14 Facts About Tarantula Poop – The Complete Guide


Is it wrong to be fascinated about Tarantula poop? To be honest, knowing as much as possible about their poop does help you to gain a better understanding of your pet. Now, I know it’s maybe not the nicest of topics to talk about, but it’s something you will need to deal with.

So, perhaps these different facts about Tarantula poop will be able to shed some new light on the whole process? Maybe by the end you will have a new fascination about it all? Well, let’s wait and see about that part.

Anyway, onto the facts.

14 facts about tarantula poop - tarantula sitting on a log

Fact 1 – It Tends to Look Like Bird Poop

The first fact is that your Tarantula is going to produce something that does sort of look like bird poop, and that tends to surprise people. The reason why people draw this comparison is because it comes out like white droplets in the same way as birds, so you can understand where this idea is coming from. [Source]

But there is one difference.

The poop from your pet Tarantula is a bit more solid than you get from a bird. Basically, that means it would be easier to clean up, as it tends to stay in the same spot. 

However, it doesn’t always come out like that, and especially not at first. It will be a bit runnier when it emerges, but it does dry out and become more solid over time. 

Fact 2 – Your Tarantula Will Poop and Pee From the Same Hole

Another way in which your pet Tarantula is like a bird is that they will poop and pee from the same hole. However, this is something that is quite difficult to see, so don’t be surprised if you never actually encounter it throughout the life of your pet.

But they also poop and pee from the same hole, because the two waste products are produced at the same time. Actually, their poop and pee come together in the one substance, so when you see the remnants, then this is what you are really looking at. 

Also, it all comes out of their anus, and it’s located right at the back of their body, which is sort of where you would expect it to be anyway.

Fact 3 – They Have Specific Spots Where They Poop

Your Tarantula is quite houseproud, and that does then translate into them having very specific spots in their home where they are going to poop. They just don’t like all of that mess being spread all over the place, since it’s hardly hygienic to them.

Generally speaking, it’s going to be at the opposite end of their home from where they tend to hang out. They just don’t like to have that sort of stuff close to their burrow. So, if you are cleaning out their tank, then look as far away from where they tend to hide, and that’s probably where you will end up finding their poop spot.

However, while this does sound all nice and pleasant, it won’t always be the case. We will go back to this idea of a specific poop spot later on, in another fact where it’s going to be far more obvious as to where they have gone to the toilet.

A Tarantula will spend some time working out where it’s going to poop in advance. This is all connected to the way in which they spend a vast amount of time working on their home to get it the way that they want it to be.

They understand that they need to do this pooping thing, so they get everything organized, rather than it being a last minute decision.

Fact 4 – They Enjoy the Water Dish

You need to pay particular attention to their water bowl, since a Tarantula has some strange sense of enjoyment out of pooping in it. 

This is something that is not even understood, but so many owners will testify to the fact that their pet Tarantula has a real love of dropping their poop into the water. Of course, that does mean you need to clean it out on a regular basis, but we will probably never understand why they carry out this action.

What you will tend to see with their water dish is that their poop will change consistency and will look like very small white dots in the water. Basically, think about those polystyrene balls you see in a bean bag, and you kind of get the idea.

So, if you look at their water dish and see that sort of thing in the water, then you know what has gone on.

Fact 5 – Knowing When They Poop

A Tarantula is hardly going to poop with the same frequency as us humans. So, when do they generally end up producing some sort of waste?

It’s going to end up being somewhere between 24 and 36 hours after they have had a meal, when they need to then go ahead and do their business in their favorite poop spot. That’s how long it’s going to take their digestive system to work its magic and start to eliminate the waste.

But also, it’s not easy to know this unless you really study your Tarantula. They will get up and poop at some point during the night, and this makes sense considering they are nocturnal.

Fact 6 – It Doesn’t Smell

When we say it doesn’t smell, we are talking about when it’s all fresh. A Tarantula is generally not a smelly pet to own, as the odors they produce are very much low-key. 

However, if you do not clean out their home, and leave poop there for a significant period of time, then it’s going to start to rot, and that’s when it may produce some sort of smell. Of course, the easy way to avoid this is to go ahead and carry out a regular cleaning, and make sure you get rid of any poop that’s hanging around.

Fact 7 – Their Poop is Called Frass

Getting a bit more scientific here for a moment, but Tarantula poop also goes by another name, ‘frass’. Well, to be honest, that’s the name that is given to solid excrement by any insect, so your Tarantula simply falls into the same category as others.

14 facts about tarantula poop - tarantula on a log outdoors

Fact 8 – Some Have Used it For Protection

This fact is going to surprise you, but some species of Tarantula have been known to use their poop as a form of protection in the wild. They have been observed basically spraying their poop over a reasonable distance in order to ward off a potential predator. 

The Pink Toe Tarantula is the species that has been mainly observed doing this, and you can imagine how it would prove to be somewhat effective, as which predator wants to get involved in that sort of stuff?

Fact 9 – They May Put Their Poop on the Walls

Remember how we said earlier that a Tarantula is going to use only one or two spots where they will go ahead and have a poop? Well, some may end up deciding that they are going to go ahead and put it on the walls of their tank.

You see, when it first comes out, it can contain a bit more water than what you will end up seeing when it comes to cleaning it up. Yet again, this makes it sound more like bird poop than anything else.

That does mean your Tarantula may go ahead and effectively spray it in a corner of their tank, with it going up onto the walls where it will dry. Well, that is one way of keeping the floor of their home nice and clean if they put it up there for everyone to see.

