What Eats Black Widows? Here are The Top 10 Predators (2023)

Ever Wondered If Black Widows Are Dangerous? If Yes, What’s Brave Enough to Prey on Them?

The Black Widows, genus -> Latrodectus, are common in yards, homes, and commercial buildings. According to reports, their venom is fifteen times more potent than that of rattlesnakes.

Certainly, it sounds interesting. What creatures would thereafter be bold enough to eat them? Undoubtedly, there is a list of 10 of them. Let’s find out what eats black widows.  

The little black widows are about 1.5 inches long, which is anyway quite a big enough size for spiders. The body of the female Black Widow is jet black and lustrous, and it has a characteristic red pattern on the abdomen. Male Black Widows and certain other varieties are brown or tan, with some orange markings.  

Why are Black Widows Dangerous?

Black Widow
Black Widow

The venom produced by the black widow spider harms your nervous system. Some people are just mildly impacted by it, while others may react negatively.

Additionally, you can get stomachaches, cramps, and muscle spasms. Up to 12 hours after you were bitten, these symptoms may worsen. Then they ought to start leaving.  

Only female black widow spider bites can be dangerous. Males lack enough venom to significantly harm someone.  

Large amounts of venom are carried by female black widows. It’s also well-accepted that Widow spiders exhibit female sexual cannibalism, which means the females consume the males after mating.

But what people might not realize is that it doesn’t occur very frequently and that not all species engage in this behavior.  

Such an act is uncommon and only occurs in constrained lab settings.

Where Can We Find Them?

The Black Widow spider live all over the world including in the United States, but it is more widely spread in the South and West of the country, where the weather is hot, dry, and humid.

What Eats Black Widows

Due to the black widow spiders’ distinctive body patterns and markings, which most animals find repulsive, fewer species prey on them.   

Since there are always exceptions to the rules, in this instance, there are some animals that even sting the spider to immobilize it before eating it and are apparently unaffected by its venom.  

1. Praying mantises (Mantodea)  

Praying mantises
Praying mantis
Order Mantodea
Geographic location  Found across all continents except Antarctica
Size  10 mm – 120 mm  

In this game which lasts only a few seconds, the praying mantis would use its powerful mandibles to tear apart and eat the spider.

They make up the majority of the predators of this spider species and tops the list of what eats black widows. However, this spider can score a pyrrhic victory by biting off just moments before being eaten.

2. Alligator lizards

Alligator lizard
Alligator lizard
Scientific name  Elgaria multicarinata
Geographic location  Pacific coast of North America
Size  6.4-30 cm

Southern California’s alligator lizards openly consume spiders. Throughout their long history of coexistence with widow spiders, these lizards have evolved an impressive resistance to their poison.

In the warm climates of the American West, lizards live close by widows. Black widows will even eat little lizards that might become caught in their webs.

3. Blue mud wasps (Chalybion californicum)  

Blue mud wasp
Blue mud wasp
Scientific name  Chalybion californicum 
Geographic location  Northern Mexico to Southern Canada
Size   10-23mm

It seems inconceivable that blue mud wasps seek and consume black widow spiders. A lot. In fact, they one of this spider species’ primary predators. Although stunning and attractive, the Chalybion californicum wasp is yet aggressive toward black widow spiders.  

The developing larvae are fed high-protein foods like spiders (typically the black widow, Latrodectus spp.), while the adults consume flowers.

These spiders are caught by the Blue Mud Wasp either by snatching them out of their protective webs or by tempting them away. The wasp then immobilizes the spider with its sting to prepare food for its growing young.

4. Other Wasps  

Scientific name  Vespidae 
Geographic location   Throughout the world except Antarctica
Size   1-2.5 cm

Apart from the iridescent blue mud dauber, other wasp species that feed on black widow spiders include the flightless Scelionidae wasp (Baeus sp.), the chloropid fly (Pseudogaurax spp.), and the spider wasp (Tastiotenia festiva).

5. Birds

Bullock’s Oriole
Bullock’s Oriole
Class  Aves
Geographic location   Throughout the world
Size  5.5cm-2.8m 

Although birds occasionally eat the black widows, it is not frequently their preferred food. Actually, the poisons of black widow spiders cause stomach distress in birds when they eat them. Nevertheless, birds like crows and jays prey on black widows despite the other facts.

6. Cellar Spiders

cellar spider
Cellar spider
Scientific name  Pholcus phalangioides
Geographic location   All over the world
Size  7-8 mm long and front legs can be between 45-50 mm

Black Widows are the favorite meals of cellar spiders, often called “Daddy long-leg Spiders.” They are the most venomous spiders that cannot attack humans due to their short fangs, which is a well-known fact.

Apparently, they have this reputation because they kill dangerous spiders like widows while remaining completely harmless to humans. The ability to capture the spider without being bitten is a skill these arthropods possess.

7. Chickens  

Scientific name  Gallus gallus domesticus
Geographic location  Across Southeast and South Asia 
Size   27.6 inches average

Owning chickens is undoubtedly an excellent idea because they are effective against other spiders in addition to black widows. In family yards, they are frequently used to get rid of ticks and spiders.

8. Toads

Family Bufonidae 
Geographic location  South and Central America
Size   15-25cm

Frogs are omnivorous predators who will consume nearly any prey that can fit in their mouths. However, given how dangerous black widow spiders are, this is not a good practice for toads.

They do consume spiders, but they do not deliberately hunt them down to feast on. Instead, they only consume them in the rush of the moment.

9. Small mammals  

Many mammals, including your pet dog or cat, often catch or eat black widows. Take them to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect they may have eaten this spider. The poisons in the spiders’ bodies could upset the stomach of your pet or they might even bite internally.   

Aside from feeding on a wide variety of fruits, nuts, flowers, and seeds, monkeys also eat insects, spiders, and reptiles, including the accidental black widow.   

Even though it’s not their usual meal, these little mammals can unintentionally consume those venomous spiders and hence surely make in our list of what eats black widows.

10. Humans  

You did read that correctly. Although we are not true predators, we are a threat to black widow spiders since we intentionally kill them when we come across the species at home or accidentally crush them. Obviously, we don’t eat them, or maybe. I don’t know.


In conclusion, while the black widow spider is notorious for its venomous bite, it too has its place in the intricate web of nature. Various predators, from birds to insects, have evolved to feast upon these venomous arachnids.

This delicate balance of nature’s checks and balances reminds us that even the most feared creatures have a role to play in the ecosystem.

As we strive to coexist with these enigmatic spiders, understanding their place in the food chain is crucial for maintaining a harmonious and biodiverse environment.

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