Woman keeps more than 150 pet spiders - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Woman trades in hamsters for 150 tarantulas

Most people want to get spiders out of their homes. But Anette Pillau has more than 150 of them in hers, and she loves every one.

Pillau says, "They don't smell. They don't need much space. So for this lady, you would be looking at a cage about the size of a shoe box."

And she says you don't even have to clean its cage.

"The spider creates its burrow, its own environment inside that cage," says Pillau. "And every time you clean out the substrate or webbing that spider has put down, it's almost like you're cleaning out the carpet and the wallpaper."

And while they are low maintenance, Pillau says they can be extremely delicate.

"They're very fragile, so you have to be very, very careful with them," says Pillau. "Their abdomen is kind of soft. If you take a water balloon and you drop it on the ground, what do you have? That thing splatters."

When one of Pillau's favorite spiders crawled out of its cage and fell onto her desk, the spider's body split open.

"I was able to grab her and squeeze her abdomen shut at the breech, and apply Super Glue," says Pillau. "And luckily she survived but that was a very, very close call."

Pillau realizes spiders aren't for everyone and says many people would be happier with a hamster. But she'll take a spider over a rodent any day.

"When I had hamsters as a kid, I got bit all the time," says Pillau. "None of my tarantulas has ever bitten me, so who do I like better? Of course, these guys."

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