Cobwebs in windows

I have a lot of spiders building webs in the windows of my home. We live on the 4th floor of an old apartment building next to a large urban forest, so lots of trees which means a lot more wildlife diversity/activity in general than you might usually think of in a city. We usually leave our windows open during the summer months, and these webs tend to span both outside and inside of the screen on some area of the windowsills.

I like spiders and usually try to leave them alone and let them do their thing. However, we need to clean our windows and I want to clean the windowsills as part of fall cleaning. I can’t really see any way of thoroughly cleaning the windows/sills without disturbing these spiderwebs.

How disturbing is it to spiders to sweep away their webs that are encroaching on your home once in a while? I don’t want to mindlessly destroy the homes of other creatures that aren’t doing me any harm, and don’t want to be a bad spider neighbor, but I also need to clean the windows sometimes. I don’t mind if they move back in afterwards. Is there a way to clean up webs that is more humane to the spiders? Thanks for any thoughts.


I similarly feel regretful about it; but sometimes you have to sweep those spiderswebs away. I normally use a soft-bristled “Webster”.

Typically, they do start to rebuild right away.


That is good to know! Thank you!

If webs are old and dusty spiders will be grateful to have them no more, and even if not, our steatodas will build their castles back in a week after cleaning them all away, just be careful to not throw away spiders.


i brush the webs away with a broom or rag and relocate the spider outside if i can or carry them out on the end of the broom. They’ll rebuild elsewhere


A note about terminology, as people often mix up the terms silk, web and cobweb. All spiders produce silk (up to seven different types, each produced by a different specialised gland) for various purposes but not all build webs, ie static structures for trapping prey. A cobweb is a disused spider web, typically one that has become dusty rendering it much more visible to the human eye.

Certainly you can remove cobwebs, as they are no longer in use. If anything, they are a hindrance to any spiders still nearby.

Don’t worry too much about removing active webs occasionally either. Spiders are used to repairing their webs as they regularly become damaged. I wouldn’t recommend removing the webs every day or week, but clearing them away every month or two won’t be detrimental (as long as you are careful not to harm the spiders while doing so).


I hose down spider webs at places on my house. The spiders seem to come back, so I assume they are ‘fine’ with that. As has been pointed out, not all spiders make webs. Right now, they should be getting ready for winter, or moving into my basement!

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Thanks, everyone, I appreciate the replies and information!

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