Are you considering getting a tarantula as a pet, or perhaps you already have one and are curious about what to feed it? One of the most common foods for pet tarantulas is crickets. But have you ever wondered, do tarantulas really eat crickets? The answer is yes, and in fact, crickets are an excellent source of nutrition for these fascinating creatures. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of feeding crickets to tarantulas, the proper way to feed them, and some tips for ensuring your tarantula gets the nutrition it needs. So, if you’re a tarantula owner or enthusiast, read on to learn more about feeding your eight-legged friend!
Do Tarantulas eat Crickets?
The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, crickets are one of the preferred foods for many species of tarantulas, both in the wild and in captivity.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons why tarantulas find crickets so appealing, as well as some interesting facts about tarantulas and their diet.
First of all, it’s important to understand that tarantulas are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat almost anything they can catch and overpower. However, they tend to prefer prey that is relatively small and easy to handle, as well as prey that is high in protein and other essential nutrients. Crickets fit the bill on both counts, as they are small enough to be easily subdued by a tarantula, and they are also quite nutritious.
Here is a video of tarantulas eating crickets! Enjoy
How to Feed Crickets to Tarantulas – Step by Step
Feeding crickets to tarantulas is an essential part of tarantula care, but it can be a bit challenging for beginners. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll take you through the process of feeding crickets to your tarantula, from choosing the right crickets to monitoring your tarantula’s behavior and appetite.
Step 1: Choose healthy crickets
The first step in feeding crickets to your tarantula is choosing healthy crickets. Make sure to purchase crickets that are the appropriate size for your tarantula, as well as healthy, disease-free, and well-fed. You can buy crickets from a pet store or online, but be sure to inspect them carefully before feeding them to your tarantula.
One way to ensure your crickets are healthy is to feed them a nutritious diet before offering them to your tarantula. You can give them fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as commercial cricket food. Calcium and multivitamin supplements can also be added to the crickets’ diet to ensure your tarantula is getting all the necessary nutrients.
Step 2: Prepare a feeding container
Next, prepare a shallow feeding container for your crickets. This can be a small dish or container that is easy for your tarantula to access. Make sure that the container is secure and won’t tip over or spill.
Step 3: Place the Container in your Tarantula’s Enclosure
Place the feeding container in your tarantula’s enclosure, making sure that it is accessible but not too close to your tarantula’s hiding spot. It’s important to give your tarantula plenty of space and avoid stressing them out.
Step 4: Monitor your Tarantula’s behavior.
After placing the container in your tarantula’s enclosure, monitor your tarantula’s behavior. Tarantulas are ambush predators and prefer to wait for their prey to come to them, so give your tarantula time to approach the container on their own terms. If your tarantula doesn’t seem interested in the crickets, it may be a sign that they are not hungry or that the crickets are not appealing to them.
Step 5: Feed Appropriately sized Crickets
When feeding crickets to your tarantula, it’s important to feed appropriately sized crickets. In general, you should aim to feed crickets that are roughly the same size as your tarantula’s body, or slightly smaller. This will ensure that the crickets are easy for your tarantula to handle and won’t pose a choking hazard.
Step 6: Monitor your Tarantula’s Appetite
While your tarantula is eating, monitor their appetite and make sure they are eating properly. If your tarantula doesn’t seem interested in the crickets, it may be a sign that they are not hungry or that the crickets are not appealing to them. In some cases, tarantulas may go through periods of fasting, especially during molting or other times of stress.
Step 7: Prevent Escape
One important consideration when feeding crickets to tarantulas is the risk of escape. Crickets are known for their jumping ability and can easily escape from their enclosure if not properly secured. To prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to place the container or dish of crickets inside your tarantula’s enclosure, rather than leaving it loose.
Step 8: Vary your Tarantula’s diet In addition to Crickets
Tarantulas can also be fed a variety of other prey items, including roaches, mealworms, and other insects. It’s important to vary your tarantula’s diet to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
How Many Crickets to Feed a Tarantula
Feeding your tarantula the right amount of crickets is crucial for its health and well-being. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues, while underfeeding can cause malnourishment and stunted growth. The amount of crickets you should feed your tarantula depends on its age, size, and species.
For juvenile and sub-adult tarantulas (under 3-4″/7.6-10 cm), feed them one cricket at a time, not larger than their abdomen (around 15-25 mm), from once a week to once in two weeks. It’s important not to overfeed them, as they are still growing and their metabolism is not as fast as adults.
Adult tarantulas require less frequent feedings, but the amount of crickets they need varies by species. For example, an adult Grammostola porterie/rosea needs only four or five crickets a month to be healthy, while an adult Therophosa or Pamphobeteus species would eat that in a single meal a couple of times a week.
