gnats vs humidity

jburgoyne

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
7
hi I have about a 1.5 yr old LP, this is my first arachnid and Iv had her since a sling. lately I have been having problems with gnats. I did lots of research before acquiring her, temp around 25 but lots say room temp is fine ( mine is always at 20) 75% humidity, and everything I read suggest a mix of Moss and soil. due to mold issues some Moss has got removed so more soil then Moss. I have a hard time keeping humidity up, drops fairly quickly. so... can Lp's do fine in dryer conditions? or any advice on how to keep humidity in? I have a screen top (half covered trying to help humidity) I don't really know what to do since I have to try and keep substrate moist inorder to keep humidity up but moist substrate is causing gnat infestation
 

Python

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
631
I wouldn't worry about humidity so much. I keep mine at room temps with ambient humidity and have had no issues at all. Mine are all fat and healthy and do just fine. I keep mine on top soil, sifted to remove the clumps so it's the consistency of sand. I don't mist and the only humidity they get is what is available in my house.
 

jburgoyne

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
7
ok just everything Iv read for lp said 75% and my aquarium will drop to 40-45% in 4-5 days. so I was always worried that that was to dry
 

Python

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
631
I'm pretty sure that ambient humidity will be fine. They are fairly hardy creatures and high humidity isn't really necessary. I wouldn't worry about it. And just for the record, don't believe everything you read, not even this. Research it thoroughly and come up with a good average of information. What I do works for me, but might not work for someone else. If you haven't tried it though, you might consider it. If you see anything that you don't like, try something else. I'm positive mine aren't kept at 75% humidity and they are all active, healthy, bottomless pits. If you do want to keep them at high humidity and still have problems with gnats, look up how to make traps for fruit flies. They are cheap and easy to make and they will help control the population if kept next to your enclosure. They basically involve sitting a funnel in the top of a fruit jar and putting some fruit or beer or something in the jar. The flies love it and will fill it up quickly.
 

jburgoyne

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
7
no ill try the dryer atmosphere. trying to keep the humidity up has been a pain in the ass. plus I go out of town for work, so relying on my 10 yr old son to remember to check humidity isn't always promising lol thanks man
 

checkmate

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 15, 2013
Messages
188
I keep mine dry with a water dish. She eats and is active.
In addition to Python's fruit flies trap, you can also put some apple cidar vinegar in a small bowl and add a few drops of dish soap to break up surface tension--you'll have a dish full of dead gnats.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
A few things here.

First, the age of the spider doesn't really tell us a whole lot. 18 months would equate to a pretty large L. parahybana under ideal conditions, but what is the actual size? Measure it in diagonal leg span. If it's anywhere near 3", then you can keep it on nearly bone dry substrate. It's somewhat of a myth that LP juvies/adults prefer a very humid environment. Much past 3" and they actually like it on the drier side. I live in a pretty dry climate, and my 6" female gets an overflown water dish about once per month.

Second, kill the screen top. Tarantulas have what are called tarsal claws that can (and will!) get caught in the screen, resulting in a bad fall or lost limb. On top of that, unless it's the high grade steel screen, tarantulas can easily chew through it. Go to Lowe's, have them cut a piece of acrylic for you (acrylic costs about $15, they'll cut it for free), drill some holes for ventilation, and use that as a lid. While you're at Lowe's, pick up a latch lock to hot glue onto the lid to prevent escapes.

Third, I'm with you on the flies. I really want to use pure topsoil, but gnats breed in there like mad. A 50% mix of peat (sphagnum) moss prevents them from breeding entirely, but as you said, it causes mold. Just pluck out the mold... not that it'll matter, though, because mold won't grow under the semi-dry conditions that LP's prefer. If you have a mold outbreak, let it dry out. The mold will die off.

Fourth and final, can we see a picture of the entire cage?
 

jburgoyne

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
7
k my girl is very aggressive, it's hard to try and get close to her to measure without her attacking but I'd say she's a good 4-4.5" and I get what your saying about the screen top however she does not climb. never seen her take her rear legs past ground level and even then she only went that far during rehoming.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
I don't have an LP, but do have some Neoholothele incei where I add moisture. For me the key as been to get those uneaten cricket parts and boluses out fast rather than worrying about the moisture. The food source creates the invasion to the moist areas and water dish. I do try to rotate where I put moisture so that areas dry out at times. While I have never completely eliminated mine, they don't thrive when I do my maintenance more often.

here is a pic. I know I should have more substrate to account for tank hieght but like I said she don't climb
You should at least put a band of tape around the border of the screen on the tarantula side using the plastic mailing tape. At least that is what I thought I saw @kezygla mention on another thread.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
k my girl is very aggressive, it's hard to try and get close to her to measure without her attacking but I'd say she's a good 4-4.5" and I get what your saying about the screen top however she does not climb. never seen her take her rear legs past ground level and even then she only went that far during rehoming.
here is a pic. I know I should have more substrate to account for tank hieght but like I said she don't climb
You watch your spider 24/7? ;) Sorry, but you not seeing it climb doesn't mean much. These are nocturnal animals, so unless you're up and watching them constantly, what you see is irrelevant. Take the advice or don't, but a fall from that height onto the decorations you have can very easily kill a spider.

Either way, it's at the size that it doesn't need much moisture. Overflow the water dish every month or so and call it a day. That'll resolve both your mold and your gnat problem.
 
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