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What are flying spiders and should we expect to see them in Houston?

Baby flying spider
Baby flying spider (Courtesy of Texas Hill Country)

Should you be worried about flying spiders invading Houston this summer?

Although Houstonians are a little spooked based on the fact they are doing lots of Google searches, those types of spiders are a rarity in this area.

These unusual arachnids are mostly found flying around in North Texas and in the Hill Country, according to TexasHillCountry.com. However, many Houston-area residents, such as YouTube user HelensVlogs posted a video in 2016 of a spider making its track with the wind.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, spiders such as the tarantula have the ability to disperse from their nest three to six days after hatching. Other spider species like the garden spider can roam around in search of potential mates.

Houstonians should not be concerned as these arachnids do not pose any harm, according to National Geographic. However, as Spring is coming to an end next month, these spiders are using the wind and the warmth to navigate to their destination.

What are flying spiders?

A spider ready to launch as the winds increase.
A spider ready to launch as the winds increase. (Flickr/Andy Morton)

The majority of flying spiders are actually baby spiders making their first journey away from their mother’s web, according to National Geographic.

These spiders do not have a history of flight or air, so they use the late spring winds to guide themselves by aiming their silky thread to a certain direction, a process called “ballooning." Adult spiders use the same process to travel from point A to point B.

Journey North noted a famous example from the children’s book “Charlotte’s Web,” where Charlotte’s spiderlings emerge from her egg case and begin their journey off the web. This was an indication that Spring is making a departure.


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