Monday, September 24, 2012

Spider Phobia

If you are creeped out by spiders, go no further. You know if you have a problem with arachnids, just saying the word makes your skin crawl. If you actually see one you either go into speechless mode or you scream your lungs out! Even if spiders don't get you in a tizzy, I don't know too many people who wouldn't do the quick step if they saw a tarantula!

This one was spotted by a friend in his yard the other day. They live far enough away from us that I'm not freaked out that we will have a sighting, but after doing a little reading I now know tarantulas are actually all over Arkansas except the far south areas.

I'd expect them to like where we live, it's wooded and mountainous. I was surprised to learn that they have long life spans, up to twenty years. They live underground most of their life, they hunt by sitting nearby their burrows and capture their prey by inserting their fangs and injecting venom. Mostly they live on beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and other spiders.

The reason Bob saw this one, most likely a male, is that Fall is mating season in Arkansas for taratulas. Males who are sexually mature at ten years old venture out of their burrows and travel long distances to find a mate. After mating they usually die from starvation or winter takes it's toll. The females spend the winter underground in their burrows. In early spring the fertilized females create silken egg sacs, then lay 200-800 eggs. They are excellent Mothers... don't bother their babies while they are growing! Typically they hatch in July and August. 

I had always thought that they didn't bite, but thanks to Wikipedia I now know that they do. It's kind of like a bee sting but that wouldn't matter, I would die of a heart attack first! So for those of you who share a fear of the creepy little buggers, here's directions what to do when you spot one...


14 comments:

  1. Get out the nitro, cause I think I'm having a heart attack!! They are huge and ugly. But thanks for the info about tarantulas

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    1. Oh girl, I didn't mean to give you a heart attack! I'd come unglued if this one was in MY yard. Luckily, it was about 30 miles away at a friend's house! The scary thing is, I know they are probably out there... waiting!

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  2. We live in Iowa where we have NO tarantulas.. I think I would be skirting around this big one. We have lots of spiders in Iowa and I have been seeing a lot of them.. Maybe they are all horny and looking for a mate.. ha ha.. ta ta for now from Iowa:)

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    1. Hmmmm, we may be retiring to Iowa instead of Texas! I've seen trantuala's twice, once over in my Mom's yard and one other time crossing the road. That's pretty good odds for 60 years,,,

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  3. I hate spiders of all kinds especially big hairy ones. Makes a shiver run down my spine just thinking about them.

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    1. You're not the only one! This big guy creeps me out too. I've only seen a couple in my lifetime so I'm hoping my odds are good that I won't have to face seeing one again!

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  4. They are certainly scary....the size of them is ...gulp...intimidating! We have black widow spiders here in Pa...and while moving concrete block last fall...found several. first time ever though. no tarantulas though.

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    1. The brown recluse is the one that worries me, they are common here. Truth be told, there's not a single one I want anywhere near me! I spray pretty good spring and fall and that seems to keep them away. We live in the woods so I know they are all around us... ~shiver~

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  5. LOL!!!... that's hilarious.

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  6. Spiders and snakes! Both give me the shivers, but I find dealing with a spider is easier than a snake. Camping one year at Lake Texoma we discovered they were all over the place. Hard to sleep in a tent thinking about it! I dropped a big rock on one by our picnic table. Splat! Yikes!

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    1. That would be hard, I don't know if I could have stayed!

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  7. I would die if I ran across this in MY YARD!

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    1. Well, we are ALL in agreement here!!!

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