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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

32 Comments on How to keep spiders as pets

  1. southernspider // June 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm // Reply

    I just caught a grass spider. They are very cool. are wild scorpions good as pets??

    • LCDRhammond // August 3, 2012 at 1:16 am // Reply

      depends on the scorpion the smaller they are the more lethal they are so avoid the tiny ones

    • If you see a big or medium sized wild scorpion do not take take care of them there are probably toxic or poison if you think it’s safekeeping it In a 1L bottle ore jar. Then go look in a book or the internet.thx
      PS do not let it go on your hand if you not know the type a species!!!!!!!

  2. Spiderwoman // June 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm // Reply

    I caught a brown recluse spider in my bathroom this morning. I want to study her. So, I am going to keep her. I also have a brown widow as well. I’ve had her for a while.

    • bug man dan // August 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm // Reply

      Both of these are not particular, just a small container with a hide is all they need besides food and a little water.

  3. I just got 3 woodlouse spiders and they are MEAN!!

  4. i caught to wolf spiers one having babys and they git along fine

  5. what about a dady long leg they can not kill you but they can kill a black widow

  6. OK ANSWER/BURGER BOY // May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm // Reply

    I don’t need a fancy terrarium in my house… My house IS the terrarium! My family named the spider “Itzy Bitzy”. He’s just a normal house spider… he just came in one day! Also, he appears in many places. The good thing about him is that he keeps down the population of any bugs around here! 🙂 😀 😛 😆

  7. i dont like

  8. oh my gosh // May 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm // Reply

    I have a little box for strawberries its 10inches long and 4 inches high could i put a spider in this

  9. I am going to try and catch a barn spider, my dad says there are some around here.if I do, what should I feed it?ants?flies?roly-polys?grasshoppers?(those are the main bugs around here.

  10. anonymous person // May 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm // Reply

    best thing that there is to do with spiders is 1 scare people with them 2 let them run around on your arm

  11. don’t put two different kinds of jumping spiders in the same container. I did that once and the bigger one ate the smaller one.

  12. spiderfreak // May 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm // Reply

    i have caught 17 different speicies of spider they are in a huge tank so far there a no problems will they kill eachother

  13. spiders are so cool

  14. always let your spider have air

  15. I found two small yellow spider nests in my back yard and I’ve put them in a plastic container. One nest has hatched and there are hundreds of orange spiders. I’ve caught a fly too and put it in there with them. This should be fun! Haha hope they last a while. I know nothing about spiders 😮

  16. selena says // May 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm // Reply

    i am scared of spiders

  17. i cought a brown recluse and i read this so i can take care of it

    • be careful with the brown recluse!!!

      i suggust doing more research on that specific spider, and look up the injurys it can inflict!

  18. yo yo master // May 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm // Reply

    my mom would kill me if i caut 1 she h8ts spiders

  19. im about 2 go in my backyard and catch a spider for a pet. im hoping for a wolf spider.

  20. webelo from pack 295 // May 2, 2012 at 12:41 am // Reply

    i was bitten by a big wolf spider but i still love them just the same

  21. I plan on catching a wood-louse spider soon. They are my current creepy fascination, because they can often be aggressive and they scare me. I’ve never seen one in a web, so I think they’re hunters. But they grow to be pretty decent size I think. I like ’em.

  22. i caught a big wolf spider and i want 2 keep it but i need to know what a good cage set up actully looks like

  23. I have a wolf spider and I have flies all over my house, I don’t know what to feed it, I gave it a moth one day. I am keeping it in a jar with holes on the top! I have leaves and sticks in it, I brought it to school but did not know what it was at the time. It doesnt move in the light, but does move in the dark. What should I do with it!?!

  24. spyderrrboy // March 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm // Reply

    thank you for your routine for keeping spiders i am very curious about the way spiders live

  25. i srsly have to buy a spider now….any suggestions??

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