Cleaning Tarantula Enclosure
Most people keep a tarantula in a fish tank or a plastic cage with a mesh screen. The more simple your housing for the tarantula, the easier it is to clean. Unlike many other pets, tarantulas are relatively clean. They do not make a mess everywhere. They usually defecate in one corner and use the rest of the space to sleep and rest.
When to clean the tarantula enclosure
There is no set routine for cleaning the tarantula’s cage. In general, you should visually inspect the cage and determine if it is messy or smelly. In most cases, the cage can be cleaned once every 5-12 days. Experts recommend that a good cleaning of the entire cage should be done at least once every 4-6 months.
However, it is important to clean up any residual food that has been inside the cage for more than 24 hours. If you leave food for too long, it will start to smell. The one thing that does need regular cleaning is the water dish. Often the water becomes moldy or is fouled by food or an insect. You need to throw out the old water, clean the dish and add fresh water everyday. The water levels should be shallow otherwise it can drown the spider.
When you clean the cage, the first thing you should know is that this is the one time period when your tarantula has the greatest risk of escape. Even during minor cleaning, the tarantula can quickly escape from the open lid. So if you do not want to lose your pet, then you need to take precautions. Transport your tarantula to a holding container that is secure. Some people place a mesh jar/cup over the spider while they clean and others transport the creature outside to another secure holding case.
Once the spider is secure, wash the walls with a wet cloth, scrub the floor and remove all junk. Do not use any type of chemical to wash and scrub the tank. The fumes will generally prove to be toxic and kill your tarantula. You may need to replace the compost or vermiculite and plants every few months. Remove any jagged edges from the plants or small stones that can hurt the spider. Finally check the lighting to make sure it is not emitting too much heat and adjust the humidity to prevent excessive wetness.
Use a common sense approach to cleaning. If you do not clean the cage regularly, your tarantula will not thrive and the place will reek of bad odor. So if your tarantula’s housing smells, the problem is you are lazy and not the arachnid.