Here, we’re more interested in discovering if the orb-weaver spider is poisonous. If it is, we’ll be discussing the effects of their sting, where they’re found, and whether they’re aggressive.
These and other key points will form the basis of our discussion. We’ve also included a brief description to help with easy identification.
Are Orb Weaver Spider Bites Dangerous?
For many, the existence of venomous spiders isn’t a new thing, as some people have had encounters with varying experiences.
About Orb Weaver Spiders
To begin with, there are multiple species of the Orb Weaver spider. These consist of the pointy orb weaver, the cryptic or weaver, winged orb weaver, and the scorpion-tailed orb weaver spiders.
Others include the speckled orb weaver, St. Andrew’s cross spider, forked orb weaver, and the garden orb weaver.
More of these species include the giant orb weaver, two-spined Orb Weaver, golden orb weaver, and the coastal golden orb weaver spiders.
Orb-weaver spiders feed on a wide range of small insects that include mosquitoes, flies, moths, beetles, and wasps. Other prey items included in their diet are cicadas and locusts.
However, larger orb-weaver spider species will feast on small birds and frogs.
Placing all orb-weaver spider species in one category won’t help much with easy identification due to unique features common to specific species.
To start with, these spiders can grow to sizes of between 6 to 20 mm. One feature that tends to be common withal species is their fang-like mouthparts.
Orb-weaver spiders have eight spiny and hairy legs attached to their thorax and abdomen, which are fused.
You’ll find these in varying colors, with nocturnal species having brown to gray colors, while diurnal species mostly spot orange to bright yellow colors.
The number of orb weaver spider species may create confusion because we’re interested in finding out if they’re poisonous. So, is there a specific species we’re looking at?
You’ll need to read on for details on this and more.
Are Orb Weaver Spiders Venomous?
Orb-weaver spiders are venomous but not to the extent they’re assumed to be.
In other words, there are many misconceptions about the extent to which these spider species are venomous. Mostly, their venoms are considered mild but might trigger allergies in some persons.
No specific species of orb-weaver spiders have been identified as being particularly venomous.
There are over 3,000 different orb-weaver species, and none has been found to pose significant harm or threat to humans. With that said, we’ll need to figure out their level of aggression.
Orb-weaver spiders are mostly non-aggressive. In other words, these spiders are reluctant to face off with or bite humans. They mostly run off to hide than to attack.
With threat perceived or when boxed into a corner, orb weaver spiders may bite. Luckily, the venom from such bites will hardly cause a major problem.
When orb-weaver spiders bite, you might feel instant pain. Asides from the immediate pain, venom injected into your body might result in mild symptoms such as numbness, itchy welts, and mild swelling.
Under rare conditions, persons with allergies may experience certain symptoms such as dizziness and nausea.
Orb Weaver Spiders Offer Certain Benefits
Based on our findings above, there’s no need to go scorched-earth on orb weaver spiders as they pose little to no danger and are mostly timid and will run off when danger is sensed.
Their stings are only a last resort as they seek to defend themselves from danger. Speaking of benefits, there are several that might interest you.
These include helping with pest control, choosing a more agreeable habitat, and, strangely enough, the aesthetic appeal they add to surroundings.
Let’s briefly discuss each of these points for more clarity.
Helping with Pest Control
A good number of bugs are considered by many as posing a nuisance.
So, having a predator that feeds on these bugs will be a welcome development. Orb-weaver spiders are well adapted to hunt down these bugs. Plus, they eat as much as twice their weight each day.
We earlier mentioned some of these bugs, including mosquitoes, leafhoppers, wasps, caterpillars, beetles, leaf miners, flies, ants, aphids, and moths, amongst others.
The webs woven by this spider enable it to trap these pests. The spider then hurries to inject and weaken the prey.
Choice of a More Agreeable Habitat
Unlike many spider species that tend to make a mess of your surroundings by weaving their nests around your home, orb weaver spiders are mostly outdoor creatures.
These are often found in areas like forests, gardens, and parks, which most people will have no issue with.
Based on their choice of a more agreeable habitat, it’s less likely that you’ll get bitten by orb weavers. As stated earlier, they often run off when you approach.
So, if you’ve been bitten by one before, it’s probably because you’ve gotten too close for comfort. Staying away from their nests will help a lot.
Aesthetic Appeal they Add to Surroundings.
Not many people find spider webs particularly interesting.
However, those woven by orb-weaver spiders tend to stand out due to their size and intricate design. You might come across an orb weaver spider measuring around 2 to 3 ft in diameter.
There’s also the distinguishable zigzag pattern of weaving which can create a more appealing landscape. Of course, such appeal will be lost when found scattered around your home like those of other spiders.
Based on this behavior, we can say that orb weavers mostly mind their business by keeping off human dwellings.
Consider Seeking Medical Attention when Allergies are Triggered
While most Orb-weaver spider stings aren’t considered poisonous, you’ll do yourself a favor by seeking medical advice. This precautionary action helps prevent any complications that might result.
If you’ve followed so far, you’ll find that orb weave spiders are poisonous but won’t cause harm to most people.