SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –– Following some nice fall rains, many homeowners have discovered beautiful webs among the grass blades of their lawn in the morning.
The phenomenon typically happens in lawns with cool season grass and lots of shade according to Kelly McGowan, Field Specialist in Horticulture with University of Missouri Extension.
Funnel spiders, also known as Grass Spiders, (Family Agelenidae) are small to medium sized spiders that spin sheet webs of nonsticky silk with a characteristic funnel extending to one side.
“There is actually a web spun above the funnel, which is where the spider hides while waiting prey. These webs are nearly invisible unless covered with dewdrops on a cool morning,” said McGowan.
Grass Spiders can move very quickly over the surface, and (especially when the web is dry) it looks like the spider is walking on air.
“Grass spiders are beneficial predators, eating a variety of insects in the lawn. They very rarely leave their webs, so they won’t usually enter homes,” said McGowan.
These spiders are not considered dangerous. There is no need to treat for these spiders.
“As a matter of fact, if you do try to eradicate them, you will probably see a great influx of pests in your garden,” said McGowan.
According to legend, when there is dew on Grass Spider webs in the morning, it will be a beautiful day.
For more information, contact one of MU Extension’s field specialists in horticulture serving southwest Missouri: Patrick Byers in Webster County at (417) 859-2044, Kelly McGowan in Greene County at (417) 881-8909 or Robert Balek in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158. Or, call the gardening hotline operated by the Master Gardeners of Greene County at 417-874-2963.