Do Spiders Get Pregnant?
In the world today, we have about 45,000+ species of spiders.
With that number, you must have seen one or two spider species in your house or somewhere else.
Whether you saw them while eating or while they’re spinning about, one way or another; spiders are quite common in our environs.
But then again, there’s one particular type of spider that most people have not seen before. By that, we mean a pregnant spider.
Even if you’ve seen one before, it’s most likely that you couldn’t tell the difference. But fret not friend; we made this article just for you!
So, here, we’ll look at how you can tell if a spider is pregnant by analyzing how they look. In fact, we’ll even describe how you can quickly estimate the number of months a spider had been pregnant. Not only that, but we’ll also dissect the physical differences between the pregnant models of different spider species.
READ MORE: How Long Do Spiders Live? Facts And information.
How Do Spiders Get Pregnant?
In the animal kingdom, it’s a rule of thumb that male animals own the structure for impregnating their female counterparts.
And the females are the ones saddled with the responsibility to carry the eggs or babies.
Like others, spiders are not left out. In male spiders, those structures are called the pedipalps.
These pedipalps work more like a penis. They are retractable. They produce sperms and as such, can be inserted into the female body which has an underbelly opening to receive it.
And like that, pregnancy sets in once the female is ready.
However, before all these can happen, the male spider would need to find a compatible female that’s also receptive.
Once they both agree, the male deposits its sperm on the pedipalps. Afterward, the sperm is then moved onto a sperm web where it is slowly introduced into the female body.
How Can You Tell If a Spider Is Pregnant?
To identify a pregnant spider, you should start by looking closely at its abdomen.
You see, the abdomen of spiders houses the tool they use to make eggs.
This tool is called the egg sac.
Oftentimes, these egg sacs are smooth, round-shaped, and always attached to the spider’s web. And like the name, the egg sac can hold a large number of spider eggs.
The more the eggs, the larger the abdomen. And the bigger this abdomen gets, the sooner a female spider can lay the eggs.
As such, when spiders are pregnant, their abdomen often becomes enlarged because of the increasing pressure from the inside.
This enlarged abdomen is common to many species of spiders. However, the size of the spiders’ abdomen during pregnancy may vary for different species.
Not only that, these pregnant abdomens show different looks and symptoms depending on the spider species in question.
If your eyes are untrained, you may find it difficult to pinpoint whether the species you have at hand is actually pregnant or not. This is because, in some spiders, a bloated abdomen could mean that the spider had just finished a heavy meal. But keep reading; this article has compiled a list of what different spider species look like when pregnant.
1. Pregnant Brown Recluse Spider.
The brown recluse spiders are venomous spiders which are among the three most venomous species of spiders found in North America.
According to arachnid experts, these spiders often have swollen abdomens when they are pregnant. And you can see this abdominal swelling with your naked eyes.
But to be doubly sure, try to look around for their egg sac.
Oftentimes, they carry their egg sacs around, especially during the summer or late spring. If you can find it, alongside their enlarged abdomen, then you can be certain that the brown recluse spider in question is pregnant.
A quick fact though; these spiders tend to be very aggressive when they’re pregnant and when anything odd seems to disturb their eggs sac.
So, make sure to be careful when looking for the egg sacs. And always remember that since they’re venomous, a single bite from a brown recluse spider may land you in a hospital wing.
2) Pregnant Wolf Spider.
Wolf spiders are the fastest spiders in the world.
Even though, many of them don’t spin webs. Rather, they chase down their insect prey like wolves.
But once a wolf spider is pregnant often during summertime, its speed drops.
This is because female wolf spiders always carry their egg sacs on their back till they hatch.
Even when they hatch, the spiderlings still remain on their mother’s back till they can be independent.
So, the moment you see a large, black or brown spider with long legs and an egg sac on its back, your best guess should be a pregnant wolf spider.
So, if you are asked the big question; do Spiders Carry Their Babies On Their Backs?
Well… now, you know that the answer is yes. But the only known species of spiders that can carry their egg sacs and babies on their backs are the Wolf Spiders.
3) Pregnant Black Widow Spider.
Black widows are 15 times much deadlier than rattlesnakes.
When their females are pregnant, they have an enlarged abdomen, which of course, we know is filled with eggs and egg sacs.
Though because black widow spiders eat on one another, the survival rate of their spiderlings is even much lower compared to other spiders.
READ MORE: How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Car.
How Many Baby Spiders Can Emerge from an Egg Sac?
One thing about spiders is that their newborns, aka, spiderlings, often do not survive their first hours in the outside world.
