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Garden Hero Spider

European garden spider

After careful research, I’m somewhat confident this photograph is of an European Garden Spider… though in Europe they probably call it a “Garden Spider.” I was very pleased this morning to see it had captured a brown marmorated stink bug. I hope it catches many more before cold weather chases all the bugs into hiding.

For two days I admired a symmetrical web and the large spider tending it prominently near the top of my climbing bean trellis. Today, my admiration grew: that spider was wrapping a stink bug in silk! I’m confident the spider’s victim was a brown marmorated stink bug because those are the only stink bugs I notice bumbling around my garden, yard, and living room.

After a short photo session, I was out and about in downtown Lewisburg. I walked past people loading things into a car and heard one of them exclaim, “I hate spiders.” I hoped she was using verbal shorthand to mean, “I hate how spiders look” or “I hate getting into spider webs” or “I hate being in states where there are venomous spiders.” That all makes some sense to me.

Unfortunately, I hear so many people flat out declare that when they see a spider, they kill it; I guess they actually hate spiders for spiders’ sakes. That’s a shame.

I don’t want to get into spider webs, and I’m uncomfortable having spiders walking on me or hanging in my face. I most definitely prefer living in a state where venomous spiders have never been found in the wild. Still, I manage to appreciate the work spiders do: helping to keep the overall insect population under control.

And when a spider takes down a brown marmorated stink bug? Doesn’t make me want to kiss it… or even pat it on the head. But that spider is my hero.


4 Responses to “Garden Hero Spider”

  • This time of the year, here in NJ, we are inundated with large spiders and intricate webs that hang from trees to cars. It almost looks like a scene from a horror flick. I walked into a web the other night in my back yard in the pitch black … I responded with karate moves that would make Chuck Norris jealous.

  • Melanie:

    I have lots of orb, wolf spiders and even some black widows. I go out of my way to leave them alone. I will kill one only if it gets in my bath or bed, they have crossed a line then. My husband gets perturbed because there are frequent webs across the porch.

  • Couldn’t agree more! The vast majority of spiders are relatively harmless. They’re actually rather helpful for things like this. Everyone benefits: Spider gets some good meals and dibs on prime real estate, and you have a pest-free garden!

  • I must admit, I kill spiders in the house. In the garden, I leave them alone and hope they will prey on the non-beneficial insects.

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