Cleaning up Feeders

4wrdUn2Dwn

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
28
I'm still new to the caring of Ts so I'm curious as to the cleaning of feeders, not sure if this is the right boards so I apologize if it is misplaced. I received my 3" LP on Friday, fed her Saturday, she created a burrow under the cork bark she has on Sunday, then fed her Monday night and Tuesday morning. I'll explain the last part because I know I don't want to overfeed her. Firstly I could see she was in the waiting for food to come by stance with her staying at the edge of the burrow opening, so Monday night I dropped in a Dubia (all Dubias I have fed her are about 1"). Problem was I dropped it too close and she backed up startled and the roach scuttled off and buried itself, I forgot to crush its head. I thought how can I get it to come to the burrow in the night, so I put a cut grape near the entrance of the burrow to lure the roach in. Morning comes and against my better judgement I decided to crush the head of another one and drop it in front of the burrow. I go eat cereal and the new roach was gone when I came back with her in the shadows carrying what I assume to be the roach. Then this afternoon I noticed the grape had been munched on and I'm wondering if my T ate both roaches and is just a pig. I know, don't put too many feeders in and don't overfeed, it was a bad decision and I the future gonna crush the heads of all the roaches I put in to better keep track of them. Just a newbie mistake from over worrying about feeding a new pet.

My questions are these, should I try to fish around without disturbing the T for the roach or try and lure it into a container to remove, if the one from Monday is still kicking around. Assuming she ate all of them, should I have any concern I haven't seen any carcasses? If I don't see any carcasses should I change the substrate every few months to ensure no mold starts to grow from the dead Dubias? Hope my questions make sense, any help is appreciated.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,825
My questions are these, should I try to fish around without disturbing the T for the roach or try and lure it into a container to remove, if the one from Monday is still kicking around.
If you can easily locate it, great. If not, I wouldn't worry too much about a lost roach unless your tarantula is about to molt. (Feeder insects can kill a molting tarantula.)


Assuming she ate all of them, should I have any concern I haven't seen any carcasses?
No. When a tarantula eats a feeder insect, it leaves behind a bolus (a little ball of the indigestible parts of prey wrapped in silk). These can be hard to spot, as they blend in with many substrates.

I remove these when I find them, but I don't worry too much if I can't find them, as my tarantulas are all on relatively dry substrate, so the potential for mold or other infestations is low.


If I don't see any carcasses should I change the substrate every few months to ensure no mold starts to grow from the dead Dubias?
For a tarantula being kept on relatively dry substrate, there is no need to regularly change the substrate. Spot cleaning of uneaten prey / boluses will suffice.

Most of us only change substrate during rehousings or if there is a serious problem with mold, pest organisms, or potential exposure to airborne poisons (for example, insecticides). If the enclosure looks good and smells good, it's probably fine.
 

4wrdUn2Dwn

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
28
Thanks for the info! Didn't know about the bolus thing, I just thought there would be an empty husk of an insect. I guess once she does get to the point of molting I'll just tap around in the substrate a bit where she isn't just to double check that roach is definitely gone, which I don't see why it wouldn't be. I also thought that was one of the perks of Dubias is they don't bite T so they would hurt it while molting, then again I could just be misreading.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
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Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,825
I also thought that was one of the perks of Dubias is they don't bite T so they would hurt it while molting, then again I could just be misreading.
I wouldn't trust any feeder insect with a molting tarantula.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
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3,290
I also thought that was one of the perks of Dubias is they don't bite T so they would hurt it while molting, then again I could just be misreading.
Dubia are known to be cannibalistic at times, meaning they could certainly take a chunk out of a molting tarantula.
 

mconnachan

Arachnoprince
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
1,246
To be honest, the way your post reads the LP has eaten both, just keep an eye out for the dubious^^^ character, if you see it get it out, I wouldn't worry about it if the spider isn't nearing a molt then there's no risk, the T will soon devour the pest. @Ungoliant posted the best advice, now that's what I call a thorough answer, good for you @Ungoliant very informative. Look for boluses and remove them as soon as possible.
 

4wrdUn2Dwn

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
28
I had to google what boluses look like and I haven't seen any since I was informed about them. Thanks for all the advice, always helpful for a newbie like myself!
 

Matttoadman

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 11, 2016
Messages
216
If you have room you could place a dish of some kind flush into the substrate with a piece of oat or fish food and wait for the roach to fall in and get trapped. As long as the sides are smooth(no lid threads) and it's deep enough.
 
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