Tarantulas on the Move

Tarantulas come out around sunset.

You might observe some creepy creatures out and about this month. It is tarantula mating season. This means that male tarantulas are out searching for a mate [a partner with which one reproduces].

Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders with fangs. They live in the southwestern United States. Though they look spooky, they are mostly harmless. They have venom, but it is not harmful to humans. In fact, tarantulas are often kept as pets.

You are not likely to see tarantulas during the rest of the year. Tarantulas live in burrows [holes or tunnels dug by animals]. Mating season usually lasts from August to October. During this time, males come out of their burrows. They might travel several miles before they find a mate.

Mating season is when you are most likely to see a tarantula. If you do see a tarantula, let it go on its way. Their journey is dangerous. Many spiders are killed as they cross roads or get too close to humans. They might look scary, but tarantulas are important. They eat insects and other crawling critters. This keeps ecosystems in balance. 

What Can You Do? How can you help keep tarantulas safe?

Photo Credit: Rebecca L. Latson/Getty Images