Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Spiders

Our Texas insect expert answers common questions about bugs.

By Laura RiceSeptember 29, 2015 8:05 am

One of the more prevalent human phobias, arachnophobia, is the fear of spiders. Those eight-legged crawlers inspire a lot of dread in a lot of people. But Texas Standard’s insect expert says it doesn’t have to be that way.

Wizzie Brown is an insect specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office.

Why Liking Spiders is OK:

“Everyone should like spiders. I always encourage people to try and keep the spiders in their house because they help control any of the bugs that you have in the house.”

But what about spider bites?

“The spiders are usually only biting you to defend themselves, or their home…. It’s usually an accidental thing.”

What do black widows look like?

“The ones that most people see are the females, which are fairly large…. They have a very large abdomen. They are shiny black and they have a red hourglass on the underside of the abdomen.”

How to protect yourself against black widow bites:

“Any time that you’re doing any cleaning outside, make sure that you wear leather gloves. That way you can avoid being bitten by them.”

For more on black widow spiders, listen to the full segment in the audio player above.