Social Question

fizzbanger's avatar

Do you kill spiders?

Asked by fizzbanger (2762points) October 4th, 2011

What is your general reaction to them? Do you react differently to a spider found in your house (i.e. your sleeping space) than one encountered outdoors? Do you mess with spider webs? Did someone or something influence the way you feel about them?

For example, when I was a kid, my dad told me it was bad luck to kill spiders, so I learned to pick them up with a paper towel and place them outside. My husband will step on any kind of bug he encounters without thinking about it.

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46 Answers

Jude's avatar

Never. I scoop them up with a paper or a cup and outside they go.

I don’t even kill earwigs. Same thing, scoop them up and release.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I really try hard not to but sometimes it just get’s the better of me. I can’t deal with the big ones but the little ones I am in the very least mindful of and attempt to remove them but if they don’t cooperate, I have been known to smoosh a beeotch yes…

I’m trying to learn not to be afraid of them but they are just shady… LOL

Mariah's avatar

I’m too scared of them to even kill them.

Kardamom's avatar

No. Sometimes I scream if they’re really big, but then me or my Dad goes and gets a paper cup, scoop ‘em up and put them outside, usually on a plant. They’re not there to hurt me, and I owe it to them not to hurt them either.

tranquilsea's avatar

I can’t kill anything. I hate spiders but I will trap them under a glass and set them free outside.

TexasDude's avatar

I don’t kill spiders, I feed them and talk to them. Sometimes I give them names. Especially if they are jumping spiders. Those are way too cute!

Blackberry's avatar

Sorry, but it’s just a reflex. I think I have a borderline phobia.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If they are in the house- they die

If they are attached to the house- they die

if they’re in the yard- they die

if they’re off property- I look away

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Out in nature, they are appreciated. Inside of the house, no thank you. They get captured with a glass and a heavy duty envelope and are escorted outside. On occasion, they get washed down the tub drain, but not very often. Observing their struggle to survive is just too much to bear.

Spider webs are a nusiance. They occasionally catch me off-guard, but they are harmless and part of nature. The sticky ones accidentally encountered during a hike out in the woods are a bit creepy, especially if they attach to the face or hair. Ick.

Ela's avatar

Ha-Ha!! @Neizvestnaya
I smoosh them. I usually have three kids fleeing a room saying “Mom, there’s a spider in there!” I’m the brave hunter that has to go in clear the area.

TexasDude's avatar

Jumping spiders.

They are so cute. Also, they hate brown recluses and will hunt and kill several of them a day. That’s just part of why jumping spiders are good to have around. Plus, they have a lot of personality.

Jude's avatar

Fiddle and I need to get married and have babies.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@EnchantingEla: My mom will screech and demand I come to kill. My dog will harf at the thing while keeping safe distance but expect me to step up and kill. I too smoosh them into paste, just in case they are the sturdy sort.

TexasDude's avatar

@Jude I thought you’d never ask!

SavoirFaire's avatar

I don’t kill spiders when I’m outside. I do kill the spiders that my wife finds in our home, however, since she does not like them at all. I leave them alone when they’re in a place she doesn’t go.

woodcutter's avatar

No never unless it somehow drops down into my clothes, which doesn’t happen much.

Foolaholic's avatar

I am not a fan of spiders. That being said, I’m also slightly sickened by the idea of crushing something to death except mosquitoes. So generally I trap them in a cup, slide an index card under it, and release them outdoors.

Ela's avatar

LOL @ sturdy sort @Neizvestnaya
I’ve never been into the capture and release thing for spiders. I can either spend a half hour doing that or I can grab a tissue, squish it, say a tiny prayer for it’s tiny spider soul and get my kids back into bed.

I’m referring to inside the house, btw. Outside I wouldn’t kill it unless it got on me. It would be pure instinct for me to smack it off and if died in the process… survival of the fittest?

jrpowell's avatar

I don’t even move them outside. I’m cool with sharing my space with them. If they don’t fuck with me I won’t fuck with them.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not all spiders are harmful if they bite but the annoyance of them picking choice spots on my body I can’t reach to itch or biting my eyelids to where I get Quasimodo face seals their fate pretty well.

smilingheart1's avatar

I used to have more of a killer instinct, I look the other way now except for the black widow look a likes.

Pandora's avatar

It depends. If its fast moving and black or brown and doesn’t have a web and is crawling aroung my house than its dead. (I worry about spiders biting my small dog.)
If its a slow, and has a web in a corner somewhere, and seems to stay put just waiting for insects, than I leave it alone.
If I know its harmless I also leave it alone.
If its making a large web that always seems to get in my way than I just keep destroying the web till it moves.

satunnainen_narttu's avatar

Why would I kill something so harmless? I have better chances of dying from freezing to death than I do from a demon spider attack.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I have other members of my household and my pest control service do it.

gailcalled's avatar

The only critters I deliberately kill are the Lyme ticks.

Jeruba's avatar

Outdoors I leave them alone unless they’ve strung a line right across my path, such as between the posts of the porch entrance. My husband and I will both call attention to them: “Watch out, there’s a big, beautiful garden spider web alongside the walk that you won’t want to run into.” We admire their work and welcome them in the yard.

Indoors I spare them and protect them as much as I can. I’ll scoop little spiders out of the sink or the shower and take them to a safe landing (such as on a houseplant) before I turn on the water. Big ones like daddy-long-legs get escorted outside with the cup-and-paper method. If I accidentally drown one, I invariably apologize to its crumpled little sprung-umbrella corpse.

