Millions of spiders have invaded a Memphis, Tennessee neighborhood, in an unprecedented, nightmarish infestation.
It may sound like the scenario of a horror movie intended to terrify those suffering from arachnophobia, but this is actually happening on Chelsea Avenue and May Street.
In fact, the multi-legged arthropods have managed to spun a thick white web whose staggering length is of around half a mile.
To the casual observer, the sticky entanglement initially appears to be morning dew or frost. It’s unclear exactly how the spider web managed to form so quickly, given that residents claim that it emerged overnight, with no reasonable explanation as to why the arachnids have decided to attack the suburb.
Numerous homes in North Memphis have been affected, and owners are desperately trying to find a solution to combat this infestation, while authorities are yet to take decisive action.
Huge clusters of spiders can be seen crawling across doors, walls and windows, their population multiplying constantly, no matter how much repellent the locals are spraying throughout their houses.
Frances Ward, one of the people whose home is being kept under siege by creepy crawlies, has pointed out that despite having spent hours exterminating spiders, she hasn’t seen any reduction in their numbers. Another local, Ida Morris, has also complained that arachnids had invaded her porch, making it uninhabitable.
Residents are now urging the local council to take measures immediately in order to make the area safe and clean again, because this unbearable situation can no longer continue unchecked.
The arthropods might even pose a danger to children, their bites causing toxic reactions which could be deadly for those suffering from severe allergies.
This point of view however isn’t shared by Steve Reichling, Memphis Zoo curator. He has stated that in fact the spiders are too small to be hazardous to humans.
According to him, this is just a case of “mass dispersal” of spiders that had already been present in the area, albeit undetected, and this type of event is actually much more common than it might seem.
Just because such arachnid migrations aren’t normally obvious or visible to humans, that doesn’t mean they should take catastrophic proportions in the minds of those who get to witness them.
Reichling believes that the arthropods might be adult sheetweb spiders, which are trying to flee from their breeding grounds due to changes in the environment only discernible to them.
The reason why they have spun the web was to employ it in order to catch a gust of wind, so that they could be projected someplace else, in a behavior known as ballooning or kiting.
His alternative theory is that the invaders are actually juvenile spiders, which have just been born, and this population boom was probably at record levels.
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