Colder Climate Care


Old Timer
Sep 29, 2006
i just use some low-w lamps in my t shelf. for a collection as yours, a single light bulb (not for reptiles, just a regular one) or a long heating cable should be enough. those are low-cost solutions ans will keep you from losing ts to a broken thermostat. and especially with slings, it can happen. need not, but can.


Jun 15, 2005
I live in Minnesota and also like to keep the heat down to save gas. I have a few tricks that seem to help, and I don't use any heat lamps or anything anymore.

Keep the storm windows closed. Go to your home depot or similar place, and get some of that plastic wrap to put over your windows. The plastic will help keep out cold from coming in through the window cracks and provide and extra layer. Put a curtain over any windows in your animal room to provide some extra layering. Have some random blankets handy in case of emergency. Keep everyone away from outside walls.

You should be just fine. I have more problems in the summer when it gets too hot.



Old Timer
Jun 20, 2007
If you want to go all out and your collection isn't huge, you can get a glass front shelving unit (like a display case) and put a heat mat with one of the adjustable setting attachments on the bottom with a pan of water. This will allow you to regulate the temperature and humidity without having to regulate a whole room. you can also mount lights under the shelves. You will probably need ventilation holes so it doesn't get too musty in there. It would be a bit of work but it could look very nice and keep your spiders warm and moist.


Old Timer
Feb 28, 2007
If you use a heat mat, use a reptile UTH and a rheostat or thermostat to keep the temperature regulated. Unregulated they can get up over 120 degrees and cook your Ts. (or reptiles)


Old Timer
Jul 22, 2006
I would like to add that I keep some of those little disposable heat pads in my emergency kit. If/when the power goes out in an ice storm everyone gets one or two in their tanks and I can go sleep at a hotel and not worry about them.

If the temps are really low they get put in small plastic cups with some substrate, packed up in a cooler with a couple heating pads and come along with us to a hotel. It has happened once when the power went out for 3 days. That’s one of the reason I do not keep a large amount of T’s.


Stan Schultz

Old Timer
Jul 16, 2004
I will be moving to upstate New York with my Ts. What kind of precautions should I take for winter? Any other care tips?
Living in the great frozen north (Calgary, Alberta), we've become some sort of experts about tarantulas and winter.

Basically, as long as the temperature in the tarantula room doesn't drop near freezing you're okay. Basically, as long as the temperature in the tarantula room gets up into the 70s (F) four days out of five they'll do just fine. Just don't expect them to eat like pigs in mid-winter like they do in mid-summer.

Try to keep your tarantulas in an inside room (as opposed to one with a large exterior wall) and try to keep them away from windows or walls that get cold. As close to the center of the house as possible is good.

Using artificial heating appliances like space heaters and cage/tank heaters invokes all sorts of risks and hazards and usually turns into a very costly proposition. It's seldom worth the effort. Tarantulas are tougher than you can guess, especially when it comes to hot and cold. In fact, there is a strong suspicion that many of them *REQUIRE* a winter cool period in order to breed reliably in spring.

A far greater hazard may be the catastrophic drop in relative humidity in the winter. (Most of you will have read my rants against misting tarantula cages. I will spare you here!) In the great frozen, extremely dry, north you will almost surely have to do something to control humidity in the tarantula's cages. By far the easiest, cheapest and most reliable way is to merely use a larger water dish (or an extra one) and cover the open top of the cage with plastic food wrap. Don't worry about what the actual relative humidity is in the cages. It's largely irrelevant for any number of reasons. The mere fact that it's higher than room humidity is all that's important. The tarantulas are easily capable of making the minor compensations after that.

Good luck with your move.