House Spider Behavior Modification to Future Generations.

Asked August 1, 2018, 12:02 AM EDT

If the environment in a house leaves so little for a spider that it wanders the walls during the day time, could it be said that the spider might find better food source outside? To that end, could the very fact that I catch and release outside spiders that I find inside, would the future generations of that spider retain the idea that, "No, don't go in there. There is nothing in there for us. Better living outside." Obviously, those spiders that I kill in the house will definitely not pass that on, to deter the wild spiders from coming in. If the spider put outside would live long enough with that idea in mind, enough to perhaps change its behavior, then there is a chance that it might pass that trait on to all of its future generations. Therefore, it would always be better to catch and release rather than kill, just to sway the wild population to staying outside, if we just give the spiders we find the respect of Life and putting it outside to propagate there. End result would be less spiders per season than any other path of human intervention. Is the answer greater than zero possibility? ( do you speak arachnid? can you think in arachnid? ) Otherwise, by eliminating the spiders in the house, we are eliminating those that have the genetic or environmental factors which lead it to come into the house, however we are doing nothing to influence the wild source of those spiders so a continuation would then be expected.

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response


Wow, you have certainly given this some serious thought. I should say here, before going any further with this response, that I do not speak arachnid nor do I think arachnid. With that said, I have been studying insects and other arthropods for over forty years.

I do not think spiders have ideas let alone retain them or pass them on to future generations. I think a spider’s behavior is driven, not by thought, but by instinct and reaction to various stimuli in its environment. Spiders do not share a “spider collective conscience” where thoughts and experiences are passed amongst the spider brethren and sistren from generation to generation.

Most of the spiders that find their way into our homes during the summer are hunting spiders. Hunting spiders do not spin webs to catch their prey, they either run down their prey and overwhelm it or they lie in wait and ambush it as it happens by. Hunting spiders wander about their environment as they hunt. If they happen to live in close proximity to our homes, there is a chance they may wander inside. They are probably not aware they invaded our space and probably cannot distinguish inside from outside. If we remove a spider from our home and take it outside, it is not aware it was taken outside by a person, it just finds itself outside. It does not remember being inside or even comprehend what being “inside” means to a spider.

There are several species of spiders that do benefit from their relationship with people and their structures. Cobweb spiders, cellar spiders and some of the orb weavers have adapted quite nicely to living in close association with people both indoors and out.

I hope this gives you more to think about.

Best regards,