Does Vacuuming Kill Spiders? The Truth About Eliminating Arachnids in Your Home

(Last Updated On: June 22, 2023)

Vacuuming is a common household chore that many people perform regularly.

While it’s an effective way to clean carpets and floors, it can also suck up unwanted guests like spiders.

But does vacuuming kill spiders? The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on several factors.

Spiders are fascinating creatures that are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth.

They play a crucial role in controlling insects and other arthropods, making them beneficial to have around.

However, not everyone is comfortable with sharing their living space with these eight-legged creatures.

Vacuuming is one way to remove spiders from your home, but it’s not always clear if it’s an effective method of control. In this article, we’ll explore the impact of vacuuming on spiders and the factors that affect their survival.

Key Takeaways

  • Vacuuming spiders may not always kill them, as some species are more resilient than others.
  • Factors such as the vacuum type, spider size, and environmental conditions can affect the spider’s survival.
  • Alternative methods of spider control, such as exclusion and habitat modification, may be more effective and humane.

The Spider and Vacuum: An Overview

When it comes to spiders and vacuums, there are a lot of misconceptions. Many people believe that vacuuming up a spider is an effective way to get rid of it, but is it really? Let’s take a closer look.

First, it’s important to understand that not all spiders are harmful. In fact, most spiders are harmless and even beneficial, as they prey on other insects. However, some species of spiders can be dangerous, such as the black widow or brown recluse. If you’re dealing with a potentially dangerous spider, it’s best to contact a professional for removal.

Assuming you’re dealing with a harmless spider, what happens when you vacuum it up? According to arachnologists, almost every spider that gets sucked into a home vacuum cleaner will die – either immediately, from the trauma of ricocheting through the machine’s narrow tubes, or eventually, from thirst. The bouncing around and ricocheting can cause trauma to the spider’s body, which can lead to its death.

However, it’s worth noting that some spiders may survive getting vacuumed. For example, if the spider is large enough to avoid getting sucked up completely, it may be able to crawl out of the vacuum cleaner on its own. Additionally, if the spider is captured inside the vacuum cleaner canister, it is possible for it to survive for some time, possibly finding other small creatures to feed on. However, typically, if you wait for about a week, the spider will perish.

In summary, vacuuming up a spider is not a foolproof method for getting rid of it. While it may kill the spider, it’s not guaranteed, and it’s possible that the spider could survive or even escape. It’s also worth considering that there are more humane ways to deal with spiders, such as capturing them and releasing them outside.

Impact of Vacuuming on Spiders

Physical Trauma

When spiders get sucked into a vacuum, they experience physical trauma that can be fatal. The sudden change in pressure can cause their organs to rupture, leading to internal bleeding and death. Spiders that are large or have hard exoskeletons may be more resistant to physical trauma, but they are still at risk of injury.

Survival Rate

Contrary to popular belief, not all spiders die when they get sucked into a vacuum. According to Them Vacuums, the majority of spiders tend to survive being sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. This is because they are able to cling onto the walls of the vacuum tube or the filter bag and avoid being sucked into the dustbin.

However, the survival rate of spiders depends on various factors, such as the type of vacuum cleaner used, the size and species of the spider, and the duration of the vacuuming process. For example, bagless vacuum cleaners may be less effective in trapping spiders, as they tend to escape through the exhaust vent. On the other hand, bagged vacuum cleaners may suffocate the spiders, as they are unable to breathe inside the sealed bag.

In general, spiders that are trapped inside the vacuum cleaner for a longer period of time are more likely to die due to dehydration and starvation. According to Smithsonian Magazine, almost every spider sucked into a home vacuum cleaner will die eventually, from thirst.

In conclusion, while some spiders may survive being sucked into a vacuum cleaner, the majority of them are at risk of physical trauma, dehydration, and starvation. Therefore, it is recommended to use alternative methods, such as trapping and releasing spiders outside, to avoid harming them unnecessarily.

