bites... now i'm a little scared

kellygirl

Arachnoprince
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Sep 1, 2002
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i just read through the bites forum... i've read about a few tarantula bites before but, for some reason, reading about people that i "know" getting bitten makes it seem a little more realistic... and suddenly i'm scared. i handle most of my tarantulas freely because i have relatively docile species and specimens. but i will soon be receiving a few species that arent so snuggly and i'm nervous.

i've had some bad reactions to bee stings in the past and i seem to attract mosquitos more than your average joe. my mom says it's cause i'm so sweet. ;) you should've seen me in mexico! i was the only person in our group that was getting eaten... i had to resort to the dreaded deet!!! are there any medicines that i should keep in my home, just in case i get bitten by a tarantula? esp if i ever end up getting pokies...

what are some tips on avoiding getting bitten besides the obvious not poking your pokies in the face? are there are any tools that yall suggest? i've heard people talking about tongs but i'm not really sure what kind i would need and what exactly i would do with them... remove uneaten food?

i've already overcome my fear of feeding live food to animals and i'm sure i will be fine with my new 'challenges.' i just want to be prepared.

kellygirl

p.s. i know that pokies are infamous for invoking bad reactions... which other species/genera are well-known for this?
 

Bob the thief

Arachnoknight
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Dec 29, 2002
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Buy yourself those 18 inch tweezers , forceps thingy's.

A pair of rawhide gloves and some air masks.
Oh and don't forget eye protection.

With my slow species I use the forceps to remove uneaten food and clean things around. The gloves are for the hairs along with the other stuff not really needed since bigger T's have no problem biting it. The gloves have guarded me against a few scorp stings and once a tarantula bite they do however make you sluggish. The rest of the stuff is just for the hairs that T blondis and things kick. Actually I only use the air mask and eye protection if I know im gona get close to her , or its a T that can kick hairs pretty far


As for the fast ones , before opening the terrarium I look to see where he/she is then I will do what I got to do with some forceps and close the door quickly. Oh and try not to get to close to the t becuase you may startle it.

As for transferring the fast buggers I like to cool them down. Then I use a thick mesh (almost cloth like, hard to find) small net. I could use nets for fishtanks but I would make sure there twice the size of the animal .But beware t's can get tangled if the mesh is not grouped together enough.

Forceps are your best friends with anything bitey bitey
 
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Devildoll

Arachnoknight
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Jul 19, 2002
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267
kelly, you are such a worrier....
just don't get bit ;)

i wouldn't worry too much about the pokies....
i've found getting an agressive stance from my pokies is impossible! they would rather go hide.... i've held all 4 pokies occationally....

as far as bee-sting reactions..... and tarantula bites being similar.... i kind of doubt anything you keep in your house is going to help you in case you do get bit.... maybe benadryl?
ephedrine if you have breathing problems?

i've found being careful and not getting bit is a better way of going about protection....

long forceps are an awsome tool.... you can get some at www.tongs.com
the 18 or 24 inch hemostats would be all you need....

i suppose leather gloves and long sleeves would protect you too, as i doubt a T will bite through clothing....
 

Bob the thief

Arachnoknight
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Oh I use gloves if i get alittle up close and personal. Other than that it makes me to sluggish.

Over the years I mostly kept scorps and over time I got really good reflexes from it :D . I can get my hand out of a cage in half a second heh.

But best thing to do is remain calm and know where the animal is at all times. They usally wont attack without warning.. they prefer to hide.

Calm but aware of what your doing.
 

Devildoll

Arachnoknight
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Jul 19, 2002
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kellygirl... you know how i told you i'm spiritual and stuff... well, i use handling my aggresive Ts as a form of meditation....

i believe that if you can tune down to a calm state, any T is handlable.... not that i'm going to handle my H. minax... cause there's no way i could ever be that calm... well, maybe.....

i too have gotten some incredible reflexes from handling my animals all the time....

the one that really teaches ya is a 6 foot boa..... she catches your hand.... you're gonna bleed and it's gonna hurt!
 

invertepet

Arachnolord
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Oct 4, 2002
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It's simple: Don't handle species you know are aggressive, defensive and/or possibly highly venomous. If you must handle a spider, do it with one you know isn't defensive.

As for the others, 'you holds your spiders and you takes your chances'. I've held smithi, rosea, campestratus and other docile species a fair amount and I've never been bitten by a tarantula. I just respect the ones I'm not sure about or are more defensive by not handling them unless absolutely necessary.

From the standpoint of individual freedom, you can do as you please. Worrying will just make it more likely you'll drop a spider if it makes a sudden movement - which could be fatal for it.

From the standpoint of logic, spiders aren't made for holding. They're not warm and cuddly and they don't return affection or have emotional bonding with us the way a dog, cat, ferret or other critter might. They're invertebrates and like an aquatic pet, they're best left alone in their vivarium.

Which is not to say we shouldn't morally EVER afford ourselves the fun of holding a tarantula, but like with anything else that involves a little animal life you're responsible for -- exercise common sense and some caution. Even if one does nip you, I'm sure it won't be the worst thing ever.

bill
 

Code Monkey

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Jul 22, 2002
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I'm just repeating what Dr. Breene said over on the ATS list, but it's important for people to know: there has never been a documented case of anaphylactic shock from a tarantula bite anywhere in the world. In other words, there is no relation between sensitivity to beestings and T venom, nor is there significant danger of you having a life threatening allergic reaction.

If you really are concerned, get an epinephrine pen (Epi-Pen). Otherwise, as others have emphasized, the trick is not to get bit. I've never been bit and it's like Bill says: know the spider; some of them will never be good candidates (e.g. my N. coloratovillosus), others of them may normally be but will have bad days.

A tarantulas first threatened reaction is to run or assume a threat posture and hiss and/or slap. A bite is usually their last resort, so when old eight-legs starts getting pissy, that's when it's time to take the fleshy bits away from its reach and turn to a paint brush and deli cup.
 

Chris

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Aug 9, 2002
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To quote the Croc Hunter... "Don't Muck With It"

As long as you don't bother your spider it won't do anything to you. My hands have gone in the cage with all of my aggressive species (If anyone nit-pics at that term again I am going to boot them in the head... we get the point).

Most are content to draw a line in the sand and tell me not to cross it by standing up in a threat position. Just stay out of strike range and you have nothing to worry about.
 

Phillip

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Aug 19, 2002
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Just try to relax.

In all the time I have kept Tarantulas I have yet to be bitten and I have several of the so called nastier species. I have had pokes and cobalts run up my arm and touched blondi and thorelli with my fingers. Now this isn't to say that if you provoke them they won't bite but as has already been said here you have to make them feel thereatened to provoke a bite. If given the chance most all species prefer to run or stand their ground and rear up but they aren't going to come at you with a premeditated attack. Some species like the Selenecosmia are pretty unpredictable and seem to react violently when you get near them but again they warn 1st and bite 2nd. Pretty much you can handle anything out there if you remain calm and you wont upset it enough to take a bite form it. And as far as routine tank maintenance goes they aren't going to try and nail you when you put your hand in there as long as you dont get too close and make them feel like they have no other choice. That said the long tongs or tweezers suggested earlier are a very useful tool and using them you can go about it with very little risk at all.

Phil
 
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