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Jumping Spider
Enclosure Set
up Guide
Size, Lighting, Ventilation, Temperature & Hydration

Setting up an arboreal enclosure.

Setting up an arboreal enclosure.

Most jumping spiders are arboreal species, which means they live in trees and other elevated places. They can be found in forests, meadows, and gardens, among other habitats. They rarely visit the ground and are adapted for life, climbing and jumping among branches and leaves. They can climb on various surfaces using their strong legs and specialized claws.

Providing an enclosure that mimics their natural habitat in captivity as much as possible is essential. A terrarium or enclosure that is tall rather than wide is ideal, as jumping spiders are vertical climbers. You can use branches, twigs, and other climbing structures to create a multi-level environment for your spider.

If your newly acquired pet is struggling in its enclosure, don't worry; it may be adjusting to the new environment. To support its adaptation, it's crucial to provide a variety of climbing textures and surfaces. Jumping spiders, for example, use visual cues to navigate and hunt, so incorporating cork bark, coconut husk, or other natural-looking substances can create diverse surfaces for them to climb on. This will help them adjust more quickly and encourage them to web up the enclosure, allowing them to climb without issue.

Decorated Glass Enclosure for Jumping Spiders spider inside a nicely decorated glass enclosure

The enclosure should have multiple access points, top, bottom, and a latch or door on the side, giving access for feeding, cleaning and general maintenance. However, jumping spiders typically make their hammocks near the top of the enclosure or on the top side walls. This is why we do not recommend a top only opening enclosure, as you may tear and destroy their webbing every time you access it.

Visualize a miniature garden within an enclosure with greenery like small air plants offering plenty of climbing textures. Utilize the space in the core of the enclosure to compliment the wall surfaces by incorporating items that may look or function as branches or leaves in a tree, like resting platforms, with multiple levels, providing plenty of opportunities for them to climb and explore. Jumping spiders like to build hammocks between narrow flat surfaces or cozy cavities, so be sure to provide them with a hide or places to build one.


For most species using a substrate is not required, but it can help regulate humidity (it can be of organic or inorganic nature). You can have a bioactive or an inert setup:

-A bioactive vivarium is a natural-looking habitat that utilizes a rich substrate with tiny organisms to act as a cleaning crew, processing waste and organic materials to prevent mould or bacterial growth. Small decorative plants like air plants can also be added to the habitat to complete the cycle by using the nutrients in the substrate to produce oxygen and promote life, working together to create a self-sustaining environment for the spiders. Although this naturalistic vivarium requires more effort, research, and preparation, it is better for pet spiders in the long run.

-An inert setup uses materials that don't react with organic materials, helping prevent mould growth and bacterial bloom. Fake plastic plants, glass and ceramic materials, objects sealed with resin or epoxy and small decorations sealed with mod podge are good examples. The idea is that such material won't be able to absorb water or decompose; keep in mind that waste food and spider droppings still need removal or will spoil. When working with adhesives and sealants, please ensure they are safe for spiders and that you have provided enough days to cure and ventilate any fumes.

Jumping spiders are known to be cannibalistic, so it is important to house them individually. An exception can be made for a mother and her babies. Keeping them apart is crucial as they may eat one another if housed together.

These spiders are low-maintenance and simple to please. A happy spider will build a hammock for itself, usually near the top of the enclosure, but it's normal for them to construct them near the bottom. It's important to leave their hammocks undisturbed, as they use them for molting and laying eggs, and they may be helpful later when caring for an elder specimen.

In summary, a jumping spider enclosure usually has the following components:

  • An optional thin layer of a substrate.

  • Tree-like structures that provide a climbing surface.

  • Lighting control systems.

  • Heating elements with temperature control.

  • Hides, shelters, caves, or platforms for the inhabitants to retreat into for privacy or security.

  • Water dishes or misters: sources of hydration.

  • Feeding dishes: areas to place food.

  • Ventilation: systems to maintain proper airflow and prevent stagnant air.

  • Access points: doors, lids, or trap doors for maintenance and observation.

What size enclosure is necessary?
Examples of small and medium enclosures for slings and juvenile jumping spiders

What size enclosure is necessary?

Click the link to jump straight into the "jumping spider enclosure size notes" found in our "how to choose enclosure size & type guide." The guide also talks about measuring spiders' body length and diagonal leg span and how to use such to determine approximate enclosure size.

