Brown recluse spiders are dangerous, but what do they eat? Being known for their bite, these spiders are seen in most parts of the United States. You might see brown recluse as aggressive scary spiders that can kill, but in reality, that’s not quite true.

Brown recluse spiders are cannibalistic, known for eating one another. They will easily consume their prey dead or alive, as they are not picky eaters. Aside from eating each other, they also enjoy consuming soft-bodied insects.

Brown Recluse Spiders eat other insects such as:

  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Crickets 


Interestingly, these spiders are nocturnal hunters making them less likely to be out during the day and don’t kill their prey with webs. They are reclusive when it comes to humans and contact, but they will protect themselves if threatened! So, they are not naturally aggressive and don’t intentionally look for conflict.


Now I know what they eat, but how often do they eat?

Brown recluse can go months without eating. That’s right, months! The longest known amount of time being two years, these spiders don’t have to eat often to stay alive.

They are able to eat scarcely because they can stay in one spot, not burning calories and store those nutrients when they eat. As stated before, they are not particularly picky, so they will eat their prey dead if needed to survive. Even if you don’t see them often, that doesn’t mean they aren’t hiding somewhere!


They can go a while without eating, so when are they active?

Not all brown recluse spiders go months without eating, but they can if needed. They are less likely to be seen and out during the cooler months of winter, but come spring and summer they are more comfortable venturing out to eat.

Part of the active lifestyle of these spiders during this time is due to mating. The general season is March to October for these nocturnal critters to be wandering, but mating is typically from April to July.


Types of hunters in brown recluse

Brown recluse spiders have their own method when it comes to hunting. Most prefer actively hunting for prey at night. They are not known for constructing webs to catch prey but instead create webs as a retreat or place to lay eggs. As their name implies, they are naturally reclusive. As much as you don’t want to deal with them, they don’t want to be near you either.

Have you seen brown recluse or other scary spiders recently? We would be glad to help. Contact us today! Call: 615-590-1260 for pest control or to schedule a free inspection!