They live in tubular burrows just under the ground's surface. The large spines on their chelicerae (jaws) aid in digging out loose soil. They are active hunters and do not spin webs for catching prey. Insects and millipedes make up their diet. When threatened, they assume a defensive posture that includes tucking in their legs.
A blacker, native Pacific Folding Door Trapdoor spider common in the Pacific Northwest has been traded as a 'pet'. This more fiery colored Red Folding Trapdoor Spider might be African in origin and might have been smuggled into North America to add it to the 'pet' spider market.
A red African spider is like this one is known to be more aggressive than the native Pacific Northwest species and sightings of the Red spider in the wild may be a result of former 'pet' owners releasing them after an unhappy encounter.