SPIDERS ARE ACTIVE INDOORS YEAR ROUND
By Chris Williams on January 12, 2018.
I was cleaning the lower level of our home where we have a family room and laundry room and was surprised to find so many spiders there. I know we get spiders down there in the summer when insects wander in, but what are spiders feeding on in the winter inside? V. C., Groton, MA
If you have spiders, you can bet they are feeding on something. If you are operating under the misconception that your home is virtually pest-free in the winter, see this blog: Don’t Read This if You Don’t Like to Live With Bugs! You might be surprised at the insect community that you could find downstairs if you really looked.
BUGS MAY HAVE RELOCATED TO THE LOWER LEVEL
The lower level of a home is a typical place to find both spiders and their prey since both like areas of higher humidity, especially in winter when indoor air is drier. Your walk-out lower level provides pests with both access to the house and moisture in the laundry room.
Pests that are adapted to living indoors with people (cockroaches, silverfish, centipedes) don’t vary that much with the seasons. Their reproductive rate may slow a bit and they may be more concentrated in areas with higher humidity during the winter, but like spiders, they’re still around. Not to say that spiders are dining as well as they did in summer, but they manage. If times are really tough, spiders eat each other.
HIDDEN FALL INVADERS COULD BE SPIDER FOOD
There could even be more insects in your home during the winter than summer, but you probably wouldn’t know that because they are hidden away until spring. In some areas, homes are visited by certain plant-feeding insects such as western conifer seed bugs or Asian lady beetles, temporary insects that we call “fall invaders.” These insects move into homes to spend the winter, often ending up in attics or wall voids or other hidden areas until they move out again in spring.
Another favorite, less noticeable food of spiders are carpet beetles. Almost every home has a few tiny carpet beetle larvae feeding in corners or under heavy furniture where lint and hair and crumbs collect (see What Are the Signs of Carpet Beetles?). Small household flies such as drain flies or fungus gnats can be found indoors year round, too (see Gnats Indoors in Winter?).
Give Colonial Pest a call. We will not only take care of the spiders in your home, but our technicians will check for other insects or arthropods that the spiders could be feeding on. You may have a more serious pest problem that you’re not even aware of.
For more on spider control in your home: