Do Spiders Play Dead

3 Tips To Know If A Spider Is Playing Dead

Why Do Spiders Play Dead?

No one likes to come across a spider creeping along the floors and walls of their home. Whether your first instinct is to reach for a rescue cup or a well-worn shoe, you might witness a peculiar sight when you take action.

When a spider feels threatened, survival is the first thing on its mind. After all, what would you do if a giant tried to stomp on you? If you’re a spider, you might try to flee the scene or, even more interestingly, play dead.

That’s right! The petrified spider on your carpet might be playing possum until the threat is gone. Even black widows are known to drop from their webs and feign death to escape a predator.

But there are other reasons for a spider to play dead. The Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. enjoy sharing fun bug facts, so we decided to compile this blog to give you the 411 on why spiders play dead!

If you’re struggling to keep spiders away from your property, dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free evaluation with the Santa Clarita spider control experts at No Bugs.

3 Reasons Why Spiders Play Dead

1. Impressing the Ladies

Nope, we are not joking! Certain spiders play dead for mating reasons. For example, male nursery web spiders are known for the remarkable lengths they’ll go to trick females and strengthen their mating odds – including playing dead (a state called thanatosis).

How does it work? The males prepare silk-wrapped “gifts” to give to potential mates. These gifts may contain insects, inedible plant seeds, and even the empty exoskeletons of old prey. But their ladies are discerning and don’t accept bad gifts, especially if the silk ball ends up being empty (yikes, bro). The better the gift, the longer a female spider is willing to mate, resulting in a higher number of offspring.

But if the female doesn’t like the gift and tries to leave, the male spider will play dead to lure her back and attempt to re-establish mating (yikes, girl).

2. Counterattacks!

When it comes to life-or-death scenarios, spiders have evolved to adopt a strategy that would make Edmund Dantes proud – so definitely be wary! That spider feigning defeat from your heel may not be dead but secretly preparing to strike!

3. Dehydration & Stress

Talk about a relatable state of being. Who doesn’t want to curl up when dehydrated and/or stressed? Jokes aside, this is critical knowledge for a pet owner: If your spider child seems immobile, posing on its back, or unresponsive to external stimuli, it may not be dead – just desperate and dramatic.

Be sure that your spider is getting the food, water, and shelter it needs to survive. You may need to expand your research avenues and consider contacting a specialist or veterinarian who works with spiders.

3 Ways To Determine If A Spider Is Really Dead

Spiders are considered tricksters in global folklore for a reason. If they feel threatened, they may go into survival mode and play dead in the hopes of fleeing or staging a counterstrike.

So, how can you tell if that spider is actually dead? Here are five tips for determining if that sneaky arachnid is plotting something!

Is the spider dead?

1. Check for Curled Legs

The first clue is checking on the condition of the spider’s legs. Are they curled up under its body? If not, then the spider might still be alive.

Spiders control the hemolymph pressure in their legs to extend the limbs for movement. Hemolymph is just a fancy word for bug blood. The hemolymph pressure drops when a spider dies, so there is a force of contraction rather than an extension. This is what causes their legs to curl up.

If a spider has its legs curled up, it is probably dead. If its legs are still extended and in good shape, stay away because this spider is still alive and kicking!

2. Breathe From a Safe Distance

A gentle breeze of air can encourage a live spider to scurry away. However, if you blow air toward a spider and it merely rocks back and forth, it is most likely dead.

Spiders do not like being disturbed, so a rush of air is enough to scare them out of playing possum.

3. Observe the Body

A spider’s body immediately starts decomposing after its death, becoming dry and brittle. If you see a spider with dull colors and it looks like a wrinkly raisin, then it’s likely dead.

Get Rid of Spiders In Your Santa Clarita Home

Sometimes spiders randomly appear in homes. That’s just life! But there are ways you can safely remove or reduce the spider population in your SCV property.

For instance, installing or repairing window screens is a simple way to keep pests from entering your home. You might also try DIY solutions, but be mindful that many products can harm cats, dogs, and other pets.

If you favor a pacifist approach, please remember that spiders can play dead for a counterattack. Ensure the spider in your home is not poisonous before forcibly escorting it to safety. We have black widows in SCV, even if they are primarily exterior pests.

The Best Option? Call the Santa Clarita Spider Control Experts At No Bugs

Spiders can be annoying, scary, and even dangerous. Do you see too many for comfort in your warm home? Tired of worrying about the black widows skulking in the eaves or on your child’s play equipment?

Contact the Santa Clarita spider control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. today! Our experienced team can address your concerns, thoroughly inspect the property for entry points, and complete a treatment that creates a protective barrier around your property. Our kid- and pet-friendly products utilize essential oils and safer synthetic ingredients that are highly effective against spiders. 

Don’t delay; call No Bugs today! Dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free evaluation with the Santa Clarita spider control experts at No Bugs. We can inspect your property and create a safer space for you, your family, and your pets.