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PEST LIBRARY / SPIDERS / CELLAR SPIDER

CELLAR SPIDER INFORMATION & FACTS

There are around 20 species of cellar spiders (Pholcus phalangioides) living in Canada and the U.S. The most well-known is the long-bodied cellar spider, also commonly known as ‘Daddy Longlegs’. This spider is most recognizable by its 8 very thin, long legs. Cellar spiders acquired their name from their favoured habitat - the cellar. They are considered pests because they regularly infest heated building like homes and warehouses. These web-building spiders feed on insects, especially ants and cannibalize other spiders.  Cellar Spiders do not consume their old webs like other spiders, rather they continuously add on to existing webs.

Cellar spider are tan, yellow or grey in colour. The abdomen has a cylindrical shape and is 3x larger in length than width. They are longer than most other spider species, ranging in length from 7 to 8 millimeters in length, excluding their legs. With their legs included, their total length can be up to 6 times longer. Amazingly enough, the forelegs of an adult female cellar spider can grow as long as 50 millimeters!

A single female cellar spider can produce up to 3 egg sacs in her lifetime. Each sac can produce up to 60 spiderlings. Cellar spiders hold their egg sacs in their mouthparts until the offspring hatches.  While mature adults live for approximately 2 years, it take almost one year for a spider to fully mature from egg to adult.

Typical of most spiders, cellar spiders do not bite humans or cause damage to buildings they inhabit.

CELLAR SPIDER PEST CONTROL & MANAGEMENT

Cellar spiders are a pest because the presence of their dust collecting webs in homes and buildings can sully the overall appearance.

Signs that you have a possible infestation include:

  • Spotting cellar spiders, both living and dead inside.
  • Discovering sloppy or haphazard webbing.
  • Spotting numerous adult cellar spiders in dark, unventilated areas around the building’s exterior.

To help prevent a cellar spider infestation:

  • Use a good quality calk to seal cracks and crevices in the exterior, focusing on doors, windows and entry points. This will help keep the spider, and the insects they feed on, from getting inside.
  • Change any outdoor lighting to yellow.
  • Use dehumidifiers to manage internal humidity levels, especially in lower levels.
  • Install proper ventilation in cellars and similar spaces.
  • Regularly inspect their common habitat areas for new web.
  • Remove any visible cellar spiders and webs with a vacuum cleaner. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum canister or bag outdoors in a sealable trash receptacle.

For large infestations do contact a licensed pest control company with experience in cellar spider infestation. They can help you get rid of a cellar spider infestation.

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