Downplaying urticating hairs

Marcostaco

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This has to be one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. Ever since I've started keeping tarantulas, I have always seen people on social media saying that urticating hairs don't affect them at all. It was kinda stuck to me all these years, after getting kicked at by various species and having no affect on me; I started to become careless and even ignoring the fact that you get more vulnerable to urticating hairs, the more you get exposed to them.

Just last week, it finally caught up to me. I touched my T. blondi's most recent exoskeleton with my bare hands, keep note that I already soaked it in water with dish soap to remove all the urticating hairs it was covered with or so I thought. Just minutes after, I felt pain in my hands. It wasn't even itchy, it was painful; it felt like a bunch of needles were poking in to both my hands. Everytime I tried to move them, the pain would just get worse. It lasted for 2 days, on the 3rd day the pain was gone but started to itch like crazy. Almost a week now and it still itches but has considerably lessen. I learned my lesson.
 

8 legged

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I feel for you. I had worked with gloves but after cleaning in the stirmi terrarium - without a brain - rubbed my eyes. Very unpleasant, despite rinsing I almost went insane. I'll never need that again. However, I was lucky that the hairs were AT the eye and not In the eye!
 
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Marcostaco

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I feel for you. I had worked with gloves but after cleaning in the strimi terrarium - without a brain - rubbed my eyes. Very unpleasant, despite rinsing I almost went insane. I'll never need that again. However, I was lucky that the hairs were AT the eye and not In the eye!
Me, experiencing the pain on my hands; I can't even imagine what it feels on the eyes
 

NMTs

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I rehoused both Xenesthis and Pamphobetus species last week. Didn't touch them or the substrates with bare hands, but I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and they both kicked at me some while the enclosure were open. Both forearms had some itchy little welts, especially in the crook of the elbow where skin is softest. The irritation lasted for a couple days, and my exposure was very minimal.

This thread is a good reminder - thanks for posting it!
 

Dorifto

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Keeping your hands in very hot water will relief you from the pain and itchyness.

Last year after trolling some on the forum with the picture of the molt stuck on the vacuum I trolled myself cleaning the foam filter barehand... 🤣🤣🤣 Blisters everywhere.

Even if usually it's not recomendable to pop blisters, doing it carefully and with sanitized tools make them heal way faster and removes the itchyness of that blister.
 

Finikan

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I feel for you. I had worked with gloves but after cleaning in the strimi terrarium - without a brain - rubbed my eyes. Very unpleasant, despite rinsing I almost went insane. I'll never need that again. However, I was lucky that the hairs were AT the eye and not In the eye!
I have done this with my stirmi molt as well. do not recommend.
 

coolnweird

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Hairs are one of the most I understated risks in this hobby! Particularly because sensitivity can build up over time. I'm extra careful to limit my contact with the urticating setae, as a love my new worlds and want to be keeping them far into the future. I've heard about people who have been in the hobby for decades and can no longer care for NWs due to their increased sensitivity!
 

Arachnophobphile

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This has to be one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. Ever since I've started keeping tarantulas, I have always seen people on social media saying that urticating hairs don't affect them at all. It was kinda stuck to me all these years, after getting kicked at by various species and having no affect on me; I started to become careless and even ignoring the fact that you get more vulnerable to urticating hairs, the more you get exposed to them.

Just last week, it finally caught up to me. I touched my T. blondi's most recent exoskeleton with my bare hands, keep note that I already soaked it in water with dish soap to remove all the urticating hairs it was covered with or so I thought. Just minutes after, I felt pain in my hands. It wasn't even itchy, it was painful; it felt like a bunch of needles were poking in to both my hands. Everytime I tried to move them, the pain would just get worse. It lasted for 2 days, on the 3rd day the pain was gone but started to itch like crazy. Almost a week now and it still itches but has considerably lessen. I learned my lesson.
Oh man......I'm sorry for your suffering.

I got UrS on the back side of my left hand years ago from basic enclosure maintenance.

