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Silk Strands And Spiders Floating Across Metroplex

Silk strands in the air (Credit: Emily Trube/KRLD)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) -- People across the metroplex have reported seeing a white substance floating through the air Wednesday morning. Relax -- it's just spiders.

Tim Bryce with the Dallas Zoo says this process known as ballooning is a normal occurrence in North Texas in the fall.

"It is actually spider silk," said Bryce. "It's fairly common this time of year to have little spiderlings emerge and send out little strands of silk from their abdomens. Once they're high enough, they catch in the breeze and it blows these little spiders like little balloons away to another area to help disperse them so they're not having competition with each other in  a small area."

Floating Spiders

Bryce says the silk strands are likely tangling in the air, creating larger masses which then fall back to the ground.

Wednesday is also an ozone action day, characterized by low winds, which could help explain the large quantities of falling webs.

"If you actually pick up the masses, you can feel that they're sticky, which would help them cling to trees and other structures when they float down out of the air," said Bryce.

Tangled silk strands on the ground (Credit: Emily Trube/KRLD)

Reports came in Wednesday morning from downtown Dallas, North Dallas, Irving and even Mansfield.

Bryce says a variety of species use ballooning to disperse themselves, though it's unclear which species is invading the DFW area. So should people be worried?

"It's not something to be concerned about," noted Bryce. "It most likely is tiny spiders. They're not going to be some dangerous, venomous problem flying through the air."

Travis Kosydar shot video of the webs floating around his house in Frisco.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )

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