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Care & Feeding of Tarantula Spiders

Tarantula Spiders

Tarantulas look sturdy, but are delicate and can die within days if not given proper care and feeding. Prepare the habitat and educate yourself on tarantulas before bringing the spider home. Be cautious when handling a tarantula. Like most spiders, tarantulas can bite. While the bites are not fatal, they may surprise you and cause you to drop the spider to an early death.

Tarantulas also have urticating hairs that can irritate human skin.


  • A common mistake is to use a cage that is too big for the tarantula, said Michael Jacobi of Tarantulas.com. These spiders are burrowing creatures that prefer confined spaces. Jacobi recommends a habitat no larger than three times the leg span of the tarantula in length and width. Tarantulas have leg spans of three to 12 inches. A good lid is important. Tarantulas climb well and are often stronger than they look.

Inside the Habitat

  • Place the cage in a quiet area out of direct sunlight. Cover the bottom of the enclosure with ground cover like Vermiculite or sand. Add a layer of chipped bark over the top. The tarantula needs no toys or decoration in its cage. It only wants a place to burrow and hide.


  • The humidity of the enclosure is important to the tarantula, especially when it is time to molt. Place a humidity monitor in the enclosure to keep an eye on levels. Humidity levels inside the enclosure need to be at 50 percent or more to ensure good health for the tarantula. Increase moisture levels by placing a capful of water inside the enclosure. For small spiders, a soda cap will do. Use a spray bottle to mist the enclosure weekly, but do not spray directly on the tarantula and avoid overly wet conditions.


  • Tarantulas kept in captivity feed primarily on crickets sold at pet stores. Depending on the size of the spider, a tarantula will eat two to 10 crickets a week. Tarantulas will also eat worms, moths and caterpillars caught in the wild. Tarantulas prefer live prey as food. Feed young spiders every day, but older spiders can be feed every four to seven days. Large spiders can go 10 to 14 days between feedings.


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