Early summer I planted sweet potato slips in an bed next to the house. Things went well till the grasshoppers moved in. Chaos, holy leaves everywhere! Grasshoppers having a field day. Then I saw this singular orb spider move in. Web in hand, it was catching 5-6 grasshoppers an hour at one point! Within a week the grasshopper threat dwindled and within three it was gone. Alas so was the orb spider. Greener pastures I assume.
Here are the questions --
* Who is the recognized expert on orb spiders?
* Can 'housing' be devised to encourage their hanging around gardens and plots?
This spider was a voracious predator that wiped out a problem and saved me spraying. If I could devise a means to have 4-5 of them parked around my garden my bug problems would probably disappear.
I've personally found that any upright structures the spiders can build their webs between is all they need. Maybe it's just my area, but if there's a place to fit a web one shows up. I've even had them set-up webs from the ground to maple and hickory limbs 8 ft up.
I appreciate their service, and I've always loved spiders, but it gets a bit annoying constantly getting tangled up in their webs. They've even set-up residence among some string lights I have over the back deck. I don't mind it but company I have over tends to be a bit uneasy about it lol.
Perhaps setting up some bamboo stakes randomly through the garden would work?
If they're anything like their cousins out here just go for a walk around field edges, cage up as many as you think you'll need and haul them to you're garden. After a season or two you should have a resident population. Just be sure to do your searching while its light, walking field edges in the dark is a sure way to find their webs with your face, which causes many a full grown, corn-fed fellar such as myself to scream, run circles in place, while very rapidly trying to get the boogey man off of themselves.
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