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Hikers beware: It's tarantula mating season

Warning issued in California

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(LAKANA) – Hikers in California, you've been warned, tarantulas are on the prowl and looking for love.

The National Park Service has issued a warning to hikers in the Santa Monica Mountains that tarantula mating has begun and will last through the end of October.

Male tarantulas seek out females and create webs outside a female's burrow, according to The Associated Press. Males leave their sperm on the web, which a female can accept to fertilize her eggs. But the male has to be quick because female tarantulas will eat males that linger too long, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hikers are also advised not to "touch or harass" spiders, which are poisonous but not a "serious threat" to humans, the AP reports.