution might be too easy but this really works. In fact, I have tried this on my own and I haven't spotted any spiders in my attic for months now. Apart from being effective, the best thing I like about a citrus spray is that it is purely organic, non-toxic and very safe to use around pets and children.

If you do not have the time to make your own spray, you can simply buy a ready-made citrus-based spray in some pest control stores. However, most of these products are available only in online-based stores so you must be careful in making your purchases so that you can be sure that you are giving the most value for the money that you spend on spider control.

Last Reminders

Although essential oils are toxic-free and are generally safe to use around children and pets, when exposed to high concentrations, it may cause irritations, most especially in the eyes. Thus, it is still important for you to keep the essential oil concentrate someplace where kids and pets will not be able to reach them. Nevertheless, the use of spider sprays is still the best way to repel spiders at home.

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House?

Before we even talk about spider control, it should be clear that most of the spiders that we see at home are very safe. Spiders that can stand human presence are very timid and only bite when intentionally offended. Thus, it should be clear from the very start to emphasize that the need for spider control is actually an exaggerated concept and majority of those who think that spider control is a must do not really look at spiders as pests, rather as a source of fear caused by their spider phobia. Another thing, spiders are helping humans in one way or another. In the settings of our homes, spiders are very effective in controlling flies and mosquitoes population, both of which are very harmful to human health because of the diseases that they carry with them. Moreover, many house spiders even repel poisonous spiders from ever entering a house; the Giant House Spider is a classic example.

Now, no matter how much emphasis is placed on the unnecessary of spider control, we cannot deny the fact that those who suffer from Arachnophobia (and there are so many of them) will have to live a pathetic life if they try to live with spiders under the safe roof. Thus, no matter how unneeded, spider control is still something that should be learned and taught because some people's lives are going to be much better if spiders are not around them. This article is for this select instance.

Where Would Spiders Lurk?

Out in the open environment, spiders prefer to live in meadows, in trees, in rocks and in other undisturbed places. House spiders and those outdoor spiders that happen to come across a house also prefer the same. Expect to see spiders in areas in your house that are dusty, dingy and dark. I prefer calling theses three characteristics as the three D's. Thus, if you want to really avoid spider infestation, might as well start cleaning your attic, cupboard and garage right now. Spiders can also find peace in dark corners and in other concealed areas in the house like underneath beds, floors, ceilings, furniture, closets and even old cartoon boxes.

In your yard or garden, spiders are most likely to be seen in vegetation, trees and dry grasses. They normally feed on the insects the also live in such places. The hunting spiders are usually the ones found outdoors while the web-making spiders usually stay indoors and wait for their prey to fall into their silk traps.

To keep spiders out of your house and away from your yard, you have to make these places unattractive to spiders. Since they like dust, then clean out the dust and mop the places where they are most likely to be seen.

Great Ideas

Stockpiling stuff makes it harder to control clutter at home. Spiders like clutter because it is really difficult to dust places where clutter has already started to accumulate. Clutter means having boxes and plastic containers piled in specific corners of your house, these things are very ideal for spider infestation. So, as a better idea, you can do either of the following:

1. Donate old stuff

It is usually the unused stuff that gets to be piled up. Old shoe boxes are popular spider favorites, so instead of simply piling them up, why not donate them to those who might need them. That way, you will be helping both yourself and the person whom you give your stuff to. You can also donate clothes which are stored in boxes or untouched closets. Spiders like to live in areas where disturbance is very minimal and if you continue to keep stuff which is not used, you are only risking yourself to the possibility of harboring spiders in your house.

2. Clean closets

We normally forget to clean out our closets thoroughly and in most cases, we only dust those areas which are readily seen by the naked eye. By cleaning closets, I mean to tell you that you should empty your closet of all its contents so that you can reach the corners inside. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and then wipe insides of your closet with cloth to give it the shiny look. If the closet used to be storage for toys, you can really assume that some of the toys (especially those with large holes on them) should have been infested by spiders inside too. To clear you doubt, spray the toys with water at high pressure. Make sure that you spray every part of the toys and then let them dry before you place them inside plastic bags before you put them back in the closet. That way, you will be avoiding further infestation inside these toys.

3. Do not miss the Garage and the Sheds

Of course, you need to clean these places as much as you cleaned the closets and the other parts of the house. You also need to apply the general rule of clutter control: do not keep unnecessary things. That means that empty bottles, tin cans and cartoons should be disposed the very moment that their contents are consumed. If you have any idea as to how to recycle those stuff, then do so, just don't let them linger in your Garage or shed since spiders will most likely view them as an open and indirect invitation. Use a vacuum cleaner/blower to clean every corner of your garage. Make sure the dust is completely done away with and that the place is properly lighted since spiders prefer dark areas.

