What Are Grass Spiders?
As their name suggests, grass spiders live in the grass searching for food. They are insectivores, meaning they will eat small insects such as moths, aphids, and grasshoppers.
On average, the grass spider has a lifespan of one year. Male grass spiders die after mating while their female counterparts die after laying their eggs. Once the eggs hatch during the spring, the spiders continue to grow until they reach adulthood in the summer.
Grass spiders hunt their prey with the help of their webs. While the web is not sticky, it is designed to make the prey unable to escape. Once they’ve caught their prey, the grass spider injects it into their bloodstream.
While they are not poisonous, grass spiders use their venom to trap their prey. Since grass spiders have small fangs, they cannot damage human skin. However, people with sensitive skin are more likely to be affected by their venomous bite.
Types of Grass Spiders
Eurasian Grass Spider
The Eurasian Grass Spider uses funnel webs to help trap and kill their prey. Aesthetic-wise, it has an irregular curve on their bodies. They capture their prey through the use of their funnel webs, and eat them after the prey is subdued.
American Grass Spider
The American Grass Spider has a weave sheet style of webbing. While the web is not sticky, this grass spider can close into their prey due to their fast running speed.
Usually, adult American Grass Spiders are 19 mm in length and are known by hind spinnerets and dark barns located on their cephalothorax. You can spot it by its multiple white spots across its skin, which distinguishes it from the Eurasian Grass Spider. They are also more aggressive, making them more likely to attack multiple insects within a second’s notice.
Do Grass Spiders Bite?
Grass spiders do not bite humans. First, their teeth are too small to penetrate through the skin. At worst, the grass spider bite will lead to minor irritation.
Like most spiders, grass spiders use their venom to attack their prey. While the bite requires no medical attention, it can cause other symptoms such as redness, itchiness, and swelling.
Are Grass Spiders Dangerous and Poisonous?
Grass spiders are venomous, not poisonous. They are only a threat for small insects in your lawn, but they are not dangerous to humans.
Most of the time, the grass spider will want to avoid human interaction. They will rarely bite you, but you can always protect yourself by dressing appropriately (i.e. Long sleeve pants, shirts, socks, gloves, etc).
What Attracts Grass Spiders In Your Yard?
The humidity and dampness can attract more spiders to your yard. Insects like to dwell in areas of high moisture and low grass areas. This environment makes it easier for them to hunt prey, making them stay in your yard for longer.
Grass spiders like to eat small insects. This means that the more plants that are in your yard, the more insects it will attract. Because of this, more grass spiders will appear in attempt to eat them.
Lights in Dark Areas
Insects are attracted to the light in dark areas. This will lead to more grass spiders hunting the insects. Any place that used a light that attracts insects will be a prime target for the grass spiders.
Spiders like to crawl within tight spaces and specific sections of your house. They can enter through cracks, walls, open doors, etc.
In addition, some spiders tend to roam through pre-existing holes made by insects. As a result, they’ll have more access to crawl spaces and foundations. Once this occurs, it will be difficult to remove them from your yard.
Is It Good To Have Spiders In Your Yard?
Spiders are a great way to keep your yard safe from insect infestation. How can spiders help your yard? They can help by eating the pests that can damage your flower bed.
Also, spiders eat mosquitoes, flies, wasps, etc. They are more likely to keep the insect population in check before biting you or harm your grass. Basically, spiders can create a healthy balance in your yard.
Grass spiders have a large appetite and eat a minimum of 1 insect per day. This means that the more spiders you have, the more help you’ll have at keeping the insects away.
Spiders tend to eat insects during the early spring season. Since the insects are waking up from dormancy, they are less likely to react to the spider’s attacks. Then, the spiders continue to eat the insects until the growing season ends, making them great for long term yard care.
By eating insects, they can protect your yard from deadly plant pathogens. Insects carry bacterial and fungal diseases and can ruin your plants if left unattended.
Sometimes, these diseases can kill the plant. The less insects in your yard, the less likely your plants will become harmed by them.
How to Get Rid of Grass Spiders
Use pesticides as a last resort if you’re planning on killing grass spiders. Pesticides can damage your pets, plants, and can damage your skin. For optimal results, you’ll want to get pesticides that aren’t too chemical heavy.
When dealing with pesticides, only apply it into an area that’s heavily concentrated with spiders. This will prevent it from spreading throughout your lawn and damaging the fruits within your garden.
Peppermint oil allows you to remove spiders without chemicals. Due to its strong scent, peppermint oil will keep the spiders out of your lawn.
Mix 15-25 drops of peppermint oil and water. Place the mixture inside a spray bottle and apply it to areas where the spiders are more prevalent. Reapply it often to prevent the spiders from coming back.