As a general guideline, feeding your tarantula one to two crickets or roaches per week is enough to keep them healthy. You can also feed calcium gluconate to the prey of your spider every second week and multivitamin preparations once a month to ensure they are getting all the necessary nutrients.
Benefits of Feeding Crickets to Tarantulas
Feeding your tarantula crickets can provide a number of benefits. Here are some of the advantages of including crickets in your tarantula’s diet:
Crickets are a good source of protein, which is essential for the growth and development of your tarantula. They also contain other important nutrients such as calcium and vitamins.
Crickets are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, making them a cost-effective food source for your tarantula.
Stimulates Hunting Instincts
Feeding your tarantula live crickets can help stimulate their natural hunting instincts, which can be beneficial for their overall health and well-being.
Including crickets in your tarantula’s diet can help provide variety and prevent them from becoming bored with their food.
Precautions When Feeding Tarantulas with Crickets
Feeding tarantulas can be a fascinating activity but it requires certain precautions to ensure the safety of both the tarantula and the feeder. Here are some important things to keep in mind when feeding your tarantula with crickets:
Choose the right size of cricket
The size of the cricket should be appropriate for the size of your tarantula. Feeding your tarantula with crickets that are too large can cause injuries or even death. On the other hand, crickets that are too small may not provide enough nutrition for your tarantula.
Feed your tarantula at the right time
Tarantulas are nocturnal animals, so it’s best to feed them at night. Feeding them during the day may cause stress and disrupt their natural behavior.
Don’t overfeed your tarantula:
Overfeeding your tarantula can lead to obesity and other health problems. A general rule of thumb is to feed your tarantula one or two crickets per week, depending on its size.
Remove uneaten crickets
If your tarantula doesn’t eat a cricket within a few hours, remove it from the enclosure to prevent it from causing harm to your tarantula.
It’s also important to ensure that the crickets you feed your tarantula are healthy and free from parasites. You can purchase crickets from a pet store or breed them yourself at home. When breeding crickets, make sure to provide them with a nutritious diet and proper housing conditions.
By following these precautions, you can ensure that your tarantula remains healthy and happy while enjoying its meals of crickets.
What Can You Feed Tarantula Besides Crickets
While crickets are a popular food choice for tarantula owners, there are several other prey items that tarantulas can eat.
Here are some examples of what you can feed to tarantulas apart from crickets:
Roaches are a popular alternative to crickets because they are more nutritious and less likely to carry parasites. Some common species of roaches used as tarantula food include Dubia roaches, discoid roaches, and hissing roaches.
Mealworms are another common prey item for tarantulas. They are high in protein and can be easily obtained from pet stores or online.
Waxworms are the larvae of wax moths and are a high-fat food source for tarantulas. They are a good choice for tarantulas that are preparing to molt.
Superworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle and are a good alternative to mealworms. They are high in protein and fat and are often used to fatten up tarantulas.
Fruit flies are a good choice for small tarantula species or spiderlings. They are small, nutritious, and easy to obtain.
Butterworms are the larvae of the Chilean moth and are a good alternative to waxworms. They are high in fat and can be used to fatten up tarantulas.
Dubia roach nymphs
In addition to adult Dubia roaches, tarantulas can also eat the smaller nymphs. They are high in protein and easy to digest.
Silkworms are a nutritious food source for tarantulas that are preparing to molt. They are high in protein and low in fat.
While not recommended for all tarantulas, pinky mice are a good choice for larger species that require more food. They are a high-protein food source and can be obtained frozen from pet stores or online.
How often should I feed my tarantula crickets?
Tarantulas can be fed one to two crickets per week, but the frequency may vary depending on the size and species of the tarantula.
Should I remove the cricket’s back legs before feeding it to my tarantula?
No, it is not necessary to remove the cricket’s back legs before feeding it to your tarantula.
What do I do if my tarantula isn’t interested in cricket?
If your tarantula is not interested in cricket, try offering a different type of prey or waiting until the next feeding.
Feeding crickets to your tarantula can be a rewarding experience for both you and your pet. By following the guidelines provided in this article, you can ensure that your tarantula receives the proper nutrition it needs to thrive.
Remember to always choose live prey that is appropriate for your tarantula’s size and species. Avoid feeding your tarantula insects that are too large or too small, as this can lead to health problems. Additionally, be sure to provide your tarantula with fresh water at all times.
If you’re unsure about how much to feed your tarantula, consult with a veterinarian or experienced tarantula owner. They can provide you with specific recommendations based on your tarantula’s age, size, and species.
Overall, feeding crickets to your tarantula can be a fun and rewarding experience. By taking the time to learn about your tarantula’s dietary needs and providing it with the proper nutrition, you can help ensure that your pet lives a long and healthy life.