Moving a spider egg sac, possible?

Yakima, WA

I'd lke to safely relocate a spider egg sac that is currently above an entry way to my house. How would I go about doing that and where would be a good spot? The mother spider is a cat face garden spider. She is currently with the sac but the weather is getting frosty at night. I'd like the eggs to hatch but not so close to this entrance. The sac was made two days ago. How long do I have before the hatch?

There sort of isn't a way to "safely" do what you want with an Orb weaver. She picked a protected site up in tight to your home and next spring her offspring will hatch from that sac. It's designed to protect her young through the winter to spring. She will die in the very near future and that is as nature intended. Her life cycle is complete as she has reproduced.

"When an Orb-web spider spins a coccoon she first spins a circular base plate, one for the newly hatched spiders to live in until their first moult. This is then from below she spins a cilinder to make the sides, then lays her eggs and then spins another plate called the cover plate. The whole thing is then wrapped in one or more layers of protective silk and suspended somewhere."

Hey cresida, I just clicked on your user name and realized you just signed up with us. Welcome to you. May you enjoy your visits with us and... great very first question!

Yakima, WA

Thank you Equilibrium, for both the information on the spider situation and the welcome. I guess I'll have to wait until next spring before I worry about all those little spiders scaring my hair clients. In the mean time as they enter my salon, (which is in my house) if they notice the nest, I will have to try to convince them that it is the most eco-friendly thing to do to leave it there. Until then I look forward to the help and information available on Dave's forums. What a great site as I often have gardening questions since I didn't inherit my parent's green thumbs but appreciate the art of gardening

Glad you understand "Mom" will be dead real soon and that there would be no way you could recreate the web to sustain her young next spring. You might want to take some electrical tape and band off the area and then stick a little note that says please leave our spider web and egg sac in peace. Most people are pretty darn respectful and if asked to leave something alone they will. Next spring once the spiderlings are hatched and able to leave after they molt to their second stage to begin feeding, they'll take off for greener entry ways. Seriously, I doubt any of them will hang around because they'll all be hungry little critters.

I must admit I am sitting here wondering how long before one of the ladies coming to visit you for a new "do" takes a swat at the web with the egg sac. We always seem to fear that which we don't understand. Myself included.

Funny but true story- several years ago our kids made their own "web sites". We're talking a web site in the more traditional sense in that it was literally a space for any interested spiders to build a web. What we did was we assisted the boys in building simple rectangular shaped frames similar to a picture frame and helped them mount them to a stake that would be able to be stuck down in the ground. Our mailman needed a signature one day and rang my doorbell to get me to sign for something or other and while she was there she casually asked why we had what looked like white picture frames without glass and pictures sticking up out of the ground at asssorted heights. I told her it was an arachnid project for the kids and that they were called web sites. She thought they were fun but also told me she had no great love for spiders. A few weeks later, I see the mail truck in my driveway but no mailman anywhere to be found. Hmmm, did she fall in a pond or something? I walked out to look for my mailman only to find her sprawled out on her tummy checking out one of our "web sites". I don't know what kind of a spider she found in there but it was decent sized and must have really caught my mailman's eye for her to get down to that level to check it out. I recall asking her if she was an arachnid convert and she said not quite but that she never thought anything would really move in to the web site. My mailman is cool. I should run out and get a photo of one of the web sites. They're really simple to make and aren't much more than a couple lengths of 1 x 1's screwed together with a few dabs of wood glue but some species of spiders will really use them so they are a fun first woodworking project for young ones.

Here's a photo of one of our hi tech web sites hot off the press from outside my side door-

Thumbnail by Equilibrium
Southern, NJ(Zone 6b)

I don't think I will ever be able to tolerate being anywhere close to a spider. However, if I were coming to your house, cresida, and I saw the eggs (are they very noticeable?), or a sign to not bump them, I would duck or crawl into your house - one time. I would carry an umbrella the next time. I would ask you to give me warning when they hatch because I would not come again until you told me they were gone.

Many people don't fear spiders, fortunately, but it is a very real fear for me. If I came face-to-face with one at your doorway, I would have hysteria and never be able to enter that doorway again. I know its stupid and irrational. I have no other phobias. I don't like anything with more than four legs, but eight legs (even crabs to an extent), I cannot abide. I check my car before getting in because I did almost have an accident once trying to escape a spider.

