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Spiders in My Backyard: Black Widows and Funnel Web Grass Spiders

Updated on August 7, 2012

Black Widow Spider

Funnel Web Grass spider

Black Widow Spider in a Jar

There are Spiders in My Backyard

As a resident of Northern Alabama, you may not consider the spiders being a threat to human life. But in the past month, we have had far too many "close calls" with deadly spiders.

There are a lot of spiders in my backyard, but the two most identifiable are the Black Widow spiders and the Funnel Web Grass spiders.

There is a big difference between the two.

The most obvious and well-known reason is this: Black Widow spider bites can be lethal, and a bite from a Funnel Web Grass spider would not phase a human.

We have captured two Black Widow spiders and three empty egg sacs in a jar.

The first Black Widow we discovered in an empty birdhouse sitting in a backyard tree. I looked up one day and saw a huge Black Widow moving around inside. I was shocked, because I hadn't seen a Black Widow in Alabama since moving here from North Carolina.

In North Carolina, I had opened a water main lid, and there was a Black Widow inside, hiding in the darkness. Similarly, the first Black Widow I found in my yard was in a dark birdhouse. But the second one I found (Aug. 2) was out in the open, at the bottom of a fence post, which I found surprising. I saw it moving and found it odd that it was not in a dark place, but somewhat out in the open.

Finding two Black Widow spiders in our backyard in a relatively short period of time has opened my eyes to the fact that these spiders are probably more common than most people would like to acknowledge. These spiders like dark places to lay egg sacs, but will make a home in places that are somewhat secluded, yet out in the open as I just found out.

Dewdrops Glistening on Grass

Night-time Spider Discovery

Last night I went outside with a LED headlamp on my head, to turn off the water on the garden.

I saw something very fascinating. There were thousands of sparkling balls in the grass. Most of the sparkling was from light reflecting off of the dewdrops. The other sparkling was shining off of the eyes of the Funnel Web Grass spiders. Yes, they were watching me. And as I moved closer to the water spout, they appeared to be moving on top of the grass effortlessly.

I thought this was so cool that I made such a discovery when going outside, and I would've never seen this if I hadn't put on my LED headlamp.

Cat Eating Spider

A Spider a Day...Keeps the Veterinarian Away

It seems that spiders are all around, yet some people seem to have a fear of them.

My indoor cat prefers to eat them. That is no joke.

But I don't let him eat on the Black Widow spiders. They don't play nice.

Now I don't mind if the spiders stay outside of our house. That's where they belong. But when they come inside, I cannot guarantee safe passage through our kitchen. Our cats will eat you!

You hear that spiders?

Warning to any spiders reading this: If you come into our house and you will not be leaving.


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