How Long Do Spiders Live - Spider Life Cycle & Lifespan How Long Do Spiders Live - Spider Life Cycle & Lifespan

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How Long Do Spiders Live? Exploring the Average Life Cycle

By: Rita Stadler

Common house spiders, on average, live for about one year. This all depends on the species, though, as some can live to be around 7 years old. There are even some types that can live up to 30 years!

close up of a spider

Below, we explore the lifespan of a common household spider. We discuss their different stages of life, what spiderlings are, how long they live, how long they can live without food, and more. This information could help prepare you for the next time you see one in your home.

The Spider Life Cycle Stages

baby spiders spiderlings

Baby spiders hatch from a spider egg sac and are called spiderlings. An egg sac may contain as many as 1,000 spider eggs! Since they lay eggs, you will never see a pregnant spider, but you may see one carrying her egg sac on her back. In other instances, mothers will attach their egg sacs in crevices or sheltered areas.

The eggs can hatch in just a few weeks if conditions are favorable (such as during spring or summer, when temperatures are warm and moisture is plentiful). Spider egg sacs may also “overwinter” or wait out the cooler weather in a dormant state before hatching.

When spiderlings hatch, they look like miniature adult spiders with eight legs, a head, and a body. They are usually black, brown, or grey and don’t have any distinctive colors or markings. Spiderlings are not dependent on their mothers and will often start life alone. As soon as they hatch, they leave their siblings, looking for a home to call their own.

For most species, nearly all of the eggs spiders lay will hatch into spiderlings, including hobo spiders and orb weavers. But some species don’t fare so well. The Giant House Spider, for example, will only hatch 1% of around 50 eggs per sac.

 

Spider lifespan

spider web light

The average lifespan of spiders is about a year but it depends on the species. For example, the common barn funnel weaver has a life expectancy of up to 7 years, black widow spiders can live for up to 3 years, wolf spiders can live up to a year, and tarantulas can live anywhere from 10-30 years! Gender is another factor. Females tend to live longer than males. People are probably their biggest threat. Curious cats and dogs can also bring an abrupt end to their life.

Spider life is a solitary life. Adults do not live in groups or colonies. House spiders are not territorial or aggressive, but living alone gives them better chances of catching enough food without needing to share. They don’t need to eat daily and can survive long periods of time without food, but they will eat often if food is abundant. Spiders do need to drink water, though. They often drink from dew drops, condensation, or other sources like a dripping faucet, leaky appliance, or pet bowl.

Most of their time is spent waiting. They wait patiently in their webs for a meal. Spinning a web does not take much time or effort for the common house spider, so they will abandon a web that isn’t catching many bugs, moving on to another location. Ideal locations for spider webs are areas where other insects may be found such as in attics and basements near a light, door, window, food, or water source.

How Long Can They Live Without Food?

how long do spiders live

The amount of time that spiders can live without food varies between different species of spiders. Larger species tend to live longer without food than smaller species, but in general, they can go anywhere from 30-60 days without food. Even baby spiders can go without food for nearly the same amount of time as their adult counterparts. They don’t have a daily eating routine and will eat whenever they’re hungry or whenever they manage to catch prey.

Spiders are mostly carnivores and prefer to eat live or recently killed prey. The arachnids you find in and around your home usually eat insects. Common foods include flies, mosquitos, gnats, ants, and moths, but they will eat most insects caught in their webs, such as earwigs, crickets, cockroaches, centipedes, and even spiders of different species. Hunting spiders that don’t make webs will often hunt down larger insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, and crickets.

Access to water can also impact the amount of time a spider can live without food. If water is easily accessible, they can survive for longer periods of time.

In cases of food shortages, it’s possible for female spiders to even eat their babies after they’ve hatched and for siblings to eat their newborn family members.

You can take steps to prevent these pests from coming into your home, but if you do find one, you may not want to try waiting to outlive it. Your best bet is either to keep learning more about household spiders and how to get rid of them, or start using a kinder form of pest prevention that is guaranteed to work.

