Are Yellow Garden Spiders Poisonous or Dangerous?

Written by Taiwo Victor
Published: February 18, 2022
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Whenever most people see spiders, fear seems to be the first thing that comes to mind. A desire for nature connection can be a way to transform that first reaction from one of fear to one of wonder. It is reasonable that you get scared when you encounter a gigantic black and yellow spider, but let’s get the good news out of the way. Are yellow garden spiders poisonous or dangerous? Yellow garden spiders, more commonly known as writing spiders, are not poisonous or dangerous to humansThey are not violent and are more likely to retreat than fight if disturbed. They will bite as a last resort, but only if threatened or captured. These spiders are vital in maintaining a healthy garden environment, so it is best to let them do their part.

Do Yellow Garden Spiders Bite?

Are Yellow Garden Spiders Poisonous or Dangerous - Yellow Garden Spider

Yellow gardens only bite if extremely provoked.

©Tom Franks/

Yellow garden spiders are no threat. They are very gentle and would only bite if extremely provoked, such as by poking at them repeatedly. Another reason they will bite is to protect their young. A yellow garden spider mama will do everything she can to keep her babies safe in their sacs. In other words, if you see one of these in your yard, don’t disturb it. Otherwise, the mama may bite you!

Despite their large webs and adult size giving them an intimidating appearance, yellow garden spider bites are not hazardous. Their venom causes redness and swelling at the bite site, which some people experience as if getting stung by a bee, while other bites do not leave any symptoms. In any case, the discomfort is minimal. The only people who need to worry about garden spider bites are those allergic to the venom, which is extremely rare. If you have problems breathing or areas of your body (such as your face) become severely swollen, seek medical attention.

Are Yellow Garden Spiders Dangerous to Humans?

Are Yellow Garden Spiders Poisonous or Dangerous - Yellow Garden Spider

A yellow garden spider, though no dangerous, will bite a human to protect its young.

©Theodore P. Webb/

Yellow garden spiders are very beneficial to the garden and are not dangerous to humans. Like all spiders, they will not attack people on purpose. It is possible, though, that if you handle one of these spiders, it will bite you in self-defense or to protect its young. Even if it bites you, the venom of a yellow garden spider isn’t harmful to most people, but it is to other pests like flies and mosquitoes.

Even though garden spiders have venom that allows them to immobilize their prey, it is not powerful enough to cause severe health problems in humans or pets unless they have weakened immune systems. They are hesitant when coming into contact with humans, but if you do see one, be careful not to approach them too closely since this may trigger them to become aggressive. If you need to work in your garden, you should wear gloves to avoid getting bitten.

Only four of the 3,000+ spider species found in North America are dangerous to humans. Those are the black widowbrown recluse, hobo spider (found in the arid climate of Western states), and yellow sac, which is estimated to be the most prevalent source of nuisance bites on the continent.

Are Yellow Garden Spiders Poisonous?

Are Yellow Garden Spiders Poisonous or Dangerous - Yellow Garden Spider

The venom of a yellow garden spider is not harmful to a healthy human.

©cliff collings/

The yellow garden spider is not poisonous and rarely bites. However, the bite does contain a potent neurotoxic venom for use against predators. It also kills the spider’s prey, including insects (like butterflies), other arthropods, and small vertebrates like lizards! While their venom can paralyze prey, it is unlikely to harm a healthy human. When a female species bites a person to protect her eggs, the symptoms might range from slight discomfort and swelling to trouble breathing only if the person is allergic.

Fortunately, no one has ever died from yellow spider bites, but some have experienced complications. When confronted, males are typically less aggressive than females and prefer to play dead. But if pushed too far, both types appear to be equally defiant. A bite from a yellow garden spider feels like a sting from a bee—ouch! For this reason, if you come across these spiders, it’s best to leave them alone.

What Do Yellow Garden Spiders Eat?

Yellow garden spiders eat insects, including many common pests that fly (or hop): flies, bees, wasps, mosquitoes, aphids, moths, and beetles. They patiently wait in their webs with their heads down for an insect to enter. They are not only harmless, but they may also make your garden a more delightful place to be! When an insect flies into the trap, it becomes entangled in its sticky strands and becomes stuck. Following that, the spider wraps the bug with more silk and then bites it, injecting venom that paralyzes it. Before they eat, they will wait for the venom to predigest the food first.

The majority of predators are carnivores who will not distinguish between good and destructive insects. Give some fondness to the spiders in your garden, regardless of their species, as they play a critical part in maintaining the garden’s healthy and balanced ecosystem.

How to Avoid Yellow Garden Spider Bites

Like all the living organisms in the world, no one wants a threat or disturbance. Yellow garden spiders are harmless and will not initiate an attack unless, of course, provoked. And don’t dare touch a female spider with an egg sac if you don’t want the consequences of a spider’s bite.

If you’ve already gotten the bite, don’t panic. Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water to avoid infection. At least every ten minutes, alternately apply and remove an ice pack to the bite. If you have symptoms that don’t go away after a few days, you should see a doctor.

Spiders are naturally hunting predators, and they’ll keep your home clear of any creepy crawlies that breed swiftly and take over. If you have spiders, you have plenty of food insects to keep them nourished, which gives you more reasons to keep spiders around!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © samray/

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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