Keeping a Tarantula as a Pet

Many people are scared of spiders so they wouldn't even dream of keeping one as a pet. But there are others who are more adventurous and wouldn't hesitate to own a spider. Among spiders, tarantulas are one of the most common species that are kept as pets. If you wish to own a pet tarantula you must know the important facts about them so that you can decide if it is the right pet for you. Here are some interesting facts about tarantula: 1) Lifespan - A tarantula has a longer lifespan than most of the other pets. In fact some female tarantulas can live up to twenty years. So it will need your care and attention for a longer time. 2) Species - There are a lot of species of tarantulas that can be kept as pets. Most tarantulas originate from tropical regions of Asia and would require similar environment in captivity. Some species require more care while some are more aggressive than others. So make sure you do proper research before keeping one as a pet. 3) Habitat - Tarantulas can live happily in small enclosed spaces. The rule of thumb is to buy a box or case that is 4 to 5 times longer than the tarantula's legs when they are fully extended. A tarantula requires a humid environment to survive so make sure the humidity level inside the cage is maintained at the recommended level. Keep some arrangement inside the case so that he can climb or hide to keep himself busy whenever he needs some activity. Do not forget to include a secure water dish. The lid of the case must be secure as a tarantula is a strong spider and can escape easily. 4) Diet - Tarantulas dig on small insects like mealworms, crickets etc. Occasionally you can feed them small rodents like mice. 5) Handling - Do not carry your tarantula hanging on your shoulder or some other part of your body. Remember a tarantula can die if his stomach bursts which can happen if he falls from someone's shoulder. So handle your pet tarantula with care and do not move him unnecessarily. In addition you must not touch tarantulas while they are molt. Female tarantulas molt once a year. While they molt they will flip on their back or sideways. Do not panic and think that your spider is dead or dying! During this period they are extremely fragile and should not be handled for at least a week.