  1. Rita Stadler

    Hi Debbie,

    You are so kind, thank you for sharing! Admittedly, your current situation does sound a little stressful. Brown recluses are, as their name implies, very reclusive, so I would be hesitant to assume that’s the spider you are seeing. Regardless, seeing any spider in your home can be a bit unsettling, especially if you’ve noticed an injury or skin irritation too. If you haven’t already, consider keeping a couple pouches of Stay Away Spiders in the areas you mentioned. Right now (and at the beginning of every spring and fall season), you can get a great gift with your purchase to make sure you’ve got everything you need to keep your home pest free.

    Thanks for reading, and keep it kind my friend! 🙂

  • Milda

    I have a black house spider in my kitchen window. Georgina is atleast 2 1/2 years old. I have watched her grow and have spiderlings. One of her daughters I named Georgette constructed her living quarters in the window lock and proceeded to build a retreat using the wing of her food. Also today I could not find the daughter Georgette. Mum Georgina is still in her corner, a beautiful black velvet. I’m due to sell and I know her days are numbered but until then will let her reside in the window corner. Georgina and Georgette are/have been the best inspection catcher. I have a blue light lantern in the kitchen and the beat it legs down. Wish there was a way to safely catch and release Georgina.

    1. Rita Stadler

      Thank you for sharing such a kind story!

  • MiMi

    We have a beautiful garden spider named Charlotte. We recently noticed a smaller Spider in her web. I think it was a male. He died. Charlotte built a new web about a foot away from him. We feed her grasshoppers. She loves them.

    I think she will be having babies. I’m crushed to learn that they die after having them. Charlottes Web was accurate.

    All God’s Creatures

    1. Rita Stadler

      What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing!

  • Joyce Christopher-Thomas

    A little spider lived in a corner of my bathroom. I called her “Carlita”. I have not seen her for days. I hope she just moved on to find a better place to catch her food. I miss her!

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Joyce,
      What a lovely story, I hope Carlita is doing well wherever she is!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Rebecca LaManna

    My father passed on when I was still young – about 20, but I always remember his wise words to me about many things. About spiders he would say : ‘ Never kill a spider because they take care of ALL the insects in the house !’ It stuck with me + to this day I have NEVER killed one. I see them as having a sort of noble purpose, especially in households.

    1. Rita Stadler

      That is a wise and beautiful thing to say, thanks Rebecca!

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Ellen,

      What a lovely story, thank you for sharing!

  • Joshua Simmons

    I have a new friend. Hes about a month old…at least that’s how long I’ve seen him next to my front porch light. He spins a great web and as a man terribly fearful of spiders, I’ve become very protective of this little guy. Can I take a picture and you let me know if I can help him, as fall and winter approaches?

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Joshua,

      We’re so happy to hear about your new friend, we would love to see a picture! For the best advice about how to look after local creatures, we’d suggest contacting your county extension office since they would be most familiar with local wildlife and conditions, but please keep us updated.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • cheryl

    we had a large spider living near our garden also I named her Charlotte Charlotte would appear to sleep during the day but at nightfall she would be seen spinning her web she was there for a few weeks n now isn’t moving that’s why I looked up a spider’s life expectancy I hope she had a great life she brought me great joy as I watched her

  • Nanci

    We have a lovely large spider in our garden whom we have named Seymour. He/she spins a web that is about 5 to 6 feet in diameter
    In the daylight it is impossible to see it. But when it gets dark, sure enough there’s Seymour in the web. We have told the gardener noy to walk in the area of the. Even though we cant see it in daylight.

    I hope Seymour will enjoy our garden as long as she wants to live with us.

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Nanci,

      What a lovely guest to have in the garden, thank you for sharing! I hope Seymour helps your plants grow and thrive, and protects you from mosquitoes too.

      Thanks for reading!

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