The Garden Spider is the UK's commonest 'orb web spider' and is abundant in gardens, grassland and woodland - it can be found almost everywhere, in fact. They build their typical spider webs (spirals with radial threads) out of sticky silk. They sit in the middle of the web, waiting to feel the vibrations of a struggling insect caught in the web, at which point they rush out and wrap it tightly in silk. Once immobilised they will kill their victim with a venomous bite. Adults appear from June to November and the young emerge from their silk egg-sac the following spring.
How to identify
The Garden Spider is one of the more easily recognised spiders, and can be distinguished by the large white cross (made up of pale spots and streaks) on its abdomen. It is usually grey-brown or reddish-brown in colour. Females are larger than males, which may be only half their size.
Where to find it
When to find it
How can people help
Spiders are beneficial in the garden as they help to keep populations of pests in check. You can encourage spiders into your garden by providing logs, stone piles and less tidy areas for them to live, feed and breed in. In turn, other species will be attracted to the garden as spiders are a food source for many animals, including mammals and birds, providing a vital link in the food chain. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.