As a general advice, focus on areas where very little activities happen. Since spiders prefer to be alone by themselves, it will be helpful if you make sure that you utilize every portion of your house, or at least, you get to "clean" those places which are not really intended for any activities like the attic, the ceiling and the cupboards. Do the cleaning at least twice in a month and surely, spiders will detest living in your house.

Arachnophobia Treatments: Getting Rid of Your Fear of Spiders for Good

You should have heard of the classic phrases "Conquer your fear" and "It is easier said than done" as these two repeatedly collide against each other. Conquering a fear is supposed to be the most logical thing for a person to do, but it become too difficult when the fear itself is illogical. That's the case of phobias. While it is human nature to be afraid of things that can compromise his or her life, phobia is something that transcends even deeper than eminent danger. For example, a person who is suffering from Arachnophobia does not only feel anxious and uneasy at the sight of actual spiders, rather, mere images or thoughts are sufficient to bring about excessive panic reactions from these individuals. They will refuse to go into places that might harbor spiders like meadows, grasslands, parks, etc. In most cases, phobias affect the overall quality of an individual's life. Arachnophobia, being the most common of all phobias is affecting millions of individuals as of the writing of this article.

Humiliation is very common amongst those who suffer from Arachnophobia. Severe cases recorded revealed that even Spiderman can become a cause of fear amongst the Arachnophobics. This illogical fear towards something is not apparently not dangerous cause tremendous social issues for the sufferers to deal with. They would often become hysterical once they come across spiders even if they are in very populated places, drawing attention to them and to their disorder, causing further psychological damages. In some cases, arachnophobia has caused deaths amongst drivers who lost control and panicked upon the sight of a spider which they are driving. Cases like these lead to a single solution, and that is, to treat Arachnophobia as fast as possible.

Types of Treatments So Far

1. Hypnotherapy

While the use of hypnosis in phobia treatment is still not very well founded to date, a lot of patients who have undergone hypnotherapy have actually proven that this type of treatment does work. Through Neuro linguistic Programming or conditioning the sub consciousness of an individual, the therapist will be able to suggest thoughts that can change a person's point of view towards certain things. For example, drug and alcohol addiction are said to be easier to treat if regression is applied. Since the addiction has already corrupted the logical thinking capacity of a person, the best way to help the person make sense of the reason why the addiction needs to be gotten over is to tap the sub consciousness. In the same way with phobias, those who patronize hypnosis to treat phobias believe that the best way to communicate to a person and convince him or her that the fear is rather illogical is to talk to him or her through his or her sub consciousness.

The main goal of Hypnotherapy is to help the sufferer look at spiders in a different light; to make them see that majority of the spiders are harmless and that they are not likely to be hurt by just some random spiders. We can look at phobia as a ready-made script encrypted in our brains and not matter how much effort a person puts forth, the brain will simply re-load the script and proceed into thinking that the fear is indeed apparent. Hypnosis is like "re-programming" or "re-writing" this script. Now, whether hypnosis is indeed real or not, many people still thinks that there is a clear logic behind this procedure. The only thing left to be answered by hypnosis advocates lies on the process by which the sub consciousness is tapped.

2. Actual Exposure Treatment

Although is method is rarely used, Actual Exposure Treatment is actually the most effective method to treat Arachnophobia. However, the main problem with this method is that it cannot be used on people who have extreme Arachnophobia because it involves the actual exposure of the patient to his or her object of fear. In the case of Arachnophobia, the patient is made to deal with actual spiders, of course the intensity and gravity of the exposure increases gradually. They start with long distance encounter until they would reach a point when patients are really made to hold and touch the spiders. This is very effective because it directly rebuts the notion of the brain that the spiders are supposed to be fearsome. If the patient would have a controlled encounter with the spider, he or she will soon figure out that the fear is indeed illogical. Of course, this can't be done without a psychiatric and medical expert around. Every time the patient successfully completes a specific stage in the treatment, the psychiatrist and the physician has to make certain that the experience sinks into the consciousness of the patient.

However, the problem with this method is that many patients end up quitting the treatment before it is completed because of their extreme disgust for actual spiders which are used in the therapy.

3. Virtual Exposure Treatment

Virtual exposure treatment works under the assumption that the previously mentioned treatment procedure is effective and the only hindrance why too few people are able to avail of this treatment is because it uses actual spiders in the therapy. Virtual exposure seeks to replace the actual spiders with computer graphics, pictures, sounds and other objects that closely resembles a spider, but it is not the actual spider per se. But doing so, the Arachnophobic is more cooperative of the procedure until such a time when he or she finally gets to relate everything in the therapy to his or her fear on spiders. Of course, this type of treatment still requires an expert around or else everything done during its course might just become a waste.

