How to Get Rid of Spiders: Easy and Effective Tips for a Spider-Free Home

Spiders are a common household nuisance. Although they help control the insect population, many of us would rather not share our living spaces with these eight-legged creatures. To prevent spider infestations and keep them at bay, it’s essential to implement effective pest control methods.

A key factor in spider prevention is maintaining a clean and clutter-free home. Regularly vacuuming and dusting can eliminate spider webs, egg sacs, and the critters themselves. By removing any potential hiding spots, you’ll discourage spiders from making themselves at home in your space.

Another useful strategy is sealing cracks, gaps, and other potential entry points around your residence. By limiting access, you can greatly reduce the number of spiders entering your home, helping you enjoy a spider-free environment.

Identifying Common Spider Types

Harmless Spiders

Harmless spiders can be found in many places, from gardens to our homes. One such harmless spider is the yellow sac spider, which is small, about a quarter- to a half-inch long, and can be yellow, white, or even greenish (source).

  • Features of harmless spiders:
    • 8 legs
    • 2 body parts—a head region (cephalothorax) and an abdomen
    • No wings and antennae

Venomous Spiders – Brown Recluse and Black Widow

Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spider can be identified by its dark brown violin shape on the cephalothorax and a unique eye pattern of 6 eyes in pairs with a space separating each pair (source).

  • Features of brown recluse spider:
    • Dark violin shape on cephalothorax
    • 6 equal-sized eyes

Black Widow Spider

The black widow spider is easy to recognize due to its shiny black body and distinct red hourglass shape on the underside of its abdomen.

  • Features of black widow spider:
    • Shiny black body
    • Red hourglass shape on the underside of abdomen
Feature Brown Recluse Black Widow
Body markings Dark violin shape on cephalothorax Red hourglass shape on underside of abdomen
Eye pattern 6 equal-sized eyes in pairs with a space separating each pair N/A
Venom Yes Yes
Risk to humans Bites can cause severe damage, but fatalities are rare Bites can be dangerous, use caution

In summary, understanding the characteristics of common spiders can help you identify between harmless and venomous ones. Identifying venomous spiders like the brown recluse and the black widow is important for ensuring the safety of your home and family. If you encounter any of these venomous spiders, take appropriate precautions and consider consulting a pest control professional.

Prevention and Spider Control Methods

Cleaning and Decluttering

  • Regular cleaning helps prevent spider infestations.
  • Dispose of clutter to deny spiders hiding spots.
    • For example, remove piled wood or bricks in yards.

Sealing Cracks and Crevices

Keep spiders out of your house and reduce spider infestations by:

  • Sealing cracks in walls and foundations.
  • Blocking off entry points for spiders in basements, attics, and garages.

Reducing Food Sources

By controlling other insects, you reduce the spider’s food sources:

  • Discourage flies and mosquitoes around your house.
  • Use screens on windows and doors to deny access.

Proper Lighting and Storage

  • Opt for yellow outdoor lights to minimize attracting insects.
  • Use plastic totes instead of cardboard boxes; it’s harder for spiders to infest.

Below is a comparison table of control methods:

Method Pros Cons
Cleaning & Declutter Removes hiding spots, easy to maintain regularly Requires consistent cleaning
Sealing Cracks Denies entry, long-lasting results Time-consuming and may require professional help
Reducing Food Sources Decreases spider population, manageable insect levels Can be a constant effort
Proper Lighting Attracts fewer insects, reusable storage solutions Initial cost of changing lights/storage

Natural Spider Repellents

Essential Oils – Peppermint, Lavender, Citrus, and Eucalyptus

Natural spider repellents can be made using essential oils like peppermint, lavender, citrus, and eucalyptus. Such oils are effective in repelling spiders due to their scent.

  • Peppermint oil: Spiders dislike the strong scent of peppermint, making it effective in keeping them away.
  • Lavender: This oil not only repels spiders but also other insects, adding a pleasant fragrance to your home.
  • Citrus: Citrus oils like lemon, orange, or grapefruit deter spiders due to their strong aroma.
  • Eucalyptus: Its refreshing scent helps deter spiders and various other insects.

Using Vinegar and Diatomaceous Earth

Vinegar and diatomaceous earth can also be used as natural spider repellents.

  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray in spider-prone areas. Vinegar’s strong smell will drive spiders away.
  • Diatomaceous earth, a naturally occurring sedimentary rock, damages spider exoskeletons, causing them to dry out and die. Sprinkle it around your home’s entry points.

Chestnuts and Cedar

Chestnuts and cedar are less known but still effective methods for repelling spiders.

  • Place chestnuts strategically around your home, as spiders dislike the chemicals found in them.
  • Use cedar blocks or shavings in closets, under beds, and near other potential hiding spots for spiders. The scent repels spiders and other bugs.
Method Pros Cons
Essential Oils Pleasant scents, easy to apply. Requires frequent reapplication.
Vinegar Inexpensive, easy to find. Strong smell may be off-putting to some.
Diatomaceous Earth Effective on various insects. Can be messy.
Chestnuts and Cedar Chemical-free, low maintenance. Limited availability, dependent on season.

Trapping and Removing Spiders

Glue Traps and Spider Catchers

Glue traps can be an effective way to get rid of spiders by trapping them on a sticky surface. Some popular options include:

  • Disposable glue traps: Easy to discard after use, but less eco-friendly.
  • Reusable glue traps: Can be cleaned and reused, making them more environmentally friendly.

Pros of glue traps:

  • Simple to use
  • Non-toxic

Cons of glue traps:

  • Can be unsightly
  • May incidentally trap other insects or small animals

Spider catchers are another option, typically designed with long handles and gentle bristles to safely capture spiders without harming them. Examples include:

  • Spider Grabber: Features a trigger-activated arm for easy capture.
  • Bug Buster: Uses a gentle vacuum to safely contain spiders.

Pros of spider catchers:

  • Humane method
  • Easy to use

Cons of spider catchers:

  • Requires hands-on approach
  • Might not work for all spider sizes

Vacuuming and Clearing Spider Webs

Vacuuming is an effective method to remove spiders, their webs, and egg sacs, which is important because each sac can contain hundreds of young spiders. It is also essential to routinely clean your home to discourage spider return. Some vacuum features to look out for include:

  • Crevice tool: Helps reach tight spaces and corners.
  • HEPA filter: Keeps dust and allergens contained during vacuuming.

When clearing spider webs, consider using a broom or a long-handled duster. This allows you to reach high or hard-to-reach areas where spiders may have built their webs. Note that regular cleaning helps to prevent future infestations.

When to Seek Professional Help

Severe Infestations

In cases of severe spider infestations, it is best to consult with a professional exterminator. They are skilled in identifying the type of spiders present and implementing proper treatment methods. Hiring an exterminator ensures:

  • Effective pest control
  • Reduced risk of future infestations

Professional exterminators also set up barriers to keep spiders from re-entering your home.

Medical Attention for Bites

Although most spiders are harmless, some bites can cause unpleasant symptoms. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following after a spider bite:

  • Rash: An itchy, red rash around the bite area
  • Nausea: Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Fever: Sudden increase in body temperature
  • Vomiting: Forceful expulsion of stomach contents

Additionally, be aware of potential signs of a more severe reaction, such as a staph infection. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling around the bite
  • Intense pain
  • Pus drainage

Remember to consult a healthcare professional if any of these symptoms occur.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Fungus-Ridden Spiders in Cellar

 

Subject: Mysterious Cellar Spiders Covered in White
Location: Castine, Maine
September 4, 2012 3:55 pm
bugman,
I have read a few of the comments concerning the mysterious spiders apparently covered with a white frosty-looking substance. I have seen these in Maine, and am cleaning a few pictures of them off of my desktop. The ones I saw were definitely dead, as I could touch them with a stick with no reaction.
Signature: Andrew

Fungus-Ridden Spider

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for your first-hand observations and photographs of this Fungus-Ridden Spider phenomenon.  One of our most frequently commented upon postings has sparked a debate on whether these spiders are dead or alive.  We maintain it is a fungus infection and it is possible that some of the spiders might not have completely expired, but they are not long for this world.  We believe the fungus might attack the spiders while alive, but death shortly follows.

