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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. this is good website for children and parents

  2. What do barn spiders eat and will ty be fairly easy for me to keep? I have a large one

  3. spiderfetish16607 // August 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm // Reply

    theres a black widow and Im goin to make it my pet, what do they eat?

  4. Cool

  5. Kittykrazy123 // August 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    I love daddy long legs but alive prey or dead prey?????because dead would be a lot easier for me but for a daddy long leg what kind of bug would be preferred?????

  6. I have a daddy long leg and its cute!

  7. I have a jumping spider in my House

  8. adhamdoddy // July 15, 2013 at 9:07 am // Reply

    can i get a terantula and put a real plant in its cage

  9. Spider lover // July 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm // Reply

    I agree with funnel\grass spider

  10. I have an empty pickle jar and put in some dirt and a fake leaf also filled up a water bottle cap, but not sure wut kind of spider 2 put in

  11. I dont no how to keep spiderss as pets and i want to construct a cage.can any help? thanks

  12. What kind of food does a daddy long leg prefer.

  13. I catch wolf spider a big one

  14. Spider keeper // June 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm // Reply

    Can you keep two spiders ( black-yellow garden spider & a tin-legged spider) in the same tank??????

  15. What do I need to sustain a black widow.. I already have it.

  16. I just caught a regal jumping spider in my house he’s so kool! I
    Had him in my old pinkie mouse tank for an hour then I remembered
    i had a bug terrarium with bugs still in it so I coaxed him in there
    It was kool he jumped into the jar on the side of it then jumped to
    The bottom! I’m so excited he’s the first spider I’m not scared of!

  17. spider bite // June 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm // Reply

    barn spiders will live anywhere good for constructing there large orb webs.Barn spiders prey on flying and crawling insects.

  18. Spiderwort // June 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm // Reply

    Can you keep a daddy long leg for a pet?

    • You can. The idea that they are the most venomous spiders but their mouths are just too small to delver a bite, is a myth. They have similar oral structures to the Brown Recluse. They have what is called “uncate” fangs where a tooth meets the fang like a pair of tongs come together. And as gruesomely seen, the brown recluse is capable of packing a major bite. So why wouldn’t a daddy long-legs spider be able to? And as for their venom, it has not been tested to be classified as more lethal than any other breed.

  19. i have a spider that is about the size of a penny and is brown with faint black stripes on its legs. can some one tell me what it is?i found it in my house

  20. I have a jumping house spideran i deed it with lots of crickits cause i caught ton
    ight a lot.

  21. dualaretydoesminecraft // May 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm // Reply

    its nocturnal, do not keep two in close proximity, they can be in the same container but at a good distance from one another

  22. tarurtula // May 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm // Reply

    please help me I live in Lancaster californa and I am thinking about getting a pet tarartula and I did some research and it said they eat small mice and lizard’s and I don’t have the heart to give them that do they half to have that? if so is there som thing else that I can give him and not give him that? and I have a five gallon fish tank and I use to have a fish in it and I have a very strong and very smart cat who when I would go to sleep he would get into it can I use that top and just duck tape the lid? or use some thing else? and do you guy’s know where I can buy one around here? can I give him raw meat like pork chop steak ham burger meat?

  23. Anonymous // May 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm // Reply

    I hve a tarantula hw would I knw wat else I should feed it n I dnt knw if its a girl or boy? Helpppp I do give it flys almost everyday…

    • dead star // May 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm // Reply

      Tarantulas only need a few crickets every few weeks. They could go for a while without eating, but they do need water available every day.

  24. Budder spider // May 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm // Reply

    I cought a yellow spider yesterday and I dont know what it is it has black eyes blacktips on its feet and black fangs if any of you could help me out that would be awsome

  25. Caught a desert recluse

  26. well i just found 2 little spiders one of them is brown and it is short and has long legs i know it isnt a daddylong leggs though i found it in my driveway it is very fast and another one that is small and gray and jumps what are they called??

