Do Tarantulas Need Heat?

Tarantulas are cold-blooded creatures that are unable to produce their own body heat. Instead, they absorb this warmth from the environment around them. For this reason, most tarantulas are found in warmer parts of the world. 

This warmth is important for a variety of biological processes, and a tarantula that is kept too cold for too long is likely to die. 

Whether a tarantula needs heat will depend on the ambient temperature within your home. If your home is kept warm 24/7 then heating may not be required. If your home gets cold during the winter, or experiences a noticeable drop in temperature overnight then additional heat may be required. 

What is the Ideal Temperature?

Many tarantula keepers refer to the “t-shirt test”. If you’re comfortable in a t-shirt in the room in which your tarantula is housed then it should be fine. 

In practise a minimum temperature of around 68’f / 20’c is a good goal to aim for. 

Of course, tarantulas can also be kept warmer than this minimum, with many tarantula keepers aiming for temperatures of 72-79’f / 22-26’C. 

What Happens If My Tarantula Gets Too Cold?

A tarantula that gets too cold will likely become sluggish. It may move around far less than usual, and these movements might be slower than you’re used to.

Your tarantula may stop eating, and may start to refuse any food you offer. They may refuse to moult, or may struggle to moult effectively if attempted.

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Kept this way for too long your tarantula may start to waste away and could eventually die. 

What is the Best Way to Heat a Tarantula?

There are many ways to heat a tarantula during colder weather. Possibly the most effective way to gently heat one specific room of your home, and to place all your tarantulas into this room. An oil-powered electric heater can be useful to achieve this warm environment.

As heat rises, many people find the upstairs of their house is warmer than the downstairs, so the solution can sometimes be as simple as just taking your tarantulas upstairs for the winter.

It is possible to use reptile heaters in a variety of ways, but great care should be taken to avoid your tarantula overheating.

One effective method, especially with smaller tarantulas, is to combine a heat mat with a suitable thermostat, then heat a large vivarium or cabinet. Your tarantula cage can then be placed inside the cabinet, keeping it warm throughout the winter. 

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Can Tarantulas Get Cold For Short Periods of Time?

Tarantulas can survive getting cold for short periods of time, such as if your heating breaks, or when moving house in colder weather. However when warming up a tarantula after such a cold spell it is a good idea to do this slowly, over an extended period of time. 

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Do Tarantulas Kept Warmer Grow Faster?

Generally speaking tarantulas that are kept warmer will eat more frequently and so will grow more rapidly. In contrast, tarantulas kept cooler will eat less regularly and so grow more slowly.

If you’ve bought a spiderling or juvenile tarantula and want it to grow as quickly as possible then ensuring it is warm enough can go a long way to achieving this goal. 

Richard Adams

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