March 16, 2023

Do Spiders Eat Ants? What's on the Menu?

Spiders, ants, and pests. Oh my!

Spiders are typical and unwanted houseguests you can see at any time of the year. Unlike other pests, spiders won’t enter your home for the sweet treats in your pantry. Instead, they’ll come indoors in search of insects to feast upon!

While spiders commonly prey on silverfish, roaches, and flies, do spiders eat ants too? Or do these eight-legged arachnids turn their nose up at any ant that passes their way?

Check out our blog, where we’ll get to the bottom of a spider’s diet and see if ants are on the menu!

Why Do I Have Spiders Indoors?

We've all had those moments where we stumble upon a spider in our homes, making us jump out of our skin. But why do they choose to come indoors in the first place?

Spiders are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature is dependent on their environment. When the weather turns chilly, your cozy home may be just the retreat they seek.

Another possible reason is for a bite to eat. Spiders are natural-born predators, feasting on insects like flies and cockroaches. So if your home is host to an infestation, you may find spiders moving in, too, eager to chow down on some tasty prey.

But it's not just survival that motivates our eight-legged friends. Like humans, some spiders are on the lookout for love. 

During their breeding season, many species become highly territorial and will actively seek out a mate. If your home provides a suitable environment for some spider romance, they may seek out your abode to start a family.

And let's not forget that spiders can be a little curious too. They're always exploring their surroundings, sometimes including a little jaunt inside your house. They may crawl through an open window, slip through a crack in the wall, or even saunter in through an open door.

Have Ants Too? Here’s Why

Ants are social creatures that live in colonies and work together to gather food. If your home provides a convenient source of sustenance, like a trail of crumbs or spilled sugar, you can bet that these little critters will file in like moths to a flame. 

Once they've located a food source, they'll use their scent trails to alert their colony mates, and before you know it, you're dealing with a full-blown ant invasion!

But it's not just food that brings ants inside. They also seek shelter from extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, drought, or bitter cold. Your home provides a comfortable refuge from the elements, and ants are always looking for a warm, dry place to call home.

And speaking of homes, some ant species are attracted to certain materials commonly found in houses, such as wood or insulation. Carpenter ants, for instance, are notorious for tunneling through wood and can cause significant structural damage if left unchecked.

Do Spiders Eat Ants?

Many spider species' diet largely depends on their habitat and prey availability. Some species prefer to feed on insects like flies, mosquitoes, and moths, while others have a taste for larger prey. 

However, ants are a common and convenient food source for many spiders, with species even evolving particular adaptations to help them capture and subdue their prey. Here’s a list of spiders that enjoy feasting on an ant or two!

  • Jumping spiders
  • Wolf spiders
  • Cellar spiders

These are just a few examples of common spider species that eat ants. However, it's important to note that not all spiders are interested in eating ants, and their diets can vary depending on their habitat and prey availability.

So why do spiders eat ants? 

For one, ants are incredibly abundant in many environments, making them an easy and plentiful target for spiders. Additionally, ants are a rich source of essential nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fats, which help spiders to grow and thrive. 

Removing Spiders and Ants From Your Home

So do spiders eat ants? Yep! Some species even prefer to snack on these pests over other insects, like ant spiders, members of the Zodariidae spider family

Spider infestations can help cull pesky ants, but neither insects are desirable to have indoors! Instead, you should focus on removing both pests once you spot signs of either.

Here are some tips you can try to keep both pests at bay!

Keep your home clean and tidy: Spiders and ants are attracted to food scraps and crumbs, so keep your floors and counters clean. Store food in airtight containers, and avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.

Seal up cracks and crevices: Spiders and ants enter your home through small openings, so seal up any cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and other entry points to keep them out.

Use natural repellents: Some natural repellents, like peppermint oil, vinegar, or citrus, can effectively keep spiders and ants away. Simply spray these repellents in areas where spiders and ants are likely to enter or gather.

Eliminate standing water: Ants flock moisture, so eliminate any standing water in and around your home. Fix any leaky pipes or faucets, and avoid overwatering plants. Here’s a guide to help you locate leaks indoors!

Use sticky traps: Sticky traps can catch spiders and ants. Place these traps where you have seen spiders or ants or spaces they are likely to enter your home.

Call in a professional: If you have a severe infestation of spiders or ants or are dealing with a venomous spider like a black widow or brown recluse, it may be best to call a pest control professional to help you eliminate the problem.

Remember, prevention is key to getting rid of spiders and ants, but you’ll need a helping hand when these pests grow out of control. Thankfully Zunex Pest Control can handle many common Washington ant and spider species!

Whether odorous house ants are driving you crazy or large wolf spiders are roaming your home’s halls, we have the expertise to eliminate any invading pest. Contact us today!

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