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Araneae

Spiders

(Class: Araneae)
Though spiders are often feared by many people, they are quite beneficial in your garden! They are efficient predators and primarily feed on insects.

 

Who

Spiders are not insects! They are arachnids. Characteristics of spiders include 8 legs, 2 main body parts, no antennae, and no wings. Despite what your cousin’s ex-boyfriend said on Facebook, there is no such thing as a flying spider!

What

Though spiders are often feared by many people, they are quite beneficial in your garden! They are efficient predators and primarily feed on insects.

When

Spiders can be active year round, but are more often seen during warmer months.

Where

These are found worldwide on all continents except Antarctica.

Why

You may find these eight-legged fuzzy-wuzzies in and around your tomato plants. Just like other animals, they need food and shelter! The habitat that tomato plants create are quite livable for a lot of spider species.

How

The most important thing you can do to keep these little hunters around is to reduce your pesticide use. These toxins not only kill spiders but all other beneficials in your garden. Though these poisons may kill most of your pests, you will have a larger problem once it wears off since the natural habitat has become unbalanced.

Lauren’s notes

Look, I know, spiders have a few too many legs and most don’t have the most attractive faces. But, they are vital to our environment and there are some very cute ones! Also, despite what most people think, very few are harmful to people. That said, some—actually, very few—spiders are medically significant to humans so it is important to know how to recognize those species found in your area. Check with your local extension office with ID help if you are not sure.

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Phylum
Arthropoda
Class
Arachnida
Order
Araneae

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