Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

Why is it that so many humans are afraid of spiders? One of the most prevalent human phobias, arachnophobia, is the fear of these interesting creatures. Many think the fear of arachnids could be a learned response from family members or older friends.

Spiders are much more afraid of us than we are of them and really just like to be left alone. They are not usually attracted to humans, but at times seem to be attracted to the warmth that our bodies emit.

Spiders are one of a gardener’s best garden pests controllers. Spiders benefit a garden as common predators, while serving an important role in the balance of nature.

Here are a few interesting facts about these eight-legged fascinating little creatures. Let’s start with the unique webs that spiders spin and use to capture their prey. Each species of spider uses different ways to spin their webs and catch their prey. The silk that’s created by spiders to make their webs is one of the strongest natural materials on earth. Scientists have tried for many years to recreate the spider’s silk with no success. Spider silk is actually a liquid, but when it comes into contact with the air, it hardens, and spiders then build their webs with it.

Spiders lay eggs that are usually white or cream in color. Females can lay up to 3,000 eggs at one time. Don’t freak out, but you are probably never more than 10 feet away from some sort of garden spider when you are in your garden. There are approximately 40,000 different species of spider that are currently known to live on the planet.

For those of you who love spiders, you might want to mark your calendar for March 14 so you don’t miss National Save A Spider Day. I know you won’t want to miss the spider festivities.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

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Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to laurie@vicad.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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