Over 45,000 species classified within the order Araneae

Writing spider on a web
Writing spider on a web
Spiderlings hatching
Spiderlings hatching

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Host Plants:

Where Found:

Worldwide, except in Arctic climates


Spiders have eight legs rather than six, which is the main characteristic that sets them apart from insects. Secretive and fast to run away, spiders are probably the most important all-round pest predators in home landscapes. Many spend their juvenile period in shrubs and then move to the garden when they are mature enough to be able hunters. The most common spiders in gardens are probably wolf spiders, often seen carrying their egg sacs; crab spiders, with giant front legs that make them look like crabs; and hairy jumping spiders. There is nothing to fear from these creatures, and jumping spiders have such excellent vision that they will quickly leap away when given the chance.

Beneficial Because:

Spiders catch and consume almost anything that moves. Some use webs to capture prey, but most lie in wait in mulch or leaves, and grab insects that come within their range. Most spiders have venom that immobilizes their victims and then liquefies their tissues, making it easier for spiders to digest.

Food and Habitat:

Spiders that make webs have wide-ranging appetites and typically eat whatever they catch. More active hunting spiders are probably pickier about their prey, developing tastes for seasonal insects. Many spiders hide out in mulch or soil crevices during the heat of the day, and become active during the evening hours.

Attracting More:

Include shrubs in your landscape, which can serve as spider nurseries. When renovating a garden bed, allow a few minutes for spiders to run away after you rake off mulch or pull out plants. Avoid using pesticides, which are often deadly for spiders.

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