What’d you have for lunch today? Chances are it was less than what the average spider ate. Yes, really. According to a new study published in The Science of Nature, spiders eat between 440 to 880 million tons of insects and other pests every year. Humans worldwide consume 440 million tons of meat and fish every year, which means we’re being outeaten by arachnids.
If you think you ate a lot yesterday, even if you binged on your favorite Ben and Jerry’s, it still wasn’t as much as the average spider ate. Most spiders consume 16 to 32 times their weight each year. In fact—and this may blow your mind—the total amount eaten yearly by spiders worldwide is about the same amount as eaten by the world’s whale population. That is one heck of a metabolism!
And what’s on their diet? Other pesky insects. Which means spiders, as creepy as we think they are, help keep the bug population in check. Martin Nyffeler, the lead author of the study from the University of Basel in Switzerland, says that spiders not only keep insect populations down, they also help to protect plants and trees that otherwise would be food for invasive insects. This means that spiders can join the ranks of other insectivorous animals like ants and birds that significantly reduce population densities of insects.
This doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy sharing your personal space with spiders, however. Spring is a very active season for spiders, and chances are you’ll start to notice them in and around your house as the weather begins to warm. To safely eliminate spiders within your home and to keep them from entering in the first place, give Pointe Pest Control a call. We can troubleshoot any problem areas and help keep spiders where they belong—outside, eating their weight (and then some!) in other bothersome bugs.