Do Spiders Eat Silverfish?

Despite their name, silverfish are not in fact fish! Instead, they are a type of insect! Scientists believe that silverfish are one of the oldest living insects in the world – they were thriving for about 100 million years before dinosaurs roamed the earth! These bugs, who are most active at night, are typically silver or gray in color (hence their name). But do spiders like to eat these creepy crawlers? 

Do spiders eat silverfish? 

Silverfish have some natural predators, which help to keep their population under control – and spiders are one of these predators that eat silverfish. Spiders, centipedes, and earwigs (insects that are commonly referred to as “pincher bugs”) are three insects that are called “predatory invertebrates.” That means that they are carnivorous insects.  

While many people are afraid of spiders, they are helpful because they eat other insects that are often seen as pests. On top of snacking on silverfish, spiders will also eat mosquitos, flies, moths, roaches, and even other predatory invertebrates such as earwigs. This makes spiders a great type of pest control! Plus, some spiders may even also attack other spiders, which will clear them from your home as well.  

Silverfish reading a book
Silverfish reading a book

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What spiders eat silverfish? 

Silverfish can be found all over the world – in fact, these insects can be found on every continent except for Antarctica! And the same goes for spiders – they are found everywhere but Antarctica! 

So since they are both found in the same places, nearly every type of spider can eat silverfish. But one spider that really loves silverfish is the spitting spiderSpitting spiders are found all around the world and they have a characteristic bright orange coloring.

Unlike most spiders, the spitting spider only has six eyes (most spiders have eight eyes). These arthropods are pretty tiny – their body is usually only about three to six millimeters long (that is less than a quarter of an inch!). But even though they are small, they have a big appetite!  

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These spiders have a poisonous venom that mixes with their silk that they are able to use to kill other insects- they eat flies, mosquitos, and silverfish (silverfish are a little bigger than spitting spiders with an average length of about twelve to nineteen millimeters long, or about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch.).  

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina)
Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina)

What else do spiders eat? 

On top of silverfish, what else do spiders love to eat? There are more than 45,000 different species of spiders throughout the world and they eat a different variety of foods! Out of all of these types of spiders, nearly all of them are exclusively carnivorous (meat eaters), but there are a few spiders (such as jumping spiders) that are omnivores and will eat both other animals and plant materials (such as sap, nectar, and pollen).

Web-building spiders commonly eat flying insects such as flies, mosquitos, moths, and butterflies. Spiders that do not spin webs are known as hunting spiders. Hunting spiders will eat insects that do not fly (or rarely fly) such as crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and yes, silverfish (silverfish do not have wings so they do not fly). 

While most spiders eat a diet of mostly insects and other invertebrates, there are some spiders that eat larger creatures! The jumping spider can eat lizards and frogs that are up to three times larger than themselves and huntsman spiders can eat larger prey too, such as mice. 

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Do silverfish eat spiders? 

Now that we know that spiders eat silverfish, you might be wondering if the opposite is true- do silverfish eat spiders? Silverfish do not eat spiders- in fact, they do not eat any other insects at all, because silverfish are herbivores!

Silverfish eat many different things and they will often enter homes in order to find some food to eat. They eat foods that are rich in starches and proteins, such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and sugars. They will also sometimes eat fabrics!

If a silverfish is in a home, they will often eat stored packages of cereals or pet foods. In the home, silverfish may also eat paper, glue (such as in bookbinding), silk, and vintage clothing, so they can cause a bit of damage to collections or antiques.  

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