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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

109 Comments on How to Keep Spiders as Pets

  1. X.P.E.R.T On Spiders // June 18, 2011 at 11:59 am // Reply

    Will they live 2x longer in captivity? because I want to catch a giant wolf spider, but I’m afraid when i catch it it will die within a few days because of its age… 🙁

  2. i found 2 black spiders 4 daddy long legs and a brown one and keeping them all

  3. i just found a spider that is about a half of a inch long and it has light brown legs and a dark brown body i found it in the grass what is it?

    • X.P.E.R.T On Spiders // June 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm // Reply

      Sounds to me like a jumping spider if its web is wide probably an orb weaver if funnel more like probably jumping spider.

  4. awesome guy // May 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm // Reply

    I would get nonvenomes spiders.

  5. awesome man // May 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    I have tranchalas,blackwidow,brownwidow,wolfspider,brownrecluse and hundred of spiders each feamale and male

  6. shadi1217 // May 18, 2011 at 9:26 am // Reply

    how do i care for my spider

  7. I wish I would of read this information allot earlier, than may be my spider would still be alive today.

  8. Shiny Hydreigon // March 31, 2011 at 8:57 am // Reply

    Bought Red Rose Hair tarantula like 2 or 3 years ago, awesome pet!

  9. by the way i found a spider at the back of my old bag it has only 4 eyes and has red color on legs and brown body what is that??

  10. how do you tell if it`s a boy or a girl

  11. Interesting. Heh heh, my sister would FREAK if I tryed this. P.S. My sister is aracnafobic (that means scared of spiders!)

  12. i can cach daddy longlegs with my hands! 😉

    • hey they’re venomous

      • Dark-Star // January 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm //

        Yeah but their fangs can’t get through human skin, unlike Black Widows or Brown Recluses. Don’t let them walk over an open wound and you’ll be peachy.

      • Shiny Hydreigon // March 31, 2011 at 8:59 am //

        MythBusters tried this Adam was bitten twice with his arm in a large tube of spiders and he was fine the bites were tiny.

  13. i have a spider and i just dicovered this website it has became very helpful.

  14. fishinglover // October 23, 2010 at 9:46 pm // Reply

    i didn’t know you can do that 😮

  15. We have a beautiful stitching spider, aka writer, in front of a window on the south side of the house. Haven’t had a frost yet, we rescued her from the neighbors yard where we know she would have been killed. She has layed 3 egg sacs! We would like to take her inside for the winter, is that possible? Would she live? Please hurry with answer the nights are getting gradually colder.

    • did you ever save it ? and if you did do you feed live or dead prey?

      • nc viking // November 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm //

        No we didn’t. Read up and found out they like natural sunlight and bigger spaces. Decided not to confine her. She did leave us 4 egg sacs before going though. Hopefully will have plenty next year to enjoy in the yard. Neighbors think I’m weird but it’s okay.

  16. i just got a grass spider yesterday and she/he has only built the tunnel part of her web. how long does it take for them to build their webs.

  17. uhm if u have an Orb-Weaver where would you keep it?? i kept it in a box with opn holes And with lock for safety that my Black widow is safe =)

    • Black widows love dark small places so it should be ok but diffrent speders spin defrent sized webbs so if he looked cramp change to summit bigger nd more hostile 😀

  18. I have four jumping spiders, two are small and two are quite big (6mm). Because two of them are bigger, they always eat the flies and moths i put in their container, and the other small ones get hungry. should i let the small spiders go?

  19. i look after and feed a spider on my landing, it lives on its web and just throw in moths or any insects tht fly in when i leave the windo open, i haave had it about 3 months and its getting big, i dont no wat spider it is thoo, it has a massive back compard to its body its brown with white dots on its back, and i live in the uk, any ideas on wat spider it is

    • It’s an ordanary house spider. And try to tear off the moths wings… as it can cause deficiency in some off its sences 😀

  20. I have a male Phidippus apacheanus jumping spider. (red body, black legs) any tips on care?

  21. spidercage45 // September 2, 2010 at 6:27 pm // Reply

    oh yea and are european cross spiders ok to keeep as pet?

