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How are Spider Webs Made?

Spider web construction begins with liquid silk being produced in the spider’s internal silk glands. Each silk gland has a faucet-like structure called a spigot which is located on the surface of the spider’s spinnerets. Spinnerets are located on the tip of the spider’s abdomen and spiders typically use their legs to tug silk out of the spinnerets. Spiders sometimes eat their silken webs and use that silk to remake new silk.

Types of Spider Webs & Which Spiders Produce Them

The shape of spider webs is one of the most important bits of information helpful to identify spiders. The main types of webs are described below, although some groups of spiders are “free-roaming” and do not produce the webs.

Spiral Orb Webs

These are typically wheel-shaped webs that contain a circular shaped silk frame with interior anchor lines that are pulled downward to create the “spokes” of the wheel. The barn orb-weaver and garden spider are spiral orb web builders.

Tangle Webs

These webs appear to be constructed in a haphazard manner. The most infamous tangle web spider is the Black widow.

Funnel Webs

These webs, as one might expect, look like web funnels that are often located between rocks and in thick plant cover, thus helping to hide and shelter these spiders. When completed the funnel-shaped webbing creates a silk burrow that enables these spiders to capture prey. Hobo spiders and giant house spiders are types of funnel web spiders.

Tubular Webs

These webs, which are similar to funnel webs, run along the bases of trees or on the ground. Tubular webs are used by the spider to hide until prey triggers a silken line radiating from the web. Tube spiders are found in the United States and around the world.

Sheet Webs

This spider group’s webs are constructed in the shape of a concave web that is strung across bushes or blades of grass and woven into a thick mat. Sheet web spiders are generally very small spiders. The sheet web might be described as a deadly hammock when viewed from the spider’s prey perspective. These spiders are sometimes called money spiders because their appearance is said to bring good luck.

Triangle Webs

These spiders make a characteristic triangular web that looks something like a ¼ portion of a typical spiral orb web. Triangle web spiders wind up and compress their web. When prey contacts the web, the spider releases a part of the web known as the anchor line, which enables the spider to spring forward and capture prey.

Wooley Webs

Wooley web spiders spin their webs using small, electrostatically charged silk fibers, rather than adhesive silk. Their webs work similarly to how cling wrap functions, so the wooley texture of the web is very efficient to capture spider prey.

Nursery Webs

Nursery web spiders carry their egg sac suspended under the female spider’s body. When the spiderlings are getting ready to be born, the female will drop the egg sac, fold over leaves of plants, place the egg sac inside the folded leaves, all of which helps protect the egg sac.

How to Get Rid of Spider Webs

If you're afraid of spiders, getting rid of their webs can be a daunting task. However, there are a few easy ways to remove spider webs from your home. You can use the hose attachment on a vacuum, a broom or duster as a spider web removal tool. Mixing equal parts of water and bleach in a spray bottle is another method that can be used to dissolve spider webs.

How to Keep Spiders Away

  • If you have an outside light that constantly stays on, spiders may build webs nearby to catch insects lured by the light. Turning off the light or switching to an LED type light attracts fewer insects. Spiders can often be persuaded to leave by destroying their web with a broom or other cleaning device. Knock the web down for several days and likely the spider will move elsewhere.

  • Spiders require some moisture and prey to survive, which helps explain why they are likely to be found in basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of buildings. However, dry locations such as attics, closets and other dark areas also provide spider habitat.

  • Some spiders may live in piles of firewood and debris, under items lying on the ground, or voids in hollow blocks. So, an inspection and control program are not complete, unless these areas are also inspected.

  • In some situations, the use of spider control insecticides might be needed to create a protective barrier around the home.

Spider control for different homes and areas often requires a program such as Orkin’s. Our Orkin Pros combine the most advanced technology and methods available today to suit the specific needs of your spider situation. Keeping spiders and pests out of your home is an ongoing process and not a one-time treatment.


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