Field of spider webs in Schuylkill County

WEST PENN TWP., Pa. - September 20, 2011

Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of spider webs are covering acres of an open field located between a wooded area and a bunch of farms.

And it's all the handiwork of an innumerable amount of banded garden spiders, a spider that's not particularly common in Pennsylvania.

So why did so many gather in this one location?

Penn State Horticulture Educator Emelie Swackhamer says the answer is really quite simple.

"They didn't have a lot of predation, things eating them, they had good conditions, there must have been plentiful food, enough insects around to eat, and the conditions were just right for the spider to flourish in that field," Swackhamer said.

What makes this even more fascinating is that this ocean of spider-webs can only be seen clearly in the early morning when the sun and the dew rise.

"When the sunlight hits them, and this is the time of the year we get a lot of that heavy dew and it's that sparkly show in the morning. Quite impressive," Swackhamer said.

The webs could not be seen by the Action Cam in the afternoon, but upon closer inspection, arachnids could be seen everywhere.

"They can bite if they feel cornered...it's best just to leave them alone and admire them from the roadside, especially on those misty mornings, it's spectacular," Swackhamer said.

Swackhamer says a banded garden spider bite feels very much like a bee sting.

It you would like to learn more about the banded garden spider or any other spider native to Pennsylvania click this link to the Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

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