What Eats Brown Recluse Spiders? 11 Brown Recluse Predators

The Brown Recluse spider is known for its necrotic venom. A Brown Recluse bite needs medical assistance in the form of wound care, antibiotics, and antihistamines. However, this spider also has a long list of natural predators.

What Eats Brown Recluse Spiders?

1. Wasps

Wasps are some of the most feared predators in the Brown Recluse world. The mud dauber is one of the most popular wasps in the US. Both this and other wasps attack the Brown Recluse and other spiders.

Curiously, wasps rarely eat the Brown Recluse spider preferring to feed it to their larva. Adult wasps prefer to eat nectar, fruits, and honey. They only sting the Brown Recluse paralyzing it. They chop up the spider then transport it to their nest where the spider’s pieces are used to feed wasp larva.

Spider wasp dragging a spider to its nest

2. Praying Mantis

The Praying Mantis is an opportunistic creature that eats whatever crosses its path and is not considerably larger.

Praying mantis

The Mantis is a patient hunter. Whenever the Brown Recluse crosses its path, it will not think twice about attacking and eating the spider.

The Praying Mantis has even weirder habits which often involve the male being killed by the female, particularly during mating, much like in the spider’s world.

3. Birds

Small and large birds eat all types of spiders. Brown Recluse spiders aren’t immune to their appetite. One of the birds that eat the Brown Recluse is the Robin. The American Robin is the local species found in the US. Wrens, a similarly-sized bird also eats the spider.

4. Other spiders

Spiders are also known for killing other species, both from their species and from other spider species. The Brown Recluse shares its habitat with hundreds of other spiders. Some of these might attack and eat the Brown Recluse.

Common House Spider

The Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) is one of the spiders that kills and attacks everything it can. It lives around households that normally attract insects and other spiders.

The Common House spider attacks and eats the Brown Recluse. It does this not on a selective nature as it attacks all types of spiders.

The Common House Spider is an avid hunter the Brown Recluse can rarely escape from in case of a confrontation. Speed is not one of the attributes of the Common House Spider. This is why it shoots a spider web to catch its prey when it feels the prey is faster.

5. Lizards

Chameleons are a type of lizard that has no doubts about eating Brown Recluse spiders. It’s rare to see these lizards out of nature finding and eating the spider. However, there’s sufficient controlled testing where studies have shown chameleons quickly eat the Brown Recluse in captivity.

American Geckos are a type of exotic lizards inhabiting parts of the US, particularly Florida. These types of lizards are rare in other parts of the country. However, they share the same habitat in the state with the Brown Recluse in areas such as Alachua and Duval. It’s here that these lizards eat these spiders as well as other spiders.

6. Cats

Domesticated cats have been shown to eat the Brown Recluse as well as any other type of spider that wonders its path. Cats are not troubled by the venom of the spider in case of a bite. Its hunting abilities also ensure the cat can eat the spider before the small prey can react.

7. Monkeys

Monkeys are another type of opportunistic animal with a varied diet. This ensures that monkeys are some of the most feared animals in the spider world. The habitat of monkeys can even get completely spider-free when the monkey population is considerable.

8. Centipedes


Centipedes are often found around homes. Most people are advised not to kill centipedes when found inside a house and simply take them outside where they kill spiders such as the Brown Recluse. Centipedes can also bite humans but their bite is not venomous.

9. Crickets

Crickets are also interested in killing the Brown Recluse and other spiders. Some crickets such as the Spider Cricket are often confused with spiders. But these are crickets that kill everything in their path including spiders and other crickets.

10. Scorpions


Scorpions are some of the most dangerous creatures for spiders such as the Brown Recluse. They sometimes share the same habitat in hot areas of the country. While scorpions need water to survive, they can go on for months without water and even without food.

Given the chance, they will attack all types of spiders.

11. Humans

Humans are also responsible for killing Brown Recluse spiders. Since these spiders are venomous humans typically kill them on the spot when finding them inside or near the house. Humans are always taught to kill these spiders given they have a feared venomous bite.

How Do Brown Recluse Spiders Defend Themselves?

Brown Recluse spiders are feared for their venom. However, these spiders aren’t known to be more aggressive than other spiders.

Running away

Brown Recluse spiders first try to escape, especially when encountering humans. They only bite humans when they feel threatened or cornered.


Brown Recluse spiders can bite during certain periods of the year where it’s known to become more aggressive. Male Brown Recluse spiders are aggressive during the mating period. This is the time they actively try to find females and get aggressive towards other males.

Female Brown Recluse spiders can also kill the male during the mating season. This doesn’t happen all the time. However, the female will instantly kill the male Brown Recluse spider if food is scarce.


The Brown Recluse is one of the feared spiders in the country. However, this spider has plenty of predators such as wasps and lizards. Humans also kill these spiders instantly as they are feared when encountered in the house.

One of the major enemies of the Brown Recluse remains the species itself, particularly the female for the male spider.

Cannibalization happens for these spiders, particularly during the mating process. The male has to impress the female to mate. However, the female might kill the male Brown Recluse after mating. This happens in scarce food periods.

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