Fungus-Ridden Spiders in the basement!!!

Letter 2 – Unknown Unusual Spider or Fungus Infection (Torrubiella pulvinata)

 

Stumped two Universities so far with this amazing white spider…
February 20, 2007
Hello there:
So far two Universities have no idea what this amazing white spider is. It was found with many others in an old house my friend *was* considering buying in Easton, CT. ABOUT PHOTO: Subject’s photo was taken in Easton, CT- USA. Estimated size 2-4 inches. This photo has not been altered in any way except reduction of resolution. Oh, the spider was very much alive. Many of his brethren too. In fact, my friend could not sleep for many nights after observing all the crawling.
Cary

Hi Cary,
The reason we asked if the spider was alive is that this looks like it could be a fungus infection on one of the spiders in the Pholcus genus. Your further clarification tends to rule that out. We do not recognize your spider, nor have we ever seen a spider that resembles this. Sadly, your image does not have enough critical focus to reveal any details. We will try to search for information as well as check with some of our contributors. One of our readers wrote back to us: ” Oh gee, this is really ridiculous-looking. Sorry but no way is this thing alive, despite what Cary’s friend said. There is no real focus, so you can’t even be sure what you are looking at, but to me it looks either as you say, like a dead 2 inch daddy-long legs completely ‘bloomed out’ with a fungal growth, or perhaps more likely it is a molted exoskeleton hanging on an external wall which got coated with freezing condensation (sort of like frozen dew) in winter. I can well believe there were living daddy-long legs running around in the basement in this place, but they would have been normal color and normal appearance, not like this. “

Letter 3 – Fungus Infested Cellar Spider

 

Subject:  Is this spider poisonous
Geographic location of the bug:  Milton ny
Date: 12/02/2017
Time: 08:25 PM EDT
Found in the basement.  Wondering if it is dangerous to people
How you want your letter signed:  Mary e

Fungus Infested Cellar Spider

Dear Mary,
When it was alive, this Cellar Spider was not a threat to humans.  Like most Spiders, Cellar Spiders are venomous, but the bite is not considered a threat to humans.  This Cellar Spider is dead and being consumed by Fungus.  Cellar Spiders with Fungus Infestations are relatively common in our archives.

Thank you!
Quite an unusual image
When I put the photo in google images
Google identified it as some kind of light.
( does look like lightning)
Wondering if the mold that killed the spider is dangerous to humans..

Letter 4 – Fungus Riddled Spiders

 

Subject: Unknown Unusual Spider
Location: Stoughton, WI
September 14, 2014 7:51 pm
We’ve got them too!
We have an 103 year old four square and found them in the basement cellar under the porch. We never go there, but we went down there when we found a chipmunk coming in and out from our porch foundation. We went down to flush the chipmunk out and fill in the hole when we discovered these fascinating creatures … albeit creepy!
We live just south of Madison, WI
We had never seen them before.
We have the same questions as everyone else.
Why is this fungus suddenly appearing?
And, is it harmful to humans?
Signature: Mariah

Fungus Riddled Spider
Fungus Riddled Spider

Dear Mariah,
These are probably the best images we have received of Cellar Spiders infested with a deadly fungus.

Seemingly contagious Spider FungusSeemingly contagious Spider Fungus

 

Fungus Infested Spider 

Fungus Infested Spider

Additional feedback from commenter KennyMellon:
I just feel its more then coincidence that I’ve been in nearly 2000 basements in this little town, and when I’ve seen this Cave Crickets have always been present. And in complete reverse if no crickets, than normal spiders. I came across a basement the other day that had probably 50 or better all white coated spiders. Kinda eerie.

Perhaps there is a relationship between the humidity preferred by Cave Crickets and the humidity that encourages the growth of the fungus.

Letter 5 – Spider Infected by Fungus

 

Subject: More Spider Fungus?
Location: Milwaukee, WI
September 18, 2016 1:45 pm
Took this photo in the crypt area in the basement of the Cavalry Cemetery Chapel in Milwaukee, WI. A living spider is in the picture too as well as something else that is much more prominent. It reminded me of this: https://www.wired.com/2012/12/spider-building-spider/, but then I saw your posts and concluded that it was a living spider alongside a dead one overtaken by fungus (definitely dead because I touched it and, thank goodness, it didn’t move!). I wonder if the living one will soon suffer the same fate. Anyway, I thought you’d like another photo of this phenomena. Thanks for your great website!
Signature: Allison Jornlin

Spider with Fungus Infection
Spider with Fungus Infection

Dear Allison,
Thank you for submitting your image of a Cellar Spider infected with fungus.  There has been quite a robust challenge to our stand that these Fungus Riddled Spiders are generally dead.

Letter 6 – Fungus Riddled Tarantula

 

Subject: Fungus tarantula
Location: santa lucia, ecuador
December 23, 2012 6:49 pm
One of the most interesting finds in the cloud forest of Ecuador was a tarantula covered in an orange fungus. He looks better decorated than some of my neighbors lawns!
Signature: polymersn

Fungus Riddled Tarantula

Dear polymersn,
Our website has numerous photos of Spiders covered in Fungus and Fungus also attacks flies and other insects, including this Lady Bug.  See BugGuide for some Fungus photos.  Your photo brings up countless questions and is fertile ground for allowing our vivid imaginations to run amok.  We wonder if this Tarantula was attacked by a fungus infection while it was still alive or if it died and was then consumed by the fungus.  We wonder if the former scenario was true, if the initial infection was something that might have affected the behavior of the Tarantula.  We hope you didn’t transport jungle fungus spores back to your home.  Some of this paranoia might have been fueled by an early childhood viewing of “Matango–Attack of the Mushroom People” though with all the biotourism currently en vogue, people are tramping organisms all over the planet at rates much faster than an natural range expansion would permit.  Thanks for sending us your awesome documentation.

Letter 7 – Fungus Riddled Spider

 

Sea urchin spider??
Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 10:08 AM
Hi Daniel. What the heck? I found this little guy on one of my house plants. I did not see this spider on your site and I tried looking on What’s that Bug and couldn’t find it. I’m sure it is on that site but I just haven’t gotten the hang of WTB. I get as far as spiders, and look at each group, but I don’t know how to expand it farther.
I just brought the plant in from outdoors not too long ago. I’m in Florence, MA.
Elizabeth

Spider Riddled with Fungus
Spider Riddled with Fungus

Hi Elizabeth,
This looks like one of the Ant Mimic Jumping Spiders, and it is riddled with fungus. We cannot imagine that the spider was alive when you found it, but if it was, it was doomed to an imminent and not too distant death.

How right you are!  It IS dead!  And here we just thought it was being so cooperative.  I did not know that spiders could get fungus and die.  Of course, I know nothing else about spiders either, so no surprise.  Thank you so much for a great website.
Betsy

Letter 8 – Giant Crab Spider riddled with Fungus, we believe

 

Found possible rare “mold” looking spider in Papua New Guinea
Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 7:14 PM
I recently returned from six weeks of work in the Papua New Guinea jungle, mostly in the Southern Highlands. While we came across many strange bugs and spiders, none were more strange than this one. I have so far been been unable to find any photos resembling anything like this species and am wondering if we may have stumbled upon something very rare or unnamed (I’m sure you get this question often). The spider was about 5 cm across and covered with fine hair, which makes it look out of focus in the photo. Evolution clearly intended this spider to look like a patch of mold. As you’ll see, the abdomen is distinctly concave and looks like a thin plate of mold. It was resting on a live tree covered in red paper-like bark. Even the locals seemed interested, leading me to believe this wasn’t an everyday sighting. As a g eologist, I know it’s imperative to include a scale, but unfortunately I forgot as I was preoccupied with work. I’m very curious to hear what you’ve got to say.
Thanks,
Brian
Near the Tari Basin, Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Spider infested with Fungus
Spider infested with Fungus

Hi Brian,
We believe, based on its shape, that your spider is one of the Giant Crab Spiders in the family Sparassidae, but we don’t believe it is a living specimen. It is our opinion that this spider is riddled with fungus, leading to its unusual appearance. Many spiders and insects are killed by fungus infections.

