Tarantulas are such good eaters that one might think that you can just practically feed them anything. In such a case where you did not breed your feeders, will your tarantula get by with house spiders? More than that, is it okay to simply feed them to your tarantula?
You should never feed your tarantula house spiders. First, house spiders do not have the proper nutritional value and second, doing so may endanger your T. House spiders tend to feed on pests that may or may not have a disease. This can be passed on to your T. So, it is better to give them feeders.
Sadly, there are still some owners that feed their Ts house spiders. Some believe that this helps regulate their T’s hunting instincts. Is this true? The answer to that and more is what we are going to tackle in this article. So read on!
Should You Feed Your Tarantula House Spiders?
You should never feed your tarantula house spiders. No matter what reason you may have, may it be due to lack of feeders or if you are in an emergency situation wherein you cannot get a hold of any feeders, your house spiders should never be an option.
The main reason for this is that you are risking the health of your tarantula. Just like what people say, “You are what you eat,” applied to this context, you are letting your precious T to turn into a common house spider. (We’re not discriminating, but you get the idea, your T should be special)
Let us take a look at the problems that you are going to face if you feed your T house spiders.
House spiders are considered as pests. Sadly, even though these spiders take care of your mosquito problems and the like, they are still considered a nuisance in your home. Therefore, you really do not know what is inside of them.
Are they healthy? Are they nutritious? Are they even edible?
These are the questions that will run through your mind in the event that you catch one and you are planning to give them to your T. Keep in mind that these spiders have been all over your house and even outside your house, so you can never be sure that they are free of parasites.
You can say that you can quarantine them to see if they die eventually, proving that they really do have parasites. But this technique is not really effective. If the house spider has a parasite, surely, that spider will not die in just a couple of days.
By then, you might have already fed that parasite-ridden spider to your T. What are you left with? A tarantula who now has parasites.
For some bizarre reason, house spiders are very tough. They can evade larger predators and can escape close encounters with humans. This means that sometimes, pesticides do not work on them, thus leaving the chemical on their bodies.
Do you remember those times when you keep on spraying insecticide on a stray spider and he just would not die only to end up escaping? Well, that specific spider might be the same spider that you are going to feed to your T.
In the event that the house spiders have pesticides on them, these chemicals will be transferred to your tarantula. As luck may have it, the pesticide will just be left on some items inside the enclosure.
However, your T can still come into contact with those chemicals when he goes out to drink or to explore his tank.
There is also another type of feeder that is nutritious for your T but might pose some dangers when taken from the wild. You can read about this feeder in our article. Spoiler: Humans eat this too!
3. Possible Injury
We all know that tarantulas are skilled predators. But still, there are those times when they commit a mistake and end up being prey. Let us say that you are simply going to give him a small house spider which ensures the victory of your T, but do you really want to risk it?
In such a case where there will be a chase in the enclosure, the house spider has the advantage as he is more agile. He may keep on running and your T will always be in pursuit. In the process, your T may get injured.
If this is the case, you now have two problems: an injured T and a meal that is already compromised.
4. Risking The Condition Of The Enclosure
This factor is related to the fact that you really do not know what is the current condition of the house spider. Yes, you can gut load them or quarantine them, but all of those are really not enough.
There are some owners who shared that they were so surprised that there are foreign spiderlings inside their T’s enclosure. This simply means that the house spider was already carrying fertilized eggs with her when she was offered to the tarantula.
However harmless spiderlings can be, they can still be deadly to your sleeping tarantula. Especially when they attack all at once.
More than that, the presence of spiderlings can overwhelm the current condition of the enclosure. It may now be too cold or too warm depending on the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels that the new inhabitants will emit.
5. High Risk, No Benefits
All in all, it is really not a good idea to feed a house spider to your tarantula. There are too many risks and there may not even be any gains.
In the event that the house spider turned out to be edible and did not cause any harm to your T, you are still not assured that the meal will be beneficial for your T.
There are times when house spiders just scavenge for food when they cannot catch prey, so they are not as nutritious as gut-loaded feeder insects.
So why take the risk? It is better to stick with your trusted feeders instead of introducing something entirely foreign in your tarantula’s diet.
Why Do Some People Feed House Spiders To Their Tarantulas?
Now let us move on to the other end of the spectrum where other people catch house spiders specifically to feed to their Ts. Let us get it out of the way that there are no experienced tarantula breeders who do this. There are just some owners who experiment with this practice.
First off, they believe that house spiders are a rich source of protein. The reason behind this is that house spiders tend to catch their prey, may it be other little spiders, flies, mosquitoes, and the like.
Another reason and this is actually the main one that encourages other owners to do this, and it is to encourage the hunter instincts of their T. In their constant search to emulate the wild in their T’s life, they still want to keep their Ts in tune with their deadly instinct.
One can see the logic behind this as Ts can get lazy when they are always offered nearly dead feeders. On the other hand, if there are live feeders, these are the ones that they can 100% catch.
But the truth of the matter is, whether you use house spiders or use feeders, your T will always have that hunter instinct. This instinct is deeply embedded in their genes that regular feedings of nearly dead feeders will not take that instinct away.
Clearly, there is no need to introduce house spiders to the routine of your T as he will always be deadly. Further, it is not assured that house spiders are full of vitamins, based on how they live their life.
You can easily bump up the vitamins within your feeders by adjusting the food that you use to gut load them.
The video below shows that tarantulas do not lose their hunting instincts no matter what live food you feed him/her. So there is really no need to feed house spiders at all.
Is It Okay To Feed A Tarantula To Another Tarantula?
You might be asking this question as you saw a lot of videos on Youtube where other tarantulas are put inside the enclosure of another tarantula. Surely, the owner will put a weaker T inside the enclosure of the bigger T as food.
Also, more often than not, they do not pre-kill the other T, instead, they just let the two tarantulas battle it out. How about this? Is this acceptable?
Not necessarily. Here are some of the reasons why.
You really cannot predict what may happen inside the enclosure. In gauging the type of tarantula that you are going to offer to your other T, you might think that surely, your main T will win.
But that is not assured. There are countless videos on Youtube where the main T gets beaten by the tarantula that was supposed to be the food. Therefore, you simply cannot base your judgment on size, mass, and tarantula demeanor.
What will you do if your T gets injured during the fight? Surely, you cannot get in there to tear the two tarantulas apart. With that in mind, why feed a tarantula, another tarantula in the first place?
Generally Frowned Upon
Needless to say, this practice is frowned upon. Not only is it cruel, but it puts unnecessary stress on your tarantula.
One should never use tarantulas just for entertainment, especially at the expense of another tarantula’s life. This is also reflected in what happens in the wild. Tarantulas do not engage in a fight with other tarantulas, except when they have no choice.
Another fact is that tarantulas only feed on other tarantulas when they are already dead and they do not have any other prey options. This is also the same case when you are dealing with cannibalistic tarantulas.