The Safest Way To Keep Tarantulas Warm During Winter (TIPS)
One of the most common questions I get on my tarantula tumblr blog is from concerned tarantula owners wondering how they can safely keep tarantulas warm during winter or in colder parts of the world. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what the safest way to keep tarantulas warm, and unfortunately this incorrect information has very serious consequences and could very well result in a tarantula being injured or dying. So I thought making a post would be helpful to many, and hopefully straighten out some misconceptions about how to keep tarantulas warm when it’s cold. I hope this post helps – I have learned this through trial and error and these methods have helped me a lot! As a disclaimer, I should mention that different species of tarantulas have different temperature needs – so keep that in mind when thinking about whether this method will work for your tarantula.
I have had my chilean rose hair tarantula Spidey for several years now. As these tarantulas should be kept at a comfortable room temperature, I had to think of something to keep my tarantula warm during the winter. This lead me to doing a lot of research on tarantula forums, websites, and blogs. However, experience and mistakes can be your best teachers, so I hope you can benefit from mine.
The first year, I blasted the heat all throughout the winter and it was a very expensive, avoidable mistake. I was shelling out HUNDREDS of extra dollars on my heat bill every month. Fortunately, the next year I got smarter, more experienced, and figured out a much better way for my wallet (and Spidey).
In my experience, I have found that the safest and cheapest way to keep tarantulas warm is with a space heater. I personally have had this one for years and I love it – powerful, quiet, and has a safety feature that automatically turns it off when it gets knocked over (great if you have cats, dogs, or small kids running around). I use it nonstop all throughout the winter, and it has been a life-saver for Spidey and my bank account!
The reasons space heaters are a better solution are because:
- You will literally save HUNDREDS of dollars on your heat bill this winter – I learned this the hard way my very first winter with Spidey and it was awful 🙁
- Other methods such as heating lamps and heat mats can be very dangerous for your spider and put them at risk of getting burned or being cooked alive! The truth is, most tarantulas usually don’t need direct heat, so these methods are unnecessary – most are comfortable at the temperature humans are comfortable with.
My space heater technique is simple to set up. You can put your tarantula’s tank in a small room with the space heater and close the door to contain the heat. However, I just discovered an even easier way that you will benefit from as well and save EVEN MORE money! This year, I just keep my space heater in my living room (so Spidey doesn’t hog all the warmth lol) and simply put it near her tank (2-3 feet away). My living room is about 400 square feet and I only use one space heater, so you may need another depending on how big your space is. Here’s a pic of the very simple setup (please ignore the mess):
Spidey has taken to staying on the side of the tank near the space heater most of the time now, so I think she appreciates it lol. With this method, you probably won’t have to turn your heat on AT ALL (I haven’t), and now you and your spider will both be warm! Win win! Even though your electric bill may go up a little bit from running the space heaters, it is honestly nothing compared to what your heat bill would be (in my experience).
Tarantula expert Jon3800 (who is huge on Youtube and a great resource for other tarantula info) also backs up the space heater method and advises AGAINST heat mats. Check out his video below where he talks about why you should “Use a small room heaters. Heat mats are not needed nor they should be recommended. They do more harm than good”:
Here’s the space heater Jon uses in the video, if you’re curious.
A word of caution: Just PLEASE make sure you get a good, safe, modern space heater if you will be running it a lot – the old metal ones are very dangerous to leave on, ESPECIALLY unattended!
Hope that helps! If anyone has other suggestions please add on in the comments or share this post with your friends to help us keep tarantulas warm this winter!
Featured image via Matt Knoth / Flickr