Factors Affecting Spider Survival

When a spider is sucked into a vacuum cleaner, it may die immediately or survive for some time, depending on various factors. Here are some of the factors that can affect spider survival after being vacuumed:

  • Spider Species: Different spider species have different survival rates when vacuumed. Some spiders, such as the black widow and the brown recluse, are more resilient and can survive for longer periods than others.
  • Vacuum Cleaner Type: The type of vacuum cleaner used can also affect spider survival. Some vacuum cleaners have more powerful suction than others, which can cause more trauma to the spider. Additionally, some vacuum cleaners have filters that can trap the spider, which can increase the chances of survival.
  • Vacuuming Time: The length of time the spider is in the vacuum can also affect its survival. If the spider is only in the vacuum for a short period, it may have a better chance of surviving than if it is in the vacuum for an extended period.
  • Environment: The environment inside the vacuum cleaner can also affect spider survival. If the vacuum cleaner is hot and dry, the spider may die from dehydration. However, if the vacuum cleaner is cool and humid, the spider may be able to survive for longer.
  • Spider Health: The health of the spider can also affect its survival. If the spider is already weak or injured, it may be more likely to die from being vacuumed.

Overall, the survival of a spider after being vacuumed depends on several factors. While some spiders may survive for some time, most will eventually die from trauma or dehydration. It is important to note that vacuuming spiders is not an effective method of pest control and may harm beneficial spiders that help control other pests.

Alternative Methods to Control Spiders

If you’re not comfortable with vacuuming spiders or if you’re looking for alternative methods to control spiders, there are a few options available. These methods can be divided into two categories: chemical pest control and natural pest control.

Chemical Pest Control

Chemical pest control involves using pesticides or insecticides to kill spiders. While this method can be effective, it’s important to note that many of these chemicals can be harmful to humans and pets. It’s also important to follow instructions carefully and use these products in a safe and responsible manner.

Some common chemical pest control options for spiders include sprays, baits, and dusts. These products can be found at most hardware stores or online retailers.

Natural Pest Control

If you’re looking for a more natural approach to controlling spiders, there are several options available. These methods are generally safer for humans and pets, but may not be as effective as chemical pest control.

One natural method is to use essential oils. Peppermint oil, for example, is a natural spider repellent. Simply mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and spray around windows, doors, and other entry points.

Another natural method is to use diatomaceous earth. This is a powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms. When spiders come into contact with diatomaceous earth, it damages their exoskeleton and dehydrates them. Simply sprinkle the powder around entry points or other areas where spiders are present.

Finally, you can also use sticky traps to catch spiders. These traps are available at most hardware stores or online retailers. Simply place the traps around entry points or other areas where spiders are present.

Overall, there are several alternative methods to control spiders. Whether you choose chemical pest control or natural pest control, it’s important to follow instructions carefully and use these products in a safe and responsible manner.


In conclusion, vacuuming spiders can be an effective method of pest control. However, it is important to note that not all spiders will die from being vacuumed up. The type of vacuum cleaner used and the size of the spider can greatly affect the outcome.

According to an article by Smithsonian Magazine, “Almost every spider sucked into a home vacuum cleaner will die—either immediately, from the trauma of ricocheting through the machine’s narrow tubes, or eventually, from thirst”. This means that vacuuming can be an effective way to get rid of spiders, but it is not a foolproof method.

It is important to note that some spiders, such as jumping spiders, are more resilient to vacuuming than others. As noted by Cleanerd, “As we mentioned, vacuuming spiders is effective, but as to whether they can survive after ricocheting through the vacuum hose and down inside the canister will depend on two key elements: how big (or small) the spiders are, as well as the vacuum cleaner type you have at home” (source).

For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of vacuuming spiders, there are alternative methods available. One option is to use a spider catcher, which is a tool designed to catch and release spiders without harming them. Another option is to seek professional help from a pest control company.

Overall, vacuuming spiders can be an effective method of pest control, but it is important to consider the type of spider and the type of vacuum cleaner being used. Those who are uncomfortable with vacuuming spiders can explore alternative methods of pest control.

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