Tarantula season: In California, it's early this year

Tarantula season: In California, it’s early this year

LOS ANGELES (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) - Hikers, here's your fair warning: tarantulas are back.

Officials said the eight-legged creatures are crawling around some hiking trails in southern California a bit earlier than usual.

"This is the first time I've seen them this early. They typically come out when it cools off more," said Deputy Dan Paige of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team.

Usually the season occurs closer to October.

Entomologist Brian Brown said it's unknown why they've shown up earlier this year "but we think probably the factors like the hot summer we've had probably accelerates the life cycles of the spiders."

He also said since we had some rain this year, "we'd expect the spider numbers to be fairly good."

They're out and about because the spiders are looking for love.

"The males are wandering around looking for females, which tend to stick into their burrows more," Brown said.

While the spider may give some the heebie jeebies, Brown said, "Tarantulas will not jump on you. Unlike 'Arachnophobia,' they do not come down on webs from above."

What should you do if you see one?

"We do recommend you don't pick up tarantulas," Paige said.

"They have fangs, they can bite. They have mild venom. But they're not aggressive," Brown said

"Some people are allergic to their fur, and it'll be similar to poison oak," Paige said.

If you do plan on hiking any time soon, Paige recommended that you look down at the trail - not only to look for uneven surfaces but also those jet-black tarantulas are going to be easy to spot.

"Just let them be. They're doing spider things, and we're doing hiking things," Paige said.

The largest spiders in the world, tarantulas are found across the Southwest, the National Park Service said. It's unclear if they are emerging early elsewhere.

Copyright 2018 KCAL and KCBS via CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.