Decoding the Grass Spider: A Deep Dive into their Lifecycle, Bites, and Elimination Tactics

A grass spider resting on its web

Ever heard of grass spiders? Maybe you’ve seen them around, possibly mistaking them for other types like wolf spiders or hobo spiders. They’re quite common in the United States, often found chilling in the grass. Sometimes, though, they sneak into houses and buildings. Grass spiders are pretty shy, so if you do see one, it probably won’t stick around for long. Keep reading to learn more about these elusive little creatures!

What is a Grass Spider?

As mentioned earlier, Grass spiders, just like their name suggests, hang out in grassy places but sometimes sneak inside looking for food. These spiders are small, quiet, and not really harmful. They build their webs in a funnel shape on short grass or windowsills. Even though they’re tiny, they’re super quick!

Life Cycle of Grass Spiders

Grass spiders only live for about a year. After they mate, both the male and female spiders die. In late summer or fall, female grass spiders lay a white sac that holds their eggs through the winter. After laying the sac, the female spider dies. In spring, the eggs hatch, and the baby spiders grow by shedding their skins several times. By late summer, they become adults.

What Do Grass Spiders Look Like?

Grass spiders come in shades of yellow, brown, or cream. You can spot them by the two dark brownish bands running along their bodies. Their eyes are arranged in three rows – two on top, four in the middle, and two on the bottom. If you measure them without their legs, they’re about half to three-quarters of an inch in size, with the males a tad smaller than the females.

The Tricky Grass Spider Web

Grass spiders belong to a spider family called Agelenidae, which includes about 1,200 species. These spiders are known for their funnel-shaped webs. They build these webs close to the ground to catch their prey. Although the webs aren’t sticky, they’re designed to trap insects effectively. Grass spiders use their venom to subdue trapped prey. The horizontal, sheet-like structure of the web also serves as a hiding spot for the spiders.

Now, distinguishing them from common house spiders, wolf spiders or others might be a challenge. But here’s a tip: check out their webs. Grass spiders spin those funnel webs, while wolf spiders prefer burrows. So, if you spot a spider chilling by a funnel web, it’s probably a grass spider, not a wolf spider.

Are Grass Spiders Poisonous? Also, Do Grass Spiders Bite?

Technically, grass spiders aren’t poisonous but are venomous. They have venom, like all spiders, to catch their prey. Grass spider fangs are small, so they usually can’t bite through human skin easily. But babies and older people, who have thinner skin, might be at more risk if bitten.

Grass spiders are shy and don’t usually try to bite people. They might bite if they feel scared. If they do bite and manage to break the skin, their venom could cause skin sores and infections. It’s safer to let pest experts handle grass spiders if they’re on your property.

How to Get Rid of Grass Spiders

  1. Make Their Home Less Cozy

Grass spiders like to make their funnel-shaped webs in tall grass and weeds. So, if you keep your lawn short and tidy by mowing it regularly and getting rid of tall grass and weeds, it won’t be as inviting for these spiders. Also, it’s a good idea to clean up any piles of leaves or grass clippings in your yard because spiders like to hide in them.

  1. Put Up Screens

Putting screens on your doors and windows can stop spiders from coming into your house. Look for screens with very small holes that spiders can’t get through. Make sure the screens fit well and don’t have any rips or tears.

  1. Fix Cracks and Holes

Little gaps around doors, windows, and the base of your home can let grass spiders inside. Check your home for any openings and seal them with caulk or weatherstripping. Make sure to close up spots where pipes or wires come in, too.

  1. Get Help from Pest Control

If you’re seeing lots of spiders around your house, you might have a bigger problem. There could be other bugs that the spiders are eating, which means you might have an infestation. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to call a pest control expert like Take Care Termite and Pest Control in Tracy, CA. They can check out your place, get rid of the spiders, and help make sure they don’t come back.

  1. Sweep Away

Grab a broom or brush to sweep up spiders and their webs. Make sure to wear gloves and protective clothing to stay safe from bites. Once you’ve swept them up, dispose of them outside your home.

  1. Vacuum Them Up

Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up spiders. Just attach the hose or wand and carefully vacuum any spiders you find. Remember to empty the vacuum bag or canister outside to prevent them from coming back inside.

  1. Spider Traps

Try spider traps, available at hardware stores or online. Put them where you’ve seen spiders and dispose of them when full. Follow instructions closely, as some traps may need baiting with food or other attractants.

  1. Use a High Pressure Hose

If you have lots of spiders outside your house, you can use a strong hose to spray and knock down their webs. Get a nozzle that makes a strong, focused spray and aim it at the spider webs. Make sure to wear protective clothes and eye protection, and stand far away to avoid getting bitten.

  1. Natural Repellents

You can use natural things to keep grass spiders away. Peppermint oil, vinegar, and lemon juice all work well to keep spiders away. Just mix them with water in a spray bottle and spray around your house, where you see spiders, or on the spiders themselves.

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