Cellar spiders, also known as daddy longlegs, are a common sight in many homes. These arachnids are known for their long, thin legs and small bodies. While they may look intimidating, cellar spiders are harmless to humans and actually help control other insect populations in your home. However, having too many of these spiders can be unsettling and may indicate a larger pest problem. In this article, we will discuss how to identify cellar spiders, understand their behavior, and most importantly, how to get rid of them.
Identifying Cellar Spiders
Cellar spiders can be easily identified by their delicate, long legs and small, oval-shaped bodies. They are usually light brown or gray in color and have a small cephalothorax (head and thorax) that is connected to their abdomen by a thin waist-like structure. These spiders are commonly found in dark and damp areas such as basements, cellars, crawl spaces, and garages. They tend to build irregular, tangled webs in corners or behind objects.
Understanding the Behavior of Cellar Spiders
Cellar spiders are nocturnal creatures and are most active during the night. They are attracted to areas with high humidity and low light conditions, which is why they are commonly found in basements and other dark areas of a house. These spiders are not aggressive and will usually retreat when disturbed. They feed on a variety of small insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and ants, making them beneficial to have around in moderate numbers.
Why You Should Get Rid of Cellar Spiders
While cellar spiders are generally harmless, having a large population of them in your home may indicate an underlying pest problem. These spiders are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of any available prey.
If you notice a significant increase in the number of cellar spiders, it could be a sign that there is an abundant food source for them, such as other insects. Additionally, some people may find the presence of these spiders unsettling or have a fear of spiders in general. Therefore, it is important to take measures to control their population and prevent future infestations.
Natural Methods to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders
If you prefer to use natural methods to get rid of cellar spiders, there are several techniques you can try. One effective method is to remove their food source by reducing the population of other insects in your home. This can be achieved by regularly cleaning and decluttering your living spaces, sealing cracks and openings where insects can enter, and using natural insect repellents such as essential oils. Another approach is to physically remove the spiders and their webs using a vacuum cleaner or a broom. Be sure to dispose of the captured spiders far away from your home to prevent them from returning.
Another natural method is to introduce natural predators of cellar spiders into your home. Certain species of spiders, like the house spider or the American house spider, are known to prey on cellar spiders. By creating a favorable habitat for these spiders, such as providing shelter and food sources, you can encourage them to inhabit your home and naturally control the population of cellar spiders. However, it is important to research and identify the species that are native to your area to avoid introducing invasive species that may cause harm.
Chemical Methods to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders
If natural methods are not effective in controlling the population of cellar spiders in your home, you may consider using chemical methods. There are several pesticides available in the market that are specifically formulated to target spiders.
These pesticides can be applied as a spray or dust in areas where cellar spiders are commonly found. It is important to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure safe and effective use of these products. Keep in mind that chemical methods should be used as a last resort and in accordance with local regulations.
Preventing Future Infestations of Cellar Spiders
Once you have successfully eliminated the existing population of cellar spiders, it is important to take preventive measures to avoid future infestations. Start by identifying and sealing any cracks or openings in your home’s foundation, walls, windows, and doors. This will prevent spiders and other insects from entering your living spaces.
Keep your home clean and clutter-free, as spiders are attracted to dark and undisturbed areas. Regularly vacuum and dust your home to remove any potential food sources for spiders. Additionally, consider installing screens on windows and doors to prevent spiders from entering your home.
Hiring Professional Pest Control Services
If you are dealing with a severe infestation of cellar spiders or if you are unable to control their population using natural or chemical methods, it may be necessary to hire professional pest control services. Pest control professionals have the expertise and tools to effectively eliminate spiders and other pests from your home.
They will assess the extent of the infestation, determine the best course of action, and implement appropriate treatment methods. Additionally, they can provide valuable advice on preventing future infestations and maintaining a pest-free home.
Common Myths about Cellar Spiders
There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding cellar spiders that often lead to unnecessary fear or ineffective methods of control. One common myth is that cellar spiders are venomous and dangerous to humans. In reality, these spiders are harmless and do not pose a threat to humans.
Another myth is that killing one cellar spider will attract more. While it is true that cellar spiders are territorial and may defend their webs against intruders, killing one spider will not lead to an influx of others. Lastly, some people believe that removing cellar spiders will result in an increase in the population of other insects. However, this is not the case as cellar spiders primarily feed on small insects and do not have a significant impact on other pest populations.
Cellar spiders, although harmless, can be a nuisance if their population gets out of control. By identifying these spiders, understanding their behavior, and implementing effective methods of control, you can successfully get rid of them. By debunking common myths, you can approach the issue of cellar spiders with confidence and effectively eliminate them from your living spaces.