Menu Close

Here’s when tarantulas in Texas come out looking for love. Should you worry?

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The largest spiders in Texas will be roaming through backyards and trails this summer in a pursuit of love. Mating season for male tarantulas is underway and experts say they’re harmless, if admired from afar.

Tarantulas are native to Texas and usually only come out at night to hunt for food. They can be found in grasslands and semi-open spaces under burrows and logs.

“When they’re in mating season, the males will often be seen during the day walking around and looking for female to mate with. That’s why people tend to see them more,” Wizzie Brown, an entomologist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service says.

⚡ More trending stories:

There’s no ‘better place’ to see April 8 total solar eclipse than in this tiny Texas town.

How a six-pack of beer, $100 got rescuers to pull pig out of thorns.

When do tornadoes occur the most in Dallas-Fort Worth?

Tarantulas can be up to six or seven inches long with leg span and its hairy body sets it apart from other spiders. Brown says the females are typically larger in size and heavier, while the males are skinnier and have longer legs.

“The main thing to look for on the males are hooks on their front pair of legs which is what they use to hold on to the female when they’re mating. Whether they have those hooks or not is what will help you tell them apart,” she said.

Tarantulas are often a solid brown color and its hairs are used as a defense mechanism. Crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas and caterpillars are their choice of prey.

Upon spotting a tarantula, Brown says people should refrain from touching or getting too close to it. She says they’re usually more afraid of people and when threatened, will give warning signs before they bite.

“When they’re getting annoyed or wanting you to leave them alone, the first thing they’re going to do is kick those hairs off of their abdomen which causes irritation to any predators that might approach them,” Brown said. “The next thing that they’re gonna do is rear up on their hind legs to make themselves look bigger and show their fangs.”

Brown said when seeing these signs a person should move as far away as possible. If bitten, she says “ it will hurt because you have fangs penetrating your skin, but they don’t have a venom that’s going to react with our body chemistry so you’re not going to die.”

Brown said while tarantulas are often seen outside there is a chance they’ll get indoors.

“If that happens, find something in the house, like a glass, and put it on top of it. Then slide a piece of paper underneath it and carry it outside to let it go.”

Though it can be startling when you see a tarantula, Brown says they aren’t a threat and can actually be beneficial to society.

“Beneficial because they’re a predatory animal that can help manage other insects that we might not want into the environment so if they’re outside doing what they do, just let them do their thing,” she said.

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *