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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

644 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!

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