As a tarantula owner, keeping your spiders regularly fed on a proper diet should be one of your top
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priorities. Because regular trips to your local pet shop to purchase feeder insects can be demanding in both time and gasoline, buying crickets or dubia roaches online may seem like a better alternative. While oftentimes more convenient, there are certain reasons that you must choose a trusted insect vendor. The following article will outline what you should look for in the packaging, shipping speeds, insect sizes, and heat sources for insects associated with an online feeder vendor before placing an order.


If the packaging used by online vendors to ship feeder insects is not of good quality or made from proper materials, your cricket or roach buying experience may quickly turn sour. Incorrectly packaged insects are prone to escaping their containers in-transit, as well as being difficult to transfer from their shipping box/bag upon arrival at your home. For crickets, your parcel should ideally consist of a sturdy cardboard box filled with egg-crate to allow the crickets to move about without crushing each other, while dubia roaches are typically shipped by reputable vendors in sturdy, breathable burlap sacks, once again with egg crates inside. If the online vendor you are using is reputable, they will ensure that the container they send you is sturdy, as well as breathable to prevent your insects from suffocating while being shipped.

Shipping Time

A proper online vendor will typically choose the fastest shipping speed that is not cost-prohibitive. One or two day shipping is often selected for shipping insects between states, while other times, companies such as Bassett's Cricket Ranch situated in Central California will send a courier to deliver feeders to nearby localities on a same-day basis. Because crickets and roaches that take longer to ship have higher mortality rates, it is important to make sure your vendor pays for expedited shipping to minimize the number of fatalities among your feeders.

Cricket Size

Well-known insect vendors will advertise the sizes of the crickets/roaches that they sell on their websites, as well as practice breeding habits to keep the sizes of feeders consistent over time. These measures are taken to ensure return customers know they are getting the product they expect. Purchasing appropriately sized feeder insects for your tarantulas is extremely important as spiders may ignore feeders that are too large or small, and can even be harmed by too large of prey, especially soon after molting. The websites should have a size scale indicating intervals such as small, medium, and large to assist in picking the proper prey for your spider.

External Heat Source

Even in cold winter months, your pet spiders still have to eat. As the weather cools and outside temperatures drop, it is important that you know the precautions that your online cricket vendor takes to ensure that the highly cold-sensitive bugs they are sending you stay warm during transit. You should contact your supplier in the winter and fall to inquire about measures they might take such as including heat packets in the parcel they send you or additional insulation to make sure your feeders survive the trip from the warehouse to your home. Competent vendors will place adequate warnings on the boxes you receive to notify both yourself and the postal workers handling it of the potential fire hazards associated with chemical heat packs “if included.”

While oftentimes simpler than making frequent trips to the local pet store, purchasing feeder insects for pet tarantulas online can lead to unexpected complications if owners do business with a seedy vendor. Picking an online supplier that ensures high-quality insects are shipped in sturdy insulated packaging, within a timely manner, is one way that you can take some of the stress out of tarantula keeping.