How to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders: 6 Most Effective Methods

Everything you should know about cellar spiders: what they look like, what harm they can do, how to get rid of cellar spiders and keep them away
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
Reviewed By
Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 24, 2023
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The most common types of house spiders, according to bug experts, include the American house spider, wolf spider, hobo spider, brown recluse, yellow sac spider, orb weaver spider, and grass spider. However, if you have lots of dark, secluded areas in your house, like basements, cellars, or even corners in your house that rarely see any traffic, then it’s possible to add cellar spiders to the list. Like any other spider species you might encounter in your home, the question, “How to get rid of cellar spiders?” is among the first to come up in people’s minds when they realize they have an infestation.

The good news is you don’t have to live with them in your house. With the right countermeasures, it should be possible to eliminate any cellar spiders that try to invade your home. Also, one of the reasons you may want to get rid of these critters early enough is that, unlike other spiders, this species doesn’t consume its old webs. Instead, they only add more and more webs which can be a lot scarier for a homeowner, especially since it implies a large spider population.

What Do Cellar Spiders Look Like?

How to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders: 6 Most Effective Methods

A lot of people can’t differentiate between a Cellar spider and the Harvestman, which many people refer to as “daddy long legs.” This is because once they spot either, they take off in the opposite direction, searching for a weapon to kill the bug. However, the two are actually quite different.

According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, cellar spiders have long, skinny legs. In comparison, their bodies are much smaller. The cellar species common to Kentucky are tan or gray, although there are others in the U.S. that have a pale-yellow exterior. Also, some species may have darkened leg joints.

When alarmed, these bugs begin vibrating rapidly in their webs, rendering them almost invisible. Also noteworthy is that their webs may look loose and haphazard, and you’ll typically find them in corners. Lastly, they may hang upside down on their webs as they wait to catch their next meal.

As for the Harvestmen, the similarities with the cellar spiders end in the long legs. Arthropod Ecology, a McGill University online publication, notes that, unlike spiders, Harvestmen don’t have a narrow waist separating the cephalothorax and abdomen.

Are Cellar Spiders Dangerous?

As for whether cellar spiders are dangerous, it mostly depends on whether you’re human or another small insect. Jokes aside, cellar spiders tend to feed on other small arthropods, including spiders. They can even capture and eat prey much bigger than themselves, like wolf spiders and centipedes. They wrap them in silk before eating them.

As for danger to humans, the Missouri Department of Conservation goes as far as calling them harmless fragile spiders. Their venom is rather mild compared to other spiders like the black widow that sometimes fall prey to the cellar spiders. Also, given their size, even if they were to try and bite humans, their fangs aren’t large enough to break the skin.

How to Inspect the Home for Cellar Spiders

Before you declare war on the pests just because you saw one dash across the windowsill, it’s important to inspect your home for infestation. Otherwise, you may just be making a mountain out of a molehill. In case of a large infestation, this will also help you determine where to deploy the countermeasures.

As mentioned above, cellar spiders typically live in dark, secluded areas with minimal human traffic. They also prefer high-humidity areas, and you’ll find them in cellars, basements, garages, crawl spaces, sheds, etc.

Even if you don’t see them scampering about in your inspection, you can tell they’re there by the characteristics of their webs. Their webs are layered, which is why they look like cobwebs on your ceiling corners.

. Also, they’re more likely to have invaded your home if you can find entry spaces such as cracks in your window.

6 Best Ways to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders

Ultimately, if you’re uncomfortable with these long-legged arachnids, you’ll need to know how to get rid of cellar spiders in the house before you take action. As such, the tips below should come in handy.

Declutter and Clean the House

As noted above, cellar spiders will feel right at home if they can find somewhere damp, dark, and secluded. Often that means the basement where you store most of the stuff you’re not using or that your kids have grown out of. It could even be behind that bookshelf that you haven’t dusted off in months because that’s where other insects have likely made their home. With that, the cellar spiders will have an easily accessible food source.

