Spiders are no doubt one of the most feared insects in the world. They have a fearful side, and then they have a fascinating side to their existence. If you are one of those concerned about where spider goes in winter, you aren’t the only person in the equation.
Would you be surprised to hear that spiders, over the years, have evolved to survive below-freezing temperatures without dying? When the temperature is warm and sunny, you will find a range of spiders frolicking around on the grass. But what happens when it comes to the winter months?
We often witness their population slowly reducing in intensity. This is presumably good news for the people who don’t enjoy having spiders in their close vicinity. But just because they are out of sight doesn’t mean they disappear from the face of the Earth.
So, where do they go? We will explore more on that in this detailed guide.
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What happens to the Spiders during Winter Months?
Even though you might think that the spiders will rack up their space inside their home and carve a place out there during the harsh winter, that is not what happens.
Most entomologists suggest that spiders have evolved to survive the harsh impacts of the winter. Some species can even withstand harsh subfreezing temperatures, which is quite fascinating.
Studies indicate that spiders can produce or build an anti-freeze process in their tissues, protecting and shielding them against harsh winter temperatures.
So, what does it mean to have anti-freeze properties? According to research, these anti-freeze properties are compounds that eventually lower the temperature at which the crystals naturally form. This eventually reduces the risks of freezing and eventual death in the spiders.
But, these traits are not universal, so you can’t expect every spider to have the anti-freeze technology and strive through the challenging winters. Most common species, like big orb weavers, don’t live beyond late fall due to the dropping temperatures.
Once they mate and the females produce the egg sacs, the spider itself doesn’t withstand the cold, but the egg sacs can. The larger spider species like tarantula have better chances of living a prolonged life, even during the harsh winter months.
Do All the Spiders Die During the Winter?
As we mentioned before, the life cycle of a spider varies from one species to the other. So, just because you can’t see them out in the winter doesn’t mean they are dead.
Some common species, like the North American black and yellow garden spider, live for one season and die right when winter arrives. This is typically after the mating cycle, so be mindful that they have likely taken care of the next generation before their death.
But, several spider species live a prolonged life, so it depends on the species, their resilience, and their physiological capabilities.
How do the Spiders Prepare Themselves for the Winter?
You’d be surprised to know this, but spiders are intelligent creatures. This means that they can sense the temperature variance in the environment. So, a spider can sense that sudden change when the cold temperatures are fast approaching.
Their first step towards preparing for the coming winter months is by preparing for mating rituals and laying eggs by the late fall months.
Since the eggs are very fragile and sensitive to freezing temperatures, the spiders always lay them in highly safe and warmer areas to protect them from the harsh impacts of falling temperatures.
Optimally, the dark and secluded areas are ideal for laying the eggs and ensuring they hatch safely without experiencing unnecessary damage. Once the eggs are laid, they take up to the spring months to hatch successfully and give birth to the baby spiders.
Even baby spiders are sensitive to cold or freezing temperatures, so they will wait until it is warm enough to emerge from their sac and then live a normal life in their homes.
Where do the Spiders Live during Winter?
If you are worried about where the spider goes in winter, this is where you will get all the relevant answers. Typically, they look for areas with piles of rocks, leaves, and woods to live a comfortable life.
They take time to find the best hiding spot in their native spaces. Once they find a cozy and safe space, the spiders enter the diapause phase, a type of hibernation when they go dormant, letting their bodies slow down.
This trait is often common in larger spider species like tarantula and fishing spiders that live longer.
When do the Spiders come back after the Winter?
Once the temperature is warm and cozy enough for the spiders, they return from their diapause state and then return to their active lifestyle.
Typically, a temperature around 40 degrees is ideal and stable for the spider to thrive and live a comfortable life. Their life cycle, especially during the winter, is quite similar to the other insects on this planet.
What do the Spiders do During Winter Months?
Not every spider species you encounter goes into diapause or hibernation mode during winter. A few species remain thoroughly active throughout the harsh winter months too.
So, what do they do?
Some active spider species find shelter in the gardens and wilderness under the leaves and foliage. They seek warmth, shelter, and comfort in such places. However, they don’t do much if they are seen and active during the winter months. You will find them moving around casually around the snow or the cold.
But that’s about it.
Since some of these active spider species have a slower metabolism and digestion, they don’t require much food during winter. This is one of the reasons why they stay hidden and away from the harsh freezing temperatures.
However, when it comes to a common house spider, you will find them traipsing around your home occasionally. They live in dark, warm, cluttered spaces like the garage, attic, barn, and basement. They are generally harmless, which is good too.
How do I get rid of Spiders during winter?
The population of spiders during the chilly winter months is often significantly less. However, you need to realize that a few infiltrating spider species will eventually make it difficult for you to exist in your house.
What should you do in that case?
You can leave the spider alone and let it stay hidden in its chosen space. However, if you are uncomfortable with that, the last option is to take them out of your house and leave them out in the freezing. The cold temperatures will make the spider succumb to death.
You’d be surprised to know this, but spiders are generally harmless and try to keep out of a human’s path as much as possible. So, unless you are poking and prodding at it, a spider won’t intentionally cause you any harm.
Another way to keep the spiders out of the house is using insect repellents. They are filled with chemicals, so we recommend you check the composition and keep it away from children and pets.
But we’d recommend leaving them alone since having spiders will keep the infiltration of other pests to a bare minimum in your home and surroundings. So, take the concerned measures but with good intentions.
Still, wondering where spiders go in winter? We hope this post gives you all the details. Spiders have generally misunderstood creatures. If you are struggling with an excess spider infestation in your home, you can consider using repellents or wait for the winter months to get away on their own. Avoid disturbing the spiders from their natural state because that’s when they start showing signs of aggression, which will push you to kill them on the spot.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will spiders die in snow?
If the spider can create the anti-freeze compound in their bodies, they can sustain low temperatures. In other cases, they will die before the winter months hit.
Should I leave the spiders inside the home?
If you find the common house spiders in your home, you can leave them alone, provided they aren’t affecting your life. They are generally harmless and like to keep to themselves for the most part.
Which is the longest-living spider species?
Larger spider species like tarantula are considered the longest-living species commonly accessible and known to man.