Tarantulas found crawling around Missouri City neighborhoods

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Missouri City family can't believe the critters they found in their yard this week-- three tarantulas.

"Terrified," Missouri City resident Jenny Rahu said. "I don't like seeing that at all. I can't believe that is down the street."

Texas Parks and Wildlife says it's actually quite common in our area.

"What you're seeing is a tarantula, specifically the Texas Brown Tarantula," Texas Parks and Wildlife invertebrate biologist Ben Hutchins, PhD said.

Hutchins spoke to Eyewitness News by phone.

He says this spider's habitat stretches from Louisiana to New Mexico.

He said you normally don't see them because they come out at night.

But that changes at the start of summer. "This time of year, the male tarantulas will be leaving their burrows in search of mates," Hutchins said.

Hutchins said the creatures normally don't attack. However, they will strike if they feel threatened.

"These are wild animals," Hutchins said. "If you take a close look you'll see they have well developed fangs. Handling them is asking to get bit."

If you do see some at your home, Hutchins says don't worry, there's not a nest.

The tarantula is a solitary creature.
But still, after seeing sightings of these big spiders, some neighbors aren't taking chances.

"I've always gone barefoot in the grass and everywhere, but I'm going to put some shoes on now," Rahu said.

Some people do keep tarantulas as pets.

State experts says if you catch one, it's best not to keep it. Stores sell tarantulas that are bred to live in homes.
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