Cellar Spider Classification

Pholcus phalangioides

Cellar spider belongs to Family Pholcidae, and most of the people often refer this kind of spider as daddy longlegs because of its long slender legs. This can create some confusion to distinguish those two kinds of spider. To make this thing clearer, we can refer this Family Pholcidae spider just as cellar spider. You can found these spiders in certain areas of your house such as sheds, basements, garages and other areas that have same structures. Another different thing between cellar spider and daddy long legs is cellar spider construct the irregular stringy web, while daddy long legs doesn’t. For more information about this kind of spider will be explained below.


Cellar Spider Classification

Cellar Spider Classification
Cellar Spider Classification – Image via espacepourlavie.ca


This spider has some species which are different from other kinds of spider. Firstly, you have to know its general characteristics which it has dull color, flexible tarsi, eight eyes, and its body length is about less than 0.5 inches.The species that has shorter legs usually live in leave litter, not in your house. Artemaatlanta is the largest known pholcid spider species in the world which has 0.43 inches long. You can find this species in a small area of California and Arizona because it was introduced to North America. Another species is Pholcus phalangioides which is the long-bodied cellar spider. It is the very common species that can be found in the basement throughout the world.

The female cellar spider wraps its eggs in silk loosely to form an egg sac which is thin but effective. And then, the egg sac is carried by the mother of pholcid spider in her jaws. When the cellar spider eggs hatch, the young spiderlings will look similar to their adults, like all spiders do. And also, as they grow into adults, they molt their skin. The cellar spider preys most of all small insects, including other spiders and especially ants which is their favorite meal.

Since they are very sensitive to vibration, they will approach and prey insects which wander to their web rapidly. This kind of spider also has an interesting technique to get their food by vibrating the other spiders’ web purposely as the tricky way of luring in a meal.

There are some ways to keep away your house from cellar spiders. First, seal gaps and cracks on the outside of your building, especially around windows and doors. Do not forget to use screens to block their entry into your building. Second, since they are attracted to white light sources, try to change your lamps with yellow light bulbs for exterior lighting. It will reduce the number of cellar spider and other insects to entering your building. Third, try to lower the humidity of certain areas in your building such as cellars and crawl spaces by using a ventilation and dehumidifier. It can discourage them to live in there. Read: Brown Recluse Spiders

There are also several ways how to get rid of cellar spider. First, vacuum the cellar spiders and also their webs. It is the simplest and most efficient way to get rid of all the webs and egg sacs as you run across them. Instead of killing them, it is better to transfer them into the proper habitats as the vacuum cleaner does.

Second, apply a residual insecticide. When you use this method, you have to read carefully the instruction of the spray first, and you can spray it to every cracks or corner with the spray which contains some form of pyrethroid. Third, call the professional one. If the cellar spiders have the large infestation in your house, and you think you can handle it by yourself, it would be better if you call the professional exterminator to apply a stronger chemical pesticide.

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