Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can snails reproduce in the vacuum cleaner?

I've heard people discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of vacuuming up spiders. Does it get rid of them or rather allow them to reproduce in your vacuum bag only to further colonize your house? I have heard arguments from both sides and still remain undecided on the true answer. I, for one, do hoover them up (animal rights activists my apologies). And then I try to run my vacuum long enough after the deed. My theory is that by running the vacuum for a certain amount of time once the spiders are in the bag, I can suffocate them with the dust. Sounds dastardly and somehow I'm sure I shouldn't even be admitting this. But there it is. I hoover spiders.

But what about snails? If you hoover up a snail, can it go on living in the dust bag and escape during the night or does it die?

I ask only because I did recently hoover up a snail. I honestly didn't mean to do it. Given my above admission regarding spiders, I'm sure there are a few of you with your doubts. But I assure you, it was an accident. I was trying to avoid it while cleaning a very tricky area in the conservatory, but one fateful flick of the wrist and it was gone. I felt a shiver up my spine at the thought of it living in my dust bag. But what I found even more disturbing was the thought that perhaps it wasn't in the dust bag. Perhaps it was stuck somewhere between it's out-of-vacuum hiding place and the dust bag, a sort of snail purgatory if you will. What if it were stuck somewhere in the hose, desperately clinging on with the hope of future escape? During the night. When we're all asleep.

I did finally manage to put the snail incident out of my head. Until today. Today I hoovered up a piece of beading around the floorboards that we haven't nailed in yet. I knew right away that I was going to have to go after it. I couldn't let that carefully cut out tiny piece of molding be whisked away by the vacuum. It had to be saved. And then the second thought flashed in my head. The snail. What if the snail were still alive. Still slimy and wet and waiting for my hand in the dust bag. What if I reached in and...gasp...touched the snail. Shivers.

I finally decided the only way to solve my problem was to carefully dissect the dust bag over the bin bag, picking through the dust ever so carefully so as not to miss the piece of molding but still avoid the potential snail. I did eventually find the molding.

I never did see the snail...


BellWookie said...


The Devil's Dance Floor said...

I was literally laughing out loud when I read this, too funny!

If it makes any difference- I vacuum spiders too. :-)

pelecypods said...

I love spiders and put them back outside. Hobo spiders I kill because there bite is dangerous.
I don't think spiders can reproduce in a bag. My husband vacuumed wasp off the flowers and hummingbird feeders this summer and I think they died with all the dust in bag. Have not seen them fly out of vacuum cleaner yet.

Mavis said...

This post is hilarious! And spooky...I've wondered the same thing for ages. Do spiders reproduce in the vaccuum bag, creating a potential army of vengeance?

It makes me a little ill thinking of it, because I absolutely despise those little leggy mutants. To me, they're worse than snakes.

Thanks for the very funny post!

Katie said...

Unfortunatly, the snail probably died due to lack of moisture in the vacuum bag. Strange, though...I've never had a snail in my house.

alfanhui14 said...

how funny!!! I laugh with every word!!
and...if the snail comes for the revenge? :D :D

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

Snails are so sneaky! Sara x

Don't forget to add your DaWanda shop to the directory at

Andy & Rebecca said...

Haha!! Finally someone said out loud what I've always wondered!!! I, too, am a compulsive bug vacuum-er and have, on several occasions, sucked up a few bees. I've always wondered if there were a bee colony amid the dust, and would they come swarming out with vengeance when I emptied the vacuum? Shudder.

Michael said...

That is the funniest philosophical debate I have ever read.

I once hoovered up a snail - I was cleaning my parents car, when I noticed a snail clinging onto the underside corner of the car frame. Rather than bend down and pick the snail by hand, I thought I would use the vacuum cleaner to recover the snail. It wouldn't budge. So I pushed it a bit using the nozzle. It fell off, spun a bit and "fffump!!!", the snail was stuck to the nozzle. Then there was this horrible "vwvwvwvwvww" noise, followed by a rather tubey "Pung!!!" And the snail was gone, leaving nothing but a perfectly clean and dry shell. I feel so guilty.

Snails and vacuum cleaners don't mix.