Quit wrinkling your nose like that- it’s not such a crazy idea, after all. You don’t have to be a spider-enthusiast to love and appreciate a tarantula friend in your home. Tarantulas are perhaps one of the most low-stress and easy-going pets to have, requiring little and offering much. The following are four reasons that just might convince you to pick a tarantula the next time you’re feeling lonely for a new furry friend.
- Face Your Fears
Live on the wild side with a tarantula in your room. It’s not half as scary as it immediately seems, but you might not feel that way at first. In particular, full grown tarantulas can be something of a visual nightmare. However, once you’ve learned to face your fears you will quickly find that tarantulas, as with all other Earthlings, are creatures of complexity and beauty. If you have a potent fear of spiders in general, now’s the chance to conquer that. You don’t need to handle your tarantula- just have it around for a while. You’d be hard-pressed to not eventually become fond of it (at least a little).
- Zero Maintenance
Imagine being able to feed your dog only two or three times a month. Wouldn’t that be great? While that’s not possible for canines, it is possible for tarantulas. Adult tarantulas typically only need to eat a few crickets a few times a month- talk about cutting your food costs. Most tarantulas also require relatively cramped quarters and few accessories. Some tarantulas like their habitats to be moist, while others are from desert regions and will expect to be dry. Count on needing a tank with appropriate substrate, a heat lamp, and an out-of-the-way location.
You will also want to pick up a hygrometer to be able to check the humidity level of your tarantula’s home. If it’s your first tarantula, make sure to choose a species that is hearty, and stay away from spiderlings. You’d be surprised at how devastating it can be to lose your eight-legged friend too early. However, aside from the fine print, it’s relatively easy to keep tarantulas, especially if you have a multitude of individual small habitats under one heat lamp.
- Pimp Your Enclosure
Go big or go home. (Not literally- tarantulas become stressed out if given too much space). Hobby Lobby has great sales on their glass enclosures, and instead of sticking with the standard fish tank set-up, you can get really creative and make habitats out of these glass boxes. Make sure your tarantulas can breathe and are both accessible and secure; aside from this, you can use almost any decorative piece as a home for your tarantula. Who needs a boring old fish tank when you can have a rustic birdhouse-style glass enclosure painted in teal?
- So Many Colors!
There is a wide variety of tarantulas to choose from, although each has its own difficulty level and not all are advisable for beginners. Some of the most common tarantulas for pets are:
- Mexican Fireleg
- Greenbottle Blue
- Chilean Rose Hair
- Costa Rican Zebra
- Brazilian Black
- Antilles Pinktoe
Do your research beforehand. You’ll be able to pretty easily scoop up a Chilean Rose Hair at places like PetSmart, but you’ll probably want to hang back for the more enigmatic and majestic Antilles Pinktoe. Some tarantulas also like to be handled more than others, while there are some that you’ll never want to touch.
Just Do It
Don’t be too wigged out. Tarantulas are not half as eerie as they seem, and they make awesome low-maintenance pets. You won’t ever feel the need to get them out and socialize them unless you want to, and you’ll probably pretty frequently forget that they’re even there. However, when you do remember that they’re there, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve conquered your fears and are providing a safe and habitable home for an amazing and intricate creature.