Are Grass Spiders Poisonous? How to get rid of Lawn Spiders

Spiders are helpful in controlling insect pests in a yard. They commonly feed on roaches, earwigs, grasshoppers, mosquitoes and flies among others. They create a web to trap their prey or hunt and capture it. So, are grass spiders poisonous?

No, grass spiders are not poisonous but venomous. Almost all spiders use venom to immobilize their prey and sometimes use it as a defense mechanism when threatened by humans or other animals.

Grass spiders are popular in homes and as the name suggest, they lives in tall grasses, shrubs and bushes. Many people are concerned if grass spiders are poisonous, how they look like and how to get rid of them. We have all answers to that, keep reading.

Are grass spiders poisonous?

There are many types of spiders you will find in your home, grass spider being one of them. Spiders are not poisonous but they are venomous. They produce a toxic substance which they inject into a prey or aggressors to immobilize it. However, a few can bite and penetrate the human skin to deliver the poisonous venom.

Grass spiders are shy and it is uncommon to find them attacking human beings. A spider can bite you only as a defense mechanism. Highly venomous spiders, such as black widows and brown recluses, generally live in undisturbed areas, such as attics or sheds, and don’t bite unless agitated.

Apart from grass spiders, other spiders you will find in your lawn include Wolf spider and Hobo Spider. These three types of spiders have some similarities and it is easy to confuse one for the other. To better understand the spiders in your lawn, look at their description below.

Lawn Spiders Identification

The following are major types of grass spiders

Grass Spider

The American grass spiders are brown with dark parallel lines running from cephalothorax to abdomen. Their length vary from 10-20 millimeters, with male being smaller in size. They live in grass and groundcovers or in shrubs.

Grass spiders are perfect funnel-web weavers. The sheet like web with a funnel located off to one side is usually not sticky and they make up for that by running very fast.

During autumn, these spiders enter many homes as they seek for warmth and protection from declining temperatures.

Although shy, these spiders can bite when threatened and human victims have reported pain, swelling, redness, and itching which can last up to a week. There are no serious medical cases reported from the grass spider bite and venom.

Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders do not spin webs but use small holes and burrows as a shelter and hiding place waiting to pounce on their prey.

Unlike most spiders, these agile hunters have an excellent night vision which makes them good at hunting in dark. They can easily be detected at night due to their eyeshine.

Wolf spiders are usually dark brown or tan, with dark or grey markings. Their coloring is effective camouflage, which help them to easily catch their prey and keep safe from predators. Their size range from 0.24 to 1.2 inches with males being smaller than females.

According to the Pennsylvania State University Entomology Department, wolf spiders will bite when provoked but their venom is not very dangerous to humans. A Human victim may exhibit some pain, redness or swelling that subside within 24 hours. No serious medical cases have ever been reported.

Hobo Spider

Hobo spiders are common in areas with holes, cracks and crevices where they build funnel webs. Hobo spider is light brown with pale markings, with body length ranging from 7–14 mm.

Unlike most agelenids, this spider does not have colored bands or the two distinct parallel dark stripes on the top side of the cephalothorax.

According to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, There is no distinctive proof that Hobo spiders are potentially toxic to humans.

The symptoms of the bite have been confused with that of venomous brown recluse spider or for some medical conditions. However, taking a precaution is important as the spider will bite to defend itself against aggressors.

Grass spider bite – what to do

Although venomous, grass spider bite doesn’t really need a special attention in humans. In the event that you became a victim of the bite, wash the affected area with soap and water then apply a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling.

Kids can become a soft target for spider bites and symptoms may be a little more severe and urgent medical attention should be provided.

How to Get Rid of Spiders in your Lawn

Spiders in your lawn can be very helpful in management of insect pests. However, when they start infringing your privacy or become a threat to your family, then getting rid of them is an option.

Some home owners also find spiders webs all over the yard to be an eye sore. Sometimes the webs trap debris and dust which can make your home to appear unkempt. There are various ways you can use to eliminate spiders in your lawn including the following:

1. Mow your lawn and trim vegetation

Spiders love tall grasses and shrubs where they can anchor their web and also hide. To discourage spider activity in your lawn, embark on healthy lawn mowing practices.

Cut the grass short and trim other vegetation in your yard including bushes and shrubs. Mowing your lawn also discourages other lawn insects and pests that spiders prey on.

2. Remove the spider webs

Spider webs acts as traps for prey and removing them discourages the spider in your lawn. Clean your yard, remove all debris such as bricks and stones and tear up those webs. You may need to be cautious while doing this. Wear long sleeved shirt, or a working overall and boots to avoid any contact with a spider.

3. Cleanup all food and beverage remains

Food remains usually attract other insects such as ants, flies and roaches. Spider like such areas where they can easily pounce on their prey. Clean all dishes after meals, remove any food remains and debris on the ground and keep away any remains of pet food.

4. Apply a pesticide

A chemical insecticide for lawns can be effective in killing spiders and other insects in the grass that also serve as food to the arachnids. When using an insecticide, read and follow safety protocols to protect kids and pets.

Since pesticide control can also harm other useful insects in your garden including pollinators, only use it when it is really necessary.

5. Invite pest control professionals

You can call certified pest control professionals to visit your home. They will assess the situation and come up with the best safe strategy of controlling spiders in your lawn. They have the skills and equipment for dealing with pests. This can be at a fee and you will like the excellent results.

Final Thought

Spiders are import part of the eco-system and helpful in controlling the population of pesky insects. Since they use venom to immobilize their prey, they can also bite you when they feel provoked. A large number of spiders in a home can become a threat and thus necessary to get rid of them in safe way without affecting other important insects.

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