We’ve all heard about the neighbor of the uncle that lived fourteen states away, who had a second cousin who swallowed a spider while they were sleeping. And we’ve heard that we all swallow (enter the number you’ve heard here) spiders a year while we are at our most vulnerable. I’m glad to tell you, those are all big, fat, scary, myths!
While most spiders are nocturnal, they keep away from humans as much as possible. Instead, spiders spin webs, catch prey and attempt to hide away from big predators like humans during the night time. Spiders rarely, if ever, crawl across us while we are asleep.
Do spiders crawl on you at night? We would like to put this question to bed once and for all, and the answer is a big, resounding, probably not. Spiders are afraid of humans and will do their best to avoid all interactions with us.
Well, Spiders Might Crawl On You At Night
Of course, I can’t tell you that a spider will never, ever crawl on you while you’re sleeping because there’s always that rare exception. In a world where there are billions of people, if you search hard enough, you will probably find a few people who end up being the exception.
If you regularly have a hard time sleeping because of the fear of spiders crawling over you or into your mouth, you can put that fear aside. Use that energy to worry about something else, because spiders in your bed are extremely rare.
We have all heard that we swallow several spiders or bugs during our sleep every year, but it’s just a myth. Somewhere in a lost village, someone seeking attention probably started that little tale, which quickly encompassed the globe. Soon our fear of spiders—thank Hollywood for increasing our arachnophobia—took over, and we all believed the story.
The truth is most bugs, spiders included, want to avoid humans as much as possible. The small exceptions to this rule are the nasty ones who need us to feed; mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, and other such critters. They see us as a meal and will actively seek us out, but not spiders.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at our in-depth piece on why spiders aren’t really attracted to humans – it’s a hoot!
6 Reasons Spiders Won’t Crawl On You At Night
Well… they probably won’t. And even if they do, they aren’t actively going to search out a place to bite you.
On the exceptionally rare occasion a spider finds itself in the same bed as you, it was because they were chasing food or they are trying to get somewhere else.
Spiders Find Humans Big And Scary
The number one reason spiders won’t crawl into bed with you is because you’re huge, scary, and can easily squash a spider into bug paste. To a spider, humans are terrifying, even when asleep.
Take this into perspective. If you saw a living creature the size of a skyscraper, would you try to sidle up next to it so you could get a better look at it, or try to crawl up on it? Aside from the people who would do anything to gain more followers on their social media accounts, most of us would run very fast and very far away.
Like all creatures (though some humans are exempt from this rule), spiders have a strong sense of self-preservation and want to avoid anything that could harm them. We are like predators to them.
Since most of our instincts about spiders are to smush first and not even ask questions later, their fear is legit.
If you want to dive down the rabbit hole Alice style, take a peak at our article on just why spiders aren’t scared of humans in the first place. It goes into a bit more detail!
People Are Noisy
When spiders are anywhere near humans, their “spidey senses” must constantly be in a state of overload. We all talk, carry on, play the television or music, and are generally pretty noisy.
Young children especially make a lot of noise. When they are excited, they can chatter very loudly, scream in excitement or frustration, or just have noisy toys that constantly go off.
Even when we are asleep, we make big noises that itsy bitsy spiders can sense. We might talk, groan, or snore in our sleep. Spiders can hear and feel us breathing and they might even be able to sense our heartbeats.
If you know your mouth is open while you sleep, you still don’t have to fear that a spider is going to find its way in. Your mouth is not an inviting habitat for spiders. For one, if your mouth is open, chances are you’re snoring, and that rumbling, window-rattling sound will scare away spiders.
Your mouth is also a hot, wet mess that spiders don’t want to be a part of. Plus, that paint-peeling morning breath is enough to scare any spider away. The dog might like it, but they eat some weird, smelly stuff anyway.
All these things are big warning signs to spiders that tell them to keep far away.
People Are Not Spider Prey
Despite all the scary movies and video games that tap into our fear of spiders by showing spider silk-wrapped shapes that resemble human bodies, spiders don’t eat people. The movie industry knows fear sells. Why else would they keep making movies that frighten people?
Everywhere you look, there are movies that tap into our most carnal frights. Afraid of clowns? Here’s a movie called It about a homicidal clown. Afraid of sharks? (Shakily raising my hand) Here are about 20 Jaws movies, and so it goes.
