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This Week’s Creature Feature ... The Orb Weavers’ Feast

Your front porch is the buffet of choice for the orb weaver spiders, and your light is the headliner, attracting the smorgasbord of bugs that the spiders feast on.
    As autumn comes upon us, the days get shorter and the orb weavers come out to play. Hatchlings born in spring grow up in summer. Come fall, they’re amping up their eating to make big egg sacs.
    Andy Brown, senior naturalist at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, compares the orb weaver to Spiderman. The spider shoots out the silk into the breeze, which determines where the end will land. Once it’s attached to something, the spider begins its work by spiraling out to make a circular web, just like Charlotte’s.
    The bigger the spider and the real estate available, the bigger the web.
    Don’t be rude to your new guests; resist your first instinct to swat and kill the spiders. By feasting on bugs, they help keep the ecosystem in balance. Spiders are docile creatures. It takes a lot to get them to bite, so let them stay a while.
    If arachnophobia gets the best of you, look ahead. The creepy crawlies don’t do winter. By Halloween, they’ve gone to the big front porch in the sky.