Spiders are considered my many to be some of the scariest creatures on the planet; movies and television shows often depict them as dangerous and spooky creatures. However, the opposite is typically true, especially when it comes to your grass. Plus, they can even be helpful in some instances.
Spiders that live in your grass can be from a multitude of species, most of which will be harmless. They can be beneficial for keeping insects in your yard from over-infesting. However, be careful with spiders when it comes to your pets; depending on the species of spider, they can be potentially dangerous.The Backyard Master
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about spiders you find in your grass, including why they have made a home there and how to get rid of them if they become a problem.
Why Are Spiders in Your Yard?
There are several reasons spiders, or any other insect for that matter, would be in your grass.
Like any living creature, each of these creepy crawlies needs food and water to survive; if you’re reading this, they have probably found that in your yard.
When pet food, standing water, or anything else that can be consumed is left in or near your yard it can lead to an infestation of insects… And anywhere you find a lot of insects, you are going to find the spiders that prey on them.
If you have seen spiders roaming around in your yard, there is a good chance that somewhere on your property, there is a food source for insects that have enticed the spiders to stick around.
In other words, if your yard happens to be a great place for bugs to live, then there will most likely be spiders hanging out to eat them.
Another reason spiders have made a home in your grass might be because the yard has an overgrowth of vegetation somewhere. Additionally, any presence of outdoor lights, piles of wood, rocks, debris, or other potential food/nest areas can lure spiders to your yard
Can Grass Spiders Harm You?
If you happen to be out in your yard and see a spider racing by, there is typically no need for alarm.
Spiders who live out in the open, like a yard or grassy area are generally going to be harmless. (The really bad guys like black widows and brown recluses are known for hiding out in dark areas where they can quickly hide)
The most common type of spider in a person’s yard in the U.S. is the Grass Spider (Agelenopsis)
These spiders are prevalent in the Western part of the United States and can vary in size. They are typically identified by the specific arrangement of their eyes, the two dark lines running down their bodies and the tell tale sign of funnel shaped webs that you are probably finding in your lawn.
The Western Grass Spider is often mistaken for the Hobo Spider.
These two spiders have been found in grassy areas near households, which is why they can be misidentified as each other.
The main difference between them is that the Grass Spider generally cannot break the skin of a human, but the Hobo Spider can, with their bites notoriously infamous for a stinging/burning sensation. Even though the bite is not pleasant, it also won’t cause much harm.
To the regular homeowner, it is almost impossible to correctly identify these spiders and it would most likely require microscopic examination by an arachnologist to do so correctly…which is probably not going to happen, or necessary.
So, if you have spiders in your lawn or notice lots of webs the good news is that these spiders are not going to physically hurt you or cause any lasting damage.
That being said, having these spiders in your lawn can definitely impact your ability to enjoy your yard.
If you’re like my wife and absolutely terrified of spiders, you’re going to want them gone, no matter how many other insects they might eat.
Getting rid of the spiders in your grass can also help give you piece of mind so that you don’t have to worry about them crawling on or biting your young kids or pets.
Can Spiders Harm Your Grass?
In general, spiders won’t harm your grass, except for the Wolf Spider.
The Wolf Spider is the only common grass spider that does not spin webs; they actually dig holes and wait for their prey. Other than that, most spiders will spin webs to catch their prey, and therefore will not affect your grass.
Indirectly, though, spiders can damage grass if the homeowner is not careful. If you get too aggressive and try to use a pesticide to eliminate spiders from your lawn, the chemicals—in the right amounts—could damage the grass. So if you decide to go that route, make sure that you follow our recommendations below and apply the product to avoid killing your lawn.
How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Yard
If you are looking to get rid of spiders from your yard, there are a few tips you can try.
If you feel the need to remove spiders from your yard, there are a few ways to go about it. These first few ways are more eco-friendly ways to do so and require no chemicals to be used:
- Lessen outdoor lighting
- Use yellow lighting outdoors
- Cut overgrown vegetation
- Mow your lawn frequently, especially in the summertime
- Decrease or discourage spider webs
Outdoor lighting attracts insects and other unwanted pests.
Along with these unwanted pests come spiders, who are trying to prey on them. Using less outdoor lighting can help lessen spiders if it leads to fewer insects and other pests. If you still insist on having outdoor lights, yellow lighting generally deters insects.
Taking care of your lawn can also lead to a lower number of spiders.
Insects and other prey of spiders tend to gravitate to overgrown vegetation and other sources of food. If you take care of your lawn, the number of spiders can be significantly reduced. Mowing your lawn can also provide less coverage for spiders as they move in the yard.
Also, getting rid of spider webs on a regular basis can become frustrating to spiders who are having to rebuild everyday and eventually they will move on to a different location where they can be left alone.
You can also try one of these natural solutions for repelling spiders that many homeowners swear by:
- Peppermint oil
- Baking soda
There are other ways to eliminate spiders, but these involve pesticides, which can have a range of effects.
For the most part, pesticides have advanced enough to not lead to extensive damage to the lawn, but the directions for using the product have to be followed.
If you do not feel up to using pesticides by yourself, contacting an exterminator is a great option as well.
When searching for an effective pesticide for eliminating spiders, look for these characteristics:
- Ingredients such as bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin (We recommend and use this product at our house).
- Insecticides in the form of dust can be just as effective—if not more—than sprays; simply use the dust as a barrier to block new spiders from entering your yard.
- Some reputable brands known for producing insecticides effective for spider removal include Cimexa, Tempo, and DeltaDust.
Having spiders in your grass does not necessarily mean that there is an issue; they are great for controlling other pests and insects that may try to invade your home.
Spiders that can be found in your lawn are generally harmless; they are usually looking for a source of food or are trying to start a new nest.
Additionally, you can have peace of mind knowing that Grass Spiders will not damage your lawn. The majority of spider who live in grass all spin webs to attempt to capture their prey and won’t have any direct impact on your lawn.
Taking all this into consideration, it is still completely understandable if you want to get rid of the spiders in your lawn so you can relax and enjoy your time outside without being worried or scared.
If you feel that the spiders are creating a problem or prevent your family from enjoying your lawn to it’s fullest, then getting rid of the spiders is always an option.
Pesticides and other non-harmful solutions are available to homeowners to attempt to rid the grass of spiders.
Just remember that unless you begin a routine pest control routine, the spiders will always attempt to return.
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Grass Spider FAQ’s
Are grass spiders poisonous?
While grass spiders do have venom, they are not considered poisonous because their fangs cannot penetrate human skin.
Are grass spiders dangerous to pets?
No, dogs and cats have skin that is very similar to human skin and therefore the Grass Spider will not be able to bite them.
A much more common experience is that your dog or cat will try to eat the spider. While harmless, you may want to watch your pet for a day or so until you are confident they are doing fine.
Should I Kill Grass Spiders?
This is entirely up to you. By now you realize that these little guys won’t hurt you or your pets and they won’t cause any damage to your lawn. In fact, they may be helping to keep other insects at bay by eating a lot of them.
That being said, they can be a nuisance. If someone in your house is afraid of them or their numbers are getting out of control in your yard than you may want to kill them in order to be able to enjoy your lawn without the constant fear that one will be crawling on you or your lawn furniture.