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How to keep spiders as pets

Spiders can make fascinating pets. Here are a few steps to get you started keeping spiders.

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Step 1: Catch a spider

Spiders are all around us, indoors and out, so they’re not hard to find. Some species can bite and a few are venomous. Learn about dangerous spiders in your area before heading out. It’s easy to safely catch a spider by using a small jar. Gently coax it into the jar using the lid. Spiders will eat each other, so keep only one per jar.

Step 2: Prepare a cage

Large spiders do well in the inexpensive plastic terrariums available from pet stores. Smaller ones can be kept in jars or plastic containers if air holes are drilled into the lid or sides. Be sure the holes are small enough to prevent escape.

Potting soil makes good cover for the cage bottom. Sticks, dead leaves or artificial plants provide structure for hiding, climbing and webbing.

Step 3: Water

Depending on the size of the spider, anything from a plastic bottle cap to a small bowl can serve as a water dish. Spiders also drink water sprayed on webbing, but you should never allow the cage to become damp.

Step 4: Feeding

Offer insect prey once or twice a week. Crickets are available from pet shops, or you can collect insects outdoors if no insecticides have been sprayed in the area.

Step 5: Observing

Watch your spider and take notes on its behavior. You won’t believe what happens in the spider’s web until you’ve visited it yourself!


PREFERRED PETS

Not all spiders do well in captivity. Active hunters are usually easier to keep than web builders. Here are a few that make good pets.

Tarantulas: Some species exceed 10 inches in legspan. They’re by far the most popular pet spiders and can be bought in pet stores.

Wolf Spiders: Some can be more than three inches in legspan. Large specimens do best in terrariums with lots of floor space.

Jumping Spiders: Although small and rarely exceeding half an inch, their jumping ability is amazing. Many species are brightly colored and can easily be kept in jars.

Fishing Spiders: In captivity, these large spiders appreciate vertically arranged pieces of bark for climbing. They’re very fast, so use caution when capturing them.

Grass Spiders: These spiders build funnel-shaped webs in grass, bushes and on buildings. In captivity, they will build extensive webs inside their cage.

LEARN MORE: Click here to see photos of a spider expert’s seven favorite spiders

24 Comments on How to keep spiders as pets

  1. Questions plz answer // February 3, 2016 at 8:39 pm // Reply

    I am a second class scout when I grow up I want to be a aracnatologist but my question is can spiders live off water?

  2. I’M getting a tarantula in the spring so yeah, And wild spiders do there best in the wild.

  3. what can i feed a garden spider tell spring time so it will live

  4. orb weaver fan85 // January 4, 2016 at 11:16 am // Reply

    Help I have a pet hackle backed orb weaver and she has laid a egg sac. I don’t know what to do?

  5. How you find a spider is easy in your basement or outdoors in the summer time. And yes a grass spider is a good pet.

  6. Where do I Find a pet spider indoors?

  7. I love the idea that you have

  8. About to put it into practice😁….thanks for the tip

  9. I never had a spider but I wish I do.

  10. I have two wolf spiders and two black widows. I would like some opinions on what type of habitat to build for my black widows???? Any suggestions?

  11. My grass spider picked me he came out from under my bed so i got an old plastic thermostat box heated a pin up with a lighter and put 6 holes in one in each corner and 2 in the middle a card box to hide in and paper roll as substrate and a small corn snake bowl with a soaked tissue in it and a thermostat at 70f

  12. Didn’t work

  13. Found a grass spider half dead being dragged by a horsefly. Don’t know how or what to feed him

  14. I love spiders its the most nice pet i have

  15. i’ve held a big tarantula in my hand before at my friends house

  16. This was the most useful information That i have read, i have a big fishing spider in a custom tank…love my spider…probably the most fascinating pet to have!

  17. Cool everyone.
    Nice.

  18. aalibrandi29 // July 30, 2015 at 12:28 am // Reply

    I have orb spiders there doing great together

  19. i want to catch a jumping spider cause theres some at my home but they are so tiny, i dont know how to drill a hole for something so so small. like 1/4 cm.
    what do i do?

  20. Venom_collector // July 16, 2015 at 7:48 pm // Reply

    I found and now keeping a brown widow spider (female) and her a cage but the prefers the top of it, which is hard throw insects in without damaging her web, any ideas on how to have make a web down below?

    • put petroleum jelly / vaseline around the top of the container this should prevent her from getting on the ceiling of said container.

  21. I have a jumping spider and we put it in the critter cage which it likes to hang upside down from the ceiling of its cage… I’m studying it to see how it fairs.

  22. Is a trantula or green grass spider better

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