Red House spiders are a good choice for novice spider owners.
Red house spiders are small, pea shaped spiders with venom of low toxicity – though it is important not to confuse red house spiders with spiders with red markings, such as the Red Back spider, one of the most venomous spiders in the world. The females of both species both exhibit a pea shaped abdomen, though the red house spider tends to be smaller, with red legs and a brown abdomen whilst the redback tends to be solid black with a red stripe on their back. Or juvenile female redbacks may be almost as large as an adult female that their colourings may be grey with only a very light red stripe.
Red house spiders are more often very small in size and are found in abundance around the house. The reside in dark moist corners of the garden such as around pots, and may also be found around wire door frames.
The red-backed jumping spider, is also a popular variety of red spider to have as a pet in North America as they are common, non aggressive with low toxicity poison. Many owners handle them without concern for being bitten. In Australia we have few red jumping spiders, ours are mostly green
Due to their small size they are great for novice spider owners, especially children. They don’t require a large habit, a jar or small fish tank will be fine, just make sure its got some air holes and don’t leave it in the sun. They will gladly accept small insects as food – they can be fed daily if you wish but got for as long as a week without food. They don’t need water, they get all their fluid from their prey.
As they are small spiders, don’t put large insects in with them. Though larger insects can get tangled in the small red house spiders web, their thrashing will scare the much smaller spider and they will not approach it. Since they won’t attack something that is dead once the insect finally starve to death in the web it will simply go bad. Far better to ensure their prey is small enough for them to handle, but large enough to get caught in the messy webs.
Cleaning is not a problem and will only need to be done once every month or so. Insects corpses and spider poop(yes, they poop!) can lead to a bit of a mess at the bottom of their enclosure. Removing your spider using a small butterfly net, place it in a backup container and return it when the container is clean.
Their low aggression levels, small size and low toxicity make them an ideal first spider pet for a child – just don’t let them handle it as they will on occasion bite and it will sting.
Unlike larger varieties of spider, such as black pet spiders, red pet spiders are not intimidating in the least, and are a great way to introduce children to spiders. Some of them tend to bite, and may be slightly venomous, which might result in local pain, not more than that of a wasp bite. But it is advisable to not introduce spiders to children who are easily frightened as this could cause harm to both the child and the spider.