Have you noticed an influx of spiders in and around your home lately? – there’s reason for this.
It’s actually quite normal for this time of year to see a larger quantity of spiders because it’s right in the midst of their mating season, said Menita Prasad, animal care manager at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove.
“In the late summer and early fall we’re coming into their mating season, so the males do tend to wander, and as a result, will wander outside of their natural areas and enter homes,” she explained. “It’s really easy to enter a home if you’re small – cracks, open doors, windows.”
But spiders are not only hunting for a mate.
“Another reason for increased spider sightings is maybe they’ve found a food source,” Prasad noted. “So if there is a boom in the population, then in their natural habitat there would be less food sources available, so they would tend to wander a little bit to find more food sources.”
But whether they wander are not, one is never far from a spider.
“In about every acre of land, on average, there is about one million spiders per acre of land – so really you’re never more than 10 feet away from a spider,” Prasad noted.
A Maple Ridge woman and her dog Oscar supported this fact when they discovered their lawn, at their home located along the Fraser River just off River Road, covered in spider webs early one morning.
“Luckily we did not see the maker – we are hoping it is lots of little spiders, instead of one big one,” said Linda Kiilerich who submitted the photo of the web-covered lawn to Black Press on behalf of her mother, Birgit.
Prasad confirmed that although one spider would be capable of spinning that amount of web, “it would be counter productive as it would be very time consuming, expend a lot of energy and provide a lot more food items than just one spider can consume.”
In British Columbia alone there are nearly 900 confirmed species of spiders, according to the local expert.
And even they have been impacted by the pandemic.
“When COVID hit the world had to slow down… [it] allowed animals to just kind of naturally do their thing, find each other, which maybe have increased breeding activity,” Prasad said, noting improved air quality and decreased human traffic.
And the pandemic is also a likely reason spider sightings are on the rise.
“You’re just noticing them a lot more than you normally would,” Prasad said about many working from home. “They’re there you’re just seeing them more.”
But as the weather shifts they won’t be around for much longer.
“On average their lifespan is about a year and they don’t do fairly well in the colder weather,” Prasad said.
But while they are here, they do have a role to play.
“They’re here for a reason; pest management being the main one, so they are excellent at controlling fly populations and other insects that maybe seen as pests,” she noted. “So spiders around your vegetable garden are great.”
If an eight-legged visitor makes an unwanted entrance into your home, Prasad advises to carefully capture it in a cup and release it outdoors.