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Seeing Spiders and Crickets? What Does It Mean?

What does folklore tell us about spider and cricket activity this time of year? Find out!

We receive lots of letters and emails about what people are seeing in their back yards as signs from nature of a hard winter—everything from what’s inside persimmon seeds to woolly bear caterpillars to acorns. We got an email this week from a woman who said the crickets were making their way into her house. In August! So what does that mean, if anything?

According to folklore:

  • Spiders spinning larger than usual webs is a sign of a cold winter to come.
  • Spiders and entering the house in great numbers is a sign of a snowy winter to come.
  • The early arrival of crickets on the hearth means an early winter.

Of course, much of it depends on where you live. It could be mild in one region and rough in another. If you can tell us more about spiders and crickets, we welcome your observations.

We’ve also got some great home remedies to keep those spiders out! Check them out here.

Peter Geiger is the Editor of the Farmers' Almanac. Read his full biography.

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Rita

I live in Fl and we had spiders everywhere this past fall inside and outside. Now we have had a cold winter. Also tons of wasp making low nests on walls and in the bushes not the usual ones in the eves

Danielle

I am in Batesville, AR. I heard about the old wives tale about the percimmon seed. So I cut one open and it was a spoon.
We have already recieved a snow sleet mix, it did not stick, but every night since it has been below freezing. As of right now it is 42 degrees.I thank everyone for all the info.

Jim P

Well, It sure looks like all of natures winter indicaters may be correct. Oct 27 and snow on the ground in Indiana.

Mae

If the woolybear caterpillar folk lore holds true, winter in Northwest Idaho predicts to be extremely cold and snowy. The wooly’s I’ve been seeing around here have upgraded their winter coats to inch thick completely white wool. Winter 2007 they were only wearing a few strands of thick white hairs. Advice from the wollys; get prepared for a kick ass winter!

Twila

Linda
According to all that I’ve read, when squirrels begin to gather nuts early then it’s a sign of a harsh winter to come. Also, I have heard the following:
The larger the spiders’ webs
The more the crows gather in rows The higher the hive of the wasp
Persimmon seeds (spoon, knife or fork)
Woolybear caterpillar- the more black on the body the harsher the winter
Crickets ending up in the house earlier in the season
The thicker the nape of the cow’s neck
The more acorns on the ground
Woodpeckers sharing trees
Birds heading south earlier in the season
Each fog in August means a snowy day to come
The list goes on and on of how to ‘predict’ the oncoming winter. While some feel these are mostly ‘old wives tales’ I have to question their doubt myself. Primarily because the animals are more in tune with the nature around them and if they are getting the ‘duck and run’ signals, the rest of the neighborhood might want to pay attention.
As for myself, I can’t wait to be dumped on by snow here in southern Missouri. I would love nothing more than to have a very, very snowy winter.
I can remember about ten years ago or just a little more than that; it actually snowed on Halloween while we were all out trick or treating. It was great!

Kelly

South Orange County, California – Never seen sooooo many spider webs and ginormous spiders before. They are everywhere. The webs string between the palm trees across the driveway to the eves of the neighbor’s house. The spiders seem to hang in the balance above our cars waiting to pounce when we open the door. I don’t like it!!! I highly doubt it means a ‘snowy’ winter for us, but I guess it could be an early winter. We’ll see…..

Jim P

Not sure if it means anything, but I have crickets like never before. In the basement, garage,etc. Have never had anything more than common, small household spiders. In just the last week HUGE spiders began spinning ferris wheel size webs against the house. Oct 6th in Northern Indiana isn’t exactly mosquitoe season, mowed grass and the biggest mosquitoes i’ve ever saw were swarming…….

Linda

I am wondering if there is any weather predictions according to squirrel behavior. I live in Indiana and have noticed a great deal of walnut shells being left by squirrels all over my yard. Every day I see them sitting on the branches of trees chewing off the shells and find several piles of the shells around my yard. Just wondering if this might be a sign of a mild or harse winter.

Snow-day.org

‘Scuse me? But what is Persimmon Seeds and where can i find them? And what is the ‘hearth’

Robert W

We haven’t seen an extra amount of caterpillars, but our usual spider population has exploded. Like last year, a long dry summer usually means a hard snowy winter. I hope the extra spiders don’t signal even more snow. 🙁

Snow-day.org, Persimmon seeds are from a fruit that grows on a tree, a hearth is what is in front of the fire place.

Angela

I live in Missouri. I too have had a huge amount of spiders and crickets. The crickets aren’t on the hearth but in the garage where we don’t normally have them. The spiders are every where. Not only that I provide in home nursing care and this whole week at each house I have had to clean spider webs and get spiders out of the house. They are commenting on they have never had this many spiders either. At a garage sale yesterday a lady told me about the persimmon seeds that one of the men at the coffee shop brought in showed them. I sure would rather have shovelful of snow than 1″ and 2″ thick ice like we’ve had the past two winters

Snow-day.org

Wow, i have never seen so many Crickets and grasshoppers here in Omaha, Nebraska also the webs are so huge and close to the house!

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