Spiny Orb-Weaver | Identification, Habitat, and Control

Spiny orb-weavers are spiders commonly seen on the southeast coast of the United States. These spiders are also regular dwellers in the yards of Florida.

What is a spiny orb-weaver? The spiny orb-weaver is among the most distinguished spiders in Florida, with their bright colors comprising yellow, white, black, and red (spines). These spiders build orb-shaped sacs on windows, soffits, other man-made structures, trees, and shrubs. 

By reading this guide further, you will know more about the characteristics of the spiny orb-weaver spider, its life cycle, and more. So, let’s get this started!

What Does Spiny Orb-Weaver Look Like?

What Does Spiny Orb-Weaver Look Like

The quickest way to recognize an orb-weaver is via its web, which resembles the usual circular spider web. These spiders differ in color, but most of them possess brightly shaded bodies and hairy legs.

Also, spiny orb-weavers have an expansive, hard abdomen with various colors ranging from orange, yellow, or white with red markings. Six pointy spines are protruding from the body edges, having a black venter, legs, and carapace.

Oftentimes, males have notably smaller abdomens than females, located closer to their heads. Males also don’t build orb webs often and only spend time on the orb web the female has created.

  •  Size: 2 mm to 3 mm in length (Adult Males), 5 mm to 9 mm in length (Adult Females)
  •  Color: A blend of white, yellow, or orange with red markings

Spiny Orb-Weaver Life Cycle

Spiny Orb-Weaver Life Cycle

The life cycle of the Spiny orb weaver is relatively short—males perish only six days after fertilizing the eggs of females, and females die after producing an egg mass, which typically lasts for a year.

Their mating ritual of spiny orb-weavers is worth citing. The male pursues the female by visiting its web and thumping on the web silk in a distinct 4-beat pattern to get her attention.

What Is the Lifespan of a Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider?

The lifespan of a spiny-orb weaver only lasts for around one year. It’s also best to note that females can be seen at any time of the year but largely from October to January.

Meanwhile, the male spiny orb-weaver spiders are only mostly seen during October and November.

The females deliver egg sacs during summer or fall, containing 100 to 260 eggs. The female secures the eggs beneath a leaf, wrapping them in a web, and dies. 

The eggs will take approximately eleven to thirteen days to hatch.

Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider Habitat

Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider Habitat

Spiny orb-weaver spiders typically live on the edges of shrubs, woodlands, and gardens. These spiders can also be found in citrus groves and plant nurseries, where they wait patiently for their prey to fall into the webs and eat them.

Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider Diet

Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider Diet

The diet of spiny orb-weavers comprises small insects captured in their webs, such as mosquitoes, moths, beetles, and whiteflies.

How Serious Are Spiny Orb Weaver Spiders?

How Serious Are Spiny Orb Weaver Spiders

The spiny orb-weavers are typically harmless to humans, despite their tough appearance. However, they can be a nuisance to homeowners when they create large webs.

Do Spiny Orb Weavers Bite?

Like most spiders, the spiny orb-weavers bite when they feel threatened, provoked, or picked up. They are generally not aggressive, and their bites are not known to induce severe symptoms.

Are Spiny Orb Weavers Poisonous?

The spiny orb-weaver spiders are not dangerous since they are not poisonous. However, it’s best to note that these spiders can still bite when provoked, threatened, or picked up. 

Nonetheless, there’s nothing to worry about since their bites don’t cause severe symptoms.

Are Orb Spiders Good to Have Around?

Orb spiders are deemed beneficial to have around since they eat harmful insects such as mosquitoes, whiteflies, and beetles. These spiders also don’t bring any threat to humans, but their large webs can be a nuisance. 

On top of that, these spider species are not aggressive and don’t bite unless threatened.

Can a Spiny Orb Weaver Be a Pet?

In a sense, spiny orb weavers can be kept as pets since they are not venomous and don’t normally bite when not threatened or picked up.

In addition, these spiders are not aggressive, and their bites don’t cause any severe reactions.

The only disadvantage of having these spiders as pets is that they can spin massive webs.

How to Eliminate Spiny Orb Weavers?

Despite being regarded as beneficial insect predators, spiny orb-weaver spiders sometimes ought to be removed. This is mainly due to inconveniences posed, such as building large webs in man-made structures.

With that said, these spiders are often considered nuisances by homeowners. These arachnids prey on a vast range of insect pests like mosquitoes, whiteflies, beetles, and moths.

There are several ways to get rid of these spiders and that includes hiring a pest control professional and DIY treatment or method. Some of them are:

1. DIY Efforts to Get Rid of Spiny Orb Weaver Spiders

Unlike professional pest control, DIY methods need more involvement on your part. In other words, you will be liable for all of the procedures involved.

The DIY method involves the following steps:

Step 1: Eliminate the source of attraction. Spiny orb-weaver spiders are drawn to homes for various reasons—among them are food availability and light sources.

This not only refers to the food crumbs on your counters but also the insects preyed on by these spiny spiders, such as mosquitoes and other bugs. So, it’s recommended to clean up your surroundings to prevent pests from entering your home.

In addition, you may have to change your exterior light fixtures from white to yellow. This is because yellow lights attract much fewer bugs than white light, but this is all up to you. 

Step 2: Remove Ground Litter. Ground litter attracts spiny orb-weavers to your home, so it’s worth considering removing them. By removing these, you are eliminating their shelter and chances to live comfortably.

Without shelter, these spiders will eventually relocate to a more ideal location.

Step 3: Seal all openings. Spiny orb-weaver spiders are known to creep into unwelcome domains. The indoors equip excellent nesting areas for them.

To keep these spiders out of your home, you have to seal all openings such as holes, cracks, and gaps in foundations, doors, and windows.

You may also want to install window screens for all your windows and even doors. These simple actions go a long way in reducing the spiny orb weaver spiders’ presence at home.

2. Professional Pest Control

If none of the DIY methods work, you can always rely on professional pest control. This has always been the go-to solution for many homeowners due to its exhaustive nature.

This service is usually backed by a guarantee, with repeat remedies executed for cases where the result appears unfavorable.

However, you have to make sure that the companies you will hire are experienced. Professional pest control companies usually assess your surroundings for infested areas when you contact them.

After that, treatment will follow. But, before hiring a pest control expert, check if they are licensed, bonded, or insured and if they offer free quotes. 

If the company or person you hire has those things under their services, you can ensure that they can be trusted. You can also ask for recommendations from family and friends who have hired pest control services before.

You can also obtain valuable information about pest control services by making a single Google search. As much as possible, opt for pest management services that offer free quotes and those that give treatment guarantees.

That way, you can ensure that they will provide satisfactory job completion. If you consider following these tips, you will have no problem removing these spiny spiders from your home.


Spiny orb-weaver spiders don’t pose any threats to humans at all. Nonetheless, these spiders can still bite when provoked, picked, or threatened.

However, there’s nothing to worry about the bites since the spiny orb-weaver spiders are not poisonous, though they can be a nuisance because of their large webs. When this happens, you can do the given methods above to get rid of these spiny spiders.

List of Sources

Spiny Orb Weaver Spider, Gasteracantha Cancriformis (Linnaeus) (Arachnida: Araneae: Araneidae)

Spiny Orb Weaver Spider

Gasteracantha Cancriformis

Gasteracantha Cancriformis – Spinybacked Orbweaver