Do Spiders Remember You? A Full Guide For Owners


So, does a spider remember you? Well, the short answer is that they sort of don’t. However, before you get sad and depressed at the idea of your pet Tarantula not remembering you, the answer is not as clear-cut as you think.

Spiders brains are not sophisticated enough to remember us even though we care for them as a pet. However, they do have a feel-good factor and can remember feeding times and understand certain movements and rituals you might use for feeding.

People often have very mixed feelings about spiders. Some love them, some hate them, and some people neither love nor hate them. People often wonder if a spider has a memory of sorts.

Why?

Perhaps they squished a spider and are now fearful that they are a target of revenge. Or maybe they did something else wrong to a spider, and are fearful the spider might remember this deed.

By the way, spiders are very important to our general ecosystem, so it is advisable to avoid squishing spiders at all. In fact, releasing them into their natural environment in a safe way is the best route to go.

But, of course, if we are talking more about pet spiders, you are not going to have to concern yourself with that sort of thing.

Hairy black spider with red hair

Keeping A Spider For A Pet? Will They Remember You?

Not all spiders become suitable pets, but there are some that are agreeable to being in captivity if well cared for. Some of these spiders include the Tarantula, the Wolf Spider, and grass spiders, for example.

It pays dividends to find the correct spider for you, and probably your extended family. There is plenty of literature to get you on the way to being a proud owner of a spider, and also spider specialists. This way, you can understand how to make your spider feel right at home once you have acquired him or her.

If I Care For My Spider, Will She Remember Me Then?

Spiders function with a very different brain to that which we are used to. They survive on instinct.

Their brains are not sophisticated enough to love or remember us, for example, even though we care for them as a pet. However, they do have a feel-good factor and can remember feeding times and understand certain movements and rituals you might use for feeding. [Source]

So, after a while, they do remember this ritual and enjoy their food, just as any pet would do. This can in turn lead to a rather devoted pet, and the two of you could live happily ever after. 

Why Is My Spider Rushing Towards Me? Is It Because She Recognizes Me?

If a spider is loose, whether a household spider or pet, you might find that it moves towards you as if attacking you. This has often been the creating factor of the fallacy that he can remember you.

This is viewed as an act of revenge. The more you run away, the more it will run towards you. This can be confusing or scary to some people. Do remember that spiders are timid and scared creatures, and they will see your shadow as a place to hide and be safe. They are not really running after you, they are merely trying to find safety. 

So, in other words, they won’t remember you and are merely looking for a place where they can feel safe.

Orange and brown tarantula on rocks

They Do Remember Things, But Not You

Your pet spider is going to remember things, but that doesn’t mean they will remember you. Instead, they will focus more on remembering things connected to their home or their prey. [Source]

In a manner of speech, your spider will love a well put together home, one that is thoughtful and mimics his or her natural environment. In this way, the spider’s natural instincts will be stimulated, and he will be able to function effectively.

Remember earlier when we discussed webs being swept away and spiders remembering not to go there? Well, this type of information is useful now when creating a home that you want your pet spider to love. Bits of wood, dried grass and other natural objects can allow him to create webs that make him feel right at home. With no one sweeping them away, he will remember that he can relax here and be himself.  Also, supply some hidey-hole places. This can be stones built up or even bricks with small holes in depending on the size of your pet. 

They will remember where every single thing is in their home. However, that’s due to their survival instinct and needing to remember that type of information. Sadly, it doesn’t extend to their owners.

Instinct is a bit like a memory of sorts, and if your spider is super comfortable, well looked after and happy, this innate deeply reliable spider memory will be honed to perfection. 

Once housed, your spider will need food, of course, and many pet stores stock just the stuff spiders love. Like insects and crickets. A fresh bowl of water, which can translate into a cap of water, for example, and a few leaves, sticks and a bit of wood can make this place seem like paradise. 

Not all spiders require the luxurious size of an aquarium. It can be all a matter of how big or small he is. Smaller spiders can be quite happy in more make-shift homes, like glass jars for example. Just be sure to make holes that ensure she can breathe properly. Also, take care to create the same homely environment that ensures they feel instinctively safe. That is the type of environment that allows them to act more like a spider, and to remember all the things that’s important to them.

If you want your spider to remember things, then you must create a memorable home for him or her with great food and a place to hide and climb. What more could a spider ask for?

So, in summary, your spider won’t remember you or understand that you are their owner. They are just not interested in that sort of thing. Instead, they focus on remembering things purely related to their survival. In this way, they are like most other animals in that they do not have the mental capacity to deal with this type of memory recall.

Don’t take it personally. Your spider has more important things on their mind to deal with instead of worrying about who this object is that keeps on feeding them and helping them to create their home.

The Revenge Of The Angry Spider?

For some, being fearful of spiders can create ideas that are not actually true. Like, for example, the idea that an angry or disgruntled spider might come back to bite you because you decided to clear his web away.

Really, a spider is not one to hold a grudge or lie in wait for an opportune moment upon which to pounce on you. They simply do not have the memory for it, nor do they totally understand human behavior.

This is good news for some, as most households like to rid the corners and dark recesses of spider webs. If this is your goal, go for it. There are feather dusters and all sorts of implements at the ready to get rid of spiders webs. So it is safe to say that they do not remember you, but it is not as cut and dried as you might expect. 

They might not remember you, but they are very cautious. 

If a spider spends time making a fantastic web in order to catch dinner later on, and you dust it away, the spider will remember that spot and veer away from there. That is why a lot of companies that deal with pest control will advise you to keep areas clean and dust away any spider’s webs in order to discourage them. 

So, if you clear one away from an area for your pet spider, it is unlikely he will be back, only purely because of a clear innate ability to know what is good for him or not. Webs take time to cultivate, and all in perfect symmetry too!

This is why it is important to discuss keeping a pet spider with your family or friends in advance, so they know how important their webs are to them for one. They have something that some could argue is better than general memory, and that is a very astute basic instinct.

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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