spider web

Cellar Spider Control: Protect Your Home

Appearance

What Do Cellar Spiders Look Like?
Size: Cellar spiders can grow anywhere from 1/4 to 5/16 of an inch long. Factoring in their long legs adds approximately 2 inches in length.

Color: Most cellar spiders appear tan or gray in color.

Characteristics: Sexual dimorphism is common in cellar spiders, as females tend to be larger than males. They have six to eight eyes, short fangs, and the typical eight legs. The front two legs are called palps and are used for grasping prey. Cellar spiders are recognizable for their wide, cylindrical carapace, which is up to three times as long as it is wide.

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Facts

  • Mistaken Identity: Often confused with daddy long-legs, cellar spiders are nuisance arachnids found in homes.
  • Name: They are named for where they are commonly found and aren’t known to bite. In fact, cellar spiders can actually be quite beneficial.
  • Species: Approximately 20 species exist throughout the United States, and they are considered nuisances due mostly to the large amount of webbing they produce.

Food

What Do Cellar Spiders Eat?
These arachnids feed on a number of pest insects, including:

Interestingly enough, cellar spiders raid the webs of other spiders when searching for food. They eat both the captured prey and the other spiders themselves.

Biology

Lifespan
Cellar spiders live up to two years and are solitary creatures except when mating.

Eggs
Females lay clusters of anywhere from 25 to 60 eggs at a time. Wrapped in a fine layer of silk, the eggs are carried in the mother’s mouth until they hatch.

Life Cycle
Spiderlings emerge after two months and spend a short period of time living on their mother’s back. Development from egg to adult takes about one year.

Detection

  • Webbing: Look for expansive areas of webbing.
  • Clusters: May notice adults in dark, damp places, including cellars, garages, warehouses, and basements.
  • Hanging: Be alert for cellar spiders hanging abdomen up in their webs.

Problems Caused by Cellar Spiders

  • Webs: Cellar spiders do not take down old webs and instead expand on original webbing to make traps larger. Such behavior leads an overabundance of webbing where the arachnids thrive.
  • Nuisances: Though cellar spiders are not known to bite, they still cause fear and can make homeowners feel anxious and paranoid.

Signs of Infestation

  • Cobwebs: The most common sign of infestation is the presence of cobwebs. Areas like basements, garages, and crawlspaces are at most risk of cellar spider activity and usually sport an excess of webbing as they provide high levels of humidity and the darkness these pests need to survive.
  • Eggs: While they are solitary creatures, cellar spiders can lay up to 60 eggs at a time and populate homes quickly.

Prevention Tips

Cleanliness
General sanitation and cleanliness helps minimize cellar spider presence.

By cleaning up animal and plant matter and sealing off potential entry points to the home, homeowners can reduce the possibility of attracting cellar spiders to the area.

Humidity
Additionally, running dehumidifiers in spaces that most attract the pest can effectively deter infestations.

Tips for Removal from Home

Vacuum
Vacuuming spider webs and spiders when found can greatly reduce the population of cellar spiders.

Since female spiders carry egg sacs in their mouths, sweeping up and disposing of all spiders can exterminate future generations, as well.

Call the Professionals
For large infestations, contact trained pest specialists to efficiently eliminate cellar spiders.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857