Some spider species hibernate, while others don’t. The most well-known spider species that hibernate are fishing spiders. Some other spiders enter a lighter form of hibernation called diapause.
There are more than 40.000 different spider species in the world, and every single species has its habits when it comes to surviving winter. Some will remain active throughout the winter, as they will keep on feeding. Others will hibernate fully as they seek shelter during the winter. Other spiders will go into diapause, which is a lighter version of hibernation.
Do Spiders Hibernate?
Some spider species hibernate, while some species don’t hibernate at all; some species enter the mode of diapause during winter.
Spiders are cold-blooded creatures, so they’re capable of coping with winter and cold temperatures quite well. However, some spider species are used to warmer habitats and might not survive the winter if they don’t snuggle up.
Species like tarantulas will hibernate almost throughout the entire winter. This is especially true for tarantulas that live in colder climates. In the winter, tarantulas will close up their burrows and patch them with pieces of dirt so that no cold air enters the burrow. They might spend their entire winter inside their burrow.
Species that live in warmer climates where the temperatures are mild during winter might not hibernate at all. Because they aren’t threatened by the cold, they might remain active throughout the winter, which means they’ll keep on hunting and preying on other animals even during winter.
There’s also a lighter form of hibernation called diapause. In this state, spiders will not eat as much as they normally do, but they will also not expend as much energy as usual. However, this is not a strict type of hibernation, as the spider might come out of this state if the winter conditions get milder during winter.
What Do Spiders Do in the Winter Time?
Many spider species will burrow themselves up and prepare themselves for winter, as they keep themselves as warm as possible by squeezing themselves in burrows, holes, and piles of rocks and wood. There, they will spend the majority of their winter.
However, not all spiders do this during winter; some species remain active throughout winter, which is especially typical for milder climates.
In essence, there are three things that spiders might do during winter:
- Hibernation – this is the default reaction to winter by most spider species, including the majority of tarantula species. They will remain in their burrows, or they will keep themselves in piles of rocks or wood where they will remain dormant for the majority of the winter.
- They remain active – some spider species will remain fully active and functional even during winter. This is typical for spiders in milder climates, but this is not seen with as many spider species as we might see with hibernation.
- Diapause – some spiders might also enter a state of diapause, which is a typical mechanism for arthropods that they use for coping with harsh weather conditions. In this mode, they remain dormant for the majority of winter but might come out if there’s an opportunity to do so.
Considering that there are over 40.000 different species in the world, it’s hard to give a be-all-end-all answer as to what spiders do during the winter. Some species will fully hibernate, while others might remain active; again, others will enter the mode of lighter hibernation called diapause.
Do House Spiders Hibernate?
Yes, the majority of house spiders will hibernate during winter.
They will find a corner in your home that is not populated or often used, and they will set up camp and spend the majority of winter there, hibernating. They prefer to be kept in warmer rooms where they can survive comfortably.
You might find them in the more hidden rooms of your house, and they’ll especially prefer to be kept in dark and hidden corners where they can remain peacefully without being under the threat of potential predators.
There are also some house spider species that will remain active throughout winter and will not hibernate, though. These spiders will have to rely primarily on insects that do remain in your home during winter, although it might be slightly tougher for them to survive during winter because there is not too much food to go around.
Some house spiders will also not be capable of sustaining themselves through the cold and might die off as a result. These spiders are particularly spiders that are used to warmer temperatures, so they’re not the best at coping with the cold environmental changes that happen in winter.
Do Spiders Die in the Winter?
Some spiders die in the winter because they’re not used to cold temperatures, such as the black and yellow garden spider; other spiders will hibernate to survive through winter.
There are many spiders out there that are seasonal. These arachnids will survive throughout summer, spring, and autumn, and will perish when temperatures get lower, and when harsher conditions kick in.
That’s why you might not see many spider species in or around your home during winter. They’re either hibernating or are hidden away safely inside their shelters, or they have died off before they were able to find shelter, or are just seasonal spiders that don’t survive beyond autumn.
Another problem that spiders face in winter is that there is not much food around as well. Most insects also die off before winter comes, so they will have to hibernate or rely on other sources of food, and some spider species are not very good at that, and might die out as a result.
Some species of spiders will hibernate throughout the winter – most notably, many tarantula species. Other spiders will remain active, but only if the temperatures are not too low, and if there is enough food for them to survive during winter.
Hibernation is an important coping mechanism for spiders that allows them to survive the harsh and cold temperatures that come during winter. For three or four months, they stop functioning fully and store the food they’ve gathered before hibernation so they’re able to sustain themselves.