Taking Care Of Tarantulas
Wed, April 21, 2021

Taking Care Of Tarantulas

If you buy an adult tarantula, you would be getting an animal that is at least three to 10 years old, and they deserve to be treated with respect / Photo by: Lukasz Sadlowski via Shutterstock

 

Having a creepy crawler in one's house can feel really unsettling, so it can be hard to imagine having a spider as a pet. Spiders have a reputation for being venomous, hairy, eight-legged creatures. However, keeping a tarantula is a very serious responsibility that one should think about before even stepping foot in a store. If you buy an adult tarantula, you would be getting an animal that is at least three to 10 years old, and they deserve to be treated with respect. 

Even though taking care of them is no doubt a lot of responsibility, pet owners should also know that taking care of a tarantula is also very easy. It needs little attention. The one thing you have to remember, though, is that they should never be released outside if they're under your care. This is according to Cornell University, a private university in New York, as stated on their official website.

Tarantulas: To Be or Not to Be a Pet?

Some young boys would love to keep a pet spider in their bedrooms, but there are more than 800 tarantula species out there, and some can make better pets than others. The Spruce Pets, a website that offers practical, real-life tips and training advice to help you care for your pet, also said that for starters, they can begin with ground dwellers or burrowers. 

These kinds of species tend to be more docile and slow movers, which makes them easier to keep. These tarantula species usually live around 10 years or more in captivity. For spider enthusiasts who are just starting to take care of a tarantula, they can have the Mexican red-knee which can live around 20 to 30 years for females, while the males only live for about 10 years. 

If you have the time to take care of a more challenging species, you can always take care of an arboreal species. These tarantulas are quite fast and agile, which makes them more difficult to handle. 

Some young boys would love to keep a pet spider in their bedrooms, but there are more than 800 tarantula species out there, and some can make better pets than others / Photo by: Leena Robinson via Shutterstock

 

Provide Housing

According to Josh’s Frogs LLC, a website that provides information about reptile care and more, an adult tarantula needs a 10-gallon terrarium. The curly hair tarantula is terrestrial and they don’t need vertical space compared to other tarantula species. It is also advisable to use about three to four inches of coconut fiber, peat moss, or similar moisture-retaining substrate. 

The enclosure for your tarantula should also have roughly 60-70% of humidity. To achieve this, pet owners should have a small water dish in one corner of the tank. Remember to keep the temperature of their cage between 75 and 80 degrees, and to achieve this, one should keep a heating pad under their cage.

Aside from that, the bottom of the cage should contain one to three inches of substrate. The Tarantula Guide, an online portal that provides articles about tarantula care, stated that there are several types of bedding that owners can use to line the bottom of a tarantula’s tank. One can use sterilized potting soil or Eco Earth. Decorations on the tank are not necessary for the tarantula, but most pet owners prefer to have a more natural-looking tank for their pet.

Understanding Tarantula Behavior

Tarantulas can be an amazing pet to own, but there are times that they can act unusually. For beginners, there is also a huge chance that you might not know what their behavior means. In an article published by Tarantula 101, a website that provides guides and facts for tarantula owners, they suggested that there are several tarantula behaviors that one must be familiar with when taking care of a tarantula.

The Threat Pose

Tarantulas can be dangerous especially if they are threatened. When they feel this way, they will do a threat pose. This behavior means that your pet is warning you that they will bite you once they have the chance to do so. It is their way of saying that you have to back off or they’ll bite you. There are two styles to doing this stance: the first is when they raise one or two front legs, and the other is when they fully stretch their legs. 

Tarantulas can be dangerous especially if they are threatened. When they feel this way, they will do a threat pose / Photo by: Narin Nonthamand via Shutterstock

 

Loss of Appetite

There are two main reasons why a tarantula loses its appetite. They can be full or they can be in the pre-molting stage. If you know that you fed your pet a few days ago, this might mean that they are still full, and they do not want to add anything to their stomach in the meantime.

On the other hand, if they are not eating during the pre-molting stage, check other signs to make sure that the tarantula is molting soon. One of the signs of a premolt tarantula is a slow, big, and shiny abdomen. They might also spend more time in the burrow and show changes in their moods, as they start to become more agitated.