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Where Do Cobwebs Come From?

Hello Frugal friends,

I have a question for you all. Where do cob webs come from and HOW can I keep them from coming back all the time? I can clean them up today and by tomorrow they are back. I hate that, so any information you can share with me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a bunch,
Teresa from VA

Recent Answers

By Lynn05/26/2009

I live in the South East I've lived all over the world and never had cob webs or spider weds as I do here. I clean them away in the morning, or when I see them and in some places they're back in an hour! Yes, I vacuum. But what I find strange is that lately I have a cob web appear on the door knob of the outside of my kitchen door, in between the kitchen door and the storm door, right on the door knob! Now I, we, must use that door 25 times a day with family coming in and out and I have 2 cats that can never decide where they want to be, so we're letting them in and out 10 times a day.
Can anyone explain why a cob web would keep reappearing a couple of times a day in the same place, the door knob? Thanks.

By Ed Goldberger03/14/2009

The key is understanding that these are structures formed from CHARGED dust motes. I have not heard anyone say anything about how they get charged, and how you can arrange things at home so that the rate of dust mote charging decreases, and with it the frequency of the cobwebs.

Is there a way to remove the charge from free-floating dust?

Or even better, promote the charging of dust already in the air, then using that charge to attract the dust where you want it for easy disposal. Haven't I seen something like that on an infomercial?

I wonder if the aerosol (bugspray) was working for Charlene's mother-in-law by de-ionizing free-floating dustmotes in the region of the room near the corners. Or perhaps frequent sprays just knock down strands in the early stages. If cobwebs form in ways like snowflakes, it would mean that aggregation happens all the faster around existing strands.

How does all this dust usually get charged anyhow?

This sounds like a dream middleschool science project! Can you imagine tenns over and declaring half the house as "no dusting" zones! As a supportive parent, what would you do?

By DHFabian03/13/2009

Here's another "Straight Dope" entry for an interesting read about cobwebs:
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1996/are-cobwebs-made-by-spiders

By Brian (Guest Post)02/20/2009

Now if cobwebs are made by spiders, they wouldn't be scared of them. I had a fairly long one from the roof to a wall. There was a spider, I used a broom and dustpan to herd the spider to the cobweb, no matter what I did, it would not go onto the web.

So my opinion is, "Dust Particles" Also why don't you ever find a spider on or making one, traveling dragging the web etc. Or See a fly etc stuck to it?

By Brian12/29/2008

I have just finished witnessing cobwebs coming into existance, and I was able to observe this event in a controlled environment that is absent of any and all spiders and insects. As Simon observed they are chains of charged particles of dust. The particuar web I observed formed in a supply room off of my Computer Room. What caught my attention was what appeared to be about 1 dozen hairs sticking up from a container. Upon closer examination the hairs were actually lengths of dust strands. They were all being "Attracted" in the same direction. After a day, the strands had grown, some had fallen right down, others had fallen into other strands, and now the "Web" effect was beginning. After 2 days some additional branches had formed off the main strand, and by the end of day 3 had reached the supporting cabinet wall they were being "Attracted" to, thus completing the web. No spider was involved. I looked at it through a fairly high powered magnification lens, and in fact you can see the individual particles, most lining up end for end, but some of them sideways. Much the same effect if you formed a chain of small magnets.

By Brian (Guest Post)12/29/2008

I have just finished witnessing cobwebs coming into existence, and I was able to observe this event in a controlled environment that is absent of any and all spiders and insects. As Simon observed they are chains of charged particles of dust.

The particular web I observed formed in a supply room off of my Computer Room. What caught my attention was what appeared to be about 1 dozen hairs sticking up from a container. Upon closer examination the hairs were actually lengths of dust strands. They were all being "Attracted" in the same direction.

After a day, the strands had grown, some had fallen right down, others had fallen into other strands, and now the "Web" effect was beginning. After 2 days some additional branches had formed off the main strand, and by the end of day 3 had reached the supporting cabinet wall they were being "Attracted" to, thus completing the web. No spider was involved.

I looked at it through a fairly high powered magnification lens, and in fact you can see the individual particles, most lining up end for end, but some of them sideways. Much the same effect if you formed a chain of small magnets.

By Janette (Guest Post)08/29/2008

HaHa. My boss told me to look up cob webs because I saw some by the stereo and I made him knock it down because I cannot stand them. I had a spider crawl on my head and almost walked into a spider making a web. And yes my boss was right spider webs and cob webs are two different things. THANK GOD FOR MY BOSS BEING SMART. I just hate spider webs. Like everyone said on here, clean your house daily and you don't have them.

