I am an arachnophobe - I never in a million years thought I would be posting on a spider forum, or boasting about my spider. Fluffy animals, scaly ones, slimy ones, whatever: absolutely fine - but spiders (apart from the teeny tiny money ones) are a nooo.
Phillipa the tegenaria domestica scared the s*** out of me when she first scuttled across the floor of my room. I leapt onto the bed, made a high pitched sound I'm not entirely proud of and chucked an empty plastic grape box in her general direction in an attempt to contain such a fearsome beast.
I then had a dilemma as, being terrified of spiders, releasing her somewhere around the house wouldn't work, because then I would know a spider was near me but not know exactly where it was, which is arguably worse than having a spider in plain sight. Nor would releasing her outside or giving her the bottom of shoe treatment work, as both would be a death sentence - and I'm not that mean. I may not like spiders, but I can respect them and their right to live (but preferably in someone else's house).
So, in the bravest moment of my life so far, I gently cajoled her out of the grape box and into an old hopper tub I had lying around, thinking that by implementing this cunning plan, at least I'd know where the spider was at all times, and maybe I could even come to understand a bit more about them to help combat my fear. And hey, free pet!
Phillipa, as she has been named, has made herself quite at home in the tub, with a nice little web appearing. She's already chowed down on two waxworms, which were stolen from my hamster's treat supply and bravely posted through a tiny gap in the lid. She hasn't been all that interested in mealworms. She's a very interesting creature to observe and watching her first become aware of the worms' presence and then quickly dispatching it is fascinating. They are definitely less scary when they're not running by in the corner of your eye making you jump out of your skin in the dead of night.
The plan is to move her out of the hopper tub when I find a suitable container - I'm thinking critter keeper - and give her a more natural habitat with bark and soil and sticks. Additionally, something with taller, more sheer sides that she can't climb up would be great for my nerves.
Anyway, I thought I would show Phillipa off on here. She's very common and nothing special, of course, but she does have quite a pretty pattern!