Fact 10 – Their Pee is Also Almost Solid

OK, so this isn’t exactly about their poop, but it is about their pee, so that’s close enough.

A Tarantula cannot really afford to lose much water from its body, so its pee is different from what we would expect. They still have to get rid of that waste from their body, but it’s really just uric acid, and that’s not going to dissolve in water. [Source]

That is why their pee is also pretty much a solid, and it’s mixed in with the waste. Basically, what you see with Tarantula poop is the combination of both aspects together.

Fact 11 – It’s Often Undigested Food

Considering their diet, you may want to know that Tarantula poop is going to primarily be made up of pieces of undigested food. Now, that is a pretty horrible thought, but they need to get that sort of stuff out of their body, and do so quickly before it can start to become toxic.

Basically, what you have here is something that is all mushed up, has been through their digestive system, and then expelled as it’s pretty much pointless stuff for your Tarantula.

But then, that is pretty much what poop is going to consist of anyway, so your Tarantula is not that different compared to so many other animals out there. It also then makes sense why the volume of food will directly equate to the volume of poop, but a bit more on that shortly.

Fact 12 – Their Poop Isn’t Dark

We also need to clear one thing up here, and that’s the color of their poop. With a Tarantula, it’s going to be white in color. It won’t be dark, and this is something that some inexperienced owners tend to make a mistake about.

They see dark balls and think that it’s Tarantula poop, but that’s not the case. What they are going to be seeing here is some of their substrate getting mixed up in the actual poop, and it’s a pretty easy mistake to make when you are unsure as to what you are looking at.

Of course, this issue is made even more complicated by the fact that Tarantula poop does end up often drying up into round balls, so it can then look like some of the substrates that are out there on the market. However, just keep in mind that color is everything in this instance, and that should help you identify what is poop, and what is not.

Fact 13 – It Should Be Easy to Clean Up

Let’s look at the cleaning part here, and the good news is that Tarantula poop is very easy to clean up, and it’s not going to take you too long. 

If your Tarantula has pooped on the walls of their enclosure, then a wet cloth should make short work of cleaning up the mess. This is going to take just seconds to do. 

But here’s an important point to take into consideration. 

Don’t go ahead and do a regular deep clean of their enclosure, and try not to do too much with the substrate. Your Tarantula will have spent a huge amount of time actually going ahead and organizing their home to make it comfortable for them, and you coming along and changing the substrate will upset that.

Not only that, but it will stress out your Tarantula, and that’s not something you want to be doing. 

So, if you do want to clean up their poop, then do so quickly and by moving as little stuff as possible. Like we said with the glass, a wet cloth should be enough, or a small brush can also move their poop, making it easier to pick things up.

Also, perhaps consider cleaning things up first thing in the morning. Your Tarantula is clearly less active at that point, and they will be more likely to ignore what is going on instead of becoming too stressed or jumping into a defensive pose.

Considering it won’t take long to clean things up, it should be an easy thing to do for any owner.

Fact 14 – The Level of Poop Depends on So Many Factors

Finally, the amount of poop that your Tarantula is going to produce will depend on a number of different factors. 

First, it will depend on their age. An older Tarantula will end up creating more poop than a younger one. Also, their size makes a difference, but this is just common sense.

With their size, they will need to eat more to then get the sustenance they need in order to live quite happily, and healthily. If they eat more, then it makes sense they will then end up needing to produce more poop, as they two are directly linked.

So, the more you feed your Tarantula, the more they will defecate in their tank, leaving you to clean up the mess after them. Oh, and they will always poop after eating, so keep that in mind when you are throwing in their prey.

A Bonus Fact – Bacteria and Disease

But here’s a bonus fact for you, and it’s all connected to bacteria and disease. 

We often immediately think that all poop from an animal of any kind is going to be filled with bacteria and various things that will only be capable of making us ill. Well, in the case of the Tarantula, that’s not the case.

Instead, it’s going to be harmless to us, and it’s not going to be able to really give us any diseases to worry about. That does remove some of the stress associated with dealing with this sort of thing, and it does mean that if your Tarantula poops on your hand, which can happen, then it’s more a messy thing than a disease-ridden thing to worry about.

Of course, if they do go ahead and poop on your hand, then chances are that they are trying to defend themselves and are stressed. This is almost like an automatic reaction for some Tarantula species, so it’s nothing to worry about as long as you put them back in their enclosure as quickly as possible, and then leave them alone. 

But on the plus side, at least you know you can simply wash your hands and the episode is over. It’s not going to lead to some strange disease or infection taking hold.

Those are our 14 different facts, and a bonus, about Tarantula poop, and now you know everything that there is to know about their toileting habits. At least you will be aware of what to look out for as you scan their enclosure, and please do check their water bowl on a regular basis. If only we knew why they had such a fascination with using that as their poop spot, as it’s one of the strangest behaviors that a Tarantula will ever carry out during their life.

A Tarantula has to poop just like us. It’s all part of mother nature, but at least they are not like crickets or insects that tend to just do it anywhere. 

Barry Gray

Barry is a freelance writer from Scotland. He has written about pets for over a decade, and his work has been turned into a range of ebooks, courses, and material for diplomas. Barry is passionate about all animals, but particularly dogs, fish, rabbits, birds and spiders. You can find out more about Barry at https://mercurypets.com/our-writers/

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