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Funnel Web Spider

Summary: The common Funnel Web spiders derives its name from the unique webs it spins. The Funnel Web spider kills garden pests, but the bite of this common spider is harmless to humans.

Funnel Web spiders derive their name from the unique webs they create. At first glance, their webs look ordinary, but in the middle or on the side of the webs, there is a funnel spun out of the web silk. The spiders hide in this funnel to wait for flies, insects, or even other funnel web spiders to land in their webs. Immediately after their prey lands, they scurry out to bite it. Their bite contains venom, which numbs their prey instantly. Then, the spiders bring their prey back down into the funnel to hide from predators while enjoying a delicious lunch.


Funnel Web spiders can grow up to one inch in length, with females growing slightly larger than males. (This measurement does not include leg length.) They are typically brown and gray and have eight eyes and eight legs. They are very quick-moving spiders and only create one web during their lifetime.

These spiders will create their webs in grass, bushes, wooded areas, gardens, small burrows, corners of buildings, under rocks, and in dark areas inside homes. One species is nicknamed “grass spiders” because they can be seen in lawns among the morning dew. Funnel web spiders fear the light and are most active at night. Most Funnel Web spiders die by wintertime.

Female Funnel Web spiders play “hard to get” and wait while males come in search of them to mate. While they are waiting, they build their webs and eat insects. After mating, males usually die and females lay the eggs. Female Funnel Web spiders die shortly after laying eggs.

If a Funnel Web spider bites you while you are working in your yard, do not get too worried. You will only feel a sharp prick from its bite. Its venom is relatively harmless to humans. However, there are a couple species of Funnel Web spiders with very toxic venom, but these are found only in Australia. If you see funnel web spiders in your yard, keep in mind that they are beneficial because they eat insects that can become pests.

Web of Funnel Web spider

If funnel web spiders invade your home, here are some tips to help eliminate them.

Vacuum regularly, including underneath beds and other furniture.
If there are holes in the screens of your doors or windows, replace them immediately. Even a small rip is enough for funnel web spiders to crawl in.

Never put firewood against the siding of your house. It is an invitation for funnel web spiders and other pests to find a way in! Keep firewood as far from your house as possible. Also, elevate it off the ground for extra precaution.

Cut down any branches or limbs of trees that are touching your home.

Seal any holes or crevices in the foundation or doors of your home.

If there are many spider webs along the siding of your house, hosing them down with a power washer will help eliminate them.

Change the light bulbs of your porch or patio to yellow or sodium vapor lights.

Dust and sweep the floors in your home regularly.

Use plastic tubs or containers for storage. Spiders seem to be attracted to cardboard boxes.

Use a leaf blower to eliminate dust from your garage or shed.

Spray an insecticide containing pyrethins in the places where you have found spiders. Also, spray the insecticide in corners in your basement and garage.

Put a few drops of chestnut oil on some cotton balls. Set them on windowsills and other places where spiders could easily get into your home. Spiders are repelled by the smell of chestnuts, so they should avoid coming inside.

Block up the drains to your sinks and bathtubs at night. Spiders can crawl in from there.

Set off a total release aerosol insecticide “ fogger” in your basement. This treatment will help deter many different types of pests. Make sure you are out of your home for at least 3 hours to allow the house to properly ventilate before you return.

Ask Rick A Question


05 Dec 2010, 18:53
how many eggs do funnel web spiders in their lifetime?
Ask the Exterminator
06 Dec 2010, 10:35
80 to 200 eggs per year. Most species only live a year or two.
04 Jun 2011, 19:38
i found this exact spiderthe funnel web spider) on the inside of my pool. is this normal? my husband knocked it into the water and it didnt swim on water so i assumed it isnt a fishing spider. how do i get rid of them ?
Ask the Exterminator
05 Jun 2011, 08:42
Funnel web spiders often fall into pools. Eventually they drown, but they can survive for hours under water.

If your pool or surrounding area has night lights, turn them off. The lights attract insects and insects attract spiders.
24 Aug 2011, 09:27
After the f/w's mate the male will try n get away if she lets him, but if he's not quick enought..he's just a nother meal.If he gets away he will die anyway.The female does not die after she lays eggs,they can live for 20 years or more.There fully growing when there 7 years that's alot of mother hood for the female's if they live over 7 years......
07 Nov 2011, 05:43
do male funel web spriders attract other males or feemales
27 Dec 2011, 15:39
i cant imagine how people could live knowing that there are funnel webs near the house or in the pool. what do you do in case when it bites? if bitten a person is likely to die within 20-50 minutes. will there be enough time for the ambulance to get to the place?
22 May 2012, 18:37
How do I get rid of Funnel Web Spiders in my garden without affecting my vegetables?
Ask the Exterminator
24 May 2012, 13:46
There are non-toxic soaps that you can apply to vegetables without harm. Buy them in a garden shop.
07 Feb 2013, 13:06
if the spider escapes, he won't die. Studies show that male spiders want to escape being eaten, but females don't allow because of the bigger size.
17 Mar 2013, 15:15
I have found a male mouse spider: identified by the LARGE!!! hard fangs, red head, size, etc. I understand the precautions to this arachnid and also they are Very poisonous, that's fine! How do I get rid of them from my basement. Normally I would just clean up spray and bomb it I suppose. This is winter, I can not open windows in the home, I also have a 2 year old and 2 dogs in the house. While the dogs I do not worry too much about, they are okay. My son is kind of a worry. I worry about the presence of these creatures causing harm/death/pain and sadness. I would be strickend with life long guilt as not to have prevented it if something happened. Now that I know there was one. So, I have found a male, and it was down there. I am going to search for more and see what I can find. Will there be many more? I assume that there was once a male and female, however I have read that these can live 7+ years and that they are not mature until approx 4 years of age. YEAH! Help me out to figure out my exposure (how many are possible) and how to eliminate them. Also the best option on prevention. Thank you
I am also in WI
17 Mar 2013, 15:24
I have just found another one. almost same location in the basement. so that answers the more than 1 question. Help me out with some information. Thank you
13 Mar 2015, 19:08
I have pictures of a spider that I need to identify. can I send them to you? I lost 3 dogs in 3 months and vet thinks it might be some toxin. Every so often a spider gets in the house. This time I took pictures instead of just killing. It looks like some grass spider pics and some wolf spider pics but I am not sure. I don't know if either are poisonous to 12 pound dogs. THANK YOU.
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