Often the stuff of nightmares, spiders are given a bad rap on and off the screen. The last thing anyone wants is a spider lurking in our bedrooms and the only way to make our skin stop crawling is to catch it with a glass and release it into the night! But what about spiders that live in our garden? That’s a different story. Here’s how those eight-legged pals could actually be helping your garden!
Eight-Legged Pest Control
Are you looking for a bouncer for your garden? Someone to take care of the aphids, the mosquitoes, moths, beetles, wasps, flies and other pests? Think about looking at the resume of a spider! The nice thing about spiders is they take up their pest control duties as soon as the other insects begin to stir after the winter and they’ll often overwinter in your garden, if you’ll let them. Having spiders present in your garden also means you don’t have to use pesticides, which is a plus for farmers looking to grow organic produce. The fewer chemicals you have to use in your garden means the fewer chemicals you actually ingest!
If spiders are so useful, the next question is how do we get them to come to our gardens? Most species of spiders aren’t dangerous and we’re lucky that we only have two potentially dangerous spiders here in Alberta, so making our gardens a hotspot for spider activity doesn’t need to be too scary. Wolf spiders love living and hunting in mulch and if you choose to go the route of a no-till garden with straw or grass clippings, you’ll be sure to attract this species in with your tomatoes. Add lots of perennials, bushes and trees to your property to help web-spinning and jumping spiders take up residence. Don’t worry about being too well-kept when it comes to your yard – leave the webs up, where applicable, on your greenhouses, sheds and siding as those guys are catching our nemesis, the mosquito! When winter does set in, leave plant stalks standing and leaf and vegetation debris in your garden to give shelter to those eight-legged bouncers over the colder months.
Spiders can be pests, that goes without saying. But if you use them to your advantage, your garden could be entirely pest-free without the use of harmful chemicals! We at One Man and a Lady Bug love environmentally-friendly products and practices. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-262-1666 if you’d like to know more about how you can keep the spiders in your garden and out of your home!