What Do Tarantulas Eat? – Guide for Spider Owners

If you’re a tarantula owner, then you’ll have to carefully choose what types of food you’ll feed to your tarantula.

What Do Tarantulas Eat

The types of food that tarantulas prefer most include insects. The staple of their diet should be crickets, but you can supplement their diet with other types of insects, mealworms, king worms, silkworms, hornworms, roaches, pink mice, and even small lizards.

Tarantulas can have a diverse diet, as they’re not particularly picky eaters. They are exclusively carnivores, though. In nature, tarantulas like to hunt down their prey, as they go after live prey mostly. So, you might have trouble feeding a captive tarantula.

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians or pet shop owners. Consult a professional for advice specific to your own animal. The below information is general and for educational purposes only.

Foods that Pet Tarantulas Can Eat

A good thing about owning a pet tarantula is that it is not a demanding species to take care of. You’ll want to provide some variety in their diet, though.

Here are the best foods that can be fed to a tarantula.

1. Crickets

Crickets will be the primary type of food for a pet tarantula, just like they are in nature.

The good thing about crickets is that they’re available in almost every pet store around the world.

You’ll want to buy gut-loaded crickets for feeding your tarantula. This will better simulate the crickets that tarantulas hunt in the wild. Not only this, but these crickets will also provide your pet spider with some additional and much-needed nutrients to survive and thrive.

You might need to experiment a bit with the types of crickets you buy. Some crickets will be fed with different foods, which might not completely suit your tarantula. Know that the foods that crickets are fed will ultimately be the main source of food.

Another crucial tip here is to consider the size of the crickets you buy. They should not be larger than the body of a tarantula (which, fortunately, does not happen very often – unless you have a baby tarantula).

Related: How Long can a Tarantula Live without Food?

2. Other Insects

Even though tarantulas like to eat crickets and they go mad for them, you’ll want to keep some variety in their diet. If the tarantula gets bored of crickets, they won’t eat them any longer.

In this case, you’ll want to add some other insects to their diet.

These are the best types of insects you can consider for feeding your tarantula:

  • Roaches – roaches are an excellent type of food for tarantulas. They are full of nutrients and relatively inexpensive. They will also satiate the tarantula nicely. One of the best types of roaches you can buy for tarantulas is dubia roaches.
  • Locusts – if you don’t like the idea of only feeding roaches and crickets to your tarantula, you can supplement their diet with locusts. These are always a good type of food that you can even collect on your own!
  • Other insects – you might also want to consider other types of insects, including bugs, ants, and flies. Some of these might be available in your pet shop. A good idea here is to try each food and see if your tarantula likes it.

Read More: 7 Spider Species that Look Like Ticks or Ants

3. Worms

A lot of tarantula owners will tell you that you should feed your tarantula not only insects but worms as well.

One of the main reasons for this is because feeder worms are a great source of nutrients for the tarantula. They contain a lot of protein and minerals, which are both crucial for the survival and growth of your pet spider.

In this regard, you have many different options. Mealworms are the most widely preferred for tarantulas, but you can also consider other types of worms as well:

  • King worms
  • Silkworms
  • Hornworms

Again, you might need to experiment a bit to see which type of food it is that your spider prefers.

Related Article: Do Tarantulas Eat Their Molt?

4. Feeder Lizards, Frogs, Geckos

Not all pet shops in the world will sell feeder lizards, frogs, or geckos; however, if you happen to live near one of these shops, you may try buying one of these foods for your pet tarantula and see if it likes it.

The most important thing to keep in mind if you opt for this type of food is that the feeder food you select should always be smaller than the tarantula, or else it’s going to have problems digesting the food.

Related: Do Tarantulas Need Water?

Tarantula Feeding Guide

Consult your local pet store or veterinarian about tarantula feeding advice. However, below are some general pieces of information that a pet tarantula owner may be given.

  • Adults need feeding once a week, while babies need feeding daily. Smaller spiders will need to be fed more frequently because they’re growing up. Adults, however, will only need one larger meal per week to thrive – at most two. Create a mark on your calendar and put a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget to feed your tarantula.
  • If you buy live prey, simply drop it next to the spider. The tarantula likes the thrill of the hunt, and you’ll only need to place the prey next to the spider, and it will do the job on its own after that.
  • Feeding is done best in the evening. This is a general rule because that’s when tarantulas are at their most active, but it doesn’t have to be in the evening for everyone out there. Experiment to see what works for you.
  • Provide a dish of fresh water. Your tarantulas should always have access to fresh water. You will want to keep a dish of fresh water nearby to keep your tarantula satiated. They can be picky about only liking fresh water.
  • Never feed foods that are larger than your tarantula. This is crucial if you’re feeding your tarantula live foods. You don’t want the prey to be larger, because the tarantula might struggle to catch it or consume it completely. Always look for foods that are smaller than your pet spider.



There you have it, this is all you need to know about the foods that your tarantula spider will eat. It’s pretty simple to sustain your tarantula if you know what you’re doing.

As already mentioned, you should feed your tarantula what it likes best, so you might need to experiment a bit and tweak the diet based on your experience with the spider. And remember, consult a professional about specific advice for your own pet.

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