Baby Spiders!

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

It’s like the wild animal kingdom around here lately. We discovered dozens of these newly hatched garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) crawling all over the sides of the compost bin at the community garden the other day. I’m glad I brought this little digital camera with me, even if it’s a crappy one. I wasn’t going to take pictures, but changed my mind at the last second, thinking that I’d be bummed if something exciting occurred. And it did!

These little guys and gals are a welcome sight in the garden. They keep the bug population down, and we need it at that garden. It’s nearly impossible to be there at dusk for all the biting bugs that come out. Some gardeners complain about spiders since they’ll eat both the beneficial insects and the harmful ones. But I like them regardless and have never felt that the beneficial insect balance was off despite a healthy spider population. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. We’ve caught the emergence of these little spiders one time before. It was hard to miss since they were crawling all over the watering can!

I sometimes see the adults too. They seem to prefer to make their home among the calendula and borage best.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I was a little freaked the first time I found one — look at those fangs! But I’ve never been bitten. They’re harmless to us. The saying that they are more afraid of you is true. My only request is that they stay out of my hair.

Here’s a video of the little critters running around. Don’t watch if you’re squeamish about spiders.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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11 thoughts on “Baby Spiders!

  1. I have these in my geranium window boxes right now. They are amazing to watch, at night they form a little ball of spiders.
    The dog likes to watch them too :)

  2. I have a huge phobia of spiders, which is why I’ve never really gardened until now (I spent my childhood and early adult years indoors for the most part). I am now refusing to allow those creatures from keeping me from really enjoying all the outdoors has to offer, and I constantly remind myself that they really are helpful. Can’t say I find the babies cute (and the idea of so many make me queasey), but thanks for posting the pictures, at least I can now look at them! (Maybe next year I’ll watch the video lol!)

  3. I used to have a huge phobia of spiders, until a couple of years ago when one made its web between a couple of potted tomato plants and the door to the porch. For some reason, i got so excited that one had taken up residence in my tomatoes – i felt like he (or she) was protecting them. I felt terrible though, because in order to get to the plants to water them, i had to destroy the web every morning. But every morning he had rebuilt it! Since then i’ve become super interested in spiders…they’re such amazing creatures!

  4. I was afraid of all bugs as a kid, but now as a grown up interested in gardening, it’s so much easier to not be grossed out by the critters. They’re all just doing their job! (I try to apply this philosophy to squirrels too, but it’s difficult to do when they’re ripping open my poppies)

  5. These are the only spiders that have immunity in my world and I think it’s only because of their color and the fact that I’ve never seen one in the house. I know that all spiders are good but, like Jennifer above, I too have phobia of spider which makes me very entertaining in the garden if I think one is on me.

  6. Last year we found a mass of hundreds of baby spiders in my rat-tail cactus. They were bright yellow like yours, obviously recently hatched. As they matured over the summer, the adults were definitely different (some type of brown orb-weaver.) Unfortunately I didn’t get picture of the group of babies, which hung around for a couple days until they dispersed. Definitely the best pest control available!

  7. Wow, just this morning I showed my son an amazing crawling cloud of these same yellow and black baby spiders, probably making him late for school. They were all over one of my tomato plants but I left them alone as I figured they would eat bugs and not the plant.

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