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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

627 Comments on How to keep spiders as pets

  1. Do wolf spiders eat tarantulas? My brother and step brother wants to know!!!

  2. the spiders mom dies anyway after it lays it’s eggs so the babies will live. also you barly have to take care of the spiders after they hatch u just have to feed them im worning you there is thousands of babies to a egg sack. but its mad cool when they hatch.

  3. how do you tell if it’s a male or female?

  4. I got bitten by a jumping spider

  5. hey J.Lo go to the $2 store there are great cages

  6. I’ve just aquired 4 baby wolf spiders. They’ve only been out of the sack of a few weeks but are happily independant. I was just wondering if they need to be kept and or fed in any particular way, for example should i invest in a heat lamp now? do i feed them daily that sort of thing. I dont want them to die they’re my new babies!

  7. Artinnator // April 29, 2008 at 5:49 pm // Reply

    What do you do if you find a spider and kill it, BUT it has babies in an egg sack that it was protecting and now that it is dead the babies will also die. I want to keep the spiders eggs but I do not know how to take care of them. So could anybody out there PLEASE help me because if the eggs die, its all my fault!!! The egg sack is white and the mom was sort of brown and pretty BIG. I was digging when I found it and it was underground in a burrow caring for its young. Could anybody tell me how to take care of the egg sack or at least tell me what kind of spider it was so I can research it and find more information.PLEASE!!!!!!!! I live in North Carolina and it is Spring, that is all the info I can give all of you please think hard.

    Sincerely, Artinnator

  8. i currently have a wolf spider. its a female since the egg sac is hanging off its rear end. i caught it before the sac appeared.

  9. tranquility // April 19, 2008 at 10:25 am // Reply

    do you put in live or dead prey?

  10. Do not keep female Black widows. THey will bite. The venom will not kill you but it will make you Sick.If you want a Black widow Get a male. Also, Do not keep Brown racluses. If they bite you ,the venom Will start to eat away At the tishur . If you are bitten Get medical ation Right away.

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