Recent studies revealed that Virtual exposure treatment is more effective than its counterpart (actual exposure); however, no data has been made whether it is also better than hypnosis. To date, hypnosis is still the most popular Arachnophobia treatment method. In fact, many hypnosis clinics capitalize on Arachnophobics because there's just so many of them.

Spider Anatomy (Part II)

In the last article we have discussed the external parts of a spider's anatomy, comprising basically of the two segmented parts: The abdomen and the cephalothorax. In the previous article, the cephalothorax and its components were discussed and exemplified. In this article we will be discussing more about the abdomen part of the spider's anatomy as well as its internal parts and their function.

The Abdomen

Unlike the cephalothorax part of the spider, the abdomen is rather soft and saclike. Located in the underside of the spider's abdomen are actually three pairs of spinnerets. Spinnerets are actually where a spider's thread comes out. It serves as an outlet for the silk producing glands that a spider has. Each of the three spinnerets produces different quality of spider silk with each other but contributes in a diversified function whether for creating an orb web or capturing their prey. They are also studded with fine, hair-like cylinders or tubes called spigots, which are the ones responsible for creating different types of spider silk threads. The spigot tubes actually lead to the different types of silk glands that spider's abdomen has. Inside the abdominal glands, silk is initially produced as liquid. When the spigots shoots the silk liquid, certain protein molecules and components of the silk will line up with one another causing the entire material to harden once it hits air. The silk then forms into a s
trong, highly elastic fiber filaments which the spiders use as well for all of its locomotion.

However, the air is not the responsible factor as to why the silk harden once it comes out of the spider's body. It is the process of which the spigots draw them out of the spider's silk producing glands. The silk produced by the different spigots may combine and fuse altogether to form a much more elastic and stronger silk fiber or filament. The spinnerets of a spider is not actually just mere punctures in the spider's abdomen, but are regarded by most scientists as a spider's hidden limbs. It is considered so because spinnerets can move accordingly as to how the spider would be using its silk, whether by capturing a prey or creating its dwelling. This is also the reason why a marvel concept character, Spiderman, shoots his threads out of his hands instead of his ass. Apart from the fact that it would utterly ridiculous if Spiderman would shoot webs from the behind, it is also essentially because of the truth that spider's spinnerets are actually their hidden limbs.

Internal Anatomy

Have you ever squished a spider? Have you ever tried paying attention to what you have just crushed? If so, you would have noticed that once you squish a spider, it's just their blood that you see and certain bodily fluids colored grey or ash and sometimes with something white.

You may have thought that a spider doesn't have any sort of insides in them; and that they are all made of liquid and mushy flesh parts and its only their exoskeletons that's making them as hard as they can. However, you are truly wrong if this is what you think about a spider's inside. Because like it or not, a spider's body interior is comprised of a lot of things as well, including a nervous system. You better think twice again when you are squishing off spiders mercilessly. Think about the amount of excruciating pain they would have to go through to die at your whim.

The cephalothorax part of the spider's anatomy is actually a shell casing to a lot of the spider's interior parts. In the cephalothorax resides the spider's digestive system and nervous system. The abdomen of a spider is also the place where most of the vital organs of a spider are located. Vital organs such as a long, tubular heart, reproductive organs, excretory organs and respiratory organs are all found in a spider's abdomen.

The Respiratory System

A spider actually has two types of respiratory organs. One type of breathing organ is the book lungs and the other is the tracheal tube. There are certain narrow slits within the abdomen of a spider and they are leading to two to four respiratory organs namely, book lungs. They are named that way because of their alternating levels or layers of air spaces certain minute leaflets all filled with their blood, making it look something like of an open book. Each time the spider breathes, the oxygen in the air would immediately be sifted through the very thin cuticle leaflets and right into the blood of the spider.

There are also small openings located nearby the spinnerets. However, they are not in any way related to the silk production process of the spider. These holes are called spiracles and leads to the cuticle-made tracheal tubes. These almost microscopic tubes are allocated all over the body to distribute air to the spider's entire system.

Blood Circulation

A spider's blood is not red. If you have squished spiders from time to time in your life, you would have known this by now. Their blood is actually called hemolymph. The hemolymph contains lots of blood cells and oxygen delivering blood pigments called hemocyanin. Hemocyanin is also the responsible component why a spider's blood is colored grey or light blue. In contrast to the humans blood with blood cells containing haemoglobin which carries the oxygen all throughout the human body, a spider's blood has also an almost the same characteristics. It also have blood cells that carry oxygen to the many different parts of a spider's anatomy, as well as certain antibodies that help combat harmful bacteria to a spider and as well wound recoveries.

Unlike humans with an apparently mango-shaped hearts, a spider's heart is rather cylindrical or tubular in shape and it lies in the back part of the abdomen. Each time it contracts it delivers the blood forward into the cephalothorax then sends it back to the abdomen. Blood would travel into very small tubes or also called arteries which are vastly distributed in their entire body cavity.

