Tarantula First Aid – Creating an ICU

Care Sheet, First Aid, Information 1 Comment »

Your Tarantula First Aid! Tarantulas suffer from very few illnesses and seldom get sick unfortunately there are not many exotic vets that would even take in a sick tarantula let alone help you with them. With this post we would like to share some common things you can do yourself to help your tarantula should something ever happen to it.


Creating an ICU:

The first thing you need to know how to do is creating an ICU (Intensive Care Unit). This is a must know how for any intermediate to expert tarantula hobbyist.

Step 1: Make sure you get a deli cup or plastic dish with matching lid. Make sure this is big enough to easily fit your biggest tarantula. Make sure to also puncture small holes for some air ventilation on the side of the cup/dish and a few on the lid.

Step2: Grab a few pieces of paper towels and lightly mist them with water. You are going to pack them nice and tight  at the bottom of your plastic cup/dish. This will allow your tarantula to feel nice, soft and secure.

Step3: What we also recommend is to add a small water dish filled with fresh clean water to the ICU should your tarantula need it.

Step4 (optional): In the event that you need to keep humidity levels up we do recommend you setting your ICU near a humidifier. This of course being optional is still a great recommended tip.


When to use an ICU:

There are certain scenarios where using an ICU will be your best option for your tarantula.

Dehydration: This can quite often be the easiest thing to overlook. Even desert species tarantulas can get dehydrated. A key sign of a dehydrated tarantula is a mildly shrunken abdomen. In worst cases a severely dehydrated tarantula will also have its legs curled up under him/her and even appear sluggish. Simply place the tarantula in the ICU cup and make sure the water dish is close to its mouth or even place its mouth in the water dish. You should not be alarmed as tarantulas breath from their book lungs situated on the underside of their abdomens and not mouth. Keep their abdomen away from the water source. We recommend you keep the tarantula in your ICU for about 12 hours at most while checking up on it every few hours. Your tarantula should be back to normal and make a full recovery within 24 hours.


Bad/Wet molt or trauma resulting in fluid leak: Arachnids use non muscular moving functions and rely on blood pressure and fluid (“blood”) to move limbs. Bad or wet molts happen to even the healthiest of tarantulas with no scientific explanation as to why. Should your tarantula experience a wet or bad molt immediate induction into an ICU would be your best bet. These same rules apply should your tarantula hurt itself by either a puncture wound or even a fall and starts to lose fluid. Make sure your tarantula drinks plenty of water to replace the fluid lost due to the wet/bad molt.


This will be the start of our Tarantula First Aid series as we give you other helpful tips and tricks for your tarantula in the event of an accident. Do you have questions about your tarantula? Simply ask away. We will be more than happy to help you.

Chilean Rose Tarantula (Grammostola rosea)

Grammostola, New World 10 Comments »

The Chilean Rose Tarantula is probably the most frequent species obtained in the United States and Europe. This mostly due to the fact that its easily found in pet stores everywhere! These wonderful arachnids originate from Chile, where they live in forests underground. In captivity these rose hairs tend to not burrow underground but spend most of there time just sitting still as the world passes by. What makes these tarantulas great as pets is the fact that they are extremely docile require very low maintenance and  are pretty much very inexpensive.


Grammostola Rosea



We recommend a terrarium of about 5 gallons for these guys. Being that they are from Chile they love very dry and warm places. Just by overfilling their water dish should be plenty to give this animal enough humidity in its tank. We have seen many people post online to make the substrate/soil damp/wet for the rose hair, please do not and please keep it as dry as possible. While it will cause the humidity levels to go up in your tank for the tarantula when your substrate is wet, you will find that your tarantula will start crawling up the sides of your tank/enclosure trying to get away from the “wetness”. As for substrate I would personally recommend eco earth, the stuff comes ready to use and my G. Rosea seems to love it.  We also recommend you keep the temperatures warm between 75 to 82 degrees. Remember they come from a very warm place and so love the heat.



The Chilean Rose Tarantula usually feast on a variety of insects such as crickets, mealworms, beetles, cockroaches, moths and even grasshoppers. I usually feed mine crickets as it is the most common food to find for them. Tarantulas usually get their protein and nutrients through these insects by biting down on them and sucking them dry. So to make sure your rosie gets all the nutrients it needs to live long and healthy feed your insects products that will make them a healthy meal for your tarantula. You can find these in powder form or as a type of jelly substance at your local pet store. Once you fatten up your insects with this, let your tarantula feast on them.

Chilean Rose Tarantula can be picky eaters at times maybe only eating one or two crickets a week. This is completely normal and you should not be alarmed. My rosie has gone weeks eating 10 crickets a week to certain weeks not wanting to eat at all.



While the Chilean Rose Tarantula might be docile and can get easily startled, it still sometimes can give you a bit of an attitude. Though rare they sometimes don’t want to be bothered. Some signs of you to give your tarantula some space is the raising of their front legs while showing fangs. This is a defensive stance which should indicate for you to back off. These animals are very reluctant to bite. Their bite feels like a bee/wasp sting and though not lethal to humans can cause allergic reactions to some people. The only other weapon in their defense is the tiny spine like hairs on their abdomens called urticatig hairs. They kick off and release these tiny hairs when threatened. These can cause rashes but can also be a danger if inhaled or they become lodged in your eyes. If you see your rosehair not having the best of day simply give it its space and leave it in its enclosure.


Following these simple steps will surely help you in your quest as a  beginner tarantula owner. For more detailed help feel free to ask by commenting on this post and please share this with your friends!