1. cat
  2. cat food
  3. cat mate
  4. cat md
  5. cat sip
  6. cat stop
  7. catit
  8. catmouse
  9. catnip & grass
  10. catswell
You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Scorpions & Tarantulas Setup Steps

Scorpions & Tarantulas

Experience Level: Advanced

Scorpion and Tarantula in terrarium

Emperor Scorpions and Rose Hair Tarantulas

Did you know? While considered the more docile of their kind, Emperor Scorpions and Rose Hair Tarantulas are both venomous animals meaning they have the ability to inflict venom. While Tarantulas do this through their bite, Emperor Scorpions inflict venom from their tails. Also, Scorpions and Tarantulas shed their skin in order to grow.

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

Emperor Scorpions can be housed together if given enough space, although Tarantulas are best housed individually.

(A) Use a 10-gallon (18-20" long) or larger terrarium; use a larger terrarium if housing more than one Scorpion.

(B) Locking screened lid, if not included with habitat.

Step 2Heating and Lighting

Adequate habitat temperatures and humidity levels are imperative to the overall health of your pet. It is best to have a temperature gradient (cool side and a warm side of the habitat) to allow your pet to regulate their body temperature.

• Every habitat should be equipped with two (C) thermometers (one on the cool side of the habitat and one on the warm or basking side) and one (D) hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

• Use an under-tank heater (not shown) on one side of the habitat to create the warm side of the habitat.


Target Range
Humidity 50-80%
Cool Side 70-75o F (21-24o C)
Warm Side 80-85o F (27-30o C)


• Scorpions and Tarantulas are nocturnal meaning they are most active at night. They do not require any specific ultraviolet light although they do need a 12-hour light/dark cycle. If room light does not provide enough light, use a fluorescent bulb to provide 12 hours of visible light per day.

• For viewing your tarantula at night, use a night specific bulb to minimize visible light provided to your reptile.

Step 3Substrate and Decor

(E) Use a 2-3" (5-8 cm) reptile bark or coconut fiber bedding.

• Clean out waste weekly and completely change bedding at least once a month.

(F) Include a wood/rock hiding place in the cool area of the home for hiding. Branches or plants as desired.

Scorpion and tarantula in terrariums

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your pet, give
him 3-4 days to adjust to his new surroundings while monitoring his behavior for any signs of stress or illness. Shortly after purchase, ask a veterinarian familiar with reptiles to examine your pet.


Things to Watch For
• Eating or drinking less
• Swollen joints
• Loss of limbs
• Decreased activity; more time spent hiding

If you notice any of the above signs, speak with a PetSmart store associate or reptile veterinarian with questions about the health of your pet.


PetSmart Cares
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.
• Specific standards for in-store pet care.
• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.