  27. I just caught a grass spider and a small spider that was in my bathroom. I know the name, but it is very complicated to spell. They both are behaving in there habitats.

  28. newbie spider // February 25, 2013 at 11:37 am // Reply

    i live in england and wondered what spiders i could catch in winter could you list types and tell me if they are web makers ect

    • miss-know-it-all // March 29, 2013 at 3:17 am // Reply

      house spiders come ouyt all year round and are verry common in england, but are also verry teritorial. i should know i have some.

  29. i have jumping spider

  30. I have found a spider in my house, can’t tell what kind it is, it is small ish about the size of a 1p coin, have no clue how to look after it?! Help please?!

  31. Kitten monster // February 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm // Reply

    I found a baby house spider inside, and I really wanted to keep it tilit was bigger. She/he is no bigger than the dot in this ‘i’ what should I feed her? Maybe bits of meat till she is bigger than a knat?

  32. how often do i clean a jumping spiders cage/how do i get rid of it

  33. i have a crab spider and i have in a pet carrier is that ok?

  34. spider fearing lady // January 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm // Reply

    Well I once put three spiders in a jar,two of them had squishy red butts and black bodys.And then two wolf spiders…why dident they fight?

  35. I have a tarantula, she will not eat? What could be wrong?

  36. I have a pet black house spider

  37. ive been feeding wild jumping spiders in my hydroponic lettuce raft for a few days. i find midges or small flies, and they jump fast like rattlesnakes. pretty neat. time will tell if they tame for treats. what if you could domesticate spiders? “here deliver this secret microchip to griswald in accounting, he’ll know what to do!” lol! great creatures

    love the nature

  38. grass spider nerd // November 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm // Reply

    I have a grass spider and it lives in an old clear jar it loves eating earwegs and grasshoppers.

  39. I have a bunch of water spiders is it ok to bring them inside for winter? If not what should i do to keep them warm all winter? They need to live or i will be crushed.

  40. Spider lover // November 8, 2012 at 9:41 am // Reply

    I was planning to buy a tarantula, i think i will feed it with cockroaches like my scorpion.

    • Don’t do that! do your research and feed the fragile spider right. Tarantulas want crickets and flies and meal worms. not cockroaches.

  41. younblessman // November 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm // Reply

    I have a jumping spider

  42. I just caught a Wolf Spider. Put him in a mason jar, drilled holes in the lid, put in leaves and dirt. He’s not harmful right? I have two little ones and a couple dogs.

    • hey spider dumb the wolf spider is harmless their bite is no worse than a bee sting unless u have an alergic reaction then you should seek medical help ASAP

  43. I’ve got a spider that jumps all around my container. I can’t tell if it is a ‘Jumping Spider’ or a ‘Fishing Spider’? Can you guys tell me? Thanks!

  44. i just fond a wolfspider thanks for the info

  45. house spider // October 8, 2012 at 1:10 am // Reply

    I have one as a pet, she LOVES egg yolks.

  46. I had a funnel maker in a old hermit crab tank it did fine

  47. Found a wonderful Regal jumping spider in the grass near my pump house, it is so cute and we have kept it in a clear cookie jar for 2 weeks now, we have a bowl filled with marbles to put the water in….just to prevent accidental drownings. We add fresh insects like grasshoppers and moths nightly.

  48. Unknown Spider? // September 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm // Reply

    I found a very strange spider and i cant identify it. I searched multiple sites online. it has a gray butt, black head and orangish redish legs. I found it in my house so i do know it is some kind of house spider. Anyone know what kind of spider it is or have any suggestions for me to research? Thankyou

  49. Just housed two large Wolf Spiders (3- 1/2″). Huge spiders for our area. They are super cool and they’re very curious. I found them in a grain field a month ago when the heat of the day here peaked. I was surprised to have seen them in the day light, although harvest had just taken place around that time. I’m still a little leary leaving these in my home

  50. hi i really love spiders and i want to take care of one barn spider. But i dont know how to take care of it, got any tips?

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