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DaisyGriffin23 karma

Yes, yes there are. Cockroaches creep me out the most. I think it's because they are one that comes into the house and invades my space. A spider will stay on it's web and just sits there killing other invasive insects, but a cockroach will crawl around the walls and comes out at night. I know they are amazing in their own right, but they do creep me out.

DaisyGriffin21 karma

Well, knowledge is power. I would say try to learn more about them. Is there a particular bug that scares you the most? Research it. Is there a particular thing about them that frightens you (how small they are, how fast they move, the stingers on some of them)? Learn more about it. Learning an insect's limitations may well allay some fears.

Also, it may help to learn some randomly weird facts. After you learn about the diversity of the insect penises (including the female penis recently discovered) it might change the way you think about them. Weird to suggest, I know...but sometimes it's the strange things that work.

That being said, phobias are tough and there are some seriously scary bugs. Each spider you let live will eat about 2000 insects per year. Bats are also wonderful for eating insects. Bugs are also great food for birds, so encouraging a good habitat for other animals helps control the bug populations.

Oh, and read my next book when it comes out this fall, Samantha Spins a Web ;-)

DaisyGriffin13 karma

Ha! Dr. Clark was one of my favorite professors. I took his entomology class back in the day. He made everyone take on an insect name, I was a gypsy moth. He also always had really cool bugs in his office that I loved to stop by and feed. You are lucky to have such a cool Uncle.

That's wonderful that your son is into spiders. We have some cellar spiders that live in our bathrooms which my kids and I love to watch. My husband is even becoming tolerant ;-)

As far as tips for little girls, I don't know. I think all children, boys and girls tend to mimic what they see in those around them. So if you act like spiders are interesting and cool, they believe the same. Also, all kids go through stages. The same child who begged me to write a book so her friends wouldn't squish spiders went through a period when she was younger where she would see a speck of dust and completely freak out because a bug was near her. She just kinda had to go through it and figure out that bugs weren't scary. With anything, knowledge is power. So if you point out the interesting facts and let them look closely, any kid is going to respond well to that.

DaisyGriffin9 karma

Well, I turned over every rock I could find as a kid and I still made it to adulthood intact. In fact, I've never been bitten by a spider at all.

The reason people need to love (or at least tolerate) spiders is because they play a valuable role in the ecosystem. One spider can eat about 2000 insects in a year. That's significant, and important. They are also a good food source for many birds which you might find more attractive. The reason I talk to children more often than adults is because their minds are more open to reason and they haven't already learned bad attitudes like fuck spiders.

DaisyGriffin9 karma

ModernTarantula has good thoughts on this. I don't have a lot to add. In my experience, phobias aren't rational and are very difficult to overcome, but getting frequent small/safe exposure to the idea of spiders helps. Find someone who is really into them and just talk about them with them. Subscribe to r/spiders and look at the ones that come safely across your computer screen. Watch this clip of the cutest spider ever. You may always be wary of spiders, but over time that deep cutting fear will lessen.

Also, for me learning about things is really key. For instance, did you know that the hair on the Dolomedes catches air and keeps an air bubble around it as it dives so that it can still breath a bit underwater and gives it buoyancy to swim back up? Evolutionarily, spider eyes are incredibly cool because they show a different way of eyes evolving vision without a compound eye. You can read more about it here but essentially each pair of the spider's eyes has a different function. Some for peripheral vision, some for focusing, etc. The more you learn about something, the less fear of it has a hold on you. Good luck.