Cellar Spider

The Cellar Spider

Cellar Spider

Cellar Spider. By David Short from Windsor, UK – Cellar spider (NH266), CC BY 2.0

The Cellar Spider or Pholcidae is a widespread spider family having about 1500 spider species. Spiders in this family have common characteristics like thin long legs, small bodies, etc. Though these spiders aren’t dangerous for humans, their presence in homes is quite irritating.



Cellar spiders have small peanut-shaped bodies which are just 2–10 mm long and have long thin legs. They exist mostly in grey color but it varies from species to species. Few species also have tan or brown colored-bodies. Some cellar spider species possess six eyes, while most of them have eight eyes.

Depending on their body and legs’ size, Cellar Spiders can be classified into two types:

  1. Long-bodied cellar spiders – have 5/16 inch long body and their legs reach up to 2 inches
  2. Short-bodied spiders – have 1/16 inch long body with legs up to ½ inch long.


Their name defines their very nature, cellar spiders love to live in cellars, underground store, basements and warehouses. They build structure-less webs in dark and damp corners of the house. Unlike other spiders, they don’t eat away their old webs before spinning new ones, but keep on building new webs on the existing ones and spin extensive webs in short time. These spiders live close to each other, therefore their population multiplies rapidly.

Though these spiders are apparently benign and aren’t very aggressive, some species are known for invading webs of other spiders and eating their eggs and hosts.


Sighting loose, haphazard webs in corners, on ceilings or elsewhere clearly hints towards presence of cellar spiders. Adults can also be spotted in dark and damp corners of the house.


Bright white lights outside homes are great attraction for insects to invade, so as they attract cellar spiders. In addition to light, cracks in walls and gaps in doors and windows provide them easy passage to your house. They prefer dark and damp places; therefore they can be located in attics, basements, dark corners of kitchen, washroom, ceilings, etc.

Unhygienic conditions of homes attract several pests and insects, which in turn lure cellar spiders to invade your home and feast upon them.


Though the cellar spider isn’t toxic for humans, but they are annoying and their webs are an ugly addition to your wall hangings. Therefore control and eradicate these cellar spiders from your home with help of following measures.


Vacuum cleaners or brooms are efficient tools in your battle against spiders; get rid of webs, spiders and their egg sacs with their help and control them from establishing themselves in your home.

Limit food sources:

Obviously, abundant food sources inside your home entice them, so try to reduce it by, sealing cracks, improved sanitation and using insecticides. This will help in keeping insects away from your premises. Fewer insects mean fewer spiders.

Reduce humidity:

Dehumidify your home or business area and pay attention to proper ventilation of basements and crawlspaces.

Fill the gaps:

Try to fill the gaps and cracks in your windows, walls, and doors, because the Cellar spiders use such sneaky passages to enter your home.

Specialist products:

Several spider control products like “Web Out” are available in the market which are not only efficient in killing spiders but also keep their webs away. Moreover, glue traps positioned at the entry points will control their movement and restrict them from sneaking into your house.

In case of serious infestation, do contact professional pest control company before applying pesticides.

Cellar Spider Facts

  • They are also known as “vibrating spiders” because when they feel threatened or a predator touches their web, they incessantly start vibrating their webs to deter the danger.
  • Their webs aren’t sticky but preys entangle in them because of their irregular structure.
  • They aren’t harmful for humans because their weak mouth parts aren’t capable to bite them.
  • Usually long-bodied cellar spiders invade houses.
  • The female cellar spider carries the egg-sac in her jaws till the young ones hatch.