You can apply sticky glue traps to remove spiders. Place them in high traffic areas to ensure that the spider will get captured by the trap. Once captured, the glue (and its underlying chemicals) will kill the spider within a few minutes.
However, you’ll want to keep your spider traps away by your pets and children. Check and change the traps often to ensure that spiders are caught without damaging other areas in your lawn.
You can use vinegar to remove spiders without the need of pesticides. Add a mixture of 50% water and 50% vinegar to spray it across your lawn or bedroom. Reapply the vinegar to ensure it works effectively against spider infestations.
Consider getting a spider catcher if you want to remove spiders safely. It works by picking up the spider with light fabrics, making it easier or the user to move them out of your lawn. Spider catchers are more effective when paired with other remedies such as vinegar and peppermint oil.
Break Up Webs
Spiders use webs to capture prey and act as a place where they can rest their bodies. While removing spider webs won’t kill spiders, it wil discourage them to stay in your backyard. You can use a glove or broom to break up spiderwebs in your garden or porch.
Have a Clean Home
Keep your house regularly clean to repel spiders from invading your lawn. Make sure to vacuum your ceilings, kitchen area, and underneath to prevent the spiders from producing offspring. By cleaning your house, you reduce the amount of hiding spots for the spiders to reside.
Make sure that your lawn’s shrubs, trees, and brushes. They need to be several feet away from the sides of your home. In addition, remove any vegetation located within your house’s perimeter.
If you have a serious spider issue, try transplanting trees or shrubs to keep it away from your home. When the vegetation is closer to the house if makes it easier for spiders to treat it as a new habitat. So take care of your lawn’s landscaping to reduce the rate of spiders staying in that area.
Natural Levels of Biological Control
You can use plant vegetation (i.e, eucalyptus) to repel spiders from your yard. This is less invasive than pesticides and doesn’t harm the spider in the process. You can spread it around your property border to prevent the spiders from entering unexpectedly.
Use diatomaceous earth on rocks and flower beds to kill spiders. When used properly, this method will remove spiders from your lawn, deck, or patio.
Cats are expert hunters and will harm the spider when they get into contact. Using cats to repel spiders is a safer alternative than using chemicals and insecticides in your lawn. While cats aren’t suitable for every household (due to lifestyle and allergies), they are great repellents if you consider yourself a cat person.
Pest Control Professional
Pest control professionals are useful if you would rather have someone remove the spiders for you or if you have a large-scale spider infestation. A professional will arrive and tell you the best way to eliminate them.
To conclude, grass spiders will populate your lawn if there are too many insects out there. To remove them, you’ll have to keep your lawn free of insects, food, and trash that they like to consume. Afterward, you’ll have control over who enters your garden and have the proper techniques needed to remove them.
Are Grass Spiders Poisonous to Cats?
Grass spiders are not poisonous to cats and their bites only cause minor irritation. Since cats like to hunt after them, they are a natural way to remove the spiders from your lawn. Grass spiders have small teeth and mild venom, so they cannot inflict too much damage on your cat pets.
You’ll have to watch out for spiders that have deadlier venom in their bodies. Since cats are smaller than humans, they can become more susceptible to pain. In fact, the Black Widow Spider is a poisonous threat when next to a feline.
Keep your cat away from spiders such as the Hobo Spider and the Brown Recluse Spider. That’s because their bites can lead to major illnesses or death if left untreated. For example, a Black Widow Bite will cause muscle tremors, paralysis, and drunken gait.
If your cat has been bitten by a spider, you should send them to the veterinarian. If your cat eats a spider it should be a minor issue, since their stomach acids can counteract the venom. However, make sure you check your cat for 1-2 days to see if any signs appear.
What Are the Differences Between a Grass Spider and a Wolf Spider?
The grass spider and wolf spider tend to vary in size. For instance, wolf spiders can range from 10mm – 37mm wide. According to their lengths, they range from 1.5 to 2 inches.
On average a grass spider are around 10mm – 20mm in size. When they’re at their largest height, its easy to determine the difference between the two.
Both grass spiders and wild spiders rely on Camouflage to capture their prey. They have a similar yellow-brown-gray color range, which helps them with confusing their prey. However, there are minor differences between the two spiders if you look more closely.
For example, wolf spiders have a black line that goes across their abdomen. Grass spiders have a lighter line in their abdomen. Also the markings located on a grass spider are lighter than wolf spiders, making them different in physical appearance as well. .
Both spiders use different hunting techniques with their web. The wolf spider doesn’t create webs, but burrows down in the ground and attacks their prey.
The grass spider uses a non-sticky web to acquire food. Once their prey is caught by the web, the grass spider will leave the corner and attack the victim.
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Grass Spider (Agelenopsis spp.) – Insectidentification.org
Everything you never knew about grass spiders – Western Èxterminator