SIZE: Up to three quarters of an inch in body length with an extremely thin shape.
COLOR: Pale whitish or cream.
BEHAVIOR: Cellar spiders spin large, tangled webs and hang upside down within the web. When disturbed, they shake the web violently. They are not dangerous spiders and actually are quite beneficial in that they have been known to capture and eat other spiders, including even black widow and brown recluse spiders. Once their web becomes old and unusable, cellar spiders construct additional webbing attached to the old web. Over time, considerable amounts of cobwebs can accumulate.
Cellar spiders prefer dark, damp areas, such as crawl spaces, basements and sheds, although they may be common around doorways, in warehouses and sometimes in garages of homes.
Regular removal of cellar spiders with a vacuum, brush or broom helps limit the numbers of spiders. Other steps may be helpful, including:
Sealing cracks and holes in the building's exterior.
Installing tight-fitting screens in foundation and attic vents.
Using yellow bug light bulbs in exterior light fixtures to attract fewer of the flying insects on which the spiders feed.
Keeping garage doors and commercial overhead doors closed to exclude flying insects that serve as spider food.
In cases involving considerable numbers of spiders or when control efforts are needed in crawl spaces, a professional company such as Terminix should be consulted.