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Why Would Spiders Want to Nest in Your Car?

Why Would Spiders Want to Nest in Your Car?

UC Riverside entomologists available to discuss behavior of spider found nesting in rubber hoses of Mazda6 cars

(March 7, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Mazda Motor Corp. is recalling 65,000 cars to fix a problem that may have arisen due to spiders. The yellow sac spider, which spins a ball-shaped web about the size of a dime, has nested in rubber hoses that link to fuel tank systems in Mazda6 cars, potentially resulting in major problems.

From the Washington Post to the Detroit News to CNN, when someone needs to know about insects they call on entomology experts at the University of California, Riverside.

The following entomologists are available for media interviews on yellow sac spider behavior:

Rick Vetter, staff research associate in entomology
(951) 827-5805

Vetter, an internationally known authority on spiders, can talk about spider identification, distribution and behavior. He can also discuss medically important spiders and spider taxonomy. He has more than 100 peer-review publications in scientific and medical journals, many of them involving spiders of medical concern such as recluse, widow, hobo and yellow sac spiders. Vetter has described two new spider species and has had two species of arachnids named in his honor.

John Trumble, professor of entomology
(951) 827-5624

Trumble can comment on insect development and behavior. With regard to the yellow sac spider infestation that may be the cause of the problem in Mazda6 cars, he says that the inside of a hose/tube in a car is a good place for a yellow sac spider, a nocturnal hunter, to spend the day waiting to go in search of prey at night.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Media Relations
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1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

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