CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Sci-Tech

A mob of horny tarantulas is prowling San Francisco

Tarantula mating season in Northern California is extended, thanks to higher temperatures.

spiderbig

They might look scary, but tarantulas are not actually dangerous to humans.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

October is turning out to be a bad month to live in San Francisco. First, utilities company PG&E initiated wide-ranging Bay Area blackouts to protect against the possibility of wildfires. Now it seems the warmer weather is attracting thousands of tarantulas looking for mates, so residents will have to fight off horny spiders in the dark. 

To be fair, while tarantulas mostly come out at night during mating season, males can also be seen roaming around all hours to find a female for some lovin'.

"San Francisco officials are warning residents to be on the lookout for thousands of giant male spiders," according to The Wall Street Journal. "The spiders aren't dangerous to people. In fact it's the other way around."

Creepy as they may be to those who them, spiders help humans by eating thousands of bugs every year that are a threat to crops.

"If spiders disappeared, we would face famine," New York's American Museum of Natural History's Norman Platnick told Treehugger this week. "Spiders are primary controllers of insects. Without spiders, all of our crops would be consumed by those pests."

While tarantulas do eat insects, frogs and small lizards, the spiders are mostly harmless to humans. Tarantula bites are painful like bee stings, but their venom is very mild

Northern California's Mount Diablo State Park -- where male tarantulas are often found searching for mates in the wild -- reminds visitors that the spiders are truly nothing to fear. 

"Hollywood and the media have made tarantulas seem monstrous, so to many people these slow-moving spiders appear ominous and threatening," reads the Mount Diablo park website. "Nothing is farther from the truth. They are truly one of the gentle giants of the animal world."

So if you happen to come across a tarantula on the trail, or under your sheets, "fear not, don't kill them," the site continues. "Know that while they may look terrifying, they're doing the good work."