If you live in a colder country or experience harsh winters, you’re probably worried about your tarantula getting too cold and maybe freezing to death. That’s why, in this article, we’ll take a look at how you know when your tarantula gets too cold and what you can do about it.
There are a few signs you can look out for that will show that your tarantula gets too cold; losing their appetite – which in turn leads to loss of condition – and staying in the warmest part of the tank and not venturing at all into the cooler part of the temperature gradient that has been put into place inside the tarantula’s tank using heat mats, etc.
It’s good to keep in mind the temperatures at which tarantulas should preferably be kept; which is roughly between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
While tarantulas may experience swings in temperatures in some of the climates in which they survive in the wild, this doesn’t mean that you can just leave your tarantula to fend for itself in its tank.
This is especially true if you have chosen one of the species that thrive in hot, humid conditions.
The main reason for this is that you may not live in a warm enough climate or the climate that is similar enough as the one to which your breed of tarantula is adapted to live in. In fact, it is important to keep an eye on the temperature (and humidity) inside your tarantula’s tank.
What Happens To Tarantulas When They Get Too Cold?
When tarantulas get too cold, the first thing that happens is that their metabolisms slow down. This, in turn, makes them eat a lot less or they can even stop eating altogether.
1. Losing Weight And Condition
Because your tarantula stops feeding, they could lose weight and their overall condition can be impacted negatively. This could take some time to correct, so rather keep your tarantula nice and comfy from the beginning.
Remember that they get a lot of their fluids from the food that they consume
2. Staying In The Warmest Part Of The Tank
You may also notice that your tarantula stays in the warmest part of its tank. This is usually the spot where the tank’s heat mat (if you use one) is attached to the outside of the glass.
Your tarantula may even sit in that spot when the heat mat is turned off because it knows that within the temperature gradient in their tank that is usually the warmest spot.
Be sure to keep a close eye on them for strange behavior that you’re not used to and signs that your tarantula is stressed.
When tarantulas are stressed they will often draw their legs close to them, curling them inward so as to keep it’s body safe and keeping their human away from them as they do not want to be picked up or be bothered at all at this stage.
3. The “Death Curl” And Low Temperatures
However, you shouldn’t confuse the “death curl” that tarantulas do when they’re molting with them being too cold and even mere minutes from death. When you see them on their backs in the death curl position, don’t touch them, poke at them, pick them up, etc.
You should also not make excessive temperature changes during this time.
You may also find that, if the temperatures are too severe, your tarantula will not only lose its appetite or stay in one spot in the tank, but they will almost certainly freeze to death unless you step in and heat up their environment!
Next, we’ll look at the safe ways (for both you and your tarantula) to heat your tarantula’s tank.
How To Safely Adjust Your Tarantula Tank’s Temperature
The manner in which your tarantula’s tank temperature should be adjusted depends on the temperature measured inside the tank. The colder the temperature, the more gradual the temperature increase should be so as not to give your tarantula a shock.
It’s good to keep in mind that, even when tarantulas in the wild can live through temperature swings, the temperature doesn’t change immediately from one minute to the next, but rather gradually over a few hours.
Try, therefore, to stay as close to nature when it comes to adjusting your tarantula tank’s temperature.
Using A Space Heater
If you’ve been walking around in a few layers of jumpers, jackets, etc. And if you haven’t checked in on your tarantula, now is the time to do it!
If you find the room’s temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, either switch on your central heating in that room or get out your trusty space heater. This will ensure that the room heats up gradually, thereby also gradually heating your tarantula’s tank.
By heating your tarantula’s tank too quickly, you may do more harm than good as your tarantula may get stressed from the sudden change in temperature.
Installing A Heat Pad
A heat pad for your tarantula tank is a good idea if you find that you need to raise the tank’s temperature by quite a few degrees. When you do install the heat pad, keep in mind that you need to create a temperature gradient.
This means that one side of the tank needs to be warmer than the other side. In this way, your tarantula will be able to regulate its body temperature easily.
There are a few things to remember when using a heating pad:
Buy the smallest heat pad suitable for your size of tarantula tank. This will make it easier to regulate the temperature in the long run as well as help you create a
Make sure that the heat pad is affixed to the outside of the tank and that the tank doesn’t stand on the heating pad as the substrate and your tarantula’s burrow could heat up to dangerous levels.
Covering Your Tarantula’s Tank
This is the most low-tech of your options and can be used when your electricity goes out (for example during a storm). All you need for this is a light blanket, a sheet, or even a large towel will do.
Simply drape the fabric over the tarantula tank (much like you’d do for birds) and resist peeking in too often to see if your tarantula has moved from its “warm” spot.
However, as soon as you are able to replace the fabric with a proper heat mat and thermostat or space heater; do so.
Note! Do not put your tarantula’s tank in the sun to heat it! Putting your tarantula’s tank in the sun is basically as good as giving your tarantula tank a heat lamp. Not only will this overheat your tarantula, but it may also even kill it.
This is because temperatures inside your tarantula’s tank may rise a lot faster than you imagine (much like temperatures inside a car that is parked in the sun can turn deadly).
Now you know exactly how to tell if your tarantula is cold and how to go about safely heating your tarantula tank to keep your eight-legged friend happy and healthy for many years to come!