Q: I found these spiders in my screen porch. What can you tell me about them?
A: This small spider you brought me is commonly found on patios and screen enclosures. It is called a garbage line or trash line spider, Cyclosa conica. They wrap the bodies of their prey in silk and make a string of them which is often found hanging from the ceiling of outdoor porches. Similar to other spiders, they are important predators with most of their prey being tiny flies, moths or mosquitoes. All spiders have venom but this is not a spider we need to be concerned about hurting us. If you are not comfortable with the “string of dead bodies” hanging from the ceiling of your screened enclosure, just take a broom and sweep them off.
It is important for those of you who are gardeners to wear gloves when working outside as spider bites are common and many of us can have a poor reaction to their venom. Wearing gloves helps to prevent the fangs from entering into the tender tissues of the hands and fingers. Any unusual reddening or swelling near or at the site of the bite should be attended to by a physician. No reason to become fearful of spiders but their proper place is outside the home.