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Have Spider Webs Taken Over the City's Lawns? No, It's Snow Mold

By Patty Wetli | March 19, 2015 5:38am

LINCOLN SQUARE — Were Chicago's lawns attacked by an invading horde of spiders over the winter?

After the recent snow melt, folks got their first glimpse of grass — under all the litter and dog poo — and what they saw was creepy.

Patches of white lacy webs that could only mean one thing — our yards have been overrun by hibernating arachnids.

Crazy, you say. Well look at what happened in Australia as spiders fled torrential floods in 2012.

Spiders escaping flood waters in Australia fled to the countryside, where they spun sheets of webs across the fields. Shutterstock

Relax — nothing so dramatic is going on in Chicago.

Those spots on your lawn are actually snow mold, a type of fungus. The mold doesn't develop every year, but conditions this winter were ideal for the fungal phenomenon.

The blanketing we received on Super Bowl Sunday provided the deep snow cover on unfrozen ground needed for the mold to prosper. The fact that the snow then stuck around for so long before melting, keeping lawns damp, was an added bonus.

Snow mold looks like spider webs, but it's just another reminder of this year's harsh winter. DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

The damage isn't serious, according to the University of Minnesota Extension.

To get rid of the fungus and help green up your lawn faster, the experts recommend gently raking the affected grass.

Snow mold most commonly crops up where snow was piled the deepest. DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

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