I used to have a pretty progressive policy on spiders.
I couldn't help it. As a kid, didn't you cry at the end of "Charlotte's Web?" Spiders are beneficial creatures due to their mad insect-catching skills (even though they are so freakin' creepy). I bragged of my benevolence to all that would hear. I remember living in a studio apartment on First Hill years ago; hearing the pitter-patter of (really) tiny feet and watching (with an odd mixture of awe and horror) this really huge fella hauling ass across my kitchen floor. I decided to give it the bum's rush, rather than slaughter it outright -- didn't want my flesh to crawl from the snap, crackle of its exoskeleton...brrr! Encounters after that were usually marked by me showing the wee beasties the door...literally.
I don't recall ever being bitten by spider...until I moved in with Frito a great while later. I mind finding a bump on my inner arm, just a bit above my elbow. It didn't hurt but it itched a bit...way milder than a mosquito bite. I looked closer...there were two holes there.
Another time I found a spider bite on my ear.
And then I got bit on my face.
ON MY FRIGGIN FACE!!
I changed my policy on the bastards sometime after that. Do unto others, I say -- and I got done unto first. I still don't smash them, but they get sent down the toliet!
We had a shit-ton of the little (heh) buggers around the house this spring and summer. You had to be careful when going out the back door because there would be a huge web with some big bastard sitting innit like (s)he owned the joint.
The last time that happened, I got out my empty pellet gun and pumped it up 6-7 times, pointed it at the wide-o, and fired. The spider flew across the yard, landing I know not where. But it didn't come back! So, I'd found my new favorite method of getting rid of them.
I haven't been bitten this year...go figure.