Don’t Let Fear of Spiders Stop You from Moving to Australia

On Wednesday I tried to talk everyone into Liking the Huntsman Spider. I do appreciate though, that not everyone will be able to do that; one particular group of people would certainly struggle.

Arachnophobes

cartoon spiderIt’s worth remembering though that spiders are everywhere, in every country. Unless you move to the Arctic, you are likely to come across a spider at some point. Similarly, arachnophobes are also everywhere and in every country. They may even be in the Arctic, they have more incentive than most to go.

Here is a bunch of arachnophobes, from the US by sounds of it, all talking about their fear of spiders. The presenter claims to be able to help people get over this fear.

I don’t think so. Let’s take a look as Arachnophobes Meet Spiders…

So, if spiders are everywhere (apart from the Arctic and no one wants to live there), then why is it that arachnophobes get particularly uneasy about moving to Australia?

Because Australians spiders are venomous and can kill you Bob, that’s why!

And that’s just the point, potentially a couple of them ‘can’, but in reality nobody has died from a spider bite in Australia since the 70s.

I would also like to remind anybody who is allowing the fear of spiders to make them rethink a potential move to Australia that pest control really does work. I have absolutely no doubt that I see fewer spiders in my Australian house than I used to see in my UK house.

If the fear of spiders is preventing you from moving to Australia, just remember, we have lots of cute wildlife as well and in my eight years here so far, I see far more of the cute stuff than the scary stuff.

Like this…

You will not see a sight like that anywhere else in the world, will you? Not in the Arctic either.

Australia; more cute stuff than scary stuff, honest.

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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Diane Shepherd September 6, 2017, 5:55 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, thank you so much for sending this email. As you realise by now, we have corresponded before. We are still determined to move to Oz, “bugs and all”. You’ll likely remember that I’m an arachnophobe along with countless others. Reading your latest article about the Huntsman, I can understand now why he IS a friend. Not sure yet though about allowing one to stay in the house and probably even more unsure about holding one! But it definitely sounds as if he does a really good job ridding houses of pests. Must now tell you this. We used to pet sit around France, and our first sit was for a couple who had relatives in Adelaide (their visit there being our reason to pet sit). There was a Huntsman on the wall as Vivienne went through the front door – she screamed for someone to get rid of it before she went any further. One of the others said “oh, Boris won’t hurt you, he’s only a baby”. That has stayed in my mind actually and now after reading your article, I feel a bit less scared (teeny weeny bit!) but seeing one in a house might just send me into a fit. I don’t know. I told you we have friends who live near Sydney and we took a holiday last year which finished there. We stayed with them, and Greg looked around to find different ones to help me recognise them, and we didn’t see ANY at all. Inside or out. He did howeve have a funnel web he had caught in a container though which he was going to take to the zoo for milking. We visited the Australian Reptile Park and I actually “enjoyed” seeing the spiders albeit behind glass! I must say they all looked a bit dopey though! So what I’m saying is, maybe I’m coming round to accepting what most people living in Oz say, that is, you hardly see any. We didn’t see any snakes either, so I think the desire to move to Oz is MUCH stronger than seeing pesky critters. Bob, many thanks again for your communication – I really do appreciate it.

    • BobinOz September 7, 2017, 12:28 am | Link

      There you go, what spiders?

      Interesting what you have said, I’ve lived here nearly 10 years now, and because I write this website, I actively look for spiders and snakes. I’m not very good at it though, I’ve got an appalling record.

      I’ve done okayish with snakes, but not great. I think I’ve seen about nine or ten now, it’s pretty much one a year. I’m talking only about snakes in the wild, not at a zoo or any other controlled environment.

      I’ve seen quite a few spiders, but no more than I used to see in the UK, in fact I would say considerably less. In all this time I have never seen a redback spider. I’ve been bitten by one though, just didn’t see it..

      https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/4461/what-its-really-like-to-be-bitten-by-a-redback-spider/

      As I said, I’m not very good at it.

      The reality is spiders and snakes are not really a day-to-day problem here, nobody really thinks about it. These critters reputations are scarier than the reality, it’s really a bit of an Australian myth.

      They are certainly not a reason to avoid moving to Australia. All the best to you, Bob

      • Diane Shepherd September 7, 2017, 1:43 am | Link

        If this is your reply to me Bob, you are giving me more confidence in order to “live” with these things. I even made a note of a snake catcher (some time ago). I mean BUSINESS! I also read about an Eastern Brown going into a ladies clothes shop – Bowral or Sydney area, can’t remember which. Greg said “those Browns are such cross dressers”. I think it slithered out as quickly as it slithered in.

        • BobinOz September 7, 2017, 8:56 pm | Link

          Yes, from what I hear that brown snake saw a couple of the pricetags on those clothes, and slithered straight out again. I do the same in some shops.

          Although I don’t slither.

          • Diane Shepherd September 7, 2017, 11:58 pm | Link

            You are SO funny! Guess I’ll keep out of THAT shop. If the EB says it’s too expensive, then it must be! Bye for now.

  • Charlotte Hayleigh Suleyman September 6, 2017, 6:03 am | Link

    Hi, I’ve just qualified as a nurse in the UK and am wanting to move to Australia. I have a few friends out there, and their positive experiences is really making me consider it. The quality of life, the people, the weather, the beautiful country itself…..one problem. If I can’t handle the spiders you get in the UK, then how the hell could I handle them there!? I mean, this goes beyond a normal fear. For example, I went to Mexico on a family holiday, and became really ill due to leaving on the air conditioning. The holiday reps told us that because of the heat, it was better for us to only turn on the AC when we came back to the room so your body adjusts to the coolness gradually. Did I listen? No. Had feverish sweats because my body was going from boiling hot to freezing cold too quickly. Why? So there was no hope in hell a spider would come in as they hate the cold. I have every electrical appliance to repel them going, sprays, conkers in every corner of every room, spend more time hoovering the ceiling collecting cobwebs than the floor, avoid sheds and gardening, bang my shoes out before I can put them on, and will basically bang on every neighbours door no matter what the time is until a spider that’s entered my home is REMOVED. And I mean, removed. If I get the ‘it’s gone now’ rubbish, I’ll make them find it so that I can physically see it being removed.
    What on earth can I do!? What measures can I take to make sure a spider NEVER comes into my home? I just know I’d be worse, especially if my 7 year old came with me. He’d never be allowed to play in a garden that’s for sure because in oz they ARE dangerous. He’d never be allowed to sleep in a bed without netting the whole way round. I’d be a huge paranoid panicky mess!!!!!!!!!!! It’s so upsetting that a bug basically can have this much control and impact on my life!!

    • RaoulDuke September 6, 2017, 7:20 am | Link

      You can’t stop spiders coming into any house in Australia or the UK. 99% of the ones we get are absolutely tiny. Once or twice a year we get a really big one. They’re obviously far more scared of you. Never seen a deadly one at all. If you’re close to city like Brisbane, it will never be an issue. On the other hand, Australian magpies…

      • BobinOz September 7, 2017, 12:09 am | Link

        Ah, yes, the magpies…

        https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/10226/swooping-magpies-how-stupid-are-they/

        As RaoulDuke has pointed out Charlotte Hayleigh Suleyman, you can’t do anything to ensure a spider never comes into your home. That’s impossible. Getting a decent professional annual pest treatment though, which will cost you around $200, will ensure that any spider, or other bug, that comes into your house will be dead within 24 hours.

        It works, it really does.

        Seems to me you can’t handle spiders in the UK, and you can’t handle spiders in Mexico, so you may as well live here in Australia and enjoy the quality of life, the people, the weather, and the beautiful country itself whilst not handling the spiders here.

        Ultimately though, what you appear to have, if you don’t mind me saying, is an irrational fear, and if I were you I would look into how you can overcome that. Believe me, it is possible, I know it is. I even have someone who comments regularly here who tells me that he had an enormous fear of spiders and then decided to study them at a very high level, university if I remember, and now he is no longer scared of them at all. He understands them.

        As this article says, don’t let the fear of spiders stop you from moving to Australia.