Maybe you can casually inquire of your clients how they feel about spiders. If any has strong fear, try not to judge them too harshly and lend your umbrella (and a clear and safe path to run down)!

Hmmm, another wood working project in the making? An umbrella stand for cresida's entryway?

Hereís a very special umbrella for you notgrnjean-
Just kidding

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

A mitey interesting (and caring) question to pose, cresida.

And a big ol 'hearty' welcome to DG, to ya! Glad to have you aboard.

The egg sacks can be safely relocated tho'. Just some extra care and attention is needed and certain spots need to be avoided. Take a lil read of the info/comments, below the images, HERE >

((Equil .. your 1st link (above), routes us back to this same thread ))

- Magpye

Edited: to denote the 1st link

This message was edited Oct 29, 2006 6:47 PM

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Great link Magpye. If you click on the "Info" tab more questions will be answered, and one of my pics is shown in the 'Life Cycle' section. Look for the Egg sack that has been parasitzed. I was so pleased to submit a pic that they did not already have.
Andy P

This message was edited Oct 29, 2006 6:28 PM

The link above was to a children's black spider umbrella. Sort of along the lines of the frog and ladybug umbrellas for children only it had legs dangling around the perimeter. It was cute and silly.

Different type of orb weaver at the bug guide link- Argiope. The Cat Face Spiders are Araneus. It was my understanding Araneus webs should not be moved because they were somehow constructed differently at different times of year. I found a web site on the construction of an Araneus diadematus spider but not one for the construction of a native Araneus spider.

Now, I have heard of a man named Ray who has had to move these types of webs using a frame like device not so disimlilar from the web sites my kids created. The frame (brushed with rubber cement) of all things is placed directly over the web that is to be relocated. The frame, complete with the web and the egg sac, is then relocated to another protected location at a similar height with similar exposure. We were cautioned to avoid relocating webs as there was a risk of damaging the circular base plate that supports spiderling life until their second stage. Additionally, placing them too low in a garden setting could leave them vulnerable to predation.

Yakima, WA

Wow! You are all so informative and helpful. First of all to notgrnjean, I totally understand your fear of spiders. Up until a few years ago I would have had an exterminator come and destroy anything to do with spiders. Then one night very close to Halloween, such as it is now, while watching TV I noticed a spider in the corner of the room on the ceiling. Since I was home alone I felt it best to just keep an eye on it and not try to knock it down and kill it myself because I was sure I would miss and it would fall in my face or hair or something creepy like that. So, as a few more nights passed I kept an eye on the spider and it kept a respectful distance from me. Then on Halloween night I saw a spider walking on the floor in the light from the TV. Of course I instantly looked up and noticed the spider from the ceiling was gone and knew it was the same one on the floor. Well, as crazy as this sounds, I felt like that spider was playing a Halloween prank on me and was only out to have fun and wasn't really going to do any harm to me. So, instead of crushing it, I wrapped about a whole roll of toilet paper in my hands and gingerly scooped up the spider and threw it (and the wad of paper, I wasn't going to take the chance of shaking it out and having that dang spider jump on me) outside. Sure, it was probably not the nicest thing to do since it was near freezing but it was the first step in trying to understand the spider world. Of course the next morning I cautiously checked to be sure that spider was not wrapped in the wad of toilet paper still and disposed of that properly.

This summer I was lucky enough to have at least 3 Cat Face Garden spiders make webs around my house. I've learned that like bats, (which we are also lucky enough to have swooping about on warm summer nights in our backward) spiders are great for keeping icky flying pests away.
My observant clients have noticed the webs and I have tried to educate them about how good the spiders are and how they would do no harm to a human. Since they understood that the spiders actually never really went anywhere away from the web, they didn't fear that they would creep into my house or jump in their hair. The webs were not where my clients would fear that the spider would drop on them. Of course now that the weather has turned cold the webs are broken but I only see this one spider and her sac and she planted it right smack in the middle of the doorway. I can't afford to lose any clients over this, but I will feel a few out before I make any decisions about maybe moving the nest. For now the mom is still hanging in there so I will at least wait until she meets her natural demise.

I think my best bet is to divert attention away from it until the time comes that I must do something with it, if I must.

