ST. CLOUD -- Spiders are a common sight in Minnesota homes as the weather gets colder. They are trying to find warm spots with food.

William Cook is a Zoology Professor at St. Cloud State University. He says we are allies to the spiders.

Humans, we've done a great job of providing environments for other animals. It's maybe us crazy zoology professors who kind of like that idea sometimes.

The spiders will be hunting small bugs in your house. That's why Cook says it may be a good idea to keep some of them alive, to control the small bug population.

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If you are afraid of spiders, you are not alone. One in 20 Americans has arachnophobia. Cook believes the way they move may be one of the causes of their fear.

They find it difficult to kind of anticipate movements because they don't feel like they understand where it's going to go next because it's moving in a manner that's fundamentally different from how people move.

He says all of the bugs and spiders in your house this time of year are harmless, and you don't need to call an exterminator.

There are three categories of bug behavior as winter approaches.

One, is bugs trying to find warmth in your house. Another, is bugs which find their way into your house totally by accident. The third, is bugs that have found food in your house and taken up permanent residence.

He says exterminators are really only effective against the last category.


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