Spiders...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by IwannaFarm, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    So we went to the Farm Museum again, and while the boys were enjoying the chickens, I was wandering a bit inside the chicken barn. I looked up, and said to myself "Gee! Those must be the Barn Spiders my Mom was telling me about!" On the ceiling (only 3 feet from my head) was several - maybe 10 or more - grey and white striped spiders about 3 inches in diameter! I had to shudder because I don't like spiders. Then I decided that if I ever have a barn, I will only go inside while wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

    I did notice there were no spiders or anything where the chickens themselves were kept...ha ha.

    I'm learning to not be so scared of bugs because I have two little boys who are currently interested in all things creepy-crawly. I've even been able to find certain kinds of spiders almost...well...cute!
    How do you all deal with spiders, especially if you're a bit squeemish? I know it's not a good idea to get rid of them, since they keep the nastier bug population down...
     
  2. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :p I think that you are taking an intelligent approach to this. Good show. :rock: I like spiders myself and find them fascinating. I do try and identify every species I find just because they are so interesting. And, I get a photograph if I can.

    A really close look at some spiders will reveal some very intriguing things. If you get a macro(close up)shot of a jumping spider for instance, you will see that they have very pretty eye lashes and beautiful eyes of many exotic colors! My boys call them "Betty Davis Eyes". LOL

    YOu can help your kids with spider ID and thus foster their interest by popping over to a good spider ID site and looking them up. You don't put where you live on our profile and that would help get some ideas of what major species you have there.

    Here is a great site for ID ing spiders:

    http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Faculty_Staff/Rayor/Spiders/Resources/Spider_Identification.shtml

    Naturally you want to identify any dangerous spiders in your area and be sure your kids know what they look like. My two boys had a female tarantula for many years while in grade school and being boys delighted in taking her to "show and tell" at school and freaking out the teacher. LOL When she would shed it was an interesting process. They named her "Jack Webb".

    I have not seen a "barn spider" so I expect we don't have them in the west? I going to look them up though, sounds like they would be quite interesting spiders!

    LQ
     

  3. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    I know just how you feel! I've been spider phobic since I was little. But when I started gardening back in the 80's, I figured it would be a good thing to work on that, so I have tried to de-condition myself ever since. I both love what they do, and am still shaky about being up close and personal with one! In the house, I usually catch them and take them outside.

    In Texas we have these enormous and quite beautiful spiders called Agariope, that are black and yellow and a lot of them live in my garden and sometimes on my deck. I had one in my bedroom for a summer, actually. I couldn't move it, it was easily 4" across and I was afraid that I would hurt it! I also figured it would be a good way to get more used to them, lol. So..the only negative was that occasionally it would 'move web', and I would have to locate it again. It spent about a month with one built in front of my mirrored dresser.

    Anyway, I have a little boy who is fascinated with all insects, spiders, etc, so we pore over bug books and study them in jars. Texas has plenty to check out!

    hollym
     
  4. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I use my spiders as I use my worms...as farm hands. Spiders are the most effective free and organic insecticide for the gardens. You just have to be careful when working around them as you do any other hazardous farm implement.
     
  5. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Well, now I'm not so sure it was a Barn spider. The descriptions I've read about Barn Spiders don't match what I saw - these were rather large spiders with grey and white stripes all over, and they were in broad daylight. not hiding at all.


    Edited to add: I'm in Zone 4, if that gives you any indication.
     
  6. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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  7. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    I checked the sites but...There is a spider here that we refer to as a banana spider only they are usually yellow and balck. They are huge when mature...about the size of a man's outstretched hand. The webs are remarkably strong and if you walked into one, you know it. They are FABULOUS at reducing fly populations and other icky flying things. I have about 5 in my rabbit barn and wouldn't THINK of removing them.
     
  8. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Gaa, looked up banana spider:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Well, SouthernGurl, thank YOU for scaring me half to death!! I brought up the thread to reply and UP POPPED THIS PICTURE!! Wow. Almost had a heart attack there...

    Whew.

    Great site, Baronsmom... I thought the pic of the brown recluse in the sticky trap was fascinating!! Imagine such a tiny thing (smaller than the fingernail shown!) can wreak such havoc on someone if bitten!

    It's amazing that something I'm so afraid of can fascinate me so much, and that I can actually find some of them rather pretty...
     
  10. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    That's my spider! Kids here call them bananas. A friend of my son's tosses them grasshoppers, brrrrr, now I don't like grasshoppers, so I don't know why that gives me the willies!

    They sort of pump up and down when you get too close to their web, I read on line that that was so they looked bigger and more intimidating, to scare away potential predators.

    hollym
     
  11. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    One of the MANY reasons I live here, in nice, chilly (well, not right now...it's 90 right now) humid New England... we don't generally get spiders that big.
     
  12. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I regularly walk up on snakes and then pick them up with no fear. I catch rattlers etc and it doesnt even bother me. Now spiders on the other hand. Well if you wanna see a grown man act like a big ol sissy just put one on me. Nothing like walking through the woods and having a web slap you across the face. Then the automatic panic sets in "where is the spider that goes with the web!!!??"

    Those big ol banana spiders are pretty common here but seeing as how youd have to be blind to not see it they dont hold the same ''scare power'' in me. I have seen them all my life in webs but I have never seen one on the ground.
     
  13. Bink

    Bink Well-Known Member

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    EEEEEeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEE!

    I'm not phobic, but large spiders certainly catch my eye.
    There was one crawled out of my mother-in-law's basement last Halloween that made me say "Oh. My. God."

    The apartment I used to live in would get large, agile spiders in the fall. They'd run out into the patch of light in the bathroom door while I was putting on my makeup, and wait for me to notice them. Once I did, they'd run back into my bedroom. Really messed with my eyeliner.

    Eventually, they'd slow down enough for me to catch them under a glass and slide a postcard beneath them so I could throw them back outside. One, I could hear its feet beating on the cardboard. urgh.

    Here, I just have Harvestmen so far, which are dots with improbable legs and can't hurt you. They fall for the glass trick every time, and act affrighted when I go to dump them into a bush outside. Silly things.
     
  14. Bink

    Bink Well-Known Member

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    YEAH! I've seen that, it works for me.
     
  15. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    Southerngurl - that is such a COOL SPIDER. We don't have those here - WOW, I am so impressed.

    Thanks for sharing the photo!!!! :dance:
     
  16. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    Try hanging tomato plants on the beams in your barn.... "most" spiders will stay out. :D

    Kaza
     
  17. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    LOL!!!! My friend calls them chihuhua spiders because they are so big. She moved here from somewhere north of the mason dixon and was absolutely HORRIFIED to find we had as many bugs, spiders and snakes! I haven't quit laughing at her. I've never known anything else so they don't bother me. :happy: I don't think I would purposely pick one up though. They do hurt if they bite, but it's fairly unusual for them to do so.

    Now what's really funny is to watch a man on the lawnmower run into one of these webs....All of a sudden you have decorative lawn service and entertainment rolled into one! The sounds those boys can make! You get a whole new education on the english language!
     
  18. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I started a new thread (I didn't see this one) because I've got these big yellow spiders EVERYWHERE! On the woodlands path I have cut, I've got these giant milk weeds about 12 feet tall and these giant yellow garden spiders, then flying around are huge dragon flies. I feel like I'm in jurasic park. It makes you feel so small.