Friday, September 16, 2011

I like spiders, but…

Unlike many people, I have nothing against spiders. I know how useful they are in keeping a lid on mosquitoes, flies, and other insects. As a matter of fact, in our family we go out of our way to take spiders outside when we find them inside. And we’ve learned long ago to accept the occasional cobweb in the house as part of the décor.

However, by late summer the spider webs outside get to be a bit too much, even for tolerant me. The webs stick particularly well to rough siding, and they’re often riddled with desiccated insect corpses. Fascinating when viewed up close, but not exactly decorative (except possibly at Halloween).


Spiders also seem to prefer succulents. I’m sure it’s because succulents are stationary as opposed to plants with branches and leaves that move in the wind. Since my succulent collection has expanded significantly this year, I have a lot more plants covered with spider webs. Just take a look!

String-of-pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
Sedum ‘Burrito’
Agave geminiflora

Agave colimana

Confederate rose agave (Agave parrasana)
Silver torch cactus (Cleistocactus straussii)
Roadkill cactus (Consolea rubescens)
Golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

Every few weeks I remove the webs as best as I can using a small bamboo stick, twirling it as if I were making cotton candy. That works quite well. To remove cobwebs from even narrower spaces, like in between the spines of the golden barrel cactus above, I use a wooden skewer, moving it back and forth.

But no matter what I do, a few days later the webs are back. It appears the spiders like our succulents as much as I do!

Too bad a leaf blower doesn’t work on spider webs the way it does on fallen leaves!


  1. Do you get to see the spiders themselves, or just the webs they make?

  2. Alan, I think there are different spiders. Some are really tiny, others are maybe 1/4 of an inch. I have no idea what they are--in my book, they all fall in the "garden spider" category :-).