10 Top Creepy Pets That Some People Fear

grey pet rat posing outdoors in summer
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Creepy pets are critters that have the potential to bring out the worst fears of some people. But these animals also can make great pets when they are matched with the right caretaker. Some are insects that can make people's hair raise while others are rodents that cause people to shriek. Not all of these animals are hands-on pets, but a few actually do form bonds with their caretakers. Here are 10 creepy pets that are sure to scare some of your friends and family.


Never get a pet just for the shock value. Each animal has very specific needs that you must meet as its caretaker.

  • 01 of 10


    Tarantula in person's hands

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    Big, hairy spiders—need we say more? Tarantulas are not as dangerous as many people believe. For most species, the toxicity of their venom is similar to that of a bee sting. It can cause a local reaction of pain, redness, and swelling, though some people might experience much more serious allergic reactions. Still, tarantulas are generally quiet, clean pets that don't take up a lot of space and are quite interesting to watch.

  • 02 of 10

    Hissing Cockroach

    Madagascar hissing cockroach on a leaf

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    Not many insects are as universally loathed as cockroaches, and most people probably haven't thought about bringing one into their homes on purpose. But cockroaches can be the ultimate low-maintenance pet. They are sturdy and slow enough to be handled quite easily. They do well in a 15-gallon fish tank with a secure mesh lid. Provide them with aspen wood shavings for bedding and some hiding places, along with a pellet food and a daily variety of fruits and vegetables.

  • 03 of 10

    Giant Millipede

    Children's hands holding giant millipede

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    Did you know millipedes don't have a thousand legs? Still, their 100 to 400 legs and substantial size (up to 10 inches long) make African giant millipedes a little scary for many people. They are quite docile and easy to look after. However, if they become frightened, they might secrete a liquid that can irritate a person's skin; some species are more toxic than others.

  • 04 of 10

    Emperor Scorpion

    female emperor scorpion with babies

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    As far as scorpions go, emperors are the most suitable as pets. At an adult size of 6 inches with large claws and a big stinger, these chunky black scorpions are pretty intimidating creatures. But despite their scary looks, they are quiet, undemanding, and rather long-lived at six to eight years in captivity. Still, handling them is not recommended because they can sting and pinch.

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  • 05 of 10


    Black rat snake on a fence

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    Snakes are another pet that some people find terrifying, though the species commonly kept as pets usually can do little harm. They come in a wide range of types and sizes, which should be carefully considered before acquiring one as a pet. Some of the best options, especially for novice owners, include corn snakes, king and milk snakes, and ball pythons. Many species can become quite tame and even form friendly relationships with their human caretakers.

  • 06 of 10


    rat sitting on a chair

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    Rats might conjure images of disease-carrying pests inhabiting murky sewers for some people, but these rodents are among the most ideal pets. They are quite social and loaded with personality, and they enjoy interactions with their humans. Many are even quite cuddly. They’re also very clean and have almost no odor. 

  • 07 of 10


    boy looking at lizard

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    Lizards are another group of animals that instill unfounded fear. Although they are generally not low-maintenance pets and require some specialized equipment, they can be interesting companions for people who can meet their needs. There is a wide variety of lizards available as pets, and some are quite lovely in both appearance and temperament.

  • 08 of 10


    A little frog sitting on someone's finger

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    Some people might view frogs as slimy, creepy pets. However, from cute dwarf aquatic frogs to homely giant bullfrogs, these animals can be very interesting pets. Like lizards, they do require some extra effort to get their environment right. But other than that, they can be fairly easy to care for, and some species are quite vocal with beautiful calls.

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  • 09 of 10

    Stick Bug

    Walking Stick on Branch
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    These nifty little critters are fascinating pets to watch—if you can spot them. Their natural defense is having excellent camouflage among the branches they live in. But many people probably would not appreciate sharing their home with a 4-inch insect that excels at hide-and-seek. They can be housed in an aquarium with a secure mesh top that’s outfitted like their natural environment.

  • 10 of 10

    Giant African Land Snail

    Giant African Land Snail
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    Giant African land snails are not available in the United States,​ but they are surprisingly popular in the United Kingdom. These snails are giants, with some species reaching a foot long as adults. However, they are fairly easy to care for, and they reproduce very readily to the point of becoming an invasive species, which is one reason they are not allowed into the United States.