Cleaners for widows?

Eli02

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
18
I have a few widows that I am keeping, and I was just wondering if anybody here had experience putting sow bugs/other cleaning crews in their tanks. I noticed that once they are done with their food they just cut it out of their webs and onto the ground, and thought that a cleaning crew would help. Do you guys think they would help, or do you think they would bother the widow. Another thing I was worried about what the widows eating the cleaners while they (the cleaners) are looking for food.

Thanks all!
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,311
Leave a Latro alone long enough in the right location you will find a small pile of isopod husks under the web. (The ones dumb enough to fall into the web and hit a sticky line, which needed removing from the gene pool anyway.)
 

Eli02

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
18
I'm keeping them in large jars. I was wondering if I could put isopods into the jar with them to clean up the carcasses of the insects I feed the spiders. @The Snark
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
Isopods need it to be much, much too humid to work with a widow. Most species in Latrodectus need it fairly dry, if not bone dry. All that I've kept do well with a monthly heavy misting with absolutely nothing in between. This goes for species native to Nebraska and Nevada, at least. An isopod would die within hours in that kind of environment - remember, they literally have a form of gills for respiration. Springtails may work, but they need it at least mildly damp 24/7. However, springtails are much more prone to eating mold than leftover prey.

I mean, really... I wouldn't worry about it. Again, it should be dry enough in there that you shouldn't have a problem with mold. Just leave the graveyard down there, let your widow display it's hunting prowess.
 

Rick McJimsey

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Messages
1,598
As @EulersK stated, with how dry most Latrodectus sp. are kept, there's really no need for a cleanup crew. Food items really won't mold or anything, they'll just be dry carcasses you can pull out with tongs.
 

Python

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
631
I've kept and bred thousands of latro's over the years and keeping them dry will definitely keep mold out of the picture. I will say though that the vast majority of mactans that I find are in water meter boxes which are sometimes flooded but at least very humid. When I hunt in the summer and I can find a widow anywhere else, I'm almost guaranteed one in a meter box. I keep them dry as well but they are nasty little critters. They eat anything that doesn't escape and they poop accordingly. Their webs end up looking pretty rough pretty fast. A cleanup crew would be awesome but they would just eat them. I keep mine in the one gallon plastic jugs from Walmart with nothing but some sticks to build a web on. I wash them out periodically with just hot water. it takes a few minutes to soften the poop enough to get it off the walls but it's not hard at all. Just a little elbow grease.
 
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