The Pros and Cons of Keeping Spiders as Pets

If you aren’t particularly fussy about owning a spider as a pet, you might enjoy keeping them. While spiders are certainly some of the most taboo animals out there, with humans both liking and disliking them, they’ve gone to be quite popular as pets within recent years.

Not only are their hunting and homemaking behaviors interesting to see, but they’re also silent, so they won’t be disturbing any of your housemates or neighbors. However, spiders are great at escaping, so it’s best not to keep any species you don’t want getting lost at home.

Despite their reputation with humans, many have perceived them as great pets. There are more than 800 types of spiders, so there seem to be a perfect species for everybody.

spider, tarantula, close up of spider

Still, owning a pet spider is a far cry from owning other animals. Spiders are more seen as a collector’s piece rather than an additional family member. But if it’s exactly what you’re looking for, then spiders are definitely for you.



1. Compact Size

Spiders are tiny creatures that won’t take up lots of space in your home. Spiders may come in different shapes and sizes, but only a few of them have leg spans that are longer than a foot.

This small size makes spiders easy to house, as they take up only a tiny space in whatever area they’re kept in. Discretion also comes with their small size.

So if you’re living with family members or roommates that aren’t fond of pets that run around, spiders will be staying out of their way.

2. Cost

Except for rare tarantulas that you could spend hundreds of dollars on by investing in specific food and housing needs, other species of spiders cost almost nothing. You can look for and capture them anywhere. Most species, including tarantulas, eat at least one to two crickets every week. If you don’t have access to free-range crickets, you can ask your butcher for a one-tenth ounce loin of a center-cut cricket.

3. Longer Lifespan

Spider lifespans greatly vary depending on their species. Also, female tarantulas have an average lifespan of around 4-5 times longer than males. So, if you want to get the most out of your pet spiders, it’s highly recommended that you buy a female tarantula.

Female tarantulas usually live within 10 and 30 years, with a lot of them lasting for around 20 years. This very long lifespan long outlives a lot of other pets.

4. Low Maintenance

Spiders are low-maintenance, but you still need to study the needs of the type you’re keeping. For instance, tarantulas from tropical climates don’t require the same heat and humidity as with other spiders you catch in or throughout your house. Once you’ve understood their requirements and provide them with the best habitat, all you need to do is maintain sufficient food and water supplies.

5. Educational and Entertaining

You can observe hunting, burrowing, web-building, and other activities depending on the type of spider you’re keeping. Species like the orb-weavers create orderly, symmetrical cobwebs over the whole tank area. Other species like the long-bellied cellar spider and the American house or cobweb spider like to build their webs by the corners.

Be careful before reaching into a webbed corner as black widows also spin theirs similarly. Roaming species like the wolf spiders like stalking their prey on the ground. Some tarantulas like ambushing their prey from burrows, and some jumping spiders launch an attack from the air.


1. Great at Escaping

Spiders are great at squeezing themselves in and out of tiny openings. Taping the lid of your enclosure can help in sealing the possible escape way, but keep in mind that you still need a way to drop the crickets in. When you give your pet water or food, pay close attention as numerous species move very quickly and will use the chance to go up to your arm or hide behind your furniture.

2. Safety

A lot of poisonous garden and house spiders aren’t a threat to people because they have fangs that are too small to break the skin and mild venom. Other such as most of the tarantulas kept as pets have bites that may result in moderate swelling and pain, which can be compared to bee stings. However, some people have allergic reactions, which can sometimes be severe.

To reduce risk, refrain from handling any spider. High venomous spiders like the brown recluses and black widows cause illness and even death. Avoid making these spiders into pets.

3. Handling

A lot of pet store employees and tarantula owners tend to handle their spiders. However, most experts caution against this as, similar to other spiders, tarantulas are delicate species and can be easily killed or injured. Handling your spider usually causes stress that triggers aggressive reactions like an escape attempt or a bite. If you want to keep something you can carry around your shoulder or in your pocket, then a spider won’t be a good choice.