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Orbweaver spiders consist of thousands of species that are distributed all over the world. These spiders are known for building large and picturesque webs that can be recognized by their spiral pattern and well-defined geometric shapes. Orbweavers have adapted to relying solely on their webs for catching a variety of insect prey, which is why they have the ability to design many different types of webs. These spiders alter their web designs in accordance with particular environments. For example, horizontal webs that are located close to the ground are ideal in environments where jumping insects, like crickets, are plentiful. But vertical webs built well above ground, such as on a house’s eaves, are best for catching flying insects.

The webs built by orbweavers are often found within gardens, as many orbweaver species maintain habitats located near homes in residential areas. Gardens are an easy place for spiders to catch a meal since areas of diverse plant life attract numerous insect prey species. Unlike many orbweaver species, longjawed orbweavers and orchard orbweavers both construct communal webs. Communal webs are a collection of individually built webs that are all interwoven to make one, or a few, large webs. Unfortunately, large communal webs can become an unsightly nuisance on properties and inside structures located in areas where longjawed and orchard orbweaver spiders are abundant.

The longjawed orbweaver and the orchard orbweaver are two of the most frequently spotted spider species around homes in the northeast. In some cases they enter structures where they continue to build webs, but for the most part, longjawed and orchard orbweavers build their webs on the exterior features of homes, porches and patio furniture. These webs can become sizable enough to annoy residents who cannot avoid walking into them around their home. Communal webs are often found attached to gutters, door frames and decorative shrubs. Massive communal webs only take form within environments where longjawed and orchard orbweavers are abundant. These two species can also inflict painful, but medically insignificant bites.

Have you ever found a spider on your body after walking through a spider web?