Spiders can be found almost anywhere, both outside and inside of your home, and if you’re tempted to flush them down the toilet, keep in mind that while spiders can drown, it is not an easy process for them.
Spiders can float and have lots of legs to paddle with, and while they generally dislike being in water, they can survive for several hours before drowning, which often gives them enough time to escape.
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Spiders can drown if washed down a shower or sink drain, but it can take up to an hour for them to do so. Spiders have low metabolic rates and, therefore, low oxygen consumption. Spiders don’t swim per se, but they have the ability to float.
That, combined with the number of legs they can use to paddle the water, means that they often have time to get out of this predicament. Keep in mind that spiders are also very adaptable and resourceful, and they hate being in water.
This is why spiders will fight like crazy to get out of any body of water they find themselves in, whether it’s a drain, a sink or tub of water, or even a lake or pond.
Some spiders, such as the Dolomedes and Northern Tree Funnel-Web spiders, actually can swim, but most spiders do not. Still, if given enough time, they can often make their way out of the water because they feel they have to.
Eventually, a spider flushed down the toilet will drown because it is trapped in a large area of water and has nowhere to escape. But spiders can go without breathing for about an hour, so don’t expect that it will happen quickly.
Since most household spiders are perfectly harmless, it’s best not to flush them down the toilet because it is actually an inhumane thing to do. There are numerous other, more humane ways to get rid of the spiders in your home.
Most house spiders can stay completely immersed in water for at least several minutes, but since many of them can go without breathing for about an hour, some last that long underneath the water.
Some spiders, including the wolf spider, deliberately go into a coma-like condition and can remain underwater for up to 40 hours. The length of time the spider can remain underwater depends on its species and the exact circumstance.
The diving bell spider can actually live underwater, check out the video below.
Some spiders do come back to life after being drowned. It depends on the type of spider that’s drowned, as well as how long it was underwater.
The spiders that go into a self-induced “coma,” such as wolf spiders, have been known to come back to life after 24–36 hours and suffer no ill effects.
This means that if you intentionally try to drown your spider, make sure you know what type it is first because it might come back to haunt you later!
Pouring water on a spider can kill it, but if the spider manages to place itself on top of the water, it is likely to survive. The truth is, it doesn’t take a lot of water for a spider to drown since it cannot technically swim.
Since pouring water over a spider doesn’t give it enough water to float in or paddle through, it will likely die in the end. This is why spiders usually die if you pour water over them, and it doesn’t take long for it to happen.
Killing a spider doesn’t attract more of them. Why? Because unlike bees, spiders are very individualistic and are not that interested in meeting the needs of other spiders.
You can think of spiders as rather selfish creatures because when one is harmed or killed, the others won’t rush to its rescue. If you kill a spider, there is no need to worry about experiencing an influx of other spiders in your home.
If you do notice more spiders after killing one, it is a coincidence and the result of something else.
Since most house spiders are harmless and even helpful because they eat other pests and insects in your home, there is no need to panic if you see them. If you choose to get rid of them, here are a few ways to do so:
The best way to get rid of spiders is to remove them by hand and simply place them outside where most people feel they belong. This doesn’t harm the spiders but puts them in a more natural environment.
There are certain scents spiders hate, and if you mix those scents with water and spray them in areas where you’ve noticed spiders in the past, it will keep them away. Some of these scents include peppermint, mint, citrus, eucalyptus, and lavender.
Spiders usually don’t stick around for long once their webs are gone. If you use a vacuum cleaner and certain attachments, it will suck away these webs, and if you do this regularly, spiders will eventually leave your home.
Spiders usually enter your home looking for food or shelter. The neater your house is, the less likely they’ll be interested in entering it. It is especially important to keep crumbs and morsels of food off of your kitchen counters, floors, etc.
5. Use Natural Spider Repellants
Natural repellants work well to get rid of spiders. Many of them create a barrier that repels or kills them.
Since spiders can’t swim, they usually drown when immersed in water. They sometimes get on top of the water, where they are able to float and use their many legs to paddle to a safe location. Spiders can also take an hour to drown because they can go that long without breathing.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.