It's never too late to search for summer love and that is what the tarantulas are doing on the East Bay's Mount Diablo.
These creepy crawlers might be out of a nightmare, but it’s true what they say-- they’re more afraid of us than we are of them! That’s right: we’re talking about the gentle giants of the arachnid world - tarantulas! This time of year, you might be seeing more of these furry, multi-appendaged friends as they become more active.
Just like most animals, Tarantulas have a specific meeting season. For these 8-legged creatures, the urge to mate comes in the fall-- becoming most active during September and October. They’re usually found in the hills of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara Counties, but Mount Diablo has a reputation for being the tarantula “hot spot”. Tarantulas live underground but when mating season occurs you can see the males looking for a mate. As the weather cools down, these fuzzy fiends heat up.
These creepy-crawly creatures may cause anxiety in some, but in reality, they are nothing to be afraid of. In fact, locally, they’re known as gentle giants. No one has ever been killed by a tarantula-- they have little venom sacks and aren’t poisonous to people at all.
People hardly ever see these creatures because they’re nocturnal and they live underground. These few fall months are some of the only times the arachnids are active.
During mating season, a mature male Tarantula, around the age of six or seven-years-old, will leave his burrow never to return. His last mission in life is to find a female tarantula. While female tarantulas can live up to twenty-five years of age and stay in their burrows most of their lives, males won’t go home again. Instead they’ll search for another mate. Usually, they cannot find food around this time of year, so sadly, their lives end around Halloween.
This time of the year you may see an increase of tarantula sightings on the trail or at home but tarantulas are not out to get you. They are harmless and are simply looking for love. If you happen to come across one of the not so itsy-bitsy spiders appreciate them from a distance and let them be. If you wish to live and thrive, let a spider run alive.