Stepped out of my front door today to discover this:
I hate spiders. And I really hate ugly three-inch spiders like this one. But would you look at the amazing web he's made? There is a traditional old-school spider web behind him and then this zig-zag type structure running through the middle of the web.
Knowing nothing about spiders, I surmise that this is sort of an access ladder so he can scamper from one end of the gigantic web to the other to get to his unfortunate prey. (Anybody who can tell me more, please do.)
I'm struggling with a decision to kill him or capture him and relocate his gruesome self to another location. Perhaps the home of an enemy...but I don't think I really have any enemies to speak of. My usual philosophy with insects is as long as they stay on the outside of my house, I live and let live. But this position by the front door is sort of unnerving. If I unwittingly walk into his web he's going to eat like a king!
Here in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs a tree called an Osage Orange produces large, bumpy green inedible "fruits" called hedgeapples. The old wives tell us that placing these around your house will banish spiders. There may not be enough Osage Oranges in all of Madison County to get rid of this guy.
I'm headed out to Google now to see if I can identify him.
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