Anyone here seen Charlotte’s Web? You remember them stressing how beneficial spiders are to us and our world? That isn’t a joke, spiders are quite helpful.
Sure, they’re scary and fast and they have way too many legs. But in actuality, they and their cousins are part of the reason the world’s bug population is kept in check.
Spiders eat whatever might hurt us and our gardens and crops. Spiders, as freaky as they are, legitimately are our friends in the grand scheme.
So the yellow garden spider is today’s topic and you’re going to learn just how beneficial they are to your garden against pests, as well as how to attract them and their relatives to you.
Benefits of Garden Spiders
Spiders eat like crazy, and unlike your more or less typical four-year-old, they aren’t picky in the slightest.
If it hits their web, munch! Put simply, the more spiders you have around your garden, the healthier both you and your crops are bound to be.
More spiders equal fewer pesky insects taking bites out of you and your plants.
How to Attract Spiders to Your Garden
The best way to attract the yellow spider and other beneficial ones is by displaying attractive real estate. Yes, provide protection from the elements.
Spiders are always on the lookout for cozy little hovels to call home, whether they’re tall grass or crops, bales of hay, or moist mulch.
Firstly, you’ll want to cut down on the use of pesticides, since those are geared to eliminate all insects, good and bad alike, including spiders.
Not only will the spiders appreciate the extra decorative touches in the added shelter cover, but if you leave some of your garden untouched over the winter, it gives them a good place to hunker down against the cold and start again the following spring when you do.
Lifespan of Garden Spiders
Honestly, a garden spider lifespan depends on where it’s located, as well as the sex of the spider.
Typically, a male spider will often die after mating with a female, since he either gets eaten or his life is just up.
The female will usually live long enough to produce an egg sac or two before dying herself once the heavy frosts hit.
Of course, if the weather in your area is frequently mild, you might be surprised to see the same female living for one or two years before passing on.
What do Garden Spiders Eat?
The easier question is what don’t they eat?
If it flies, hops, or crawls and is unlucky enough to wander into the spider’s web, it’s a straight-up lunch, no questions asked.
Some of the bigger individuals can even tackle animals like hummingbirds and frogs, though this isn’t too common since spiders don’t usually live to get that big.
Yellow Garden Spider Benefits
The yellow garden spider, in particular, is a highly useful little buddy to keep around, since they’re veritable arachnoid ninjas.
They’ll attack and eat virtually anything that moves, such as wasps, mosquitoes, butterflies, aphids, other spiders, gnats, and so many more.
This one is interesting too because while most spiders hang in the center of their webs, the yellow garden spider hides off to the side. They are connected to the web by a thin strand of silk to ambush its prey quickly when it hits.
The only problem is that they’ll also nosh on beneficial guys, like honey bees and butterflies if they get the chance, but honestly, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Besides, your little yellow friend will have more than a choosy selection once the season gets into full swing.
Common Names for Yellow Garden Spiders
There are several different names the black and yellow spider can go by. Just to name a few, we have:
- Black and yellow writing spider
- Zigzag spider
- Lightning spider
- Zipper spider
- Black and yellow argiope
- Black and yellow spider
- Golden garden spider
- Black spider with yellow spots
- Golden orb weavers
- Yellow garden orb weaver
- Yellow argiope
Where Can You Find Them?
The black and yellow spider has an incredibly extensive range to attribute to their unfussy dining habits.
You can find them from coast to coast across the expansive United States, all the way down through Mexico and clear into Central America.
Their favorite places are going to be found in verdant, green growth in sunny places.
These plants act as anchors for their trapping webs, so they’re frequently found in backyard gardens and small farm fields.
They’ll be hanging from their webs, waiting to swoop down on anything that might have wandered a bit too close.
Are Yellow Garden Spiders Poisonous?
You can relax; the yellow spider is NOT a poisonous variety.
They do have venom, but given their size and general diet, their toxins are mostly geared toward taking down insects.
So if you are bitten, it’s highly unlikely anything will happen unless you’re allergic to spider bites.
Just be glad you’re not an insect, as their venom also acts as an acid and turns the internal organs of the insect into easily digestible goo before the spider even begins to chow down.
Yikes! Also be warned, while they’re not deadly, they will bite if provoked, so it’s best to leave them be.
Other Beneficial Spiders
Not just the yellow garden spider, but other types of spiders like the garden orb weaver, grass spider, and the often filmed jumping spider with its huge, puppy-dog eyes (you heard me) are often a farmer’s best friend.
These little guys are just as hardy and voracious as the yellow garden spider and equally as unfussy about their food.
Jumping spiders are also considered among the most intelligent of the arthropods, and have even documented recognizing humans who frequent their territories.
There is also the Sac spider. These guys don’t build webs and are most active during the nightly hours.
Sac spiders feed on destructive insects including leafhoppers and caterpillars.
So while it’s true that not every spider is one you want around, such as the Black Widow, the Brown Recluse, and the Hobo spider, the black and yellow spider and its various contemporaries like orb weavers and jumpers are precisely what the bug doctor ordered.
They’ll rid your garden of a wide majority of the pests plaguing it.
So if you can stand the sight of these little guys, then you can almost be guaranteed a healthy, thriving garden this year, free of bugs and pests.