Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ah-yee! The Return of the Crab Spiders

Crab Spider Season! They're ba-aack!
Aiyyyeee!  Crab spiders!  I spotted the first crab spiders about a month ago, in  late November.  Slowly they have been expanding their territory.  First one little crab spider, then another, then they start making interwoven, overlapping webs in the trees, in the ti leaf plants, in the avocado trees. 

I know it's hard to see - but the red arrows point to little crab spiders
with overlapping webs in  the jatropha tree.

Then they get serious (just like the tribbles in Star Trek) and start encroaching on the deck, on the clothesline, on the car outside mirrors, on the path towards the washing machine, and even across the sliding doors.

They are just starting to expand their territory on the  deck.  When they get really bad, then it means having to clear the webs daily just to walk to the car. Sometimes I will walk into a group of webs without realizing it and then have to brush them out of my hair or shake off my clothing. 

A crab spider that I brought inside to photograph.
No, he/she didn't bite.

They are not venomous, but they can bite or nibble a little. It's not horrible, but it's annoying. Thankfully, they bite very rarely. Just like crabs, they have tough shells. Usually, when I'm clearing their webs out, I will toss the spiders over the deck into the gulch, unless I'm in a nasty mood.  If I'm feeling mean, then I will crush them repeatedly.  They are hard to crush, and require some pressure.

The underside of the crab spider. 

Crab spider season will last until late March or April. One friend insists that crab spider season also expanding, ending later and later each year. It may also be connected with the weather and how rainy it is. Oh gosh, more rain? We'll see. 


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