There are more than 3,000 different species of spiders in North America alone. Many of which can also be considered house spiders—those little fellows typically build their webbing near human dwellings.
This makes them an easy catch.
So can you keep a house spider as a pet? You can keep a house spider as a pet. There is a great variety of spider species that are considered house spiders, all of which are easy to keep as pets. To keep a house spider as a pet, you need to provide suitable habitat, water, food, and care for them.
If you want to find out more about house spiders, whether it is a good idea to keep them as pets and which are the most commonly kept pet house spiders, continue reading below.
Is It Safe to Keep a House Spider as a Pet?
You can safely keep house spiders as pets. Spiders, in general, look very intimidating and the majority of people get easily scared by them
However, spiders are not those menacing beasts that they appear to be. They will not attack or bite you for no reason.
The majority of spiders are very timid and, in reality, more scared of you than you are of them.
In nature, the bigger animal is usually more intimidating and fearsome. Usually, the smaller animal will run or hide, especially if the bigger animal is not their natural prey. In the case of humans and spiders, I feel like it is rather obvious who is the biggest predator.
Spiders do not eat humans, so they have no reason to attack us and risk their lives.
The only reason why a spider will bite you is if you scare it, harass it, or provoke it somehow.
If the spider feels threatened in some way, it will most likely try to run away from you and hide. However, if it is trapped and the only way to save itself is to retaliate, it will try to bite you. And even then, many spiders may try to play dead or give dry bites.
If you handle your house spider with care, make a proper habitat for it, feed it, and give it enough water; usually, there is nothing more you should worry about.
How to Keep a House Spider as a Pet?
Start by catching the spider. You can do that by using a jar and a lid. Do not try to catch multiple spiders in one jar (one spider per jar is enough) because some spiders are known to eat each other.
Prepare a suitable housing for your spider. Not all spiders have the same needs. So you should learn about their natural habitat and environment and try to recreate it as much as possible.
Some web-weaving spiders require more space where they can build their webs while burrowers may require more soil and substrate to be placed on the ground.
The container should be sealable as spiders can climb out and escape. However, the lid should have small holes in it that will keep air circulating while preventing the spider from escaping.
You should also find a good place for your spider because the containers should not be placed directly in the sun.
The humidity, temperature, light, and even diet will vary from species to species. You have to identify what type of spider you have so that you can care for it properly.
Food and Water
Spiders need to feed about once or twice a week.
Spiders eat various small insects and bugs like crickets, moths, grasshoppers, butterflies, and flies. Suitable spider food can be found in pet shops. You can also catch it yourself. However, make sure that the insects and bugs have not been sprayed with insecticides.
Spiders also need water. This can be achieved by using a small bottle cap or a small water bowl depending on the size of your spider. The cage should not be allowed to get damp, so do not spray water directly in it.
Be careful when handling your spiders. Do it only if necessary and only after learning their behavior first. That way, you can recognize how they feel.
Always wash your hands before handling spiders as they are vulnerable to various fungal and bacterial diseases.
Why You Can and Should Keep a House Spider as a Pet
One of the things that make house spiders good pets is that they normally inhabit human dwellings.
Of course, there are house spiders that are completely safe, and others which are poisonous and can be considered dangerous. This is why it is important to be able to distinguish the dangerous spiders from the rest.
But as mentioned earlier, even house spiders that are considered poisonous are typically very timid and would rather hide than launch a full-on attack.
They are more readily available than other rarer species of spiders, very cost-efficient, and great beginner spiders, which you can use to learn the basics of looking after a pet spider.
If you want to start caring for a spider, there is no easier way to start than with a house spider.
They do not require large cages or vivariums, because they do not grow more than 3 inches in length. (Unlike tarantulas, which can grow up to 11 inches and weigh up to 3 ounces.)
If you think house spiders may be boring, let me assure you, they are not boring at all.
There is also a great variety of different house spiders.
What Types of House Spiders Can You Keep as a Pet?
With so many different species of spiders out there, it is almost impossible to go over all the types of house spiders you can find and keep as pets.
This is why this should not be considered a comprehensive list. Rather I will go over the most commonly found house spiders that can be kept as pets.
Yellow Sac Spider
Yellow sac spiders (Cheiracanthium inclusum) are considered a little more aggressive than the majority of other spiders. However, they are not typically dangerous—although their bites are considered mildly venomous—and can be kept as pets.
Their color usually ranges between pale beige to pale yellow, and their body grows between 0.20 to 0.39 inches in length.
Black House Spider
The black house spider (Badumna insignis) builds messy looking webs. What is unique to it is that it rarely changes its web location. This spider species is native to Australia but can be found in the Americas as well.
The bite of the black house spider is considered mildly venomous but not dangerous to humans.
The black house spider is an excellent pet for beginners. It is very docile and timid and are easy to look after.
American House Spider
The american house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum), also known as the common house spider, is a web weaving spider that will often build its large webs in secluded areas near human dwellings.
It is usually brown or tan in color, but it has varying shading and spotted patterns all over its body and legs.
Its body is rounded and can grow up to 0.25 inches, but with its legs outspread, it can reach up to 1 inch in length.
The american house spider is usually harmless and not aggressive.
Daddy Long-Legs Spider
Daddy long-legs spiders (Pholcus phalangioides), also known as the common cellar spider, are probably one of the most well-known species of spiders.
Daddy long-legs spiders can be kept as pets, too.
They can bite humans if threatened but are mostly considered safe and not aggressive.
The size of their body ranges from 0.02 to 0.9 inches; however, their leg span can be up to 2.76 inches in length.
Giant House Spider
The giant house spiders (Eratigena atrica) are web builders that make for excellent pets. They are relatively large spiders. Their body can grow up to 0.73 inches in length, and their legs span up to 2.95 inches.
Giant house spiders are not aggressive.
Southern House Spider
The southern house spider (Filistatidae family) is relatively large; its leg span can reach up to 2 inches in length.
A lot of people really like keeping those spiders as pets. They are not aggressive and will very rarely bite.
There are more than 6000 different species of jumping spiders (Family Salticidae).
They are small, relatively slow, and mostly harmless. They are great pets, and a lot of people consider them cute looking. Their coloring ranges between beige, grey to brown, and black.
Jumping spiders’ bodies can vary in length, but, on average, they are between 0.04 and 1 inches.
The wolf spiders (Family Lycosidae) are a common species of house spiders. They are slightly bigger than other spiders with bodies that can grow up to 0.4 and 1.38 inches.
They can also make for good pets.
Wolf spiders are very different from other spiders because the females carry their eggs, and later their spiderlings until they are capable of hunting and defending for themselves.
Wolf spiders are brown or black and can vary in their shading. They are typically harmless to humans.
The hobo spiders (Eratigena agrestis), also known as funnel web spiders for their funnel-shaped webs are another common species of house spiders.
They are mostly harmless to humans but can be hard to identify due to their similarity to other species of spiders.
Their body grows between 0.25 to 0.55 inches in length
Brown Recluse Spider
Brown recluse spiders have a violin-shaped body that grows to 0.24 and 0.43 in length. They are very shy and will not bite you unless provoked or threatened in some way.
Their bites can be potentially dangerous to some people.
Black Widow Spider
Black widow spiders (Latrodectus) are considered very dangerous by many. However, they do not really live up to their fearsome image. In fact, they are considered some of the most docile and easy to care for spiders and make for excellent pets. (Of course, you still have to be careful with them.)
Their bodies range from 0.12 up to 0.51 inches in length.