Tarantulas can be far more friendly than people would initially imagine. After all, we have this instant image for this giant, hairy spider and that it kills its prey using its impressive jaws before injecting venom. How could something like that be friendly?
Well, there are a number of reasons as to why Tarantulas are perhaps being given a rough ride. So, to help counteract this particular view of them, I have compiled the ultimate 12 reasons that may very well change your mind about this particular spider.
Who knows, maybe it will change your view of the entire species? The top 12 reasons why tarantulas are friendly are:
Reason 1: They Hardly Bite
As spiders go, a Tarantula rarely bites, and that does mean they are better to keep as a pet than some other options out there. This knowledge that they are highly unlikely to bite makes it easier to handle them, as there’s not the same concern or worry as you may get with other species.
However, that’s not to say that they will never bite. It would foolish to believe that. If you mishandle them, then they could very well try to sink their fangs into you, but it’s unlikely.
That being said, you do need to spend time getting to know your pet before you can come to any kind of a conclusion as to how often they are likely to bite. There are some Tarantulas that have a bit of an attitude problem, and they are going to react and sink their fangs into you when you least expect it.
That aside, learn more about your pet and you will see that they will hardly bite, unless provoked. So, learn more about what could anger or irritate them, and take steps to prevent this happening. A spider is a simple creature with simple needs, so there should be no difficulty in figuring this out.
Reason 2: They Prefer to Throw Hairs Instead
This is closely related to the first reason, but a Tarantula is going to throw hairs when they feel under threat rather than bite an attacker. They will actually use their hind legs to scrape off some of the hairs from their abdomen, and will then proceed to flick them toward the perceived attacker. [Source]
If they do this to you, then chances are that you will develop a bit of a rash as a reaction. Some people can have a more serious reaction to it, but thankfully that’s quite rare. However, as long as you treat them well and don’t spook them, then there’s little reason as to why they would do this to you.
You should try your best to limit the likelihood of your pet Tarantula doing this. They can get into your eyes, and the itch or pain from that is going to not be that nice of a thing to experience.
Also, your Tarantula doesn’t want to go ahead and do this. It leaves them with a bald spot on their body where they removed the hairs, and that’s not something they want to actually go through. Leave them alone, especially when they are molting, as that stresses them out and are more likely to then attack. If you do leave them to their own devices, then chances are that they will be far more friendly towards you.
Reason 3: They Don’t Have Claws – Well They Do, Sometimes
A Tarantula is quite docile, and they are quite happy to walk over your hand if given the opportunity to do so. But here’s the surprising thing.
This spider does have claws, but they aren’t always extended out. They have the ability to retract them like a cat, and that does mean it’s a bit more pleasant when they walk over you compared to other spiders where it may be a bit more irritating.
These claws are used to gain some extra grip on a surface. This becomes even more important when you realize that a fall is going to likely kill a Tarantula. That’s why evolution has allowed the Tarantula to go ahead and have these retractable claws to make it easier for them to climb up bad surfaces and reduce the chances of dropping to the ground.
Of course, working on reducing this sense of irritation makes you relax, and your pet Tarantula will pick up on that, and they too will relax, allowing you to have a better bond between both of you. Now, who wouldn’t want that to happen with their pet Tarantula?
That’s not to say that your Tarantula is still going to feel as if they can trust you or anything like that. Instead, they do have limited ideas as to who you are. To most, it’s likely you will be viewed as being the supplier of food and nothing else. Sorry to break that to you, but that’s about as far as they are going to think.
Reason 4: They are Simple to Look After
A Tarantula has very basic needs when it comes to looking after them, and this is something they are quite content about as well. It does mean it’s easier to provide them with everything they need, and that’s going to lead to a happier, friendlier Tarantula as a pet.
As long as they are given food, the ability to drink, a place to sleep, and to feel safe, then your Tarantula will be in paradise. If they don’t feel stressed in any way, then there’s next to no reason why they would then act out and be difficult to handle. [Source]
Their enclosure doesn’t have to be too large either. Setting it up requires limited knowledge and items for your Tarantula to have a wonderful space to live. The ability to feed them, get the correct humidity for them to thrive, a comfortable place to sleep, and some water to drink is pretty much all they need.
Basically, a Tarantula doesn’t have any requests. They won’t bother you or require regular grooming. They get on with so much all on their own, so that creates a perfect sort of relationship if you want a pet that doesn’t need that much attention.
Reason 5: They Respond Well to Daily Handling
Here’s another good reason as to why Tarantulas make friendly pets, and it’s the way in which they respond to daily handling. This is something that they will both enjoy as well as get used to quite quickly, so don’t disappoint them by leaving them alone for days.
This allows a bit of a bond to develop, but don’t think that your Tarantula has feelings for you, as that’s not the case. Instead, they are more interested in exploring a bit, and walking over your hand and stretching their legs a bit is going to suffice and lead to a happy Tarantula.
In saying that, not every Tarantula is going to have the same response. There are some spiders that will not appreciate being handled, and that’s something that will take some time to get to grips with on your part. Don’t push this aspect, or the chances of you being bitten will only increase. Just because one Tarantula is quite docile does not mean that every Tarantula is the same.
