Does Hoovering a Spider Kill It? What Happens?

Nobody enjoys unexpectedly finding a spider in their home, and when this happens, many people panic. I admit I’m frightened of them. So if you have your Hoover close by, can it kill the spider? 

Hoovering a spider usually kills it as spiders are delicate bugs, and the trauma from the suction tube, bristles, and being catapulted into the bag can quickly kill it. If not, they can’t easily crawl out of the Hoover and will soon die from hunger or thirst.

I LOVE all living creatures and I’m answering this out of curiosity. If you can, please release the spider in a humane way – which will also be covered in this article.

I don’t advocate killing things at all. But, since lots of other people want to know, this article will cover what happens to a spider if you Hoover it and whether or not spiders can crawl out of Hoovers. Then you can learn about more kind ways to get rid of spiders, other than a Hoover!

What Happens if You Hoover a Spider? 

If you’ve recently been vacuuming your home, discovered a couple of spiders, and Hoovered them up, what happens to the spider? 

a spider crawling on a house tile floor

If you Hoover a spider, it will probably die from an injury sustained by the suction tube or rotating brushes. If it survives being Hoovered, it will eventually suffocate in the dust and dirt or die from thirst. 

Hoovers need strong suction pipes to vacuum dirt up effectively. Spiders generally have fragile legs, and these will be the first part of the spider’s body to be injured by the suction mechanism (source: Smithsonian Magazine).  

The University of Vienna conducted a study and found that spiders are the second most vibration-sensitive creatures. After being Hoovered, spiders will become overwhelmed by the vibrations and die from shock or further injuries to their exoskeleton (source: Phys Org). 

If you’re vacuuming a particularly dusty or dirty area, the incoming debris will fall on the spider and suffocate or crush it. 

It’s not a nice way to go, so if you have a braver person in your house who isn’t scared of spiders, it’s MUCH better to use one of the humane ways listed below.

Can Spiders Crawl Out of Hoovers?

In the previous section, I explained that the chances are against a spider surviving if you Hoover one. So, what happens if the spider miraculously survives? Can it crawl out of your Hoover? 

Spiders can’t typically crawl out of Hoovers due to a vacuum cleaner’s design. After being Hoovered, the spider will be trapped in the bag or the receptacle containing the dust and dirt you’ve vacuumed up. Their only chance of survival would be if you immediately emptied the Hoover. 

A spider’s chances of survival also depend on the type of Hoover you have (source: ABC). 

If you have a bagless vacuum cleaner, the dust and dirt container is usually transparent or semi-transparent, allowing you to see when you need to empty it. After accidentally Hoovering a spider, you might notice it inside the dust container and release it. 

This would be more difficult with a bagged Hoover as you wouldn’t notice having vacuumed a spider. The spider would suffocate, die of thirst or hunger, or be eaten by any other larger insects already inside the bag. 

It’s understandable if you feel like Hoovering up a spider because many people are scared of them (including me). However, letting them die in a vacuum cleaner is a gruesome, slow, and painful death. 

Thankfully, if you want to get rid of a spider, there are more humane ways of doing so: 

woman using hand-held vacuum to get rid of spider

Humane Ways to Kill Spiders Instead of Hoovering

Use a hand-held vacuum cleaner at the lowest speed. Using a handheld Hoover (like a dustbuster) at the lowest speed is a humane way of getting a spider out of your home. With the Hoover on the lowest speed, gently suck up the spider, go outside, and release it. 

Buy a spider catcher. If you’re feeling fancy or enjoy trying out new gadgets, a spider catcher is an excellent and kind way to get rid of spiders. The spider catcher’s bristles surround the spider after you press a button, and it allows you to release the spider once you’re outside. Spider catches also have long poles, making them suitable for arachnophobes. 

Here’s one I bought on Amazon because it has a VERY long handle and I don’t want to be anywhere near the spider!

Use a makeshift receptacle and cover. Your receptacle could be a paper cup, jar, or bowl, and you can use the cover (a piece of paper, magazine, etc) to guide the spider inside and trap it. Go outside, open the cover, and release the spider into the wild.

Invest in an ultrasonic bug deterrent. Although this won’t help in the immediate term if you already have a spider, an ultrasonic bug deterrent emits soundwaves that only bugs and rodents can hear. Any spiders in your home will soon scurry away. Here’s a popular one on Amazon, though I’ve never tried it.

Use a hairdryer. If you see a spider in your bedroom and your hairdryer is close by, put it at the lowest speed, open the window, and gently guide it outside. 

Repel them with essential oils. If you have spiders in your home but you’re not in a hurry to get rid of them, you could try using cinnamon or peppermint oil (like this one) to repel them as they hate the scent. You can do this by using a diffuser or spraying diluted essential oil in the places your spiders frequent.  

(source: PETA)

Now that you know that Hoovering up spiders is not the best idea, hopefully, you can use some of the humane tips mentioned in this article to get rid of them! Good luck, and be brave!


The things I love to buy are clothes, fashion, fragrances/perfume and I'm always on the lookout for accessories and jewellery. I love animals and have had many pets over the years - currently three extremely pampered cats!

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