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Cellar Spiders

Class: arachnids
Color:
yellow, tan or light gray
Size:
1/4 to 3/8 inches
Legs:
8 long, skinny legs
Eyes:
8
Diet:
small insects, other spiders
Interesting Fact: 
There is also another insect called daddy-longlegs that is not a spider.

Cellar Spiders a.k.a Daddy-Longlegs

Have you ever reached into a shelf in your basement and encountered a sticky web or, even worse, felt something crawling up your hand? You may have cellar spiders, often referred to as daddy-longlegs. There are about 20 different species of cellar spiders found in the U.S., but they share some common physical characteristics:

  • A two-part body, with an elongated abdomen. (They are sometimes known as long-bodied cellar spiders)
  • Length anywhere from ¼ to 3/8 inches, with females slightly larger than males.
  • Very long legs compared to the body size
  • Pale yellow, light gray or tan in color
  • Eight legs and eight eyes

You may occasionally catch a glimpse of cellar spiders but they usually hide in dark, humid places like basements and cellars, around upper parts of windows and doors. These spiders don’t clean their webs like some other spiders: so many can be built in a short time, leaving a mess of cobwebs.

Cellar spiders live about two years. The females lay several dozen eggs at a time and wrap them in webbing to protect them.

Danger lurking in the dark?

You may have heard that the bites of daddy-longlegs are extremely dangerous, but the truth is they don’t have much venom. If they do bite you, you’re likely to get a short burning sensation and a small red mark. People who are allergic to spider bites may have a more severe reaction, but no fatal accidents have ever been reported.

Cellar spiders can be beneficial because they eat insects like roaches, mosquitoes and moths. They may even reduce the population of other spiders, like black widows. But no one likes living with cobwebs, so if you want to discourage these long-legged, long-bodied intruders here’s what you can do:

  • Take out the spiders, their webs and their egg sacs with a broom or a vacuum.
  • Dry out wet, humid areas with a dehumidifier.
  • Change out white lights on the outside of your house to yellow lights, which are less attractive to all types of insects.
  • Seal up any cracks in the foundation and remove woodpiles and other debris from around your home.

You don’t have to do it on your own

If you’re one of the many people who can’t stand spiders, don’t worry. The Brody Brothers will help you get these long-legged pests out of your dark corners—just give us a call at 443-379-8857 and we’ll be glad to come to your rescue.

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