Looks Like No Spiders This Year

retiredfromlife

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By now the leak curlers should be in our garden, but so far not a sign of them. Last year was there were plenty, first time in a number of years.
I put some solar powered light outside to try and attract some insects where they spin their webs and so far no insects attracted to the lights either.

We have not seen a snail in over 10 years in our garden either.
No grasshoppers when I mow the lawn. [about every two months, since no rain]
The insects seem to be really on the decline.

After the bumper spider year last year I convinced the man in red to bring me some new Godox gear, but the way it is going it may stay in the box

Anyone else notice a decline in insects / spiders etc in their area ? :(
 

D7k1

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Especially in Cross Orb Weavers and Golden Crab. More False Widows (Grossa) and Giant House Spider Tegenaria gigantea as well as the Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum ).
 

mfturner

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At a very local scale, my plantings in my yard seem to have an effect. Several years back I added two hops plants to grow up a railing, and around five years later they were so invasive I had to take them out. The ecosystem that thrived on the plants was amazing for photography, and I've been sad that it moved on when I took the plants out.
 
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What Is Real Anyway?
I haven't had any cat faced spiders since 2016. In 2016 I had 15 cat faced spiders in various areas around the exterior of my house, none since then. I have a few Black Widows that I can usually find. My daddy long legs (not a true spider) population is also down significantly from previous years. The f-in earwigs are doing fine though.
 

retiredfromlife

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I haven't had any cat faced spiders since 2016. In 2016 I had 15 cat faced spiders in various areas around the exterior of my house, none since then. I have a few Black Widows that I can usually find. My daddy long legs (not a true spider) population is also down significantly from previous years. The f-in earwigs are doing fine though.
Yes the daddy long legs that live inside the house are a lot less but still a few. Yet to get a good photograph of one of those
 

piggsy

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Brisbane, Australia
By now the leak curlers should be in our garden, but so far not a sign of them. Last year was there were plenty, first time in a number of years.
I put some solar powered light outside to try and attract some insects where they spin their webs and so far no insects attracted to the lights either.

We have not seen a snail in over 10 years in our garden either.
No grasshoppers when I mow the lawn. [about every two months, since no rain]
The insects seem to be really on the decline.

After the bumper spider year last year I convinced the man in red to bring me some new Godox gear, but the way it is going it may stay in the box

Anyone else notice a decline in insects / spiders etc in their area ? :(
It's not going great, and while nobody ever thought to assemble time series data on any particular species (other than some fairly limited work with ALA/WPC), anecdotally, it's not looking so great here.

Some tips :

https://theconversation.com/scientists-fear-insect-populations-are-shrinking-here-are-six-ways-to-help-128213

1. Entice insects to your garden: Lawn is a virtual desert for insects, so if you don’t really need it, cultivate insect-friendly native plants instead. Plan to have something flowering most of the year and aim for a variety of plant heights and structures, such as tall trees, thick shrubs and ground cover.

2. Put the fly spray away: Insecticides have become very efficient in recent years. They indiscriminately kill all insects, not just the ones you’re trying to get rid of. If you have to use insect spray, do so sparingly.

3. Turn off the lights: If you don’t need that outdoor light on all night, turn it off: the moths in your area will thank you. Many nocturnal insects can’t resist the light, but it disrupts their navigation system. This plays havoc with their ability to feed and reproduce.

4. Build them a home: Think about installing an insect hotel – a small structure of hollows for insects to rest and lay eggs in. Or simply leave dead wood or small areas of bare ground for insects to build nests in. If you don’t have a garden, join a local tree-planting group, or convince your council to plant more natives.

5. Resist the urge to clean up: If there is a section of your garden, local park or nature strip that is unkempt, leave it that way. What looks untidy to you is a great place for insects to live.

6. Track insects on your smart phone: Scientists need help to better understand what is happening to our insects. Citizen science apps such as iNaturalist Australia, Wild Pollinator Count, the Atlas of Living Australia and Butterflies Australia help gather valuable information about insect biodiversity, so solutions can be targeted to problem areas.

--

Some related reading:

https://theconversation.com/birds-bees-and-bugs-your-garden-is-an-ecosystem-and-it-needs-looking-after-65226

https://theconversation.com/the-battle-against-bugs-its-time-to-end-chemical-warfare-111629

We've been running meetings with creek catchment groups and animals societies the last few months trying to encourage some of the better habits outlined in these. The #1 thing I'd suggest, that SEEMS like it might be a bit of work to start with - put in a pond in your yard. It doesn't even have to be very big, and even something like a bird bath or a small tub (with some way for stray insects to climb out) can be a big help. Where I am is lined with storm water traps and creeks, and the fresh water sources we've put in several locations see a huge amount of animal traffic.

