September 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm #596495
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but virtually overnight I’ve fallen into a new career as a spider rancher. I’m not sure why I worked so hard all year to nurture the plants in my garden when the real cash crop this year is spiders. Seriously. They’re the new white meat. I’ve got lobster-sized monsters hanging around in every inch of my garden. It looks like some kind of 1950’s Sci-Fi/Horror mash-up. I’ve got a couple that are close to rivaling the tarantula that tried to kill Greg Brady in one of those Brady Bunch go to Hawaii episodes.
Conversely, I’m moving on from my previous career as a fruit fly farmer. I’m beginning to suspect that the decline of that industry is related to the rise of the new one.September 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm #704294
It seems there are several times more spiders this season than any time in the past 10 years. Komo ran a teaser story about all the spiders but when they finally ran it, it was an intervie with a Woodland Park bug expert who simply said “it’s that time of year”. I was expecting something more insightful like: Wet weather led to favorable spider egg hatchings or some such thing.
Howsomeever, congratulaions on your new career as The Deadliest Catch is replaced by the ickiest.September 26, 2010 at 8:05 pm #704295September 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm #704296
Since I am the champ at Brady Bunch Trivia, let me ask you. Has your brother (aka Bobby Brady) recently found a sacred idol that is bringing you this bad spider luck?September 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm #704297
Seriously. I got some the size or quarters all over the trees out back. I saw one that built a web at face height right smack in the middle of a sidewalk with no visible trees around. Don’t know what it was strung to. Floating web?September 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm #704298
I was hoping the KOMO story would give an explanation too.
I had 9 strung all over my deck yesterday and today one from the fence to car handle but so fine of a web I of course walked right into it.
It is far far worse this year – reminds me of 5 years or so ago with the invasion of caterpillar nests…blech.September 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm #704299
The Velvet BulldogParticipant
I believe I read/heard that the mild winter resulted in a larger bug hatch in the Spring–hence, lots of fodder for bigger, well-fed spideys. The BF and I are constantly exclaiming as we walk through the yard, “OMG, come look at THIS one!!”
Christopher, let me know if you start hiring yourself out as a spider wrangler–we’ve got some giant beasts indoors that need lassooin’.September 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm #704300
MousePotatoMemberSeptember 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm #704301
Please check out this website:
People say the same thing every year.
BTW, the spider in the photo is Araneus diadematus, aka the St. John’s Cross spider. The big ones are egg-laden females. Mating season is just about over, but if you look near the webs of the big females you may see several tiny suitors waiting in the wings.September 26, 2010 at 10:09 pm #704302
The worst part is walking out into one of these webs and not knowing here the damned spider is. I’m told they DO bite.September 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm #704303
I knocked my glasses off my face trying to swat one while taking out the trash last week. I beg to differ that this year is normal — I’ve never had spiders on my deck and it seems like there is more demand for hanging space for webs. They might bite but I’ll squish them flat if they are in my face. These are non-native spiders (as the SeaTimes reported) so there is no karmic burden for killing them.September 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm #704304
Whether they bite or no, I don’t want them on me. We have a stick near the doorway for clearing it first thing in the morning. Still, gotta mow the lawn and I can’t see ALL of the webs.September 26, 2010 at 11:14 pm #704305
Carson: We put the idol back in the cave with creepy Vincent Price. But the spiders are still here! What happened to the one on the show? Did Mr. Brady squash it with a shoe or did it crawl out of Jan’s bag and escape? I can’t recall.September 27, 2010 at 12:06 am #704306
Yes I think all of West Seattle is one giant spider’s web. I’ve walked into so many at my house I’m scared to go outside!September 27, 2010 at 6:32 am #704307
Help! Spiders with a bellyful of anchor babies! And I guess I’ll have to rename the plump arachnid by my front door – we dubbed “her” Barach. Perhaps Octomom. And questions: Why do the young gentlemen suitor spiders linger around the pregnant mom? Do they do so willingly, or are they entrapped, soon replace the babies in the lady spider’s belly? Finally, how long do these creepy critters live (assuming no one smooshes them)? And Christopher, congrats on your new ranching enterprise. I’m looking forward to spider rodeos, roundups, and rustling.September 27, 2010 at 7:29 am #704308
Heck, the fleas have a circus AND a market. What can your spiders do (other than spin beautiful webs and eat bugs that is)?!September 27, 2010 at 8:00 am #704309
The ones in my backyard are big enough I am thinking about putting a saddle on them to ride to work!September 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm #704310
Don’t worry everyone, they will be gone in a few weeks after having eaten tons (literally) of bugs.
Sonoma: “Octomom” is a great name, reminds me of my first tarantula named “Ocho”.
The moms are full of eggs waiting to be fertilized. The mating dance is quite fascinating, as the little males strum the females web, harp-like, to a certain tune that sedates her. When he is close enought to touch her, he strokes her rapidly all over, as if tickling her. If amenable, she will fold her legs over her fangs and present herself. Afterward, he makes a quick escape – or not. Males are devoured roughly 20% of the time. These orb weavers live about 2 years, but the Octomoms will likely perish shortly after laying their egg sac – which is soon.
I used to be a spider rancher for real, occasionally for TV. At one time I had over 600 tarantulas at home, in addition to black widows and various native species. Only bitten once – while gardening. Spider bites are actually very rare considering their numbers, although mystery bites are nearly ALWAYS blamed on spiders.September 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm #704311September 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm #704312
Question to the spider experts: Why don’t the birds eat the spiders?September 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm #704313
I finally sent the husband out with the electric racket last night to take down the beast that set up shop between the kitchen window and the hummingbird feeder (dream big, Charlotte!). It took four zaps before going up in flames. Smelled a little like bacon as it burned.September 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm #704314
They are everywhere this year! I have a “spider stick” at every door as we can’t get out of the house w/o knocking down webs.September 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm #704315
I’m sure my neighbors think I’m a little nutty (if they can see me)! I do a little dance with a broom around my whole back yard and out by our cars(with the song “She works hard for her money” playing in my head). We have a big tree in the back with a garage, fence, garbage/recycle cans, etc…. They are EVERYWHERE EVERY morning! One morning I counted SIX of them just hanging from our tree. One hitched a ride on my car antenna…….I don’t think he made it.September 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm #704316
dhg, no I didn’t have them in West Seattle, I had them in a Queen Anne apartment. They were mostly in smallish containers (one per container – they are cannibalistic, after all) neatly arranged in bookcases. Most of the 600 were spiderlings, the result of an all-too-successful mating of two curly-hair tarantulas. Eventually I donated my ‘collection’ to a University in the midwest.
CBoffoli, birds DO eat spiders – a lot of them. I’ve seen birds hovering in front of one of the large orb weavers webs (so misappreciated on this thread) ready to pluck it out like a tasty gumball. Hummingbird nests contain a high quantity of spider silk, and they enjoy spider snacks as well. Some Amazonian tribes roast and eat large tarantulas, using the sizable fangs for toothpicks afterward. However, the greatest predator of spiders is other spiders.September 27, 2010 at 10:54 pm #704317
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