Spiders: ask any seasoned gardener or landscape expert about them, and you’ll get a mixed response.
On the one hand, spiders eat problematic insects and keep pests at bay. On the other hand, nobody likes reaching into a spider web or watching a giant grass spider slink along the kitchen floor.
As a result, many homeowners wonder how to get rid of grass spiders.
Even if you don’t mind spiders’ presence on your property, their prolific web building can be unsightly, especially since the webs tend to collect debris. This can detract from the pristine look of a carefully-maintained yard.
What’s more, grass spiders tend to abandon their webs in the fall, making their way indoors in search of warmth. When they do, they’ll start to nest in the corners and dark spaces of your home. Don’t worry, though – there’s a solution.
You get rid of grass spiders without harming your garden or putting your kids and pets at risk. Here at Smith’s Pest Control, we specialize in helping homeowners in the San Francisco Bay Area control spider populations and reclaim their yards.
In this post, we’ll share our top recommendations for getting rid of grass spiders.
- Grass spiders are generally considered beneficial since they eat problematic insects and pests. Still, many people don’t enjoy having grass spiders in their yards.
- Grass spiders are not poisonous, nor do they present a threat to humans. While their webs can be unsightly, they will not harm your lawn or garden.
- Get rid of grass spiders with basic yard hygiene, including mowing lawns frequently, trimming vegetation, keeping pet food inside, cleaning up spills and food messes promptly, and eliminating brush piles.
- Pest control experts use barrier sprays and web removal to control grass spiders.
First Things First – What Are Grass Spiders?
Spiders are an amazingly diverse species. Right now, there are an estimated 45,000 different kinds in existence.
Grass spiders, though, are a unique breed.
Scientific name Agelenopsis, grass spiders belong to the family of funnel-web weaving spiders and are known for the distinctive, orb-like shape of their ground webs. The spiders build these cave-like structures in low-lying grass, hardscape, and other landscape features and hide in the webs’ funnels, only emerging to eat prey that becomes entangled.
Image: Judy Gallagher via Flickr / CC by SA 2.0
If you’re looking for grass spiders, you won’t have to spend much time looking up. These spiders can’t build strong webs above the ground, which is why they tend to live in grass and low-lying bushes.
Grass spiders eat small insects found in grassy areas and lawns, including grasshoppers, moths, and aphids. While the spiders help control insects, they become a nuisance when they overpopulate a space.
What do Grass Spiders Look Like?
Grass spiders look like many other spider varieties and are often mistaken for wolf spiders.
Females of the species are about a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch long, while males tend to be a bit smaller. They have large spinnerets on their abdomens, which look like short, muscular tails.
Grass spiders are typically brownish-yellow in color, with two black stripes that run longitudinally along the abdomen, which are covered by chevron patterns. In fact, these chevron patterns are the most effective way to tell grass spiders from wolf spiders.
While grass spiders typically live in grass, they may also make their nests in mulch, leaf piles, the cracks along hardscape and gravel features, and window wells of buildings.
Are Grass Spiders Poisonous?
While grass spiders are not poisonous, they (like all spiders) are venomous. In most cases, their venom is not a risk of people. Instead of biting unsuspecting gardeners, grass spiders use their venom to subdue prey.
Grass spiders have very small fangs that cannot generally puncture human skin. However, the exception is people with thin skin – such as older people and babies. These populations may be vulnerable to grass spider bites. If a grass spider bite does occur, the result is typically minimal irritation. In rare cases, necrotic skin lesions and bacterial infections can occur.
Grass spiders are a shy spider species. They don’t seek out people and are unlikely to bite unless they feel threatened.
Can Grass Spiders Harm My Lawn?
While grass spider webs are unsightly, the good news is they won’t actually kill or damage your lawn. Still, running a spider hotel will keep your outdoor space looking shabby.
Because of the low-lying nature of grass spider webs, and their distinctive, broad pattern, the webs tend to catch debris like dead leaves, twigs, grass clippings, dust, and more.
