Tarantula Sightings in Homes Are on the Rise: "Everyone's Freaking Out"
Experts say there's a reason you might be more likely to see this spider right now.
There are a lot of terrifying critters that can make their way into our homes, from copperhead snakes to hoards of mice. Many of us are also well-acquainted with seeing spiders in our spaces. But there's a major difference between seeing a harmless Granddaddy longlegs or a small common house spider and spotting a large, hairy creature crawling around. Unfortunately, that's exactly what you might be most at risk of running into right now. Read on to discover why tarantula sightings in homes are on the rise.
People have recently reported seeing more tarantulas around their homes.
If you come face to face with a large hairy spider these days, you're hardly alone. All across social media, people have spoken out about recent tarantula sightings around their homes.
"Just saw a GIANT tarantula (or some similar kind of spider) in my driveway, so now I have to burn my house down. Or move. Probably both," one person wrote in an Aug. 27 post on X.
In an Aug. 17 Reddit post, user @immoortalbob shared a similarly disturbing discovery at their residence in northern Arizona. "Tarantula that crawled by my house this morning," they wrote, sharing a video of the spider crawling by a wall.
Some have even spotted the creepy creature inside. In an Aug. 10 post, another Reddit user posted several photos of a tarantula that had made its way into their home in Ventura County, California. "Found chilling on kitchen floor," user @califorlondon wrote.
It is currently mating season for these spiders.
Experts say there is actually a reason that tarantula sightings in homes are on the rise right now. These spiders are more visible during their mating season—which takes place "August through September and into early October," Daren Riedle, the wildlife diversity coordinator for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, told The Wichita Eagle.
Matt Thomas, CEO of Pet Kingdom in San Diego, California, confirmed to local station KPBS that this is currently happening in other parts of the country as well. "Males are just on the hunt for love," Thomas explained. "They're trying to breed and find females … This year has been a little bit more active than previous years."
RELATED: 9 Cleaning Habits That Attract Spiders.
People are "freaking out" over the rise in tarantulas.
While male tarantulas are out looking for females during the mating season, they often end up finding their way into garages or homes, according to Thomas. "My neighbors on the Nextdoor app—everyone's freaking out. [They're] in their kitchens and we'll go and remove them," he told KPBS.
Adult tarantulas average around five inches long and their leg span can reach up to 11 inches when spread out, according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Given their size, "it's natural to be fearful of them," San Diego County Park Ranger Nate Pownell told local news outlet NBC7. "It's not every day that you come in contact with a tarantula, but just know that as long as you're calm and you give them their space, they will leave you alone."
But they shouldn't actually cause much harm.
Tarantulas are a venomous species. But their venom isn't "nearly toxic enough to pose a threat to humans," according to the NWF. At the same time, this spider species tends to be "very docile [and] not harmful to humans," Pownell told NBC7.
"While all tarantulas do have venom and can bite, it is very rare that they will do so. They will only do so if they feel threatened," he explained.
Thomas also told KPBS that it's not too worrisome if they do strike you. "If you were to get bit by one it's just—you'll have some local swelling—maybe a little redness but that's about it. There's nothing to fear," he added.
So what should you do if you find a tarantula roaming in your house? Thomas said there is "no real need to kill" it. Instead, you should just get it to move along. "If they are in your home, just give them a nice little gentle push off into the outside," Pownell told NBC7, suggesting homeowners use a piece of paper or cardboard to do so. "It really doesn't want anything to do with you; you want nothing to do with it."