Have you noticed a lot of spider webs in yards and golf courses the past week? No it is not some leftover Halloween decorations, and you are not alone, we have had calls from all over Iowa asking about why their yards are or golf courses are covered in spider webs. We are experiencing a moderately common phenomenon called Spiderling hatch.
Spider webs cover yards in Iowa
Dr. Donald Lewis (Professor in Entomology) tells us this is a short lived phenomenon, when many baby spiders hatch due to the change to warm temperatures. Due to the time of year, and relatively dry weather conditions turgrass stands are not being mowed or disturbed, so the baby spiders are making all of those spider webs you see and not having anything disturb them.
This happens periodically in Iowa and here is a link from 2009 about another hatch. Typically it is not as widespread, but the weather conditions and timing allowed most of Iowa to experience this.
The spiders are harmless and nearly all will die of desiccatin or starvation as there is not enough food for that many spiders to survive this time of year. This will not last long, so don't worry if you are not a fan of having your turfgrass covered in spider webs.
Spider webs are covering Iowa lawns