Update:  Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 8:32 PM
Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response.  The possibility of this being a dead animal had not crossed my, nor the others I was with.  After looking at the image again, I noticed the spider is only attached to the tree with four legs, resting in a vertical position on a live tree.  Could he be dead and still be attached with no apparent web etc?  I’ve attached the full-sized image and filtered out some of the noise.  Thanks for your help.
Regards,
Brian Gray
Staff Geologist
URS Corporation

Hi Brian,
We are sticking to our original ID.  The fungus may have grown onto the leaf, attaching the spider.

Letter 9 – Fungus Riddled Spiders

 

Subject: fungus/spider
December 6, 2013 11:56 am
Hi, I am so glad to be introduced to this website!  We’ve been finding the cellar spiders with “pom-pom” fungus (in our cellar) for several years.  It’s awful to think they might still be alive when the fungus first moves in.  Ours have each been found dead. I wondered if the fungus is feeding on proteins in the joints (and body) of the spider.   Any ideas?
Is this a “new” fungus?  We expect to learn that it might be. Our investigations of biowarfare  (especially regarding so-called Lyme) have led us to components of that disease which are “new” (and patented….) but I do digress :-).
Thanks again!
We are in eastern New York State (near the Vermont border.
Signature: Bonnie

Spider attacked by Fungus
Spider attacked by Fungus

Dear Bonnie,
We are illustrating your comment with a photo from our archives since you did not provide one.  We don’t have much additional information on this phenomenon.  According to BugGuide:  “Cellar spiders with
Torrubiella pulvinata. The online book Tracks & Sign of Insects & Other Invertebrates:  A Guide to North American Species by Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney states:  “Many insects and spiders meet their end as a result of infection by pathogenic fungi, which are often highly host-specific.  Infection generally begins with a fungal spore simply landing on the host.  The spore germinates, and the fungus grows internally until it kills the host, at which point spore-bearing structures usually emerge from the corpse.  There are many unrelated groups of pathogenic fungi, and they come in a variety of forms, but the few that are described here account for the majority of the conspicuous and commonly seen types. …  A related but very different-looking fungus, Torrubiella pulvinata, kills cellar spiders (Pholcidae).  It first appears as white, fluffy spheres surrounding the body and each of the leg joints, eventually forming a complete covering of white fuzz.”  So the spider is alive when it is first attacked and it is eventually killed by the fungus.

Thank you, Daniel.
I don’t have the means to take photo and get it to you.  Or rather, I have the means but don’t quite know how to do it.  Sorry.  I am a Luddite at heart. That said, I also have a podcast I call Landslide, on www.ourstreamingplanet.com and www.goingbeyondradio.com  I use the name Bonfire.
In my Lyme disease investigation it is the mycoplasma fermentans that makes me  wonder about the Torrubiella pulvinata’s origins, especially given that it is a fungus.  Pathogenic mycoplasma, one of the Lyme components I am researching, is a patented disease, derived from AIDS and ARC patients and sometimes found in the blood of Lyme patients.
Thanks for responding.

Letter 10 – Fungus we suspect

 

Strange Chute out of garden
Location: Pennsylvania – front flower bed
July 9, 2011 11:59 am
I have these pinkish/red chutes coming up out of my garden with a white bulb on the end in the ground and a black tip (looks like electrical tape) on the top.
I have never seen anything like this and cannot find any references on the net that sound like it.
I do know I found a lot of grub like larvae earlier this spring when I was planting flowers.
Any ideas?
Signature: Dave

Mushrooms we believe

Hi Dave,
We believe this is a fungus, just a fancy name for a mushroom.  Perhaps it is related to new much you put down.  We will try to contact Lisa at the Mycologista blog to see if she recognizes this organism.

Before I even see this, from the graphic description I bet it’s a Stinkhorn…but, let’s see.

Letter 11 – Fungus Infested Cellar Spider

 

Subject: Close ups of the Cellar Spider
Location: Leamington Ontario. Old farm house
September 22, 2014 7:24 am
I’ve looked to see what my little alien being was called and have seen old posts of fuzzy pictures. So i figured for the sake of science and imagination! This guy was hanging from a web. I’m almost positive it’s dead.
Signature: Adrienne

Cellar Spider with Fungus Infection
Cellar Spider with Fungus Infection

Hi Adrienne,
Thanks for adding to the images we have of Cellar Spider infested with Fungus.

Letter 12 – Spider with Fungus Infection

 

Subject:  Spider or Sea Creature?
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 04:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
I was poking around my patch of common milkweed today and came across this most peculiar looking creature.   Looking at the enlarged image, I believe this is a spider.  What I am not sure of is if it has been parasitized or if this is some sort of disguise?  I’ve never seen anything like it and hoping you can shed some light on what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah Bifulco

Spider with Fungus Infection

Dear Deborah,
You are correct that this is a Spider and you are also correct that it has been parasitized.  This Spider has expired from a fungus infection like the individual in this BugGuide image and this BugGuide image. 

Thank you for the response and the links.  Interestingly, I found a second spider on the same milkweed that was also dead, but looked more like the photo in the first link.  I wonder if the milkweed plant is carrying something that affects the spiders.
Deborah Bifulco

While we would not rule it out entirely, our suspicion is that milkweed and the fungus are not related.

Authors

  • Daniel Marlos

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

182 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Spiders: Easy and Effective Tips for a Spider-Free Home”

  1. oh my god!
    I’ve seen this spider. Get this, earlier this week my girlfriend and I were looking into renting this old farm house near a lake in central Maine. I decided to go into the basement to check out the oil tank & brought a flashlight. As I opened the door to the bulkhead and walked into the basement i noticed that it was damp and there as a dirt floor, the house was old and the foundation was made of granite rock. Before I stepped completely into the basement i scanned the area with my flashlight to make sure i wasn’t going to walk into anything i didn’t want to. As I turned the flashlight toward the ceiling i saw this thing wince as I shined the light on it. I took a closer look and it was a white (completely white) spider with wierd legs. there were like knuckles on the legs that were the exact shape & size of pellets or bee-bees for a pellet gun and yes the spider was alive. So I scanned the area further and there were many of these spiders moving as to shined the light on them. They stood out so easily hanging off the old dark wood beams, being that they ware bright white. I decided to go online to search out this spider, because I have never seen anything like, and was tired of trying to describe this insect to people who looked at me like i was going insane,after many hours of searching i found this posting, but that is definately the spider and it was definately alive.

    Reply
  2. Hi There, I love in south central Wisconsin, luckily it didnt take me hours to find this posting but i fear it will take a long while to get answers… i recently found hundreds of these spiders in various stages of life, alive, i bug bombed them tho, sadly, to ease my sisters piece of mind. here are teh details that i see pertinent. i found these spiders while winterizing my sister’s basement(old Farm house) dirt floored basement. their basement is divided, this is the part that no one ever goes into. ever. so this coupled with wincing at light and the obvious white color leads me to an albino thought. i collected several specimens ranging in size from fitting completely on a #2 pencil eraser tip to the largest one i saw about half the width of a dollar bill. ill try to find a way to post some pics maybe any ideas or questions PLEASE contact me superwade57@hotmail.com
    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. I have that spider too. I was down messing with the water heater and I saw a couple of these guys. It was something straight out of a nightmare (not a spider fan). However, I was also very curious, so I managed to get one of the carcasses (all dead, thankfully) into a mason jar and I called my well educated friend. She said it is a daddy long legs covered in fungus. They like the moisture, but sometimes run into that problem. On close inspection it is pretty clear that it’s something covered in fungus. the body looks like a Q-Tip.