  22. how do you tell if a spider is male or female?

  23. iwannaspider // August 21, 2010 at 7:13 pm // Reply

    My mom thinks it would reduce the quality of life if we kept one. So then I ask her for a tarantula and she reminds for the 1 billionth time that she hates spiders! I can’t win!

    • spiderrescue // January 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm // Reply

      tell your mum that in the wild the spider would probably die an extremely painful death from being eaten alive, so that you would be doing it a favour by keeping it in captivity.

  24. I have a jar for bugs to crawl in, and I want to know how I clean it withuot getting the spider out.

    • Jigg-Jiggz // April 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm // Reply

      You’ll need to get a cube-tip and gently rub against all the moist walls… this is evaporation and can get very hot and kill your little spider. What ever you do, DO NOT ever destroy their web because this is their now natural enviroment

  25. i have a grass spider in a jar and its rlly fun to watch it eat 😀

  26. spiderkeeper // August 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm // Reply

    how do i regularly take care of spiders?

  27. I keep 3 rather large UK house spiders at work. Geraldine, Maximus and Laura. They live in a converted A4 paper box with two floors, some stairs, decorations on the wall and windows. The spiders seem really happy in it and with each others company and they get fed regularly.

  28. i love spiders

  29. i caught a false black widow spider and have had it for about 9 hours now and it keeps trying to get out of the jar even with 2 dead sow bettles and 1 horse fly.

    P.S. Do spiders like live or dead food?

  30. Jeffery the Jumper // July 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm // Reply

    I caught a Jumping spider about 2 weeks ago. I feed him cobweb spiders only. Does anyone know any tips to help him live or anything, do they like water? I also heard that they do good in captivity because they realize that your friendly and are helping them stay safe and plump. Is this true? Thanks.

    • Jigg-Jiggz // April 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm // Reply

      No, spiders never count humans as (Friendly). spiders always are terrified of humans b/c of our size. rarely do they let you hold them with out trying to escape. I have a pet jumping spider named Crunch,If you are planning on having a pet spider you will need to gain all your trust by holding and letting him rome around in your room.

  31. i`ve been catching some male huntsman spiders. when i feed them they just go nuts. by the way, i have a female huntsman but i don`t know how old she is

  32. Andrealist // July 14, 2010 at 4:08 am // Reply

    I captured one last night.

  33. Really weird, but I found an “itsy-bitsy” spider in my bathroom one night. I tried to stomp on it with my slipper. It just kept on going. Later I tried to squash it in a tissue. Then I thought: “It still keeps going so it needs to live. Later it “drunkenly” began to slowly move across the room in a zig-zag fashion. An hour later I saw it coming towards me on the tile floor. It seemed o.k. The following night it appeared again. Three days later it was up on my kitchen counter. I started talking to it. I swear it listened and stood very still and then I moved away and it did too. Looks like a have a pet spider of 1/2″ “small”.

  34. spiderlover22 // June 23, 2010 at 10:33 am // Reply

    i Found a Bold Jumper today. i put a tiny cricket and it gobbled it right up! cant wait to bring it home (at my grandparents house) 😮

    • can you catch daddy long leg spiders?

      • Spiderfan // August 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm //

        My mom caught a Jumping Spider for me and it seems to be kind of stressed. It climbed onto the wall before catching it. I felt a little pinch when I put it in the cage but it saw that it already was in the cage. could it have been a mosquito or was it the spider? We get bitten a lot by mosquitos. I love these little Jumping Spiders though. I think i’ll name it Jumpy. 🙂

      • today i’m going to catch a dady long leg spider

      • yes you can but daddy long legs are weak

      • Jigg-Jiggz // April 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm //

        Yes, but grand daddys are the hardest to take care of. they can be very picky eaters so feed it about 3 times a week.

