I was really worried when I first saw spiders crawling into my rabbit’s hutch. But as I gained a better understanding of how rabbits and spiders interact, I didn’t worry so much. So if you’re a bunny parent and want to know how rabbits and spiders get along, you’re at the right spot.
The presence of spiders in your rabbit’s hutch is not an immediate threat to your bunny. Spiders will not attack your rabbit, though they might bite if they feel threatened. Most of the time your rabbit will simply ignore a spider living in its hutch and probably be thankful that there are fewer flies around.
I understand your concern as a bunny parent — It’s hard to see spiders spinning their webs in the corner of a rabbit’s hutch.
In this article, I will give some detailed answers to the questions such as — do rabbits attract spiders, what happens if a spider bites the bunny, are rabbits afraid of spiders, and many more.
Do Rabbits Attract Spiders?
Rabbits do not attract spiders. However, if the rabbit’s hay has lots of bugs, the rabbit’s hutch will likely attract spiders. If your rabbit’s hutch is quiet, undisturbed, and moist (i.e. not clean), it’s a perfect spot for bugs to live and which will lead to spiders move in.
Spiders prefer to make homes where their spiderwebs will remain undisturbed and where there are other bugs to prey on. If your rabbit’s hutch isn’t cleaned regularly, it will become an ideal place for spiders to live.
Your rabbit’s cage location will also determine how likely it is to attract spiders. We just talked about where spiders like to live, so in most houses that means that there are spiders in the basements, crawl spaces, and unused corners of rooms, in the garage, and by the woodpile outside.
If you locate your rabbit’s cage in a location where there are already lots of spiders living, you’re more likely to find spiders in your rabbit hutch.
Are Spiders Good Around Rabbits?
The presence of spiders near a rabbit’s hutch is good sometimes — Spiders love to catch and eat flies & other annoying insects while rabbits hate those same bugs. That means that spiders as neighbors can help rabbits live in peace without flies.
This is especially true for outdoor bunnies.
Spiders control the fly population in the rabbit’s hutch and flies are way more dangerous to your bunny that spiders.
We’ve all seen our bunnies flick their ears and jump around when flies are biting their ears, but did you know flies can cause flystrike?
Rabbit flystrike is caused when a fly isn’t just biting your rabbit’s ears, but laying eggs on your bunny. When those eggs hatch into maggots, they immediately begin eating the flesh of the rabbit. If not caught quickly, these maggots can consume large portions of your bunny’s flesh and even lead to death.
As you can see, a few spiders around your outdoor rabbit’s cage is a blessing. Just keep an eye on spiders’ population and preferably keep their spiderwebs outside your rabbit’s cage.
Let’s talk about the harmfulness of spiders for rabbits.
Can Spiders Harm Rabbits?
A spider bite from a venomous spider can harm or kill a rabbit. Fortunately, the vast majority of spiders are not venomous. Spiders will not look for opportunities to bite a rabbit, instead, they only bite larger animals like rabbits if they feel threatened.
Spiders found in the US aren’t commonly poisonous. But, there are always exceptions. Black widows and Brown recluse are the spider types somewhat common spiders that can be very harmful to rabbits..
If you’re really concerned to know what kind of spiders are present around your rabbit’s hutch, here is a list of venomous spiders of the US.
Rabbits Eating Spiders
Rabbits are herbivores so they are not going to be hunting spiders. However, they might chew on, bite, or even eat a spider if they are curious about the small moving creature. If your rabbit chews on or even eats a spider, they are probably going to be fine as most spiders are venomous.
Now let’s discuss a few specific types of common and scary spiders and what level of danger they present to your bunny.
Can a Wolf Spider Kill a Rabbit?
Wolf spiders are big scary looking spiders, but are they dangerous to rabbits.
Wolf spiders are very mildly venomous and their neurotoxin isn’t strong enough to kill a rabbit. When wolf spiders bite a human being, it causes local inflammation. Rabbits might get inflammation too for a few days because of wolf spider biting.
Can a Hobo Spider Kill a Rabbit?
Hobo spiders can’t kill rabbits because their venom isn’t strong enough to cause life-threatening complications. However, they can cause large areas of red bumps or swell immediately on the rabbit’s skin around the bite.
How to Know If a Spider Attacked Your Rabbit?
When your rabbit scratches the same area of the skin repeatedly, look for red or swollen spots on its body. During the inspection, you might notice areas that indicate a sting. Apply ice with a layer of cloth immediately to relieve the rabbit’s pain and watch for the bite’s evolution.
In most cases, the spider bite doesn’t get severe and heals on its own. But, if it gets worse, don’t hesitate to take your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Check out this list of rabbit veterinarians in the US.
You might also like to read: Earwigs & Rabbits — The Definitive Guide
Are Rabbits Afraid of Spiders?
Rabbits are not afraid of spiders. Even though rabbits are prey animals, they do not consider something as small as a spider as a threat. It’s more likely that they’ll be curious about spiders as they scurry about.
Pet Spiders And Pet Rabbits
Pet spider owners should rest easy knowing that a rabbit won’t intentionally injure or kill a pet spider. Rabbits are herbivores and have not interest in eating spiders. However, pet spiders should be kept away from rabbits just because of the difference in size.
A rabbit could easily kill a spider accidentally. For example, they can land on a spider during binkying, and the spider won’t survive the hit probably.
Keeping Spiders Out Of Rabbit Cage
In most cases, you don’t need to protect your rabbit from spiders. The vast majority of spiders are no real threat to your bunny’s health and safety.
In most cases, simply keeping your rabbits cage clean is protection enough.
However, if you’re worried about poisonous spiders harming your bunny there is one way to keep spiders out of your rabbit’s cage.
To protect a rabbit’s cage from spiders, use a mosquito net around the entire cage at night. You shouldn’t use any insecticides in a house where rabbits live. Using toxic substances to kill spiders would be unsafe for rabbits and other pets.
You can also use spider catchers to control the spider’s population near the rabbit’s hutch. It’s one of the safest ways I use to make my rabbit’s hutch spider-free.
On the other hand, if the pest infestation has reached a threatening level, I would suggest using this food grade Diatomaceous earth (DE) — It’s safe for children and pets in the house.
I hope your rabbit will live peacefully once you apply these tips.
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