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What do Spiders Eat – The Diet of a Common House Spider

Would you ever set the table for a spider? Of course not! But you might be surprised to find out you’ve been inviting spiders inside your home without even knowing it. If your home contains any of a spider’s favorite foods, can you blame them for coming in?

You may think, “I don’t care what spiders like, I don’t like them, and I never want to see one!” Knowing what a spider likes will give you a leg up when it comes to keeping them away. Find out what kind of food attracts spiders, so you can make sure your home stays spider free.

Common House Spider Diet

Before we talk about what spiders eat, we should talk about the types of spiders you’re most likely to encounter in your home. Common house spiders include:

  • Yellow Sac SpiderWhere spiders live.
  • Black House Spider
  • Brown House Spider
  • Domestic House Spider
  • Hobo Spider
  • Common Cellar Sider
  • Common House Spider
  • Black Widow Spider
  • Brown Recluse Spider
  • Wolf Spider

Most of the spiders you come across are harmless. Spiders generally prefer to lead solitary lives, avoiding human interaction. If you do encounter a dangerous spider, knowing how to react and when to seek medical attention can help you prevent or avoid serious harm or injury.

What spiders eat

Almost every spider is a predator. Most spider food is made up of insects, but there are some larger exotic spiders which can eat small animals such as lizards, frogs, rodents or birds.

Common house spiders – the ones you’re most likely to encounter – eat insects that you don’t want to find around your house. Spiders are the original pest control pros, and they’re doing you a favor by catching flies, mosquitoes, moths and other insects in their webs. Collectively, spiders eat hundreds of millions of tons of insects each year. Can you imagine what the world would be like without spiders helping us to get rid of bugs?


Spider eating habits

Spiders don’t need to eat often, and can survive weeks without food. However, if food (insects) is plentiful, spiders will eat frequently. Spiders get the moisture they need from their food, but they tend to hang out near water sources because that attracts their prey.

You’re probably familiar with spider webs, which spiders use for catching insects to eat. You may be surprised to learn that spiders don’t have teeth though, and they can’t eat the way you or I do.

In addition to their eight legs, spiders have two small appendages near their mouth that are called pedipalps. The pedipalps hold a spider’s prey in place while the spider bites it with its fangs. The fangs inject venom into the insect that liquefy its insides. Then the spider is able to drink its meal like a powerful protein shake. After a spider is done eating, the insect may look normal to you, but all that remains is an empty exoskeleton.

How to get rid of spiders

As you can see, spiders aren’t attracted to the foods we eat. However, our food can attract the insects that spiders eat. The best way to get rid of spiders is to get rid of their food source.

If you still think sharing your home with a spider is not for you, click below to find out how to get rid of spiders. You can use what you have learned here to prevent spiders and other household pests without bringing harmful chemicals into your home. Natural pest control and prevention is safe and effective, plus it’s friendly to people, pets and the planet.

53 responses to “What do Spiders Eat – The Diet of a Common House Spider”

  1. I totally love this site! I began keeping a spider on the outside of our window actually he built his own web and all of coarse LOL he’s a house spider with the stinger on the rear he’s about the size of a quarter and hides within the brick and I always worried about feeding how long they can go without food and water so it was nice to get the information that I needed from you all!! He’s out right now sitting out in the cold trying to find something to eat I guess unless you know different? Which makes me think he’s hungry he’s not even on his way but he’s on a wall by his web if you have any information and give me I would love to have it thanks very much my email is thanks so much!

    • Hi Patty,
      Thank you for the kind words, I’m so glad our site has been helpful for you! Spiders are very resourceful and don’t need to eat that often, so don’t worry if your friendly spider is just hanging around.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Hello Rita. I woke up one morning a few years ago to find four little puncture wounds on my stomache. They were like two little holes and two little holes about an inch and a half apart. They felt a bit like a wasp sting. I squeezed them after a few days and some brown and yellow liquid came out. A few weeks later I noticed they were like blood blisters so I squeezed the liquid out again. It took a good few months to heal but left a few faint purple marks. I didn’t see a spider so don’t know if it was the culprit. Do you know if a spider would bite you inside your bed. I live in the uk so not common for poisonous spiders

    • Hi Fiona,
      Spiders usually only bite as self-defense if they are threatened. If a spider was hiding in your bed, and you were to roll over and possibly squish the spider, it may bite as a last resort if it isn’t able to run away. It’s always a good practice to pull back the blankets and take a quick look at the sheets before turning in for the night. I’m glad to hear that you’re okay now!
      Thanks for reading!

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