How Long Can A Spider Live Without Eating?

Frequently Asked Brown Recluse Spider Questions

Will sticky traps alone solve my problem?
No, University research has shown that Brown Recluse Spiders in homes, only about 10% of those caught on sticky traps are females. That is because they rarely move, without finding and eliminating females the population will continue to survive. (Sandidge)

Do those Ultra-Sonic plug-ins Work?
Again, Studies have shown no efficacy in tests. It says EPA approved on the box because it is safe for the environment, it does not mean it works. We see hundreds of houses with them, and they still have spiders, ants, etc…

What should I do if I am bitten?
Remain calm, apply the RICE method; Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, and seek medical attention to void off systemic complications and protect against infection. (For more bite info click here for Dr. Phillip Anderson’s research)

How Long can Brown Recluse Spiders go without food?
They can go very long periods without food or water. Specimens housed in a 12x17x6 cm plastic boxes have lived up to ten months without food or water and in 8 oz. airtight plastic containers six months without food, water, or air (Sandidge).

Where Are Brown Recluses in America?
Here is a map showing where brown recluses can most commonly be found in America.

I have heard that if I take away their food source they will go away, is that true?
No, again research has shown that Brown Recluse Spiders have a clear preference for dead prey over live prey. They will actively feed on fresh killed prey, prey killed several months prior, prey killed with insecticides, and prey killed days before by other Recluse Spiders. (Sandidge)

Are the pesticides and other materials you use safe?
Pesticides are by definition poisonous. Our training, certifications, use of alternative and natural treatments, and expertise are used to provide the safest and most effective approach to solving each pest problem. Sunflower Pest practices IPM (Integrated Pest Management), an approach focusing on reduced pesticide use and increased prevention, habitat alteration and other non-chemical methods to control pests, which translates into fewer and less toxic pesticides, less potential for chemical exposure, and an unapproachable level of safety and security for your families, pets, friends and all others that may enter your home. Do pesticides cause cancer? No. None of the currently registered pesticides have carcinogenic effects. Testing performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) years prior to the release of each pesticide provide a high level of safety.

How long does each pest control treatment last?
Treatment longevity is a combination of the particular pest in question, products used, environmental conditions, and the particular circumstances of each pest issue.

I am comparing a do-it-yourself pest project versus hiring a professional, why should I hire you?
There are a few good reasons to hire a professional. Do-it-yourself pest control is a risk. A professional can identify a particular species of pest and provide a directed approach for control. Mis-identification and misdirected control only serve as a waste of time and money. Expertise may also help solve a pest control issue without pesticides. In addition, most if not all pest control companies offer a guarantee and will return to solve the problem. This guarantee provides a more effective and economical approach.

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How long can a spider live without eating?

Well, I have a spider in my bathroom that has been there for about 2 weeks now. For some odd *** reason, i’ve left it there alive. He’s always in a different spot, and.. I kind of don’t mind. Yeah, it’s weird to because i’m scared of them. Anyways, he’s been here for two weeks, and I suspect he isn’t eating anything.

So how long can a spider live without eating?

7 Answers

Depends on the variety,some will die in a few days while others can last a year or more.

Having developed within the egg a spider ling eventually hatches, not alone however, all the eggs in one egg sac will hatch at roughly the same time. This makes for a crowded web, but at first this is not a problem because the young spiders are still living off yolk-material stored in their abdomens. Eventually however, normally after their first moult, the young spiders need to start finding something to eat. In most species this means it is time to start hunting and that means it is time for the young to disperse, otherwise they will end up eating each other.

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It depends on the species, but Spiders can go a long, long time without eating. Two weeks is nothing. Many could go months if they had to. By not moving around too much, slowing their metabolism, and not expending any unnecessary energy, they can live a long time without food.

Your Spider will not harm you, so don’t worry. He moves at night because he’s resetting his web to try and catch an insect. In fact, he is helping you by guarding your home against unwanted harmful bugs like Cockroaches, Termites, Flies, Gnats, or other pesky insects.

