Do Spiders Eat Ants? You Should Read & Know This One!

Deepthi Reddy
Feb 29, 2024 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Nov 24, 2021
Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa
Find out do spiders eat ants and many more facts. Let's explore.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.6 Min

We will look at several species of spiders like the black widow, jumping spider, the lynx spider, orb spider, house spider, and more.

Spiders are arachnids, but not all arachnid are spiders. All spiders have eight legs and eight eyes.

Webs are the main way by which spiders catch their meals. They spin their own web to trap flying creepy crawlies, insects, and anything else that gets trapped in them that they can eat. Spiders are capable of surviving for weeks without food.

Spiders hold their prey and then nibble it with their fangs, injecting digestive enzymes into the prey insect. This is how spiders eat a meal. Common house spiders, wolf spiders, and southern black widows can be found in homes; this is because black widows like to spin webs in dark, peaceful places. If you enjoy reading fun facts about spiders, you can also find out if spiders hibernate and discover how many legs spiders have, here on Kidadl.

Do orb spiders eat ants?

Orb spiders are also known as garden spiders. Orb spiders catch their food by spinning a wheel-like web and waiting for food, including ants, to get trapped in it. Many spiders eat ants whenever they can grab them, such as the lynx spider, which will prey on ants, cockroaches, wasps, flies, and other insects. While spiders mostly feed on insects, some large spiders can also eat snails and even small animal vertebrates like frogs, lizards, and birds.

Orb spiders eagerly wait for prey to fall on their web and get stuck, they then attack it with digestive juices, which contain potent venom that paralyzes their prey. The spider usually remains hidden during the day to protect itself from predators but will still be aware of any prey that gets trapped in its web. Sometimes, ants walking in search of food will accidentally get stuck on a web. When the ant struggles to free itself the spider will feel the web vibrate, alerting it to the presence of the ant. The spider can then come along to wrap the ant, inject it with its venom, and eat it! It can also trap other small animals and insects in the same way. Sometimes spiders eat wasps, flies, and bees that have been trapped in their webs.

Do spider monkeys eat ants?

While spiders feast primarily on insects, there are other animals, such as spider monkeys and anteaters, that also eat spiders and insects.

Spider monkeys are omnivorous; they eat plants and meat. They like to eat insects and larvae, which may include ants and spiders, but this makes up just a small portion of their diet. The majority of the spider monkey's diet consists of leaves, bark, birds, eggs, and insects. Their long arms and legs give the monkey the appearance of a spider, which is why it is known as the spider monkey. Spider monkeys will sometimes feed on insects that they find stuck in spider webs, like flying insects, ants, and other creepy crawlies.

Do house spiders eat ants?

Spiders often weave their web close to their prey.

We fear these pests in our homes because of their looks, but luckily not all spider species are harmful to humans. Common house spider species include the common cellar spider, yellow sac, black house spider, wolf spider, brown recluse, common house spider, black widow, and hobo spider.

House Spiders want to live indoors where they can easily find insects (food) and water, and they like to remain undisturbed. The house spiders in your home help to control other pests and insects, with many species of house spider having a carnivorous diet. They like to eat various household insects such as earwigs, fleas, flies, cockroaches, ants, moths, mosquitoes, and wasps. This type of diet is followed by many other species of spider as well, so please think twice about killing spiders because they help us to keep other household pests under control!

Can jumping spiders eat ants?

Spiders make webs to trap prey. The spider feels the ant struggling when an ant is caught in the web and will then approach its meal or prey. Other spiders actively hunt for ants by waiting for their prey to walk past before pouncing.

Weaver ants have an advanced chemical communication system that helps them identify one another. Each ant colony has a specific code, made up of hydrocarbons, given to each colony member by the queen, and it works like a passport for the ants. However, Bitaeniata, which belongs to the jumping spider species, convinces the ants that they are members of the colony. These jumping spiders have adapted and evolved their appearance to actually look like ants. The spiders are then able to move freely among the weaver ants in their nest, and even lay their own eggs inside the ant nest. They can then easily feed on ant larvae, with larvae being a great source of nutrition for the spider. So, to answer the question, yes! Jumping spiders most definitely feed on ants.

Spiders will usually eat every day if they can. Spiders can eat various foods, but a spider's diet is usually carnivorous. One species that also eats plants is called the Bagheera jumping spider, which is omnivorous. Other species of spiders usually eat other animals like insects and bugs.

Do garden spiders eat ants?

A typical garden spider has a black, egg-shaped abdomen. A male garden spider has pale yellow patches on the abdomen, whereas the female will have bright yellow patches.

Flying insects, such as flies, butterflies, and wasps, are the insects your typical garden spider usually catches in its web and eats, but it's often scared of ants. The female spider will stay in the web to prevent her egg sac from being attacked by other insects, such as ants. The egg sac will look like a very tiny, papery bag and it's usually placed at the center of the web so the female spider can protect it. Garden spiders usually spin their webs and wait in hiding for their prey until the target is caught in the web. It then injects its digestive enzymes into the prey before eating it. There is always competition between spiders regarding their prey and one spider may fight another, with the winner eating the meal. Tiny spiders can sometimes mimic being an ant to make catching their prey easier. Ants add great nutritional value to the diet of spiders as they are rich in folic acid and protein, and garden spiders like to eat ants for this reason.

Household pests are a delightful dinner for spiders, as they are easy to catch. However, spiders need to be careful with ants. When in a great number, ants can be a threat to a spider as they are able to gang up and kill it. However, ants eating spiders is usually quite rare as most spiders are able to escape the sting of ants. The feeding behaviors of all species of spiders are somewhat similar. Almost all kill their prey by the venom present in their fangs, then they eat. This is mostly after they have waited patiently for the insect to get trapped in their finely weaved web.

Do giant house spiders eat ants?

Giant house spiders are, indeed, ant-eating spiders and are great at overall pest control. They have been known to eat worms, cockroaches, ants, small spiders, and even wild animals like frogs, lizards, birds, and bats. Females survive longer than males and can go without water and food for several days. This common species of house spider can sometimes resemble other spiders. Males can be seen wandering around while females rarely leave the nest. These spiders do not use venom until provoked and they run very fast compared to most spiders.

These large spiders weave a sticky web compared to other spiders. They usually create webs in basements, cupboards, attics, and window openings. They attack the insects, worms, snails, frogs, and ants that stick to the web, lie in hidden areas, and attack their prey as it comes near. House spiders are fast enough to run down, capture, and eat insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles. Long-jawed spiders eat flies, moths, and other types of insects. These spiders tend to build their webs strategically, next to their food source which makes catching and eating prey easier. When eating larger prey they can wrap their muscular bodies around the prey to overpower it. A nocturnal species, house spiders can be seen searching for food and eating during nightfall. During the daytime, they can be found hidden in cracks, crevices, or webs.

Although spiders find ants nutritious, they must be cautious when choosing them as prey. Ants are social insects and can show a strong group response if exposed to potential danger. They are highly toxic to many spiders, using formic acid as a defense by spraying it on a potential threat. This acid can cause considerable destruction to spiders when under attack by ants.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked this article, then why not take a look at how many eyes spiders have or how do spiders mate?

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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