News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


The end of September means Spider Time

September 30th, 2010 · 6 Comments

Marcus R. Donner/

September brings shorter hours for evening grilling, the last of the tomato harvest, a return to school AND thousands of spiders – whose webs make heading out the back door an adventure in urban wilderness.

Perhaps you’ve noticed spiders are au courant on Facebook, with many posts that resemble this: “I don’t care if the spider’s ‘not hurting anyone’, I want it dead.”

We’re talking on Friday with Woodland Park Zoo expert Sue Anderson to learn if there’s something different about the spider influx this month, but around October is the time people usually start noticing them. In his book, “Seasonal Guide to the Natural Year” for Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, James Luther Davis writes:

Fall is spider time. All those babies that hatched out in the spring have been porking up all summer and are now noticeable as they weave webs all over your yard. Most dramatic are the large members of the orb-weaver family, usually called garden spider or argiopes. These are the spiders that weave the classic big circular webs and then hang upside down in the middle.

The author says spiders are hard to tell apart. “The only reasonable book for amateurs is the classic Golden guide, ‘Spiders and their Kin.'”  The Seattle Audubon Society has run out of the book, but is ordering more.

While you’re learning about spiders, remember this classic tip (not from the Seasonal Guide) when heading out your door: “Keep your hand at the level of your eyes!”