You may have read somewhere that spiders are attracted to warm places? And you might have thought it was true?
However, there are arachnids that can live through frigid temperatures and even survive through the winter. Which raises the question: Do spiders like it cold or hot?
Or more specifically, is there any truth behind common assumptions on spiders and how they handle cold seasons?
Let’s find out.
Spiders are complicated animals. There’s really no one temperature that they all collectively like.
What You'll Learn
Do Spiders Like it Hot or Cold?
Many spiders are ectothermic. Meaning, they can change their body temperature depending on their surroundings. For instance, they can bask in the sun if it gets too cold or stay under rocks if it gets too hot. So there’s really no telling what these spiders prefer because they can just change their own temperatures literally any time they need to.
So there’s no correct answer to this question. The truth of the matter is that spiders are simply too diverse for anyone to get an accurate answer that applies to all species that exist.
Daddy Long-Legs, for example, isn’t just one single spider. It’s a name for a family of 1,500 individual species, all with special traits that are exclusive to each one of them.
And according to the Natural History Museum Bern’s World Spider Catalog, as of September 2017, there are 46,877 discovered species of spiders here on Earth. And with 112 families and 4,062 genera, it’s virtually impossible to study all of these arachnids, observe how they tolerate certain temperatures and tally it all up.
For Spiders Worlds, what makes the question above even more complicated is the fact that they are very adaptable creatures. They’re versatile enough to live in all kinds of habitats, hot or cold.
There are spiders that live in tropical climates, while others live in frosty places like Iceland, and others that live in every climate in between. There’s no one uniform environment and temperature that they all live in.
Do Spiders Sneak Inside Houses in the Fall?
That’s a negative. There are plenty of reasons why spiders enter houses, but heat isn’t one of them.
According to the Burke Museum, the house spiders that we encounter in our daily lives don’t all belong to the same species. So their tolerance to temperature differ.
There are spiders that live and die inside human houses since ancient times. They’ve all adapted to life indoors so much that they can’t tolerate the climate outside. And of course, they won’t need to “enter” your house during fall season because they’re already inside it.
In contrast, there are also outdoor spiders that don’t like to stay indoors. Burke Museum further states that while there may be kinds that occasionally stray into your house, that’s only because they were looking for prey not warmth.
Spiders are cold blooded. This means they’re not attracted to sources of heat and do not seek it out, nor do they shiver when it gets cold, or avoid cold. They just become dormant like roaches.
Does Cold Weather Kill Spiders?
Yes and no. Helpful answer, I know! But let me explain…
The sort of spiders we find in and our around homes are adapted to our temperate climates, and not so well for extreme cold. However, they have adapted behaviors, and even change their bodies in reaction to cold, to help them survive it.
Behaviorally, most spiders will slow down and hence not need to hunt or feed. Some create their own shelter, like an egg sac, in which they can stay in that insulates them from the cold. Many others will simply seek out shelter in rocks and places that keeps them away from the direct effects of the weather.
But the most amazing thing spiders do, is ‘cold hardening.’
As the temperature starts to fall, they slowly wind down and produce a chemical inside their bodies that acts like an anti-freeze, lowering the freezing point of the fluids in their bodies, allowing them to survive temperatures as low as -5 C / 23 Degrees F.
But much below this, and yes they can freeze and will die.
How Hot is too Hot for Spiders?
Although uncomfortable, most spiders can survive temperatures up to 43 C / 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over millions of years they’ve evolved to know how and where to seek out cooler spots to hide until the extreme heat passes.
Anything over this for extended periods is going to be fatal though. As cold blooded creatures, their bodies do not have mechanisms to help them cool down. They cannot pant, or sweat, they need to simply ride it out in the shade and hope they survive.
Do Spiders Hibernate?
Speaking of being dormant, there are spiders that hibernate. Again, it depends on their species. According to AnimalQuestions.org different species means different lifespans and behaviors.
Other species like fishing spiders hibernate during winter by hiding underneath tree barks or rocks. These arachnids spin webs that keep them insulated throughout the coldest season of the year. The kind of insulation they have doesn’t heat up the spider, but it protects it from freezing to death from the frigid temperatures.
So the next time someone asks you, “ Do spiders like it cold or hot? ” Refer him to the answers we’ve shown in this post. And with knowing how they deal with cold seasons, you’ll know how to best protect your house from them.