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Spider ID
updated: Jun 26, 2014, 10:47 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I almost had a heart attack when I saw this spider in its huge web outside my back door the other night. I'm sure it's beneficial, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything more. It seems to come out only at night, and it builds a giant web from the eaves or roof to the patio chair. I think it lives under the eaves, because I hear noises in my living room that I can't identify.

Thanks for any information.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 530795P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 11:13 AM

Orb weaver. If you're hearing noises, it's not this spider, I can guarantee that. Quiet, efficient and beneficial spiders.


 COMMENT 530798 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 11:18 AM

She's probably strumming "My Dog Has Fleas" on her web.


 COMMENT 530808 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 11:35 AM

Noises are not the orb weaver


 COMMENT 530814 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 11:44 AM

Boris the Spider


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 01:01 PM

Noises could be roof rats, pretty common hereabouts. Definitely not the spider!


 COMMENT 530845 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 01:08 PM

reminds me of my sister


 COMMENT 530891P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 02:22 PM

If the noises were, indeed, this spider, I'd run like hell and never look back! I am not a fan of spiders of any kind since I was bitten and have suffered every day since, but I concur that it looks like a bad ass spider.


 COMMENT 530960P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 06:28 PM

Original poster here......I'm not at all a fan of spiders, but in order to be able to sleep, I talked myself into this being a beneficial spider that was keeping evil from my door during the night! And, after seeing it a couple of times, I got up the courage to take photos, so I feel pretty proud of myself for conquering my dislike of spiders.......at least as far as this one went. And the noise in the attic is confined to a very small area (a foot in diameter), and it's been happening for several years. Pretty sure it's not rats or mice or it would sound more like scurrying.


 COMMENT 530963 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 06:31 PM

OMG! We have a bamboo stand and we get them literally by the dozens all over our driveway and walkway! Their web will actually pull your hair or stop your progress when walking through them. The worst is when you walk through one whilst they are still spinnng their web. Bad enough to have your head engulfed by web, but to have the Half-Dollar sized spider dancing on my face while I scream like a B!tc# and jump around trying to get it off! nightmares! I tried to kill one with a knife once, the knife wouldn't go through the abdomen! monsters from #eLL!


 COMMENT 530965 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 06:34 PM

Well it likes to go out for dinner or lunch so you know it's not a recluse spider !!


 COMMENT 530978P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 07:39 PM

OP. I am SO PROUD OF YOU! Hooray for being open-minded and conquering your dislike of spiders.

I used to have a "pet" Black widow. She lived in a sheltered corner, outside, amongst my potted plants. She had babies, although I never saw them anywhere around, after the first couple days. Their mother continued to thrive.

Then, one night, an orb weaver came down and wrapped up my little widow and that was the end of her. I was so surprised. Who knew an orb weaver was at the top of the pecking order?

Orb weavers are pretty darn cool. They like my bamboo, too. We all get along and everyone has their job to do.

Your noise may be mice or rats, but definitely not spider-related.


 COMMENT 531013 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-26 11:38 PM

This is an Araneas spider. They do weave orb-shaped webs and capture all manner of flying insects. I do not kill them, but move them out of areas I walk through frequently. The bite (from personal experience) is mildly painful, but only occurs if the animal is trapped and pressed (as between layers of clothing). Otherwise, they are easy to flick off if you accidentally walk into the web. The occasional person can have a serious reaction to the venom. The young hatch in early spring, with the females (as in this picture) becoming larger than the males. The winter cold eventually kills them after laying a large egg case.


 COMMENT 531062 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-27 08:02 AM

thank you, Voran, for your thoughtful and informative comment.

OP, thank you for your open mindedness and determination to conquer your fear of beneficial arthropods. I wish more people were able to do this.


 SB & TAHOE agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-27 08:17 AM

063 (and 064) , buy one of those cheap made-in-china machetes, keep it by your walkway, and brandish it as you walk past the bamboo as if you're cutting a path through the jungle!


 COMMENT 531120P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-27 11:03 AM

Agreed. Kudos to OP for overcoming your fear, thanks for not killing it. (some good chuckles on this thread)


 COMMENT 531127 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-27 11:22 AM

Thanks, Voran, for the info.

I've often had large web-weavers place their webs on a path that I frequently use. Generally, I detach the web on one side, and the spiders realize that wasn't the best location for their web and adjust. Think of the time and energy they put into building traps for all those bugs, flies and mosquitoes we'd rather not have around!

I think these are called paper-bag spiders because of the two points on the abdomen.


 COMMENT 531150 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-27 12:40 PM

Very few garden spiders in the yard this year. Because of the dry weather, perhaps?


 COMMENT 531156 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-27 12:50 PM

I've been noticing more spiders in my house this year. Is it because of the drought?


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