Tarantula Care is my attempt to provide a valuable online resource for keepers, and potential keepers of tarantulas and other inverts. There is lots of great information online, but unfortunately there is also lots of old, outdated, spurious, or just plain bad info too. I don’t claim to be the World’s foremost expert on tarantula care, but I do feel that I’ve learned a thing or two over the years that will be of value to other keepers,. It’s my hope that over time this site becomes a valued resource, and that I can help prevent future keepers from making some of the same mistakes made in the past, and to enjoy keeping tarantulas safely and healthily.
Who am I?
My name is Billy Deakin, I live in Cornwall in the UK, and I’ve been keeping “exotic pets” now for well over 25 years. I started with a lizard (a Chilean lizard – Lagartija Chilena) when I was just 7 years old. Within a year I’d managed to persuade my parents to allow me to get my first snake (A Red sided garter -Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) and I’ve never looked back. However, my tarantula experience didn’t start until much later, since you might be surprised to know that I’m arachnophobic!
My fear of spiders is one of the reasons I started keeping tarantulas, as I was determined to get over (or at least reduce) my fear and knew that desensitisation was one of the best ways to do so. I won’t go into details here since I intend to write about this in more detail in the future for anyone else in a similar situation, but suffice to say that keeping Ts really has helped my fear no end.
Aside from my arachnophobia, the primary drive for getting involved with Ts was my wife. She has always loved them and every time we visited a reptile store or zoo (which is pretty regularly!) she would make a beeline for them, and ask if we could have one. She knew I was arachnophobic of course (she was the one who had to catch house spiders in a glass and put them outside – I wouldn’t go near them!) so her requests were always half in jest, but at the same time half serious. Her argument was that since I was allowed to keep my reptiles in the house, she should be allowed to keep a T.
Long story short (and I will go into detail in a future post about how we started in the hobby) we got our first tarantula, a Mexican Red Knee spiderling and things snowballed from there. I became more and more used to having her (we named her Matilda) in the house, and devoured every book on the subject I could as I became more and more interested in tarantulas, and spiders in general. It wasn’t long before we got our second (a Chilean Rose), and then our third, and then our forth…
As our collection has grown, so has my knowledge and experience. My wife and I have read all the books we could find on the subject, joined the British Tarantula Society, spent countless hours on tarantula forums, and gained a wealth of experience in keeping Ts of all ages and sizes. So now it’s time to start giving back some of that knowledge to help others, in the hope that this little site might help dispel some of the myths about these amazing creatures, and help new keepers avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes common in the hobby.
Back in 2009 I decided to share some of my 25+ years experince with keeping reptiles by writing a book on keeping snakes, in particular boas. It’s called Boa Care Made Easy and is available to buy on Amazon.com
The book goes over every aspect of snake care, from research through choosing a suitable snake, care and husbandry and more. If you’re interested in tarantulas then there’s a reasonable chance you’re also interested in reptiles so check it out!