They are found almost all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and are harmless to human beings as their bites only produce a sore, itchiness, and swelling, which heals in a couple of days.
They also tend to remain at the same location for the entire summer, but may change places early in the season for want of a better location or food supplies.
The male spiders have a thin body and can reach a maximum length of about 20 millimeters, while the females have a round body and reach a maximum length of 40 millimeters.
These spiders have three claws on each foot. The additional third claw helps them manage the strands of silk while they spin their webs.
Garden spiders reproduce once in a year. During the mating season, the males roam in search of a female and build a small web near or in the female's web and then start courting the female by plucking the strands of her web. Once they complete mating, the male spider dies and is sometimes eaten by the female spider.
The female spiders lay their eggs at night on a sheet of silk material and cover the eggs with another layer of silk. This layer is then covered with protective brownish silk. The spiders then use their legs to turn the sheet into a ball with an upturned neck.
The egg sac can extend up to an inch in diameter.Each female spider produces one to four sacs with more than a thousand eggs in each. The sacs are then suspended from the web near the center, where the females spend most of their time protecting the eggs.
However, over a period of time, the spiders become frail and die in the first hard frost of the season.The young spiders exit the sac in the spring and are so tiny that they resemble dust particles. Some young ones remain nearby while others are carried away by the wind.
This helps them recycle the chemicals in their body which are used for building webs.