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As tarantulas come from tropical, subtropical, and dry locations around the world, they are for the most part accustomed to a certain temperature level. The majority of the world’s tarantula species are found in the northern regions of South America, but they are also native to some southwestern areas of the United States and, as mentioned above, other areas of the world.
As you might imagine then, tarantulas in captivity may require some form of artificial heat, particularly those that are kept in colder locations. For the most part, tarantulas will do well in temperatures that are between 21-27C. So in homes with central heating systems, artificial heat is not usually required. However, when central heating is typically switched off (say from late spring to late autumn), it may be necessary for tarantula keepers to look into other means of keeping their spiders warm.
What Type of Heating Method is Best for Tarantulas?
As mentioned, tarantulas are comfortable at temperatures up to around 27C. To achieve this ideal temperature, you might need a device with a thermostat that can control the temperature. And when it comes to tarantulas, it is better to use heating mats or underground cables rather than heat lamps. Heat lamps can be particularly troublesome as they could dry out a tarantula very quickly.
If you’re interested, Amazon sells a great range of heating mats, which can be found here. However, this writer would actually recommend not using any direct artificial heat source…
Is it Better to Just Heat the Room Instead?
Indeed, many of those with experience of keeping tarantulas, and particularly those who breed these arachnids, will tell you that heating devices are simply not necessary. They prefer to heat the room that the tarantula is in rather than the actual enclosure, believing that this is by far the safest method of heating for the tarantula.
Even those with drafty homes can achieve the optimum temperature in one room with specific space heaters (such as oil-filled heaters or heating fans). The one thing that you do need to remember is that most of the tarantula species kept as pets should be absolutely fine at room temperature and will therefore require no artificial heating at all.
- Featured Image (Chaco Golden Knee): PavelSI – public domain
- Acanthoscurria gomesiana: Source: Hector M. O. Gonzalez-Filho, Sylvia M. Lucas, Felipe dos S. Paula, Rafael P. Indicatti, and Antonio D. Brescovit (2012) “On the Taxonomy of Acanthoscurria Ausserer from Southeastern Brazil with Data on the Natural History of A. gomesiana Mello-Leitão (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae)”, International Journal of Zoology, vol. 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/721793 Figure 1 – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
- Blue Foot Baboon: Quengsalinas – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
- Brazilian Red Birdeater: Hectonichus – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
- Trinidad Dwarf Tarantula: Morkelsker – public domain
- Acanthoscurria theraphosoides: Sjl197 – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
- Mexican Fireleg: Micha L. Rieser