The only ones I’ll dispatch are the big, ugly, fuzzy, fat black or brown ones. The world doesn’t need extras of those.

I’ve never met a dangerous spider indoors or out, but I would treat them without any sentimentality whatsoever.

jerv's avatar

Nope. I tend to carry them out to the porch.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@satunnainen_narttu YAY! Demon spiders are different… We love those! ♥

gailcalled's avatar

And lest we forget, spiders eat their weight in other nastier and really annoying insects.

tinyfaery's avatar

My cats or my wife take care of all the creepy crawlies. I cover my head, close my eyes and go to my happy place.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Not a chance. I leave ‘em alone.

If they are within reach, I get a glass and a piece of paper and take them out to the garden…if the weather is bad, I’ll just move them somewhere safe like the garage.

They fall on me in the gardn all the time. I try to shake them off gently.

It is rare for me to kill any bug. This year we had tons of millipedes. I happen to not like them at all. Lucky for them, my son thinks they’re great. He just carries them out on his hands. :)

trailsillustrated's avatar

The catch and release thing doesn’t work for me- they either come back in or the thumping around in the box (or jar) is just too disturbing. I am trying to get over my dislike of them


I kill almost any kind of bug that I see, especially when it’s inside my house. That includes spiders. The only bugs that I don’t kill are ladybugs, dragonflies, and butterflies.

Jude's avatar

Now, if a house centipede is scurrying in my direction, I’ll push woman and child out of the way and run off screaming like a little girl. I won’t kill it, though.


@Jude Yuck, I hate centipedes. When I see one, I grab a shoe and whack it hard. Even then, it sometimes doesn’t die right away, so I have to whack it again and again.

Brian1946's avatar

The last time I intentionally killed a spider was in 1974. It was a black widow that I found in a wood pile at my house.

The last time a saw a black widow was in 2002 or 2003. That was at work. She built a web among some equipment that was out of the way in a usually unpopulated space. I left her alone because I guessed that maybe she’d kill some cockroaches.

If I see a spider in my house and it’s not on a surface that I use, I leave it alone.

If it’s on a surface that I use, I usually blow or brush it off.

Jeruba's avatar

@Brian1946, what happened when you killed that spider that made the date so memorable?

KidCurtis's avatar

I kill everyone of them I come across, within the confines of my house I’ve been waging a one man genocidal campaign against the devils. Outside if I see one on the ground I kill it, I don’t usually mess with the webs unless it’s blocking something.

ucme's avatar

No, wasps however get some “special attention” those evil bastards get either soaked in hairspray or obliterated with a newspaper, can’t stand em.

escapadesofapoet's avatar

They move so strangely. The movement freaks me out so i have to depose of them. Smaller ones sometimes get the choice of being caught and put outside or death. The larger ones I’m afraid come to an abrupt end when the shoe hits them and pounds them into the wall/floor/celling/door.

AmWiser's avatar

I am definitely not bug friendly, so all bugs are subject to death if I see it. If hubby is home with me I act like a sissy and insist he come get rid of a bug. If I’m home alone I have to man-up and get rid of the pest myself.
@fizzbanger ‘my dad told me it was bad luck to kill spiders’, mine did too!
Welcome to Fluther!

Brian1946's avatar


”,,,what happened when you killed that spider that made the date so memorable?”

I think encountering and feeling compelled to kill an unconfined dangerous creature, might be inherently memorable to me.

I moved into my house in early 1974, and I squished the BW spider not too long after that, so perhaps the former event is broadly mnemonic to the latter.

I’ve only had 6 encounters, including three directly adversarial confrontations, with said animals in my life, so I’ve been able to retain them in my mental chronology.

Berserker's avatar

I find spiders to be pretty slick. If they’re in my place, I just leave em be. With them around, at least I know that I won’t see too many undesirable insects in my place, like flies. My cats usually fuck up the spiders though, and any other bug in the place lol.
I don’t mess with spider webs, cuz that shit sticks to you and I don’t want it on me, plus I don’t want to ruin them. Some of em look really cool.
When I see one outside, I might check it out if it’s really big. I also love those small teleporting spiders. They don’t actually teleport lol, but they jump so fast that they seem to disappear from one spot to the other. So I call em teleporting spiders. Spiders are cool. I may not say that if I lived in some place where they can take off with your arm, but eh.

Also, daddy long legs are the shit!

I ain’t afraid of stuff like that, because when I was a kid I wanted to be an entomologist, and while I had no interest in anything that wasn’t an insect, unless it was a centipede, I handled creepy crawlers all the time, or ran after butterflies and fucked up looking wasps hoping to catch them.

Jeruba's avatar

@Symbeline, teleporting—I like that. There’s also the tiny ones that run like the dickens. We call those hot rod spiders. Zoom.

When I was a little kid, I lived in a neighborhood with a lot of older boys. I learned very young not to act afraid of bugs, snakes, frogs, and all kinds of other critters; instinct told me that I’d never stop getting them shoved in my face or dropped inside my clothes if I registered a negative reaction. I forced myself to act interested and amused, and soon enough the boys let me alone. And I did come to like the harmless insects, reptiles, and amphibians! By the time I had little boys of my own, I was ready to admire just about anything they found in the yard except a tomato worm.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Never, I leave them be. Spiders don’t worry me at all.

zuniac's avatar

If they are venomous, then yes I kill them. Around here, black widows and brown recluse are the only two I have to worry about. Otherwise, I pick them up and place them outside. Spiders are far too valuable. I always ask folks if they would rather have ten times as many mosquito, flies and other nasties, or a few spiders around the house?

I will take the spiders all day long.

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