- The spider season usually starts in late summer and continues through fall.
- Spiders are probably looking for a safe home or trying to mate.
- Experts say that if you see a spider, try not to kill it and just move it.
This fall, some unannounced, surprise guests may be making their way into living rooms across the country: spiders.
Even though you will see spiders in your house all year round, the chances of seeing one crawling through the house in the fall increase, but it’s not to scare you for Halloween, it’s to look for. go to love. Or, in more correct terms, it’s when the eight-legged creatures begin to mate.
And if you happen to spot a spider in your house this fall, experts caution against killing it — they’re usually harmless and can help get rid of other pesky insects.
Here’s what you need to know about spider season.
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Why am I seeing more spiders?
Spiders usually ripen in the spring or summer, said Jason Dunlop, a researcher at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. When it gets closer to fall, adult male spiders, which usually only live for a year, leave their webs in search of a female.
“Women give off a chemical called a pheromone, a kind of perfume, which the males can feel with special hairs on their legs. The roaming males are actually sniffing around for an adult female,” Dunlop previously told USA TODAY.
Meanwhile, females stick to their webs and conserve the energy needed to lay eggs, according to Rod Crawford, a curator of arachnids at The Burke Museum at the University of Washington.
Female spiders can be found just about anywhere, inside or outside a home, which can be quite a daunting journey for a man trying to slip into their DMs, so to speak. That’s why if you happen to find one in your house, it’s most likely a man just looking for a woman.
“There’s a misguided perception that there are suddenly a lot more spiders than there used to be, but you know, that’s not the case. They’re just more noticeable because the males are walking around,” said Anne Danielson-Francois, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. “They are not interested in setting up a shop in the house.”
Mating reasons aside, Emma Grace Crumbley, an entomologist with Mosquito Squad, says seasonal changes like cooler temperatures and rain mean spiders may be looking for a safer place to stay.
What kind of spiders could I see?
Crumbley said web spiders and hunting spiders are common in the fall. Examples include the American spider, also known as the common house spider, and cobweb spiders.
If you are in the Southeast, you may see a spider that has spread rapidly in the US in recent years: the Joro spider.
“It’s everywhere now,” Cumbley said.
Should you kill spiders?
Natural instinct may be to kill a spider if you see one, but experts discourage people from doing so.
Crawford said not to worry because almost all house spiders are harmless, and Dunlop pointed out that spiders get rid of many insects, including mosquitoes.
Dunlop added that the worst thing most spiders can do to you is a “nasty surprise,” and Crawford said spider bites are “vanishingly rare in an individual’s life.”
Crumbley added that there are only three types of spiders to worry about: the black widow, the brown recluse and the tarantulas.
“Especially with those three, caution is advised. It’s key to getting these out of your home, just make sure you don’t get bitten and you don’t experience any kind of pain or any of the medical side effects,” she said.
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What should I do if I see a spider in my house?
Experts say you should do your best to move spiders if it’s too much to have them inside.
“If you can muster the courage, it’s best to catch it with a cup or something similar and release it outside the house,” Crumbley said.
Aside from roaming around homes, Crumbley said spiders will also be in areas that people don’t often visit, so places like attics, basements and garages is where they’ll camp. Those are also good places to move them, Danielson-Francois said.
“I’m advocating that people get to know them, and become less afraid of them and keep them around, but I realize that’s a tall order.”
Editor’s Note: A version of this story was first published in 2021.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.