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Are Garden Spiders Poisonous?

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You might have noticed a giant black and yellow spider living in your backyard lawn or garden.

These black and yellow spiders are known as garden spiders as they are generally found around plants and sunny areas. They are spread across North America and various neighboring countries.

Whenever you see a creature such as a spider in your garden, you can't help but wonder if it is poisonous and dangerous to be around.

However, you do not need to worry about the garden spiders in your backyard as they are very harmless.

In fact, they help to keep the insect population under control, which proves to be favorable for your garden.

Constantly seeing a spider living in your backyard can definitely make one wonder about its characteristics.

So, if you want to know more about the unique qualities of a garden spider, you’re in the right place.

What Are Garden Spiders?

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You might have seen a spider wandering around on your lawn. The question is, is it really a garden spider?

When you hear someone talk about garden spiders, they are talking about one species of spiders. The scientific name of this spider is Argiope Aurantia.

Still, it goes by many other common names like the garden spider, yellow garden spider, orb-weaving spider, zigzag spider, and black-yellow garden spider.

Apart from that, these garden spiders are commonly present all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

They thrive in sunny areas and weave their webs around plants. Mostly, they live in backyard gardens or lawns.

Additionally, these spiders are relatively giant and weave circular webs, commonly known as orb-webs. These spiders belong to the orb-weaving arachnids.

Most of the other spiders have two claws on each of their feet. But the orb-weaver family has an additional claw that helps them weave the complex design of their webs.

The most distinguishing characteristic of garden spiders is that it has black and yellow markings that look like spots or bands spread across their abdomen.

These colors are standard on the female garden spider, with a white or gray front part of its body known as the cephalothorax.

Aside from that, female garden spiders are bigger than their male counterparts. Male garden spiders have a dull brown color with a thinner and smaller abdomen.

In addition, the female spiders are about 0.75 to 1.1 inches long, while the male spiders are 0.20 to 0.35 inches long. Garden spiders have eight legs, four pairs on each side, and many tiny eyes.

As the female spiders are enormous and have more bright colors, they are easily and commonly noticed in nature as compared to male spiders.

Are These Spiders Dangerous?

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Garden spiders are pretty large and form giant webs. This is one of the primary reasons why they look so threatening and scary.

No matter how huge and scary they look, they are entirely harmless. In addition, garden spiders don't bite unless you capture or provoke them.

The most damage a garden spider bite poison can cause is swelling and redness at the bite site.

Additionally, garden spiders are most dangerous to the insects in your garden. These spiders make large circular webs to trap all kinds of insects in them.

Insects like grasshoppers, moths, bees, wasps, or any other flying insect that may get caught in the orb web, become the source of food for these spiders.

Aside from that, garden spiders don't usually bite humans. They don't show aggressive behavior towards humans unless they feel threatened.

Besides, garden spiders are healthy for your garden as they help maintain the insect population. So, let your friendly neighborhood spider do its job by leaving it alone.

Are These Spiders Poisonous?

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Whenever you see a garden spider on your backyard lawn, the first thing that comes to your mind is that it might be dangerous.

The correct answer to that thought would be no. Although garden spiders can bite you and are venomous, the venom is not poisonous.

Apart from that, the garden spiders have a very calm nature. They aren't aggressive, and they'll mind their own business as long as you leave them alone.

Of course, if you bother them or provoke them, then you'll probably get a bite or two.

However, if you do get bit by a garden spider, which is a very rare case, you don't have anything to worry about.

As mentioned above, the venom of the garden spider is not poisonous. The bite will swell, and you will have minor pain similar to a bee sting.

Interestingly, the effect of the spider bite is the same on both humans and animals.

So, if you are worried about not letting your pet unrestrained in the backyard for fear of them getting bitten, your no longer have to.           

Some people form natural allergic reactions to spider venoms. It is pretty rare, but it can happen.

So, consulting a doctor would be appropriate if you have any such allergies and get bit by a garden spider.

Likewise, if you develop any severe symptoms like intense swelling and trouble breathing, then you should rush to the nearest hospital.

All in all, garden spiders are mostly harmless. Instead, they are an excellent addition to your garden and keep the insect population in check. So, it’s best not to bother them and let them do their thing.

How to Treat a Garden Spider Bite?

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While garden spiders are not poisonous, they are venomous, which is the correct terminology to use. A garden spider bite feels similar to a bee or a wasp sting.

In fact, it is said to have hurt less than a bee/wasp sting. So, if you ever get bit by a garden spider, here is how you should treat it.

  • You should always wash the bitten area and sanitize it thoroughly to prevent any infection. Because even if the spider bite isn't poisonous, an infection could do a lot worse.
  • Most of the time, the spider bite will end up swelling. The best way to treat the swelling is by applying an ice pack to it at intervals of ten minutes.
  • Apart from that, you can also reduce the swelling by elevating the site of the spider bite.
  • The bite can end up feeling very itching. If any home remedies aren't working, Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is the best solution.
  • If the bite stays for more than a few days and blisters start to form, you should consider an antibiotic cream.

While garden spiders are harmless to humans, there is no guarantee that every spider you find in your garden is of the exact nature.

Some of the dangerous spider species include tarantula, black widow, Brazilian wandering spider, and brown recluse.

This is why it is important to seek medical attention if you are bit by any one of these spiders. This will help you avoid some serious complications.

How Long Does a Garden Spider Live?

Garden spiders have a life span of about one year. The female spiders usually die after the mating season when the temperature gets too cold.

Female garden spiders typically live for years if the weather and temperature conditions are favorable. On the other hand, male spiders typically die not too long after the mating season.

Garden spiders mate once a year. The female spider lays thousands of eggs after the mating season. The eggs are silk-covered and hatch around spring or autumn.

The newly hatched spiders then either make themselves at home in the place they were born, or the wind blows them away to a new territory.

Other Types of Garden Spiders

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The black-yellow garden spider is the most common spider in the United States, but it is not the only garden spider out there.

Other garden spiders are also commonly present in the wild and are knowns as hunting spiders.

One such type is Crab Spiders. These spiders don't weave webs. In fact, they are a species that hunt their prey and don't make webs at all.

Another type of garden spider is Wolf Spiders. You will often find spiders jumping around and wandering in your garden, looking for prey.

All of these garden spiders are harmless and beneficial for your garden. So, let them do their part in your backyard. They are necessary to maintain a healthy amount of insects in your garden.

Final Words

A typical garden spider can look scary due to its size and the size of its web, but they are entirely harmless. It is a non-aggressive species that thrives all over the United States.

Garden spiders hardly cause any significant issues for you as they prefer to live in nature quietly.

You have nothing to worry about as long as you mind your own business and let the spider manage its own.

Garden spiders usually weave pretty large webs. It should be your first indicator that a spider has set home in your garden.

But even then, it shouldn't alarm you as they are beneficial to the ecosystem of your garden.

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