Cellar Spider Bite. Parents of small children and households with pets should be worried about spider bites.
Unless they are threatened or provoked, venomous spiders will normally not bite you. Spider bites are not known to be harmful to people in most cases.
Just a small percentage of spider bite victims require immediate medical care or treatment. Yet, there are a few spiders found in North America that may really harm animals and people if bitten.
What are Cellar Spiders?
The cellar spiders are a kind of spider that belongs to the arachnid group of creatures. They come in both long and short varieties. Basement spiders are found in dark, moist places like basements and cellars, as their name indicates.
Because of their extremely long, slender legs, they are sometimes referred to as “daddy longlegs.” In the United States and Canada, there are roughly 20 cellar spider species.
Cellar spiders (Pholcidae) have eight thin legs and are gray, pale yellow, or light brown in color. Short and long-bodied cellar spiders are the two kinds that exist. These two sorts of cellar spiders have little oval-shaped bodies with slender legs and may be gray to brown to light tan in coloration.
The difference between the two cellar spider subgroups is size, as the names imply. Long-bodied cellar spiders may reach up to 2 inches in length, whereas short-bodied spiders are around 1/2 inch long.
Cellar spiders have extremely long, thin legs and are small, innocuous, fragile spiders. The tarsi (“foot”) are flexible, giving them a frail appearance. Their camouflage is further aided by other features:
Their tiny body size, gray, tan, or white color, and tendency to “vibrate” or bounce within their webs when they are frightened make them stand out.
They become a blur as a result of this movement, making them difficult to see to predators. Several species have knobby-kneed appearances due to the darkness of their joints on their legs. The abdomens of most are oval or rounded, comparable to a peanut.
Females create unorganized, untidy cobwebs that commonly appear in nooks or crannies. Some of the most common spiders in this family include those with eight eyes arranged in three groups: two on the middle of the face and a trio on each side.
The longbodied cellar spider, Pholcus phalangioides, is perhaps the most common species in our area. Close examination of palps, “face” structure, carapace markings, and eye groupings may be required to differentiate it from other cellar spiders.
Harvestmen (in the order Opiliones) are distinct and unrelated, despite being similar species with long, thin legs.
Harvestmen have a unified (typically egg-shaped) body, whereas true spiders have clearly distinct head and abdomen parts, which are obvious structural distinctions. Harvestmen lack the venom glands that actual spiders contain, as well as silk glands, hence they cannot spin webs.
What do cellar spiders look like?
The color of the spiders in the cellar varies, but they are usually pale yellow, light brown, or grayish. They have eight exceedingly lengthy and slimy legs that are easy to see. They have a tiny 1/4″–3/8″ body. Due to their appearance, they are commonly referred to as daddy-long-legs.
The bodies of all cellar spiders are oval-shaped and vary from light yellowish to light brown or gray in color. With front legs that are roughly 1 7/16-1 15/16″ (45-50 mm) long, adult female long-bodied cellar spiders have a body length of about ¼-5/16″ (7-8 mm).
The body length of adult male long-bodied cellar spiders is approximately ¼ inch (6 mm). Short-bodied cellar spiders, on the other hand, have bodies that are much shorter. The body length of adult female short-bodied cellar spiders is approximately 1/16th of an inch (2 mm), with 5/16th of an inch (8.5 mm) long front legs.
The body length of adult male short-bodied cellar spiders is roughly 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) with 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) front legs.
Chest spiders have eight legs, as do other arachnids, but theirs are considerably longer and slender when compared to other spiders. Eighteen eyes are arranged in two widely-spaced lateral groups of three, with two eyes in between, as seen in cellar spiders.
Their cylindrical abdomen is three times longer than it is broad. Because of their equally apparent, longer legs, long-bodied cellar spiders are physiologically comparable to harvestmen (arachnids but not spiders).
Harvestmen have oval bodies that are more reddish in color than cellar spiders, and their “daddy longlegs” moniker applies to them as well.
At places with greater relative humidity and moisture, such as houses, sheds, barns, and warehouses, cellar spiders build loose, uneven webs.
