I’ve got a problem with spiders. But not the one you’re thinking of.
The problem is how to deal with spiders. I don’t have a phobia of spiders and they don’t really creep me out. Although I would prefer for them not to crawl on me, I don’t spend my days obsessed with the idea.
But, in my everyday journeys, it is a relatively common occurrence to come upon a spider, both large and small. So, the quandary is this: is it really, truly necessary to always kill a spider? Seriously, is it?
What is the worst that a common everyday North American spider just chilling out can do to you? You could live your life thinking all of the spiders are venomous and their bites can cause you to lose limbs, and I suppose that kind of thinking is flawed and ignorant, but valid in its limited way. However, it is statistically unlikely you will encounter a black widow or brown recluse in your normal everyday house life.
So, realistically, how much danger are you in if a spider was to unfairly target you? Well, you would most likely discover some sort of bite or something a few days after it actually happened. So, is it really necessary to go into automatic “kill spider” mode every time you see one?
If the worse they can do is psychological trauma, then is it kosher to just let them be on their merry way? You can assume that the spiders are there because they are eating something, so it is better to live with something you can see and understand (spider) versus an unknown, lurking menace that the spider is feasting on (beetle/creeper bug/termite)?
I would rather knowingly live in a semi-symbiotic environment with my spiders than in a state of constant unease, knowing that whatever the spiders were keeping in check is now running free and wild.
There is also an argument to be made for just releasing the spider back out into the wild, but then what’s really the point? That’s a win-win scenario, but are you really getting the most out of that relationship? Would it have been smarter to get as much free labor as possible from your spiders? If they’re going to live under your roof, they should be working for that privilege by killing all of your other pests for you. You don’t wish for the genie’s freedom, you wish for more wishes.
I’ve got a bit of a handle on spiders. They’re just trying to make it in this world like the rest of us. I respect that. I don’t need to exert my control over a creature whose daily life doesn’t interfere with mine. I can deal with the intersect between us both.
Live and let live, I say.