There are over 25,000 species of spiders in the world, and every type can potentially be found living in homes around the planet. Some spiders are beneficial, such as the orb weaver spider, while others, such as the black widow spider, can be dangerous. Spiders can also be a bit of a nuisance in your home—their webs can form in corners, under furniture, and near your windows. Although most spiders are not dangerous to humans, they can bite if provoked, and all spiders should be treated with respect.
Many people believe that spiders in the home can be a benefit. Spiders can eat pests, and they can keep the home clean by removing debris. And what’s even better is that spiders eat cockroaches! So, before you reach for the newspaper, shoe, or the number for pest control—read on to find out about the extent to which spiders can be beneficial when dealing with cockroaches.
A Spider’s Diet
A spider’s diet consists of a variety of small creatures that it preys upon including bugs, other spiders, and invertebrates such as millipedes. In the wild giant spiders such as tarantulas may even hunt and kill smaller vertebrates like lizards and birds. This varied diet helps the spider to survive in an environment where there is a scarcity of any one food type. In addition, spiders consume a variety of liquids, for example, spiders may drink nectar from flowers or take sips of water from your kitchen.
A spider’s diet in your home includes cockroaches. These insects are easy to catch and feed on a variety of food items, like crumbs, cereal, and even spilled food. Spiders can easily digest the cockroach’s flesh, which helps them to acquire important nutrients.
What Kinds of Spiders Eat Cockroaches?
There are many kinds of spiders that prey on cockroaches. Some spiders have strong jaws and can easily crunch through the exoskeleton of a cockroach. Others use their webs to capture the cockroach and then inject a venomous toxin that paralyzes the cockroach. Others lure the cockroach into a small opening in their web, where they can easily catch and consume it.
The American house spider, the wolf spider, the huntsman spider, the jumping spider, the running spider, the brown recluse spider, and the widow spider all eat cockroaches. As both spiders and cockroaches can be found globally, it isn’t unexpected that many spiders from different parts of the world use cockroaches as a source of food, due to their equally wide distribution. In spite of this, there are no spider species that rely exclusively on cockroaches for their nutrition.
Do Spiders Eat Cockroach Eggs?
Spiders consume the eggs of many different types of insects and arachnids. The eggs of cockroaches, for example, are a favorite food of some spiders. Some spiders will even build their nests on top of cockroach nests in order to access the eggs as an easy form of takeout. A cockroach egg is a fertilized ovum that has not yet developed into a cockroach. Spiders, like other invertebrates, are able to digest and extract nutrients from cockroach eggs. Consequently, spiders consume cockroach eggs in order to obtain the nutrients that the developing cockroaches will require.
Can Small Spiders Eat Cockroaches?
There are many small spiders that can eat cockroaches. These spiders have very sharp incisors and can easily pierce through the tough exoskeleton of a cockroach. Additionally, some spiders use their venom to paralyze cockroaches before eating them, making the process much easier. Cockroaches are a common food item for small spiders. They are able to extract the nutrients necessary to survive from the cockroach’s body, including protein and carbohydrates.
Can Spiders Tackle My Cockroach Infestation?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the efficacy of using spiders to tackle an insect infestation will vary depending on the size and complexity of the spider population and the type and severity of the infestation. Spiders have an impressive ability to capture and eat prey that is much larger than they are. The fact that spiders can tackle and consume cockroaches suggests that spiders may be an effective means of controlling small cockroach populations—for example, a single cockroach coming into your home to check it out before it begins reproducing.
However, spiders would be inefficient in tackling a large infestation. You will not be able to reduce the population of roaches when you are dealing with a big colony of them, no matter how many spiders you use. A better way to handle cockroach infestations is to use a professional pest control company that uses products that are specifically formulated to kill cockroaches and other insects.
Do Cockroaches and Spiders Both Scavenge Food Debris?
Cockroaches and spiders are both scavengers, meaning that they consume food that has been left behind by other organisms. They do this to different extents, however. Spiders usually consume small insects while cockroaches are more likely to eat debris, such as spilled food or garbage. Both cockroaches and spiders have evolved to have a wide range of diets, including things like rotten fruit or decaying vegetables. Cockroaches are more common scavengers than spiders, but both can be found throughout the world eating different types of food.
Does Cockroach Spray Kill Spiders?
A roach spray, such as Raid, will also kill spiders. The active ingredient in a roach spray is a neurotoxin that kills insects by attacking their central nervous system. This agent is effective against a wide range of insects, including spiders. An insecticidal product can be applied to surfaces that may have been infested with ants, roaches, or other insects. This product will kill a wide variety of other insects such as silverfish, crickets, earwigs, household spiders, stinkbugs, and many more.
Can a Cockroach Kill a Spider?
There is no evidence that cockroaches eat spiders because cockroaches are not predators. It is important to note, however, that cockroaches will feed on the carcasses of dead spiders. In fact, this is not a surprising fact since cockroaches are known to eat other cockroaches. It is possible that any dead house spiders in your home may serve as a food source for cockroaches.
In conclusion, spiders do eat roaches. Roaches are natural prey and spiders are efficient predators. Cockroaches and roach eggs can be a convenient source of food for spiders since roaches are plentiful once established in an environment. If you have a roach problem, you may not want to consider using spiders to take care of it, however.
If you are experiencing a roach infestation, there are a few things that you can do to get rid of them. You can try using a bug bomb or fogger, which will kill the roaches on contact. You can also try hiring a professional exterminator, who will use more powerful methods to get rid of the roaches. Finally, make sure that you clean up any spilled food or other debris that may have attracted the roaches in the first place.
Featured Image Credit: Ryan M. Bolton, Shutterstock