Nature Friendly

7 Surprising Gifts of Black and Yellow Spiders

Black and yellow spiders like this Argiope Aurantia, also known as a common garden spider, are huge allies. We all know the #1 reason they’re beneficial but there are more benefits they offer.

The subject of spiders usually goes one of two ways…either a deep-seated fear of them or an absolute love and fascination about them. If your hand was shaking when you reluctantly decided to click on this blog post, I used to feel the same and with good reason.

I was bitten by a black spider when I was 5 yrs. old and had a bad reaction to the venom. That experience was traumatic for me, and I used to have an irrational fear of all spiders until I became a gardener.

When I pull weeds or harvest my lettuce, it’s a guarantee that I find all types of spiders scatter in all directions. I used to freak out, but I have come to respect them as the allies that they are. They are keeping the bugs down so that I can get the most of my harvest.

Knowing they are there; I am careful when I am working in the garden and haven’t been bitten in my 20+ years of gardening.

Table of Contents

Argiope Aurantia is also knowns as a common garden spider, zig zag spider and corn spider.

1. Black and yellow spiders are harmless.

These common garden spiders spend their time building their webs, eating what they catch, finding another place to build the next web and mate. They aren’t focused on anything else. In fact, I got this close up photo by putting my macro lens really close to this spider who didn’t even move away.

Taking these photos, I was tense anticipating this spider jumping on my lens and me jumping back in fear. It was the opposite. It literally just stayed still on its web and I got my shots in minutes then moved away.

Even if you accidentally grabbed it and got bitten, the pain would be the same as a bee sting and you would have some swelling. By the way, this isn’t the type of spider that bit me. I am also allergic to venom, but I don’t get anaphylaxis from it. Even a mosquito bite becomes unusually large, feels hot to the touch and swollen.

When I see one of these spiders in my garden, I just have to stop to admire its gorgeous markings from a distance thankful that it made a home in my garden. I can use all the help I can get.

Black and yellow spiders like this one are found in every state in the United States.

2. They prey on many bugs.

Yes, spiders preying on bugs is what we learn in elementary school. These yellow and black spiders do catch both harmful and beneficial insects in their web.

A few years ago, we had a huge problem with Spotted Lanternflies that were destructive and we had a swarm of them. My chickens wouldn’t eat them and many types of predatory insects like the Praying Mantis wouldn’t eat them either.

But then I started seeing them captured in webs and eaten by spiders. The front of my house is where I would find the most webs of these corn spiders especially babies that liked building their nests among the boxwoods.

My corn spider allies didn’t disappoint in killing Spotted Lanternflies every year and helping us reduce the population.

3. They can take the place of harmful pesticides and insecticides

If these chemicals are being used in the garden, they don’t just kill harmful insects but beneficial one’s too. One could also flip this reasoning and say so do spiders. While it is true that spiders kill both types of insects including pollinators, these yellow and black spiders doesn’t cause the type of health issues that pesticides and insecticides do to humans.

Black and yellow spiders like this Zig Zag spider change their location every day to follow their food source.

4. Common garden spiders don’t stay in one place

What makes yellow and black spiders effective at keeping insect populations down is that they have a flexible strategy in capturing them. The common garden spiders build their webs every day. They move all around the garden following their food source and that’s good news for you if you’re worried about insects hurting your plants.

5. Yellow and black spiders are have a good population

Argiope Aurantia aren’t endangered because they are so adaptable in their environment. They don’t need a lot of space, they follow their food source and one egg sac has about 300-1400 eggs. The babies hatch in the fall. Baby Argiope Aurantias loves to spin their webs among my boxwoods in September as you can see in the photo below. I see them sometimes peeking out from the boxwood leaves. The more of these black and yellow spiders you have, the better insect control you’ll have.

This photo shows the webs of baby Argiope Aurantia that made their home in my boxwoods and I kept the abandoned webs as decoration that Halloween.

6. They help with Halloween decorations.

I admire people who go “all out” on their decorations and make their homes look amazing during the major holidays. As a busy mom who doesn’t relish the idea of pulling out boxes, I appreciate all the help I can get even if it’s from my common garden spider friends. I like their realistic spooky look for Halloween much better than the fake spider webbing you buy.

Some people may not like their garden covered in webs because it can make a house look neglected or haunted. Remember, these black and yellow spiders don’t stay in one place for long so you can brush the bushes with a broom to collect the webs. If webs are exposed to the weather elements, they disappear on their own.

7. Reduce disease in the garden

When you have too many pests in your garden, insects can spread diseases among your plants from other gardens. Harmful insects like aphids will feed off your plant and this often results in weakening the plant. Just like if a human’s immune system is compromised so is the plant and is more susceptible to diseases. Common garden spiders that spin a web or hunt among the plants can keep insects, that spread disease or hurt plants by feeding off of them, under control.

Summary

The fear of spiders is common but so is their popularity and an appreciation for how they keep insects under better control. Less harmful insects also means less sickly plants and transmission of plant diseases. More and more people are moving away from outdated practices of using pesticides and chemicals in their garden. For aspiring organic gardeners, this gorgeous yellow and black spider is a friendly ally to have. This species of spider doesn’t face any threats of instinction and they follow their food source in gardens, woodlands and even industrial sites.

Whether or not you like spiders in general, you have to reluctantly admit the yellow and black markings of Argiope Aurantia are really eye catching compared to other common garden spiders.