How to Heat a Tarantula Enclosure (Complete Guide)

Part of keeping tarantulas includes providing them with the proper environmental conditions such as humidity and heat. Knowing and understanding the perfect temperature for a pet tarantula can sound discouraging. However, this is very straightforwards.

Tarantulas are usually happy at the same temperature we are. Most tarantulas won’t need additional heating, but there are different methods if they do. Heating the room or space is the safest option but using a heating mat is good too. Heat lamps and heat rocks are dangerous for them.

They are native to areas that are warm all year round. Managing the temperature in the regions that don’t match their native environments is essential for keeping them healthy. Heating a tarantulas enclosure might be crucial, depending on your region.

What Temperature Should my Tarantula Enclosure Be?

Most tarantulas should be kept at around 21 – 24 Celsius (70 – 80 Fahrenheit) to keep them healthy. If the temperature is too high or low, they can die. However, tarantulas cannot survive in dry heat. They require a higher humidity level as well.

Dry heat will kill a tarantula. They need humidity to survive, which depends on the species. They require somewhere between 60 – 90% humidity depending on the species of tarantula and the region they are from. Confirming the humidity and temperature before building the enclosure is critical.

The majority of tarantulas will be happy at “room temperature” level though this depends on the house’s temperature. If the house is kept below 21 – 24 Celsius (70 – 80 Fahrenheit), the tarantula enclosure may need additional heating.

How to Tell if My Tarantula is Cold

When a captive tarantula feels cold, they will stay within the warmest part of the enclosure. They will also stop eating and may lose weight as a result. If they have been cold for too long, they may begin to death curl as they are freezing to death.

Sadly, these signs do not guarantee the temperature is the problem. Tarantulas will often stop eating for months at a time, and this is entirely natural for them. Some tarantulas will have a favourite place in the tank and may only want to be there, assuming they even explore the surface. Many tarantulas prefer to stay within their burrow and will rarely leave it.

The best way to check if it’s too cold for a tarantula is to monitor the temperature inside the enclosure. Using a thermometer will ensure you can track the heat levels, and it will tell you if there is a problem.

Can I keep my Tarantula at Room Temperature?

Most tarantulas can be comfortably kept at room temperature since that is the consistent temperature of their native environment. Tarantulas come from regions with temperatures consistently between 21 – 24 Celsius (70 – 80 Fahrenheit) for parts of the day every year. They are most active during the times within that temperature range.

Tarantulas can be happy in an enclosure that’s room temperature if the room is within the 21 – 24 Celsius (70 – 80 Fahrenheit) range. However, this might not be the case for the entire year. It’s essential to remain aware of any significant temperature changes in the room where the tarantula enclosure is kept. If the room temperature becomes too low or high, the tarantula’s health will suffer.

Should I use a Space Heater in the same room as my Tarantula?

A space heater or room heater can help raise the temperature of a tarantula enclosure a few degrees. This is ideal if the temperature is slightly too low to keep the animal healthy. It must have a temperature regulator and automatic off-switch to be safe.

Keeping a space heater or room heater in the same room will also raise the enclosure temperature. However, these heaters can get quite hot, so it must have a temperature regulator and an automatic off-switch. This will prevent the room from becoming too hot, killing the tarantula. The tarantula enclosure will need a thermometer to monitor what’s happening inside the tank. It’s possible for the room temperature to be different from the tarantula enclosure’s inside.

When using a space or room heater, it’s best to try it in different positions around the room. Keeping it next to the tarantula enclosure places them at risk of getting too hot too quickly. Placing the heater away from the tarantula may allow you to save your tarantula if the enclosure temperature becomes too high.

Adjusting the room’s temperature is the safest way to heat a tarantula enclosure.

Are Heating Mats safe for Tarantulas?

Heating mats can be safe for tarantula when correctly used. Placing a heating mat under the enclosure is terrible and may kill the tarantula. It should be positioned outside the enclosure and close to just one side. The entire enclosure should not be covered with the heating mat.

Tarantulas will burrow to avoid heat when the enclosure becomes too hot. Putting the enclosure on top of a heating mat can be lethal. When the tarantula tries to burrow to safety, they will move closer to the heat instead, which may kill the animal. This is also true when attaching the heating mat to the back of an enclosure. If the tarantula burrows down close to the heating pad, they will suffer.

The heating mat will need a thermostat, and the enclosure must have a thermometer. Not having a thermometer in the enclosure while you’re heating it can lead to the tank overheating, killing your tarantula. It’s essential to monitor the heat levels, and getting a heating mat with a thermostat ensures it doesn’t get too hot. A good quality heat mat is unlikely to catch fire, but it could cause damage to the glass or start a fire if an extremely flammable material is touching it.

How to Safely use a Heating Mat for a Tarantula Enclosure

The safest way to use a heating mat with a tarantula is not to attach it to the enclosure. It should not be touching the enclosure to avoid overheating the glass, overheating the enclosure or damaging the glass. The heating mat must have a thermostat and thermometer.

Heating mats for tarantula enclosures must have a thermostat and thermometer to protect the tarantula. The heating mat should come with a thermostat to control the device’s temperature, but you also need to purchase a thermometer for the enclosure.

