At this time of year, I start seeing spiders and spider webs more frequently. I might leave my house and walk through a web or see a web glistening in the sunlight as I drive to work. Although they might look scary, spiders are an integral part of pest control in the garden since they catch and consume many flies, wasps, mosquitos, grasshoppers, and more. The quintessential spiderweb, the wheel-shaped spider webs of fairy tales and spooky stories, belongs to the orbweavers.
The orbweavers I see most often are the yellow garden spiders (Argiope aurantia). These have proliferated in sheltered spots in my front and back gardens and have become gravid, plump, and ready to give birth. However, if you look carefully, you can find other orbweavers on pest control duty. Spiny, hairy, big, and small, who can you find in your neighborhood?
For more information, see Beneficial Yellow Garden Spiders.