You wake up one dewy morning to your lawn covered in spider webs, and you may wonder who decorated for Halloween? It could be one of two culprits: Actual spiders or dollar spot. But which one is it? Luckily, there are easy ways to tell which decorator decided to give your lawn a spooky look. To help, we’ll break down the difference between the webs.

Grass spider web

Grass Spiders

Webs caused by grass spiders are easy to identify because the spider will still be there! Grass spiders rarely leave their webs and like to hide in the funnel shelter part of their sheet-like web. They like to eat pesky insects that feed on turfgrass and prefer to run and hide instead of confronting humans.

Removing grass spiders just requires some lawn clean-up. Clear away the webs and make sure the lawn is mowed frequently. Also, get rid of anything that will attract insects like brush piles, food crumbs from outdoor eating, and pet food left outside.

The branching mycelium of dollar spot

Dollar Spot

Dollar spot is a fungus caused by organisms that are always present in the lawn but infect when the right conditions prevail. The branching mycelium of the fungus can have the appearance of a sheet-like spider web across the grass.

Two key signs of dollar spot mycelium are the web-like sheet will disappear once the morning dew dries, and it will not have the funnel-shaped hiding spot. There will also be the tell-tale brown patches that dollar spot causes in the lawn.

To prevent dollar spot from developing, make sure you are following the proper mowing and watering practices found here, apply preventative fungicide applications, and don’t forget to aerate once a year, so fertilizer and water can get into the root system easier.