Expert says B.C. spiders invading homes for sex 0
British Columbia boasts more than 900 species of spiders, but the good news is most are harmless and play an important environmental role in killing disease-carrying insects. (FOTOLIA)
A creepy feeling is causing sleepless nights as summer ends — a feeling of something big and hairy crawling under the sheets that people get when they realize they’re aren’t alone.
Metro Vancouver is in the middle of what feels like a spider invasion, with creatures looking bigger than ever.
According to Victoria arachnologist Rick West – who operates the website birdspiders.com — late summer and early fall is when spiders are most plentiful and fully grown.
“As they start to mature and the webs are getting larger, people are suddenly noticing them and they think, ‘Oh my God, we’re being invaded by spiders,’” West said. “People think, ‘These are like small tarantulas – they are just big and hairy.’”
B.C. is home to more than 900 spider species, West said, with the most common being the European house spider, which at this time of year can be three-inches long for males.
And those males are coming into people’s homes for one reason — sex.
“They are simply males that have wandered into the house, wandered into the garage in search of receptive females for breeding.”
This is a stressful time for people with spider phobias, added West, who has known people to tape up their doors and change their clothes constantly, even though 90% of these spiders do not have fangs that can penetrate skin.
He urged people to not kill spiders because of their value to the environment, but 24 hours readers showed no mercy.
“I use the hashtag #Notabuddhist when I stomp 'em,” tweeted @snarkysteff, with @TomP_Videodude adding: "I spray them with whatever chemical is within arms (sic) reach. Then squash and discard in the outside trash."