Adult spiders eat up to 4 times per day, especially if there is an abundance of food available to them. However, they can also survive several days without food and will sustain themselves for up to 7 days without eating.
How often spiders eat will depend on their age, size, gender, and the species of the spider. Spiders are normally voracious eaters, especially if there is a lot of food available. It’s estimated that globally, spiders consume between 400 and 800 tons of prey, which says a lot about their highly predatory nature.
They’re carnivores, meaning that they’ll rely on meat-based sources for food. Their primary type of food are insects, but they’ll also eat collembolans.
How Often Do Spiders Eat?
If there is food available, spiders will eat up to 4-5 times a day. This includes a smaller meal such as a smaller insect, and occasionally, a larger insect that they will bring to their nest.
Baby spiders will have to eat more often and will have smaller meals. They might eat up to 5 times a day and even more frequently if food is readily available.
One single spider will eat approximately 2000 insects per year; if we divide this by 365 days, we get an average of around 5 insects a day. Of course, their preying days will vary and will depend on the availability of their prey around them.
Spiders are also highly adaptable. When there is no food around them, they can survive up to four weeks without it. They will start to prioritize water if there is no food, as they also need to drink water to survive. Spiders can absorb moisture from the air, but will also need to drink water to survive.
And like many other animals out there, spiders will go through periods when they have to survive without sources of food for prolonged periods. When that happens, a spider can survive for up to four weeks provided that it has plenty of water to drink.
Factors That Determine Spider Feeding Frequency
While four times per day is just an average and an estimate, the feeding frequency will vary largely based on a few key factors.
- Food availability. The most obvious and clearest factor that will determine the feeding frequency is the availability of the prey. If there is an abundance of animals around them, they might eat up to five times a day. When there are no hunting opportunities, they can go weeks without eating.
- Spider Age. Younger spiders prefer to eat more frequently, while adult spiders will only eat after they have fed spiderlings.
- Spider Size. The larger the spider, the more frequently it will need to eat. Small spiders are very good at eating and preying on animals that are several times larger than themselves. Most spiders have venom that is potent enough to kill an animal that is much larger than the spider, allowing it to eat the animal and get food for several days.
- Type of food available. Another key factor to consider here is the type of food that is available to the spiders. If the prey has a lot of nutrients and, then this type of food will be enough to sustain them for several days, meaning that they’ll eat less frequently.
- Type of spider. Some spiders are more “greedy” than others; while the vast majority of spiders will only eat enough to survive, some spiders might practice excess hunting.
How Often Do Spiderlings Eat?
Spiderlings will eat 5 times a day or more frequently if there is food available, but they can survive up to two weeks without food.
Spiderlings prefer to eat more frequently. They need smaller bites of food, which will sustain their fast metabolic rate and allow them to grow faster.
Adult spiders will prioritize to provide food for the spiderlings if there is no other sources of food around. They will first provide food for the spiderlings before they eat, allowing the baby spiders to grow faster and grow healthier. Additionally, adult spiders can go longer without eating food than spiderlings.
Adult spiders feed spiderlings by bringing bodies of insects to the spider’s nest. After the victim is paralyzed with the venom of the adult, it will not be able to move. That’s when the smaller spiders will start eating the insect and get food. Sometimes, they may only have one meal per day, while on other days, it will be several meals.
Do Spiders Eat Human Food?
Spiders don’t normally eat human food.
They prefer to catch other animals and eat them instead. Spiders prefer to hunt insects and other smaller animals that might get in the way. Larger spiders might be able to catch smaller rodents and even birds if the opportunity arises.
One of the main problems with human food is that they can’t process it properly. Because a lot of the food we eat is solid, spiders will not be able to consume it. When they hunt, they prefer to macerate the prey or liquify it so that they can eat it with ease and then digest it, which would not be possible with some types of human food.
Additionally, human food also has some additives that might turn spiders away, such as salt or sugar.
For these reasons, spiders will rarely eat human food and will rely on natural prey that they can catch themselves.
Spiders are voracious predators and can eat a lot of food if it is available. They can eat insects in your home and in their habitat, which they will do by using their advanced hunting techniques like setting up webs and ambushing.
Even though they can eat frequently, spiders are able of surviving several weeks without eating, although they will need water to survive and sustain themselves if that happens. This adaptability allows them to survive harsh conditions and live in different habitats, including your home where they will get rid of insects for you.