As it happens, there is a way you can turn a Mystery Island Tour into a Tarantula farm, making a veritable Spider Island that can earn you 8,000 bells per caught bug – however, be prepared to travel to a bunch of different islands, have a lot of tools ready, and spend a decent amount of time destroying an island.
First thing’s first – you’re going to need to make sure you have the right tools for the job, and as much spare inventory as you can afford. Be sure to use Nook Miles to purchase both Inventory Expansions from the terminal if you have the miles to spare. Speaking of miles, it will also cost 2,000 Miles per Nook Miles Ticket to travel to a Mystery Island, and unfortunately you can’t guarantee the island you visit is spider material, so be warned – you’re probably going to need to spend a few days amassing Nook Miles to make this work.
For your trip, remember to bring the following:
- Shovel (preferably made of Iron)
- Net (preferably made of Iron)
- Axe (needs to be made of Iron)
- Ladder (in case of cliffs)
- Vaulting Pole (in case of rivers)
- Nook Miles Ticket
- Spare Nets (unless you want to spend Miles requesting new ones)
Spiders and Scorpions only appear from 7pm to 4am, with Tarantulas appearing in the colder months, and Scorpions in the hotter months, so your island trips should only be done at night.
Once you arrive at your random Mystery Island, you need to check what kind of island you’ve found – as they appear to use many different templates, and not all are equal. Ideally, the best island you can get is a flat one with minimal or no rivers, and no elevation.
However, in order for this to work, your island MUST support bug life. This means that you need to make sure bugs are already appearing on the island – whether they are beetles in flowers, moths on trees, or roaches on the rocks. If you aren’t seeing any, that likely means the island doesn’t support fauna, and you’re going to need to try a different island.
If the island you arrive on has evidence of bugs living on it, you’re going to need to move onto the next phase – getting rid of everything that non-tarantulas can feasibly appear on.
An island can only support about 3-4 bugs at one time, and if there are opportunities for other less-enticing bugs to appear, they’ll take it. To ensure the Tarantulas or Scorpions have a chance to appear, you’ll need to destroy everything else:
- Chop down every tree on the island to prevent any insects from appearing on them (like moths or beetles). Store the fruit for now, you’ll need it later.
- Dig up every tree stump to prevent beetles from appearing on them.
- Pick the bulbs off every flower on the island to stop things like Stinkbugs from appearing (don’t worry about digging up the flowers – you can drop the bulbs on the ground, and the absence of petals will stop them from appearing).
- Eat your fruit, and then strike all rocks on the island to destroy them to prevent pillbugs and centipedes from hiding under them.
- You do not need to pick up weeds, but if it helps visibility, then do so.
- Bamboo stumps also do not need to be dug up, as bugs can’t appear on them.
Be sure to dump all the excess resources you’ve gained by destroying the island onto a corner of the beach so they don’t get in the way – you’ll want as much free inventory space for all those wonderful critters!
At this point, the only things left that can appear on an island is anything that is normally found crawling along the ground. Depending on the month, this will be limited to things like Tiger Beetles and Wharf Roaches – as well as the rarer Tarantulas and Scorpions.
Once your island is looking nice and barren, it’s time to develop a fortified base to keep you safe from the creepy crawlies. Pick a nice small section of the island and dig several holes in a diamond shape around you – allowing you to easily hop over the gaps when running into them at an angle. This will be your safe spot to lure Tarantulas and Scorpions to.
The hardest part is getting them to appear – even after all you’ve done! The reason for this is that only a few bugs can appear on your island at one time, and you’ll need to chase away anything that isn’t the bug you’re looking for. Race along your island to scare off beetles, and be sure to check any black rocky shores for Wharf Roaches hiding there, and alternate between running to both sides of the island.
As you do this, the bugs you don’t want will scatter, freeing up the chance for rare bugs to appear. Once you see a Tarantula or Scorpion (or they see you), they’ll chase you if you run, so let them run behind you and quickly sprint back towards your base.
Run into the line of holes at an angle to hop over, and the bugs will frantically run in circles on the other side – unable to get you. From here you can turn and swipe to extend your net across the gap and pluck them with ease! Then you simply repeat the process of scattering away other bugs by running across the island once more.
If done correctly, and with enough patience, you can fill up your inventory with bugs worth 8,000 bells each – and sell them to Timmy and Tommy when their shop opens up in the morning!