August 30, 2010
One of the first things we noticed when we moved here were the large funnel spiders (grass spiders). As spiders go these are about the size of a quarter. Their webs are a thin whispy sheet with a characteristic funnel shape that the spider hides in. They were everywhere to the point that we resorted to spraying to knock down their numbers a bit. The risk to humans of being bit by a funnel spider is low since they are non-agressive according to the spider identification chart however they are venomous requiring emergency first aid treatment for the bite and medical attention for anti-venom. Given the design of our house and the proximity of vegetation to the lower patio there is a strong possibility of one of these spiders getting indoors.
That year we were able to knock down their numbers by removing a lot of the evergreen overgrowth. My husband also sprayed the house with SpiderBan. If you have been following this blog you will know that the only time I will resort to chemical pesticides is as a last resort. This is usually when a particular pest presents a danger to humans or damages building structure. Even then if the pest can be manually removed safely that is always the first choice. The last two years we haven't sprayed the house for spider control. This year the funnel spiders are again out of control. They are everywhere! There are several webs on the grass and the globe cedars and boxwoods look like they have some type of disease due to the number of the webs. This presents a huge problem with the grandbabies visiting especially since they love running barefoot outside.
I tried controling by sweeping away their webs that just reappeared the following morning. I've stomped on them and zapped them. Manual removal is impossible given how fast they move into their funnel. Once again we have no choice but to resort to chemical control to knock down their numbers again.