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The tarantulas in Texas are in the middle of their mating season.

The tarantulas in Texas are in the middle of their mating season.

Summer in Texas is not just known for relentless mosquitoes, it’s also known as the season of love for tarantulas across the Lone Star State.

The large, shy spiders are native to Texas and most of the southern United States. They generally like to stay burrowed in their holes until they venture out at night to look for a mate.

“Usually the summer is when they do start to come out. The boys right now are looking for the girls,” said Randall Kennedy, owner of Dallas-Fort Worth Wildlife Control.

There are 14 species of tarantulas in Texas, according to the National Park Service. Most in North Texas are believed to be Texas brown tarantulas which can grow to have a leg span of up to five inches. Their bodies are generally black and are covered with black or brown hairs that they use to help identify prey since they don’t see so well.

It’s important to note here that though tarantulas may look large and imposing, if not a little scary, they are very docile and are generally harmless to humans and pets.

If cornered, tarantulas are more likely to flee than attack but they do possess the ability to fling their stinging hairs. The hairs may irritate human skin and are considered dangerous if they get in your eyes. If the spiders are handled, they could bite and they are venomous, however, their bite is compared to a wasp sting causing a mild allergic reaction.

The Texas browns don’t spin traditional webs, preferring to stay in silk-lined burrows and wait for prey to happen upon them. You may see the nocturnal spiders when they come out to search for a partner. Once they’ve mated, the females can lay up to 1,000 eggs that’ll hatch in late summer.

“I thought it was so cool because I’ve never seen anything like that except for in the zoo,” said Carmela Hernandez, who recently saw one of the spiders outside of her house. “They’re more scared of you than you are of them.”

Kennedy recommended if you see a tarantula just admire it from a distance.

“Try not to touch them, handle them anything like that. Certainly don’t kill them,” Kennedy said.

If you don’t want them around your house or yard, there are steps you can take to encourage them to live elsewhere.

“If you’re having a problem seeing the tarantulas and you don’t want to see them, just do your regular pest control stuff to get rid of their food source and then they’ll go on looking for food elsewhere,” Kennedy said.

When all else fails, Kennedy recommends just leaving them alone.

“If they scare you just go the other direction,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said the spiders will be less active, and therefore less visible when the mating season ends later this summer.

Source: NBCDWF