Q: I have lots of junipers on a slope in my back yard. There are at least 200 of these funnel shaped webs in the shrubs and scattered about the lawn.
I’ve tentatively identified them as Funnel Spiders. Should I try to get rid of them or just let them be?
A: Let them be. Spiders like this are harmless to plants and animals but they are deadly to pest insects like spider mites.
The reason you see so many is that a nearby spider egg case opened recently and released dozens of tiny spiders. Their first order of business was to construct a web as quickly as possible to catch their first meal.
Some will get lucky and thrive, others will fall prey to birds and small mammals. Eventually only a few will survive, catching juniper pests and carrying on the species.