It’s no fair. I have to work to maintain my spiders in the lab, fussing over their cages, feeding them every day, encouraging them to breed. Then there’s my colleague down the road who just has a compost bin he shovels food waste into, and every year it’s swarming with Steatoda borealis. No work at all. Just leaving it be, letting insects flourish in the waste, which feed the spiders, which also benefit from that year-round warmth of decomposition.
I wonder what the department chair would think if I just started dumping garbage in my lab? It looks like a great strategy for growing a colony.
Below, I’ve included a photo of a few of these spiders in their natural grim, dirty, cobwebby habitat.