Cobwebs in the Corner: How Cellar Spiders Are Good & Bad In Homes

Cellar spider in Tennessee home - Russell's Pest Control can help eliminate.

What Should You Do About Cellar Spiders in Your House?

Have you ever wondered how so many flimsy, dusty, infuriating spider webs seem to magically appear in your house? The most likely culprit is a creature called the cellar spider (also known as the cobweb spider). You may not enjoy seeing the cobwebs around, but the good news is that there are some benefits of having cellar spiders in your house. In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of having cellar spiders in your home, so you can make an informed decision about what to do about them.

What are the Benefits of Having Cellar Spiders in Your Home?

  • Natural pest control: Cellar spiders are harmless to humans, but they’re not harmless to other pests in your house. Cellar spiders eat gnats, flies, moths, even mosquitoes and other spiders. They can play a major role in keeping pest populations in line.
  • Signal of a healthy ecosystem: Cellar spiders do well when there’s a balance between prey and competition. If you have cellar spiders in house, it’s a good indication that the ecosystem in your home is healthy and sustainable.
  • Low maintenance: Cellar spiders can infest in large numbers, but it’s rare. Most of the time, cellar spiders do their own population control, meaning you’ll only ever have a few — not an infestation. Additionally, they don’t infest food or bite humans, so they’re unlikely to ever cause any secondary issues. If you have cellar spiders, you can generally ignore them.

What are the Drawbacks of Having Cellar Spiders in Your Home?

  • Unsightly Webs: Cellar spiders build messy webs in corners and undisturbed areas. While these webs can trap pests, they can also be considered unsightly and may require regular cleaning to maintain a tidy appearance. Over time, abandoned cellar spider webs can also gather dust, debris, and insect carcasses, creating a less appealing environment within the home.
  • Perceived Threat: Despite being harmless to humans, the presence of cellar spiders can still cause discomfort or fear for some individuals. Their long, delicate legs and webs may trigger arachnophobia, leading to anxiety or unease in certain people.
  • Allergies and Asthma: While cellar spiders themselves are not known to trigger allergies or asthma, if their webs collect dust and other allergenic particles, they can trigger negative reactions. This could potentially exacerbate respiratory issues for sensitive individuals.

What Are Cellar Spiders?

Cellar spiders are hard to spot if you’re not paying attention. Here’s what to look for:

  1. They are often fairly pale in color and are unusually thin when compared to most spiders.
  2. They are equipped with incredibly long legs; in fact, they are sometimes mistaken for harvestmen (sometimes called “daddy longlegs”), though the two species are quite distinct.
  3. If you do happen to spot a cellar spider, you’re most likely to see it hanging upside down from its web. Should you disturb it, it may begin to shake its web violently to try to scare you away.
  4. They are physically unable to bite humans or pets because their jaws are too small; they can’t hurt you. 

Are Cellar Spiders Good?

Cellar spiders are one of the least worrisome pests to have around, but it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide if they’re “good.” If you’re not afraid of them, don’t have allergies or asthma, and sighting a few webs doesn’t bother you, yes, you can consider their presence a good thing.

Should You Kill Cellar Spiders?

If you do have a cellar spider or two, you may want to think twice about whether it’s worth your time to hunt them down and kill them, particularly if they’re in your garage or around the outside of your house. These spindly arachnids are excellent trappers and will rid your home of many six-legged invaders that you may not even see. In fact, the presence of a lot of cellar spiders is just an indicator that there are bugs nearby since hunters only set up housekeeping where food is plentiful. Against all odds, cellar spiders are also known to catch and consume black widows, which can make them very beneficial inhabitants in your garage. If you want to try to eliminate the cobweb makers, start by knocking down the webs every time you see them, and be persistent. 

Need Help With Cellar Spider Control?

If you are at your wit’s end dealing with cellar spiders, it’s time to reach out to an expert. At Russell’s Pest Control, our spider exterminators are happy to answer any questions you may have about cellar spiders in your Knoxville home or business. Call us today to get started.