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the spider hanging out in my ceiling brought me here, it made me worry because its not moving, and it has to eat, was thinking of putting it outside so it could eat something but i guess its doing just fine, thanks for the posts.

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They can survive months without food. But it depends on the variety.

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10 months or more.

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yeah let the cool little dude live. he might be eating microscopic little bugs you can’t see somewhere

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Weeks. So BE «patient.» -Cuz you can be Sure- It is !! 🙂

If I put a cup over a spider, and leave it there for a day, will the spider survive?

Will it travel more slowly since it hasn’t had food for a day?

What if I left the cup there for longer?

2 Answers 2

Just solely in terms of not having food (ignoring the importance of O2 that Ramkryp has pointed out), spiders don’t necessarily have to feed on a daily basis anyway. It’s not the same species of spider as you ask about in your question, but consider:

The metabolic and water evaporation strategies in spiders may be part of a set of physiological adaptations to tolerate low or unpredictable food availability, buffering spiders against environmental fluctuations such as those of the high mountains of the central Andes. The aim of this study is to analyze experimentally the variations in metabolic rate and the rate of evaporative water with food and/or water restriction in a high mountain mygalomorph spider population (Paraphysa sp.). We found that the low metabolism of this spider was not affected by water restriction, but its metabolism was depressed after 3 weeks of food deprivation.

from Canals M, Figueroa D, et al (2011). Effects of diet and water supply on energy intake and water loss in a mygalomorph spider in a fluctuating environment of the central Andes. J. Insect Physiol, 57(11), 1489-94.

The biochemical makeup of the spider may be radically different than most other animals, and breaking down energy stores must take place over a longer timecourse.

To answer the first part of your question: it is extremely unlikely that the spider will die or be weakened after just one day.

See also:  What Does A Yellow Sac Spider Look Like?

Wolf spiders (Lycosids) are all predators. Due to variations in prey populations, and low efficiency of consumption at higher trophic levels, they are subject to inconsistent and unpredictable food supply (Greenstone and Bennett, 1980). They are very well adapted to this lifestyle and consequently, long periods of starvation often yield no behavioural changes (Persons, 1999). It is highly unlikely that the spider will die after just one day: Anderson, (1974) observed no changes in activity after starving Lycosa lenta (a species of wolf spider) for 30 days; and Tanaka and Ito, (1982) observed Pardosa astrigera (another species of wolf spider) living for up to 54 days of starvation. Age and sex of the spider are more likely to affect its behaviour and performance than food or oxygen availability (Persons, 1999).

As for oxygen consumption, Greenstone and Bennett, (1980) measure an oxygen consumption of 100µL/hr for wolf spiders. Assuming that your cup is of the size of the unit of volume of the same name, the cup (

0.237L), a small calculation (see figure) shows that there will be enough oxygen for the spider to survive for over 98 days. The oxygen concentration within the cup may decrease as it is used by the spider, however this is likely to have a minimal effect as a cup placed on a surface is unlikely to be hermetically sealed.

In short, oxygen availability is unlikely to have an effect on the spider before other limitations (such as food) are reached. However neither of these effects are likely to cause behavioural changes during the first month.


  • Anderson, J.F., 1974. Responses to Starvation in the Spiders Lycosa Lenta Hentz and Filistata Hibernalis (Hentz). Ecology, 55(3), pp.576-585.
  • Greenstone, M.H. & Bennett, A.F., 1980. Foraging Strategy and Metabolic Rate in Spiders. Ecology, 61(5), pp.1255-1259.
  • Persons, M.H., 1999. Hunger effects on foraging responses to perceptual cues in immature and adult wolf spiders (Lycosidae). Animal Behaviour, 57(1), pp.81-88.
  • Tanaka, K. & Itô, Y., 1982. Decrease in respiratory rate in a wolf spider,Pardosa astrigera (L. Koch), under starvation. Researches on Population Ecology, 24(2), pp.360-374.

Not the answer you’re looking for? Browse other questions tagged zoology or ask your own question.


