Cellar spiders, also known as daddy long legs, are a common sight in many homes. These long-legged arachnids have a distinct appearance, with their thin bodies and spindly legs. Despite their harmless nature, many people believe that these spiders are poisonous. In this article, we will debunk this myth and clarify why cellar spiders pose no threat to humans.
Firstly, it’s important to understand the difference between venomous and poisonous. Venomous animals, such as snakes and spiders, use their venom to paralyze or kill their prey. Poisonous animals, on the other hand, are harmful when ingested or touched. For example, some plants like poison ivy contain toxins that can cause skin irritation or lead to allergic reactions if consumed.
Now, let’s delve into why people believe that cellar spiders are poisonous. The myth most likely stems from confusion with a different spider species: the brown recluse spider. Brown recluses are venomous spiders found in many areas of the United States. Additionally, their bodies look similar to cellar spiders if you don’t look closely. Brown recluse spiders are not commonly found in homes, so it’s unlikely that most people will encounter them. However, it’s still essential to be cautious around any unfamiliar spiders you come across in case they are venomous.
Now, back to cellar spiders. While these spiders can bite, their venom is harmless to humans. In fact, their venom is not strong enough to cause any noticeable effects. Even if you’re allergic to spider venom, you don’t have to worry about cellar spiders. They have never been known to cause any serious allergic reactions or illnesses. In fact, cellar spiders are beneficial to have around: they catch and eat other insects, such as mosquitoes and flies.
In conclusion, the myth that cellar spiders are poisonous is just that: a myth. There is no need to be afraid of these harmless creatures. In fact, they may even be helping to keep your home free of other pesky insects. So, the next time you see a cellar spider in your basement or closet, take a moment to appreciate its important role in your home’s ecosystem.