Why does it seem like there are more spiders around in fall?

 

With early fall upon us, you may start to see your neighbors hanging festive decorations around their homes. Big, hairy, googly-eyed spiders can be really cute, especially when they are just decorations. However, when it comes to the real creatures, let’s just say that most people no longer consider them “cute”.

Isn’t it interesting that the presence of spiders becomes more noticeable at this time of year? The common myth is that outdoor spiders have moved inside to escape the cold. Well, this is not entirely true.

As with many species, there are different variations of these critters that can be described as subspecies. Some of these subspecies are strictly outdoor spiders, while others have adapted to being strictly indoors. Most of the spiders you might see inside your home have actually never been outside. That being said, like all other creepy crawlies, as spiders’ environments change, so too their movement and migration patterns change. One predictable change in their environments relates to seasonal change such as the transition from summer to fall and fall to winter.

You could speculate that the reason we see more spiders in the fall is that there are fewer leaves on plants to hide our 8-legged friends or more eye-catching dew collected on their glistening webs. However, there are primarily 3 reasons you may be noticing more spiders in the fall:

  1. Spiders that were born in spring are full grown by fall. Even though they may have started as small eggs, these arachnids are at full size and are much larger than they were earlier in the year.
  2. When the environment changes, movement is inevitable. The shift in seasons produces more change to spiders’ food sources than change to the spiders themselves. As their food relocates, mature spiders will follow. The best way to deter the invasion of spiders is to seal out their food sources.
  3. The main reason why the presence of spiders is more noticeable in fall is that fall is their mating season. While the majority of the year spiders are solitary creatures, fall is when they leave their typical living spaces between your walls or other hidden places and venture out in search of a mate.

The good news to those who have a fear of spiders is that most spiders do not outlive the year and will either hibernate or die during the colder months. However, because spiders are adaptive and to prepare for their fate, they create a well-insulated egg sack.

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