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Food for Thought?

by Martin Overton

What a strange lot we are! Some of us pamper are Arachnid friends as if they were kin, offering choice tidbits and treats. But, flippancy aside let's have a look at what our Arachnids get fed and the benefits/risks of each.


These are probably the most widely used creatures that most of us use to feed our Arachnids and there are few moral or dietary issues to be concerned about. Simply, crickets are excellent food, and for most species are ideal. Are there any risks in offering our charges crickets? Apart from the occasional worry about intestinal parasites and the risk from feeding your Arachnid when it's about to moult or as a young spiderling offering a too large cricket the dangers are almost non-existent.

Live or dead? Does it matter? According to a recent thread, Arachnids in many cases don't care whether there crickets are active or not. So if you feel that you don't want to put the crickets through the ordeal of being eaten alive, then put them out of their misery before you place them in Arachnids tank, either way your Arachnids shouldn't mind.


These large 'hoppers are great for larger species for much the same reasons as crickets. I have heard that Locusts are more prone to intestinal parasites than crickets and therefore should be used with caution.


Some of you I know swear by them for your Arachnids and for some of the largest tarantulas they are good for occasional use. I for one do not approve of feeding live mice[1] to Arachnids (or any other creature).

Apart from the distress to the mouse there is a serious risk that your pet will get damaged by a cornered mouse. Some of you know how difficult and messy it can be to try and patch up a bleeding tarantula. If you are going to feed them mice, please for your sake, the mouse's and our pets use frozen mice that have been thawed out for ten minutes in hot water.


Heart: A number of breeders and enthusiasts use this.
Liver: Some also claim to have tried this with success.
Moths: My B. emilia loves these.
Worms: These apparently go down well with Scorpions, but don't use the red fishing ones!
Mealworms: Some swear by them, but not one of the mainstream offerings.
Daddy Long-Legs: My B. emilia loves these also.

Got any more?

Of course we could turn this article on it's head and look at the bugs that we (the human race) eat........

But that's another story! .....See here for a sample

[1] In the UK it is actually illegal to feed live vertebrates to another vertebrate or invertebrate.


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