Abundance of Spiders Result of Warm Spring, Summer

By Vickie Frantz, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
September 29, 2012; 4:24 AM
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A black and yellow garden spider sits on its web in this photograph. Courtesy of photos.com.

Above-average temperatures from the spring and summer have created the ideal conditions for spiders to thrive in many U.S. locations.

More spiders, of course, also means more spiderwebs. Why are there so many spiders? Does the increase in spiders mean a harsher winter?

Michael Raupp, a professor with the University of Maryland Department of Entomology, has the answer.

"The weather has been unusually warm this year. The warmer temperatures have allowed flying insects to produce more generations," Raupp said.

Spiders feed on flying insects like flies and mosquitoes. When the population of the insects increases, the spider population also increases.

Raupp said, "It's been a spectacular year for multivoltine insects (producing many broods). When the temperatures are 70 degrees F, the time it takes a mosquito to develop from egg to adult is about two weeks. If the temperature is increased to 90 degrees F, the cycle will take only a week."

"The temperatures this summer, reported at the Baltimore Washington International Airport in Maryland, were 3.1 degrees above the average summer temperatures," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.

The increase in spider populations are tied to the favorable weather conditions during the spring and summer. They are not an indication of what the winter will bring.

A beetle is trapped in a dew-covered spiderweb in this picture by Michael Raupp. Raupp also provided a video of a black and yellow garden spider wrapping a stink bug in silk. Click here to view the video.

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