Vacuums And Bugs: The Debate Rages On

Sucked up by a vacuum? No problem for this bug!

Sucked up by a vacuum? No problem for this bug!

No! Today I had one of my worst fears mostly confirmed. It seems that vacuuming up a bug does not necessarily kill it. I previously mentioned my dislike of spiders (OK, rampant fear is more accurate). For the past few years my preferred method of disposal after finding one in the house is to grab a vacuum as quickly as possible. I even bought a handheld vacuum to improve the speed of action. But I always wondered whether or not the spiders might secretly be living on inside the vacuum. With the upright vacuum that uses a paper bag, there was never a way to check on the status of a spider or bug after suction. My handheld has a clear, plastic container, but it usually has quite a bit of dust inside to obscure the view. Today, it just so happened that the handheld was mostly clean inside and a bug was on the ceiling. After a quick “vroom,” the bug was gone. I then peered inside and saw the bug crawling around. Certainly it was dusty, but otherwise it seemed fine. Does this mean all those spiders and bugs from the past just crawled back out of the vacuum when it was stored back in the closet? Ugh. Oh, ugh! I have checked around on the internet about this question. After reading affirmations that bugs are indeed killed by vacuuming (one even a scientific study) and also that certain death is in question, I can only conclude that there is no answer that applies to all situations. It’s likely that life or death depends on the type of bug, the type of vacuum and who knows how many other variables.

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