Many of us probably have an exaggerated fear of spiders, sharks, clowns, or weird porcelain dolls because of certain movies. In real life, people do not get eaten by spiders.
They only want to eat bugs, not us, so they will do what they can to avoid conflicts between us.
Spiders Are Busy Making Webs
Many spiders are nocturnal, or active and busy at night. When they are up and moving while you’re attempting to get some much-needed rest, spiders are busy weaving their webs.
A spider’s web serves several purposes. First and foremost, their webs deliver dinner to them like a Door Dash delivery service. Depending on how intricate the web is, a spider can have it set up in about as much time as it takes to cook your own dinner.
Have you ever wondered how those cobwebs seem to pop up instantly? It’s because spiders are busy weaving them at night while you’re dreaming. Instead of spending their time crawling over you, they are industrious little insect eaters.
Many spiders will make a new web every few nights, especially if it gets cluttered up with a lot of dried up bug husks. With all that work going on, spiders have little time left for tormenting humans.
Once their web has met their exacting standards, spiders will either wait on the strands as they try to sense any minute vibrations, or they hide away in a corner out of the light and let the food come to them.
That’s one of the main reasons spiders are not crawling across the bed, bugging you at night.
The Spiders Have Found A Good Hiding Spot In Your Home
Another reason spiders aren’t crawling in the bed with you is because they have found a nice, comfortable hiding spot.
Spiders don’t like to expend more energy than is necessary. Sometimes they may not eat for a few days at a time, so they know they have to conserve as much energy as possible.
When most wildlife finds a place that offers not only shelter but a source of food, they will rarely leave the area. The same goes for spiders. Whether they are chilling in a corner, under furniture, or waiting to ambush a juicy bug from a warm windowsill, once they feel comfortable, they don’t often leave.
A few exceptions are wolf and jumping spiders. These spiders don’t weave webs to trap their prey. Instead, they actively go hunting for insects.
They still have silk they use to weave egg sacs, trap large prey, and sometimes create small shelters for themselves in curled leaves or tree bark.
The only reason these active hunters would crawl across you while sleeping is because they are chasing prey insects. Even if one of these spiders crawls across you while you are asleep, they won’t bite you out of spite. When they notice the mountain they are climbing is alive, they would scamper away.
Spiders Don’t Feed Off Of Humans
The last reason that spiders won’t be crawling on you in the bed is that they don’t survive on humans. Yes, some spiders liquefy the insides of insects and drain them dry, but we are not on their menu!
Do Spiders Try To Get Into Bed With You?
No, they do not. Not intentionally, anyway.
Now if you like to watch tv and snack in the bed, then tiny, dropped crumbs, and lingering food odors can attract insects that feed on these tiny morsels. Whenever insects are present, you can count on spiders finding their way in as well.
Keeping your bed and your bedroom as clean as possible is one of the best ways to prevent spiders into this private area.
Let’s say you are doing everything to keep them out of your bedroom, such as changing your sheets regularly, and keeping the bed clean and made. If you still have a problem with spiders, you might need to call a professional pest controller.
If a spider has found its way into the bed with you, it was most certainly an accident. Given time, the spider will make its way out of your bed just as quickly.
If you do find a spider in your bedroom, you can read our step-by-step on what to do if you see a spider in your house.
Do Spiders Bite You At Night?
Not likely. This doesn’t happen as much as the local myth spreader will tell you.
Spiders don’t want to bite you and they will do what they can to avoid having to resort to violence. The reason people get bitten by spiders at all is because the spider felt so threatened that it had no other options.
A rare scenario where a spider might already be under the sheets when you get into bed could lead to a spider bite, but again, this is very rare. A spider’s fangs are situated underneath the head. It would have to crawl onto you to bite you.
If you accidentally rolled onto a spider, it would end up biting the sheet or the bed when it got compressed. Now, if the spider was crawling on you, and you smashed down on it, then it could sink its fangs into.
I understand that’s a natural reaction when you see an eight-eyed, multi-legged freaky looking thing on your body. When I’ve been stung by yellow jackets or similar, my reaction is to smash it into tiny molecules. However, that’s not the right way to do it.
A way you can prevent spider bites in the bed (as I said, this is very rare) is by checking your sheets before you get in. Pull them back, shake them out, and take whatever action you need to keep your mind calm.
Even though spider bites are very rare, they happen. The bed is one of the last places people get bitten, though. Instead, most people get bitten by spiders by sticking their hands in gloves or their feet into shoes that are stored outside.