Also, don’t think that you will be able to train your Tarantula to walk on your hands. They will either enjoy doing it, or have no interest whatsoever. They will then be quick enough to let you know that it’s not a good idea.
Reason 6: They are Busy Having Fun
A Tarantula is able to amuse itself for a prolonged period of time, and it’s a whole lot of fun watching them get on with life. As they are capable of doing this, it does help with this entire feeling of them being relaxed and laid-back when it comes to anything to do with life.
Your spider is going to be very happy spinning silk to cover their lair and then maintaining it. They will love feeding and getting a drink, as well as just generally relaxing. Those are the types of things that will all add up to a friendly, happy Tarantula.
Reason 7: They are Just So Quiet
Another reason, and it’s the fact that a Tarantula is a very quiet pet to keep. They don’t make noises or bother anybody when they are sitting in their enclosure. As long as you continue to provide them with everything that they want or need, then they will be very happy with life. They won’t create a noise just to get your attention.
Actually, this is a huge reason for owning a pet Tarantula. They are not going to annoy you or make a sound at night when you are trying to sleep. They get on with things, even though they are active at night, and you won’t even be aware of it.
Reason 8: They Don’t Get Hungry
A Tarantula is not going to get angry when hungry. Of course, you will need to feed them on a regular basis, but even this is very easy to do. Simply drop in their prey, and let them get on with doing what they do best.
But at least they won’t get stressed and angry if they are starting to get hungry. Clearly, if you go ahead and basically starve them, then they will not be as friendly as you think. There is a limit where they will be able to deal with being hungry, but then it gets to a point where a feeling of desperation is going to take over, and their survival instinct will kick in.
As long as you feed them, then they will be very friendly towards you.
This is actually more important than most people realize. A number of animals that we have as pets will get quite uncomfortable when they are hungry, and they will be very quick at letting you know. That’s not the case with your Tarantula. Also, you don’t need to feed them too often, and you should feed them varying amounts.
Reason 9: They Have a Low Flight Distance
When talking about the flight distance, what we are referring to is how close you can get to your pet Tarantula before they then react and try to run away, or throw their hairs at you.
In this instance, the flight distance of a Tarantula is very low, and that’s cool, as it means they will not react that often to you being around them. However, you do need to be very sure in your moves, or it could spook and scare them, and then there’s going to be some kind of a reaction.
Overall, they will put up with quite a lot including you carrying out some maintenance to their enclosure. The only problem is that it does take some time for them to build up a sense of trust in what you are doing. Don’t rush things, and your Tarantula will remain very content and not rush away from you.
Reason 10: They Tend to Be Shy
People are also surprised to learn that a Tarantula can be quite a shy creature. You will often find your pet Tarantula hiding away in a corner in their enclosure, and that is something that they are very happy to do.
If they are hiding, then leave them alone and don’t try to tempt them out. They will do so whenever they want to, and that also means they will be relatively peaceful and happy to venture out and see what’s going on in the world.
Remember that a Tarantula is a solitary spider. They don’t operate in a social sense, and they only have an interest in another Tarantula when they are in mating season. Apart from that, they are content being left to their own devices, and they will greatly appreciate you leaving them all on their own as well.
Reason 11: They Have No Feelings
So, this may be slightly confusing, but your Tarantula is going to have no feelings whatsoever for you, and that’s a good thing. Now, you may wonder how this would work and why it would make them friendly, so let’s explain.
As they have no feelings, it means neither in a positive or negative way. They don’t actually care about you, and so they have little reason to react in a negative manner. That does mean they come across quite neutral when thinking about their emotions or how they will act, and that’s why we can see that they are often quite friendly in nature.
Of course, friendly is a bit of a loose term. They will more than likely only equate you to the idea of having food delivered to them, and that’s about as far as they will go when it comes to having feelings.
Reason 12: They Like a Simple Diet
Your pet Tarantula loves a simple diet. There’s no need to create some fancy dish for them or go out for anything special. As long as you can get to your local pet store and grab some insects, then your pet is going to be very happy.
Locusts and crickets are probably their favorite, at least for a Tarantula that’s in captivity, and you should get them from only a trustworthy source. Also, they should be live, as that’s what they prefer, so you throw an insect into their enclosure and let the spider do the rest.
Apart from that, they only need some water, and a small bowl for them to drink out of is going to be perfect. This water does need to be changed on a regular basis, so keep that in mind, as that too will make sure your Tarantula is quite happy with their life.
So, there you have it, a number of pretty good reasons as to why a Tarantula is so friendly. Of course, there’s no guarantee that you will end up with the friendliest Tarantula out there. Some can be quite grumpy and don’t react well to pretty much anything. However, that’s something that’s out of your ability to control.
The main thing is to enjoy your pet Tarantula and enjoy watching them get up to all kinds of things. They will provide you with a whole lot of entertainment, and as long as you care for them in the correct manner, then they will live for years and years.