Each year as fall hits, Colorado’s Arkansas Valley becomes an arachnophobe’s nightmare. During this time, thousands of tarantulas migrate through the area during their mating season. Generally, this peaks sometime mid-October.

If you happen to spot a spider on the move, it’s most likely a male, marked with a blonde spot on the top of its back. According to a piece by the La Junta Tribune-Democrat, male spiders are more active during this time period, as they search for burrowed females to mate with. While this is technically a mating period migration, it’s not a migration on the same scale as many other animals that may travel long distances. Instead, these arachnids are simply traveling around the local area looking to find a partner.

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Believe it or not, these male spiders have been waiting 10 years to reach their sexual maturity. Sadly, they’ll mate once and die, often killed by the female they mate with.

According to the La Junta Tribune-Democrat, the best place to spot this natural phenomena is on Highway 71, just north of Ordway, as well as on Highway 109, between La Junta and Kim. If you’re planning to hunt some tarantulas down, keep in mind that while they’re mostly harmless, they can deliver a painful bite along with a very mild venom. They’ve also been known to throw leg hairs when threatened that can cause irritation.

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