Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Spiders Take over Yard; Arachnids Will 'Balloon' Away from Home, Expert Says

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Spiders Take over Yard; Arachnids Will 'Balloon' Away from Home, Expert Says

Article excerpt

Byline: Carlie Walker frasercoastchronicle.com.au

A NEST of wolf spiders is the last thing Denise Torkington wanted in her Pialba backyard.

For about a week the local mum has observed a spider web grow across her lawn, despite her husband's efforts to stop it.

Denise has considered getting a pest control specialist in to rid her yard of the spiders, which a spider expert believes to be either baby wolf spiders or water spiders.

Queensland Museum's arachnid expert Robert Raven says the huge web is a natural phenomenon used by spiderlings to disperse into the air and migrate to a new location.

"The phenomenon is called ballooning and consists of the spider pulling a thread of silk, liquid when formed but forming a strand under pressure, out of their spinnerets," the senior curator of Arachnology said.

"Eventually, the air's pull on the silk becomes strong and the spider must hold onto the leaf or grass as the spider allows the drag to draw out more and more silk, making the strand longer and longer. …

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