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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.


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!


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

52 Comments on How to Keep Spiders as Pets

  1. Chihuahuaspider953 // December 16, 2008 at 7:09 pm // Reply

    I just caught a spider today and I really need some help. It is a meduim sized spider and it is furry. I would like to know what type of spider it is , if it is poisonous , and what sized tank it needs. If you know any of the questions answers please type them right away. Thankyou

  2. I caught a velvet spider a few days ago and would like to know if I can keep it as a pet? it’s really fascinating to watch!!! It’s already eaten one bug and spinning all over the place. The spider’s in a container with holes and I’ve put some sand, bark, a rock and leaves in it. How much space does this spider require and I’d also like to know if it’s venemous?

  3. Spiders ROCK

  4. This would be LOTS of fun.

  5. Are Writing Spiders good to keep as pets???

  6. hey i just got a funnel web spider in a small enclosure. how do i give it water other than a bottle cap. the enclosure is to small for that and it would fall in

  7. I have a pet spider she lives outside I feed her evey week.

  8. I keep two or three daddy long legs, but I let them be free, I love watching them.

  9. Wait until you leave home, or keep them outside some where, maybe in a shed.

  10. I had a pet black widow outside my house near the beach. She laid her eggs, it was crazy!!!! There were a million little baby spiders running across a web on the top of my grill. It was so cool to see her every night, sometimes I’d be worried when I wouldn’t see her so she wouldn’t bite me but she was just hunting. I had to let her go because we moved but I bet she still lives there! I also had another pet spider at the same location but after the San Diego fires it went missing, that sukka was HUGE!!!

  11. ive kept wolf spiders as pets all my life! i highly reccomend it! theyre great to watch, especially at feeding time 🙂

  12. awesome tips!

  13. wat i read help me alot ,i even got a spider. the spider i got is beatiful.

    thanks alot. : )

  14. nonameboy1234 // August 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm // Reply

    My mom loves spiders, but she just won’t have them in her house. I tried to convince her that the tank I was gonna use was made completely of plastic and is truly un-escapable (which it is ofcourse) but she wont let it past her. What should I do besides totally give it up, because that won’t happen…

  15. I wonder if daddy longlegs are good pets.

  16. codebreaker // August 1, 2008 at 8:44 pm // Reply

    well i lovespiders. but my parents hate them. what do i do to talk them into it

  17. animalfreak // August 1, 2008 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    me and my friend just caught a jumping spider and a black spider and made a habitat for them. we were wondering what to feed them.

  18. i got bit while feeding my spider

  19. Hi I’m Joanna and want to study bugs when I’m older so i’ll take all of you’re advice.

  20. I love bugs but I have had arachnaphobia.Now that I an getting a pet grass spider that will be a thing of the past!

  21. my name is tommie i am 7 years old and I colect tuns of spiders. can you help me catch fast spiders Thank you

  22. that sounds awesome we have to try that

  23. natureboy983 // July 9, 2008 at 7:28 pm // Reply

    i just cought one she just built a web

  24. natureboy983 // July 8, 2008 at 9:58 pm // Reply

    well piglet some males are bigger but mostly females are bigger.

  25. natureboy983 // July 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm // Reply

    thats cool i will follow that!

  26. I have got to try that! none of the listed spiders live near me….can i improvise?

  27. I have caught a spider and want to keep it i want to know what type it is it is a very tiny one and it is black what is it?

  28. How many spiders per jar????

  29. why will my pet wolf spider want dig a barrow in my jar

  30. i luv spiders!

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

  32. 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.

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

  34. I got bitten by a jumping spider

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

  36. 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!

  37. 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

  38. 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.

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

    do you put in live or dead prey?

  40. 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.

  41. You can tell A jumping spider From a Reaguler spider by: Look for yellow on them, And wach them When you first get near one he will try to jump away from you.

    • Smokethecoyotereal // May 12, 2020 at 5:59 pm // Reply

      Then I think I have a brown jumping spider! I haven’t seen it jump though… it hid under the tiny rocks I have. It does have a yellow-ish tint though.

  42. Gone fishin' // February 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm // Reply

    There are so many different kinds of spiders where I live, mostly becuase I live back in the woods. Thank’s for the tips.

  43. Thats cool but I dont think spiders should be in cages.

  44. Hey! I have a black Mexican spider for a month now and everything is going fine but I would really like it if I make her used with me and make her comfortable with walking on my hand for example. How do I do this? I tried approaching her a few times but she releases hairs on me. What do I do wrong?

  45. great! free spiders!

  46. hi how do you find a spider and how do you care for it

  47. thanks for the cool facts

  48. how do you clean the cage

  49. how do you feed them

  50. keep huntsman spiders

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