Because of the environmentally sensitive nature of many tarantula species, it is important to make sure that you keep your spider’s enclosure clean in order to promote good health and wellness. Regular tank cleaning can help prevent your tarantula from contracting nasty parasitic or fungal infections which can occur if terrarium maintenance is neglected for too long. This article will outline the steps necessary to properly clean your tarantula’s enclosure on a daily and monthly basis while also taking adequate precautions to avoid painful bites or being stuck by urticating hairs from your old or new world spiders.

Everyday Care

While deep cleaning of your tarantula’s enclosure should be done bi-monthly, there are certain steps owners need to take every day to ensure their spiders have a clean living space. The following points are steps you can take each morning or evening to prevent a smelly and unsanitary living situation for your spider:

  1. Fresh Water: Tarantula’s like any other animal require clean water to survive. The water dish you provide your tarantula should be shallow enough to allow your spider to drink from it without running the risk of drowning in it. Debris and uneaten food or excrement can easily get in your tarantula's water dish posing a possible health risk, so emptying it and adding new water regularly is extremely important.
  2. Molting and Exoskeletons: Tarantulas regularly molt, or shed their skin,dropping a exoskeleton which to the unaware may appear to be the corpse of your beloved spider. While molting is a regular and natural part of the arachnid life cycle, the exoskeletons should not be left in the enclosure once it has been shed. Owners should carefully remove the discarded skeleton, taking care not to disrupt the resident tarantula who will be extremely vulnerable due to its still soft new skin.
  3. Excrement and Uneaten Food: Crickets or other prey that you have provided for your tarantulas can either hurt your spider or perish from lack of sustenance if left uneaten. Live insects are liable to inflict stress or bodily harm upon tarantulas, especially those who have recently molted, while deceased prey and tarantula excrement can attract bacteria and even other pests which can even get your spider sick in some circumstances. Owners should promptly remove excrement as soon as it is noticed, as well as prey that their tarantulas did not show interest in.


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Deep Cleaning

While the deep cleaning of a tarantula’s enclosure can be performed every four to five months, owners should try to make a habit of completely sanitizing their enclosures every eight weeks. The following steps outline the process of safely removing your tarantula from its enclosure and performing a thorough cleaning.

  1. Before removing their tarantula, owners should position their enclosures on a coffee table or low-to-the-ground surface to prevent serious harm to their tarantulas in the event of it leaping from their hands while being transferred between containers. Making sure the tarantula is not in an aggressive mood, owners should coax their spider into a gloved hand and steadily transfer it into a clean Tupperware or empty terrarium.​
  2. Once the tarantula is safely removed from its habitat, all decorations and permanent fixtures should be set aside in a bucket while all bedding is discarded into a waste bin or trash bag.​
  3. The bucket with the terrarium’s decorations and fixtures should be filled with a two or three percent bleach to water solution with which all items should be scrubbed with a clean sponge or towel.​
  4. Using the same bleach to water solution, the walls and floor of the terrarium should be scrubbed and sanitized to remove all grime and residual bacteria.​
  5. Once the habitat's accessories and cage have been thoroughly scrubbed with the homemade cleaning solution, they should be rinsed with copious amounts of clean distilled or tap water to remove all bleach from the surfaces.​
  6. Once all components of the habitat have either been completely dried by air or a clean towel, the new substrate can be added to the terrarium followed by the decorations and lastly the tarantula.​

If done regularly and properly, cleaning your tarantula's enclosure will mitigate the risk of your spiders coming into contact with any harmful agents. Proper habitat hygiene is one of the easiest ways you can ensure the health and well-being of your pets.