    Reply
  4. I have this spider tons of them in my basement i have some pictures as well Are they harmful I don’t know I just started getting them which is wired because a couple of weeks ago i went in the basement and they were not there, if you wish to see the photos please email me gendreau.r@hotmail.com i dont know how to post them on here?

    Reply
  5. My neighbor here in Michigan just found one this morning like the one shown in the picture. Has there been any updates in knowing what type it is and if it is poisonous? I am very cautious of spiders ever since I was bit by a Brown Recluse Spider.

    Reply
  6. I’ve seen this too! It was in an old musty unfinished basement in west New Jersey, there were tons of these spiders all over the place, all about 2-3 inches big, tho I’m pretty sure they were all dead. They certainly freaked me out, I didn’t even think about fungus, I just knew I never wanted to see one of them alive! I have been calling them scary ghost spiders ever since!

    Reply
  7. I found one in the basement also, I think he is dead though, I also had seen them in another house that I looked at in Bradford Ma. Mine is in Groveland Ma. I also have pictures where do I post?

    Reply
  8. I was working at this old house that we’re rebuilding, and I saw these spiders on the ceiling of the basement, me and my brother have arachnophobia so it didn’t go over too well, but when I was looking at it it occured to me that these could be daddy long legs that have evolved too dark, damp places.

    p.s: the two we saw we’re alive and moving.

    Reply
  9. Hi,
    My son is looking for his first home and he and my husband went to look at an older home last night. They came back with tales of this spider that belonged in a horror flick. I thought they were pulling my leg so we goggled it. It is THIS spider! It was in an old home, in the dirt floor basement, they said that there were literally thousands of them. My husband could not get over how white they were or the “knuckles” that were on the legs!
    Thankfully my son does not like the house and will not be buying it! Which is good because “Mom” would NOT be visiting!! :)) BTW, we are in Elmvale Ontario in case you are trying to track where these spiders are being found.

    Reply
  10. Man! Those pictures give me the shivers. I had noticed that when a certain type of spider in our house dies, in moist areas, it molds.. but ONLY that type of spider. And they only mold -after- death. Anyway, I was searching info on that when I came across this….

    I had a thought. Could the ‘knuckles’ on them be because the exoskeleton there would be soft? At the joints? Same with the main body being softer so more spores or whatever come out. Sorry for not knowing the technical terms heh. Also – they were ‘wincing’ in the light, but were they running around? Could it be the fungi itself reacting to the light? o.o Well I guess if you guys knew the answers you wouldn’t be posting here haha, but I like to throw questions out there.

    But dang, I can’t imagine seeing hundreds of these guys. I don’t have arachnophobia, but my mom does, and her fear has rubbed off a tiny bit on me. Makes me shudder thinking about these guys.

    (I also feel sorry though 🙁 If they are being killed by this mold, and if they are still alive for a while as it kills them, I hope its not too painful D: )

    Reply
  11. i was helping my buddie work on his old farm house and there was maybe 20 of these spiders in the bastment all very much alive it looks like biger spiders are eating the young i thought they were dead till i watched them for a little while and they were moving very
    creepy

    Reply
  12. I to have seen this spider!!!!They are in the basement of this elderly lady I care for. Some are dead but some very alive. There are tons of them 2-4 in. in size. the basement has a dirt floor and nothing much in it just the water heater, and a heater. The house is very old and no one goes down there. I am very concerned that this lady will get a bite from one of this things. There is no other spiders in her basement just the white ones with alot of dead centipedes in their webs. I saw one feeding on a centiped or wapping it up for later I didn’t look that close! If anyone knows what they are I need help for this woman I tryed spray but they just come BACK!!
    If you can help e-mail me SBurns6576@aol.com

    Reply
  13. I saw this spider today & totally freaked. I hate spiders! I am working on a vacant home we own in western MD. I saw one of these about 3″ around with many little ones around it. I sprayed them all, along with the entire basement, with some king of indoor/outdoor bug killer. All of the spiders were alive & moving. Hopefully, I killed them all!!!

    Reply
  14. Ya I was just in my basement for a tornado warning and we saw the same spider.we found it on this cement block. It fell from the ceiling and my mom smashed it with her shoe we did not get any pictures of it but it was really weird looking. It was also squirming on the block. We are located in Pennsylvania if u r wondering

    Reply
  15. I have a really good pic of one of these – how do I post it? I found them in my girlfriend’s basement in Carthage, NY – all the ones I saw were dead…

    Reply
    • I just found some in my crawl space. Thought they looked like something from the North Pole. Very much alive. Has anyone found out if they are poisonous or not?

      Reply
  16. k, that spider does exist. i was cleaning out my buddys basement in PA. and i found two of them they do move, fast too. i wish i would have caught it but i hate spiders so i dident but this spider is real and as it sounds it lives in old wet base4ments, i would like to kno what it is too so.

    Reply
  17. Yep! It’s a “stinkhorn” mushroom! The black tip is where the spores are, and these mushrooms use FLIES to disperse their spores, by attracting them by STINKING! And they’re not kidding, don’t sniff too close, it’s pretty bad.
    They’ve got some other, more GRAPHIC names. Search “stinkhorn” and let the fun begin!
    Personally, I think they’re awesome.

    Reply
  18. Goodness, I had those elegant stinkhorns appear out of nowhere in a shady spot under some witch hazels a few years ago. I, too, would have initially bet that they were from the animal kingdom, rather than a fungus. As bad as they smelled, though, they were utterly amazing.

    Reply
  19. Man these things are nasty. My girlfriend and i were looking at a house for sale in Upton, MA. House has been vacant for 2 years and is an older home with a granite foundation. Went to check out the basement and saw one of these guys hanging from the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs. Stopped me dead in my tracks due to how weird it looked. Wasn’t moving but when i blew at it it was very much alive lol. Nasty weird looking spider for sure saw enough of that basement

    Reply
    • Thanks. We keep hearing from people that the spiders are in fact alive, but we still believe they are suffering from a fungus infection.

      Reply
  20. I’m not afraid of spiders, but I’ll tell you, this spider creeps me out like you would never believe.

    Similar to the other stories, I live in northeastern US; in NJ, 10 mins outside of Philly. I live in an 1800’s schoolhouse converted into condos. The basement gets wet when it rains… and we’ve broken records for the amount of rainfall in a month, and that’s before the hurricane.

    I spray the basement with Home Defense Max, and 2 days prior, I had sprayed right where I saw this thing today.

    Maybe they’re mummified spiders, and they’re coming back to life to take over the world… starting with Northeastern US?

    In all honesty, I’m so creeped out, I’m scared to put my feet under the desk…

    Here are some pictures.

    http://yfrog.com/kl4k21j
    http://yfrog.com/h802ufj
    http://yfrog.com/mefh9xj
    http://yfrog.com/184xwaj
    http://yfrog.com/mg1ri1j

    Reply
    • Thank you for supplying more information on this perplexing mystery. We have had numerous individuals write to us insisting that these creatures are alive and thriving though they appear to us to be dead spiders with a fungal infections.

      Reply
  21. I have numerous examples in my basement, they are not alive, but being very light and still attached to their webs, they move at the slightest breath or breeze. Dead spider or dead Harvestman, either way, death by spore invasion is creepy.

    Reply
    • Thanks for supplying your observations. We have had a very hard time trying to convince folks that these are actually corpses.

      Reply
  22. Hi, I have an old farmhouse in Massachusetts. I went to clean out the basement and found lots of these spiders. They were hanging from their webs. I could not tell if they were alive.
    If they are covered in a fungus, does anyone have an idea as to which fungus it would be? Also, is it harmful to humans? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • We do not have a mycologist on our staff who can provide any information on the possible threat to humans from the fungus that attacks spiders.

      Reply
  23. I recently found quite a few of these spiders while fixing a water line under my house. They defiantly caught my attention that’s for sure i have studied bugs and arachnids since i was very young. I did not see any alive all where dead and their where quite a few other spiders of different species with webs very close to them. So this makes me wonder what type of fungus this is and does it kill the spiders or just consume the ones already dead, also does it target all spiders or is it species specific. To that end i am going to conduct a few control test and see what i can find out i will post my results and the pic when they are finished and see if we can shed some light on this. On a side note seeing these spiders and reading these story’s reminds me of a fungus from the rain forest i once read about that targets ants and once they are dead sprouts a spore from its head. “not saying theirs any relation here to that just reminded me of something interesting.

