To prey on

Related to To prey on: predatorily, fallen prey, predated
To take prey from; to despoil; to pillage; to rob
To seize as prey; to take for food by violence; to seize and devour.
- Shak.
To wear away gradually; to cause to waste or pine away; as, the trouble preyed upon his mind.
- Shak.

See also: Prey, Prey, Prey

References in classic literature ?
I suppose it is too insignificant to be noticed by the great Epeira, and is therefore allowed to prey on the minute insects, which, adhering to the lines, would otherwise be wasted.