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There are a lot of Q&A/forums where it is suggested that it is possible these spiders can survive being vacuumed ("hoovered") up (and in some cases crawl back out the vacuum cleaner later).

Is it possible for these spiders to survive the vacuuming process?

  • 2
    You can survive a fall for 5000 feet... that doesn't mean that you can do so reliably. – Chad Oct 3 '12 at 20:30
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Vacuum Cleaner Mortality

Can a UK house spider survive being vacuumed up?

No.†

The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases published a study entitled "Evaluation of the efficacy of vacuum cleaners for the integrated control of brown spider Loxosceles intermedia"

The results include

A total of 60 male, 60 female, 60 young and 60 just-hatched L. intermedia were vacuumed from Stages 1 to 4, in which all individuals were dead at the end of the vacuuming process (Figure 1B). Most spiders showed leg loss and many of them presented either abdomen damage or had the cephalothorax severed from the abdomen. Even those few individuals without discernible body damage did not resist vacuuming (there was no subsequent recovery of individuals replaced in the pots).

The study also looked at a variety of situations including mortality of spiders which were placed alive in the bag of the vacuum cleaner prior to vacuuming - these all survived - suggesting dust in the bag isn't an effective killer of spiders.


The above study cites

Vetter et al. (20) stated that "vacuuming spiders can be an effective control technique because their soft bodies usually do not survive this process"

VETTER RS., OCONNOR-MARER P., MUSSEN E., ALLEN L., DAANE K., HICKMAN G., SLATER A., PHILLIPS P., HANNA R. Integrated Pest Management in and around the home. Spiders. Pest Notes. California: Univ. Calif. Div. Agric. Nat. Res., PB7442, 2000.

As HTML, as PDF

This document describes a variety of spider species including another member of Tegenaria and contains the above statement about vacuuming without qualification by species.


† Of course, Loxosceles intermedia is not Tegenaria duellica. Vacuum cleaners in Brazil may differ from those in the UK.


Classification

There appears to be some changes in the classification of the domestic house spider.

giant house spider (Eratigena atrica, previously known as Tegenaria atrica, T. duellica, T. gigantea, and T. saeva – updated in August, 2014)

- From AskNaturalist.com quoting a Mandy Howe

Previously genus Tegenaria (transferred to Eratigena in August 2013)

...

Phylogeny and taxonomy of European funnel-web spiders of the Tegenaria−Malthonica complex (Araneae: Agelenidae) based upon morphological and molecular data. By Bolzern, Burckhardt, & Hänggi. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 168(4): 723-848, 2013. Cite: 843116.

This paper transfers four of our North American Tegenaria to a new genus called Eratigena.

Note that Eratigena is an anagram of Tegenaria.

- From BugGuide.net

  • Amazing finding. The study itself is good refence to protect against spiders since it divides the threats to corresponding operatus to use. – raam86 Oct 4 '12 at 11:33
  • Excellent. I can stop worrying now... – Polynomial Dec 4 '12 at 15:38
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    You should still worry about vacuuming cockroaches though. – called2voyage Oct 28 '15 at 16:15

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