Do Spiders Eat Cockroaches? Curious Facts

Although some spiders cannot eat a whole adult cockroach, most spiders will eat cockroaches. Some spiders that have been known to do so include huntsman spiders, American house spiders, and jumping spiders. 

The rest of this article will explore how and why spiders eat cockroaches. 

What kinds of spiders do not eat cockroaches?

Although many spiders do eat cockroaches, there are several that do not simply because they are far too small to do so. These include tiny house spiders and daddy longlegs since their mouths are far too small and far too timid. 

Though cannibalistic in nature and known to eat many things, Yellow Sac Spiders have had no reports of eating cockroaches. It may be because they are so small, but these spiders may prefer eating their own kind or spider eggs. 

Another kind of spider that may not eat cockroaches is the grass spider since there are no reports of them doing so. These spiders trap insects in their webs, located in grass.

Because of this, they mostly eat small insects. Even a tiny cockroach may be too strong to be caught in their webs. 

What kind of spiders eat cockroaches?

There are over 45,000 species of spiders across the globe, so it would be impossible to name all the kinds of spiders that eat them. However, spiders are carnivores and, more specifically, insectivores.

There are so many kinds of spiders that eat cockroaches. Generally, these spiders are of the type that actively hunts down their prey, or have incredibly robust silk, if they trap prey in webs. 

House spiders that are known to eat cockroaches include domestic spiders, hobo spiders, and cellar spiders. On top of roaches, these spiders will eat earwigs, mosquitoes, flies, and moths.

Hobo spider

These kinds of insects can spread disease throughout your home, so spiders are actually helping you! 

Other species that eat cockroaches include huntsman spiders, running spiders, American house spiders, jumping spiders, widow spiders, and brown recluse spiders. 

The kind of cockroach they are able to eat varies depending on the size and hunting style of the spider.

For example, if an enormous spider does not hunt its prey, instead of catching it in its web, it may not be able to eat giant cockroaches that may be able to break free from the web. Tiny spiders may only go after baby cockroaches. 

Huntsman Spider

According to a study done by the University of Florida, the Huntsman Spider absolutely loves to eat cockroaches. 

One of the largest spider species in the world, Huntsman spiders can be found in America, Australia, Asia, and Africa. They are often found hitch-hiking to Asia on boxes of bananas! 

This species of spider uses their webs for safety, protecting their eggs. They stay in their safety net during the day and come out to hunt at night, getting rid of insects that may be hiding around your house where you can’t see them during the day. 

Since they hunt, this type of spider stalks their prey, pouncing on it when it is close enough. When they capture their prey, they use their fangs, injecting venom into the insect. 

A huntsman spider’s venom will cause clotting blood vessels, paralysis, and the breakdown of muscle and tissues in their prey, effectively rendering their death. 

Wolf Spider

Another relatively harmless house spider, the wolf spider, is a large type of spider that much prefers to hide than cause any human harm. They are generally found in sheds, garages, and basements, as well as out around your house!

This type of spider does eat cockroaches and is often found hunting them. They are solitary hunters and can usually be found hunting at night.

These spiders are often known to actually eat toads, so it’s no surprise that they also go after cockroaches!

House Spiders

House spiders have also been known to hunt their prey while also catching them in webs!

Many times smaller than the other kinds, House spiders will often wait for a pest to get trapped in their web before killing them.

There are many kinds of house spiders, such as the American House Spider, a smaller type of spider known for its very sticky web, good enough for larger insects to be trapped in.

Once a cockroach is trapped, it will inject its poisonous venom into it or wait for its prey to die.

Another type of house spider, and a very unwelcome one, is the black widow.

Black widow

Very scared of humans but capable of a bite that causes muscle stiffness, pain, and vomiting, it’s no surprise that black widows, though small, will often make a meal of a cockroach.

Brown Recluse

One of the most well-known, dangerous spiders, this spider can cause severe damage to whoever it bites, even known to cause death. A hunter, this spider will kill cockroaches in an instant!

Jumping Spiders

These adorable spiders are often kept as pets and are lovely hunters. Active all day and night, this spider can get anywhere and will hunt whatever small insects they can.

In fact, many people who keep these spiders as pets actually feed them small cockroaches.

Orb Weavers

Not only will this kind of spider kill cockroaches, but they have been known to kill much larger things, like birds!

A very large type of spider, orb-weavers have an impressive ability to kill anything they put their mind to. Known as the flying insect killer, these spiders will trap their prey in a sticky, strong web that they can’t break out of.

These spiders create webs that anyone can easily spot since they’re so big and thick, strong enough to capture even small birds.

Do spiders care about the species of cockroach?

Although most cockroaches seem to look about the same, five different kinds are most commonly found crawling around the house. These include the German cockroach, American cockroach, Oriental cockroach, brown-banded cockroach, and Smokey Brown Cockroach. 

Despite this, most spiders aren’t going to care if it’s one or the other. The type and frequency of a spider eating cockroaches largely depend on their location.

For example, if you live in a humid area with high temperatures, you may find more cockroaches than someone who lives in a colder place. 

If there are many spiders around, you may see them eating way more cockroaches than other bugs! 

How often do spiders eat?

House spiders can actually go several weeks without eating if they must. Compared to other animals, these spiders don’t require as much food. Despite this, if they have food available, they will eat it! 

Opportunistic, spiders will take whatever chance they get to have their meal. Because of this, if you have many insects around your house, you’ll see spiders eating way more since they have more available for them. 

Spiders can eat up to four times a day, but this does not mean that they can eat four whole cockroaches a day. 

Can spiders solve cockroach issues?

They could, though you may not want that many large spiders crawling around your home to eat them! Cockroaches can grow very large, and spiders won’t be able to eat them as fast as you’d like! 

If you are trying to get rid of one pest, you may not want to try solving the problem by introducing another pet to your home since they will more than likely breed, and you’ll be stuck with hundreds of large spiders! 

Ecological Impacts

There are several ecological impacts of spiders eating cockroaches, much like any animal and its prey. If there is an area with a large amount of both spiders and cockroaches, and a large number of the spiders are disposed of, the number of cockroaches will increase significantly. 

Although considered just as much of a pest as spiders, Cockroaches can actually carry up to 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella.

They have also been known to carry six parasitic worms and other gross things! This means that if the number of cockroaches increases by a lot, the number of diseases may also increase. 

How spiders can help people

Some people genuinely love seeing spiders in their homes, especially if they live in places with many other pests that usually bring disease and mess. Many Floridians, for example, love seeing Huntsman spiders. 

This is because, unlike other spiders, the Huntsman will not leave random webs around their house since they are web-free.

On top of that, they are large enough to hunt down the other pests that may be plaguing their home, like cockroaches. It’s the best of both worlds for your home since they are entirely uninterested in people! 

Final Thoughts 

Many spiders out there will eat cockroaches when they can! It really depends on the size of the spider, the way the spider hunts, and the size of the cockroach.

While most spiders will eat whatever they can, there are some who may not have mouths big enough to fit a whole cockroach, however small it is. In addition to size, some spiders just don’t have the ability to catch or hunt one. 

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

Do Spiders Eat Moths? Facts About What Spiders Eat

7 Unexpected Things Spiders Do In a Typical Day

Do Spiders Use Other Spiders Webs? – Real Life Examples

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

Recent Posts