Fresh, clean water sources are hugely limited in the wild as as result of mosquito and storm water management. This goes triple for sources that can support more than one kind of animal, last for several weeks to months, and have vegetation growing in them. Somewhat counter-intuitively, attempts at controlling mosquitoes by draining and spraying tend to benefit mosquitoes in the long term, as they acquire resistance to insecticide faster, and have lesser dependence on deep/long lasting water bodies than most of their predators.
 

retiredfromlife

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
3,782
Location
Sydney, Australia
It's not going great, and while nobody ever thought to assemble time series data on any particular species (other than some fairly limited work with ALA/WPC), anecdotally, it's not looking so great here.

Some tips :

https://theconversation.com/scientists-fear-insect-populations-are-shrinking-here-are-six-ways-to-help-128213

1. Entice insects to your garden: Lawn is a virtual desert for insects, so if you don’t really need it, cultivate insect-friendly native plants instead. Plan to have something flowering most of the year and aim for a variety of plant heights and structures, such as tall trees, thick shrubs and ground cover.

2. Put the fly spray away: Insecticides have become very efficient in recent years. They indiscriminately kill all insects, not just the ones you’re trying to get rid of. If you have to use insect spray, do so sparingly.

3. Turn off the lights: If you don’t need that outdoor light on all night, turn it off: the moths in your area will thank you. Many nocturnal insects can’t resist the light, but it disrupts their navigation system. This plays havoc with their ability to feed and reproduce.

4. Build them a home: Think about installing an insect hotel – a small structure of hollows for insects to rest and lay eggs in. Or simply leave dead wood or small areas of bare ground for insects to build nests in. If you don’t have a garden, join a local tree-planting group, or convince your council to plant more natives.

5. Resist the urge to clean up: If there is a section of your garden, local park or nature strip that is unkempt, leave it that way. What looks untidy to you is a great place for insects to live.

6. Track insects on your smart phone: Scientists need help to better understand what is happening to our insects. Citizen science apps such as iNaturalist Australia, Wild Pollinator Count, the Atlas of Living Australia and Butterflies Australia help gather valuable information about insect biodiversity, so solutions can be targeted to problem areas.

--

Some related reading:

https://theconversation.com/birds-bees-and-bugs-your-garden-is-an-ecosystem-and-it-needs-looking-after-65226

https://theconversation.com/the-battle-against-bugs-its-time-to-end-chemical-warfare-111629

We've been running meetings with creek catchment groups and animals societies the last few months trying to encourage some of the better habits outlined in these. The #1 thing I'd suggest, that SEEMS like it might be a bit of work to start with - put in a pond in your yard. It doesn't even have to be very big, and even something like a bird bath or a small tub (with some way for stray insects to climb out) can be a big help. Where I am is lined with storm water traps and creeks, and the fresh water sources we've put in several locations see a huge amount of animal traffic.

Fresh, clean water sources are hugely limited in the wild as as result of mosquito and storm water management. This goes triple for sources that can support more than one kind of animal, last for several weeks to months, and have vegetation growing in them. Somewhat counter-intuitively, attempts at controlling mosquitoes by draining and spraying tend to benefit mosquitoes in the long term, as they acquire resistance to insecticide faster, and have lesser dependence on deep/long lasting water bodies than most of their predators.
Thanks for the links.
The light bit is interesting, I wil lhave to change our garden light practice. We are slowely converting bits of our yard to insect friendly places using natural leaf and bark for ground cover. So far we have three water sources that are used for birds and lizards. The population of small lizards has grown a lot over the last few years and we see the small white butterflies every nown and again. some blue banded bees can be seen as well.

The biggest change for us so far was the change from sugar cane mulch to natural leaves and bark, but finding enough is a problem as it needs replacing often to keep the thickness up. Keeps the soild moisture higher than the sugar cane mulch and does not form a mat over the top.
 

piggsy

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Messages
1,482
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Thanks for the links.
The light bit is interesting, I wil lhave to change our garden light practice. We are slowely converting bits of our yard to insect friendly places using natural leaf and bark for ground cover. So far we have three water sources that are used for birds and lizards. The population of small lizards has grown a lot over the last few years and we see the small white butterflies every nown and again. some blue banded bees can be seen as well.

The biggest change for us so far was the change from sugar cane mulch to natural leaves and bark, but finding enough is a problem as it needs replacing often to keep the thickness up. Keeps the soild moisture higher than the sugar cane mulch and does not form a mat over the top.
Sometimes a slab of rock or a section of tree trunk or thick branches can be quite useful to put in any exposed areas (say, to wind or water flow that otherwise carries away light mulch). It can help pool and drain water down around it, gives a spot that will be out of step with the prevailing temperature by a few hours (either retaining heat or cold), can provide fungus as food for animals, etc.
 
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