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It is common knowledge that spiders invade homes during the fall and winter season in order to avoid the cold temperatures. This makes sense, as spiders would certainly die by remaining outdoors once winter temperatures drop below freezing. However, there exists some scientific disagreement concerning the idea that outdoor spiders establish a winter residence within homes in an effort to avoid the cold climate. According to researchers at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, this claim is a myth, and in reality, the spiders you encounter in your home have always maintained and indoor presence, and always will.

The researchers claim that fewer than five percent of the spiders you find in your home moved indoors from a regular outdoor habitat. But before you assume that all the spiders you find within your home naturally maintain an indoor habitat, it is important to better understand a few basic things about spider behavior.

While it is true that your home is well populated with spider species that almost exclusively dwell indoors in Massachusetts, such as cellar spiders and northern house spiders, spotting these spiders is not necessarily common unless they venture out of their hiding places in search of a mate in open spaces within your home. But the spiders that you do spot in your home during the fall season likely originated from outdoor locations. In fact, the only spiders that will allow themselves to be noticed by homeowners are the outdoor spiders that are not accustomed to hiding within your home in order to evade your notice. This is why many of the spiders that are found indoors are spotted near doors or other areas of a home that are exposed to outdoor conditions. Any Massachusetts resident who has ever found a large and hairy wolf spider within their home knows that spiders can, indeed, enter a home from the outside environment.

It is also possible to unknowingly transport spiders into your home from outdoor locations. This can occur when clothing, shoes, firewood or any other object where a spider could hide is brought into a home after lying outdoors for a while. Also, mulch and firewood that is located against your home’s exterior can contain nesting spiders that easily find their way indoors, and spiders can wander into your home by mistaking indoor locations for outdoor habitats. The latter scenario is particularly likely considering that spiders are known to have excessively poor eyesight that does not allow them to discern details within their environment.

Have you ever put on a shoe that you found to be inhabited by a spider?