Am I Just a Wuss About These Bristles?

GPulchra

Arachnoknight
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Jul 21, 2010
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279
Well, I saw a video a few minutes ago of a Brachypelma(sp?) kicking hairs. Is it just me or is that really scary? The hairs were just flying up to the ceiling like dust. What should I do if one of my tarantulas flicks hairs?
To give you all a rundown, I have 2 Avicularia Versicolors (about 1 in.), a Pulchra (maybe 1.75), and (nothing to do with this topic, but I just like to mention) a Chilobrachys Fimbriatus. Are the hairs kicked successfully with these tarantulas? What should I prepare for? If they do kick, what should I do? What are the chances I will ever experience a tarantula kicking its urticating "bristles"? With the fact that I am not even a teen yet, I have restrictions. I am barely ever allowed to hold the tarantulas (although I wouldn't anyways) and just to open the container to feed them, I would need to be in a secure area. I know one of my Versicolors bolts every chance it can, but will sit calmly in my hand.
So, although I have had my tarantulas for a few months now, I have very little knowledge of them that was not mentioned in the TKG (which I have read 3 times now).
 

moose35

Arachnoprince
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relax.... you'll be fine


don't really worry about it.



moose
 

Scorpendra

Arachnoprince
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I'd say your chances of this happening are maybe, perhaps, in the ballpark of....100%, but it's not that big of a deal. You're not going to die from it, you'll just get a little itchy.
 

Stopdroproll

Arachnoknight
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If I'm moving stuff around in the enclosure and I expect it to kick hairs, I'll try to keep the enclosure partially covered with the top to shield against the damage. If I see it start kicking I'll try to close the enclosure quick.
 

Hobo

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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You might have already been exposed to their hairs and haven't realized it/haven't had a strong reaction. My smithi, at that size, was aready flicking his teeny hairs.
Mine (my new worlds at least) always kick extensively before each molt, and I've seen hairs on the glass on the side of all their tanks, so I've no doubt that whenever I open/move their enclosures, a bunch of hair will inevitably waft out and get me.

It's happened a few times already where I'd been sufficiently "haired" enough to get some kind of reaction, and sometimes it's usually just from feeding/maintenance.

While there's a chance you might be super sensitive to the hairs, you won't really know until you get sufficiently haired. Just be sure to wash your hands before and after doing maintenance/holding them, and keeping your hands away from your face and eyes and you'll be ok.
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
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Burnt Snow, It's just you.......... {D Just kidding..... but maybe not entirely {D

Disclaimer- Sure, there are certainly those that have a true allergic reaction anywhere from mild to extreme to the hairs- but I'd bet those with extreme reactions are well within the lower percentile.

Here's my take on it. I sat and thought about this one night a few months ago- wondering if the infrequent reactions I was having might not be at least somewhat of a psychological nature. Y'all will have to admit one can easily get a good dose of urticating hair paranoia whether true or not in one evening on these boards. Here's some of what I've come up with and believe it or not, the hairs no longer bother me to any extent- just an occasional brief, faint itch.

It's a proven fact that those allergic to poison ivy can, when not knowing how to identify the plant with certainty, get into virginia creeper thinking that it's poison ivy, then have a psychosomatic reaction and break out. I cannot provide a case in point but have heard more than one physician talk about this.

I was reading the boards one evening and there was lots of talk on the hairs. I did cage maint and briefly held my L klugi. My middle finger on my left hand began to fiercely itch and ended up swelling so much I could not bend it until the following day. I had never had a problem with this t before. It really made me angry. I decided I was going to quit worrying about it, waited a few weeks and handled it again. I have not had so much as an itch, only faint, since then. Although I don't handle as much as in the first several months of keeping, there isn't a problem anymore when I do. No more itch with A geniculata and B boehmei that bothered me the most before. Again, I firmly believe there are those that are truly allergic.......and just as many where it's mostly in the head.

Flame on!! {D

Terry
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
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I shipped a pissed off 7" LP today.... he kicked hairs at my face and neck... and I am STILL covered in hives and STILL itching like mad - two doses of Benadryl and half a bottle of Calamine lotion later.

Full body hives, too. EVERYWHERE.

Here's a pic of my big fat neck, lol.

But you can see the hives, so it's a fair example.

 

LisaD

Arachnosquire
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think avicularia kick hairs. My understanding is that they have urticating hairs, but not the kind that can be kicked off - they defend by contact. They also tend not to be very defensive, so I think your chance of getting haired by your avics is minimal.

If your pulcra is G pulchra, I'd say chances are slim. Mine has never kicked hairs, and is the most "personable" and non-defensive T in my collection.

I have a 3" B klaasi, on the other hand, that kicks hairs at the drop of a hat.

Interesting link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urticating_hair

For more information, look up the different kinds of urticating hairs...
 
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Arachnos482

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Aug 12, 2010
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I have a juvie Vagans that is particularly moody, kicks hairs for a fly flying by... ;P And i must say it mostly just itches for a while, i usually take a shower if i get haired, but i'd say that it depends on each individuals reaction towards the hairs, so don't fret too much about, it if it happens it happens, just roll with the punches... As my grandpa always said. :D
 
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Falk

Arachnodemon
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think avicularia kick hairs. My understanding is that they have urticating hairs, but not the kind that can be kicked off - they defend by contact. They also tend not to be very defensive, so I think your chance of getting haired by your avics is minimal.

If your pulcra is G pulchra, I'd say chances are slim. Mine has never kicked hairs, and is the most "personable" and non-defensive T in my collection.

I have a 3" B klaasi, on the other hand, that kicks hairs at the drop of a hat.

