It’s Northwest spider season; what you can do around your home – KIRO Seattle

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on September 5th, 2017

by: Dyer Oxley, MyNorthwest.comUpdated: Sep 4, 2017 - 9:21 AM

SEATTLE - Its the season of the Northwest spider and with the recent warm weather, there could be a few more itsy bitsys around.

Related: Man burns house trying to kill spider with blow torch

Entomologist Arolo Pelegrin calls this a spider invasion, though, the spiders dont pose much of a threat to humans.

Getting rid of ants around the house

I know its a difficult thing to tell people who are freaking out about spiders, but take it with a grain of salt, he said. Typically, spider invasions dont last more than a couple of weeks. They arent going to be around too long. Their mating season will end when it cools off.

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They are afraid of us, Pelegrin said. Spiders are not well-defended the way ants and beetles are. They tend to stay secretive.

Theres a good reason for the invasion. Its mating season. But more than that, warmer weather can encourage spiders to start mating season early, forcing them out into the open.

We are looking at spiders that have attained maturity a lot of the males are out looking for mates, said Entomologist Arolo Pelegrin. If youve ever been around teenage boys trying to get a girls attention, they will engage in near suicidal behavior. Its easy to observe boys of a lot of species taking big risks to get attention, find a partner.

Thats why the spiders, which usually remain hidden in corners away from people, are wandering in places they can be seen. Theyre looking for love, but in all the wrong places.

The males are basically like a group of guys on a pub crawl stopping at different bars to see if there are any girls in there, Pelegrin said. Thats kind of what these spiders are doing, walking around houses, looking in cracks and crevices. The females stay pretty stationary. That usually means walking across kitchen floors or appearing in the middle of the floor while youre watching TV.

Pelegrin said that when it comes to a Northwest spider, its always spider season. Its moist throughout the region, and there are a lot of plants, which means a lot of insects or spider food.

The Seattle area is rich in spiders, he said. They are just starting to get big now.

Big like the giant house spider. Thats what many people are seeing around their homes around this time a brownish spider that is about as big as a persons palm. Its long legs give it the giant appearance, though its body is relatively small.

Then theres the trapdoor spider, the other common variety around the end of summer. Its smaller and darker than the giant house spider.

As we move into September and October, the orb spiders will become more apparent, Pelegrin said. They make those traditional, flat, wheel-shaped spider webs.

Northwest spider remedies

There are a few things you can do around the home to keep spiders away.

The first thing is keeping a clean home. Spiders come into a home because there are bugs to eat. Bugs are attracted to trash, crumbs, etc. So staying tidy stops them from coming indoors.

Pelegrin is not in favor of chemical methods.

Exterminators will guarantee that the spiders wont come in for a while after their application, so there are heavy-duty chemicals you can lay down that the spiders wont cross, he said. But then you have chemicals in your yard, or in your house.

Instead, he recommends oil peppermint, tea tree or neem. To people, they smell fresh and pleasant. To spiders, the smell of peppermint, for example, is overwhelming and generally deters them.

The idea is to spread the oil around the home. There are many methods from sprays to soaking cotton balls with the oil and placing them in dark corners or cracks.

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