Because of this, they are pressured to lay a large number of eggs to increase their survival rate.
As such, a single egg sac can hold up to 600 eggs, in fact, this number can be more or less, depending on the spider species in question.
For instance, in the black and brown widow spiders, their females can form anything between 10 to 20 egg sacs in their entire lifetime.
Now, each of these egg sacs can contain around 150 to 300 eggs. With that, you can do the maths to get an estimate of the spiderlings they can produce.
But then, with their low survival rate, only about 50 spiders live on to the stage where they can start to produce their own webs.
How Long Can A Spider Remain Pregnant?
Honestly, you would need to consider a lot of factors before you can answer this question.
The most important factor is the specific type of spider under your microscope.
But in general, most spider eggs often take anything between 30 – 50 days to reach maturity after they’ve been enclosed within their eggs sacs. Afterward, the long wait from egg to spiderlings begins.
The time that this egg-spiderling wait will take depends on the spider species.
But even among the same species of spiders, some other factors like the current season and ambient temperature also matter because they can also prolong or shorten the duration.
So, let’s explain why.
Most spiders make love in the fall.
As explained earlier, the male would introduce the sperm that the female body would carry around.
According to experts, the female does carry this sperm case throughout the entire winter.
When it’s spring, the female gets ready because the season is now of higher temperature.
During this time, the female spiders begin active feeding that supplies energy to the egg sac formation process.
Once it is complete, another 30 to 50 days must pass by for the eggs to become fully developed.
Once the eggs have attained maturity, they begin to hatch, after 2 to 3 weeks, into spiderlings. These spiderlings would then bite through the sac, move out of it, and settle near the nest for some time.
After several weeks, they migrate to start up their own territory.
However, most of the spiders we deal with live within our house.
Since our homes often have an all-year-round and consistent ambient temperature, these spiders often tend to lay their eggs throughout the entire year.
So, if you’re preparing to eradicate only the new batch of spiders during springtime alone, then, you have the wrong info.
This is because as explained above, some household spiders may just be able to reproduce in all seasons. The bad news is that your own spider pests might be among them.
What Happens When You Kill a Pregnant Spider?
When you kill a pregnant spider, what happens to the spiderlings often depends on two things.
One is their maturity level. The other is the crushed state of the mother spider.
If the spiderlings are mature enough to move on their own, then the moment you squash the mother spider, the developed spiderlings would begin to run. And yes, they run very far to any other place they consider a haven.
However, in most cases, spiderlings within a crush mother often tend to be underdeveloped.
Without their mothers to relocate them, these young spiderlings usually don’t survive. Oftentimes, this is because they’re still too naive to construct their own webs.
As such, they tend to starve. In fact, things even get much worse in cases where the mother spider simply dies without getting crushed.
Here, the spiderlings don’t get the chance to run for dear life. Oftentimes, they die within their mothers. But whether these spiderlings make it out or not, you’re probably still going to find more spiders in your home. The reason for this is still largely unknown.
READ MORE: 8 Common Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs.
Why You Should Never Squish a Spider?
A few others are very dangerous.
But whether harmful or venomous, killing a pregnant spider comes with its own backlash. This backlash goes double in cases where your killing strategy involved squashing the pregnant spider with either your hands or legs. And here’s why.
When you step on spiders or squish them with your bare hands, two things are bound to happen.
With legs, their stomach contents may splash into your eyes as you squash them. If this happens, immediate swelling of your eye may set in. As we all know, this, of course, would be very painful.
If your killing tool is your bare hands and you forgot to clean it up immediately, you’re most likely going to rub those bare hands with your eyes, oftentimes to wipe sweat.
When this happens, facial irritation, itching, and swelling may result. If that happens, you’re in for excruciating pain.
How Do You Kill a Pregnant Spider?
Here’s a synoptic list of techniques that works:
- If the mother spider has babies on its back, trap it in a jar and freeze it overnight to kill it within the trap jar.
- You can flush the mother spiders down your toilet drain. Oftentimes, the toilet suction will kill both the mother spiders and the babies, all at once.
With that said, we conclude that spiders like other animals get pregnant. One clear marker that gives them away is their bloated abdomen. But to be doubly sure, you need to scout around their bodies or nests for egg sacs. Within each egg sac, about 200 eggs may lie therein. Although, only about 50 spiderlings or even fewer may survive.
But then again, this number is enough to make your house get filled with cobwebs. So, finding a good strategy to ward off pregnant spiders should not be under-emphasized. Luckily, this article was able to run you through some of the most potent ways to kill off pregnant spiders for good. Make sure you use them well, okay?