are all spiders harmful to plants?

andreap(z7 NC)May 23, 2004

I have a lot of webs and spiders on my potted plants outside, but not all the plants seem to be suffering. The other day a Carolina Wren tried to get a spider, I think, on one of my cacti, and got stuck with some thorns. Well, not much I could do about that. But I was wondering if I should be trying to remove all the spiders before the plants start suffering? Are spider mites caused mainly by stress? So if I watered and fertilized more I could avoid them? (Some of my succulents can't be treated with insecticides, from what I understand) And are some outdoor spiders beneficial? I've often seen larger spiders on my garden plants and have let them be, since I didn't notice much damage being done. Thanks.


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drbugman(Zone 7 MD)

With the few exceptions of spiders that such as the brown recluse and black widow and one or two others whose bites can cause a bad reaction, spiders are beneficial and won't harm your plants. They are predators and feed on pretty much anything that they can catch and subdue.
Spider mites, which are tiny, feed on plants and drain plant juices producing a stippling damage.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2004 at 7:34AM
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Merops_apiaster(Cadiz (Spain))

There are spider mites that eat other spider mites. (Predators).
Insecticide does not kill mites. It is necessary a miticide. But it is not good starting a chemical war, because you kill good insects and good mites. Yellow sulphur can be used as repellent.
Mites are not caused mainly by stress, but disequilibrium with predators (usually caused by cold nights).

    Bookmark   May 25, 2004 at 4:02AM
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There is a diiference between spiders and spider mites. Spiders are passively beneficial since insects are trappped in their webs, but spider mites are pests and should be controled. Spider mites prefer more arid conditions so daily misting of the plants and keeping the soil evenly moist will increase the humidity around the plants and aid in control of them. For really bad infestations adding insecticidal soap will also help.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 7:41AM
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the_alpha_wolf_rules(z7 NC)

yes, spider mites are not spiders but mites. mites are arachnids like spiders but they're different. anyway like so many people have said, spiders aren't harmful but beneficial. They eat things that COULD harm your plants, and for example, it is thought that spiders pollinize cobra lilies.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 4:34PM
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A Spider is an arachnid. A Spider will spin his/her web and catch a fly for his/her meal. Period. Who~ever sed that a Spider will eat a leaf was telling you a lie. They don't. A Catterpiller DOES. A Spider 'mite' is fantasy in an un~educated world. So A Spider(any Spider)isn't Harmfull to ANY Plant in the Known-and un~Known World at all. SPIDERS DO NOT EAT PLANTS... THE END...
Super~man,Spider~man,Super~girl,and Bat~man.

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 4:04PM
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Not any Spider Is Harmfull To Plant Life...

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 4:09PM
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"A Spider 'mite' is fantasy in an un~educated world."

Really, isn't saying Ford automobile the same thing or how about Bengal tiger? Uneducated world? Please educate the dirty unwashed masses, we need you kev, desperately!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:20PM
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I live in Tennessee. Many spiders and their nests made up of the plants' dead leaves are pocketed all over my scrubs. Now the scrubs seem to be dying. I thought these nests were smothering the scrubs. Comments?

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:14PM
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MZW1, if your shrubs have webbing involving the leaves and they are showing signs of dying I doubt those are spiders. I would suspect probably the Fall Webworm.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 6:20AM
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Kev needs to get out more :-)

There is actually a herbivorous species of spider, a jumping spider known as Bagheera kiplingi. And spider mites are not spiders at all but mites - their only resemblance to a spider is the webbing they spin to protect themselves and their eggs from predators. They are nearly microscopic and their diet consists entirely of plants, plant juices to be precise.

talk about an uneducated world........... Kevin could be the poster child!!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 7:09PM
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Spider mites are still 'spiders'
spider mites are classified as an Acari which is a taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks

Your normal spiders are arachnids.

99.99% of the time arachnids are good. They do however tell you that their is something present that they are eating. Since they are general predators.

Acari or spider mites are split into both beneficial predators that eat only bad spider mites. and the 'pest' spider mites that eats your plants.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:32AM
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