Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > October 2017 > IN THE GARDEN with DOUG - VIRGINIA SPIDERS


This blog is already beginning to creep me out.  I am the first to admit that I do not like spiders.  My “unlike” of spiders began when I was small, running through a cornfield, and having a black and yellow garden spider land on my face.  And, then, later in life I stepped on a big wolf spider only to see hundreds, if not thousands, of baby spiders scatter.  I learned that the female wolf spider will carry her children on her back in the summer. 
                Now, as I have become older, I have less fear and have begun to embrace and appreciate the benefits that spiders provide.  As all of us know, this time of year we have spider webs around the house and gardens.  I still hate to walk into them and have the web on me and not knowing where the spider may be.  But, at the same time, if I see the web first I will stop and marvel at the artistic work that the spider went through to build this web.  The intricacies catch my eye.  But, I still don’t like spiders.
                And now, we have Halloween next week and one common decorating item are spiders and white spider webs.  We seem to associate spiders with Halloween.  That’s ok.  I still don’t like spiders.
                Are you starting to sense a common thread (pardon this pun) here with the fact that I don’t like spiders?
                I have learned that there are over 3,400 species of spiders in North America, of which 13 species are found in Virginia.  Only 2 of the 13 species are dangerous to humans:  the brown recluse and the black widow spider.  The other 11 are relatively harmless and perform useful functions such as keeping insect populations in check.  However, any of these other 3,389 species could end up in Virginia by being a “hitch hiker” on vacationers’ cars or on tractor trailers.  Just great news to learn. 
                I work hard at convincing myself to become more biodiverse with nature.  But, spiders are a true challenge for me.  But, what helps me through my challenge is the fact that spiders do eat a lot of insects.  And, along with birds, control our population of insects year round. 
                                                                                HAPPY GARDENING!!!
Posted: 10/25/2017 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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