Imagine coming face to face with one of your biggest fears. As you are reaching up to fill the cat's food bowl on the top tier of their tower, your hand hits a sticky web then your eyes move up to see the biggest spider you have ever seen in your life.

That is what happened to my 12 year old stepson Ethan. He came back to the house out of breath from running. I asked why he ran. Did he think the spider was chasing him? Well once the fear hits you, that same fear pushes you as fast as you can to get back to safety which is exactly what he did. Obviously the spider couldn't run as fast as he could but the thought it might jump on him.

I went back with him to feed the cats and see this big spider. He was right, it was a huge spider. Specifically a Yellow Garden Spider. I told him we couldn't kill it. I did that once and when I found out later what kind of spider it was and their benefits, I felt really bad about causing its demise. They are not dangerous to people and don't attack people. If you mess around and irritate one enough that it bites you, the bite will be a little sore and itchy and goes away in a few days. The benefit of keeping a Yellow Garden Spider around is that they eat grasshoppers, katydids, cicadas, June beetles, moths, wasps, bees, flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, and ants. I put my hand up within a few inches of the spider to show Ethan that it wouldn't jump at me. When I turned around Ethan was watching me but his feet were aimed in the opposite direction in a ready to jump off the porch position.

Arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders, is a very real fear. Most people don't care to share space with spiders. That doesn't mean they suffer from the phobia though. I took a test for him online to see if he has just fear or an actual phobia. Based on that test, Ethan has a definite spider phobia.

You can take the test too. Or if you already know that you have spider phobia you can download Phobia Free from the app store to confront and overcome your fear of spiders. The app uses exposure therapy through fun minigames. If you make it to the end of the minigames, you can hold an augmented reality tarantula on your hand. That sounds exciting.

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