I am moving to Australia, and I am deathly afraid of spiders. I know everyone has their own fears, some realistic some irrational, and believe me, I am well aware that my fear is a common one. A fear of spiders does not make me special in anyway, but what I do find insane is that I chose a place to reside for the next six months that is home to some of the largest and most terrifying spiders in the world. This fear makes me super generic, and a total clique, but I am sure most of you are wondering why a girl with an irrational fear of spiders would choose AUSTRALIA to spend an extended amount of time in. The pros of Australia obviously outweighed the cons (i.e. Spiders) so it was not going to deter me, but I would be lying if I did not admit I am a little nervous about it.
I think what initially sparked my fear in spiders was fifth grade lunch. Growing up you had the option to bring a sack lunch to school or you could get hot lunch from the school itself. I personally always had a lunch my mom made for me but in the fifth grade we were given an account where we could now pick and choose our food and charge it straight to the account our name was under. This meant I know longer had just a single option from the hot lunch line. I could get just a cookie and not the meal, I could get a milk but not have to purchase a sandwich, I could mix and match. This lead to me constantly buy bags of chips. My mom did not have a large amount of junk food in our house so whenever I could get my grubby little fingers on the “good snacks” I did. One day as usual I got in line and picked out a generic bag of lays potato chips. I paid and returned to my table with all of my little fifth grade friends, and I opened my bag of chips. I ate three or four chip no problem, not really paying attention, when my hand reached back into the bag for a fifth one it hit something that was definitely not a chip. It was a dead spider, but not just your average run of the mill spider, it was a huge black spider the size of a chip if not bigger. As you can imagine I had a complete meltdown in the middle of the cafeteria. This is where the fear of spiders really began for me.
Fast forward a little bit, we moved into a new house when I started high school and it was our first time in a long time having a basement. It was furnished and had a ton of amenities, my brother and I spent a lot of time down there… at least at the beginning. One day we were playing Wii and my brother pointed out that there was a weird clump of things moving in the corner, we moved closer to investigate only to see upwards of twenty spiders crawling all over each other in the corner. I immediately scrambled up the staircase screaming for my mother, and believe me my brother was close behind. Turns out they were brown recluses, so we were not allowed in the basement for a while after that (not that I even went down there again). For those of you that do not know about brown recluses, they are super deadly when they bite you and if it is not treated immediately the consequences are super serious.
I guess with that all being said my question is as I embark on this incredible journey in a spider invested country, do any of you who have lived in Australia or traveled to Australia have any tips on how to avoid the spiders while there or things I should be watching out for? What types are the deadliest or most common? Please! Calling all my Aussie peeps, ease my mind!