If you've had tarantulas in the past and loved it, you may be looking to have a more exotic type of spider. If that's the case, the Huntsman or Giant Crab Spider may already be on your wishlist. But is this spider species a good pet option? We're here to help you find out!
Despite the scary appearance, the Huntsman Spider can make a great pet since they’re not venomous. Thus, you can handle Giant Crab Spiders if you’re careful. Likewise, if you have experience with arachnids, you'll find housing these fellas easy.
Though we're sure that answered your question, there's still a lot to know about these spiders. In this post, we'll cover everything you must be aware of before getting one of these spiders!
Huntsman Spiders aren't the most common spider pets; that spot belongs to tarantulas!
The lack of popularity of these arachnids may have to do with their appearance. After all, Giant Crab Spiders look like a spider mixed with a crab AND a scorpion. So yes, these species are the stuff of an arachnophobic's nightmares!
The fact that, with only 2 inches in size, a Huntsman Spider's legs can reach five inches doesn't help either.
But there are many reasons why Giant Crab Spiders can be good cold-blooded pets.
For starters, these arachnids are not venomous. And, although it is better to avoid handling spiders, you could if you're careful. But more on that later!
Likewise, if you've had other spider species in the past, you'll get a hand of housing a Huntsman Spider fast. Let's go through the things you'll need to make one of these pets happy.
To house a Hunstman Spider, you'll need at least a 5-gallon glass or plastic container. That said, the typical 10-gallon tank for tarantulas is a better option. But make sure there's a lid for ventilation at the top of the tank that's still secured so that the spider won't escape.
The tank's inside must replicate the spider's natural habitat to make your pet feel at home.
Thus, you'll have to add a layer of a substrate at the bottom of the enclosure. Two inches of sand, for example, will do. The Giant Crab spider will use this substrate to move around the terrarium.
Like most spiders, the Hunstman Spider is nocturnal, and it needs places to hide during the day. So, you should place decorating items such as live plants, rocks, and bars in the tank as well.
Now, if you've had spiders in the past, you know the container must be around a temperature and keep a humidity level.
In Giant Crab Spider’s case, you need to provide a warm environment, where the heat's rarely ever below 80ºF.
These species also like a humid habitat, which is why we encourage you to mist the tank every day. But please, be careful not to get the spider wet!
Measure the temperature and humidity often with a thermometer and a hygrometer.
Hunstman Spiders are carnivores. These arachnids eat all kinds of insects, even other spider species!
Thus, you can feed your pet almost any insect you find around your house, as long as the prey is free of pesticides. But it's better to buy live, gut-loaded crickets or worms at the pet store.
You'll need to feed your spider two or three times a week for it to be healthy. But if, after 24 hours, the "food" is still alive inside the tank, you'll have to remove it. Live crickets could end up nibbling on the spider and hurting it.
Also, dust calcium supplements into the insects to boost the Giant Crab Spider’s health. These supplements are frequent among different kinds of cold-blooded pets.
These spiders can kill lizards and bats in the wild, but it’s better only to feed them insects in captivity. Why? Because you’re risking the spider not being able to digest prey that’s too big for it to swallow.
Since Giant Crab Spiders are nocturnal, it is also better to feed them at night, when they're more active. By doing this, you can also see how they hunt their prey without any webs. We can assure you; it is a very entertaining process!
Huntsman Spiders get most of the hydration they need from the prey, but they also drink water. Thus, you must provide them with a shallow water dish, not deeper than an inch, so they're not at risk of drowning. This plate will help to maintain the humidity levels intact too.
As with most cold-blooded pets, you should avoid handling a Giant Crab spider. These types of animals are more for observation than cuddles.
But, if you insist or need to handle it (to transport it, for example), try not to make any sudden movements. If the spider feels threatened, it may bite you in self-defense or try to run away, and they're fast!
While a Hunstman Spider’s venom is not lethal to humans, it can still cause skin irritation.
Likewise, if you're allergic to a bee's sting, you may react to the spider's bite as well. The area the spider bit may start to look red, swollen, and seem to be expanding. If that’s the case, apply ice to the “wound” right away.
Regardless, if one of these arachnids attacks you, seek medical attention right away.
Also, remember to wash your hands before and after handling a Giant Crab Spider. Otherwise, you could pass bacteria into the pet. And please, don’t rub your eyes after petting a spider either.
While Hunstman or Giant Crab Spiders are great pets, you need to know they don't live for long. These spiders only have an average lifespan of two years! So, they're what you'd want if you're looking for a long-term pet.
But, what they lack in longevity, Hunstman Spiders make up by being so fascinating to watch.
It is rarely ever a good idea to mix cold-blooded animals with common house pets. Why? Because, when you're not looking, your dog or cat may try to hunt the Giant Crab Spider, for example. And, in the worst-case scenario, the spider may end up dead.
But if you insist, there are certain things you can do to prevent incidents:
Keep your spider in a separate room, and don't let other pets enter without supervision. By taking this action, you ensure your cat doesn't jump on top of the spider's tank.
Never take your Hunstman Spider out of its container when other pets are around. Trust us; it is better not to introduce such different types of species. These interactions are very unlikely to end well.
Although their venom is not dangerous to humans, a Huntsman Spider's bite can harm your other pets. If you suspect or are certain a Giant Crab Spider's been in contact with your dog or cat, take your pet to the vet right away!
If you suspect your pet's been in touch with a Hunstman Spider, these symptoms may appear:
Again, and we can not stress this enough, call your vet as soon as possible. If your pet gets help fast, there's a bigger chance of survival after poisoning.
There's no official treatment for a Giant Crab Spider's venom. But, depending on the symptoms, the vet may prescribe:
Your pet may also have to wear a cone collar to prevent it from licking or scratching the wound. So, the only way to know how to proceed after a Giant Crab Spider's bitten your pet is to take it to the vet.