One of the ways in which I utilize nature’s help in my garden is by leaving all the spiders on my property alone. I can’t tell you how many times I have appreciated spiders when mosquitoes are in my home. I think of this each time pest control salespeople come to my door, pointing out my spiderwebs. Do I want to get rid of those? No thank you. They protect me from mosquito borne diseases.
I follow the same practice of generally leaving the spiders in my greenhouse alone. My reasoning is to keep out whiteflies, moths, mosquitoes and especially bees (because of cross-pollination concerns). Of all the places to promote spiders, the greenhouse is one of the best. How much money could be saved in whitefly mitigation if greenhouse operations just had more little spiders roaming around?
Last year I discovered a black daring jumping spider had laid some eggs in my greenhouse. I’m not sure if they can overwinter, but I found this little spider in my greenhouse in the spring. Daring (or bold) jumping spiders are some of the largest jumping spiders I have ever seen and are probably some of the largest jumping spiders in this part of California. They are really fun to watch and would probably make fun pets as well. However, most of the time I see them I just watch them for a little while.
For those out there who don’t like, I encourage you to consider this: which would you prefer – lost or damaged crops or a few more spiders?