The Cellar Spider
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.
HOW TO IDENTIFY CELLAR SPIDERS
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:
- Long-bodied cellar spiders – have 5/16 inch long body and their legs reach up to 2 inches
- 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.