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How Long Do Spiders Live?

A look at the life cycle

How long do spiders live? This answer can vary depending on the type of spider. There are more than 38,000 different spider species, many of which have very different breeding habits. But despite their differences, there are a few aspects of the spider life cycle that all spiders share.

What is the spider life cycle?

Spiders begin their lives in egg sacs. The amount of eggs per sac depends on the type of spider, ranging from one egg to thousands of eggs. Female spiders defend these eggs in different ways. Some carry the sac with them, some leave them in a defensive zone where they can easily protect them, and some leave the eggs to their own fate.

Egg development can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to an entire winter season. Once hatched, the spiders disperse by walking away or ballooning. When a spider balloons, it produces strands of silk that form into a triangular-shaped pouch, sometimes called a “kite.” The spider uses this “kite” to be lifted into the air and transported to a new home.

To reproduce, a male spider spins a special web to catch his sperm and transfers it to his pedipalps, a second pair of appendages that function as sensory organs. He then goes in search of a female of the same species who is ready to mate. Some spider courtship involves the male performing intricate dances to prevent the female from having her mate as a meal instead.

How long do spiders live?

The spider lifespan can vary as much as the spider life cycle. Most spiders live about two years, but some have been known to live up to 20 years when in captivity. Female spiders tend to live longer than male spiders. Many male spiders reach maturity within two years and die after mating. This is mostly because female spiders eat them; however, there are some species of male spiders that die an obligatory death from the mating process alone.

Female spiders have a large impact on the lifespan of their male counterparts. Terminix® can make an impact on any spider lifespan. If you have a spider infestation in your home, call Terminix today.