Over time, this can make even the nicest yard look unkempt.
Additionally, most people find it unpleasant to spend time in an area infested with grass spiders. If they’ve taken over the hardscape or gravel portions of your outdoor space, sitting outside can feel creepy. After all, nobody wants to spend all their time trying to avoid spider webs.
8 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Grass Spiders in Your Yard
Even though grass spiders don’t present a risk to humans, most homeowners don’t want grass spiders to take over the yard. Fortunately, it’s easy to control their numbers through good landscaping and pest control practices.
Regularly mowing your lawn can keep grass spiders at bay.
Here are a few easy tips:
1. Clean up food and beverage crumbs/remains
While an unkempt lawn doesn’t actually attract grass spiders, it does attract the insects that grass spiders eat. Food crumbs left behind after a barbeque, for example, will attract ants, which will – in turn – attract grass spiders. On the other hand, a well-kept yard will discourage grass spiders and other small pests from setting up shop.
If you like to grill outside in the summer, make sure you clean up after each cookout. Crumbs, spills, grease, and other leftovers look like a buffet line to bugs.
2. Wash dishes immediately after use
Discourage grass spiders and other insects from entering your home by washing your dishes immediately after use. During the summer months, even a slight delay in dishwashing can invite bugs to set up shop. And when they do, spiders will follow.
3. Do not leave pet food out for extended periods
Pet food is an easy snack for the bugs spiders like to eat. Keep it sealed in an airtight container to avoid insect infestation.
4. Mow lawns frequently
One of the best ways to discourage grass spiders from building webs in your lawn is to limit the building materials available. Mowing your grass frequently makes it harder for them to build large nests and will encourage them to go elsewhere for shelter.
5. Trim vegetation – especially near to your home or business
In addition to mowing your lawn frequently, remove other forms of building material like vegetation. Keep bushes, hedges, and flowering shrubs neat and trimmed to keep the spider population at bay.
6. Eliminate brush piles
Brush piles are a favorite habitat for grass spiders. Burn or remove them quickly to prevent spiders from setting up shop.
7. Remove webs
Last but not least, use a broom to remove webs when you find them. While this won’t destroy the spiders, it will make your space a less appealing habitat for them.
8. Contact a professional pest management team
If you have a severe grass spider infestation, chemical control is the most effective way to deal with it. Barrier sprays (designed for use around the foundation of your home) can keep spiders and other insects from entering your space.
The best way to get rid of spiders once and for all, though, is to hire a pest management company such as Smith’s. With our highly-effective spider control services, our team will remove webs and spray problem areas to bring spider numbers back into balance.
How to Get Rid of Grass Spiders in your House
The best way to get rid of grass spiders in the house is to get rid of grass spiders on the lawn. When you remove or limit outdoor spider habitat, you decrease the number of spiders that will come inside when the weather starts to cool off.
Food particles on the ground can attract insects that grass spiders love to eat.
In addition to following the tips above, here are some ways to eliminate grass spiders inside your home:
- Keep a clean home. One of the best ways to get rid of spiders in the house is to vacuum often and thoroughly. In addition to removing food particles that may draw spider prey, this also removes spider webs and egg sacs.
- Remove webs. Use a broom to remove webs in the home, as well as around doors, windows, and eaves. Pay special attention to cracks and corners. Spray a chemical perimeter treatment to discourage spiders from coming back.
- Rethink the way you light your home. Light draws bugs. Reduce your spider population by replacing existing lights with sodium vapor lights or yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to insects. Alternately, try to place light sources away from your outdoor doors and windows, which will help reduce indoor spider infestations.
While the tips above aren’t a “quick fix,” they will help reduce your spider population over time.
Dealing with a Grass Spider Issue in the SF Bay Area? We’re Here to Help!
Ready to book your pest control service? Give our team a call today: (408) 871-6988