Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider
Spiny Orb-Weaver Identification
Easily distinguished from the other species of orb-weaver spiders, the spiny-back species is identified by its colorful body.
Adult females range from 5 to 9 millimeters in length, and 10 to 13 millimeters in width. Males are much smaller, ranging from 2 to 3 millimeters in length, and slight longer in width.
As their name suggests, these spiders are known for the six projections or ‘spines’ that protrude from the back of their abdomen. Their top, or dosaum, of the abdomen is where their bright colors are found, typically white with black spots and red spines for Florida specimens.
As for other specimens, they can be yellow with black spikes, or sometimes entirely black. While only females have the large spines on their backs, males typically have four or five smaller humps.
Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider Infestation
The presence of these colorful spiders, as well as the large webs they spin, are the most obvious signs of a spiny orb-weaver infestation. Often building nests on the sides of houses, they are also found in citrus trees and shrubs that are common throughout Florida.
Most active October through January, spiny orb-weaver spiders create ovate egg sacs on the underside of leaves and man-made structures, usually adjacent to the females web. Able to consist of 100 to about 300 eggs, seeing an egg sac is a sure sign that you are dealing with an infestation. Able to hatch in less than two weeks, it is crucial that an infestation is handled before multiple reproduction cycles occur on your property.
Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider Habitat
Found across the world, the U.S. distribution of these spiders range anywhere in the southern states, ranging from southern California to Florida.
As for in residential areas, the spiny-backed orb weaver is commonly found on trees and shrubs around houses and nurseries, particularly in citrus groves.
Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider Diet
Like most other arachnids, their diet consists of the small insects they are able to capture in its web. Common insects eaten by spiny orb-weavers include moths, beetles, mosquitoes, and flies. Paralyzing their pray with a bite, they then consume the insides of their prey.
How to Get Rid of Spiny Orb-Weaver Spiders
Preventing an infestation of spiny orb-weaver spiders starts with making their food sources as scarce as possible. With their diet consisting mostly of insects, limiting the amount of lighting outside your home is a good way to deter not only the spiders, but the large amount of insects they eat. Swapping your current exterior lights with yellow ‘bug lights’ can help limit the amount of insects flying around your home at night.
In addition to removing their food sources, regularly removing webs found around your home will deter the spiders from building their webs.
If you’re experiencing a large-scale infestation, and are constantly finding webs and eggs sacs around your property, you may need to take further action. Our Spider Control Program effectively removes any of the spider’s food sources, as well as prevents spiders from spinning webs on your home. We apply an organic ‘de-webbing’ material that prevents webs from attaching to the surface, effectively deterring the spiders from returning.
If you fear these spiders have infested your home, or simply want to take preventive actions against them, contact our local pest professionals today to set up your cost-free inspection.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spiny Orb-Weaver Spiders
Are Spiny Orb-Weaver Spiders Poisonous?
While these spiders are capable of biting, they are not known to be an aggressive species of spider. Unless picked up or provoked, these spiders will not bite you, and are actually quite beneficial. Even if you were bitten by a spiny-backed orb-weaver, their bites are not known to be poisonous, and do not cause any serious symptoms to humans.