    Reply
    • Dear Terry.M,
      This is one of the most exciting comments we have gotten ever. We are going to feature this posting after so many years. From our perspective, all spiders we have received images of that were fungus ridden in this manner have been Cobweb Spiders (Hogue) or Cellar Spiders from the family Pholcidae according to BugGuide.

      Reply
  24. OMG! yes, I found a few hundred of these in my mothers basement today when I was down there sealing cracks! I looked up and almost messed myself! I watched them move around on the ceiling and freaked myself out! They are VERY much alive and I swear they are waiting till night time to eat someone! They are between 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches in diameter and have the same balls on the joints. I can get a specimen if anyone wants one. My facebook is the most reliable way to reach me, Jennah Kohorst, Lima Ohio. Thanks!! 🙂

    Reply
  25. Hi guys,
    This is a tropical species of stinkhorns type fungus…Clathrus archeri, which was transported to other climates on timber and compost products. We occasionally get it in the UK, but I’ve never seen one sadly!

    Reply
  26. nope they are alive , i saw one reacting to me taking an old calendar out of a barn , i can tell the difference between a dead spider carcass dangling and a living spider moving its legs .

    Reply
    • Thanks vata19,
      We still feel strongly that this is a fungus infection. Perhaps you saw an infected spider before it died.

      Reply
  27. i live in delta ohio my husband pulled off some of our mobile home skirting, and it is a massive infestation of these spiders please has anyone fugired out what the are or what is going on to make them look like this.

    Reply
  28. I was trying to figure out what the creepy white spiders in our basement are. Then I happened upon this site. These are the exact, ALIVE, spiders we have in the basement of our 1930’s new England home. I assure you they are very much alive! Are they dangerous?

    Reply
    • It would appear that this fungus disease will spread throughout a population of spiders in a confined location based on your comment and others that we have received.

      Reply
  29. I just read of a fungus that is a natural pesticide called beauveria bassiana. It apparently kills bugs, then grows on the carcass & waits for it’s next bug victim. Perhaps that is what is going on with these spiders?

    Reply
  30. This reminds of some of the photos I’ve seen online of spiders infected by the Cordyceps fungus. Very cool, if not somewhat disturbing on some level.

    Reply
  31. I have thousands of these under my house. the house is on a brick laid foundation by the river in central Wisconsin. I do live in this house with my husband and 3 small children we do end up with a LOT of wolf spiders in the home. Is there any concerns that I should be aware of.

    Reply
  32. I used to work with my dad going into the cellars of very old homes here in Louisville, KY and always saw dozens of these in crawlspaces or areas where the floor was dirt. All obviously inanimate corpses and fully consumed by whatever fungal growth this is. Like a bunch of terrifying multi-stemmed Q-tips hanging from webs. Anyone here who is saying that they were alive either mistook their breath for movement or were currently in the epicenter of an acid trip.

    Reply
    • Listen bug man my house was built in 1792 this spider was alive for sure. My first thought was that it is fungus infected. The house has a lot of mold. It is a fungus infested environment.

      Reply
  33. I was saddened yesterday to find dozens of dead, fungus-ridden cellar spiders hanging upside-down in the basement of a home we are considering purchasing. The space is continuously damp, prime breeding ground for fungus; but these are big cellar spiders, and lots of them, so there must have been a healthy population at some point. So when and how did this fungal infection begin? More to the point, I LIKE spiders, and don’t want something in my house that will destroy them. So – how do I get rid of the fungus?!

    Reply
    • We suspect that these fungus infections are intermittent outbreaks and that not all spiders succumb. You can start by cleaning up the corpses which should help to eliminate infections in future generations. We hope some mycologist will be able to provide you with more specific information.
      Many other insects are also prone to fungus infections.  BugGuide has developed a page profiling these infestations.

      Reply
    • We suspect that these fungus infections are intermittent outbreaks and that not all spiders succumb. You can start by cleaning up the corpses which should help to eliminate infections in future generations. We hope some mycologist will be able to provide you with more specific information.
      Many other insects are also prone to fungus infections.  BugGuide has developed a page profiling these infestations.

      Reply
  34. we have tons of these and YES some are alive. My husband has sprayed the cellar twice to attempt to rid them which seems an impossible task. We have what is a granite floor, I think…no dirt. There is a lot of moisture right now and tons of mold here and there. These things are most creepy indeed. They have what looks to be new spiders in the webs near them. These things are small to large some of them over 2 inches. Bugman, you should go to someones house and take a look at these. You will be much surprised! You are welcome to come here.. We are in an old B&B that has a ginormous basement. There is not much down there…other than SPIDERS with white knobby legs and they are white. Some of them do move. I thought they did not but I did see one of them move and then I moved quickly, to get out of the basement. Mold is what I thought it was, but why. Why would a spider mold? And THOUSANDS of them???

    Reply
  35. Please come to my home and look at these guys. You won’t believe it! They are EVERYWHERE in our basement! Creepy knobby legs and ALL WHITE. I think they are covered in MOLD. We have a granite floor, no dirt. There are patches of mold here and there on the floors and the floors are wet right now due to condensation. You really should go and look at these guys so you know what every one is talking about. My husband has been talking about these guys for a couple of years and I finally went down to the basement and voila! THERE THEY ARE and YES I did see them move. They also have another spider in the web right next to that one. These, whatever they are…Are wicked CREEPY! Perhaps movie material?!

    Reply
  36. I found my old damp cellar covered with these things last summer. I had left the celler door open to get some ventilation which means I gave access to lots of flying things and that brought the increased spider population. I hate spiders. It’s not rational. They are about the only things that fill me with fear and horror except maybe the thought of ebola. I called a friend to come see and possibly vacuum them out. He said his old dirt cellar is full of them all the time and if I were to observe over time (which I’m not damn likely to do) I would see that they are a small delicate spider that looks like small daddy long legs and I’ve never cared about them before. Now they become covered with this fungal infection and eventually die. Most of the ones he vacuumed up (or down, the ceiling was covered) were definitely long dead. Some had a little movement in them. I really thought it was an alien invasion. The sad and silly part is that the spider being covered with large white bumpy things is such a non-threatening, not ugly, not scary little guy. They are small enough and delicate enough of build that I probably just never noticed them ..Even for me. I’m keeping the cellar closed so there is no spider food and have only seen one or two and only one white thing. Meanwhile, the mildew and molds are in heaven because there is no opening to fresh air Molds, mildews etc give me breathing difficulty so I’m trying to find funding for some kind of safe ventilation. I’m broke and living on social security. Volunteer services welcome. I’m still not going down there.
    Since I had these show up last summer I have talked to many Vermonters in old houses whose cellars are decorated with these spider corpses. They are not dangerous.
    But is the mold on them dangerous? What is that? Am I breathing it?
    I will post a photo of one my basement arachnids before fungus as soon as I can get strong enough to go back down there. At least once I saw what they started out as I now also feel sad for the little guys. But not too sad. When they first arrived I saw pictures on the news of forest fires out west and it sure looked good to me. Who is going to take a dead one to the local university to have the mold evaluated?

