Orb Spiders

Araneidae

Orb Spiders

Physical Features

Many species with varying coloring and markings (pictured Garden Orb Spider.)  Females larger than males.  Females are 3/4 to 1 1/8 inches and males are 1/4 to 3/8 inches.  Orb spiders have three claws per foot to handle threads in their intricate webs.  They have an egg shaped abdomen.

Life Cycle

Gradual metamorphosis
Males will seek a female during the fall.  Breeding once a year, the female will produce 300-1400 eggs wrapped in one or more egg sacs attached near the center of the web.  The newly hatched spiders will overwinter and become active the next spring.  The male and female often die after mating, but the female can live for several years in warmer climates, however, typical life span is one year.

Habits

  • Diet: Eat small insects captured in their webs.
  • Activity: Active day and night but typically spin webs in evening then eat the web in the morning. New web constructed each day usually in same place.
  • Preferred Climate: Humid, warm environments.
  • Defense: Vibrations on web signal to spider something nearby.
  • Cautions: May bite if disturbed but the venom is not known to cause major problems to humans unless allergic. Bite can be painful.
  • Home Invasion: Typically an outdoor pest often seen in gardens or trees. If found inside, this spider was probably transported accidentally.

Helpful Hints

  • Landscaping pruned regularly.
  • Lighting low to keep their prey/food source to minimum.
  • Preventative pest control service to keep prey/food source to minimum.

Interesting Facts

Orb weavers are considered to be beneficial pests since they eat disease bearing insects like mosquitoes and flies.

Symptoms

Most spiders do not pose a threat to people and are generally helpful by keeping insects in check. However, all spiders do have venom which can be harmful. If a spider bite is suspected fever, nausea, and abdominal pain may also occur, in which case immediate medical attention is needed.

Nesting Sites

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