Spiders From Mars

Brown Widow

If you don’t want to read this, I completely understand.  They are creepy, crawly and freak me out too.  But as they say, it’s best to face your fears.  So I’ve decided to write about them….spiders.

spider webs

It’s that time of year, when the garden is draped with spider webs.  A fall morning walk in the garden is now an obstacle course, dodging webs, remnants of prey and a possible encounter with an eight legged crawler.

Brown Widow Spider

Some spiders eat bad bugs…ok that’s great.  Although when I spot a Latrodectus geometricus (aka  brown widow spider) I have no problem smashing it.  For the amount of time we spend outdoors and with kiddos around, I’m not taking any chances on anyone getting bit.

Daring Jumping Spider

And yes, this is a real photo I took in my friend’s garden. He’s got iridescent chelicerae (green fangs  that look like eyes)!  It’s a Daring Jumping Spider, Phidippus audaxand they like to come out during the day to hunt.  They have eight eyes…eeek. Their large appetites make them very beneficial to the garden. And like most spiders, they may bite humans, but aren’t poisonous.

img_5367

So I’m going to try to find the positives of having these guys hanging around my garden.  For one, some of the  silk webs they spin are works of art.

img_5580Morning dew drops collected on the webs create beautiful crystals that dangle and shimmer in the sunlight.

spiders

I decided to read up on these arachnids so I could welcome them since they are evidently beneficial to have around. Most spiders apparently enjoy munching on aphids, caterpillars, flies, beetles and so on. Although they will also eat our garden friends such as honey bees and butterflies if caught in their web.

Jumping Spider

I even read some articles that teach you how to attract spiders to your garden. Ok let’s not push it. I’m not going to do anything to bring them into my garden on purpose.  Although if you are interested in attracting spiders into your garden, suggestions are to add more trees and shrubs so they have something to spin their webs on.  Mulch and rocks also make a nice, cozy home for them.

I garden chemical free, so I’ve decided to let them be….

Quick facts about our eight legged friends:

  • All spiders are predators (meaning they eat other insects). They will not eat plants but will eat almost any type of bugs.
  • Spiders kill they prey by injecting venom from their fangs.
  • Most spiders do not have fangs strong enough to pierce human skin.
  • Spiders live 1-2 years,
  • Of the 38,000 spider species, only four are poisonous to humans: the black widow, brown recluse, hobo, and yellow sac spiders.

References:

uccemg.com

colostate.edu

‘Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Wierd and Gilly,
And The Spiders from Mars.’ – Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *