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As autumn approaches here’s why we see more spiders in our houses and why wasps are desperate for sugar

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The tell-tale signs that autumn is here are clear to us; the days are getting shorter and the temperature is decreasing. We take this as a sign to pull out our winter woollies and think about turning on the radiators. But how do insects know that winter is coming? And what do they do to prepare?

Folklore has suggested over the years that insects can predict the weather and that, for example, we could start to see bigger spider webs if the weather is going to get colder. The evidence for those bigger webs ahead of bad weather is weak. But there certainly are changes in insect behaviour we can see at this time of year, and it shows they are predicting changes they need to make as the weather changes.

Insects are extremely sensitive to changes in the environment and change in light is the main cue that insects use to signal the change in seasons. Insects, like humans, detect light with their eyes. But unlike humans insects have more than two eyes. In addition to the two big compound eyes that they have on the front of their heads most insects also have three smaller eyes........

© The Conversation

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