Cellar spider webs, which may be seen in dark and damp areas such as the corners of eaves, windows, and ceilings in cellars, basements, crawlspaces, and garages are frequently discovered within these structures. Basement spiders prefer to build webs in openable openings of commercial structures, near doorways.
As they wait for prey, which generally consists of other spiders and insects, cellar spiders prefer to hang upside down in their webs. A basement spider pulse its body repeatedly when it is disturbed, causing its web to shake. Any insects that have come close to the web and become the spider’s next meal are entrapped by these vibrations.
Basement spiders will continue to lay new webs on top of their previous ones, unlike species that use up their webs and then create new ones or clean them.
As a consequence, the webs may accumulate in excessive quantities in a home or structure in a very brief amount of time, resulting in a see-through cobweb appearance.
During the course of their life, female long-bodied cellar spiders may create up to three egg sacs each containing 13-60 eggs. A thin layer of silk that is see-through is used to make the sacs. The sac looks like an unripe blackberry due to the cluster of eggs.
In contrast to other spider species, the females carry the egg sacs around with them in their mouths until they hatch, rather than placing them in their web. A similar egg sac containing 10-27 eggs is produced by female short-bodies cellar spiders, which they also carry in their jaws.
For a brief period, the sprouting spiderlings cling to their mama. Before the spiderlings reach full maturity, they go through five molts (a process that takes a year). Adults of the long-bodied cellar spiders survive roughly two years.
Little moths, flies, mosquitoes, and other arthropods and spiders that live near their webs are what they choose to consume. Basement spiders, like other spiders, are extremely successful predators that are highly adaptive. They feed mostly on insects, luring and trapping them inside webs before encasing them in cocoons.
These spiders travel to other webs and pretend to be trapped insects when food supplies in their environment are insufficient. The cellar spider attacks the unsuspecting arachnid as the other spider attempts to capture and consume it.
Basement spiders use shaky, vibrating motions to deceive predators and assailants. They are often called vibrating spiders.
Cellar Spider Bites
Are Spiders in the Kitchen poisonous? Are spiders in the basement poisonous? While the term venomous is technically correct, cellar spiders are not poisonous.
Because they are not known to bite people, cellar spiders are of little medical relevance. Nonetheless, it is still rumored that basement spider venom is the world’s most dangerous.
Although there is no proof that the cellar spider venom is harmful, the basement spider’s fangs are too short to inject venom into a person when they bite, unlike brown recluse spiders with long fangs.
The only way to know if these spider stings are deadly poisonous to humans is to milk spiders and inject the poison into human volunteers, since no documented cases of cellar spiders biting people and causing harmful effects have been found.
Due to a number of factors, including Amnesty International and a humanitarian code of ethics, this research has never been pursued. Other research on the lethality of spider venom in rats, such as mice, are lacking.
The misconception about cellar spiders’ venom being particularly hazardous remains unproven due to a lack of information on the alleged dangerous consequences of spider venom in humans.
There is no reason to believe that this myth is true because there is no scientific evidence supporting the deadly poisonous supposition of basement spider bites.
Are daddy longlegs really the most venomous spiders in the world?
Daddy longlegs are the world’s most venomous spiders, with their fangs being too short to bite you, as you’ve undoubtedly heard. Is this really the case?
No, the simple answer is. Yet, we’ll have to establish a few things before we can arrive at that conclusion.
First, what do you call a daddy longlegs? Rick Vetter, a former research associate of entomology at the University of California in Riverside, described it as follows: For years, Vetter has been debunking this misconception.
The difficulty is that at least three distinct animals are referred to by the term “daddy longlegs,” only one of which is a real spider.
The cellar spider, also known as the Pholcidae family of spiders, is an insect. It has two body segments, eight eyes, fangs, venom ducts and venom glands, similar to other spiders.
Harvestmen are opiliones, or arachnids, in the Opiliones order. These creatures have just two eyes and no fangs or venom glands, like spiders, but they have a single body part.