By cleaning and decluttering, you make the whole area unhospitable for insects and bugs, including the cellar spiders. Furthermore, since this will reduce food for the daddy long legs lookalike, the spiders will have to move on to greener pastures.

Lastly, by decluttering your home, you reduce the number of areas the cellar spiders can hide. Decluttering can be pretty effective, but it has to be used with other countermeasures to achieve the best results.

Use a Broom, Cobb Webb Duster, or Vacuum

How to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders: 6 Most Effective Methods

Cleaning and decluttering works for most of the areas near the floor. However, cellar spiders also make their home on the ceiling with cobb webs present in the corners. Even if the cellar spiders are out looking for a meal, destroying their webs should make it clear that they’re no longer welcome. A cobb web duster is better suited to the job since its bristles are designed to remove webs and attached eggs. Furthermore, they come with a threaded end just in case your ceiling is slightly higher than most.

Alternatively, a vacuum with a hose attachment can suck in the spiders, their eggs, and their webs. You can then dispose of them in sealed bags as the insects will suffocate or die from starvation.

Like decluttering your home, you’re more likely to get positive results from removing the webs if you couple that with other countermeasures.

Use Spider Repellents

How to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders: 6 Most Effective Methods

Like most other pests that may invade your home, there are certain scents and sounds that can help repel spiders. For instance, if you’re looking to learn how to get rid of cellar spiders naturally, you might want to look up plants and plant products that repel them. These include options like garlic, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, lavender oil, tea tree oil, etc.

Spraying any of these in places the spiders are likely to come back to can mess with their senses. This will, in turn, force them to move out of your home to somewhere more comfortable. Notably, while you can make some of these natural repellents at home with the right plant products, some are readily available for sale and use. Reviewers even recommend the Mighty Mint Natural Spider Repellent, which is a peppermint oil natural spray.

Spray the spider repellents after decluttering and cleaning out the webs for the best results.

Use Traps

How to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders: 6 Most Effective Methods

Traps can also help whittle down the number of spiders inside your home before you do the cleanup. That way, you won’t have to deal with as many live spiders during the cleanup process. If you want the best results, you may want to compare and consider different options before buying the best trap for spiders you can find. Nevertheless, reviewers seem to like the TERRO T3206SR Non-Toxic Indoor Spider Trap since it can capture other spiders in addition to the cellar spiders. It can also capture ants, roaches, and other creepy crawlies.

Traps can be pretty effective depending on how they’re used.

Use a Dehumidifier

It shouldn’t be lost on you that these critters love humid spots in the house. One way to eliminate these spots is to use a dehumidifier. That way, the bugs will have one less reason to stick around and will move to somewhere with more moisture.

Use Insecticides

If there are a few cellar spiders in the house, it’s safe to assume there are some just outside the house as well. If you want to kill those outside the house immediately, you can consider some of the best outdoor spider sprays. Alternatively, you can consider some of the best foggers for spiders. We’ve compiled some handy reviews of those to help you out. These will help distribute the insecticides, so there’s no escape for the spiders.

How to Keep Cellar Spiders Away

If you prevent the spiders from coming into your home in the first place, you won’t have to deal with getting rid of them. Fortunately, keeping cellar spiders away is easier than learning how to get rid of cellar spiders in the house. Often this includes sealing all entry points into the house, including those insignificant-looking cracks. You can use caulk or expanding foam.

Addressing moisture issues is another point. The dehumidifier we mentioned above can certainly help. You can also spray insecticide at intervals to keep all bugs away. Cellar spiders are likely to move to places where they can easily find food, and by using insecticides, you eliminate the possibility of that on your property.

Lastly, monitor your home so you can react accordingly if they try to move in.

Final Thoughts

Despite not being as terrifying as other spiders, cellar spiders can be a nuisance if they decide to invade your home. As such, if you’ve spotted a few roaming around or noticed their webs, this information on how to get rid of cellar spiders could be pretty useful. As a side note, by actively trying to eliminate cellar spiders, you’ll also be potentially removing other bugs and invaders from your home.

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