Why spiders might scare you more this time of year

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on September 7, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This article originally appeared on KING 5 News in September of 2011.

This is the time of year the creepy crawlers who live hidden among us most of the year come out of the shadows.  Spiders are on the prowl and they aren't looking for trouble, they're looking for love.

Michelle Davis is about to face her greatest fear.  She's going downstairs into the dark and damp.
 
"My heart starts racing, I break out in a cold sweat, I can't be far enough away from them," said Davis.
 
You can hear in her voice and see it in her eyes, she's afraid of her own basement.
 
"There's another one, he's got a fat body," said Davis.
 
She's right there are a lot of them down here and the fear of spiders is an actual, documented, scientific reality, but experts say you shouldn't be.
 
"I've never known one of these to bite anyone at any time anywhere for any reason," said Rod Crawford.
 
When a spider walks across Crawford's hands he feels only the tickly motion of their legs.  The curator of Arachnids at the Burke Museum has no fear, only fascination.  He says the reason spiders are so visible right now is they are showing off.
 
The males like this guy become sexually mature and the sexually mature males have just one purpose in life, cruising for chicks.
 
And while they still may sound a little creepy, it won't last long.  The spiders will die or go back into hiding soon enough and back to what Crawford says is their other purpose, eating all those other bugs that you live with.
 
"My usual advice to someone who sees a house spider walk across their floor is to just wave as it goes by," said Crawford.
 
I wouldn't expect to see Davis do any spider waving, so Crawford has a little more advice for her.  He recommends sealing up cracks and spaces in places between where people and spiders live and relax, the mating season will be over soon.
 
Experts say the spider population in any given house will grow only as fast as its food supply, which is other insects.

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