Washing Spiders Down The Drain: Here’s What Happens

Common House Spider

Drains are one of the most common places you’ll find spiders in your home. Washing them down the drain might seem like a harmless way to get rid of them, but there are several things you should know about spiders before you decide to flush them away.

In truth, it’s important to know that a spider will not survive a trip down the drain. The spider will be flushed down the drain along with the water and everything else that goes down the drain. The spider will not make it back up your drain and will end up in your sewer system.

Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Read on to take a look at spiders and what washing them down the drain might do to them as well as some alternative ways to keep spiders out of your home!

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Will A Spider Survive Being Washed Down The Drain?

Close up image of a brown furry spider standing up trapped in a waterglass in a steel lavatory.

If you’ve been able to identify what kind of spider is in your home and are wondering what to do with it, flushing it down the drain has probably crossed your mind. But, if you don’t want to eliminate the spider, you might be wondering if it will survive this journey down the pipes.

The short answer is no. The spider will not survive. When you wash the spider down the drain, it will be trapped underwater and eventually drown. This can differ however depending on the type of spider involved, as some spiders can survive for as long as an hour without oxygen, meaning they may simply end up on the other end of the sewer system.

This is the exception rather than the rule. Since you are probably going to use the sink or the bathtub at some point, the spider probably won’t be able to stay in its spot for long, so you don’t have to worry about it coming back up.

As there are many different types of spiders in the world, this process will differ from spider to spider. Let’s take a look at the different types of spiders and how they can, or can’t, survive underwater.

However, there are so many spiders in the world that it would be impossible to describe how every spider would react to being flushed down the drain. If you want to know more about spiders and how exactly they react to water, you should talk with an expert on spiders.

Flushing Swimming Spiders Vs. Non-Swimming Spiders

the water spider swims on the lake surface

If you’ve ever been to a lake or a river, you might have seen some spiders swimming in the water. It might seem surprising then that a spider being washed down the drain doesn’t have great chances of survival, but this is because most spiders are non-swimming spiders.

There are many different types of spiders, and some are better swimmers than others. One great example of this is the diving bell spider, which spends almost its entire life underwater. This amazing species creates its air bubble so that it can breathe while otherwise surrounded by water.

Diving bell spiders get their name from their diving bell webs. These underwater webs are used to trap prey just like normal webs. Some of these spiders will live their entire life in their web and never come out from underwater.

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about these spiders building a web in your bathtub. Diving bell spiders wouldn’t make a web where they wouldn’t be able to catch any prey, so unless you have a bunch of insects and plants inside your bathtub, you’re not going to be finding any diving bell webs.

Other species of spiders are semiaquatic, meaning they live both in and outside of water. These spiders are very good swimmers, but they would not be able to swim against the water going down a drain. Even if they could, they wouldn’t last very long because of the amount of water. 

Semi-aquatic spiders can swim, but they can’t breathe underwater. Since a spider wouldn’t be able to get oxygen once it has been flushed down a drain, it wouldn’t be able to breathe even if it could swim.

Most spiders, especially the kind you will find in your house, are not aquatic. In other words, they are non-swimming spiders. Their bodies are not equipped for getting wet, and they won’t survive underwater for very long.

What Happens When Non-Swimming Spiders Get Wet?

Swimming spiders are adapted to water and would have no problem getting themselves out of a puddle. Their anatomy is different from non-swimming spiders. Swimming spiders can walk on water, meaning they don’t even need to swim sometimes.

Non-swimming spiders are not that lucky. As soon as they touch just the surface of the water, their legs will start to stick together, meaning they won’t be able to maneuver. Unless there is something that the spider can use to get itself out of the water like a stick or a leaf, the chances of non-swimming spiders surviving once they get wet is very slim.

This is the case with most spiders that you’ll encounter in your home, including the most common type of spider, the daddy long legs. These spiders are found all over the world and, though they are harmless, can become a bit of a nuisance. They aren’t very pretty to look at, and they can be a bit difficult to catch.

However, they, like most spiders, are non-swimmers. So, they have virtually no chances of surviving a trip down the drain.

How Do Spiders Get Into Your Drain?

Closeup to a little black and dark orange garden spider over a screw at window frame.

It might seem like the spiders are coming up through your drain, but this is not the case. There are preventative measures within plumbing systems to keep insects and other pests from getting through the pipes.

This might seem surprising since drains are one of the most common areas to find spiders. This is because spiders, like humans, need water to survive, and drains are an easy place to find water. Spiders also like dark areas, and the inside of a drain is rather dark.

Since spiders aren’t coming from your drain, you might be wondering where they do come from. Unless they have a nest inside your house, they are coming from the outside.

A spider’s natural habitat is the outdoors. Most live in woods or in bushes or trees where they can easily create a web. If you have any of these things near your house, they are probably coming from there.

The easiest way for spiders to get in is through open doors or cracked windows, but spiders are also very good at crawling through cracks or vents. If they’re small enough, crawling under a door is no problem for a spider. Then, they crawl into your drain because it provides a dark and damp shelter.

If you have any plants by your windows or don’t keep your porch well-swept and dusted, this could be a reason why spiders are finding their way into your house. Keeping these areas clean is key to warding off spiders.

