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Cellar Spiders

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Sheet Web Weavers Spider

Sheetweb weavers are small, dark, shiny spiders that build interesting webs. They are less then 8 mm long. Like all spiders they have two body-segments, a cephalothorax in front and an abdomen behind.

Sheet Web Weavers Spider

Sheet Web Weaver

They have eight legs, all attached to the cephalothorax. On the front of the cephalothorax are the fangs, the eyes, and two small "mini-legs" called pedipalps. The pedipalps are used to grab prey, and in mating, and are much bigger in male spiders than in females. Sheetweb spiders have eight eyes in two rows of four.

Sheet Web Weavers are among the most common types of arthropod predators in crop fields. Webs can be attached to trees, grass, fenceposts, leaf litter or even just on the soil. There are many insects and other arthropods in the soil (such as springtails) that these spiders can consume. They will also eat flies, aphids, leafhoppers, other spiders, and tiny wasps

They build fine, non-sticky, sheet webs in vegetation.The webs are composed of a lace-like horizontal web with "knock down" threads, or many fine, disorganized vertical strands that are invisible to small flying insects, which crash into the threads and fall onto the sheet. The spiders run upside down on the underside of their webs and bite prey through the web. Some local species may vary the shape of the sheet web.One species, called the "bowl and doily" spider, weaves a cup-shaped web above the horizontal sheet and hangs from the bowl.

Sheet Web Weavers spider

Sheet Web Weavers

Life Cycle :Most Sheet Web Weavers probably live only one year. Many may even live for only a few months. Eggs are laid in silken sacs in the web or hiding in leaf litter on the ground. There can be just a few, or many dozen eggs in a single egg sac, depending on species and individual. Like all spiders, linyphiids develop through simple metamorphosis: spiderlings look like tiny adult spiders (but with lighter coloration), and shed their outer skin in order to grow.

Some species mate and lay eggs throughout the year, while others have more discreet mating seasons. Both eggs and adults have been known to overwinter, and some species may even build webs to catch prey in the cold winter months.

Sheet Web Weavers

Sheet Web Weavers

Control:One key feature of spider control is to reduce the available food source. Adequate insect control through proper sanitation, maintenance and insecticide use will help prevent spiders from becoming established. Lowering the relative humidity in the area where cellar spiders are found may help eliminate them because lower humidity will deter insects from entering the building. Humidity can be controlled in many ways such as a dehumidifier or through proper ventilation

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