Orb-Weaver Spider


Actual Size: 6 mm to 20 mm

Characteristics: Colorful, often orange, brown, or black; very long legs.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Most active during the summer. Builds large circular-shaped webs in forests, gardens, eaves, and other areas around the home.


  • Commonly referred to as garden spiders.
  • Builds large and concentrically circular webs that can measure over six feet in diameter.
  • Not aggressive, beneficial spiders that can help control insect populations.

Orb-Weaver Spiders in the Pacific Northwest

Orb-weavers are large and colorful spiders that are known for building the familiar circular webs often found in gardens, fields, and forests. These elaborate concentric circles are used to trap unsuspecting insects, which the spiders feed upon. Because orb-weavers have poor vision, they rely on vibrations throughout the web to let them know when an insect has become entangled. Orb-weavers are also very common and can be found nearly anywhere in the world, except for Antarctica and the Arctic.

Orb-Weaver Spider Habitat

Orb-weavers primarily feed on insects that get trapped in their webs, such as flies, moths, wasps, and mosquitoes. These spiders are most active during the summer and often build webs in forests, garden areas, or around residential spaces. Most webs are built using natural structures – such as branches, sticks, and shrubs – though some are also constructed underneath eaves or along walls. These webs can measure over six feet in width and often connect multiple structures. For example, if the edge of an eave is used for support, the bottom part of the web will be attached to a shrub or the ground.

Orb-Weaver Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though orb-weavers are large and have a scary appearance, they are generally harmless and not aggressive. Even if they do bite, which is rare, they are not toxic to humans. However, they can be a nuisance if they build large webs in inconvenient or unsightly areas – such as in a doorway or windowsill. Walking into large and sticky webs can be a major annoyance, which is why it may be useful to call your local spider exterminators if you are dealing with an orb-weaver infestation.