Updated: Sep 25
To most people the idea of having a pet stick insect or a pet tarantula is something that would never even cross their mind- to others it is a fascinating idea that holds the potential to become an incredible hobby.
Insects and spiders fall into the animal category known as invertebrates. This means that they do not have a vertebral column (they don't have a backbone). Invertebrates are one of the largest animal groupings there is and takes into account millions of different species of animals from across the globe.
There are a multitude of different species of invertebrates that can be kept as pets- some of the most popular in the UK include millipedes, scorpions, hissing cockroaches, mantids, stick insects and tarantulas. Majority speaking, a lot of inverts do not take up a lot of space as their housing requirements tend to be a lot smaller (in most cases) in comparison to other caged animals. The maintenance time required for most inverts is also drastically less than that in comparison to other animals- making them a great pet for someone who may not have the time commitment for that of a lizard or dog.
Inverts can be fascinating to watch and we tend to keep handling to the minimum. Especially with invertebrates like tarantulas. At Birmingham Reptiles we advocate against the handling of tarantulas more so for the safety of the animal than yourself. Tarantulas can be quite fragile animals and if they were to fall from a certain height their abdomen can split causing imminent death (and we want to avoid that at all costs). They also all have venom. Now, most recorded tarantula bites are only considered to be similar to that of a bee sting- however, if you are allergic to the venom it could cause worse symptoms.
Generally when considering an invertebrate as a pet you want to have an idea with what you're comfortable with. Making the choice between if you want an arachnid or an insect can help whittle down what is available to you. As a beginner, you would want to narrow down a species that is both easy enough to take care of but also hardy enough to survive under the care of a beginner. Each individual species of invert requires different care, and this is something that we could discuss with you in store to help figure out what invert would suit you best.
If inverts are something that interest you then please do contact! We are more than happy to go through your options and help with more information!