A group of house spiders has launched a campaign aimed at reducing the number of arachnids being swallowed by sleeping humans.
Calling themselves ‘Arachnids Against Avoidable Accidents’, the group is looking to raise awareness of the dangers faced by spiders as they walk over your face at night.
“2017 has been a great year for house spiders across the UK, and I’m pleased to report that we’ve been invading homes and scaring the shit out of people in greater numbers than ever before,” said group spokesspider, Ariadne Webb.
“However, we’ve also seen a dramatic increase in the number of spiders being accidentally swallowed when they crawl in and around people’s mouths.
“Last year we ran our successful ‘Live, Love, Laugh – Don’t Die In The Bath’ campaign, which saw a significant reduction in the number of spiders being washed down plugholes, so this year we thought we’d try to tackle one of the biggest killers of spiders under the age of one.”
Webb told reporters that most house spiders were apprehensive around people, and would generally avoid them if possible, however, she said that many are attracted to the human mouth whilst out hunting for food.
“Everyone knows that regardless of how well you clean your teeth at night, within thirty seconds of falling asleep your breath starts to smell like a dog turd wrapped in old socks. That’s the sort of smell that can attract flies, so it’s natural for spiders to gravitate towards it.
“Unfortunately, many spiders tread too close to the edge and it only takes a cough or an inquisitive finger to knock them into the back of the mouth, where they inevitably end up being swallowed whole.
“Just imagine how distressing it must be for the poor things, crawling around inside your throat and stomach, their hairy little feet scrabbling for purchase against your mucous membranes.
“Go on, imagine it. Imagine what it feels like.”
Webb also expressed concerns about the growing popularity of ‘tongue surfing’, where young spiders dare each other to see how far down your tongue they can crawl without falling in.
“Tongue surfing has become all the rage amongst youngsters looking to impress their friends, and many are willing to take significant risks for the sake of a few ‘deep throat’ selfies.
“Sure, you may think you’re being the big spider by posing next to a sleeping human’s uvula, but is it really worth risking death just so you can look cool on the web?”
The Herald’s resident naturalist, Dr. Sylvia Kingfisher, welcomed the campaign but sought to reassure readers that the chances of swallowing a spider in your sleep are actually incredibly low.
“Spiders aren’t stupid and it’s highly unlikely that they would deliberately venture into the mouth of a larger animal,” she said.
“Your ears on the other hand – spider heaven. Dark, warm, dry and the perfect place to hunker down and lay 40 to 50 eggs.
“Not that I’m saying a spider is going to crawl into your ear tonight to lay eggs. That probably, definitely won’t happen.”