Have you been spotting more spiders around your home lately? Well, there’s a good reason for that. It turns out that some species of the creepy crawlies are no longer fearful of light, according to new research.
The conclusion was met after scientists at the University of Regensburg, Germany, recently studied eggs from the urban and rural Steatoda triangulosa spider. Also known as False Widow Spider, the particular species is commonly found in the south of Europe but has become more prevalent within the UK.
They found that those who hatched in the cities or towns were more likely to spin their webs near to light sources than rural spiders who still stuck to dark environments. But why exactly is that?
Dr Tomer Czaczkes, a biologist who led the study, explains that the shift is probably evolutionary as household spider species adapt to their surroundings as they are forced to source food, like moths, in our illuminated environments.
To conduct the study, the researchers collected spider eggs across Germany, France and Italy. They then separated the hatchlings into two groups: one group was exposed to light and the other was kept in the dark.
Explaining the findings, biologist Ana María Bastidas-Urrutia, who is the study’s co-author, told journal The Science of Nature: ‘We found that rural spiderlings avoided the light side and liked building their webs in the dark. The urban spiderlings really didn’t care where they built their webs. The light didn’t seem to bother them.’
So, what do you do if you’ve got a crippling phobia of spiders? Experts say the answer is never to kill them. Instead, ask a friend, relative or anybody around to kindly remove the creator (perhaps with a piece of paper or a glass) and release it outside.