Airborne urticating hairs?

Gorbag

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
1
Hey, I did a few seaches and found some helpful suggestions but I still feel like a I have few unanswered questons...sorry if I'm repeating something that's already been covered.

So, I don't have any tarantulas yet but I've been looking into them for several years and I feel like now is the time to jump in. There are a few species that I'm interested in (though I'm sure compared to many of you my future collection will be pretty small lol) In order from most interested to least interested, these are the species I'm looking into: Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, Lasiodora parahybana, Avicularia versicolour, and Brachypelma smithii (Honestly, I mostly like B. smithii because I'd like I tarantula that I could likely hold from time to time, if I feel like it. I am more of a "look but don't touch" person but I do get the urge to interact from time to time)

My main concern is that most of these species are somewhat infamous for the potency of their urticating hairs. I'm not really concerned about getting "haired" since, like I said I'm not planning on really interacting with them but I am concerned about the possibility of airborne hairs. I don't have asthma or any allergies and my skin is is a little sensitive (I burn easily but I seem to recover quickly) but I'm not usually bothered by things like that.

However, I'm in a small-ish condo apartment. So the Ts would be in the same room that I sleep, eat and live in. I also have other animals that will be sharing airspace with the Ts (A dog, cat, rats, a few lizards and snakes but my main concern is my amphibians. I worry about them getting skin irritations from airborne urticating hairs...Oh and I have a roommate lol. I'm worried about her being bothered by the urts. She probably wouldn't say anything but I don't want to be inconsiderate like that)

One thing that I found via search function that I never even thought of is a HEPA airfilter. That seems like a great idea! Is there a specific brand/type that people would recommend?

I guess my main question boils down too: would the urticating airs of the above-mentioned species likely become airborne an cause stress/irritation to any current residents that would make day-to-day life difficult?

Any and all advice is appreciated:worship:
 
Last edited:

kristinnandbenn

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
39
It shouldn't be TOO much of a problem. MOST tarantulas won't leave hairs floating around your room, they'll float a few inches up in the air, then fall back in the dirt. I wouldn't worry about it too much, especially if you keep a lid on the enclosure. If you're interested in a "look but don't touch" you could always consider an old world species, which have no urticating hairs, but have significantly more potent venom, but still not enough to do any serious damage. People say they're not for beginners, but they aren't as horrible as they say. You just have to be VERY cautious when rehousing/cleaning.

Also,you said you were looking at an Avicularia. This would be a good choice because they are know to often shoot feces instead of hairs for defense.

I wouldn't worry much at all about the hairs, but good luck,

Ben

Edit - To answer your last question, it is doubtful that ANY tarantula that is taken care of correctly will make day-to-day life difficult.
 

Gorbag

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
1
OK cool! I didn't think it would really be a problem. Do you think it would make a difference to rearrange things so that the amphibians are as far away from the Ts as possible? Is there some way of keeping the hairs mostly in the individual habitats? I use bin cages with soldered holes -would this way let more hair out? Should I opt for tanks with screen lids or would that not make any difference?

Also, I've heard that changing the substrate often stirs up hairs...how does one change the substrate without releasing clouds and clouds of hair?

Sorry for all the questions lol!
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
539
I wouldn't worry about it. There are many people on here with rooms FILLED with tarantulas. The people seem to be thriving well ;)

The only time you'd need to worry about them floating would be if the tarantula is actively kicking them at you. Some will line their webbing & substrate with it, so don't touch that stuff if you are really worried. I use tongs for any maintenance. And I try to stick mostly to species without them ;)
 

astraldisaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
311
I wouldn't worry about it, unless you decide to get a T. blondi or something. ;) I have sensitive skin as well, and also own a GBB, a smithi and an Avic. The only one that has ever made me itch at all was the Avic, and only when I let her crawl on me...even that only lasted about five minutes, though.

I don't think you need to change substrate often at all, as long as you clean up after the Ts and pick out boluses, poop, etc.
 

Gorbag

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
1
Alright! That's what I wanted to hear! Now I can place my order with a clear conscious ;)

Thanks everybody!:worship:
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
610
In my experience..

If they kick hairs they will float into the air and circulate the room. I have seen hairs go with the air current in the right lighting. Ive seen the hairs fly upward at me like a title wave from a little X. immanis. When they kick i run! lol Or put the lid back on.

People on here have reported opening the lid on a some of thier new world's tank causes them to break out in a nasty rash. The more exposure, the more sensetive you will become. Thats true for me and Brachypelma. At the same time you may get acustom to the itch. Its a toss up for debate. The hairs are a big reason why some folks sell off thier new world terrestrials. Nothing you cant work around IMO. Just don't disturb them and always have an escape route and you will stay itch free. Dont feed them on your bed! Once upon a time i did that.. :clap: :wall: :embarrassed:
 
Last edited:

Gorbag

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
1
If they kick hairs they will float into the air and circulate the room. I have seen hairs go with the air current in the right lighting. Ive seen the hairs fly upward at me like a title wave from a little X. immanis. When they kick i run! lol Or put the lid back on.

People on here have reported opening the lid on a some of thier new world's tank causes them to break out in a nasty rash. The more exposure, the more sensetive you will become. Thats true for me and brachypelma. At the same time you may get acustom to the itch. Its a toss up for debate. The hairs are a big reason why some folks sell off thier new world terrestrials. Nothing you cant work around IMO. Just don't disturb them and always have an escape route and you will stay itch free. Dont feed them on your bed! Once upon a time i did that.. :clap: :wall: :embarrassed:
This is what I worry about...I've heard many stories like this and it's giving me doubts. But even this kind of thing isn't really definite...it's more like "Try and you might find out the hard way" lol

I guess I'm also worried about if it doesn't work out, I'll likely have to get rid of them...I'd have a hard time with that. For one thing, I'm really involved in rescue, so rehoming personal pets would be against my nature, on top of feeling very counter-productive. I'd also worry about who they go to...I know that some people know all the right things to say to convince you that they'll take care of an animal, but unless you know them personally, you never really know...I also like to get all my facts before doing something. Going into something halfcocked like "I guess I'll see what happens and hope for the best" goes against my way of doing things too lol

That being said, it seems like that's the way it's gonna have to be. I really want to do this so I guess I'm going to have to put my issues aside lol (btw sorry for rambling...I'm tired lol)
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
610
There are quite a few new world Ts that are not major hair kickers. I have alot of them that i have never seen kick as a defense. G. pulchra, G. pulchripes, P. parvula, Euathlus sp. blue, Aphonopelma sp. "New river" just to name a few. But i am sure if i harrassed them enough they would. Most the time they stick thier but into the air and stand up tall while running away. Apparently to show you they mean business. {D Avics are said to have kicked on very rare occasions but only try to rub them onto you.. Tapinauchenius and Psalmopoeus dont have urts like NW Ts nor potent venom as with old world Ts. Im sure you can find a T that wont give you anything other than the itch for more Ts. (pun intended) :p

In all honesty its not a big problem. Its more like when you are standing next to the cage. But when your VERY sensitive to the hairs they will drive you nuts. Its totally preventable IMO. I havent itched for a long time and i have a handfull that kick.
 
Last edited:
Top