Spider Anatomy (Part I)

Just like any other biological creatures on earth, a spider also has an anatomical structure. Each part of its anatomy has a designated purpose for its special function. Without at least one of the spider's anatomical parts, the spider may not exist at all.

A spider is an amazing creature on earth. It's really worth a while to take a look at them closely and try to comprehend their nature. You will come to understand how they magnificently struggle into existence despite the dangerous environments around them. You will also come to fully rationalize the very reason why spiders do what they do and understand why as well they have certain features in them. When you get to know what they are for and how they tangibly function for a spider's existence, you will be amazed how much there is to understand about spiders. There's certainly more to them than just the domestic bugs you normally get rid of along with termites and cockroaches.

There are many ways to foster the appropriate appreciation and interest for spiders and one way to do about that are to know more about them, starting with learning their anatomy.

The External Body

The common anatomy of a spider is a body that is comprised in two parts: the abdomen, where the silk producing glands and the spinnerets are located, and the prosoma or cephalothorax which is where the head, eyes, chelicerae are located. A pedicel is a portion of the spider body that conjunct the two parts. A spider size could range from about less than 1 millimetre or .04 inches, to 10 centimetres or 4 inches in length. But there are other spider species, particularly the tarantulas, which can grow as large as 10-12 inches. In fact the tarantula species is where the largest spiders are.

Often called a hard shell of an invertebrate, the exoskeleton is the only thing responsible of protecting the insides of the spider. It covers its entire body. The materials that comprise a spider's exoskeleton is mainly based on some protein compounds with tough fibers namely chitin. The exoskeleton is basically stratified cuticles of the protein compounds convoluted into one another, and the arrangement of the piles often improves the protection it gives to the spider and as well as its flexibility. The cuticle also provides a desiccation mechanism for the spider and also the framework to the various muscles that a spider possesses. There's a difference however, between the cuticle found in the abdomen and the cephalothorax. The cephalothorax cuticles are relatively harder than that of the abdomen. Each time a spider molts, it sheds away the old cuticles and develops a new one to cover itself.

The Cephalothorax

This part of the spider's body is comprised of a variety of structures and appendages. The first part is chelicerae that are used by the spider to bite its prey and for initial digestion. Another part near the chelicerae is the poison glands where the venom is located which are usually used to immobilize their victims, especially to smaller species of spiders. Another part is the pedipalps, leg-like appendages which also happen to look like their ninth and tenth legs but considerably small in size. And also the initial four rear legs of the spider and the 6-8 eyes.

Mouth Parts

To most spiders, they are able to grab hold of their prey by using their two appendages near their mouth. These things are called the chelicerae. Actually, the chelicerae more or less resemble a pocket knife to a spider. The chelicerae contain a pair of fangs as well that when a spider prepares to take a bite or uses it for some other reasons, swings out from its former position and stabs right into the preys body. Nearby the fang of a spider is the poison glands' duct opening. The fangs actually serve as needles for the venom that a spider will inject to its victim in order immobilize it.

Other purposes of chelicerae are to dig out holes in the ground and to carry preys around from one place to another. But the purposes may differ on the species of the spider.

Poison Glands

Perhaps referred to as the bread and butter of the spider race, a spider's venom is its main tool for capturing and subduing its prey. Despite the spider's sheer force (particularly in the case of larger spiders like tarantulas), they would still need to subdue their victims with venom to ensure no escape. When to be used, the chelicerae muscles would then contract squeezing the glands in order to produce the toxins needed, it would then come out from the duct opening located near the fangs and then to the prey.

Palps and Legs

Right behind a spider's chelicerae are a pair of palps. These segmented looking limbs are not only used for feeding but also for feeling its prey before eating it. Most male species of spiders use their palps to inject sperms to females during intercourse. Adjacent to the pair of palps are the initial four pairs of legs of a spider. These legs are quite hairy. The hair in the legs of a spider is used to detect vibrations from prey or to foresee any imminent danger in the environment. Basically, the legs of a spider serve as its antennae. This protects the spider from all sorts of danger every time.

Sensory Organs

Most species of spiders are nocturnal and they will most likely do all the hunting at night. As a result to that innate characteristic, spiders have developed keener senses than its visual aspects and in return their eyes are also less developed. There are other species of spiders however, that has more developed eyesight and mainly uses it to capture their prey. Apart from the hairs found in their palps and legs, a spider also has a lot of hairs in its feet which are more often used to taste its prey.

A lot of spiders only have four pairs of simple eyes. Simple eyes are eyes that only have single lenses. These parts are located in the front area of the cephalothorax. There are certain species of spiders however, like the brown recluse which only has six.
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