They look like little pinchers, Vetter told Live Science, describing harvestmen’s grabby mouthparts. They’re mostly used to rip apart prey, dead animals, and debris,” says Dr.
Crane flies belong to the Tipulidae family of crane flies. These are arthropods with enormous bodies and wings that give them the appearance of giant mosquitoes.
They can’t bite you, unlike mosquitoes. Crane fly mouthparts are absent in many species. They only live for a few days as adults, long enough to mate and lay eggs. (opens in a new tab)
Daddy longlegs aren’t just one thing, as evidenced by the many names. What about their venom, though? This fable is patently untrue for crane flies, who have none. Harvestmen have poison, not venom. Poison works by being taken in or through skin contact, while venom works by being injected into the victim.
Harvestmen spray or coat themselves in a dark, foul-smelling chemical mixture(opens in new tab) designed to ward off parasites and predators when they are disturbed. Despite the fact that it may kill spiders and insects, this substance is not the most poisonous.
So, the only actual spiders in the group are cellar spiders. In reality, humans may be bitten by these. Vetter claims that their fangs are comparable to those of the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), which is famous for its potentially deadly bite. The similarities, on the other hand, end there.
I don’t know of any study that shows that pholcid spiders are toxic to humans, Vetter stated. “One scientist did some work on it, and he had a little black mark for a day or two and said, ‘It’s not that big of a deal.’
That has been established by Venom analysis. Arachnologist Charles Kristensen injected mice with venom from either cellar spiders or black widow spiders on a 2004 “Mythbusters” episode that was later documented in a 2019 study(opens in new tab). The venom of the black widow had a stronger impact.
How do I prevent problems with cellar spiders?
For preventing issues with cellar spiders, there are a variety of effective techniques. Some of the most useful advice for your home may be found below:
-Check for foundation cracks in your home that may be used as spider entryways and seal them with caulk on the inside and outside.
-Install door sweeps under all exterior doors, especially basement doors.
Before bringing firewood inside, stack it at least 20 feet away from your home.
-Remove any rocks, leaves, grass, and woodpiles from your home’s exterior to prevent spiders from hiding/breeding there.
-To limit hiding places, try to minimize clutter and organize as much as feasible inside the home.
-If you notice insects and spiders inside, measure the humidity levels and, if necessary, buy a humidifier.
-Web spiders (particularly cellar spiders) will like to reuse webs, so keep them away.
-As much as possible, leave windows and doors that open to the outside closed.
-Contact us for advice on how to eliminate cellar spiders from your home if they are severe.
Have basement spiders begun to lurk around your Washington residence? Don’t wait for it to happen! Prosite has a team of experts ready to help you rid your home of spiders.
How to Get Rid of Cellar Spiders
You may want to consider whether hunting down and killing a few cellar spiders, especially if they’re in your garage or around the exterior of your property, is worth your time.
These arachnids with their long spindly legs are fantastic trappers, and they’ll get rid of many of the six-legged animals you don’t know about. In reality, since hunters only set up housekeeping where food is abundant, the presence of a lot of basement spiders is just an indication that there are bugs nearby.
Basement spiders are also known to capture and devour black widows, making them extremely valuable neighbors in your garage, despite all odds. Knock down the webs whenever you notice them, and keep at it. This is a good place to begin if you want to try to abolish the cobweb makers.
Spider bite treatment
The majority of the time, if you are bitten by a spider, you will not experience any symptoms. A spider bite rarely requires medical treatment or serious attention. It is, however, possible that you will have an allergic response if you are allergic to other stinging insects.
In most cases, cleaning a spider bite with soap and water is sufficient to heal it. Within a few days, the mark generally fades away. Anti-itch cream is available over the counter at most pharmacies and may be used if it itches.
Depending on the species of spider, the exact treatment may vary. It is critical to attempt to capture the spider and bring it with you so the doctor can determine what therapies to administer if you are bitten and begin to experience symptoms similar to those listed above.
You should immediately see a doctor if you experience allergic symptoms or exhibit signs of a Black Widow or Brown Recluse bite. Depending on the species and your sensitivity to insect bites, special treatment may be required.