Imagine waking up one morning to find your neighborhood completely blanketed in spider webs. That’s the nightmare residents of one North Memphis neighborhood woke up to last week. Thousands, maybe even millions, of spiders found their way into homes and offices in the neighborhood after crawling out of a half-mile long web snaking its way around the homes. Neighborhood residents told various local news organizations that overnight spiders appeared on their porches and in their homes.
Memphis Zoo Curator Steve Reichling told CNN the massive web was part of a mass dispersal process, sometimes called ballooning, by which spiders cast web nets into the air and use the wind to carry them to new locations. In rare occasions, it results in large masses of web or even “spider rains,” where large numbers of spiders that have ballooned up into the sky come floating down at once. Spiders often wait for certain types of air currents to balloon, and if they get caught up in the same breeze they can all land in the same spot, as they did in North Memphis.
Terminix provided all the homes in the neighborhood with treatment to keep the spiders in the fields and away from residents and their homes. While the little fellas in the Memphis area are most likely harmless sheet web spiders, which are very small and cannot harm humans, it still doesn’t make them any less creepy!
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