There is a large black spider located above my desk location. I am terribly afraid of spiders, to the point where I can't work without being afraid of it jumping down and if I lose sight of it then I am definitely unable to stay at this desk.

Does the employer have an obligation to get rid of it for me or to make my area of work free of such creatures? If not, what is the way to go about it?

I can't kill it myself as I am likely to scream and/or drop the hoover onto my laptop or screen. It is an open office.

My question - who to ask, how to ask and on what basis?

  • @JoeStrazzere But that was exactly my question - who to ask, how to ask and on what basis. I know they can't do something they don't know about, but people on certain positions may be more annoyed than others with me seeking help with them in regards to this. Which is why I just wanted to know who should be dealing with it, and whether they have to.
    – ASsby
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 10:59
  • Country location? What? I used to be the same, and to a large extent still am, although I've mostly overcome this and go near them, or vacuum them. I draw the line at non-UK insects / arachnids as they're aggressive/bitey.
    – Justin
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:20
  • Can you add a country tag? Perhaps certain countries might have laws around this.
    – Dan
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


In the most of the (civilized) world, it is in the obligation of the employer to provide a clean and safe work environment. I assume that most companies by default take care of daily cleaning the floors and the bathrooms, and periodically the windows.

However, some "small, occasional inconveniences" cannot be caught by these routine activities.

In this case, you have two choices:

  1. Deal with the problem yourself, if you want to and if it is in your abilities.
  2. Ask a colleague to do that for you, if anyone wants and has the abilities.
  3. Tell the employer (through the dedicated department / person) about the problem and ask them to take care of it.

Such occasional problems include:

  • the removal of a spider web;
  • replacing a non-functioning light fixture;
  • making adjustments to a window, for a proper thermal insulation;
  • anything else.

or move me?

It is extremely unlikely that the company would keep the spider web safe by finding you another work place. Unfortunately, it is almost certain that a certain spider will become homeless. Even worse: lifeless - depending on its luck.

  • 2
    "Guys, who of you isn't an arachnophobe? There's one cubicle freshly vacant, with a live barn funnel weaver near the ceiling" (I'd take the cubicle, BTW) Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:36
  • @JohnDvorak: I do not understand what you want to say. What cubicle is vacant?
    – virolino
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:51
  • @JohnDvorak: you mean switch cubicles just for that?! I would not move my stuff just for that.
    – virolino
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:52
  • @virolino you have the choice between two cubicles, one with the spider and one next to a colleague who talks constantly...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:53
  • @SolarMike GAH! I'd switch cubicles even if there was no spider where I was going! Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:57

Can't you just ask a colleague to move the spider?


Your should first try with a colleague:

Hey there is an spider in my desk what I do?

Either he help you get rid of the arachnid or suggest what should be the next action. Maybe point you to the Janitor or another colleague with more arachnid handling skills.

If neither of you know what to do then you should ask your boss.

In my case I have handle a few spider myself, just a piece of paper and then put it outside the window.

Also have to handle a bird invasor, that is more difficult you have to open all the windows and try to scare it from the other direction.

I also can change the water bottle if need and once I use a fire extinguisher in a computer with faulty fans. ( I still think I deserve one month in the calendar for that)

But my limit was a snake coming from a 10 meters high roof. In that case we had to call for the building maintenance crew, but not because I was scare of snakes (well maybe a litle) but because was too high to reach and we need some ladders.

  • 1
    Snakes are definately someone else's job!
    – Owain
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 7:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .