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Chetumal residents squirm at the sight of the city’s heavily webbed trees

Chetumal, Q.R. — A temporary situation of trees being nearly completely engulfed in spider webs continues to make some Chetumal residents squirm. During the month of May, several large trees along Bahía Boulevard became covered in cobwebs, something residents say they have never seen before in the capital city.

El Dr. Yann Hénaut, an investigator with the Departamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad says the current plague of booby flies is the likely main reason for the abundance of arachnids. “It is not the first time in the world that this phenomenon has been seen, but here on the boulevard it is something new,” he said.

“Most likely when the mosquitoes finish eating, cleaning up the nutrients that are in the Bay, then those spiders will see fewer mosquitoes and the population will drop,” he said adding that the phenomenon is not as negative as some suggest.

“The presence of spiders helps control other insects such as Aedes Aegypti, which are transmitters of diseases,” he noted.

According to Raziel Lucio Palacio, another specialist, they have counted up to 70 spiders per square meter of web, something that is not very common.

“But here, there is so much food and there are good places for them to weave their fabric that they no longer have to invest time or resources in making more complex webs,” he said.

The city anticipates that the spiders will move off once the heavy rains arrive and their webs become damaged. Until then, the trees, which span for several kilometers, will likely remain wrapped in white webbing.