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Large Spiders Invade Indianapolis And Other Cities

a spider on a web

Run for your lives! Giant spiders are invading the city! What next? The capital? It sounds like the plot of a Tom Cruise movie, but it is actually true! Okay, partly true.

Giant, twenty-foot spiders are not strolling through downtown Indianapolis, well, not yet. But a recent study conducted in Australia, by a group called PLOS ONE, reveals that spiders in urban centers are growing quite large. Maybe not twenty feet, but way larger than normal. Have you noticed these large spiders lurking around your neighborhood?

PLOS ONE discovered that some species of spider can not only survive in cities, they thrive. One such species is the orb-weaver spider, known for its signature wheel-shaped web. These spiders are considered urban exploiters. They live for the environment a city provides: shaded hiding places, warm moist pockets, hollow tires, weed-covered cinder blocks, construction zones, stairwells, and a million nooks and crannies. They also live for another thing cities provide … bugs. And lots of 'em.

Because large urban areas give spiders such a wonderful environment to flourish in, adaptation has caused the orb-weaver spiders to produce larger offspring. Now we're seeing a new breed of spider that takes its cues from the Great Dane. These things are huge for a house spider.

Okay. It sounds bad, but it's not all bad. Bigger spiders eat more bugs, and that is a good thing for those of us who hate to get mosquito bites. And don't worry, you don't have to trade mosquito bites for giant spiders crawling down the shower wall. There are a few common-sense things you can do to keep those spiders outside.

First, don't lure them near your home. When spiders come in close, they'll look for ways to get inside. If you have a yard or balcony, keep the clutter and overgrowth to a minimum. If you have moist patches of dirt under your stairs or deck, cover it with gravel. Make sure all your trash is bagged and in sealed containers. Spiders like flies and flies like trash. Spiders also like fruit flies so don't leave any fruit, tomatoes, or sugary drinks lying about. Whatever attracts flying insects attracts spiders who want to trap and eat them. If you have plants and flowers, you're going to get some spiders. Just sweep away any webs you find, so spiders don't decide to make their home near your home. Replacing white lights outside with dimmer incandescent lighting can also reduce bugs. If you're not outside, leave the lights off.

The few spiders that do come to visit can be thwarted by your second line of defense. Make sure all your screens are in good working order. Install door sweeps and weather stripping to keep them from squeezing in. Seal up any cracks you find, with a caulking gun. And, have a pest professional spray the exterior walls of your house or apartment, to make sure you're bug-proof.

Those giant spiders are great to have around, especially if you hate mosquitoes. But keep these spiders outside and away from the house, where they belong.