How do you deal with a spider in your home? We all know that if the world was a perfect place, we wouldn’t kill the spider invader at all, but instead, help them reach the outside world again and wander on their merry way. But this is not a perfect world, and very few people are willing to let a spider leave their home unscathed. Ok, so if that spider absolutely must die, then what is the most humane way to send it on to heaven? Should you smash it, burn it, drown it? How can we humans at least mitigate the pain of the death sentence we put upon these creatures?
The first and most common method of exterminating a spider is the well-loved smashing method, which aims to ultimately turn the poor arachnid into a pile of spider ooze. Essentially, you must find a big, blunt object and bring it down upon the offending spider with all your might. However, there are numerous problems with this choice of execution. First of all, we humans are not always the most accurate judges of what will smash a spider completely and immediately into said pile of spider ooze. Often, the spider does not die with the first blow, and we must whack away at them a few more times to get the job done. Spiders are fast and rather strong, making it not uncommon for one to sidle just enough out of the way so that you only smash half of their body with the first blow. So, smashing is off the list of humane ways to kill a spider.
What about using fire to burn a spider to smithereens? Well, while it might effectively kill the spider quickly, this method also comes with many hazards. You could easily burn your house down while trying to chase down and burn the spider. While it may be more humane in how quickly the spider dies, the fire method is just not worth the risk. So, what about drowning the spider? But that can’t be the most humane method of killing a spider, as they can take over an hour to drown. That definitely sounds like torture to me.
The experts say that if you want to kill a spider in your home humanely, you should use ice, as opposed to fire or water to do the deed. Dr. Jerome Rovner, a professor at Ohio State and a member of the American Arachnological Society, advises people to, “Catch in an empty pill vial of appropriate size (or a baby-food-size jar), snap the cap on, and put it in the refrigerator freezer overnight. Getting cold is a normal experience of all spiders during winter, so it doesn’t seem cruel to knock them out by lowering their body temperature. The next day, pour enough rubbing alcohol in the container to submerge the frozen spider to insure that it will not recover from being frozen. The now dead spider and alcohol can then be poured into the toilet and flushed away.”
Have you ever tried freezing a spider? Will you try out this more humane method of killing a spider in the future?