It’s well known that ducks can act as a powerful and natural pest control, they will eat basically any insect that will come in their way.
And spiders are not different, ducks eat spiders in large quantities daily, of different sizes and types.
The intake of insects and spiders makes up for a large portion of their diet.
The spider and insect count in a duck’s stomach can reach as high as 30-40, per day!
Amazingly, once digested the bones of the spiders are excreted out.
Benefits Of Eating Spiders For Ducks
Spiders make up a significant portion of their diet, so it’s important to know what benefits this habit has, on a duck’s physiology.
Some of the benefits to eating spiders are:
1. Eating spiders is a great way to ingest “probiotic” arthropods and other creatures that can help their immunity to illnesses and infectious diseases.
2. The spider’s exoskeleton is very rich in silica, which is a very important trace mineral for the development and growth of bones, feathers and egg production.
3. The webs of spiders are full of protein, so they are an excellent contribution to their diet regimen.
4. Since these arthropods are practically defenseless animals, there’s almost no risk involved to the duck when it comes to eating them.
5. They can easily digest the arthropods because their stomach acids are quite strong already and they have no trouble with digestion or grinding the whole exoskeleton of insects.
6. Spiders have venom which can help ducks develop their own internal “immunity system”… as they ingest the spiders they literally build up an immunity to spider venom itself, so they can ingest more spiders in the future without being harmed by them.
Although not all spiders are harmful, it is still a good thing for ducks to have enough resistance from spider bites or stings, just in case sometime in their lives they come across something more venomous than usual.
For this reasons eating spiders can be very beneficial to ducks because it allows them to improve their immune system and overall health; also for poultry farmers it could be equally important as an easy and safe way to control harmful insect populations in order to protect their crops from further damage.
What Kind Of Insects Do Ducks Eat?
Spiders are only a small part of living things that ducks constantly snack on, they consume a large variety of insects as well:
Mayflies: these small aquatic insects are one of the most common items on the list of foods eaten by ducks. They can be easily spotted because they typically fly around during the middle hours between night and dawn.
Dragonflies: another common food source for ducks is dragonflies, which require a pond or a stream in order to drink or hunt for food.
Flies: while flies can be annoying to people, they are one of the most common foods which ducks eat. They are found all over the world as they are able to live just about anywhere that people do.
Mosquitoes: yet again another well known bug that ducks enjoy eating, especially during their breeding season in which mosquitoes are at their peak and cause the most harm.
June Bugs: another favorite food of ducks is June bugs, which are short, round, and dark in color.
Crickets: cricket is another popular bug that ducks eat for their protein. They can’t be seen because their color blends in with their surroundings but you can feel them moving around if you put your hand over a crickets’ hiding place.
Japanese beetle: it is a small, brown insect that is often mistaken for a cricket. It can be found in the spring when it emerges from its winter hibernation.
Scale insects: this insect can be found on plants and trees and can cause damage to the leaves and branches of plants. It is most often a nuisance to anyone who wants to keep their garden looking attractive by growing plants that are attractive too.
Grasshoppers: commonly known as crickets or bush crickets because they like to live under bushes in moist environments such as fields, lawns, or gardens. They are also known as cricket jerky because they are sometimes dried out by humans and stored for later consumption by predators. Grasshoppers have been shown to have high protein levels, but not much fat (about 10%).
The main danger that can come to ducks and birds in general that normally eat insects is to contract some parasites (ringworm, roundworm), so if you notice a stomach or a digestive problem it can be caused by this.
Ducks can and will eat spiders if they come across them. Although they are not a main part of their diet, they will still eat them without thinking twice, consider it a natural part of their daily diet.
Although you are unlikely to have a spider infestation in your garden there is always a chance that they will appear, and having ducks will likely take care of the problem for you!
Photo by Ross Sokolovski on Unsplash