Seeing more spiders inside your home? Don't ... - USA Today
- Spider season usually begins in the late summer and goes through fall.
- Spiders are likely looking for a secure home or trying to mate.
- Experts say if you see a spider, try not to kill it, and just move it instead.
This fall, some unannounced, startling guests might make their way into living rooms across the country: spiders.
Even though you're bound to see spiders in your home throughout the year, the chances of seeing one crawl around the house heighten in the fall. But it's not to scare you for Halloween – it's to look for love. Or, in more proper terms, it's when the eight-legged creatures begin to mate.
And if you do happen to spot a spider in your home this fall, experts caution you not to kill it – they're mostly harmless and could help get rid of other pesky bugs.
Here is what to know about spider season.
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Why am I seeing more spiders?
Spiders typically mature in the spring or summer, said Jason Dunlop, a researcher from the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. When it gets closer to fall, mature male spiders that typically live only for a year leave their webs in search of a female.
“Females give off a chemical called a pheromone, a kind of perfume, which the males can sense with special hairs on their legs. The wandering males are basically sniffing around for a mature female,” Dunlop told USA TODAY.
Meanwhile, females stay by their webs and conserve the energy needed to lay eggs, said Rod Crawford, curator of arachnids at The Burke Museum at the University of Washington.
Female spiders can be found pretty much anywhere, inside or outside a home, which can be a rather daunting journey for a male trying to slide into their DMs, so to speak. That’s why if you happen to find one inside your home, it’s most likely a male just looking for a female.
“There's this misguided perception that all of a sudden there are many more spiders than there used to be. But, you know, that's not the case. They're just more noticeable because the males are moving around,” said Anne Danielson-Francois, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. “They're not interested in setting up shop in the house.”
Aside from mating reasons, Emma Grace Crumbley, entomologist at Mosquito Squad, says seasonal changes like cooler temperatures and rain means spiders could be looking for a more secure residence.
What kind of spiders could I see?
Crumbley said web-spinning and hunting spiders are commonly spotted in the fall. Examples include the American spider, also known as the common house spider, and cobweb spiders.
If you're in the Southeast, you may see a spider that has rapidly spread in the U.S. in recent years: the Joro spider.
"It's everywhere right now," Crumbley said.
Should you kill spiders?
Natural instinct may be to kill a spider when you see one, but experts discourage people from doing so.
Crawford said people shouldn't worry because nearly all house spiders are harmless, and Dunlop pointed out that spiders get rid of many insects, including mosquitoes.
Dunlop said the worst thing that most spiders can do to you is give a “nasty surprise,” and Crawford said spider bites “are vanishingly rare in the life of any individual person.”
Crumbley said there are only three types of spiders to be concerned about: the black widow, brown recluse and tarantulas.
"With those three in particular, proceeding with caution is necessary. Trying to eliminate those from your house is key; just make sure you're not getting bitten and you're not experiencing 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 home?
Experts say you should do your best to move spiders if it's too much to have them inside.
"If you can muster up the courage, the best thing to do is either catching it with a cup or something and trying to release it outside away from the house," Crumbley said.
Aside from roaming around homes, Crumbley said, spiders also will be in areas people don't frequently visit, so places like attics, basements and garages is where they will camp out. Those are also good places to move them, Danielson-Francois said.
“I advocate for people getting to know them, and becoming less afraid of them and keeping them around, but I realize that's a stretch.”
Editor's note: A version of this story was first published in 2021.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.
If you have been seeing more spiders than usual around your home, falling asleep can be a little more difficult than usual. What started out as just a single house spider on a curtain is now a wide spread infestation of these scary looking pests. Here is why you are seeing so many house spiders in your home lately.
Where Are These Spiders Coming From?
Let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter if they are dangerous or not, you never want to see spiders in your home.
When these house spiders multiply, they aren’t invading your home so they can suck your blood or latch onto your neck. There are many other reasons these pests sneak into our homes.
You are not seeing more house spiders because it is getting colder outside. The house spider population is increasing in your home because you have the shelter they need to survive and lay their eggs, not to mention these spiders are able to feed on the other pests that have found their way inside your home.
Yes, that’s correct. If you have a spider problem, you are likely to have other pests-related problems. There may be other pests in your home that you simply cannot see.
Preventing House Spiders in Your Home
To prevent house spiders from taking over your home, you will be tasked with preventing other bugs from entering your home, this will cut off their food supply. Here are a few useful tips to help you prevent spiders and other common pests from entering your home this fall:
- Vacuum up spiders and nests when you see them in the corners of your home
- Tear down cobwebs throughout your house
- Vacuum your home often, and pay special attention to dark corners, hidden spaces, and anywhere else bugs and spiders can hide
- Move yard debris, garbage, mulch, and woodpiles away from your home’s exterior
- Seal cracks, crevices, and holes around your home
- Inspect and repair/replace damaged window screens
- Call the pest control service professionals
Make a call to Witt Pest Management to inquire about year-round pest control in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Year-round pest control is an easy and effective way to prevent and control spiders and the pests they feed on. Let the pest control professionals at Witt Pest Management rid your home of house spiders once and for all.