Orb weavers are a broad family of spiders found throughout the United States and Canada. The orb weaver is known for the large, majestic web it weaves. These webs are commonly found on tree branches, in tall grass, bushes, and around light fixtures. They are often found where abundant food sources are available (in your yard or garden, near lights that are on at night, etc.).
Most orb weavers appear in the spring when their eggs hatch, but they aren’t really noticed until late summer and fall (when the males go out in search of their mates). Female orb weavers hang out in their webs, eating and waiting on a male to come find them. Males are always on the move, rarely building webs, searching for a partner. At the end of fall, females will lay their eggs and then die during the first frost. Males typically die after mating. Because of their structure, orb weaver eggs can survive the cold weather of winter. When the weather warms up in the spring, the eggs hatch, releasing a new brood of orb weaver babies.
These spiders are known to be docile and non-aggressive. They rarely bite and aren’t considered dangerous to humans or pets. In fact, they can be beneficial to have around as they trap and eat other pests that can infest your home.
Prevention is unnecessary with orb weavers unless their web is built in an inconvenient location or a location with high human traffic. They cause no structural damage. You can lessen your chances of encountering orb weavers by:
- Removing their food sources by keeping other pest populations under control around your home
- Sealing any cracks, gaps, and crevices in your home’s exterior
- Removing ground litter
- Trimming grass and bushes
If you have a problem with orb weavers or any other pests, contact your local pest control company.