Tarantula Care

Tarantula Feeding: What, When, and How to Feed Them

Tarantula Feeding
Written by psoti

Tarantulas are fascinating creatures known for their impressive size, striking appearance, and intriguing behaviors. To ensure the well-being of your eight-legged companion, it is important to understand their dietary needs and feeding habits. In this article, we will explore what, when, and how to feed tarantulas, providing valuable insights for arachnid enthusiasts.


Tarantulas are carnivorous arachnids that primarily feed on live prey. Their diets consist of insects, other arachnids, and occasionally small vertebrates. Proper feeding is essential to maintain a healthy and thriving tarantula.

The Importance of Proper Tarantula Feeding

Feeding your tarantula correctly is crucial for several reasons. It ensures their nutritional needs, promotes growth and sustains their well-being.

Tarantula Diet: What to Feed Them

  1. Live Prey

Live prey is the primary food source for tarantulas. In the wild, tarantulas hunt insects like crickets, roaches, and grasshoppers. When keeping tarantulas as pets, it’s essential to provide a variety of live prey to maintain a balanced diet.

  1. Pre-killed Prey

Some tarantula owners prefer offering pre-killed prey to avoid potential pet injuries. Pre-killed prey can be purchased or prepared at home, ensuring that the food is dead but still fresh.

  1. Supplements

Occasionally, you may need to supplement your tarantula’s diet with vitamins and minerals. Commercial tarantula supplements are available to help ensure your pet receives all the necessary nutrients.

Feeding Frequency

Tarantulas don’t require daily feedings. The feeding frequency depends on the tarantula’s age and species. Generally, adult tarantulas can be fed once every 2-3 weeks, while juvenile tarantulas may need more frequent feedings.

Feeding Method

Feeding your tarantula can be an exciting and engaging experience. There are two standard methods for feeding tarantulas:

  1. Hand-Feeding

Hand-feeding involves using forceps or your fingers to offer prey to your tarantula directly. It allows you to observe your pet’s feeding behavior up close.

  1. Leave-and-Wait Method

The leave-and-wait method involves placing the prey in the tarantula’s enclosure and allowing them to hunt independently. This method mimics their natural hunting behavior and provides mental stimulation.

What Not to Feed Tarantulas

Avoid feeding tarantulas any toxic or hard-shelled insects. Additionally, it’s best to stay away from wild-caught prey, as it can carry diseases or parasites that may harm your pet.

Feeding for Different Tarantula Species

Various tarantula species have different dietary requirements. Research your specific tarantula species to ensure you’re providing the right food and feeding schedule.

Feeding During Molting

During the molting process, tarantulas do not eat. It’s essential to remove any uneaten prey from the enclosure to prevent harm to the vulnerable tarantula.

Signs of a Well-Fed Tarantula

A well-fed tarantula is active, has a plump abdomen, and exhibits a healthy, vibrant appearance. Consistency in feeding and proper nutrition will help achieve these signs.

Hydration and Tarantula Feeding

While tarantulas primarily obtain their hydration from the prey they consume, it’s essential to provide a shallow water dish in their enclosure to ensure they have access to water.

Common Feeding Problems

Common feeding problems in tarantulas include overfeeding, underfeeding, and refusal to eat. These issues can be resolved with knowledge and careful observation.

Further Tips for Successful Tarantula Care

1. Observation is Key

Regularly observe your tarantula to monitor its health. Please pay attention to its activity levels, web-building behavior, and appearance. Any sudden changes in behavior or appearance may indicate a problem.

2Habitat Maintenance

Keep the tarantula’s enclosure clean and well-maintained. Remove uneaten prey items promptly to prevent mold and bacterial growth. Ensure that the substrate and hiding spots suit your tarantula’s species.

3Handling with Care

While some tarantula species are docile, it’s generally recommended to avoid unnecessary handling. Tarantulas can become stressed or agitated when handled, which may lead to defensive behaviors.

4Gentle Enclosure Maintenance

When it’s necessary to clean or maintain the enclosure, do so gently and without causing undue stress to your tarantula. Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling any part of the habitat.

5.  Breeding Considerations

If you’re interested in breeding tarantulas, it’s a complex and specialized aspect of tarantula care that requires in-depth knowledge. Seek guidance from experts if you decide to pursue this endeavor.

6.   Expert Advice

If you are a new tarantula owner, don’t hesitate to seek advice from experienced tarantula keepers or enthusiasts. Online forums and local clubs can be valuable resources for sharing knowledge and experiences.


In conclusion, you understood what, when, and how to feed tarantulas is a fundamental aspect of their care. By providing a balanced and appropriate diet, monitoring their health, and maintaining their habitat, you can ensure your tarantula thrives and enjoys a long and fulfilling life as your exotic pet. Remember that tarantula care can be a rewarding and educational experience. Treat your eight-legged friend with respect and care, and you’ll likely be fascinated by their intriguing behaviors and unique personalities. Always prioritize the well-being of your tarantula and strive to create the best possible environment for them.

If you have any more questions or need further guidance on tarantula care, don’t hesitate to contact experts in the field or join online communities dedicated to tarantula enthusiasts. Feeding your tarantula can be a rewarding experience when done correctly. Understanding their dietary needs, feeding frequency, and methods is essential for their well-being.


Q1. Should I be concerned if my tarantula loses its appetite during certain seasons?

These frequently asked questions should clarify additional concerns regarding tarantula feeding and care. Now, let’s delve deeper into some of the critical aspects of tarantula feeding.

Q2. How can I tell if my tarantula is ready to molt?

Tarantulas undergo molting, shedding their exoskeleton to accommodate their growth. You can tell when your tarantula is ready to molt by observing signs like a darkened or dull appearance, reduced activity, and refusal to eat. During this period, it’s crucial not to disturb them, as they are vulnerable.

Q3. Are there any specific considerations for feeding different tarantula species?

Yes, different tarantula species may have unique dietary requirements. Some are more voracious eaters, while others are more selective. It’s essential to research the specific species you are caring for to ensure they receive the appropriate diet and care.

Q4. Can I feed my tarantula fruits or vegetables?

Generally, tarantulas are carnivorous and should primarily be fed live insects or pre-killed prey. Feeding them fruits or vegetables is not recommended as it may not provide the essential nutrients they need. Stick to their natural diet for their well-being.

Q5. What are the signs of overfeeding a tarantula?

Overfeeding a tarantula can lead to obesity and other health issues. Signs of overfeeding include an overly plump abdomen, lethargy, and a decline in activity. It’s essential to maintain a balanced feeding schedule to prevent overfeeding.

Q6. Should I be concerned if my tarantula loses its appetite during certain seasons?

Tarantulas can exhibit variations in their feeding behavior, often linked to seasonal changes. It’s common for them to reduce their appetite during the cooler months. However, if you observe any signs of illness or prolonged appetite loss, consult with an experienced tarantula keeper or a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets. If you have further questions or need assistance with tarantula care, feel free to contact experts in the field or seek guidance from experienced tarantula keepers in online communities dedicated to arachnid enthusiasts.

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