Argiope aurantia

Sometimes the scariest of insects can be pretty harmless. The yellow zipper spider, also called golden orb weaver or banana spider, is just such an intimidating yet beneficial critter.

halleck_zipperspider

This is pretty much the largest of the orb weaving spiders that you’ll find in our DFW gardens. The females spiders are much larger than the males; a female is featured in the photograph.

Zipper spiders build large orb-shaped webs with a zipper pattern down the middle. While they can bite, these large spiders are not aggressive and their venom is not harmful to people. They are excellent beneficial predators in the garden.

If you’re worried about a zipper spider that may be too close to an entryway or entertaining area, simply knock the web down with a broom and she’ll most likely move on to a more secluded spot.

To keep spiders from taking up residence in your home, it’s best to vacuum regularly and employ a  regular pest control program, as spiders typically go where there are plenty insects to eat!