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13 Oct, 2020 20:59

Eight Legged Freaks in Sochi? Residents share photos of large wolf spiders as they head indoors to get jiggy in fall mating season

Eight Legged Freaks in Sochi? Residents share photos of large wolf spiders as they head indoors to get jiggy in fall mating season

It's not quite on the level of the movie 'Eight-Legged Freaks," yet, but residents of Russia's subtropical southern city Sochi are expressing their fears online after local homes experienced an invasion of large wolf spiders.

Much larger than the average critter you might find in your house, the abdomen of a wolf spider is longer than three centimeters, but, despite their appearance, they are not dangerous to humans.

Writing on popular Instagram account @love.sochi, the page administrator explained that the spider is not threatening to humans, with a bite like a bee sting. In fact, the invasion of huge wolf spiders may actually be positive, as they catch midges, cockroaches, and fleas. Despite their harmlessness, the giant spiders have scared Sochi residents.

Speaking to the publication Argumenty i Fakty, arachnologist Alexander Ponomarev thinks that wolf spiders could have crawled into people's homes for the start of the mating period.

“In search of a partner, spiders can run into houses, because there are a lot of them,” Ponomarev said. “They will not spend the winter in their homes. Wolf spiders live in places with high humidity levels, usually in forest areas located near reservoirs.”

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According to Moscow daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, the mass invasion of wolf spiders may be linked to an upcoming cold spell, and are a possible symptom of climate change. In recent years, Sochi residents have been more regularly attacked by hordes of mosquitoes, bedbugs, and flies. Experts believe this is due to abnormal heat and drought.

With the exception of Antarctica, wolf spiders are found on every continent, and most commonly in countries with a warm climate. Due to their diet, they are often classed as ‘beneficial bugs’, because of their helpfulness with natural pest control.

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