What Bugs do Spiders Eat?
Spiders are interesting and mysterious creatures. People are consistently terrified and fascinated by them. Let’s clear up some of the mystery and find out what spiders eat—and why it matters to you.
The Spider Diet
Spiders have been known to eat all of a manner of other creatures, including small birds and mammals. However, by far the greatest source of food for spiders is the local bug supply. The diet of choice for a given spider depends on its species and location.
Spiders are famous for their webs—intricate structures made from their own silk used to trap prey. Webs vary greatly from species to species, but they all serve the same general purpose. Almost all webs are situated off the ground, even if just a few inches. This means they’ll primarily capture bugs that can jump or fly.
Webs situated close to the ground will catch bugs that prefer to live in bushes and grass, such as:
Webs that are constructed higher up tend to catch insects that do a lot of travelling higher off the ground, like:
Spiders are often much smaller than their prey. However, their webs and venom allow them to capture much larger and stronger food Sources.
Not all spiders rely on webs to catch prey. Some of the eight-legged creatures prefer to hunt and catch their prey manually. This type of spider tends to be larger and is often venomous. Some actively stalk their food while others lie in wait before striking.
The type of prey these spiders eat depends on where they live. A scorpion might make a meal in the desert, while beetles and crickets would be on the menu in wooded and damp areas.
Why It Matters to You
The food spiders eat in your area matters to you as a homeowner.
First, they make great natural pest controllers outside. They can eat thousands of pesky insects over their lifetimes, usually while not posing a threat to anyone. In fact, you may want to make a policy of leaving alone any that you come across outside. They might be creepy, but they’re helping you out!
Second, spiders will usually only stay in your home if they’re finding an ample food source. If you frequently come across spiders in your house, it probably means that you have an infestation of another bug that they’re feeding on. You’ll need to look and this and possibly contact a pest control company.
If there are simply too many spiders in and around your home for your liking, check out our guide for getting rid of spiders.