Spider population explosion!

The numbers don’t lie: the results in progress say the spider population has been surging since June (which is, well, not unexpected and won’t get us published in Nature). I’ll be curious to see if it continues to rise in August, and since we’re seeing a fair number of spiderlings everywhere, I expect it will.

We’re already talking about extending the study a couple more months, at least until the first snow, so we can catch the expected decline. The only problem with that is that we can’t do the intensive survey in September and October that we can in July, since I’ll be back to work teaching, and the students will be back to work learning. Maybe we can do a representative subset, though.

Also, I don’t think my bones can handle simultaneously teaching and doing field work. I’m pretty much worn out already, and am getting up in the morning to take prophylactic NSAIDs to keep going. The exercise is good for me, right?


  1. Alexander N. Brittain says

    First, I appreciate all your posts. And your worldview.

    As for spiders, I live in an ancient cabin in extremely rural CA and have hundreds of “roommates.” When I moved here a year ago, I vacuumed hundreds and hundreds of “roommates.” I’ll be leaving in a few weeks and will leave the other current residents to “man” the domicile. They are back up to the number when I arrived. But why deprive them of their space when I’m leaving. (They are literally in every room and all around my bed. But the black widows I make sure stay out at the woodpile.)

  2. Crudely Wrott says

    I’m jealous of you, Alex. See, I really like spiders. I’ve met them in so many different places and been astounded at the inventive ways they have discovered to make a living.
    Where I live now is a death trap for my little friends. When they are just tiny, they come in through the screens that are outside my open windows. Sometimes the rappel down from the ceiling right beside my face. I usually catch hold of their silk and move them to the nearest corner. There, they work industriously at building a suitable abode/death trap.They will then molt a time or two but then, alas, die of starvation.
    You see, my house just doesn’t have any bugs in it. Well, I did find a small click beetle yesterday but I picked it up and tossed it out the front door. A couple of clicks of the old carapace and it was well on its way to a happy life. And there was a handsome male wolf spider last month. He got the bums rush too.
    The spiders inside all die, though. Sometimes I think I should just leave the doors open to let food in for them.

  3. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin points out it isn’t a large number of spiders now in Morris, but a number of large spiders — presumably happily chowing down on poopyhead’s students, who can (this being summer in Morris) being described as “vacationing”, avoiding awkward questions from worried parents and a few starving / unlucky spiders…