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Texas residents see tarantula boom

July 9, 2012 at 5:12 PM

BASTROP, Texas, July 9 (UPI) -- Members of a Texas family said they have recently noticed an unusually high number of tarantulas on their 10-acre property and in their home.

Jason and Victoria Fisher of Bastrop County said they moved into their home on family land about a year ago and the past few weeks have brought an unusual number of tarantulas onto their property, KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas, reported Monday.

"We've seen a whole bunch of tarantulas, more than normal," Jason Fisher said. "We've seen probably up to 10 tarantulas (around) the house in the past month. And then driving back and forth from Austin to work, we've been seeing a few crossing the roads -- like they're just infested out here."

Walker Hale, a board-certified entomologist with ABC Home and Commercial Services, said the spiders are in their mating season.

"The males migrate in, so you'll see them across roads with greater frequency and maybe around the property with greater frequency. Just the time of year," Hale said.

Hale said the number of spiders in the area may have been bolstered by fires last September as well as several other factors.

"The spiderlings of last year don't succumb to certain fungal infections (or) diseases, food is plentiful for them and just population dynamics. Things tend to ebb and flow," he said. "Why we're seeing them more this year could've been the early rains and the lack of rain when it really mattered last year, our drought."

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