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More spiders around your home this fall? Here's why

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Posted at 6:09 AM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 07:21:12-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- It isn't Halloween yet, but some spots around your home may already look spooky — we're talking about an increase in spiders and spider webs this fall.

Experts said this summer was hotter and drier than past years, leading to a spike in spider reproduction. The fall is spiders mating season, and University of Richmond manager of biological laboratory, Jennifer O’Donnell, said spiders that were born this spring have now reached maturity.

If you’re noticing large webs around your home, O'Donnell said there are two reasons why.

"One is to try to catch food and get as much nutrition as they can, so that when they lay their eggs back, it's going to be healthy and likely to survive the winter," she explained. "And the second thing is as kind of as a site or location to attract a mate, and so those two things are kind of working together."

While you may not like the creepy, crawly critters, O’Donnell said you shouldn’t knock down their webs or kill them because they provide natural pest control.

"If you take time to observe what they're up to and see how many insects they're eating, I mean talk about some natural pest control," she noted. "It's definitely good to leave them alone and let them live out their life cycle in peace. They don't mean to cause you any harm, so I always say just give them a little space and maybe observe them, and you can see that at the end of the day they're just an organism trying to make it just like the rest of us."

Experts said another reason we could be seeing more spiders this year is that people aren’t using as many pesticides around their homes because of the harm it can do to other organisms.

While Virginia is home to two dangerous spiders — black widows and brown recluses — O'Donnell said those aren’t the spiders spinning those big webs around your home. You should be more concerned about those spiders in locations like crawl spaces.