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Creepy Crawly: Identifying Your Garden Spider

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

If there is one thing that can send you wincing and running for cover from your yard, it is the garden spider. There are a variety of types of spiders, some helpful and some harmful. Here are some ways that you can identify and coexist with the garden spider without calling for the exterminator.

A garden spider is one of the true mysteries of nature. With incredible adaptation skills and survival capabilities, the garden spider serves a variety of both useful and harmful purposes in your garden. Many gardeners make the mistake of killing these species of insects. The key to identifying and understanding the role of the garden spider lies in education. Here is some useful information on the type of garden spider you may have as well as its habits.
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The Garden Spider Revealed

  • Dangerous? There are perhaps three or four varieties of garden spiders that have been shown to be harmful to humans. The good news is that most spider bites can be handled with a good round of antibiotics and some bed rest.
  • Venom Effects. Most bites from harmful garden spiders do their damage by interfering with the central nervous system. Another common effect is a swelling and damaging of the skin surrounding the bite. Both of these problems can be handled with antibiotics.
  • Removal. Instead of immediately killing your garden spider, you can remove the insect with a simple jar. Place the spider in the jar and move the insect to another location in your yard, preferably near trees or shrubbery out of the way of human travel.
  • Behavior. Spiders usually live in underground burrows and only surface to feed or mate. This gives them the protection and temperatures they need to survive. The garden spider has an extremely short life span and will die quickly without water or the protection of their burrows. Because they need humidity, they are drawn to sources of water such as a garden hose or pool.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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