The Garden Spider

Garden Spider

Garden Spider. By Michael Gäbler, CC BY-SA 3.0

Thousands of spiders’ species exist on this planet each having its unique features, habitat and characteristics. One prominent spider specie’ is Argiope Aurantia which, commonly referred as the Garden Spider.

HOW TO IDENTIFY GARDEN SPIDERS


Appearance:

Garden spiders have white cephalothorax and are also known as Yellow Garden Spider or Black-Yellow Garden Spider because of the distinctive yellow markings on their abdomen. Male garden spiders are larger in size than females. Males range from 5–9 mm (0.20–0.35 in) whereas females are 19–28 mm (0.75–1.10 in) long.

Behavior:

As their name refers, their main habitat is green and grassy areas like gardens, clearing or meadows. They have the ability to build delicate orb-shaped webs. These intricate webs are built in sunny locations and are pretty strong; they can build large webs ranging 60cm in diameter. They use their web to capture prey and instantly jump on them and paralyze them with their venom.

The Garden Spiders aren’t aggressive in nature and usually don’t bite humans. However, if they feel threatened or are disturbed they may bite people. Their venom isn’t dangerous but might result in minor irritation or swelling.

Garden Spiders are some sort of friends to humans as they help them in controlling insect populations in gardens as they mostly prey upon small insects, butterflies, flies, wasps, etc.

Garden spiders thrive in spring season and there is a surge in their population from March – May. Spider eggs hatch in autumn season but remain dormant till spring and then they leave their sac and hunt for food.

Signs:

Witnessing spider webs in garden, on shrubs, branches and plants are telltale signs of presence of Garden spiders in your vicinity. Their webs are easily recognizable because of their distinct orb shape. Moreover if you somehow spot spiders carrying egg sacs in autumn, this signifies that there will be a spider infestation soon.

HOW DO YOU GET GARDEN SPIDERS


They are not fond of living inside houses but gardens could be a major attraction for them to swarm in. They usually invade seeking insects, and sometimes mistakenly enter indoors through window gaps and cracks in walls.


HOW TO GET RID OF GARDEN SPIDERS


Though they aren’t dangerous for people, their large webs especially near windows, gates or walkways are problematic. If you are disturbed by these pests here are some methods to get rid of them:

  • Garden spiders look for things like extra wood, compost piles, rock or such materials to hide in. Remove all such items from your garden.
  • They are usually active during night time, so in the morning you can wipe out their webs containing spiders and eggs with a broom or vacuum cleaner.
  • There are herbs which are efficient repellents for spiders, like Eucalyptus, Citronella, Citrus, Lavender, mint, etc. You can plant them in your garden and around your house to deter spiders.
  • If somehow garden spiders enter your home, you can sprinkle cinnamon to repel them.
  • Moreover you can dust Diatomaceous Earth in the track of spiders; it’s organic and will efficiently kill them.

Garden Spider Facts


  • They are also known as orb weavers because of their intricate webs; even spiderlings can spin these webs on their own.
  • They have poor eyesight but their extreme sensitivity towards vibration helps them in capturing prey.
  • They spin webs in areas where there is little to no wind and in favorable conditions they can survive an entire season.
  • One egg sac can contain around 400 to 1,200 eggs; a female garden spider can lay 3 – 4 egg sacs in her life.
  • Female guard the egg sac till they hatch and don’t go out to feed and therefore die soon of exhaustion.