Tarantulas as Pets: Care and Handling


What comes immediately to mind when you consider purchasing a pet? Is it cats or dogs? Maybe a sweet little hamster? While Tarantulas don’t come to mind as a pet option, they can be a perfect pet for the right person, despite their unusual nature.

Tarantulas have long piqued the interest of people all over the world. Despite their bad rep in film, most animals are very docile and convenient to care for and transport. While many tarantulas are venomous, the toxicity of their venom is comparable to that of a bee sting in most species. However, due to the possibility of an allergic response to the venom, caution should be exercised while handling them. It can be pretty fascinating to watch the tarantula travel, weave webs, and climb. Some species can weave the most complex webs. Beginners should choose a species that is more docile and simpler to care for.

This article contains basic instructions to assist new tarantula keepers in successfully maintaining their pets. It’s a quick rundown of tarantula husbandry best practices.

Is it one, two, or multiple?

Two tarantulas should not be kept together because they might perceive each other as a threat or a competitor for food. Pink toe tarantulas may be housed in groups as long as their sizes are about the same.

Identifying the Sex and Lifespan of a Tarantula

The relative size of adult tarantulas can be used to assess sex, with females being larger and having a thicker build than males. Males in several species have a tiny shiny bulb near the end and undersides of their pedipalps termed a palpal bulb (the little grasping arms in front of the body). Tibial spurs’ appearance in males of many of these species is another distinguishing feature (little hook-like parts on the ends of their front legs).

The lifespan of tarantulas varies greatly depending on the species. A male Rose Hair Tarantula can live for 8 to 10 years, whereas a female can live for 15 to 20 years. Female Pink Toe Tarantulas live for ten years or more, while males live for 2-3 years. The Goliath Birdeater tarantula has a lifespan of 20 years or more.

Big tarantulas from shrubland areas or deserts, on average, live longer than tarantulas from tropical climates. Your pet counselor will give you an estimate of how long the species you’re interested in would live.

Finding a House (Tank Or Cage)

For a medium-sized tarantula, a suitable glass or plastic tank measuring 25 cm by 15 cm by 15 cm in height should be purchased from a pet store. If you like, you can make a tank that mimics the spider’s natural environment, such as with logs, leaf litter, or bark.

Like many other arachnids, Tarantulas are not very social creatures, and if you keep them adequately housed, you should expect them to hide most of the time. This should not be a concern, and you’ll still be able to observe them at times. You’ll be able to keep an eye on them even though they’re in a burrow if the tank is well-designed.

Various tarantula species have different lifestyles; some are mainly arboreal (live in trees), while others are borrowers. Whichever species you keep, you’ll need to adjust the simple care instructions accordingly. As a result, an arboreal species require a cage that is higher with plenty of wood to climb on and a shallow surface. On the other hand, a burrowing species would need a good depth of leaf mold or permeable compost to burrow in, which may be up to 10 cm according to the size of the creature.

The Climate

Most tarantulas can all be kept at room temperature inside a warm home, with room temperatures between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. In all other cases, even in the coldest homes, most tarantulas do not need additional heat. Some tropical species need a daytime temperature in the upper 70s – but never expose your Tarantulas to above 80 degrees temperature for an extended period. It’s best if the temperature changes during the day, with nights being colder than days. Tarantulas can become inactive if kept at temperatures below average, but they should not be at risk if kept at temperatures we humans find comfortable.

Food and Water

Feed your tarantula crickets and other insects like super worms, mealworms, and roaches in addition to crickets. Small lizards and Pinkie mice can be provided to large tarantulas. Before feeding your tarantula, the crickets must be gut-loaded (fed healthy foods) and dusted with vitamin powder. Whatever enters into the cricket is basically what the spider eats. The meal should, in general, be smaller than the tarantula’s size.

Adults should be fed once a week, while juveniles should be fed every day or two. Simply position the prey close to your spider’s enclosure. Feedings should be performed later in the evening when the spider is more involved. Seek advice from your veterinarian for the right amount and type of food to feed your spider, as it varies depending on its size, age, and species. At all times, a small reservoir of clean water should be available for their hydration needs. To avoid drowning, the water dish must be extremely shallow. As a safeguard, put some pebbles in the bowl to offer the spider something to crawl out on.

Typical Health Issues

The most serious danger to pet tarantulas is being dropped or slipping from a reasonable height. A severe injury, such as a ruptured abdomen, may result from a fall. As a result, make sure the enclosure is safe and use caution when handling your spider.

Molting is a process spiders use to grow. Spiders grow by removing their old exoskeleton and making a new larger one. This is a strenuous experience for a spider, and it will usually lose its appetite before molting. During the molting period, which can take multiple days, don’t feed the spider. Furthermore, the spider must never be handled when it is molting. After molting, the spider may take a couple of weeks to recover completely.

Safety and Cleanliness

Every pet has the potential to bring diseases that are infectious to humans. Young children, pregnant women, babies, people with weakened immune systems, and the elderly are more susceptible to infection and should exercise caution when interacting with pets or their environments. Cleaning your pet’s room with a pet-safe cleaner regularly will help prevent the spread of pollutants.

Washing your hands before and after handling your pet and/or their environment are essential hygiene procedures. Children should always be supervised while dealing with pets.

If you keep tarantulas in an environment suitable for them and properly care for them, there is nothing to fear. As you expand your collection and keep educating others about these incredible creatures, you will enjoy them as pets for years to come.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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