Cellar Spiders: Identification and Extermination

Cellar spiders, scientifically known as Pholcidae, are a family of arachnids commonly found in homes, particularly in damp and dark areas such as basements and cellars. Despite their intimidating appearance, cellar spiders are harmless to humans and play a beneficial role in controlling other pest populations. This comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable insights into identifying cellar spiders, their Latin name, and effective extermination techniques if necessary.



Cellar spiders, scientifically known as Pholcidae, are captivating arachnids that possess distinctive characteristics, setting them apart from other spider species. These spiders are instantly recognizable by their long, thin legs and delicate body structure, making them a unique presence in the arachnid world. Let’s explore some key features that will aid you in identifying these fascinating creatures:
Body: Cellar spiders have a small, elongated body that typically measures around 2-9 mm in length, although there can be variations across different species. Their abdomen is often adorned with a pale yellow or gray coloration, providing them with a subtle yet elegant appearance.
Legs: One of the most striking aspects of cellar spiders is their long and slender legs, which are known for their fragility. In fact, these legs can appear significantly longer than their body, creating an intriguing visual contrast. The legs of cellar spiders are often pale or translucent, further enhancing their delicate and ethereal appearance.
The unique combination of their slender body, elongated legs, and pale coloration makes cellar spiders easily distinguishable from other spider species. Their delicate nature adds to their allure, making them a fascinating subject for observation and study. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of these remarkable arachnids, as they gracefully navigate their surroundings with their distinctive features.


Web and Behavior

Cellar spiders are known for their intricate and messy webs, which they construct in corners, crevices, and other secluded areas. These webs are irregular and lack the distinctive, symmetrical patterns seen in other spider species. Cellar spiders use their webs to capture small insects and other prey, which they then immobilize with silk and consume at their leisure. They are agile hunters and rely on their excellent vibration detection abilities to locate potential meals.

Extermination Techniques

It is important to note that cellar spiders are generally harmless and do not pose a significant threat to humans or property. However, if their presence becomes overwhelming or causes distress, the following extermination techniques can be employed:

Non-Chemical Methods:

  • Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner to physically remove cellar spiders and their webs from the infested area.
  • Sealing Entry Points: Identify and seal any cracks, gaps, or openings through which spiders may be entering your home.
  • Dehumidification: Reduce humidity levels in your basement or cellar, as these spiders are attracted to damp environments.

Chemical Control:

  • Insecticides: If necessary, you can use residual insecticides labeled for spider control. Follow the instructions carefully and target areas where spiders are commonly found.


While Cellar Spiders are generally harmless, we are here to provide the support and expertise you need for a pest-free environment. Don’t hesitate to contact us for professional assistance.