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Running into a lot of spiders? Experts say it's spider mating season

tarantula 2019.JPG
Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 21:33:27-04

If you think you're seeing spiders just about everywhere this time of year, you're not alone.

It's the start of spider mating season, which includes everything from Black Widows to tarantulas.

They're creepy, crawly and for some people - nightmare fuel, but for Cuesta College professor Ron Ruppert and his students, these spiders are fascinating to learn about, especially this time of year.

"Male tarantulas start migrating this time of year in order to find females, because they mate with females in the fall and then the males die after they mate and even if they don't mate, they die. So they only live for a short period of time," explained Ruppert, Department Chair of the Biological Sciences Department.

Ruppert says the male tarantulas can travel several football fields in distance in order to find a mate. If you or your pets encounter one while they are on the move, Ruppert says tarantulas are pretty harmless.

"The hairs have little irritants on them, a little toxin, so it causes a rash, irritation to occur. So the most a pet's going to get if they sniff one and get those hairs and start sneezing or itching. For humans, it's the same thing," Ruppert said.

Tarantulas aren't the only spiders out and about at this time of year.

Brezden Pest Control in San Luis Obispo says they are getting 50 calls a day from people asking how to remove spiders from their homes.

"We've had three years of good rain which causes more flying insects, which is a spider's favorite meal. So whenever there's more food, there's going to be more spiders," explained Pest Control Technician Juan Real.

For people that want to rid them from their home, Real says they use an eco-friendly spray that includes peppermint and rosemary to keep spiders at bay.

"Spiders will go in through the window or sometimes they'll even come up underneath the lip of the wall of your house, so we make a perimeter around your house so when they cross it, they will die," Real said.

You can also prevent outdoor spiders from getting in your home by ensuring there aren't holes in your window screens and by adding door sweeps to the bottom of your doors.

Real says less than 5 percent of spiders you see indoors actually go outdoors, so the ones in your home are typically harmless.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say there are no Brown Recluse spiders in this area. So the most dangerous spider to look out for is a Black Widow, which can have up to 1,000 babies at a time.

Spider mating season typically lasts from September through October.