For example, our Spider Shop manufactures arboreal jumping spider enclosures ranging from 6 to 20cm tall (glass height excluding substrate tray). The smaller 6cm enclosures are used for baby spiders or slings after they come out of the egg sac (between instars 2 and 4 or i2-i4), and the 10cm and 14cm tall enclosures suit more instars 4 to 7. From there, i8 and up, the 16, 18 and 20cm tall enclosures reach into the adult stages, and because there is variance in the final size of an adult spider and between different species, you may not need the tallest option.

Can an enclosure be too big or too small? 

The short answer is yes, size matters. Jumping spiders feel stressed in large empty enclosures without hiding spots, climbing textures and surfaces at varying angles. They have ample vast amounts of space in their natural environment, but they get to select a secure and comfortable area with their preferred food resources. In captivity, without these options and the right conditions, they feel insecure, seem shy and hide often.


A well-planned enclosure that replicates the natural environment can make jumping spiders happy and promote exploration. After all, they need room to satisfy their curiosity, find mates, and hunt. In addition, when a spider jumps, it leaves behind a strand of silk to use as a safety line in case they fall. Thus, they need enough surfaces to attach this silk and plan a successful pounce on their prey.

Providing little space may benefit baby slings or juveniles, as they can struggle to find food in large enclosures, especially if feeders are placed at the bottom. Placing food near their resting area helps, as well as providing various layers of textured surfaces across the empty enclosure space.  

Lighting and photoperiodism requirements. 

Lighting and photoperiodism requirements. 

Jumping spiders need bright lighting to hunt their prey and stay active. Therefore, it's important to provide them with 12 hours of light per day, which can be automated with a timer. Daylight lamps (6,000°K colour temperature) are the best choice for lighting. Avoid placing the enclosure in direct sunlight, as it can overheat. Jumping spiders become more active during the summer as they have equal or more hours of light than dark. Also, it's important to note that without correct lighting, spiders may not find their food, go off food, and spend most of their time in their sack. If you're having trouble with your jumping spider, it may be a good idea to check the lighting.

LED lights seem the preferred option as they provide a good amount of lumens or light intensity without producing too much heat. However, always ensure your lighting source is at a safe distance from the enclosure to avoid overheating. In general, lighting panels with multiple LEDs provide smooth, uniform illumination; in some cases, full-spectrum lights are a good choice as they closely mimic the natural sunlight by combining all colours. 

Photoperiodism is an adaptation that helps them sense the changes in the length of daylight and adjust their development and behaviour accordingly. Photoperiodism is a natural timing system that allows jumping spiders to thrive in different seasons and environments.

Some species of spiders go through a period of diapause, a state of slowed development or suspended growth. This is typically triggered by environmental factors such as changes in temperature, food availability, or daylight hours. During diapause, the spider's metabolism slows down, and it may become less active or stop eating altogether. This diapause period allows the spider to survive harsh environmental conditions and conserve energy until conditions improve.

Ventilation requirements.

Ventilation requirements.

Maintaining proper cross-ventilation is essential for the health and well-being of jumping spiders. As these arachnids rely on efficient oxygen exchange through their book lungs, ensuring that the enclosure has adequate ventilation openings and systems that facilitate complete air exchange is essential. Inadequate ventilation can lead to stagnant air that can promote the growth of mold and create damp conditions, both of which can be harmful to the spiders.

To optimize the ventilation in your jumping spider enclosure, it's best to have openings located at opposite ends of the enclosure, allowing for what's known as "cross-ventilation." Additionally, ventilation openings should be positioned at different heights, such as from bottom to top or at varying elevations, to take advantage of the "stacking effect" and promote optimal air circulation.

Jumping spider enclosure setup (showing ventilation and hydration).

To provide cross ventilation in an enclosure, you must create air intake and exhaust points on opposite sides. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Identify the sides with the most air flow: Choose two opposite sides of the enclosure where air can enter and exit freely.

  • Install ventilation: lines, screens, gaps, or holes on the identified sides. Ensure the ventilation openings are of the appropriate size and number to provide sufficient airflow.

  • Place ventilation openings strategically: Make sure they are placed at the enclosure's top, bottom and side to allow for air movement throughout and across the entire space.

  • Consider air buoyancy: Air buoyancy, or the "stacking effect," can increase air circulation in the enclosure. To use air buoyancy, place the air intake and exhaust points higher and lower, respectively.

  • Monitor and adjust: Regularly monitor the enclosure to ensure proper airflow and adjust the ventilation if necessary.

  • Move the air in the room where the enclosure is located; this also helps the air inside move. 

Ventilation is a more complex topic than it may initially seem. Therefore, we've prepared a comprehensive spider/tarantula care guide that delves into the intricate relationship between ventilation, humidity, and temperature. To gain a deeper understanding, check out our "Spider Enclosure Ventilation, Humidity & Temperature Guide").

