If You Like Arachnids, Rose Hair Tarantulas Make Wonderful Pets
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If You Like Arachnids, Rose Hair Tarantulas Make Wonderful Pets

Everything with 8 legs are not all that scary

I hate spiders! Well, with the exception of granddaddy longlegs. My friend, Eric, is more afraid of spiders than I am, and as an experiment to get over his fear of spiders, he went to a pet store and bought a Rose Hair tarantula. He named this scary looking thing with 8 legs "Spidey." Actually, Rose Hair tarantulas are not all that scary looking, if you can forget that it is a spider. Rose Hairs are very tame, and make good pets, if you are into tarantulas. Not all tarantulas make great pets. Some can be fairly aggressive, but the Rose Hair tarantula is very docile.

Eric had to learn to care for this spider. His wife and I were screaming and running away to the other end of the house before he even put it in its new enclosure. The more time I spent with them I got used to the spider. I still didn't like it, but I got accustomed to seeing it enough to where my autonomic response wasn't in panic mode. A few weeks ago I was visiting with my friends, and Eric was going to change the substrate in Spidey's home. You don't need to change the substrate that often, but you do need to pick up the litter left behind every so often. He moved Spidey into another container while we emptied the terrarium. I wiped it all down and then put down new substrate, and put in some sand, stones, and bark. I returned the PVC pipe back into its home, and my friend put Spidey back into its environment.

Tarantulas, like all spiders, inject their prey with venom that paralyzes them, and makes a soup out of their insides. When the spider feeds it just slurps up the soup. You will see parts of the prey animals left, and if you don't clean out the habitat the spare parts will start to decay, and it won't smell very good. Mold and mildew can also grow in the environment, and on the spare parts; therefore it is important to keep the spider's home cleaned up. For the most part, you just need to pick up the spare parts from time to time. The substrate will need to be changed about every 6 months or sooner if the substrate gets too damp. You don't really need to have a light in a tarantula's home. They are nearly blind. If you do have a light for its habitat, the light should not be bright, but rather dim. If the light is too bright your spider may try to stay away from it. It will be much more content in a dimly lit environment, and you may see it more often.

Most tarantulas are loners. They like living alone in their enclosures. They need a natural type of environment with plenty of places to hide and burrow. They don't want to be on display in a bare enclosure; they like to hide, rather than being in view for everyone to see; it just doesn't feel natural to them. The Rose Hair tarantula is a ground dwelling spider. It likes to burrow and hide. They like a home that feels like home. A bed of peat moss with areas with pieces of bark and cork are good. You can also put artificial shrubs and things in there, but remember that a tarantula is very delicate. The spider could get hurt or even crushed, if a heavy object were to fall on it.

When it is time to change the substrate, it might be best to gently remove it from its home, and place it gently into another container or cage until you are done. If you are just picking up litter, you may want to remove the spider, or let it stay, depending on how skittish you are.

Rose Hair tarantulas can live a long time. Males live for about 5 years and females can live up to 15 years. As with all pets, you shouldn't take on the responsibility of having a tarantula for a pet unless you are committed to caring for it. Rose Hairs are very easy to handle, as with all arachnids, you must be gentle with them.

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Comments (3)

Hi Charlene. I'm not an arachnophobia but I really don't care for spiders, especially not as a pet. I didn't feel too strongly about spiders one way or the other until I had a close encounter with several Brown Recluse spiders while rewiring a grain mill in East Texas. They're more poisonous than a Black Widow, a fact that I can attest to from practical experience. One bit me on the tip of my right fore finger and I was one very sick puppy for almost a week. I hate to think what might have happened if they didn't have the proper anti-venom at the local emergency room to inject me with. Anyway, any spider that crosses my path is a dead spider.

I know what you mean about the Brown Recluse. My dad got bitten when on the shoulder. It had rotted his skin and made a big hole in it. I was having to doctor that for a long time. He had to go to the hospital, and I had to take care of it at home for weeks until it finally healed.

What a great article, but i am with Jerry on this one.