Banana Spiders

Are Banana Spiders Dangerous

With summer on the way, there’s something on peoples’ minds. Fall will be here before we realize it… With autumn comes cooler temperatures, slightly less sunshine, and falling leaves up north. We think about Halloween and Thanksgiving, but there are other things to consider in Florida. After all, Autumn is banana spider season! But what on Earth is a banana spider? If you haven’t seen one before and you have an issue with spiders, this might not be the article for you. Or maybe it is. We’re here to dispel some concerns people have about our banana spiders.

What Are Banana Spiders?

Generally speaking, two groups of spiders are commonly called banana spiders. One is the golden orb weaver, which is native to Florida. The other is the Brazilian wandering spider, which we will not be discussing today. However, the Brazilian wandering spider is quite dangerous, and you should never handle a spider found in a bunch of bananas.

Florida’s banana spiders are easy to identify. They’re absolutely huge. The females grow up to two inches long, excluding the length of her legs. Unlike the wandering spider, they are web-building spiders. They spin massive golden webs of super-strong fibers that get up to three feet wide! Orb weavers are spiders that spin circular webs shaped like nets. Banana spiders, with their large, banana-shaped abdomen, sit in the middle of these webs. They wait for prey and pounce when it arrives, wrapping it in thick silk before eating it.

Where Do Banana Spiders Live?

Banana spiders are docile, shy animals that live far from humans whenever they can help it. You may sometimes find them building webs in construction sites or abandoned buildings, but this isn’t very common. You’ll often find these spiders along hiking trails where people stir up flying bugs. They’re also likely to camp out near light poles and bushes – Anywhere flying insects are likely to travel. Prevention usually isn’t a concern because they live so removed from people.

Do Banana Spiders Bite?

All spiders can bite. That said, Florida’s banana spider is not aggressive at all. Even if you invade its web, it’s more likely to try to run away on its awkward little legs than get in a fight. Roughly handling the spider or squeezing it between your arm and body is the only way to be bitten. Even then, the bite is mild. You may feel a slight stinging sensation and see a little redness, but the spider’s only goal is to escape after biting.

Are Banana Spiders Dangerous?

Unless you’re talking about the Brazilian wandering spider, no, banana spiders are not dangerous. As some people suggest, they can’t even jump to latch onto your face. However, they sit on their web all day, waiting for something to fly in. You could watch them for hours. This behavior makes them a beneficial species of spider. They pluck mosquitoes and beetles out of the air that could otherwise cause harm to the environment around them.

If you happen to see a banana spider, don’t panic, and try not to smash it or set it on fire. It really does just want to eat bugs. A professional could relocate the spider for you if it’s in a troublesome space, like a doorway. If you’d like to learn more about spiders, give us a call, or check out our website.

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