Temperature requirements.

Temperature requirements.

An external heat source can help adjust the temperature parameters around the enclosure. Depending on the heat source used, it should be at a distance from the enclosure to avoid overheating, lamps usually half a meter or more away, heat mats around 5 to 20cm and heat cables around 5 to 10 cm. It is best to have a reliable thermometer to read the internal temperature when using heat sources; doing so can help adjust distance properly. The greenhouse effect can very quickly raise the temperature without us noticing.


Jumping spiders do very well in temperatures between 20º and 28º celsius (69 to 83ºF) and are more active in warmer temperatures. This means the average house room temperatures are similar to what we need. Therefore, unless you live in a freezing area and your house is not heated, it is not usually needed to provide additional heat. 

Regulating the temperature of the room where the enclosure is located is preferred; this can be done quickly with a space heater with an adjustable thermostat, which provides more stable temperatures and fewer risks to the enclosure. Do not apply heat inside or directly in contact with the enclosure. And remember, temperature changes change the relative humidity of an area. 

In general, jumping spiders are very resilient when it comes to cold temperatures; some species in temperate climates survive freezing conditions and go into a state of Dipause; if your house is rather cold in the winter, you will notice your spider being less active and such can be easily remedied with supplemental heat. 

Providing proper hydration for your jumping spider.

Providing proper hydration for your jumping spider.

One of the most critical aspects of spider care is providing enough water to stay hydrated and proper humidity parameters in the air inside their enclosure. While spiders obtain most of their moisture from their prey, they also need to drink water from time to time to maintain their overall health. In the wild, spiders will seek out and sip from any available water source, including dew drops that form on their webs.

Providing a source of water is vital for jumping spider care. One way to do this is by lightly misting the substrate and sides of the tank with a fine mist spray bottle. This will increase the humidity in the jumping spider enclosure and provide your pet with an alternate water source.

Jumpign spider enclosure with side opening for fine mist spray bottle

However, do not make the enclosure overly damp and avoid spraying the spider directly. Overwatering can lead to mould growth, which can harm your spider. Misting the enclosure is common, but it can be dangerous if done excessively or without care, as water could enter the spider's book lungs in the abdomen and suffocate them. A fine mist on the side of the enclosure every few days is enough to provide the spider with drinking water. Alternatively, use a moistened substrate or replaceable absorbent materials like paper towels, cotton balls, or q-tips in the enclosure for drinking and humidity. Please note that jumping spiders can drink from cotton fibres only if they are saturated with water. These are less likely to cause drowning in baby spiders but should be frequently replaced to maintain cleanliness.

Humidity control of the air inside the enclosure is also essential to spider ownership. If the humidity in the enclosure is too high, you can help bring it down by improving the ventilation inside it or raising the temperature a little more. If you spill water and the substrate is soaked, you may need to replace it with dry material. To raise the humidity, you may need to mist more often or introduce some damp materials, perhaps reduce ventilation a tiny bit (better to use an external humidifier than doing this); perhaps a slight decrease in temperature can help. This will help keep the enclosure at the optimal humidity level for your spider. The book lungs of a spider need to stay humid to function correctly. Spiders can suffocate and dehydrate if the air gets too dry.

Bottom substrate tray eith watering hole to provide humidity to the enclosure

Generally, the average comfortable humidity level found at home is safe for most native spider species in your area.


If you choose to use a hygrometer and measure humidity inside the enclosure, aim to keep the humidity around 50-60%. For tropical species that prefer hot and humid climates, aim for 75-80% humidity.


Make sure to use a reliable, good hygrometer for this; using a cheap unreliable tool can make you chase necessary parameters and waste time.


If you live in a temperate climate zone where the winters are cold, chances are you use a heating system, which may drop the humidity to unsafe levels; in this climate, summer humidity is manageable. Still, the winter usually needs particular attention, raising humidity levels back to adequate levels; spiders in the wild are usually hidden under leaf litter near the moist ground in a state of diapause; our pets at home, on the contrary, are fully awake and need water. 

Keep in mind that various factors affect the humidity in the enclosure, including the surrounding air's humidity level, changes in temperature, the ventilation system's effectiveness, and the presence of water sources within the enclosure.

Popular methods to control humidity include daily misting, using a substrate to regulate humidity, and incorporating water jars and trays with wet towels or cotton. Another option is to control the humidity and temperature of the room where the enclosure is located, as it is generally easier and more stable than trying to control the small volume inside the enclosure. For this, using space heaters and humidifiers with digital controls is recommended.

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