Monday, September 26, 2016

Biggest Spider in My Yard - Orb Weaving Spider

The night of our yard sale a few weeks past, we were cleaning up and I about walked into this HUGE spider and VERY LARGE WEB just in front of my shut off valve area near the front of my home. 

I was very freaked out by the large and hairy / spiny spider. I figured it would have to be poisonous as it has such distinct markings and angles which usually denote poisonous spiders. 

I got some spider killing spray and sprayed it after taking some identifying pictures. Funny thing is that I didn't even see the large black widow spider in the lower right hand corner of the pictures near the actual water turn off! 
It was dark and I was so focused on the large spider and web that until I looked at the pictures to post, I didn't see it! It starts out just at the spot where the brick and cement meet at the foundation and when I spray the Orb spider, it moves up on the brick more. 

I think it is time to spray the foundation again! I used to spray often when we had the biting bird mites years ago and the spider population went down quite a bit but I just did the window wells last year and it seems like we have had more spiders in the past year in the house than in many years combined. 
I have NEVER seen this spider before and hope I don't again as it is huge and the web was enough to walk through which would give someone a heart attack. 

I clipped and pasted some information on the spider about its common names and toxicity etc. I truly don't ever want to walk through the huge webs it creates and hope it didn't lay it's eggs anywhere before dying as they hatch in the spring, I guess I will find out then. 

Here is the information I got off several different sites:

Venom toxicity - the bite of Orb-Weaving Spiders is of low risk (not toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite. Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 40 year olds.

Spider Identification - an adult is about 2/3 to more than 1 inch in body length - has a bulbous abdomen - often colorful - dark to light brown pattern. The common Golden Orb-Weaver Spider has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs.
Habitat - often found in summer in garden areas around the home - they spin a large circular web of 6 feet or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as, flies and mosquitoes.

 I got this information off another site:
Among the more interesting orb weaving spiders is the "cat-faced spider," which is formally known as araneus gemmoides. It gets its nickname from the fact that many people think the projections and indentations on its abdomen look like the ears and eyes of a feline. 

These strange-looking spiders are known to spin geometric webs near lights outdoors, but don't pose a threat to humans. Cat-faced spiders are commonly collected during the fall.

 Another orb weaving spider is the banded orb weaving spider, which is especially common from August until the first freeze of the fall season."The adult female wanders looking for a spot to lay the egg sac and may enter people's homes or areas around the home, the eggs will hatch in the spring. These spiders are an excellent predator of pest insects and should be released back into the yard." 

I for one, don't want them spinning anything in my yard! I guess they are just in time to make it look scary for Halloween!       

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