Have you ever noticed tiny spiders lurking around your kitchen, crawling across your countertops, or even dropping down from the ceiling? If you have, you may have wondered – do these creepy crawlies eat human food?
It’s a common question many houseproud folks have. After all, the thought of spiders contaminating your food or using your kitchen as an all-you-can-eat buffet is pretty unsettling!
The good news is that while spiders may accidentally end up around your food, they’re not interested in eating it. Phew! However, spiders are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of easily accessible protein sources.
So, do spiders eat human food?
Do Spiders Eat Human Food?
Spiders are primarily insectivores, meaning insects make up the bulk of their diet. They have evolved to hunt, kill, and consume insect prey. Things like flies, mosquitoes, crickets, and mealworms are a spider’s ideal food source.
Human food is not nutritious or appetising to your average spider. The bits of food we leave behind don’t provide enough nutritional value to be worthwhile. Our food isn’t what spiders are looking for.
While they may nibble on crumbs if hungry, spiders won’t deliberately seek out and eat human food as a meal. There are a few exceptions, however.
Are Spiders Attracted to Human Food?
For the most part, spiders are not attracted to human food. As mentioned, it doesn’t provide nutrition and is energy-inefficient for them to eat.
However, spiders may be drawn to foods with high sugar, like fruits, syrup, and sweets. Some spiders have a bit of a sweet tooth!
Spiders are also attracted to strong odours. Ripening fruit, freshly baked treats, and aromatic spices may entice nearby spiders. Strong-smelling food likely indicates an abundant food source for a spider.
So, while they have no desire to eat it, sweet treats and smelly dishes may accidentally lure hungry spiders your way.
Will Spiders Eat Food Crumbs?
They may not seek it out, but spiders occasionally nibble on food debris. If food crumbs or leftovers are readily available, some opportunistic spiders will eat them.
Tiny crumbs and grain-based items like bread, pasta, rice, cereal, or flour are easily ingestible sources of starch and carbohydrates. If a spider is hungry and crumbs are plentiful, they may snack on what’s around.
Protein-rich food remnants may also be consumed if insects are scarce. Spiders need protein from animal sources to survive, so high-protein crumbs can provide nourishment when prey is limited.
This food consumption is incidental rather than deliberate. Spiders eat crumbs for convenience rather than preference. Overall, a steady diet of people’s food just doesn’t cut it for spiders.
What Human Food Can Small Spiders Eat?
Tiny spiders can occasionally eat small bits of human food for sustenance. Young spiders and species with tiny bodies, like money spiders, may be more inclined to eat crumbs and leftovers.
Mini spiders can nibble on fine debris like breadcrumbs, cracker dust, chips, broken bits of pasta or rice, cake and muffin crumbs, cereal bits, and similar starchy items. These provide easily digestible carbs when insects are scarce.
Juvenile spiders may also eat microscopic meat shards, cheese fragments, and powdered milk or egg remnants if protein is needed. Their tiny mouths can handle very small food particles.
However, in the long term, spiders cannot exist on human food alone. They need the nutrition found in insects to grow, develop, and survive. So, crumbs are more of a snack than a staple food source.
Are Spiders Attracted to Dirty Dishes?
Spiders searching for water or prey may find their way onto dirty dishes you’ve left sitting in the sink or cluttering the counters.
Dust and debris accumulation on unwashed dishes can attract insects, becoming a prime spider hunting ground. Discarded food scraps on plates or bowls also attract bugs, enticing nearby spiders.
Sticky and greasy food remnants left stuck on plates, pots, pans, and utensils provide prey like fruit flies, ants, and other insects food to feast on. And where insects gather, spiders are sure to follow.
Water droplets and condensation left on dishes also provide drinking water for thirsty spiders.
So, while they aren’t coming to clean your dirty dishes, piles of unwashed items create ideal spider hangouts to find food and water. Keeping your kitchen clutter-free and quickly washing dishes decreases spider appeal.