A Guide to Insects and Arachnids as Pets

For many people, the thought of having spiders or insects in the house is unpleasant, however there are many people that consider the idea of keeping an insect or spider as a pet to be fascinating. Insects and arachnids fall into a group known as invertebrates, as they do not have a backbone. There are millions of different invertebrates but not all are suitable to have as pets. While many different types of insects and spiders can be kept as pets, it is important to research proper care prior to purchasing one.

In general, invertebrates require much less maintenance when compared to animals such as dogs or cats, and even caged animals like rabbits. Invertebrates do not take up a ton of space and do not require training and handling like many other pets. In fact, it is generally recommended that pets such as these are handled as little as possible. While they shouldn't necessarily be handled often, invertebrates can be fascinating animals to observe. It is important to keep in mind that while invertebrates tend to require less maintenance than other pets, they still have unique requirements when it comes to care. Attention must be given to feeding, housing, interaction with people, and security.

Often, people who are considering getting an invertebrate as a pet have some idea as to what they want whether it be a spider or some type of insect. For beginners, a good rule to follow is to choose a species that is both hardy and fairly easy to care for. Beginners should also choose species that are known for being docile and not dangerous. In general, invertebrates can be fascinating to children but they should not be completely responsible for care for both their protection and that of the animal.

Common Invertebrate Pets

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches - Hissing cockroaches are a great choice for beginners as they are quite easy to care for. They are also known to be docile as well as hardy and they are not dangerous. Hissing cockroaches are interesting animals that make a hissing noise with their bodies. They are easy to care for due to the fact that they do not require a ton of food, they don't run up expensive veterinarian bills, and they are fairly easy to handle.

Tarantulas - Tarantulas are a popular choice for those looking to keep an arachnid as a pet. Tarantulas are generally low maintenance pets but can be very fragile. There are differing opinions regarding whether tarantulas should be handled. For beginners, a species that is docile and not likely to bite is the best option. There are many different species of tarantulas ranging from desert species to those that reside in tropical areas. Common tarantula species kept as pets include Chilean Rose Hair, and Mexican Red Knee tarantulas among others.

Scorpions - Scorpions are pets that should not be handled due to their ability to sting as well as their strong claws. Scorpions are not generally recommended for beginners but easier species to care for include Thai black scorpions, and Emperor scorpions. Species of scorpion include both those that live in the desert and those that live in the jungle. It is imperative to know which type of scorpion you have as habitat and care differ between species.

Millipedes - The word millipede means one thousand feet but contrary to popular belief, most millipede species have somewhere between two hundred and three hundred legs as adults. Millipedes are generally easy to keep and care for, making them ideal for beginner invertebrate owners. Of the various species, the most common one kept as a pet is the Giant African Millipede. These creatures really only require a bit of soil, moisture, a shelter, and some food. Millipedes are able to escape however so it is important that their enclosure is secure.

In addition to the various invertebrate species listed above, there are other types of insects and arachnids that can be kept as pets. Regardless of the type of invertebrate you choose as a pet, it is extremely important that you learn about the species in order to provide it with the best care possible. Research should be done on housing, feeding, and handling invertebrate pets.

Learn more about keeping invertebrates as pets: