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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.


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!


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

45 Comments on How to keep spiders as pets

  1. i officialy love spiders after readin all ur comments….gonna get a trantula now 🙂

  2. i found a house spider in my house and its kinda long but I dont know what to put in its cage, grass, wood chips, what do i put in it?

  3. mrs spider girl // March 19, 2012 at 9:16 am // Reply

    i dont know if i have a jumping spider or a wolf spider or a house spider i just dont know what should i do with it

  4. i found a little brown spider in our sandbox in our backyard. does anybody know what kind it is??? i put it in a jar with a some potting soil, but i dnt know if it likes it he just stays on the side of the jar and kinda balls up.

  5. my jumping spider spun its web beside the jar lid, now i cant feed it, what should i do?

  6. if your spider is not spinning a web that is fine because some spiders hunt by themselves without a web

  7. LeBron James // February 16, 2012 at 7:12 am // Reply

    Does a baby tarantula which is about an inch or less eat jumping spiders? I’m afraid it might turn to the other way around and my tarantula ends up being the one that dies… What can I feed it with, something that has can be found at home with garden. (no cricket, no cockroach, no grasshopper…)

  8. I just caught a brown recluse spider in my backyard. Is it alright to keep it?

  9. Scouting 101 // February 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm // Reply

    I don’t like spiders, but I have heard that a preying mantis makes a good pet too.

  10. I found a spider in my living room. I’m not quite sure what it is. It looks like a jumping spider. I would say it’s about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch. I’m not sure whether to keep it until it gets warmer outside or let it go in the cold or let it go on a plant in my house. What should I do?

    • letting it outside in the cold is the best Idea, but don’t be worried about it dying in the cold cause most spiders that have that over a year to live will hibernate.

  11. I can’t tell if my spider is a brown recluse or a wolf spider

    • spider lover // February 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm // Reply

      the brown recluse has a violin marking on it’s back, but if you still can’t tell wolf spiders are bigger and have more hair, in fact the brown recluse doesn’t have any hair at all on it’s body. If it turns out to be a brown recluse don’t let it crawl on you it’s bite will make your skin rot, however if it is a wolf spider it’s bite will be painful but you’ll be fine, I once had a wolf spider and I played with her every day:)

  12. How long does a brown recluse live

  13. I have 5 jumping spiders. They are amazing! I fed them a moth the other day and it was so awesome when it attacked it. By the way does anyone know how long jumping spiders can live without food and how long it can live without water?

  14. I found three baby wolf spiders at the park. Im going to bring my jar this time and catch them. What happens if you put them with a wild house gecko, around two inches?

    • Spider Lover // January 9, 2012 at 3:42 am // Reply

      Putting spiders in with geckos or other lizards will result in spiders becoming dinner for the reptile. Think about what you feed creatures you intend to put together. So you don’t have unfortunate accidents.

  15. what the heck // December 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm // Reply


  16. how do i get it to spin a web??

  17. um… i just caught a spider and i dont kno if itll live cause its not spinning a web how do i get it to??

  18. spider lover? // November 20, 2011 at 10:21 am // Reply

    I have a wolf spider thoes spiders are my favort spiders.

  19. i caught a daddy long-leg

  20. I just caught a daddy long-leg and luckly when a was about to put the lid on of the container, a fly flew in

  21. hey,this is great!

  22. Tarantulas. No doubt about it, I have a rose hair tarantula(one of nicest tarantulas) and I handle it every day I can.

  23. I feed my wolf spider smaller spiders and half dead flies

  24. FOOTBALL FAN // October 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm // Reply


  25. do wolf spiders eat rolly pollies?

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