  • Diane March 13, 2016, 4:08 am | Link

    Hi Bob
    I keep reading various articles by you, and I read other info on other sites too. We are thinking of moving to Oz (funds permitting) but maybe not for 2 or 3 years. We have Australian friends who live near Sydney and the only thing putting me off at this moment in time is the spider population, particularly the Sydney funnel web. Our friend says not a great problem but I’m not sure yet! I have always had a spider phobia. We have lived in France for 13 years and only see pretty much the British kind. We see snakes in our garden from time to time when the weather is warmer, but mostly grass snakes and the odd adder. Back to spiders, I know the Huntsmans live behind curtains (!) so we would opt for a curtainless existence. Or perhaps they live behind furniture if there are no curtains? Help! I need some serious reassurance.

    • BobinOz March 14, 2016, 5:06 pm | Link

      Diane, your friend is right, it’s not a great problem. Huntsman don’t necessarily live behind curtains either, so there’s no reason for you not to have them in your house. If you get pest control done regularly on your home, you will find it’s very effective.

      As I think I said in the above article somewhere, I hardly ever see any spiders either when I’m out and about or in my home. Don’t let it spoil your move. Cheers, Bob

      • Diane March 14, 2016, 7:32 pm | Link

        Thanks so much for that, Bob. We would have to live in a regional or low growth area as we are retirees, so I guess there would be more “wildlife”. But yes, I am more reassured now. Thank you once again!

        • BobinOz March 15, 2016, 4:01 pm | Link

          Yes, more wildlife, but it’s beautiful wildlife rather than scary wildlife.

  • Charlotte October 21, 2015, 6:22 am | Link

    Thanks for this post, it has greatly reassured me as I am a huge arachnophobe. If I see a spider in a room in my house in the uk I won’t go in that room for a week until it’s gone. I am still weary of moving to Australia, I hope to go there for university. Love the blog Bob!

    • BobinOz October 21, 2015, 6:39 pm | Link

      Thanks Charlotte, I’m glad to hear my article has helped you a bit. You’d have a great time in university here, don’t let stupid spiders put you off 🙂

      Good luck, Bob

  • Virginia G September 3, 2015, 12:24 pm | Link

    Were some of those joeys in the pouch head-first? Like with their feet sticking out? Either way, those were some seriously cute kangaroos.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2015, 7:09 pm | Link

      Maybe, Joeys chill any which way they want:-)

  • Raoul Duke September 2, 2015, 8:40 pm | Link

    We get the odd spider in the house every week or so. The majority of the time they are tiny – smaller than the typical British house spider, and often they are already dead. We get maybe one huge one per year, but so far they have all come off way worse for the experience than we have! If you live anywhere near an urban centre, there’s really nothing to worry about.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2015, 6:07 pm | Link

      Exactly, nothing to worry about.

  • Snoskred August 29, 2015, 3:07 pm | Link

    I am an Arachnophobe, and I have lived in Australia all my life.

    Growing up the huntsmen were my nemesis. I never really saw any other kind of spider living in the foothills of Adelaide. I was probably mid twenties before I saw a Redback spider.

    Moving to Sydney, having seen a documentary on the Sydney Funnelweb, I was really glad we were about 200kms down the coast because they live in a specific area in Sydney.. only, they seem to have hitchhiked down the coast with camping people and we’ve had 2 turn up dead in the man cave sink – they could not seem to climb out – and one dead *inside* the man cave.

    I’m still not any kind of fan of the huntsman but given the choice, I prefer those to the funnel web. Can that be considered liking them? Probably not, because given the choice I would pick no spiders at all. 🙂

    I thought I might like to move to Albuquerque after seeing it on Breaking Bad, until I heard about the tarantula migration. I recommend *not* googling that. 🙂

    • BobinOz August 29, 2015, 7:08 pm | Link

      Wonderful, good to hear from a lifetime Aussie arachnophobe still alive and well and living in Australia. See how easy it is everyone?

      Albuquerque isn’t the answer for you Snoskred, the Arctic is the only place with a 100% guarantee:-)

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