The Horrible Things People Say To Tarantula Owners

If you have ever owned a spider, or even another non-traditional pet, you know exactly what it’s like to love your pet and think it’s the most precious thing on earth, while others recoil, insult and even threaten to do horrible, violent things to your little sweetheart.

I noticed this right away when I got my chilean rose hair, Spidey.

Little shy baby :)

Little shy baby 🙂

I was so ecstatic to share this beautiful creature with the world. I thought my enthusiasm would be welcomed, but I was wrong in many cases. Every tarantula-lover, owner or not, will experience this isolation and ridicule at one point in their lives.

People just don’t get it. You wouldn’t even think to yell “KILL IT WITH FIRE” about a puppy, would you? So why is it okay to respond like that to someone’s beloved, eight-legged pet (face it – they are pretty much like little puppies and kitties anyway, once you get to know them)?

Over the past few months, I’ve collected the responses of tarantula owners who have had to experience this behavior in order to love their pets publicly. This is what we all go through, and this is exactly why it needs to change:

“Like one isn’t enough.” – Voidpuzzle


Credit: AwesomeArachnids

“My ex threatened to send her dad over with a big boot to kill Lilith should she ever escape.” – Sociopathindisguise

“-[inarticulate screaming]
-“keep it away from me!!!”
-“you know it’s gonna kill you”
-“a tarantula? really?” (repeat for like two minutes)
-“dear god why”
-“does it bite?”/“has it bitten you?”
-“it’s just a spider, it can’t love you” (probably true, but don’t spoil my fun)”


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Credit: Brachypelmasmithi

““Kill it!” is the most common…but then I just ask people how they’d feel if I said that about their dog or cat and they (mostly) get it.” – No1really

“I’ve never owned tarantulas, but I’ve been keeping other arachnids and insects since I was a little girl. I get a lot of flack for my pet roaches, especially “if I see one of them I’ll kill it!” I also get  (when referring to my South African flat rock, Venus) “Why would you keep a scorpion in your house? Won’t it kill you?” a lot more often than I’d like. By far the worst thing that happened was when I was about 11 or 12. There was a big, beautiful Argiope aurantia on my back porch that I had named Banana. I would throw grasshoppers in her web to catch and she had kind of become like a family pet. One day she made an egg sac, then one afternoon I go outside to find Banana had been knocked down and stabbed with a stick, and the neighbor kids (my “friends” at the time) were using that same stick to jab at the egg sac. I cried. I honestly cried.” – Smackysmackins

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Credit: Morbidmusings

“My mom told me I have to get rid of it. And, if it escapes, she is calling Orkin to kill it.” – Madamfluffykins

“I once had a friend over who told me, ‘if they get out I’m killing them’” – Nuclear-warrior

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Credit: Talesfromthewater

“Most of people don’t react besides not understanding why I have them at all. Many say eww.” – Camelrat

“Oh I’ve had people threaten to squish them. To my face. When said spider(s) are safely enclosed in their tanks doing nothing. That’s the most annoying. It usually ends in verbal altercations.” – Behelitohs

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“That they will squish my baby.To that I say you are no longer welcome in my house.” – They-call-it-madness

“Gross, if I saw that tarantula I’d kill it!” – Krimsteinbelt 

“I don’t currently own one, but I used to. Whenever I tell people about it, people tend to react poorly. One girl told me that if I still had it, she would go to my house and kill it. We weren’t friends for a long time.” – Reptiphile

As you can see, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to have a pet that a lot of people feel free to disrespect and threaten their safety. Please share this post so that we can spread awareness for non-traditional pets’ value.


Do you have something you’d like to add? Please leave a comment! And don’t forget to join our Tarantula Heaven group on Facebook!