Record precipitation fueling spider population in East TN

If you're seeing more spiders around your house, you're not alone. Experts at UT and local exterminators confirm there have been more spiders this summer than normal.

They say it all comes down to precipitation.

"A lot of our customers are having issues," Robert Lane of Arrow Exterminators.

Knoxville ended up with nearly eight inches of rain more than is typical for the summer. Lane said all of that precipitation helped the area's local insect population flourish, which in turn helped spiders.

"All of that's prime food for spiders," he said.

He said you can keep spiders away from your house by keeping your shrubbery trimmed. Lane added that it is important to make sure you have no tree limbs on the top of your house too, as they can make it easier for spiders to set up shop on your roof or walls.

But, UT Extension agent Neal Denton said it's important East Tennesseans use caution when trying to remove the pests from their homes.

More Information: Invasive Kudzu bugs stink, stain and spread in East Tennessee

"If you have a manhole cover or a brick or a block or a rockwall, be careful around that because that's the kind of area where the black widow likes to hangout," he said.

Denton did have some good news for East Tennesseans who aren't fans of spiders."We're about at the peak of what we generally see [with spiders], so we're going to see a slow decline in the numbers," he said.

However, the same can't be said for other pests, according to exterminator Dayton Hylton, of Dayton's Pest Control Service. He said as the weather cools down, we'll see more stink bugs, lady bugs and kudzu bugs.

Kudzu bugs first appeared in Tennessee last year. While they eat some Kudzu, they hardly make a dent in the plants' population.

"They're just simply moving north, spreading out," Hylton said.

But, insects and spiders aren't the only ones who've seen their populations increase in the area.

Denton said the snake population has increased as well. The precipitation has helped with plant growth. He said rodents, which have also grown in number, eat those plants utimately leaving snakes with even more prey to feast on.


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