      • Yes you can I have one named Mabellma and she would be very good at spider basketball. 🙂

  35. iwanttogetaspider // June 5, 2010 at 9:06 am // Reply

    im 13 years old and i want to catch one but i dont know where to find them comment to my comment to tell me where to find them plz

  36. Englishbugie // May 20, 2010 at 8:19 pm // Reply

    I just got a new male jumping spider. My friends love seeing it eat stuff so they tell me to always have a bug in his container. They say that Colby(his name) will eventualy eat it. But in some other websites I have read that if they eat to much that then they will get to fat to live and die. But one of my friends says that he won’t happen. Do you know if he will get to fat and die if I feed him one bug every day or should I give him one every two days?

  37. Here is a tip…READ IT!:
    This has happened to me, when your spider is lost in your house, DOUBLE-CHECK before sitting on the toilet! DOUBLE-CHECK!

  38. i have a black widow spider and its a sweet disciplined pet i like it a lot and good towards our ecosystem and can be a great help to reduce growling insects.

  39. Spidernumb // April 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm // Reply

    I don’t like spiders either, if I see a spider I stomp it. Sorry to all you who love spiders, they just freak me out!!!

    • spidercage45 // September 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm // Reply

      lol its ok i didnt like them at first either

    • Coastal Coyote // October 9, 2010 at 10:06 pm // Reply

      I used to be scared of spiders, but I love them now 🙂
      You should start by stop killing them. Then try to touch spiders like wolf spiders, tarantulas, or other big spiders. They are actually really nice!

  40. spiderzrule // April 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm // Reply

    I am currently keeping a very active redback. Reb backs can be dangerous but if you take the right precautions they are fine. She laid 6 eggsacks already and 2 have hatched! the babies are so cute but the swarm everywhere!!!

    I now have a very rapid wolf spider who i love dearly and she loves her cage that i keep her in. She also is a pig with her eating!!!

    • Wolf spiders often practice superfluous killing. That is to say they over kill, so be careful not to overfeed the little girl.

  41. I got a pet jumping spider today, when i put him in i allready had a moth in their he went strait for it it was sweet! p.s. i named him peter (i used to have a pet centipede i caught but he was boring he’d just sit under his rock all day i got rid of him in case he ate my spider though)

  42. i have a pet spider but i dont know what type she is.she is a kind of light yellow or gray does anyone know what type she is

    • SpiderWomen // August 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm // Reply

      Be careful!! Be sure to identify all spiders on the internet to make sure that they are NOT a 1)black widow or 2) brown recluse!!!!

  43. Wolfspidamidget // March 13, 2010 at 11:56 am // Reply

    how long does a rabid wolf spider live?

  44. spiderdude // March 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm // Reply

    Spiders live from 3 years to a record of 45 years (mexican red knee tarantula). males live shorter lives than females do. Try getting all of the web as intact as you can, and make sure to get the eggsac with no harm done to it. Be careful… theres going to be ALOT of babies!!

  45. I I’ve had a female Jumping spider for a year now. Whats their average life span?

  46. I am so scared of spiders! I would never keep one as a pet!

    • I think it would be a great idea to keep a spider as a pet. I just hope they don’t get bothered by it.

    • If you would never keep a spider as a pet then why are you here?

    • bigfurryspiders // November 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm // Reply


      Never keep a pet spider or something your scared of. Most people who take care of spiders love them (or at least like them). Spiders are slow and if you try and take care of it im afriad you will squish or worse get bitten. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be carfull everyone if you are trying to like them start with a grand-daddy (harverster).

  47. i would do this, but my mom would be like, ” augh! spider!!” and then kill it.
    i might keep it outside. and then i could harvest the webbing and use it for something cool..

  48. If you want to have lots of spiders at a time just ceep them in a small
    aquarium. But I recomend just web-bilders or it could get messy! Although it is fun to watch!

  49. spiderfreak // January 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm // Reply

    to JMT: it will disturb ur grass spider if it is covered with web and the only way to move it is to ruin the web

  50. I have a female grass spider with an eggsack posted in an upper corner of my house. I call her Charlie. How can I move her and her eggsack without disturbing her too much?

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