Entomologist says expect more spiders inside as weather turns cooler

Entomologist says expect more spiders inside as weather turns cooler
Brown recluse spider

This is the time of year when the Kansas State University entomology department receives a lot of calls. The question most asked: Why am I getting so many spiders in my house?

"Insects move inside the house seeking warmer temperatures," said Jeff Whitworth, assistant professor of entomology. "Just like humans, insects prefer a climate around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Spiders are seeking those warmers environments as well as searching for food."

Tennessee medical officials have reported an increase in brown recluse bites this year. However, Whitworth says there is no indication there are more this year compared to previous years. The brown recluse, most common in the central and southeast regions, is the most feared spider in the Midwest because of its hemotoxic venom. But Whitworth says the brown recluse isn't as scary as you think.

"The nice thing about the , as its name implies, is it is reclusive," he said. "We have reared spiders now for approximately two to three years and we have found the brown recluse to be non-aggressive."

Whitworth; Holly Schwarting, research associate in entomology; and J.R. Ewing, master's student in , are researching the most reliable method of managing brown recluse spiders. Pest control operators are divided on whether sticky traps, pesticide or a combination of the two are a better way to kill spiders in your home.

Whichever form of removal you choose to use, Whitworth says to wait until March. Brown recluse spiders become inactive from mid-October until March.

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Citation: Entomologist says expect more spiders inside as weather turns cooler (2014, September 17) retrieved 23 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-entomologist-spiders-weather-cooler.html
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User comments

Sep 17, 2014
Good! Hopefully they'll do something about those damn ants inside.

Sep 17, 2014
Well, duh... It's fargin' cold out there!

Oct 02, 2014

From an ACTUAL arachnologist (http://www.burkem...n.html):
"This seemingly simple idea conceals many false assumptions. In reality, house spiders are usually not the same species as the yard or garden spiders outside the house...House spiders colonize new houses by egg sacs carried on furniture, building materials and so forth. They usually spend their entire life cycle in, on or under their native building...In contrast, outdoor spider species are not adapted to indoor conditions. Any North American spider that needed artificial shelter for the winter, would have been extinct long before Europeans arrived! Spiders are "cold-blooded" and not attracted to warmth. They don't shiver or get uncomfortable when it's cold, they just become less active and eventually, dormant. Most temperate zone spiders have enough "antifreeze" in their bodies that they won't freeze at any temperature down to -5° C.; some can get colder."

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