Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters 6th October 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It is difficult to think that autumn is fast approaching. A big clue is the number of fallen leaves about which contrasts dramatically with the current beautiful blue skies and high temperatures that we are enjoying.

Another feature of autumn is the large number of spiders that are in evidence. This year, because of the warm spring and the wet summer, there are more than usual. The warm spring brought lots of pollen which encouraged lots of insects for the spiders to feed on, meaning greater survival rates for offspring.

Everywhere you look in the garden there seems to be a spider in the centre of an intricate web, beautiful on a dewy morning. They do tend to look very large but are only pregnant females, carrying lots of eggs, and not some exotic foreign species.

Spiders are essential to the ecosystem. If we did not have spiders, flies and all the other insects that they eat would overwhelm us. They themselves also provide food for birds, such as the wren. Nature will ensure that the balance will continue.

For some reason, the UK is probably the most arachnophobic country in the world but has no reason to be because of the 650 species of spider that we have, only one is harmful to humans but not fatal.

So, please, don’t kill spiders when they come in the house. All they need is a dark corner to live in and lots of flies to eat!

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