Australia has recently found itself in the middle of a flooding fiasco which has caused roughly 13,000 people to abandon homes in low lying areas. But they are not the only living beings searching for higher ground, as even spiders have found their homes to be inadequate shelter from the extreme water levels. This has led to a miraculous phenomenon: spiders are occupying human farms and houses as if they were their own. What may first appear as snow or dew clearly becomes suffocating spider webs upon closer inspection. Known for their frightening amounts of poisonous species, Australians are not taking this critter invasion lightly.
Spiders are a very common phobia, and our natural reaction is to swat away spider webs as quickly as possible on the rare occasion that we walk through one unintentionally. Fortunately for humans these spiders rarely seem to be on the strand of web that entangles us, and we usually avert a crisis. If you walk through the flood-created Australian webs, you are guaranteed to get at least one spider, if not dozens, all over you. The rush out of flooded areas has created crowding on the webs that can only be believed if you see it, and the sight alone is cringe worthy.
According to arachnid expert Owen Seeman the spiders who are draping their webbing all over Australian farmlands are wolf spiders, known for their usual homes underground. This species is especially affected by flooding because of where they choose to make their homes, and their behavior in this instance is fairly normal. While the spiders had time to adjust to their new surroundings, the owners of most homes deserted the area during the flooding, and the sight of a arachnid infested field or house was their welcome home present.
While most victims of the mass spider exodus saw their houses spared by their new guests, reportedly everything else was on limits as living quarters for the eight legged freaks. In addition to all fields and shrubbery it was reported that any tree or fence was coated in their sticky webs. It is enough to make you wonder just how many creatures are living under our feet that we don’t know about. Thankfully Australia is known for these kind of wildlife oddities, things that would be seen a sign of the apocalypse if they went down in the States.
Spiders really are fascinating creatures, if only we didn’t have to share an Earth with them. When they realized their underground abodes were being ravaged by floodwater they weaved webs in midair, kind of like parachutes that propel them into the air. Upon hatching their eggs they use the wind to whisk them to a new home, also known as a farmer’s field.
Scientists are confident that once the flood waters in Australia recede in about a week or so that the spiders will return to their rightful place under ground and out of sight. This is not an exact time table, though, and there is always a chance that at least a portion of the spider population overstays its welcome. This is a scary thought for farmers who may eventually have to take the extermination process into their own hands.
The question most Australian farm owners may be asking themselves is “Why did it have to be spiders?” Outside of possibly snakes riding a tidal wave and coating your house, there are not many animals you would like to invade your home less than spiders. These wolf spiders do not have very many redeeming qualities, either. It’s not their fault because their appearance tends to be horrifying to the average human, but they are not going to be welcomed by many homeowners. For this reason we hope they migrate back to their homes safely without the farmers having to whip out the flamethrower for the old slash and burn.