Thanks for all your thoughts and the helpful links

I have arrived myself silly as it may seem. I now grab them and toss them outside too. Daddy Long Legs and Wolf Spiders I just scoop up with my hands. Others I scoop up on paper and move outside. I haven't tried the kleenex route yet but that sounds quick and efficient. If I don't move them, my cats will use them as a dietary supplement which upsets one of my kids.

Yakima, WA

lol yeah, my dogs snatch bugs out of the air and I've seen them suck up spiders from the ground. I can't do much about that, I'll have to leave it between the species.

I've actually gotten to a point where I can lightly take a spider out of doors with out the use of any barrier. I can't beleive I've come this far from my arachnaphobia.

My dogs snatch anything that buzzes around their faces from the air. Usually flies. Yum yum!

Sounds like you're on your way with the spiders now you'll have to move on to something a little bit more challenging! Snakes! I started flicking snakes out of the path of my husband when he mows the lawn. I've got good wrist action these days and rarely get bit. Never thought I'd be flicking snakes in a million years let alone moving spiders outside. I can't believe I used to hire exterminators for spiders. Talk about unnecessarily polluting one's home environment with chemicals.

Yakima, WA


Thankfully snakes aren't an issue in our yard. Yet. Amazing how when you stop all the spraying the wildlife comes back.

Oh my gosh, did you hit that on the head. We stopped our lawn service and this will be the second year I haven't found a deformed frog.

Even when I didn't particularly care for snakes, I used to always try to get them out of the way before the lawnmower came through with a very long stick. Most of the garter snakes take right off but we had a Northern Water Snake that turned around on me once and let me tell you I took off for the hills because those are a lot bigger than garter snakes. By the way, I don't flick those when I run across them.

I like the snakes in our yard. I didn't used to until I realized they were more afraid of me than I was of them. It's kind of cool to see them out soaking up the rays.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Can I say Amen to stopping the spraying? People are so willy nilly when it comes to spraying. They haven't a clue on good bug, bad bug, and think the pesticides and herbicides only hurt the bugs. So wrong.

I want garter snakes and frogs!!!

Yakima, WA

I had a frog outside my salon window some months ago. The first frog I'd heard in town without an artificial pond to support it. I've not heard it for quite sometime but I hope it makes a comeback. The Great Western Screech owls should be coming back in a few months, another species to show up in our urban yard in the last few years.

I'm particularly fond of frogs myself.

Have you thought of providing any Screech Owl nesting boxes?

Boise, ID

OK there is a Spider sac (i believe) behind my computer desk and im not to fond of spiders. So im a little disturbed because i killed the mother out of fright and I do not know what to do with the sac. please help me! im horrified. This is it it was in a huge web. you wont be able to see it very well but i really need help.

Again please help me.

Thumbnail by DedrickT
Charles Town, WV

I watched every day as I would check the mail box to see how far an Orb spider was coming with her egg sack. She made the sac under a light on a brick pier in my driveway. After she finished she waited above the sac on the brick. I noticed she was not there today so I looked on the ground and found her dead. It was so sad.I have to make sure that sac makes it thru the winter.
Thanks for the info.

new york, United States

You can do what ever you want to do.......

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

O ladies - you are warming my heart this morning with your chat about how to save egg sacs.

Diedrick - if you haven't lately I suggest you pick up a copy of EB White's "Charlotte's Web" and remember how wonderful spiders can be (yes, even behind my computer desk).

Equilibrium - I LOVE your web site project. I am an environmental educator and have never seen such a thing. I am going to pass that one on and maybe even build a couple in my own yard.

Have a great day folks, and stay cool.


Dallas, TX

I am really disheartened to hear that the mother spider passes on. I hate spiders due to being bit by a fiddle back spider and had to have surgery. I however noticed a HUGE beautiful spider this past summer hanging around in texas. I asked my friend what the hell it was before i killed it. I was told to leave her alone she was a garden spider and was good to have. She since moved across the patio to in between my apt door and window. I noticed last week she had hung an egg sac the size of a strawberry in that space. She, i learned after reading the blogs, learned she has passed. My fear is that these babies, when hatched, will end up coming in my apt. I am deathly afraid and don't know how I can keep that from happening. any ideas?

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