Why more spiders may appear in your home during fall

WASHINGTON — Fall is the time of year when you may notice more spiders in your home.

Wolf spiders are making their way in through cracked windows and doors, according to “The Bug Guy” Mike Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland. He says the spiders consider other home intruders, such as stink bugs and crickets, as good eating and may follow them into your house.

Unlike stink bugs, Raupp recommends catching spiders and putting them outside. Catching and releasing stink bugs can lead them to damage plants and vegetables, he says.

“It’s kind of a live and let live strategy on the spiders,” Raupp said.

Putting them outside is beneficial to the landscape around your home because spiders can target plant-harming bugs such as leafhoppers, lace bugs and caterpillars.

“Even though they are a little bit creepy, spiders, we found, are one of the No. 1 beneficial insects in our landscape, because they eat so many of the pests outdoors,” Raupp said.

He says even though spiders may find things to eat in your home, they don’t have what they need to survive. Raupp says wolf spiders are believed to be harmless to people and an intruder can be caught simply by allowing it to crawl into a cup or tumbler and then putting it outside.

The black widow spider, known for a red hourglass marking on its abdomen, is dangerous to people, but Raupp says you won’t normally find them inside your home.

“We’re not gonna usually find them inside, those are cobweb spiders; we’ll find them in the garage, perhaps in a tool shed,” Raupp said.

As for the infamous brown recluse spider, Raupp said tales of active populations of that species in Maryland are not true.

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