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Discussion Starter #1
Spent the whole day yesterday harvesting my star thistle crop (weed whacking) and found about a half-dozen of these things. Leg span was 2 to 2.5 inches. Anyone know what this is?
 

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The eight-legged freak fan from the arid state of Arizona should know what that is right off the top of his head.
 

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Disclaimer: I know _nothing_ at all about these critters.

However, my pest control guy called them 'orb-spinners' and said their bites hurt like hell, but not deadly.

FWIW.
 

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It is one of the spiders generically called 'garden spiders'. Like CanyonCarver said, it is not dangerous but can still deliver a painful bite. No worries regarding these mate! All spiders possess fangs and venom, but only a couple in the U.S. are dangerous, the most infamous being the black widow and the brown recluse.
 

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We have a monster around that makes the Black Widow seem tame and rivals the Brown Reculse in ability to rener necrotic damage to ones body. The only saving grace is that they are really big and easy to spot. Bad part is we've found 3 in the house in the last month.

Ugh..

Hobo Spider
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We have lots of black widows here and supposedly the brown recluse also, though I wouldn't know one if I saw it. Anyway, good to hear these are mostly harmless...something bit me on the leg while I was out there. It stung and left a small red mark but so far no necrosis or death.

Thanks for the input, guys. They definitely spun some spectacular webs...about 2ft across and perfect...before I got to them, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's so dry here, I'd have burned down the whole county. Weedwhacking them works pretty good too.
 

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Repeat after me: 'Spiders are my friends, spiders are my friends'. You listenin' Chain? These guys are out there busting their balls eating up all those insect pests - why you wanna go and slaughter 'em?
 

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Ya'll will find this crazy, but an underlying basis is there.  

I grew up on a farm, way out yonder, sleeping in a basement my whole youth.  It had many-a-spider and there was no way to kill them all.  So as a wee lad I made a pact with them.  Don't bother me and I won't squash you.  Was not bitten once the whole time growing up in that house and I kept my part of the deal as well.

Still no spider fan, but they're honest little fellers!
 

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Just supports my theory. 'if it crawls kill it'. Living out here in the mojave, just don't take chances. Have found, recluses and widows living in my swamp coolers. Sun spiders are cool, fuggin HUGE, right there with a tarantula in size, or at least the one I saw was. Speaking of tarants, they seem to migrating again. Nice to see the big one's out and about taking down small dogs... bawahhhhh. Where is that damn poodle. Uh oh, GF is gonna be pissed....
 
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