Local News

For Some, Spiders Create Web Of Worry

Posted September 25, 2003 9:07 a.m. EDT

— The rain and wind from Hurricane Isabel sent spiders spinning in yards and inside homes.

Dorothy Ashworth knew her storm cleanup would involve picking up pine cones and tree limbs, but she was not prepared to find so many spiders.

"I've seen more spiders outside and inside. I'd rather they stay outside," she said. "They usually come at me at night. What's worse is when you're asleep and you feel something crawling on you. I just panic. My husband thinks somebody's broke into the house and it's just this little bitty spider."

Michael Waldvogel, a bug expert with North Carolina State University, said, in general it has been a good year for bugs. Since spiders eat bugs, it has a good year for them, too.

Waldvogel said the hurricane disrupted their usual hangouts, forcing them to move.

"We've had a lot of rain, so naturally, a lot of critters are looking for high ground and spiders are going to do the same thing," he said.

While most spider bites are harmless, bites from some spiders can send a person to a hospital. Waldvogel recommends playing it safe by wearing gloves when working in the garden or garage.

Checking the weather stripping on doors and windows is a good way to keep them out of the house.