Spiders are scary. There’s nothing quite as unsettling as a spider, except for perhaps a dozen spiders. What’s scarier than a dozen spiders? How about millions of spiders and hundreds of feet of spider webs! A half-mile of spider-webs are draped all along the town of North Memphis, Tennessee. A warm fall triggered a spider ballooning, which means a whole lot of baby spiders are currently scuttling around yards and porches.
“These ballooning events are quite common,” says Susan Riechart, a University of Tennessee Knoxville professor and former president of the American Arachnological Society. “Young juvenile spiders of most families disperse by sending out a swath of silk threads that may be over a meter in length. Particular air currents favor ballooning. This would explain the fact that thousands to hundreds of thousands may take off at the same time. Caught by the air currents, the spiderlings have no control over where they will land, but it is not surprising that they may fall in the same area.”
It might be unsettling, but it’s apparently harmless. The spiders themselves may not be known, but at the same time, most of these spider ballooning events are harmless and most of the spiders themselves are tiny. No need to worry about a San Diego-style poisonous spider outbreak.
Tags: spiders infest town, spider infestation, north memphis, tennessee, spiderweb balloon, spiders swarm tennessee town, spiders swarm north memphis, unusual animals, spiders, scary animals, nature, ballooning, spider ballooning, Susan Riechart, University of Tennesee Knoxville