Can spiders sucked into a vacuum survive?

Really enjoyed it, Great job.

Here’s an old thread about it. More funny than factual, but we got enough of that on the report.

When I first saw this blurb today I thought it was about giant spiders being sucked into the vacuum of space, a la Aliens…

I’ve sucked a few spiders, and also ants and other insects, into my home vacuum and pondered this very question. I have assumed that the spiders would probably survive the initial trip into the vacuum bag. However, because the environment inside the vacuum bag would be incredibly dusty with all the very fine particles also sucked up, the spiders and insects would have great difficulty breathing and would soon asphyxiate.

The inside of a vacuum bag can not be a pleasant place for any living thing more advanced than mold.

Obligatory link to report.

Wait, I’m confused. The first part of the article is about how whether a spider can get out of a vacuum and murder you in a fit of righteous vengeance says that it depends on the valve leading into the bag or container. But then it says that if a spider does get out of the bag but is still in the vacuum when it is turned on again, that “No spider, no web, has much chance of withstanding that much airflow.”

How does the spider survive getting sucked into the thing in the first place, then?

Spiders are amazing … I have one living in the rearview mirror OUTSIDE of the car. She builds a web from the car mirror to the door. When I drive, she hides out inside the mirror and survives even at highway speeds and then rebuilds the web at night. How’s that for living in a wind tunnel ?!

Of course, a spider could even find other insects in there and have food to eat.

I originally read your mini-header as “Spider clinging to ear” and just about had a conniption fit. Hopefully, I will have forgotten that imagery by the time I try to sleep tonight.


I hear Bacon Salt repels spiders. And if not, hey, there are worse things that can happen to you than having an ear full of spiders that taste like bacon.

As soon as I saw that you had posted in this thread, I knew it would be trouble. :smack:

And I’m sure as hell not about to waste my Bacon Salt on a bugger I’m going to vacuum up anyway.

Back OT, I’m with chorpler in that I’m confused about the seemingly contradictory conclusions in the report.

I don’t think he means it’ll kill the spider, just that it won’t be able to stay clinging to whatever surface it’s on. No matter how tenacious the arachnid, it’ll still end up back in the bag. It can’t withstand it insofar as it can’t keep its grip, not that it can’t live through the experience.

I shudder to think what other nasties would go spelunking in your ear, drawn by the irresistible scent of bacony spiders. :eek: :frowning:

What would be so hard about conducting an actual experiment?
Spiders and bugs are fairly easy to find and vacuum cleaners are robustly abundant.

I think that the force of the vacuum breaks the legs of ordinary spiders, so that even if one would be able to live through the vacuuming, it could not crawl out again to take revenge.

When I once lived on the Olympic Peninsula, I had spiders so big around that they were almost too big for the vacuum cleaner hose, spiders of Shelobian ilk, with a tread so loud you could just about hear the eight legs go tromping in the night, and I suspect those might be able survive a vacuuming. Even my cat, who had been an intrepid spider hunter when I lived elsewhere, steered clear of them. I learned to catch them with a *very l[/I wide-mouthed glass and release them outside, uttering the appropriate incantations. Sprinkled borax in corners to discourage them.

Alas, bacon salt had not yet been invented. Or is the bacon salt for a saute of spiders and wilted kale?

I have, with a Dyson, and it completely obliterates them - just a smear on the inside of the cylinder.

Actually, I suspect that the bigger the beastie, the less likely it would be to survive, since it would have more momentum as it careened up the hose into the Whirling Blades of Death™.

I’d agree with that, though it’s just a WAG. I’d expect that teeny little mite-sized spiders would survive best, and big squishy ones worst.

I saw this thread and I had to put my two cents in- the technical answer is yes, they can crawl back out of the vacuum. I actually took my vacuum cleaner to the repair store and asked them this very question (I’m aware that I need to address my personal issues :-)). The repairman’s answer was “yes, technically they can crawl back out, but they shoud be smashed by the other debris in there.”

Therefore, the following is not based on approved or extensive research, but on anecdotal trials.In most cases the spider will be smushed from the vacuuming, however, to ensure this, I vacuum continuously for at least five minutes. I haven’t had any problems with this method.

The two times that I did run into trouble were with the big insects- one wasp, one cricket. They were immune to the Dyson’s wrath and just hung out insdie until I was done vacuuming. I eventually took the whole cannister outside and dumped it there. These two had a happy ending.

The best way to get rid of a spider is to have someone at your house who isn’t afraid- he/she can just take it outside for you. However, the vacuuming approach is probably the next best approach for my fellow arachnaphobes.