October 10th is Jumping Spider Day! Although spiders have for the most part been historically considered pests or creepy-crawlies, more and more people are realizing how interesting, beneficial, and cute they are. The most adorable of our eight-legged friends may very well be the jumping spider. You’ll learn some basics of caring for these fluffy little critters in this article from me, your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian.
Jumping spiders are quite cheap, don’t need much room, and believe it or not, are actually very cute. They live about one to three years, on average, and are native to warmer areas. Jumping spiders tend to be active during the day, making nests and exploring their habitats, and then sleep at night. Some do seem to warm up to their owners, but others are quite shy and skittish. While they are quite gentle, they can bite if they feel scared. They’re also quite charming!
Jumping spiders don’t need very much space: a one-gallon enclosure is fine. For substrate, pick something that holds moisture, such as coconut fiber. These guys love climbing, so offer lots of branches and leaves. You really can’t keep your pet from climbing the walls of his enclosure, so just make sure he has soft bedding to land on!
Jumping spiders prefer warmer climates: your pet’s habitat should be around 80. However, using in tank or under tank heating can be dangerous. It’s best to just keep the room at the temperature you need.
Your arachnid pal will eat insects. The exact serving sizes will change as your spider grows, but generally you’ll want to feed your pet as much as they want until they stop eating. Some of the things on the menu? Waxworms, mealworms, and crickets.
With jumping spiders, it’s very easy to tell boys from girls. The girls are always gray or orange, while boys are mostly black with patterns.
Jumping spiders need fairly high humidity levels. If their environment is too dry, they can get dehydrated, which can cause issues with their exoskeletons and shedding cycles. Your spider’s tank should be kept at about 50 to 60 percent humidity. You should be able to maintain these levels by misting your eight-legged buddy’s home twice a day.
As your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, I’m happy to answer any questions about caring for exotic pets. Contact me anytime!