What you Need to Know about Heating Mats

A tarantula heating mat should:

  • Not touch the enclosure. If it does, then the enclosure may heat up more than desired, killing the tarantula or damaging the glass. Too much heat can lead to cracks in the glass or even warp plastic enclosures.
  • Not cover the whole enclosure. Tarantulas need to be able to escape the heat if needed, so making one side warmer than the other allows them to manage their temperature needs.
  • Not be underneath the enclosure. Tarantulas will dig down to escape the heat, which means they would dig closer to the heat and die.
  • Must have a thermostat. It should have a built-in thermostat to set the desired temperature range and limits.
  • Must be “specially for reptiles”. There are many purposes for heating mats, but ones designed for reptiles have a lower maximum temperature than most others. This means they are less likely to become too hot and kill your tarantula.
  • Must have under 30 watts. Heating mats made for reptiles run between 4 – 24 watts depending on the device’s size and voltage needed. A lower wattage level means they cannot reach very high temperatures.
  • Not be as big as the enclosure. Large heating mats usually get hotter than smaller ones, but this is not always true. A smaller mat usually runs much colder, which is safer for a tarantula enclosure.

Heating mats can work well when used correctly but are often not needed.

Can I use a Heat Lamp for my Tarantula?

While a heat lamp could be used for a tarantula, this is a bad idea. Heat lamps can quickly overheat the enclosure and are easier to kill a tarantula with accidentally. They put out very high temperatures, which can damage the humidity levels.

Heat lamp distance from the enclosure varies according to the strength of the lamp. A 100-watt lamp needs a minimum of 12 inches between it and the animal inside for safety reasons. A tarantula would only need a 25-watt bulb at most, raising the enclosure temperature to around 24 Celsius (80 Fahrenheit).

Using the wrong bulb is dangerous for a tarantula due to the high temperatures they can reach. At these temperatures, it can damage the humidity levels inside the enclosure by causing faster than expected evaporation of the water dish leading to too much humidity. It also increases the chance of a “dry heat” as evaporation increases.

The excessive heat could also damage the enclosure glass or plastic. In some cases, it can crack the glass or warp the plastic, leading to escapes. They also require a thermostat and thermometer to monitor the temperature levels.

Heat lamps are often too strong for tarantula enclosures.

Can I use a Heat Rock for Tarantulas?

Heat rocks are not acceptable for tarantulas and are generally considered unsafe for any animal. It is impossible to adjust the temperature, making them dangerous and prone to overheating. A rock is not a good addition to a tarantula enclosure since it can crush them.

If the tarantula digs underneath the heat rock to expand the burrow, it could collapse on them and crush them to death. Since tarantulas burrow to escape the heat, they will naturally dig down, leading to overheating if they’re too close to the heat rock or death by crushing.

It is never safe to use a heat rock with tarantulas.

Is it Dangerous to Heat a Tarantula Enclosure?

Using equipment to heat a tarantula enclosure can be dangerous when not done correctly. Any heaters must use a thermostat to limit the temperature output, and the enclosure needs a thermometer to ensure it doesn’t reach unsafe levels. Heating the room is the safest option.

If the enclosure temperature is not being monitored and checked often, this puts the tarantula at risk. Heating the room with the enclosure will be much safer than using a heat lamp or heat mat.

Safety Precautions when Heating a Tarantula Tank

  • Only use high-quality equipment
  • Check the equipment often and replace it as needed, do not try to fix it yourself unless you are a professional in that field
  • Always test new equipment at least once
  • Start with a lower temperature, then gradually increase it as needed to prevent the enclosure from heating too quickly
  • Monitor your tarantula’s behaviour; if they suddenly start to hide and stay underground, it is too hot for them
  • Check the thermometer often, do not just assume it is fine
  • Ensure a temperature gradient so the tarantula can regular their body temperature
  • Do not use a heating pad or heat lamp if it is not needed

While you may not need to heat the enclosure all year round, the enclosure might become slightly too cold at certain times of the year. Keep track of the temperature inside the enclosure and respond accordingly.

Do Tarantulas need UV Lights?

Tarantulas do not need UV lighting. Many of them are nocturnal and are not active during the day. In the wild, they prefer darker environments, and in captivity, they must have places where they can hide.

Some keepers might use some heat lamps or other lighting to help raise the temperature inside the enclosure, but they do not need UV lighting. Additional lighting can be good to provide the tarantula with more natural lighting with a better day and night cycle. For many tarantulas and spiders, a day and night cycle is beneficial for natural functions such as moulting or feeding responses.


Tarantulas do generally not require additional heating, but this depends on your region. The general rule is that if you’re happy with the temperature, the tarantula is also happy with the temperature. In most cases, a tarantula may only need the room to be at a slightly higher temperature using a room heater.

It’s better to increase the room’s temperature if needed, as this allows the tarantula to self regulate their body temperature by moving to warmer and cooler areas as required. Heating the entire enclosure makes this impossible and could cause the tarantula to overheat to death.

Written by:


Stuart is the editor of SpiderAdvice.