    Reply
  37. I found my old damp cellar covered with these things last summer. I had left the celler door open to get some ventilation which means I gave access to lots of flying things and that brought the increased spider population. I hate spiders. It’s not rational. They are about the only things that fill me with fear and horror except maybe the thought of ebola. I called a friend to come see and possibly vacuum them out. He said his old dirt cellar is full of them all the time and if I were to observe over time (which I’m not damn likely to do) I would see that they are a small delicate spider that looks like small daddy long legs and I’ve never cared about them before. Now they become covered with this fungal infection and eventually die. Most of the ones he vacuumed up (or down, the ceiling was covered) were definitely long dead. Some had a little movement in them. I really thought it was an alien invasion. The sad and silly part is that the spider being covered with large white bumpy things is such a non-threatening, not ugly, not scary little guy. They are small enough and delicate enough of build that I probably just never noticed them ..Even for me. I’m keeping the cellar closed so there is no spider food and have only seen one or two and only one white thing. Meanwhile, the mildew and molds are in heaven because there is no opening to fresh air Molds, mildews etc give me breathing difficulty so I’m trying to find funding for some kind of safe ventilation. I’m broke and living on social security. Volunteer services welcome. I’m still not going down there.
    Since I had these show up last summer I have talked to many Vermonters in old houses whose cellars are decorated with these spider corpses. They are not dangerous.
    But is the mold on them dangerous? What is that? Am I breathing it?
    I will post a photo of one my basement arachnids before fungus as soon as I can get strong enough to go back down there. At least once I saw what they started out as I now also feel sad for the little guys. But not too sad. When they first arrived I saw pictures on the news of forest fires out west and it sure looked good to me. Who is going to take a dead one to the local university to have the mold evaluated?

    Reply
  38. To me it seems , they come up from deep inside the earth.
    Their white colour indicates complete darkness – and as they surface on cellars and any other uproute ways they find , they face the most obvious common enemy , fungi.
    As they are not used to that,they either die or survive and slowly evolve.

    Or maybe i am drunk on mead !!! 🙂

    Reply
  39. To me it seems , they come up from deep inside the earth.
    Their white colour indicates complete darkness – and as they surface on cellars and any other uproute ways they find , they face the most obvious common enemy , fungi.
    As they are not used to that,they either die or survive and slowly evolve.

    Or maybe i am drunk on mead !!! 🙂

    Reply
  40. I saw these in the basement of a really old farmhouse in northern NJ. They were all dead, just hanging from the ceiling. What a coincidence everyone is finding them in the same places…it would be great if someone gave us a set in stone answer! It would be especially appreciated to know if it is fungus is it harmful to humans!

    Reply
    • I’m on it. There is someone at Cornell who studies fungi and spiders and I am sending the photos to her. I have enough trouble breathing around mildew. Who needs to suffer for spider rot?

      Reply
    • THANK YOU!
      I haven’t heard back from the other ‘experts’ yet.
      My internet search has not yielded any information about effects on humans of this fungus. I don’t know how you got to it in the first place,, but if you can use that technique for anything regarding human allergies or asthma or general rot, please let us know.

      Reply
    • THANK YOU!
      I haven’t heard back from the other ‘experts’ yet.
      My internet search has not yielded any information about effects on humans of this fungus. I don’t know how you got to it in the first place,, but if you can use that technique for anything regarding human allergies or asthma or general rot, please let us know.

      Reply
  41. WOW INDEED! You must be better than the two universities that had no clue! Now we have to find out if this is harmful to humans. of four people in my infested cellar home have severe allergies. I wonder if I may write this off or not? Great research my friend! Thank you so very much! I have over a thousand of these things in my basement. I almost feel sorry for them now. Can you imagine if there were such a fungus attacking us humans?
    Thank you again for the great finding! debbie

    Reply
  42. WOW INDEED! You must be better than the two universities that had no clue! Now we have to find out if this is harmful to humans. of four people in my infested cellar home have severe allergies. I wonder if I may write this off or not? Great research my friend! Thank you so very much! I have over a thousand of these things in my basement. I almost feel sorry for them now. Can you imagine if there were such a fungus attacking us humans?
    Thank you again for the great finding! debbie

    Reply
  43. I haven’t found anything on Torrubiella pulvinata with regard to human health, and it is very likely that the research simply has not been done yet. Since the fungus seems to infect only certain species of spiders, it is likely that it has very specific host requirements. If it can’t infect other spiders, it probably can’t invade human tissue.
    That leaves the possible issue of air-borne toxins released by the fungus, which may be harmful in sufficient quantities. This is the same problem presented by your typical basement mold, which is very likely growing in the same locations that have been described for Torrubiella pulvinata: damp basements and crawl spaces. Consider these tips from the EPA on dealing with mold:

    1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
    2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
    3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
    4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
    5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
    6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
    7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
    8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
    9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
    10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

    Reply
  44. I haven’t found anything on Torrubiella pulvinata with regard to human health, and it is very likely that the research simply has not been done yet. Since the fungus seems to infect only certain species of spiders, it is likely that it has very specific host requirements. If it can’t infect other spiders, it probably can’t invade human tissue.
    That leaves the possible issue of air-borne toxins released by the fungus, which may be harmful in sufficient quantities. This is the same problem presented by your typical basement mold, which is very likely growing in the same locations that have been described for Torrubiella pulvinata: damp basements and crawl spaces. Consider these tips from the EPA on dealing with mold:

    1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
    2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
    3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
    4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
    5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
    6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
    7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
    8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
    9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
    10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

    Reply
  45. My fiance came home from work today talking about these spiders.He said they were everywhere under a house he was working on.He said they were all sizes and all dead.Newnan,Ga.

    Reply
  46. I am here to say to the experts if you need live specimens carrollton Virginia has live ones everywhere

    I have been seeing them for years in cellar closed of from all light but this year I found a nest in a open light breezy crawl space under a home

    Are the moving out in the open?
    Once again I can supply live specimens if needed

    Reply
    • A nest?
      What does that mean? Just that there are several there? Please tell me they don’t actually live together of form a community.
      I wonder why the 200 year old, dark, wet cellar did not have spiders looking like this before last year? Which is new, do you think, the spider or the fungus?
      I suspect that any live ones seen will not live long.
      -s

      Reply
  47. I am here to say to the experts if you need live specimens carrollton Virginia has live ones everywhere

    I have been seeing them for years in cellar closed of from all light but this year I found a nest in a open light breezy crawl space under a home

    Are the moving out in the open?
    Once again I can supply live specimens if needed

    Reply
    • A nest?
      What does that mean? Just that there are several there? Please tell me they don’t actually live together of form a community.
      I wonder why the 200 year old, dark, wet cellar did not have spiders looking like this before last year? Which is new, do you think, the spider or the fungus?
      I suspect that any live ones seen will not live long.
      -s

      Reply
  48. I see this a lot on other species. The fungus is present in many arthropods and only starts growing after the host dies.

    A sure sign of the animal being dead is the collapsed ‘concave’ abdomen. This means there is not much left inside, and because only the abdomen and joints are soft it is where the fungus is most precvalent.

    Reply
  49. I see this a lot on other species. The fungus is present in many arthropods and only starts growing after the host dies.

    A sure sign of the animal being dead is the collapsed ‘concave’ abdomen. This means there is not much left inside, and because only the abdomen and joints are soft it is where the fungus is most precvalent.

    Reply
  50. These bulbous fluffy things are fungi. They appear on joints and the abdomen cause these parts are soft.

    The fungus is present in these spiders all along but goes live when the spider dies (or if what some say still alive but in high humidity and approaching death).

    I have tons of them at home and never found one alive even though I visit the cellar daily. And I am not surprised people freak out over them. My friend had nightmares for a few weeks after seeing a few, but he’s a wimp.

    Reply
  51. These bulbous fluffy things are fungi. They appear on joints and the abdomen cause these parts are soft.

    The fungus is present in these spiders all along but goes live when the spider dies (or if what some say still alive but in high humidity and approaching death).

    I have tons of them at home and never found one alive even though I visit the cellar daily. And I am not surprised people freak out over them. My friend had nightmares for a few weeks after seeing a few, but he’s a wimp.

    Reply
  52. Funny how I come across this! I once saw Huge fungus spiders in an old abandoned home awhile back. I blew on them and they moved. I was really creeped out and they were very big. It was in New York by the way. I’m glad to finally know what it was I saw!

    Reply
  53. We live in PA an we just found tons of these in my mothers basement all dead though. they worried me i have a 5 yr old an he is with my parents alot. i’m glade to now know what it is..

