Beware! Spiders

Download PDF

My kids, all three of them, are and have always been afraid of spiders. In fact, one of my sons used to make us hunt itsy-bitsy house spiders that occupied the corners of his bedroom. He had spider nightmares. Finally the fear subsided when he was about 8 years old, right before he got his first pair of eyeglasses. I wish he had perfect vision, but the silver lining was being about to sleep the night without having to go on a spider hunt. My daughter, though taller and more mature than me in many ways, still makes me traverse the backyard at night in front of her to ensure that the way is clear of spiders. And my oldest son just thinks I’m weird.

Now I too have irrational fears. Just the thought of being trapped in a close space with others, significant others even, makes me tense up, but spiders only arouse my interest. So with this warning – kids look no further!

Cobwebs appeared on plants throughout the yard about a month ago.

From Wild Suburbia

In the last month or so the trees, shrubs and plants have all been covered with cobwebs. The cement path beneath the oak tree is sprinkled with tiny brown pellets, a bit larger than poppy seeds but smaller than peppercorns. On close inspection, spiders are the cause of both. In fact, each cobweb, a very messy business indeed, is watched over by a small brown spider that retreats into a little funnel in the corner. Checking the web – internet that is – I believe it is a grass spider, Agelenopsis species. It is not considered a pest, but rather a beneficial insect since it eats other insects. So here they are (kids, if you are reading this, cover your eyes).

This close-up of a grass spider was hard to get because they hide in their web and when disturbed move very fast.

From Wild Suburbia

Pellets in the webs and under them look like spider poops to me. Any thoughts?

From Wild Suburbia

Spider burrows into funnel as a shadow passes over web.

From Wild Suburbia

For more information check out these interesting sites:
Spiders on the web (and other Arachnids) of Orange County, California and nearby places
Spiderz Rule!
Frequently Encountered Spiders in California
What’s that Bug?
Los Angeles Spider Survey (Gallery)

7 thoughts on “Beware! Spiders

  1. Barbara,<br /><br />Most of the spiders you see do not have the right bite to bite a human. So don&#39;t worry about them, we get barn spiders all around our eaves of the house and they web out over the deck and railings, but they are harmless.

  2. Hi Barbara, <br /><br />Great piece. In general, I too am a fan of the spider. As a boy I earned some extra cash building spider terrariums for a reptile and exotic animal supplier. I never kept any, frogs were my things, but they had some enormous spiders – some that were rumored to eat birds in the wild.<br /><br />I too like having them around the house – except never before have I seen so

  3. Great photos! I just had my windows washed, a tragic day in the spider world. But I know they&#39;ll be back soon enough, and some are hanging out between the plants.

  4. Hi Drew, <br />Spider terrariums – wow!<br /><br />I don&#39;t think I would know a brown widow if I saw one. Looking at your link, I&#39;ll keep an eye open for them – probably a good idea! We do have lots of black widows. Last summer was especially big for them. One thing is true, we&#39;ve had very few pests on both veggies and ornamental plants this year. <br /><br />Town Mouse, you just

  5. Kim

    Good post and really nice photos! I like to have spiders in my garden, but I don&#39;t like them building webs around my front door. Any hints on how I can kindly ask them to move to another location?

  6. Hi Kim,<br /><br />I know what you mean about having them by doorways, but I&#39;m afraid that other than brushing them away, I don&#39;t know of anything else one can do. Clearly there are hunting advantages to this location. The good news is that they are catching bugs before they get into your house…:)

  7. Fun post, I love spiders…well spider WEBS, the gossamer strings of nothingness when viewed in the sunlight. I wonder if the spider pellets might be cocoons of baby spiders? Used to be afraid of them until I became a gardener.

Comments are closed.