Jun 7, 2024 - News

Tarantula mating season begins in Central Texas

Illustration of two tarantulas enjoying a romantic spaghetti dinner.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Central Texans might see more furry friends out and about this summer. Unfortunately, we're not talking about dogs.

What's happening: Tarantula mating season has begun.

  • Tarantulas are native to Texas and move in greater numbers between May and August, according to Texas A&M Today.
  • The spiders leave their burrows each summer to mate.

What they're saying: You can thank the rain and the heat for their emergence, Wizzie Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomology specialist, told Texas A&M Today.

  • "This spring has been warmer, so it may begin a little earlier than normal," Brown said. "Usually once it warms up and we get some decent rain you will begin to see them. If you think about it, those same conditions mean more insects are emerging, which means more food for tarantulas' offspring at that point."
  • You're most likely to encounter them in Central and Southwest Texas, Brown added.

Threat level: Just leave them alone. Tarantulas aren't considered a pest and don't warrant control, per A&M Agrilife Extension Service.

  • Tarantulas can bite, but they are generally harmless to humans. When provoked, they will raise up on their hind legs and may also rapidly brush the top of their abdomen with their hind legs to dislodge urticating hairs that irritate the eyes or skin of an attacker.

The bottom line: "The best thing to do is to keep tarantulas outside where they belong," according to the extension service.

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