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How Long Do Spiders Live without Eating in Captivity

Spiders are believed to have spent 300 million years sharpening their skills as well as staying alive and giving rise to new generations of spiderlings. They have emerged some 100 million years ago, an era predating back-boned animals; they have also evolved much more rapidly. Spiders are classed with arthropods. Almost all the species in arthropods have joint legs and their external armor is hard and tough. Perhaps you’d be wondering as to how long do spiders live. Stick to the end and you’ll know what you want! Spiders alone claim the order Araneae. Currently, scientists have successfully found 38,000 species of spiders all round the world. It is still considered to be the tip of an ice berg since equal numbers of spiders are believed as undiscovered. The widespread presence of spiders makes them a popular species; they are found in house, gardens, forests, other terrestrial habitats, and caves round the world. The South American Tarantulas, also called bird-eating spider, is the largest spider species averaging 10 cm in length, with a leg span of up to 27 cm. The smallest spiders rarely exceed one millimeter in length when adult. However, all these species are predators but not all of them use venom to kill its prey.

How Long Do Spiders Live in Captivity

Depending entirely on species, the spiders lifespan differs significantly; some species can only live up to few months while others have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Many spiders are known to survive up to one or two years only. The lifespan of spiders should not be associated with its size since there are many larger species including golden orb-web spiders and striped garden spiders that do not live more than a year. The tropical tent-web spiders have a relatively longer lifespan. One of the larger spiders is Velvet spider that can live up to 5 years in captivity; while community nest spiders do not have that much longer lifespan. Similarly, fishing spiders have a lifespan of less than a year; rain spiders can live up to 2 – 3 years; while captive six-eyed sand spider is known to live up to 8 years in captivity.

See also:  What Does A Spider Sack Look Like?

Longest-Lived Spiders | How Long Do Spiders Live

Theraphosids (tarantulas and baboon spiders) are the longest lived spiders having a lifespan of more than 20 years in captivity. Unsurprisingly, all these longest lived spiders are females as males have shorter lifespans—after reaching maturity (within a year or two) they mate and die. Nevertheless, spiders are not easy to handle in captivity. If you’re planning to raise spiders in captivity, then probably you’ll have to face three major problems; offering food and water, minimizing maintenance time, and avoiding cannibalism. The house spiders are known to live for several months without food and water.

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I have a wolf spider in a jar in my kitchen. I have been gathering information about the wolfer and placed a small sea sponge in the bottom ofthe jar. I have fed it flies and moths along with a smaller house spider. Hes made a small web he likes hanging out on. My biggest question was “as long as hes in my home fed watered and happy away from other predators wouldnt he live longer? Thanks in advance! Miss. Tuffet

wolf spiders dont make web so u might have a grass spider or funnnel web spider

Just HOW long can an average tarantula go without eating?





From the things I’ve read it’s all over the board. When my first T stopped eating I looked all over for answers and all I could confidently tell you is months lol. I remember reading about a T that refused to eat for 9 months with no apparent harm.

Don’t worry about your T make sure the basics are right (temp substrate ect) and it will likely be fine

cold blood
























Well she shows physical signs of it rather than just fasting. Her abdomen coloring etc. She’s in the process of drinking just about all the water in her dish right now.

Her sac mate and her were on a similar molting schedule. He molted around mid February though. And oddly enough you mention stress and survival as he did die shortly after.

I haven’t been worrying about her really. And seeing her drinking now makes me feel even better. I want to stay absolutely on top of hydration for her.



Having a nice drink.

See her abdomen? She looks ready to pop.

If «pre molt» is a bad term idk what else to call that. Her brother looked the same way.






Lol she’s taking her sweet time.

Her brother grew much faster. I was really sad when he passed unexpectedly. He was a goofball. I’m really making sure she’s warm and has water. These 2 LPs were my 3rd and 4th tarantulas and I was sooooo excited to get them.

But anyway on topic she’s been fussy about food for about 2 months so. Nothing new in tarantula land to have a full T or a T approaching a molt decide it’s going to take it easy on food for a bit.




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