Interesting link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urticating_hair

For more information, look up the different kinds of urticating hairs...
Yes Avicularia spp. have the type 2 hairs that need contact. Butt, i was once chasing an Avicularia versicolor trying to get a cup over her for shipping and she started to flick hairs with her back legs just like the Brachypelma spp. I dont know if was affected buy it because my hands are always itching.
 

webbedone

Arachnobaron
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Aug 27, 2010
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410
Unless you are alergic and the chances are that you arent(its pretty rare) you will be just fine both spicies you got are pretty docile and should only be kicking if they are REALLY upset with you. In fact they should almost be more likely to tag you with fags or flee before they kick.

On the topic of alergic reaction: There is a girl at my local petshop that loves T's and they have a nice little smithi there that she takes care of and her reaction is something like a chemical burn! The boiled up skin the peeling the scabs the whole shabang!!!
 

Falk

Arachnodemon
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The more you get haired the more sensitive you get, many collectors sell their new world species after some years.
 

CAK

Arachnoknight
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The more you get haired the more sensitive you get, many collectors sell their new world species after some years.
Been there.... Less than a year! I am what I would call Hyper-sensetive to Brachypelma hairs. I itch so bad to the point there is blood and then I go for the next best thing to itch with... A Chainsaw and if one isn't available, a belt sander!

I am down to one brachypelma in my collection. I have 2 or 3 "Flick Monsters" in my collection as of now.

Joe
 

P. Novak

ArachnoGod
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I got out of the hobby 2 years ago, and recently (less than a month ago) joined again). For those 2 years that I was "off" I still had itching from the hairs. The weird thing is that it doesn't itch consistently, but very sporadically. I can itch for a few minutes, and then the next few hours... nothing. That goes on for a couple of days, and then stops for a day or two. Keep in mind I don't use any ointments or medication to help with the itching because it's still very bearable and I hope it never gets much worse than this. Although within the past 2 weeks I have aquired 5 adult Theraphosa sp. burgundy sooo we'll see... :eek:
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
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Been there.... Less than a year! I am what I would call Hyper-sensetive to Brachypelma hairs. I itch so bad to the point there is blood and then I go for the next best thing to itch with... A Chainsaw and if one isn't available, a belt sander!

I am down to one brachypelma in my collection. I have 2 or 3 "Flick Monsters" in my collection as of now.

Joe
Me too... still bleeding from yesterday! {D
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
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I shipped a pissed off 7" LP today.... he kicked hairs at my face and neck... and I am STILL covered in hives and STILL itching like mad - two doses of Benadryl and half a bottle of Calamine lotion later.

Full body hives, too. EVERYWHERE.

Here's a pic of my big fat neck, lol.

But you can see the hives, so it's a fair example.

Kori, Ouch!!....doesn't look pleasant and no doubt feels even worse. Sorry they affect you in such a way.

The more you get haired the more sensitive you get, many collectors sell their new world species after some years.
This is not always true. My situation is going in the opposite direction if anything with nw tarantulas- as well as poison ivy. I was not allergic to poison ivy at all as a kid. I'd tease my friends chewing on leaves ;P just for the heck of it. Later I became hypersensitive to it and would break out but only if it entered cuts on my hands. I sometimes do cleanouts of existing landscapes that have become overrun with it. My hands turn black with the sap and any shirt worn is entirely ruined because nothing will get the stain out. I still get it mildly, but again.....there has to be alot and only when it enters open cuts.
 

JimM

Arachnoangel
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I've never had the slightest reaction to the hairs.
 

BatGirl

MAJOR
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Feb 4, 2008
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C a u t i o n !!!

The main threat from the hairs are if they get into your respratory system, then it can become deadly if you are old like me and recently had lung surgery (surgery was not for the hairs, but for a collapsed lung that happened when I was working as a fire marshal - still recovering three years later...) and the complications could cause much harm ~ for a normal person it wouldn't be as deadly but could make you very sick. :barf:

Secondary threat is the skin reactions which I understand can be very irritating. Personally, I've never had any reaction - either because I've kept myself from being flicked on (only had one flicker, my Mexican red knee Lara, but she's dead now, sniff, sniff), or perhaps I'm just 'tough skinned' or something. I did witness my Lara flick on a few occasions and immediately backed off without causing turbulence to the air, slowly closed her tank, and stayed away from the entire area for hours (did not want to breath in any of it). She was really bad at it, but once the rump was bare, she's still try to flick but nothing appeared to come off. Still, I did not take chances.:eek:

So, if you have a flicker, keep your FACE AWAY at all times (perhaps even wear one of those paper mouth covers painters wear when you're handling it). If it does flick, and you're handling it at the time (and assuming you avoided inhaling any), wash your hands/arms gently with cool water and liquid soap afterwards - and also if you tough anything in its cage do the same wash thing.:cool:
 

GPulchra

Arachnoknight
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Jul 21, 2010
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279
Thank you so much, BatGirl. I think it would do even more harm to a child (like myself) because it can cause permanent damage while I'm still growing. The problem is that my room does not get vacuumed. Maybe I can use one of those dog and cat hair swiffer sweeper things? Right now, my main worry is trying to not get bit by my Chilobrachys.
 

LisaD

Arachnosquire
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Jan 21, 2010
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While it is very important to be aware of the risks, and take reasonable precautions, I doubt you are in great danger from hairs. Just don't breathe them in, and try to avoid getting haired at all. I have never had a problem with hairs, but I don't try to handle a flicking spider. (Packing or rehousing can be a different story, but if you are worried, wear arm and face protection and you should be fine.) I'd wear goggles (like for chem class), a dust mask (like painters wear) and long sleeves. Gloves if you really want to ensure protection.
 
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