Recently, Tiger Sheds produced a spider-proof shed to allow arachnophobes to enjoy gardening with not a single worry.
There were some criticism on how reliable the spider-proof shed is and if it is actually possible to prevent spiders from entering a building such as a garden shed.
Dr. Sara Goodacre kindly agreed to partake in an interview with Tiger Sheds discussing the world’s first spider- proof shed and her professional opinion on the product…
Interview with Dr. Sara Goodacre;
School of Life Sciences Lecturer at University of Nottingham.
Q1.) In your opinion, do you think the spider-proof shed is a good idea?
Things that encourage people to be outdoors and to interact with their environment (e.g. their garden) is a good idea.
I work on the project www.opalexplorenature.org which tries to get people from all backgrounds to engage with the ‘outside’ because;
- These activities are shown to improve health and wellbeing;
- The environment itself can benefit, not just people e.g if through monitoring the spread of pest species.
Given the above, if doing something (environmentally friendly) to a shed makes someone more likely to go outdoors then I am in favour of it…
On the other hand, sheds are not the only place you find spiders (the garden itself is full of them for example….) and therefore a spider proof shed doesn’t really address the underlying problem.
Q2.) Scientifically speaking, is there any way that we can make the spider-proof shed any more efficient?
I am not aware of anything that helps keep spiders out other than keeping it very dry.
I think the spider-proof shed might reduce the numbers of spiders present simply by stopping them getting in or by making it less nice a habitat for them – but the consequences of lack of air circulating in there I think would make me think twice about breathing in the air that’s inside the shed.
Q3.) Is there a better alternative to a spider-proof shed for people who are afraid of spiders being in their shed?
I think people need to be told the real facts about spiders.
I take spiders into schools, youth groups, even nursery schools and talk to children there about them. They are not at all afraid of spiders – in contrast to their teachers, who sometimes find it difficult.
I think we need to get the message out that spiders are an important part of our ecosystems. E.g. they eat insect pests and thus mean we need to spray less pesticide.
We also need to get the message out that, in the UK, there are no ‘dangerous’ spiders (not even the false widow spider, which gets a lot of bad press).Cobwebs of house spiders are even shown to have antibacterial activity (I use this as an excuse not to hoover too carefully….)
Fear based upon fact is fine – fear based upon watching other people’s responses that then means that some people are too afraid to even go into their bathroom when there is a spider in there is not OK!
Imagine how we would feel if people felt like this about butterflies? Most people can even just about tolerate a bee in the house – and that can sting you, whereas a spider cannot…… I think it’s only fair that people be given the facts and then can decide for themselves, rather than have other people’s fear’s imposed upon them.
Thank you Dr. Sara Goodacre for answering our questions and providing your professional advice.
Although we appreciate that many people can and should face their fears when it comes to spiders, in our experience a lot of people struggle to do this and therefore end up avoiding their garden shed.
We don’t think our spider-proof shed will prevent the fear of spiders but instead make the garden shed a more approachable space for everyone.
Over to you…
Read articles related;
- BBC News – A spider proof shed?;
- The Guardian – A spider-proof shed – is it even possible?;
- BT – 9 ways to spider-proof your shed;
- Telegraph – World’s first spider-proof shed;
… And join in the creepy crawly debate.