Once upon a time, you, too, have encountered a cobweb. Perhaps you were dusting the lampshades as you grooved to “Love Shack” by the B-52s, staring up at the ceiling (wondering where in the world you placed your cell phone—again), or reaching into a dark corner of your cabinet for that can of kidney beans that you swore was back there somewhere, only to pull away with a sticky dusty thread stuck to your fingertips. We all have dealt with these abandoned dusty spider webs.
Which Spider Made the Web?
Cobwebs are vacant spider webs whose owners have moved on. You might encounter one pretty much anywhere—in your home, in your basement, in your shed, or on your porch. Spiders, depending on the species, weave a vast array of webs, including the spiral orb web, tangle web (or cobweb), sheet web, triangle web, or funnel web.
Spiral Orb Web
When you close your eyes and imagine a spider web—with its spokes and lines created in concentric circles that lead to a spiral in the center—this is the type of web you’re imagining. These webs are often created by garden spiders, who live outdoors and are non-aggressive and indifferent (thank goodness) to humans.
Tangle Web or Cobweb
If you see a web in your home, it’s most likely a tangle web. Tangle webs can actually get “tangled” in your hair. They’re super sticky and found in dark areas (think garages, basements, or attics), along walls, or high up in the corners of your home. These webs are created by the Theridiidae family, or house spiders, which includes the black widow.
These webs are dense, constructed of thick layers of silk, and rarely carry a specific shape or design. They’re often crafted over bushes and tall grasses, whose tiny homeowners like to hang upside down, waiting for a delicious catch. These little 8-legged arachnids are not dangerous to humans, though I wouldn’t let your toddler play with one.
These webs are spun in a flat (you guessed it) triangular shape. They’re fuzzy, not sticky, and are constructed by members of the non-venomous Uloboridae family. What’s unique about the Uloboridae family is that the fibers in their webs are used to smother their prey, as opposed to killing them via bodily poison.
Beware: These webs are no joke. The hobo spider is a member of the venomous Agelenidae family. These spiders spin webs with a little hole or “door” at one end of them and are found low to the ground or in dark, cluttered areas of your home. They’re also attracted to damp areas like your garage or basement, but can be found outdoors in flower or garden beds. If you see one of them (or their webs), let it be. I wouldn’t attempt to take care of it yourself, as these little terrors can cause tissue damage, infection, and necrosis.
Do Cobwebs Mean I Have an Infestation?
The simple answer is no. One spider does not mean that you have an infestation. Two spiders is nothing to lose your sleep over either. Spiders, whether or not you want to hear this, make it into your home all often. They’re not coming in colonies, like ants. They’re mostly solitary and their tolerance of other spiders is short-lived (unless the male is going to hunt for a female).
Keep a tidy house, organize those cluttered spaces, dust your windowsills, trim your shrubs, use Dr. Killigan’s Insect Buster, and take yourself out for ice cream. It’s going to be okay.
How Do I Get Rid of Cobwebs?
The silk of webs is very thin and incredibly strong. The strongest silk, such as that from a golden orb spider, is actually stronger than steel (and 50 times lighter). This is why webs, having long been vacated, are still found in your home, collecting dust. These webs will either disgust or amaze you (or perhaps both). When you discover a web, here’s what to do:
- If the web is in an outdoor area, such as your patio or deck that has natural runoff and dries quickly, use a garden hose.
- If the web is in your garage or shed, stay away from using a hose if the area will retain moisture. Moisture will only create other issues. A broom or a shop vacuum will do.
- If the web is in your home, including your basement or your attic, either a broom, a duster, or a vacuum will work.
The Final Word on Cobwebs
As long as there are spiders, there will be cobwebs. As long as there are homes, there will be spiders in these homes. When we vacate a home, we take our belongings. When spiders vacate their homes, they leave us a reminder: They will always be with us. Thankfully, Dr. Killigan has a solution to protect your home from spiders: Dr. Killigan’s Insect Buster.
Use this tool, filled with diatomaceous earth, or DE, (which must be purchased separately) to kill all of these 8-legged arachnids. The tiny dust particles of DE cling to the legs and body of spiders that comes in contact with it. When the spider later tries to groom the powder off of its body, it is poisoned as the DE builds up in their system - they can neither digest nor excrete the substance.