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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

609 Comments on How to keep spiders as pets

  1. spider are very easy to take care of

  2. science fair kid // September 7, 2012 at 9:50 am // Reply

    I am doing a sci fair project on spiders and caught some spiny backed orb weavers and put them in medium size plastic terreriums with dirt leaves and two sticks set up across the cages from each other. Each spider is in its own terrerium. But they aren’t making webs. Also, will they eat dead flies or do the flies have to be alive? Any help appreciated!

  3. I tried feeding my small garden spider, but he keeps crawling over or away from his potiential food. what’s wrong with my spider? :S

  4. now, im starting to pet spiders, and it was awesome…. now i have 10 kinds of grass spider, which i bought…. :)

  5. caught a jumping spider…he has giant fangs!!! he ate the last of my pencil led [didnt mean to put led on it]. i was late 4 bus. but he is walking slower now…is he alrįght?

  6. I have a daring jumping spider who had babies a couple months ago. I released all but six of the young. To feed the babies I leave a half lime out to attract fruit flies which I then catch. They are the perfect size for the tiny babies

  7. I just caught two spiders from my house and they get along fine plus they are both different species but it’s hard to feed them cos I’m not buying their food how do you easily catch bugs???

    • you caught the spiders didn’t you? lift some logs or rocks. crickets aren’t uncommon or any small flying bugs

  8. I have a spider named slick who is a 5 inch writing spider , I feed him wolf spiders

  9. i caught a male black widow and a female black widow a month ago and i am now keeping a hobo spider too

  10. i just caught a black widow and a hobo spider and i put them together

  11. Can i also use a wooden box for a spider
    that was used for a bearded dragon

  12. I have a small jumping spider ,but I still don’t know to feed it.

  13. traxxas kid // August 4, 2012 at 10:30 am // Reply

    i have spiders all over my yard.

  14. Hydrogypsy // August 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm // Reply

    I found a male hobo spider and he’s my roomate. He runs away from me though, but it’s cool because hobos are nocturnal.

  15. LCDRhammond // August 3, 2012 at 1:18 am // Reply

    I have a barn spider as a pet that has made a egg sack she refuses to leave it and build a web is this normal for the species?

    • bug man dan // August 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm // Reply

      I love those, and yes, they will defend their egg sac til they die.
      Maybe one of the hatchlings will survive if you can find gnats or fruit flies.

  16. fire spider // August 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm // Reply

    I own a beautiful 3 month old chilean rose hair tarantula she’s lovely and there so humid and easy to keep as pets so if your going to go for a tarantula that’s the species I would recommend

  17. LCDRHammond // August 1, 2012 at 2:05 am // Reply

    I have a pet house spider I’ve had her for about a week now and she has laid 2 eg sacks LOL going to need a bigger cage :)

  18. I caught a wolf spider with an egg sac wich is good ’cause I’m starting a collection so I don’t need to find many ones
    To:Boy’s life magazine

    • bug man dan // August 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm // Reply

      Wolf spiders are great, but you are going to have to separate the spiderlings when they leave mom. they are cannibals.
      Start collecting clean pill bottles.

  19. Wolf spiders make exelent pets. I caut a rabid wolf spider.Its awesome!!!!!!

  20. i reccomend going and buying a tarantula they are inexpensive and so are crickets to feed them i reccomend a chilean rose hair tarantula as a 1st

  21. dear “ColoradoMtMan” you would house the camel spider the same as any other of the same type. or just the same as any other spider. just keep it safely in a roomy container with its basic needs for living. also as you might already know, camel spiders looove small geckos, and other lizards. that would be like a meal from heaven if u found a small lizard for your spider.

  22. dear ” tahunuva ” since its a barn spider, the insects you just listed would be perfect for feeding your spider. just remember that some of those insects like the ants can get together and take your spider down. actually, one ant, if its lucky, can bight the spider and temporarily paralyze it. then it can kill it. so be careful about the type of ants you get for your spider meal.

  23. ColoradoMtnMan // June 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm // Reply

    Well I just caught a baby camel spider….we named him slayer, how would I house him?
    PS- HE LOVES MOTHS

  24. blue bob 20 // June 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm // Reply

    I caught I would say a Rabid Wolf spider , She’s Beautiful and at about 1 inch in body leght , perfect coloration . What should I do to keep Her Happy and eat , What ? I caught her some bugs , cockaroach – other small spiders – slug – rolly pollies and a few others ! But she don’t seam to wata eat , Why ? And what is a good size terriumn should I set up for her ? Any and all comments Will be appreiciated , THANK YALL

    • bug man dan // August 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm // Reply

      wolf spiders are active hunters and like a little floor space. A medium size kritter keeper is fine. My pet liked crickets and meal worms.

  25. I have two spiders – a daddy longlegs and another kind – but I am wondering if they will eat ants, because that ‘s all I can find except flies and I don’t have a net yet. I also keep them together and they seem to be fine.

    • If its a daddy long legs like most people think of(one body section) technically, its not a spider and from what I’ve seen ( I had one in my wolf spiders container) they ate up all the dead bugs my wolf ate lol … Till my wolf ate it

  26. 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!!!!!!!

  27. 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.

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

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

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

  31. 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! :) :D :P :lol:

  32. i dont like

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. spiders are so cool

  39. always let your spider have air

  40. 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 :o

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

    i am scared of spiders

  42. 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!

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

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

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

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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

  48. 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!?!

  49. 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

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

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