Most spiders are carnivores and eat mostly insects including mosquitoes. In addition to mosquitoes, spiders eat animals such as ants, cockroaches, pollen matter, and even other spiders. Spiders don’t consume human blood but are happy to feast on the blood of female mosquitoes.
Why Spiders Eat Mosquitoes
Most spiders have mouths that are too small to bite humans, but they do like to eat female mosquitoes especially, in part because spiders like to feast on blood just like other animals do.
The spiders that like to eat female mosquitoes, which do consume human blood, are called vampire spiders.
Vampire spiders come from East Africa and Malaysia, and while even these spiders won’t eliminate the mosquito population entirely, many researchers believe that introducing this type of spider to areas that have lots of mosquitoes may at least reduce the mosquito population a little bit.
Mosquitoes are fast and because they fly, spiders have to trick them into becoming their next meal or snack. Every spider uses a different technique, but most spiders will build a web and then wait for the mosquitoes to become tangled up in the web.
Once they do, the spider quickly wraps up the mosquito using the web, then bites it in order to inject some venom. This venom paralyzes the mosquito, which means it is much easier for the spider to eat it.
Some spiders do it a little differently. These include jumping spiders and spiders that live in burrows and who use their vision for hunting.
The spiders stalk their prey until they are very close to it, then they bite the mosquito and paralyze it so they can either eat it right then and there or save it for a later treat. Regardless of how they do it, spiders do a great job of attacking mosquitoes and eating them afterwards.
Spiders can reduce the mosquito population inside of your home, but don’t look for them to reduce it too much. Spiders aren’t picky about the types of insects and pests they eat.
Anything they can catch in their webs is an automatic snack or meal, and they do not deliberately seek out certain types of food sources.
While spiders can be depended on to eat a lot of the mosquitoes inside of your home, the difference it will make depends on how many spiders there are and how many mosquitoes you have inside of your home.
Don’t look for spiders to significantly control the mosquito population outside of your home, for the same reason they don’t make a huge difference indoors. Spiders are not picky eaters in that, as long as their prey gets caught in their web, they will usually eat that prey at some point.
Spiders certainly make a bigger difference with mosquitoes on the inside of your home than they do on outdoor mosquitoes, simply because there are fewer of them. But it is almost impossible for them to eat enough mosquitoes to make a huge difference in their population.
This doesn’t mean that the mosquito population – either indoors or outdoors – isn’t reduced thanks to spiders. It just means that it will not eliminate it altogether, especially in regards to the outdoor population, which always seems to be huge.
According to most experts, including entomologists, you should remove the spiders you see in your home and place them back into the outside world. You should not kill them, and there are several reasons why.
First, spiders are an important part of nature and the indoor ecosystem. While spiders eat whatever they catch in their web, they tend to eat a lot of prey that humans dislike, including those that are a pain in the you-know-what and even those that carry diseases.
If you’re afraid of spiders, you can either leave them alone or find someone who will remove them from your home. Since their diet includes so many pests that humans hate, it is never a good idea to kill any spiders you find in and around your home.
There are different types of spiders, including those that build webs and those that live in funnels or in burrows. Most of the spiders that eat a lot of mosquitoes are in fact very small, and they sometimes seek out places with a lot of mosquitoes. The spiders that eat the most mosquitoes include the following:
- Garden spider
- Jumping spider
- Orb-web spider
- Sheet web spider
- Vampire spider
- Wolf spider
If you were to actually count the number of mosquitoes most spiders eat, it wouldn’t be a very big number, mostly because spiders are so small and they tend not to eat a ton of food anyway.
The spider that eats the most mosquitoes is called the Evarcha culicivora jumping spider. While you might think that tarantulas and other large spiders eat more mosquitoes than the smaller spiders, that isn’t normally true.
Tarantulas need much more protein than what a few mosquitoes can provide to them, which is why they eat many other types of food.
While the spiders mentioned above eat more mosquitoes than other types of spiders, you might be surprised to discover that they don’t always eat huge amounts of them. But if you combine the number of mosquitoes with the other insects and pests that they eat, it would add up quickly.
Many spiders do indeed eat mosquitoes, and while they do not seek out mosquitoes but instead eat what they can catch in their webs, mosquitoes do provide some of the protein that spiders need to grow and thrive. This makes mosquitoes a valuable part of their overall diet.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.