Any arthropods that share the same characteristics as spiders are known as arachnids. Other arachnids, or spider relatives, include ticks, daddy-long legs, scorpions, and mites. The difference between spiders and insects is that all spiders can produce silk throughout their lifetime. However, just a few insects can produce silk, and then at only certain times during their life. Spiders use silk to build webs and other types of snares and egg cases. Spiders are predators, feeding mainly on insects. Spiders are considered beneficial because of the large number of insects they prey on, including a number of pest species. All spiders have venom and are therefore venomous. However, most spiders are harmless to people. They are very shy and usually remain hidden in undisturbed areas. Many are active only at night. They are not aggressive and they will try to escape when confronted. Few spiders bite, even when coaxed. Fortunately, the bites of most spiders are less painful than an average bee sting.
Orb/garden spiders are common outdoors near buildings, but are not usually found indoors. They range in size from small to large (1/8 – 1 inch long) and are found in a variety of colours, with some being brightly coloured. Orb spiders have large, swollen-looking abdomens, including some that are oddly shaped. They make the classic round, flat, wheel-like web familiar to most people. Also known as the garden spider, it is large (up to 1 inch long) and brightly coloured black and yellow.