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Summer of spiders: Winnipeg sees increase in eight-legged guests

Click to play video: 'Summer is spider season in Winnipeg' Summer is spider season in Winnipeg
Video published on social media shows a giant spider in a Winnipeg's house backyard. Winnipeggers have been noticing an increase in spiders this year, says a local entomologist – Aug 20, 2020

If you’re seeing more spiders in your yard this summer, you’re not alone.

Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart of Poulin’s Pest Control says the company typically receives 100 or so spider-related calls in an entire year, but it’s already reached that number partway through August.

A spider in the Falcon Lake area. Michael Fanset / Submitted

Stuart told 680 CJOB he’s encouraging Winnipeggers not to kill the eight-legged arachnids if they can handle having them around, because spiders do have benefits.

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Read more: ‘It was so thick’: B.C. woman’s giant spider photo horrifies, but experts say not to fear

“They’re going to be killing all of those insects that you don’t know about — things that want to get into your house,” Stuart said.

“They do kill some beautiful things too, some butterflies, some moths. … But the reality is, they kill lots of insects that will be bugging you in your backyard.”

“They’re scary-looking, number one, lots of people don’t like them, but they’re actually nice, beneficial.”

Stuart said calls for spider treatments are likely up as more people are spending more time at home due to the pandemic.

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“People are at home, they’re going, ‘Hey, what’s this in my back yard? Uh-oh, there’s more of these than normal!’

“I’ve been to a place where it would blow you out of the water — the entire back wall was covered in webbing. It was awesome to see.”

A Winnipeg entomologist says we may be noticing more spiders this summer due to more people staying at home during the pandemic. Submitted / Gary Pastuch

Stuart said he doesn’t like killing them, as they tend to be beneficial, and they’re rarely interested in actually going inside people’s houses — but working for a pest control company, it’s part of the job.

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Similar spider sightings happened earlier this summer in British Columbia, where a Victoria woman’s photo of a bigger-than-usual spider went viral.

Although the large arachnid freaked out a lot of people online, a B.C. entomology expert said it wasn’t any threat to humans.

“I just always want to reiterate the spiders are our friends,” biologist Claudia Copley, manager of the Royal B.C. Museum’s entomology collection, told Global News.

“They’re not causing any harm. In fact, they’re doing a lot of good.”

Click to play video: 'Poisonous spider found inside woman’s ear' Poisonous spider found inside woman’s ear
Poisonous spider found inside woman’s ear – Aug 23, 2019

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