By Donna from Va (Guest Post)03/26/2008

I have to say that cob webs come from spiders AND dust...I live on a farm, and I have a terribly dusty house....I only get the cob webs in the corners and upper area....If it were just dust, then I would have them all over my house, but I see these really long legged spiders from time to time, on my ceiling, and I believe they are responsible for the cob webs....along with the dust....

By Mark Mills11/12/2007

In my home in Seattle Cobwebs probably come from the cellar spider. It is a spider with very long thin legs that is harmless but hard to see. It hides in dark places and wanders along the ceiling at night leaving its web behind as a trail. It likes to hide in the corner of the ceiling and wait for insects to come along for food. Check out an online dictionary for pictures and information on that spider. Hope this helps!

By Simon (Guest Post)10/09/2007

I beleive the scientific explanation for them is that rising dust particles are ''Charged'' by static electricity and they then are attracted to settled lumps of dust or ''cob webs'' in the corners and crevices of the room you may find that large electrical appliances like tvs create them with ease due to the heightened static field around it... but thats just one idea!

By Charlene (Guest Post)09/22/2007

My mother-in law said that she sprays house bug spray in the corners of the selling and around the walls. I too thought they were from dust.

By Dari (Guest Post)08/12/2007

To Teresa from virginia. I have the same problem! It may appear to others that youve been lax in your housekeeping. I dont have the time to knock the cobwebs down every day but it seems to me that when the humidity level is higher, the cobwebs appear more frequently. Just an observation. would appreciate anyone else's opinion on this. How to prevent them? Besides dusting every day. I dont have time for that! Anyone? Thank!

By myrna gibbens. (Guest Post)04/08/2007

I have a new home and two large dogs. My house has dust and cob webs
but never spiders.
I have spiders outside and can watch them spin a web over my coffee cup.
Being new my house is sealed well and if I had as many spiders as cob webs I would have to move out.

By Dean (Guest Post)08/20/2006

Spider webs and cobb webs are two different things and are unrelated.Cobb webs form from dust only have nothing to do with spiders.Dusting and vacuuming will prevent them from forming.

By Alan B Steele [3]08/20/2006

Teresa
I go with Tedsmom on this, cobwebs are spiderwebs that have collected dust and other debrie. The spider may have abandoned it and made a new web elswhere if it can or when you remove it the spider will come back from its hiding place and spin a new one. The answer then is to get rid of the spiders, but you may then be plagued with flies and other insects that the spiders feed on. Hard choice! But I would remove the cobwebs on a regular basis and put up with the spiders that spin their webs 'out of site'. After all they do us a service.

08/19/2006

I thought this was a very interesting question so did some research about it.

It appears that cobwebs are a form of spider web. A cobweb is basically a disorganized spider web. Some spiders like house spiders and black widows actually spin cobwebs. Other cobwebs are formed from stray spider lines left behind by spiders which descend from the ceiling or by jumping spiders. They may also be formed when spider eggs are sent adrift using webbing as a kind of parasail. And, cobwebs might also be formed when you clean webs out of other places in your house and some of the web material gets set adrift, collecting naturally in the corners.

To answer the original question you can get rid of cobwebs by cleaning regularly. You only see cobwebs because they are covered with dust. If you've walked through spider webs in your garage or in the forest before you know that they are usually nearly invisible. Dust the upper corners of your rooms periodically whether they appear to have cobwebs or not. This will help get rid of any nearly invisible webs that are forming up there, before they get covered with dust.

Here are a couple articles with more information.

Mad Sci Network - <http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/may97/859695397.Zo.r.html>

The Straight Dope <http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mcobweb.html>

By Ellie (Guest Post)08/19/2006

Cobwebs and spider webs are different things. Spiderwebs are spun from their silk, and you will usuallysee the spider at home in the web.
Cobwebs are a mixture of dust and whatever glues the dust together-sorry- I can't be more specific on that part. As dust is ever with us, really I think the only thing that can be done apart from sealing your house hermatically, no open windows or doors ever..
you just have to keep on knocking them down!

By Suee08/19/2006

I was always told that they were caused by dust in the air settling on the walls and curtains, etc. Cob webs and spider webs are usually two different things.

By Pat Giles08/19/2006

Cobwebs are built by spiders. You have to get rid of them before the cobwebs will stop appearing.

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