Do spiders clean dust from their webs?

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Stephen Tashi
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In dusty climates, do spiders (generally speaking) clean their webs of the dust? - or live with it? - or leave the old web and make a new one?

In the southwestern USA, the ridges on exterior door molding and siding get covered with small dusty spider webs, each only a few inches long. It makes me wonder whether there is roughly one spider per web or many webs per spider.
 

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TeethWhitener
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Some spiders take down their webs and replace them on a semi-regular schedule (e.g., daily). I had one on a window in an old apartment who would take its web down (by eating it) and rebuild it every morning right around sunrise.
 
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  • #5
Bystander
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replace them on a semi-regular schedule (e.g., daily).
Had a "couple" black widows while post-doc'ing in College Station who'd do the same thing; even had a couple males shacked up with one who'd sleep in while they did the hunting for her, 'til the morning when she woke up early and had them for breakfast.
 
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A biologist teacher of mine mentioned in one of his lectures that spiders "recheck" the web condition, tensile structure and stickiness properties every now and then when weather conditions are perceived as appropriate (after rain or non windy). I don't know exactly how they fix the lose of glue properties (more dust, less glue effect) which makes me become actually curious :-).

As far as I know, the spider produces viscous silk from their spinneret glands located at the tip of their abdomen and they can't produce viscous sticky separately from silk production. Therefore, they need to create new silk for glue effect.

https://www.livescience.com/8934-scientists-untangled-spider-web-stickiness.html
 
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Most cobweb spiders and orb weavers live in different environments, most of the time.

The more exposed orb weavers eat their webs at night, and almost always at local midnight standard time, prior to rebuilding a new one, so dust really doesn't become an issue.

Cobweb builders prefer to build in hidden locations. They know there location is cryptic by the lack of breeze. Places like under your house and such.

So dust isn't much of a problem under their respective normal operating conditions and day to day routines.
 
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  • #8
Stephen Tashi
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So dust isn't much of a problem under their respective normal operating conditions and day to day routines.

The photo shows the cosmetic problem common in southern NM, USA.

P1010002.JPG
 

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