Can Spiders Survive Hot Water? (Solved!)


So, could your spider survive hot water? The answer is not as clear cut as you would have perhaps thought. Yes, if you pour boiling water on a spider then it will die, but why would you want to do that?

Boiling water will kill a spider, and it is extremely cruel for them to suffer in this way. If you spill some hot water on a spider by mistake, they may be uninjured depending on the temperature. Most spiders can survive warm water, for example if they fall in the bath.

Let me first be very clear – never pour boiling water over any spiders. It is extremely cruel.

And, in general, warm and hot water is something that you want to keep spiders away from. That’s what we are going to explore here, in order to stress why hot water and your spider will be two things that should never be mixed together.

large spider on rock

A Spider and Water

A spider isn’t afraid of water in general, so they won’t recoil if they see it.

However, hot water is certainly a different thing for them to deal with. But then, we need to make a distinction between hot water and that which is more scalding in nature.

Just as hot and scalding water would have a different impact on us, the exact same applies when dealing with a spider. Would you enjoy having scalding water poured over you? Probably not, so a spider is the same.

However, one thing to also be aware of is that a spider cannot swim, well apart from one or two species.

If you see one in water, then it’s going to be either drinking at the edge, or it’s able to pretty much run across the surface by walking on whatever is immediately below the surface. [Source]

On the whole, a spider does only prefer to drink water rather than be in it. They generally have the inability to propel themselves through the water, hence them not swimming, but cold or average temperature water is fine.

In saying that, a lot of species of spider do originate in warmer climates, but don’t think that this then equates to them being happier with warmer water, as that’s not always the case.

What Happens With Hot Water?

If a spider falls into hot water, then there’s a good chance that they will die if it’s close to boiling point. This does depend on the actual temperature of the water, but if it was close to boiling, then they have no way of being able to survive.

However, if it’s just ‘hot’ water, then we have a different story.

With normal hot water, you must remember that most spiders cope with heat better than we do, so it’s not as if they are going to burn up.

You will see stories online about spiders and their exoskeleton being unable to cope and exploding, but that’s just insane and complete nonsense.

Instead, if you splash a spider with hot water, it’s not always going to react or die.

It will wonder what on earth is going on, as it wasn’t expecting it, but if you are hoping to inflict some pain or anguish on the spider, then there’s only one way to do it. But then, why would anybody want to do that?

Boiling Water is Cruel

We need to address this point about boiling water, because not only will it kill any spider, it’s also very cruel. You will inflict a lot of pain on an insect that was not doing anything wrong.

Yes, it may have been in your space, but they have no interest in you whatsoever.

Think about how you would feel if boiling water was poured onto your skeleton.

A spider is going to feel the exact same way, and they will feel lots of pain at the same time. It’s cruel, so don’t do it. [Source]

But What Happens If the Spider Cannot Swim?

If a spider isn’t even semi-aquatic, then you may be surprised to hear that pouring some water on it won’t bother it too much.

They are just as likely to brush it off and move from that spot with them, then linking that spot with something a bit unpleasant happening to them.

In that case, it won’t kill them, but it may move them along, so they are no longer in that part of your property. Remember, a spider is very good at remembering where they had a problem, so you covering them in water could easily achieve that.

But, once again, that does depend on how much water you are pouring on a spider and the temperature.

Lukewarm or tepid water won’t hurt them at all, well apart from one reason which we will come to next, but the higher the temperature, then the more likely you are to kill the spider.

spider next to plughole in bathtub

The Force of Water Can Cause a Problem

However, let’s get one thing straight. The force of water can cause a problem for a spider.

This applies no matter the temperature of the water, and it’s all to do with the way in which they then struggle for survival.

If you pour water onto a spider, then the force can leave it disorientated, and it could drown. Also, remember the difference in ability to absorb that kind of pressure. A spider is small in comparison to the pressure that’s then hitting them, so it can cause damage.

Once again, this problem with the pressure has nothing to do with temperature. It’s just as likely to kill the spider with cold or cool water than it is with hot water.

Sometimes its the Shock

Sometimes with a spider it’s actually the shock of being doused in water that kills them more than the temperature of the water.

Remember, even us humans can get that shock, and we sort of know what’s coming in advance. A spider doesn’t have that luxury, so it will get a serious fright, and that fright can be deadly.

The Bath and Hot Water

If people see a spider in the bath or shower, they think that dousing it with hot water and washing it down the drain is going to be enough.

Well, it might get it out of the shower, but the temperature of the water is not going to be the thing that kills it.

A spider will often survive being washed down in this way, but not always. Instead, they can sometimes drown due to the volume of water, as well as the pressure that is coming crashing down upon them.

So, the next time you see a spider in your bath or shower, move it out of the way using an alternative method. There’s no need to put the spider through trauma when you can easily move it using other means.

The Size of the Spider Can Play a Role

It’s also important to point out that the size of the spider is going to play a role in its ability to survive hot water.

A small spider is less likely, and it’s all to do with how much they can withstand with their smaller skeleton. A larger spider can, on most occasions, cope with more pressure, and that also applies to the temperature that they can cope with.

Of course, there’s no need for you to put any kind of water directly onto a spider. If you want rid of one, then get a humane spider catcher and remove them that way.

Spiders play an important role in our entire ecosystem, so doing something to disrupt that is just not good at all.

So, spiders can survive in hot water, but it’s all connected to the temperature and force of the water as to whether they will emerge unscathed, or not.

Clearly, the best course of action is to not pour any water over them. Keep in mind that the scare they get will be enough to potentially kill them, and that would be a shame considering they are really doing nothing to bother you.

Barry Gray

Barry is a freelance writer from Scotland. He has written about pets for over a decade, and his work has been turned into a range of ebooks, courses, and material for diplomas. Barry is passionate about all animals, but particularly dogs, fish, rabbits, birds and spiders. You can find out more about Barry at https://mercurypets.com/our-writers/

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