We are under siege.
No doubt you have noticed them in your home as the season has begun to change and the temperatures start to cool. Crawling up a wall, scurrying across the floor, perched high on your ceilings. Spiders are everywhere. But what if I told you that these eight-legged intruders have been in your home all year? Oh, that made it worse? Well let’s talk about why you’re seeing them and see if that helps.
Before I started this piece I had thought that these uninvited guests were drawn into my home because of the warmer temperatures inside. It turns out that spiders really are with us year round, but we typically don’t see them until Fall because they are hiding in our walls, attics, and basements. If you partake in any deep Spring-cleaning you’ve no doubt seen spider egg sacs; silky white orbs the size of a pencil eraser found under appliances, furniture and corners of dark areas you don’t clean often. For most species of spiders, these eggs hatch in the Spring and these baby spiders grow though the Summer until they reach peak size in the fall.
The sudden uptick in sightings can be attributed to their more intimidating size, if you have an aversion to spiders, but you are really seeing more of them because Autumn is mating season. While spiders are excellent predators for smaller bugs and pests, they are also food for birds and toads, and spend most of their lives hiding to continue surviving. Most house and garden spiders also only live for a year, and the survivors who make it to fall are rushing to reproduce before they inevitably die.
Those that know me are well aware that I do not kill spiders, or many other insects for that matter, and I encourage others to adopt the same policy. If you are able, try to relocate a spider to an area outside so that it may continue on with its mission to reproduce and die naturally. I am a big believer in the adage “more afraid of you than you are of it”, even with the deadliest arachnids. Of the 40,000 known spider species in the world, only a handful produce venom that is toxic to humans. You can also prevent spiders from chilling in your living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms by cleaning cobwebs and spiderwebs from corners.
So there you have it, you’re seeing more spiders in the Fall because they are trying to speed date and get it on. I’m sure most of us can relate to the struggle of finding a partner before we all bite the dust, but at least we don’t have to worry about some incredible giant squishing us just for existing. Years ago I saved this picture with a Jane Goodall quote. The picture is one of the lasting reasons why I refrain from killing insects big and small when I can. Maybe it will change your opinion too. We could all stand to be a little gentler and more aware of our impact on the world and the creatures in it.
Extenuating circumstances –