    Reply
  54. Just one week ago I was in Canton, PA Oct.12, 2013 to help a family member with winterizing his mobile home.
    Underneath in the crawl space were dozens of these spooky looking fuzzy white encased spiders and webs. Some of them were moving but very slowly. We spoke with other owners and they have same issue. We would like to see some information on this phenomenon.

    Reply
  55. Just one week ago I was in Canton, PA Oct.12, 2013 to help a family member with winterizing his mobile home.
    Underneath in the crawl space were dozens of these spooky looking fuzzy white encased spiders and webs. Some of them were moving but very slowly. We spoke with other owners and they have same issue. We would like to see some information on this phenomenon.

    Reply
  56. I have a live one trapped in a jar. And A LOT of dead ones. If anyone has any idea what this is about please reply to this comment. I’m from Galion Ohio.

    Reply
  57. Hi, I was looking up stuff on fungus for a um project of mine, I was searching through fungus pictures to see what would be use full and found this. What fungus is that so I can look more into it?

    Reply
  58. We have spiders like this in our new house. I think they look as you describe for Torrubiella, and I’m glad to know what causes this. I had thought that perhaps the effect was due to fungus growing on shed exoskeletons, but perhaps not. I have a photo on flickr, the fungal covering looks very fuzzy. I vac’d all of these up, along with a bunch of living spiders. And then dumped them all outside. They’re probably back in the cellar… I hope this will post the actual photo,

    Reply
  59. We have spiders like this in our new house. I think they look as you describe for Torrubiella, and I’m glad to know what causes this. I had thought that perhaps the effect was due to fungus growing on shed exoskeletons, but perhaps not. I have a photo on flickr, the fungal covering looks very fuzzy. I vac’d all of these up, along with a bunch of living spiders. And then dumped them all outside. They’re probably back in the cellar… I hope this will post the actual photo,

    Reply
  60. We’ve got them too!
    We have an 103 year old four square and found them in the basement cellar under the porch. We never go there, but we went down there when we found a chipmunk coming in and out from our porch foundation. We went down to flush the chipmunk out and fill in the hole when we discovered these fascinating creatures … albeit creepy!
    We live just south of Madison, WI
    We had never seen them before.
    We have the same questions as everyone else.
    Why is this fungus suddenly appearing?
    And, is it harmful to humans?

    Pictures here: https://plus.google.com/photos/109598126595636531052/albums/6059125067791097825?authkey=CNui1tzNwuj4Hg

    Reply
  61. We’ve got them too!
    We have an 103 year old four square and found them in the basement cellar under the porch. We never go there, but we went down there when we found a chipmunk coming in and out from our porch foundation. We went down to flush the chipmunk out and fill in the hole when we discovered these fascinating creatures … albeit creepy!
    We live just south of Madison, WI
    We had never seen them before.
    We have the same questions as everyone else.
    Why is this fungus suddenly appearing?
    And, is it harmful to humans?

    Pictures here: https://plus.google.com/photos/109598126595636531052/albums/6059125067791097825?authkey=CNui1tzNwuj4Hg

    Reply
  62. i have this going on in my 100+ year old cellar as well…. im in central illinois… they scared the heck outta me… since i noticed them, i go down there very little… because of me not going down there much, there was a cat that got down there and died… im certain this had nothing to do with the fungus… however, the fungus has consumed the carcus and is florish very well… i heard that it attacks bats… im concerned for my families health…. i get rent cheap here, and am considering moving because of this….. i have to flip a breaker down there every so often, and, well……

    Reply
  63. I found similar spiders dead under my trailor. White fungus looking with a big ball of white in the middle in little white ball specs on the legs.

    Reply
  64. My boyfriend and I live in northern PA and rent a small house on our landlords property. The house sits above a very old basement. I have to go outside and open cellar doors in the ground to get to it. I only ever go down there to do our laundry (which I have recently taken up a laundry mat due to my hatred/fear of the dark creepy basement.) Another important thing to mention about our house is that our bathroom is right over top of the basement. And to whoevers design in this house, never installed any ventilation of any kind in the bathroom. I have one window that is almost always open, and ABSOLUTELY open when we take showers. I have gotten a small fan to try and air the bathroom out as best as possible also. The reason for such description is that we have been online for a few days now researching all we can about these all white, moldy spiders. I’ve noticed almost every post that I have read, all state that they’re finding these spiders in damp places. My question is why I have no spiders like these in my house? Will they eventually come inside? And with the humidity in my home, are we at risk of health problems because of the mold I have seen on these spiders??

    Also, I haven’t yet read anyone post anything about white “sacs” near the spiders but we have that too. None of the spiders were alive but I counted a good dozen before I had enough, but in the cobwebs I counted white balls which I assumed were maybe egg sacs?? Idk, just feeling pretty uncomfortable in my own home, so ANYYY info would be so greatly appreciated!!!

    Reply
  65. My boyfriend and I live in northern PA and rent a small house on our landlords property. The house sits above a very old basement. I have to go outside and open cellar doors in the ground to get to it. I only ever go down there to do our laundry (which I have recently taken up a laundry mat due to my hatred/fear of the dark creepy basement.) Another important thing to mention about our house is that our bathroom is right over top of the basement. And to whoevers design in this house, never installed any ventilation of any kind in the bathroom. I have one window that is almost always open, and ABSOLUTELY open when we take showers. I have gotten a small fan to try and air the bathroom out as best as possible also. The reason for such description is that we have been online for a few days now researching all we can about these all white, moldy spiders. I’ve noticed almost every post that I have read, all state that they’re finding these spiders in damp places. My question is why I have no spiders like these in my house? Will they eventually come inside? And with the humidity in my home, are we at risk of health problems because of the mold I have seen on these spiders??

    Also, I haven’t yet read anyone post anything about white “sacs” near the spiders but we have that too. None of the spiders were alive but I counted a good dozen before I had enough, but in the cobwebs I counted white balls which I assumed were maybe egg sacs?? Idk, just feeling pretty uncomfortable in my own home, so ANYYY info would be so greatly appreciated!!!

    Reply
  66. Could this be due to mold? I sell real estate in southwest wi and stumbled upon these last night. This particular home had a serious mold problem and the basement was very damp.

    Reply
  67. We saw these spiders in the basement…….the exact spiders in this article….thank to everyone for commenting……I will go downstairs with a broom and wipe all cobwebs down…..it is very damp downstairs and dark…….was creeped out….thank you for all the comments…..we live in Meriden, NH….this is a very old farm house, beautiful everywhere else as it was all remodeled WILL NOT BE SPENDING A LOT OF TIME DOWNSTAIRS…..LOL. Question, I am a severe asthmatic should I be concerned???

    Reply
    • We are sorry, but we are unable to make any medical diagnoses. You should check with your physician regarding any links between fungus infected spiders and asthma.

      Reply
  68. Found them in my garden shed this spring 2015. Never saw before either. Is it a new phenomenon or a sudden increase in fungal activity? Greenfield, MA

    Reply
  69. i live in western mi. and recently discovered this fastinating fungi divowering the “cave daddylongleggs” .the fungus attaces them like a si-fi movie. wow way too cool. anyway they come infeceted and then quickly are covered and die. i know that people have seen them alive and their eggsacks become infectid as well. o well sleep tight!

    Reply
  70. My neighbor has a ton of these and been searching for a long time. Many accused us of these being fake. Now I know I’m not crazy. We are in Northwest ohio.

    Reply
  71. Just found one of these in my basement. Also a farmhouse basement with slate floor and plain dirt joints, built in 1853… no natural light. The first thing I thought was mold of some kind as we also have white crab spiders and this didn’t look like them.

    When I blew on it it moved a little but not like a healthy spider would and it was sort of hanging upside down.

    Thanks for all the info! Very intriguing…

    Reply
  72. Just found one of these in my basement. Also a farmhouse basement with slate floor and plain dirt joints, built in 1853… no natural light. The first thing I thought was mold of some kind as we also have white crab spiders and this didn’t look like them.

    When I blew on it it moved a little but not like a healthy spider would and it was sort of hanging upside down.

