Do you have a problem with spiders? Many people do, but what most people don't know is that all spiders can be quite beneficial to many homeowners. They eat other bugs that can be harmful to people and their homes. In this post, we will explore the diet of common house spiders in the US and Canada. We will also look at what kinds of food sources they may be attracted to in your home and what you can do to reduce the population if they are becoming a nuisance.
The most common type of spider you'll find in a US home is the common house spider. Some species of house spider include daddy-long-legs, common cellar spiders, jumping spiders, hobo spiders, and rarely, the more dangerous black widows and brown recluses.
These spiders are generally not aggressive and they will only bite humans if they feel threatened. Don't worry; the vast majority of North American spiders are mostly harmless, and their bites will only mildly irritate most people!
However, please be cautious around large brown spiders, as the various species of brown spiders are the most common poisonous spider in the US. The bite of a brown reclus spider can cause pain and possible skin damage.
Despite that, you usually don't have to worry about the spiders themselves. Unfortunately, their presence can indicate that you have another more pressing pest issue at hand.
Spiders are carnivores and typically hunt for live prey. However, they will also consume other dead animals, as well as nectar and fruits. The most common prey for spiders are insects and other small arthropods, such as ants, flies, beetles, and moths.
Spiders will also eat other spiders, which is why you'll sometimes find them in webs that belong to other spider species. When it comes to what eats spiders, the list includes wasps , mites, snakes, frogs, lizards, and birds. Humans aren't typically on that list!
It is estimated that spiders worldwide eat approximately 400-800 million tons of insects and pests each year, drastically reducing the spread of disease in grasslands, forests, and urban environments. So, they aren't all bad!
Common food sources for spiders in the home can also include uncovered meats, wet cat food, and spilled drinks. If you can eliminate these food sources by keeping a clean kitchen and sealing off your trash, you will also be able to reduce the population of spiders in your home.
If you are finding a lot of spiders in your home, it is likely because there are also a lot of insects for them to eat. As such, spiders in the home can be seen as a symptom of a pest issue, as opposed to problem itself.
To reduce the population of spiders in your home, you need to remove their food source. If you have a significant spider problem, it's likely that you've got issues with other bugs as well. Fortunately, you'll be killing two bugs with one stone here by dealing with the prey insects.
As a rule of thumb when keeping insects from your home, seal up any cracks or openings where they might be getting into the building. If you're a homeowner, check the foundation of the house. If there are cracks, not only will it encourage pests to break in, but it's bad for the home!
Another way bugs can easily get in is through your windows. Invest in screens if you don't already have them, and check your existing ones for holes or damage. Check the siding around the window as well; some bugs can bore into wood such as termites and carpenter bees, creating a way in for their friends.
Eliminate any food sources that would attract insects. Check for leaky pipes and clean up excess moisture in your kitchen, bathrooms, or basement. Since bugs tend to gather near sources of moisture, you'll likely find spiders congregating nearby.
Check your pantry and cupboards regularly for food scraps left behind from packaging, as well as in between kitchen appliances and in crevices where you regularly eat. Basically, look anywhere where there could be food scraps that could have been forgotten.
Sweep and vacuum regularly to pick up any crumbs or other small food particles. Take out the trash often, and remember to clean behind appliances where spiders could be hiding.
You should also be diligent about taking out your recycling, as many bugs are attracted to the sweet smell of soda cans or beer bottles. If you leave them sitting out, you're practically inviting a buffet for spiders and other pests. If you're still having problems, try washing out the insides of your garbage cans with soap and hot water. As an added bonus, it may help it smell better on garbage day!
Reducing the population of spiders in your home can be as simple as keeping a clean house and being aware of what kinds of food sources might attract insects. If you have a serious problem, however, it's best to call in a professional who will be able to help you identify and seal any potential entry points for pests.
If you've tried all of the above and are still having issues, it may be time to call in a professional. The pest control pros here at Zunex can help identify what kind of insects are getting into your home and provide a solution to get rid of them.
In the meantime, try to relax and remember that spiders are actually doing you a favor by eating all those other bugs. Just don't let them get too comfortable in your home!
Thanks for reading! We hope this post has been helpful in understanding the diet of common house spiders and what you can do to reduce their population in your home.