Along the Garden Path


Spiders in the garden

By Charlene Thornhill



Spiders are present in the garden all year but are more frequently seen in late summer and autumn. This is when some of the more common species are fully grown and can be found in their webs.

We see spiders making their webs on our shrubs, lawns and other places. Spiders are the good insects in our garden and are very beneficial.

Some 600 species of spiders are in Ohio; these are great pest management allies as they feed upon other insects.

Ohio has two primary types of spiders that appear at this time of year – the orb weaver and the funnel weaver. Each has a very distinct web that is quite fascinating. The orb weavers build the typical circular shaped webs with intricate connections between the strands of dense, coarse silk. The most common orb weaver spider is the black and yellow garden spider. They look ferocious, but they won’t hurt humans. They feed on insects that get caught in the webs they weave.

The funnel weaver’s web is a large sort of flattened web that covers the surface of shrubs or even on top of the grass. If you check it out real close, the center of the web contains a hole, and the rest of the web slopes down toward this hole.,

The spider sits in wait in the hole and near the protected edge and dashed out to get any prey that is caught in the web.

We all want to destroy the webs when we see them but as fast as we take the web down, they will rebuild. You might take it down one day and the next day, it reappears.

A crab spider is yellowish in color that resembles crabs; they can even walk sideways and backwards. They may have horns and other decorations. They are found in trees, on flowers, or hunting on the ground. These spiders ambush their prey, though their venom is not thought to be toxic to humans.

Spiders feed on garden pests, such as aphids, mosquitoes and crane flies. Spiders are, in turn, eaten by some birds, frogs, toads and lizards, as well as several parasitic insects.

You can spray for spiders but you need to find a product that controls spiders and is safe for your landscape – however, they are beneficial.

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Spiders in the garden

By Charlene Thornhill

Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at chardonn@embarqmail.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at chardonn@embarqmail.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.