    Thanks for all the info! Very intriguing…

    Reply
  73. We have a room in the basement that has a dirt floor and we’re trying to remodel it. There’s so many of these spiders and nest. How do you get ride of them plus are they harmful?

    Reply
  74. RW
    Hundreds of them all over the place under my house in coastal Oregon. All appear dead. Have had a water pipe leak and a wet winter.
    So I guess this spider fungus is all over the U.S.

    Reply
  75. RW
    Hundreds of them all over the place under my house in coastal Oregon. All appear dead. Have had a water pipe leak and a wet winter.
    So I guess this spider fungus is all over the U.S.

    Reply
  76. The bug man found a spider that looks a whole lot like this. He said he had never seen one like it before. It looked like the one shown, but without the fuzziness. He showed me a picture of it. It was solid white with long legs and round knobs at what looked like joints. It was under my house. I live near Birmingham, Al.

    Reply
  77. Oh man, we had these spiders in the basement of my childhood home. It TERRIFIED me to go down there with those things hanging around. I only remember seeing dead ones. Nightmare fuel. I live in Upstate NY, about 5 minutes away from Cornell. I remember my mom showed her friend who was a professor and dealt with insects and things. She thought it was a fungus. I’m inclined to agree. They seem to only pop up in damp basements with exposed earth. I’m wondering if it’s possible that if it is a fungus, maybe it can began to grow on the spider while it’s still the spider is still alive? Eeech, this is not what I should be looking up at 2:00am.

    Reply
  78. I gotta comment on this! My husband and I are house hunting, and viewed an old Victorian home this morning. The basement was literally covered in these! There had to be a hundred or more. And the cobwebs were so thick. I thought they were all dead, but now I’m not positive, and I’m a tad freaked out!

    Reply
  79. Was just searching for information as I rent a council garage for my car and have seen a few of these. All dead in my case but looked like someone had sprayed them in foam. Not a spider fan so I just remove them with a broom.

    SR
    Southampton, England

    Reply
  80. Was just searching for information as I rent a council garage for my car and have seen a few of these. All dead in my case but looked like someone had sprayed them in foam. Not a spider fan so I just remove them with a broom.

    SR
    Southampton, England

    Reply
  81. We have 100s of these under my house, but the web appears to be crystallized too. Looks like they have been sprayed with hydrogen. Is this harmful to human?? My husband and I have been since for a couple of months. I have asthma, and the spider are directly under my bedroom.

    Reply
  82. I saw these for the first time yesterday in a craw space. I am wondering if it could be from the spiders drinking salt water. I still have to go back to the home and check if the water softener is draining into the craw space, due to it being very wet under the house. Any comments would be appreciated.

    Reply
  83. I was taking apart my old shed. I found several of these underneath the floor. They were not alive. They looked like they were empty, like something had shed its skin. Also under the shed were a large amount of daddy long legs, so I would have thought they were of the same species before they died or shed its skin.

    Reply
  84. A friend of mine recently captured a large spider, she said her husband killed it with some sort of spray (unfortunately) and collected it in an old, cleaned out jelly jar. The spider formed this mold over its legs and body. I actually collect specimen that I find, and was wondering if I added isopropyl alcohol to the jar if the mold would clean off the specimen or if it’s a lost cause.

    Reply
  85. I think there is a connection with spider crickets. I work in alot of basements and the only time I see em is when there seems to be a buch of spider crickets and vice versa

    Reply
    • Prior to your comment, we were not aware that Spider Cricket is an accepted common name for Camel Crickets or Cave Crickets in the family Rhaphidophoridae. That stated, both Spider Crickets and Cellar Spiders prefer the same conditions, so it makes sense that they would be found in the same locations. Beyond that, we don’t know if there is a connection between Spider Crickets and the actual fungus.

      Reply
  86. I live in North Carolina and I just found hundred of the spider in my crawlspace space all dead but it’s exactly what everyone is describing it looks like a fungus to me too

    Reply
  87. Thanks to this page I was able to ID a similar looking poor spider on iNaturialist, as well as get a lead on a similar mold species that attacks another type of spider that I happened upon. Pretty neat, just not so much for the spiders themselves. 🙂

    Reply
  88. I just did some work under a trailer in ohio and seen these everywhere most where dead some looked like they had a little life left, it was damp and dirty under thete but i agree with the first response that they must have some infection or mold or fungus growing on them

    Reply
  89. This is a concern for me. If they r dead and it’s just a fungus. What kind of fungus is this n how do you get rid of it.
    I have seen these in a 1/2 crawl space basement.
    The ones I seen were very much alive

    Reply
  90. This is a concern for me. If they r dead and it’s just a fungus. What kind of fungus is this n how do you get rid of it.
    I have seen these in a 1/2 crawl space basement.
    The ones I seen were very much alive

    Reply
  91. Many people have asked if the fungus could be dangerous tohuman,but you havent answered thst question.i too am concerned about that.

    Reply
  92. My friend is a home inspector and saw these for the first time. They are alive but I don’t think they are spiders, they have 4 legs. He said they move by one leg jetting out then the others follow.
    Sheryl

    Reply
  93. My friend is a home inspector and saw these for the first time. They are alive but I don’t think they are spiders, they have 4 legs. He said they move by one leg jetting out then the others follow.
    Sheryl

    Reply
  94. Thank you for the great information, now I’ll just get the shop vac with a very long hose to eliminate the mess until they find their way back.

    Reply
  95. I just seen a few of these today under the trailer I wasn’t sure if they were alive but I decided to research and find out what it was it’s not a great pic but I did take one I don’t like spiders but this interested me because it looked so odd

    Reply
  96. have these in my basement in Bucksport, Maine. these creep me out more than the alive ones. i guess that kind of spider doesnt bite anyway right?

    Reply
  97. They are definitely infected with torrubiella pulvinata or a similar fungus. Onle one of the fungi known to infect Pholcus phalangioides (cellar spiders) is confirmed to be fatal, so I am sure they were very much alive. This is a paper about the one fatal species, Engyodontium aranearum, but the abstract confirms that there are multiple species that are non-fatal.

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/267521456_A_fungal_pathogen_of_the_cellar_spider_Pholcus_phalangioides/amp

    Reply
  98. They are definitely infected with torrubiella pulvinata or a similar fungus. Onle one of the fungi known to infect Pholcus phalangioides (cellar spiders) is confirmed to be fatal, so I am sure they were very much alive. This is a paper about the one fatal species, Engyodontium aranearum, but the abstract confirms that there are multiple species that are non-fatal.

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/267521456_A_fungal_pathogen_of_the_cellar_spider_Pholcus_phalangioides/amp

    Reply
  99. I have them in my garage if they are a spider or another type of bug. I think we have the right to know the effect it can do dead or alive

    Reply
  100. well, this explains alot. now, where I found them is of course the cellar and there is definitely plenty of moisture coming from 3 sump locations. I’m by a river too. I also found open containers of lime which I thought was contributing to the action. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    thanks to everyone for posting!

    Reply
  101. well, this explains alot. now, where I found them is of course the cellar and there is definitely plenty of moisture coming from 3 sump locations. I’m by a river too. I also found open containers of lime which I thought was contributing to the action. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    thanks to everyone for posting!

    Reply
  102. Here is an article regarding this subject
    https://esa.confex.com/esa/2014/webprogram/Paper85289.html

    It says they found 11 different fungi on cellar spiders, one of which killed them.

    I don’t think moisture is a factor, as I live on an island that is basically a sandbar. The houses have enclosed crawl spaces, usually quite dry. Loads of white fuzzy dead spiders. Don’t usually see live ones, but the dead ones have to come from somewhere.

    Reply
  103. I am at my moms house in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Her basement had flooded from the water heater and another water leak in 2018/2019. I’m currently cleaning out the house from the damage. The water is long gone but extremely damp. My camera has a cracked lens, but I will get some better pictures this week. I will be fully suited up with resperator. Mold isn’t something that you mess with.

    Reply

Leave a Comment