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This web is in the corner of our house.

funnel-like web

I see that there is funnel-web spider that lives in Arizona, but not any in Kentucky that look like this.

funnel-like web

Is this the harmless North American version, or one done by the venomous Australian variety? How can I tell (short of finding the spider)?

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I'm not sure that this is on-topic for DIY. Firstly spiders aren't really pests, this one is outside. –  ChrisF Aug 2 '11 at 22:22
    
@ChrisF - if it's not on-topic, I'll be happy to move/reask elsewhere : this just seemed the most logical, especially with the other questions I found hereon :) –  warren Aug 2 '11 at 23:28
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here's what I found from the Univ of Kentucky';s Ag school site: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/spiders/funnel/funnel.htm

Funnel weavers and grass spiders build funnel-shaped webs close to the ground. The spider hides in the narrow end of this funnel, which is usually protected by leaves or rocks. When an insect, spider, or other small creature crosses the wide end of the funnel, the spider feels the vibration and rushes out to grab the prey. Funnel weaver and grass spiders are incredibly quick, and can dash from the protected part of their web to the other end at lightning speed. These spiders are common in many Kentucky habitats, including lawns and on the forest floor.

Funnel weaver and grass spiders are beneficial predators. They very rarely leave their webs, so they don't often enter homes. They will only bite if provoked, and are not considered dangerous.

Grass Spiders are very common in Kentucky. We have several species, but they are all virtually identical in appearance and behavior.

A grass spider

Seems to fit your description.

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I saw that link, too (thanks for the further reading) ... but the webs look different to me :-\ –  warren Aug 2 '11 at 22:09
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I dunno about these funnelwebs, but orb-weavers like the European Garden Spider eat and then re-spin their webs every day. Spiders are also pretty good architects, building their webs with variations in structure depending on the needs of the location. Given those two, I'd expect quite a wide variety of webs. Horses, not zebras: if it weaves a funnel web and it's in Kentucky, it's likely to be a grass spider or American Funnelweb, and very UNlikely to be an Australian Funnelweb (no matter how hot and dry it's gotten across the lower Midwest and South). –  KeithS Aug 2 '11 at 22:16
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I concur with the above assessment that it looks like a grass spider (funnel weaver) web. We have a LOT of these around our home (and in our basement) here in Colorado, and I've read that they are very commonly found throughout all of the lower 48 states. I was pretty disturbed by them when we moved in, and have researched them extensively. Although I desperately want to eradicate them from within our home, I won't mess with them outside too much, as I agree with the above answer that they prey on pests. But, as this one is directly against the house, I'd recommend just using the water hose, spraying a strong jet at the web to wash it off. Then repeat as often as they rebuild. They WILL eventually stop building in that location. It doesn't kill them, just encourages them to relocate: win-win! Oh, and keep the debris cleared away from your foundation as much as possible, to discourage as well. :)

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