Friday, May 18, 2012

Itsy bitsy spider

I don’t have anything against spiders—itsy bitsy or otherwise. In fact, I even tolerate a small population of them in the house, figuring they will eat the mosquitoes that might otherwise swoop down on us in the middle of the night. However, in the last few weeks the spider populations in the garden appears to have exploded. Mind you, I never actually see the spiders, but I see their webs everywhere!

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The webs are fairly small, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of them. Our wood fence appears to be a favorite surface, no doubt because it’s somewhat rough and makes adhesion easy.

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These spiders clearly have a predilection for succulents. I bets it’s all the nooks and crannies. Take a look at this poor spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla):

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And these miniature aloes:

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But even smooth-leaved succulents are fair game:

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But succulents aren’t their only favorites. Our key lime is also a much visited destination:

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Ordinarily I would just let these itsy bitsy spiders do their thing but we’ve reached the point where there are so many webs all over my plants that I can’t take it any more. I’ve started to remove the webs using brooms and brushes and wooden dowels but for every web I eliminate, another two pop up.

Is anybody else experiencing something similar? And does anybody have any tips on how to get rid of the spiders or at least reduce their numbers?

10 comments:

  1. I have them all over the place, my house is always open in spring-summer-fall and they live inside and out. I admit that I use a 1 gallon shop-vac once or twice a year on my succulents to suck up the webs and also the the leaf and bloom litter from Lady banks and Cecile Bruner.

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    1. Using the shop vac is an outstanding idea. It worked like a charm. Got rid of the webs and all kinds of litter. Thank you for the suggestion.

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  2. Ours looks a lot like this. I hate to admit it but every once and awhile I spray them (the webs) with the hose.

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  3. Get rid of garden spiders? The most beneficial "insect" around? Ack!

    I know what you mean though... lots of webs, usually later in the year for us though. I have no guilt removing webs with a little stick. It's the really big "walk into them" webs that are the real "problem" though.

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    1. Alan, no worries, I'd never use chemicals to kill spiders. In fact, I don't use any chemicals in the garden at all (I guess insecticidal soap and neem oil don't count).

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  4. I will also admit to removing them on a regular basis and I spray the nooks and corners of my porch which seem to keep them off my plants, hope that helps some.

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    1. I wish they'd make a sonar device for spiders like they do for moles, LOL :-).

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  5. This is pretty funny because I was just complaining about all the spider webs in my garden to a friend. My succulents look like they are celebrating early Halloween and like you I never see the spiders. It is like they sneak out at night, make their webs, and then go into hiding.

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    1. Kaveh, that's exactly it!! I walked by a rosemary hedge yesterday and it was covered with spider webs. For some reason, they're super active right now.

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