Last updated on February 1st, 2023 at 10:03 am
What are the spiders with long legs we see in our homes? Most of the time it is either Daddy Long Legs or Cellar Spiders. Keep reading to learn more…
In Europe and North America, the spiders with long legs that live in our homes are almost always Cellar Spiders. Sometimes, it can also be Harvestmen, which most people call Daddy Long Legs. Though sometimes people misname Cellar Spiders as Daddy Long Legs, they are very different, as Harvestmen are not spiders.
Spiders that look like daddy long legs but aren’t
If you have ever seen a spider that looked like a Daddy Long Legs, it was probably a Cellar Spider. These spiders are not Daddy Long Legs, but a type of true spider in the Araneomorphae infraorder. What they have in common is their long, spindly legs – hence the confusion. Daddy Long Legs are very different…
In fact, they are not spiders at all. Although they are long-legged, they are actually a type of harvestman. Daddy longlegs have long legs and two eyes, but some species do not have them. Their oval bodies are so long that they look like a single piece.
Their legs are nearly 30 times longer than their bodies, looking incredibly thin and weak. Their long legs are not only important for movement, but they also help the spider to detect vibrations, which can alert predators to approaching prey.
Cellar Spider vs Daddy Long Legs
Despite their similarity, the daddy long legs and cellar spider are distinctly different in appearance. While both have similar markings and colors, the Daddy Long Legs are harvestmen, so do not produce silk or spin webs.
Moreover, unlike their doppelganger Cellar Spiders, they do not produce venom. The Harvestman spider spends its days in gardens and under logs.
Cellar spiders usually hang from their webs, hanging belly-side up. You can find them in garages, sheds, and basements. Their webs often hang in the corners of ceilings.
Cellar spiders are not dangerous but do carry eggs in their fangs. While Cellar spiders are cannibalistic, harvestmen have a tendency to spend time with each other and share food.
Are cellar spiders poisonous?
Despite their creepy name, cellar spiders are not venomous to humans. Their erratic webs are a result of their silk-throwing abilities, and they may even make great housemates – if you want some free pest control.
Although they are terrifying to other arthropods, cellar spiders are not harmful to humans. They live in dark, protected spaces and often prey on other spiders.
The best way to tell whether you’re dealing with a poisonous or nonpoisonous specimen is to examine the spider closely. You can identify this species by its long body, a distinctive “face” structure, markings on its carapace, and eye groupings. In addition, be aware of harvestmen, which are similar to cellar spiders but do not have venom glands.
What do cellar spiders eat?
These spiders are known to feed on a variety of insects. Their diet is varied and includes small arthropods, such as crane flies and wolf spiders.
Despite being a common pest in our homes, many people are tolerant of these creatures, which use their webs to frighten off potential predators. The spiders also have an ominous look – their long legs and small bodies give them the name “daddy long legs.”
The typical size of a cellar spider is around two inches, which includes their legs. The body is cylindrical in shape, with the legs increasing the length of the spider by up to six times.
The colour of a cellar spider is tan to brown, and it has a slighter darker marking on the center of its back. This spider is nocturnal, so they are active at night and in the early morning. However, if you notice one crawling across your kitchen counter, you should not be alarmed.
Cellar Spiders eat a variety of prey, including:
- other spiders
- crane flies
- house centipedes
- any other insects available
How to get rid of cellar spiders
Getting rid of cellar spiders can be done naturally. You can use glue traps to capture spiders, squish them, and release them outdoors. Obvously, this website would prefer that you remove them without harming them!
Make sure that the area has plenty of ventilation. You can also place garlic and peppermint oil in a spray that you can spray around the area. Although it may not be pleasant to have in your house, you can be sure that your home will not be infested with spiders.
Probably the easiest way to get rid of these pests is to use garlic and vinegar. These two ingredients kill spiders. You can use garlic every week to keep them from coming back. These remedies are effective for controlling the infestation of cellar spiders.
You can also keep them away by using vinegar or garlic powder on a regular basis. A couple drops of each are effective. And remember that garlic has strong repellent properties, so you can use them whenever you find them.
Cellar Spider FAQ
Are cellar spiders harmful?
Unlike many other species of spiders, cellar spiders are not dangerous to humans. Their venom is weak, and any bite is extremely minor. If you accidentally poke a cellar spider, you will likely see it swing its abdomen around.
This is a defensive strategy that helps cellar spiders survive attacks by birds, bats or other larger animals. While the spider may appear aggressive, it’s actually not a threat.
The longbodied cellar spider (Pholcus phalangioides) is the most common type found in most areas. To distinguish it from other species, examine the spider’s “face” structure and carapace markings. Look for eye groupings and the presence of palps.
Also, do not confuse this species with harvestmen, which are in the order Opiliones. These spiders do not have venom glands. They may look similar, but are not the same.
Why do I keep seeing cellar spiders?
Often mistaken for harvestmen, these tiny crawlers are often found in dark, damp areas. While they don’t bite humans and don’t inject venom, they are considered nuisance pests by some.
They have small, oval-shaped bodies and eight long, thin legs. If you see one in your home, do not panic. If you see one and are genuinely concerned, contact your local pest control service.
Firstly, cellar spiders are harmless and do not pose a danger to humans. This is because they live in dark, quiet places and are not attracted to human presence.
While they are not dangerous, arachnophobics may want to get rid of them. Fortunately, their presence can help prevent other insects from moving in your home. If you notice loose, haphazard webbing around your home, it is most likely a cellar spider.
Do cellar spiders eat brown recluses?
While cobweb spiders are often considered a nuisance, cellar spiders are actually beneficial in their own right. They feed on other pests, including brown recluses and other highly venomous species.
Cellar Spiders have a distinct advantage over other spiders, and that is their web. They hang upside down in it and pounce on prey from above. This and their long legs allow them to wrap physically stockier and strong spiders like the recluse in web, before biting them.