Spiders are fascinating creatures that evoke intense feelings of admiration as well as fear in people. With their eight legs and multiple eyes, spiders have long been misunderstood and often unfairly maligned.
However, in recent years, more people have started to appreciate these arachnids as pets.If you are considering getting a spider as a pet, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Many pet owners get pets impulsively, and as the novelty wears off, they become tired of caring for them. This usually occurs with spiders. Here are some of the benefits of keeping a spider as a pet:
- Spiders are clean and silent creatures.
- Spiders can inhabit a compact terrarium quite comfortably, requiring very little space.
- Spider maintenance is not costly.
- Spiders require little to no socialization, so a single spider will not be lonely.
- Education and entertainment. Observing pet spiders is fascinating.
Despite being easy to care for and manage, there are a few things to consider before bringing a spider into your home.
- To some extent, almost all spiders are venomous. You should take into account that certain spiders have more potent venom than others before adopting one as a pet. Just as some people would be allergic to a bee sting, some people are allergic to spider venom (even in very weak concentrations).
- Many spiders are good at getting out of places and need a well-sealed environment to keep themselves and your home safe.
- Even when everything is right, most spiders don’t live long. Tarantulas may be the only exception to this rule since they can sometimes live for more than 20 years if they are well cared for.
- Tarantulas have many defense mechanisms. In addition to their somewhat toxic venom, they may flick their abdomen hairs if they feel threatened.
- Most spiders dislike being handled. A tarantula’s abdomen might explode if it is dropped, which is typically fatal.
- Spiders do not get along well with other household pets.
- Certain jurisdictions prohibit the sale and ownership of spiders.
Choosing the Right Kind
It is important to choose a suitable species of spider. Some types of spiders are not suitable as pets due to their aggressive and venomous nature. The best spider species to choose if you’re just getting started with one is one that is neither delicate nor dangerous. A tarantula like the Chilean Rose, Mexican Redleg, or Costa Rican Zebra would make the finest starting spider. The venom of this species is similar to bee venom, making them relatively non-venomous and docile compared to certain other tarantula species.
If you have children, keep in mind that many insect pets fall into the “look but don’t touch” category since they may be too fragile to be handled frequently by anybody other than their primary caretaker. Other species, such as the black widow or the brown recluse, are not recommended as pets due to their potentially dangerous bites.
Housing and Environment
Once you have selected a spider, it is important to provide the right environment for it. Spiders require a habitat that is both secure and comfortable. You might need to place the spider in a jar, a plastic container, an insect terrarium, or a 10-gallon tank, depending on its size and type. It should be spacious enough for your spider to move around and should have adequate ventilation.
Orb-weavers need enough room to spread out their expansive webs. While wolf spiders require horizontal space to move around, climbing spiders thrive in high, rather than wide, environments. Provide a tiny water dish made from the tops of plastic soda or medicine bottles for any spider, along with bark, pebbles, or leaves for cover.
Food and Diet
Spiders require a suitable diet to stay healthy. Some species of spiders feed on live insects such as crickets or mealworms, while others require a more specialized diet. It is important to research your spider’s dietary requirements and provide it with the appropriate food. For example, some spiders require a high-protein diet, while others require a more balanced diet.
One of the benefits of keeping a spider as a pet is that they are relatively low-maintenance. They require minimal attention and can be left alone for long periods of time without suffering any ill effects. However, it is important to keep an eye on your spider and monitor its behavior. If you notice any changes in behavior, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, it may be a sign of a health problem.
Even though spiders are easy to care for, you still need to learn what each type needs. For example, spiders you find in or around your house don’t need as much heat and humidity as tarantulas from warm regions. Once you’ve figured out and given your pet the best place to live, all you have to do is make sure it has enough food and water.
Things to Remember
Contact local, county, and state government entities for information about legality. It is a good idea to do some research before buying a spider because not all locations permit the keeping of spiders, whether poisonous or not.
Learn about the care, housing, environment, and nutrition needed for the pet you are thinking of getting. Despite the low cost of many pet spiders, providing the right environment for some species, particularly the larger exotic tarantulas, can be challenging. Most of the time, you want to mimic their native surroundings as closely as possible. Find out what is needed for food and consider whether you can provide the right diet.
Check out the lifespan of the species you’ve chosen. Many spiders have very limited life spans, although some tarantulas may survive for 20-30 years (and females are tougher than males).
Learn how to handle your spider properly. While this is obvious for venomous animals, it is equally important for non-venomous arachnids. Incorrect handling can result in catastrophic or deadly wounds.
Find out which species are venomous from a reliable source; keep in mind that even a minimally venomous tarantula can inflict severe discomfort. In addition, tarantulas have small hairs on their abdomen that they expel if threatened; these may be extremely irritating and deadly if they get into your eyes. If you have a tarantula, make sure you learn not just how to avoid bites but also how to deal with bites if they do. You should also learn what to do if you come into contact with the spider’s irritating belly hairs.
Overall, spiders can make great pets for those who are fascinated by these eight-legged creatures. They are low maintenance, fascinating to observe, and come in a wide range of colors and sizes. If you are considering getting a spider as a pet, be sure to choose a suitable species, provide the right environment and diet, and monitor your spider’s behavior for any signs of ill health. With the right care and attention, your spider can make a fascinating and rewarding pet.