The KPRC Radio Gardenline Tip By Randy Lemmon For 08-14-03 Printer-Friendly Version
SPIDERS GET BAD RAPů Most of Them Are Beneficial in the Garden!
Besides the typical "what tree should I plant" and "what fertilizer do you recommend" questions, one of the most often asked questions on GardenLine has to do with spiders. People who have bought their first house, and people that move into new builder subdivisions get their first dose of spiders - and normally, they don't like them. But as I've said on GardenLine many times, almost all spiders are beneficial, so don't panic and start the gardening equivalent to indiscriminate carpet bombing.
There are only two spiders you should ever worry about - The Brown Recluse and the Black Widow. Once you learn to identify those two notorious pests of the spider world, just remember the rest of them are actually beneficial, and you really shouldn't try to kill those good guys.
So, with that in mind, if you simply cannot handle the idea of even a beneficial spider crossing your threshold and into your house, or if you can't handle seeing one when you're gardening, then you can spray for them. I recommend any liquid deltamethrin or bifenthrin product sprayed in the garden and around the perimeter of the doors and windows. This will kill some, and prevent others from wanting to enter the area. Another couple of good spider killers in the insecticide world are Suspend and Demon WP.
So, here's the quick way to tell what a Brown Recluse looks like, as well as a Black Widow.
Other than those two, I also recommend you check out this great link to a PDF file from the Extension Service, to help you identify all spiders in Texas gardens.
< http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/l-1787.html >
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.