For tips on how to keep spiders away from your drain, try reading this article that shows 9 Simple Tricks to Keep Spiders Out Of Your Shower Drain!

Where Does A Spider Go After Being Washed Down The Drain?

When you flush a spider down the drain, it goes the same place where anything else that goes down the drain goes. After working its way through your plumbing system, the spider will find its way to the sewer system.

Though some movies might want you to believe that all drains lead to the ocean, this isn’t necessarily true. Flushing spiders or any other animals down the drain will not free them, so if you’re trying to release the spider into the wild, it’s best to just carry it outside.

If you’re worried about the hygienic aspect of flushing a spider down the drain, there’s no need. Sewage systems are designed to deal with insects. It also will not clog your drain.

Though, if you don’t have the most advanced plumbing system, you should talk with a plumber or expert on pest control. They might have some other ideas of ways to get rid of spiders. But to get you started here are some ideas about how to get rid of them.

If you’d like to learn more about keeping spiders out of your bathroom, check out our article: 11 Ways To Keep Spiders Out Of Your Shower And Bathroom.

How Do I Get Rid Of Spiders?

Unless the spiders you’re finding are poisonous, there’s no need to eliminate them. If you capture the spider in a cup, you can take it outside and set it free. Just make sure you take it far away enough from your house that it can’t find its way back easily.

However, if spiders are infesting a particular area, or if they are poisonous, it might be necessary to get rid of them. If you don’t want to get your shoes dirty by stepping on them, or if you’re afraid of getting bitten, there are some spider sprays that you can use to eliminate them.

This Natural Armer Spider Killer & Repellent Spray will eliminate spiders on contact. It will also help keep spiders out in the future since it will repel any more spiders from coming to the area you’ve sprayed. Since the ingredients are natural and it has a peppermint scent, you don’t have to worry about any toxins damaging your house.

If you consistently have problems with spiders, or if you don’t like them, it’s best to consult with an expert about your issue. While there is plenty that you can do on your own to keep spiders out, no methods are 100% effective. Depending on your situation, an expert can help you more effectively keep your house free of insects.

How Do I Keep Spiders Out Of My House?

Luckily, there are some tricks to keeping spiders out of your house. No method is 100% effective, and if you have a basement or an attic, it might be impossible to keep your house completely free of spiders.

There are a few steps you can take to help keep spiders out of your house. Some methods to repel spiders include using: 

  • Mint
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Citrus
  • Vinegar

Keeping your house clean will keep your house free of roaches, flies, mice, and other undesirable pests. However, having a few spiders around might keep other insects under control.

If you want to take some extra measures in keeping your house spider-free, try a spider repellent. This Mighty Mint Spider Repellent is made of all-natural ingredients and has a bit of peppermint oil. Not only will you be keeping spiders out of your house, but the peppermint will smell nice, too!

Spiders especially love dark areas and corners, so if you concentrate your cleaning efforts and spray more heavily in these areas, you will be more effective in warding off spiders. Spiders also love dusty areas where they can spin their cobwebs, so make sure you keep everything well-dusted and get rid of any cobwebs you find.

Another classic trick to warding off spiders is to make sure there are no cracks in your walls or other places where spiders can get in. Although spiders won’t be coming up through your drains, spiders are extremely skilled at squeezing through small spaces. Keeping your doors and windows shut at night will also help.

Additionally, take a look at our spider repelling guide: 8 Scents That Spiders Hate (and How to Use Them)

Spiders: In Summary

Unless you’re keeping one as a pet, spiders probably aren’t something you want in your house. They aren’t necessarily dangerous provided they aren’t venomous, but seeing one is enough to keep you up at night worrying.

If you flush a spider down the drain, it probably won’t survive unless it has Spiderman powers. If you don’t want to flush the spider down the drain, the best option is to take it outside and set it free.

Luckily, there are plenty of natural, environmentally friendly ways to prevent spiders from coming into your home. This means you don’t have to worry about getting rid of them and can feel safe when you go to sleep at night. 

If you have persistent problems with spiders or aren’t sure about what the best way to ward off spiders is in your home, it’s best to consult with an expert about pest control. They can give you more tailored advice to your individual needs. This could be useful since no method is 100% effective at warding off spiders.

For more information on how spiders function, read our related article called Spiders: How Smart Are They (And Are They Self-Aware?)

Well, that’s about it when it comes to spiders and drains! Hopefully, you’ve found some of these tips helpful in keeping your house a spider-free zone!


Bowlin, Melissa S., and Dorothy F. McLeer, and Anne M. Danielson-Francois. “Spiders in Motion: Demonstrating Adaptation, Structure-function relationships, and trade-offs in invertebrates.” Advances in Physiology Education, 38:1, 2014, pp. 71-79. 

Montgomery, Thomas H. “Studies on the Habits of Spiders, Particularly Those of the Mating Period.” Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 55, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1903, pp. 59–149, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4062875.

Pearce, J., Venier, L., Eccles, G. et al. Influence of habitat and microhabitat on epigeal spider (Araneae) assemblages in four stand types. Biodiversity and Conservation 13, 1305–1334 (2004).

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