When you leave your gardening shoes or boots outside, it’s an open invitation to let spiders in. They find a dark place they can hide out (shelter), build a web, and wait for insects to find their way in.
When you stick your foot inside, the spider has nowhere to run and has to resort to biting.
Always check your shoes before putting them on if you keep them outside. For gardening gloves, give them a couple of hearty smacks on the side of the house, something hard, and/or knead them aggressively in your hands before putting them on.
You can also store them in a tight, lidded plastic container while not in use to keep multi-legged surprises out of them. You can try out these IRIS USA Plastic Bins for storing gloves and other items in your garage or shed to keep bugs and spiders out.
Tips To Keep Spiders Out Of Your Bedroom (House)
The easiest way to keep spiders out of your living space is to not invite them in the first place. Pests come into houses because they are looking for food, shelter, or a mate.
Cover Cracks And Crevices
Cover up any cracks or crevices to keep spiders and the insects they eat out of your house. Wherever you have pipes or wires entering your house, make sure the holes are sealed with caulk or some type of expanding foam.
Also check your windows, vents, and doors for gaps. Insects and bugs can find their way in through the smallest holes. Here’s a full list of where spiders live in your home if you fancy.
Keep Your House And Bedroom Clean
Keeping your house clean will prevent bugs and spiders. Dusting, vacuuming, and regularly removing cobwebs will go a long way in preventing spiders from setting up shop.
While cleaning, pay particular attention to the undersides of furniture, and underneath the toe kicks of cabinets.
Regular vacuuming will remove spider webs, egg sacs, and help to prevent more spiders. Also, minimize any clutter because spiders love these secluded places to hide out and lay eggs. Storing clutter in sealable storage bins helps to prevent them too.
Cleaning your sheets weekly is another way to keep spiders away if you’re worried about them going in your bed. Not only does this help to remove skin cells, sweat, and skin oils that can attract dust mites and other insects, spiders prey on, but it keeps the multi-eyed, eight-legged arachnids away.
Making the bed every day also goes a long way in insect and spider prevention.
More ways to keep the rare spider from even crawling onto your bed is to keep sheets and blankets from touching the floor.
Bugs like spiders can use these ways to access your bed. Again, this is extremely rare, but if you’re worried it can happen, keep anything from dangling from the bed to the floor.
Keep Underneath Your Bed Clean
Finally, if you are using the area under your bed as a storage area, clean this area out regularly because insects and the spiders that eat them could be attracted to areas like this. Cardboard boxes attract all manner of insects, and when the insects come, spiders soon follow.
Cleaning out from under your bed will help to keep these many-legged critters out of there. Replacing your cardboard boxes with tight-fitting, plastic totes will help to prevent bugs as well.
One thing I like to do for my peace of mind, as well as sleeping comfort, is run a fan at night. Not only does the noise help me sleep, I stay nice and cool, but if any errant spiders decide to drop on me from the ceiling, the wind sends them flying to the other side of the room.
This Rowenta Turbo Silence Table Fan fits on a nightstand, is relatively quiet for a fan, and has several speed settings. A spider trying to settle down upon you while this thing is on the job would be like you trying to hold on to a kite during a tornado.
You can also run a diffuser with some of the scents that spiders hate next to your bed to keep them at bay.
All Finished Up!
The fear of the multitudes of spiders crawling all over us, in our mouths, down our throats and such are just myths. It turns out there aren’t hordes of spiders hiding in tiny crevices waiting for you to turn out the lights and fall asleep so they can dance on your face.
While it’s not impossible for the occasional spider to crawl across us at night, we have found out the occurrence is incredibly rare. This is because spiders, believe it or not, are frightened of us and have other things to do instead of haunting our sleep.
So, go ahead and sleep soundly. Don’t worry about spiders, because you may never have one on your bed in your lifetime.
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Isbister, Geoffrey K., and Hui Wen Fan. “Spider bite.” The Lancet 378.9808 (2011): 2039-2047.
Zhao, Xue-Feng, et al. “Spider web-like flexible tactile sensor for pressure-strain simultaneous detection.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 13.8 (2021): 10428-10436.
Tardif, Noémie, Charles-Étienne Therrien, and Stéphane Bouchard. “Re-examining psychological mechanisms underlying virtual reality-based exposure for spider phobia.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 22.1 (2019): 39-45.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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