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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.

spider-550

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

609 Comments on How to keep spiders as pets

  1. keep feading the mother normally and the mother will feed the babies

  2. Why do y’all want spiders? They bite and are creepish looking! Why have a bug for a pet?

  3. I would like to know what spider’s can be found around the Lasvegas area.?

  4. What do i feed my hopping spider?

  5. i have all the stuff can i get tips on where 2 get spiders

  6. what shud u feed em on

  7. superspiderman // November 16, 2007 at 8:11 pm // Reply

    Hey, I want to keep some spiders! Just tell me the best place to find spiders then tell me the best store to find some really good spider homes! (Thanks, Natitonic, for the tip!) Oh, and, rattie? Here’s how you spell cockroaches: cockroaches.

  8. i got a little tiny wolf spider and dont know how to feed it becuz how little it is.

  9. Hey I have captured alot of spiders scorpions and insects but have no place to put them………………….so what should I do???

  10. My pet wolf spider has an egg sack what do I do!

  11. Hey, I really want to keep a House Spider as a pet. I have a terrarium and everything, But I must admit, I’m at a loss on how to feed it. These spiders are large, but nowhere near a tarantula.. What can I feed it?

  12. I use to keep wolf spiders and cokroches(spelling?) In a ten gallon tank.

  13. What do you think about a writing / garden spider? I seem to have these around but you mentioned that web makers may not make good captive pets.

  14. jumping spiders are my fav. tip: you can get spiders at farms,broken down houses, and any other place that is smelly or is by a forest!

  15. prety cool. spider man fans (like me) might also like this

  16. prety cool. spider man fans might also like this

  17. Spider dude does your mother know that you have a lot of spider pets

  18. this is cool

  19. snakes are better, but tranchuas are pretty cool, i guess =]

  20. I have 2 tarantulas and 4 black widows they live in a 100 gallon fish tank in my roon they work togher to build a huge wed

  21. hey just to a park after rain you can get jumping spiders

    i have got one they are good pets their children will also come to you

  22. babydoll400 // August 6, 2007 at 9:23 am // Reply

    Can you keep abanana spider in captivity???????????

  23. Derrick, Age 10, Florida // August 2, 2007 at 9:15 am // Reply

    This sounds fun, since I really like bugs. Beetles are harder to keep though, because they die quickly if they aren’t in nature, so I think spiders would be great to have instead! Tarantulas, and Wolf Spiders are pousinus, though, so you need to be really careful with those.

    My mom has outlawed the keeping of any spiders in the house because of my little sister, she claims to be “allergic” to them. (My mom thnks they scare her,) but I’m still going to try to do this anyway! (Maybe I can hide the bug container I’m using in my closet. It shouldn’t bother “Little Miss Allergic-To-Spiders” in there! Thanks for the great idea! Now does anyone know how to get rid of sisters?? :) ;) :) ;) :) ;)

  24. We have plenty of Wolf spiders around my house. But I have not been bitten. :)

  25. You may not want to keep a Wolf spider. Because if you get bit (it has a little venom) First Aid is needed soon as posable. Thank You. :)

  26. shortyandyouknowit // July 30, 2007 at 6:38 pm // Reply

    you know BL should have an issue with a bioligical map of spiders!!!

  27. i love spiders but snakes are better

  28. hou do you keep a spider as a pet

  29. spider man // July 12, 2007 at 1:25 pm // Reply

    I caught a spider, I think its a jumping spider but I don’t know

  30. 12345678987654321 // July 6, 2007 at 2:38 pm // Reply

    i want a black widow(just cidding)

  31. I want a fishing spider

  32. megascout // July 5, 2007 at 1:36 pm // Reply

    You know what’s weird? I want to be a herpetologist, because i love snakes. I am not afraid of being bitten by a snake. but i hate spiders, and they’re much smaller than a snake…

  33. Spartan 188 // July 3, 2007 at 6:31 pm // Reply

    I want to get a wolf spider!

  34. Wahooo! Spiders for pets!

  35. thanks!

  36. kyle mayhew // June 28, 2007 at 1:16 pm // Reply

    will mom mad the keep kyle try spider web catch bug mom mean

    never that grow spider yard 5 feet mom that bite keep try

  37. I just squash ’em

  38. johny english // June 10, 2007 at 8:33 pm // Reply

    what about the little spiders on the corners at home?

  39. Neat! Thanks for the help. This is just the thing I can do for my Environmental Science prerequisites. :-)

  40. Your article on Spiders was so fun that I wanted to thank you for it. It was really great and it really told me a lot about some spiders. My favorite one was the Kutai Earth Tiger spider. I like the way it makes a burrow and waits for its prey. Well, I can’t wait for your next Boy’s Life Issue.

  41. arachnaphobia // June 6, 2007 at 9:04 am // Reply

    Sweat tips. I hope my mom gets me a spider

  42. very god facts but what if your spider dies what should you do with it?

  43. hey cool facts!

  44. Dude1234567890 // May 25, 2007 at 11:37 am // Reply

    What about black widows?

  45. Spider Lover // May 25, 2007 at 10:13 am // Reply

    You have cool facts,now I have a pet spider his name is aragon. P.S spiders are my most favorite thing ever!

  46. gamer nut // May 24, 2007 at 7:02 pm // Reply

    were do i get a spider

  47. i want to try this as a summer project, and send it to you!!!

  48. I also love spiders. My brother and I have had five tarantulas over the years and used to always find spider webs and through insects in them to watch the spider catch them.

  49. your facts are so cool!

  50. I’ve found spiders very interesting! Now I know how to keep one as a pet! Thanks, BL!

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