A giant spider web that is at least half a mile long is something you would expect to see in a movie about spiders taking over the land, but this spider web is on lawns and yards of some folks who live in Tennessee. Along with this white spider web, that looks like a blanket of frost, came millions of little black spiders, which is giving the residents of North Memphis the heebie jeebies!
According to The Washington Post on November 23, local news is reporting there are “millions” of spiders that were spun into that spider web and they are now dispersing in all directions. How was such a big web spun seemingly overnight?
This web wasn’t spun where it was located, it became airborne as part of the natural dispersing process of juvenile spiders. The wind picks up the ultra-light web and carries it which ever way the wind is blowing at the time.
The passengers, which are “millions” of spiders, go along for the ride and where ever the web lands these juvenile spiders call their new home. It is great for the spiders that they had a safe flight and successful landing, but you would probably be hard-pressed to find a resident of the town celebrating their safe arrival!
“These ballooning events are quite common,” according to Susan Riechart, a professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and former president of the American Arachnological Society. She said the spiders have no control over where they are going when these webs are caught up in the air currents.
The people who live in North Memphis are looking for some help getting rid of this web and are advocating for the town to spray these spiders. One family has already found a few dozen on their porch and others are concerned about letting their kids outside with all these spiders crawling about.
NT News describes this huge spider web and its occupants, “like something out of a horror film.” Residents describe what these spiders are like:
“When I got up this morning, it was like spiders all on my door, they were coming in my house,” Frances Ward said.
Her friend, Debra Lewis, added: “You can’t even sit in her house because they’re all on the wall, on the door. We’ve been killing spiders for about an hour now.”
Another neighbor Ida Morris said she’s “seen about 20 spiders on her porch in the last day.”
Riechart, who didn’t analyze a spider, but by the pictures she’s seen she said that there is no need for alarm. The spiders’ mouths are too small to bite and break the skin of a human and a spider bite is the only way a spider can cause harm. But these are juvenile spiders, which means they will grow doesn’t it?
Other than the folks who are living on property that happens to have the spider web decorating their lawn, no one else seems to feel the urgent need to eradicate these eight-leg creatures. While the spiders look eerie today, in the spring they will eat the pests like mosquitoes, helping to keep those blood-sucking pests down in quantity.
Still, getting rid of mosquitoes six months down the line does not seem to be enough of a trade-off for the people whose property now harbors the spiders. The promise of a light mosquito season just isn’t enough to change their minds about wanting the spiders gone now!