Wasn't thinking and had no gloves on. 3 days straight of pure itching hell and got a hive, (not sure if that is spelled right. Not a blister but a huge bump).

Anyone that ever got chiggers before and know how bad that itch is, this was worse than that.

Oh yeah, the UrS were from only a 2.5 inch dls T. albopilosus.

I will never have any Theraphosa, from what I've read that genus has thee worse UrS. I cannot even fathom your suffering from that.

Godspeed in your healing
 
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Liquifin

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Wear gloves and wash up after if you need to. Theraphosa hairs get worse the longer you're exposed to them when owning and working with them. I love Theraphosa's but I hate their hairs as it is something that gets worse over time when exposed to them constantly.
 

Marcostaco

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The good thing is that none of my tarantulas are actually kickers. This incident is just purely because of my ignorance. However, the kickers that I do have are probably the worst case scenario for me lol

I'm primarily focused on my Theraphosa breeding projects and all of my T. apophysis are wild kickers but since this incident, I've already ordered a pair of full sleeve chemical resistant gloves

Hairs are one of the most I understated risks in this hobby! Particularly because sensitivity can build up over time. I'm extra careful to limit my contact with the urticating setae, as a love my new worlds and want to be keeping them far into the future. I've heard about people who have been in the hobby for decades and can no longer care for NWs due to their increased sensitivity!
I definitely agree, urticating hairs don't get treated as serious as it should be.
 

Marlana

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I’m the opposite or was rather. Urticating hairs scared me. I purposely got tarantulas that either couldn’t kick them (avicularia) or didn’t have them. I eventually got over it and now keep lots of NW terrestrials. But still haven’t dared to get a Theraphosa, Lasiodora, or Pampho 😅
 

Marcostaco

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I’m the opposite or was rather. Urticating hairs scared me. I purposely got tarantulas that either couldn’t kick them (avicularia) or didn’t have them. I eventually got over it and now keep lots of NW terrestrials. But still haven’t dared to get a Theraphosa, Lasiodora, or Pampho 😅
Get some but act like they're radioactive lol
 

joossa

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This is what is keeping me from getting a Xenesthis sp., which I am very interested in. I know their hairs can be on the more irritating side. I don't want to start becoming more exposed and more sensitive to the hairs and as a result, prevent me from keeping my Brachypelma in the future, which are not hair kickers for me. I'd rather play it safe and keep my Brachys for a long time than get a species I like less, that is more prone to kicking, has more effective hairs, and risk a building up some kind of sensitivity to Brachy hairs that I do not have now.
 

Marcostaco

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This is what is keeping me from getting a Xenesthis sp., which I am very interested in. I know their hairs can be on the more irritating side. I don't want to start becoming more exposed and more sensitive to the hairs and as a result, prevent me from keeping my Brachypelma in the future, which are not hair kickers for me. I'd rather play it safe and keep my Brachys for a long time than get a species I like less, that is more prone to kicking, has more effective hairs, and risk a building up some kind of sensitivity to Brachy hairs that I do not have now.
I've had Xenesthis intermedia before and that thing was probably the craziest hair kicker I've ever had. Luckily, my sp. megascopula is kinda chill
 

nmncfc90

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Ugh, that sounds horrendous! Thanks for the warning though. I'm a newbie and had my 2 slings for just over 2 weeks (G. pulchra and B. hamorii) - your post has got me wondering - When I bought my 2 slings, an item that came recommended was spider handling gloves.... I'm guessing they are just regular thickened gloves to protect from bites and/or urticating hairs. At the time I thought it odd as every video I'd watched/information I'd read even from well known and trusted persons all showed handling their T's bare handed (even if encouraging its not done or kept to absolute essential reasons for doing so). In your case, I guess gloves like this would have protected you suitably. Maybe worth me getting a pair of them after all to protect from any unwanted sensitivities - not that I plan to handle my T's but acknowledge there may be times I have to for their own safety / if they escaped etc.
 

Marcostaco

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Ugh, that sounds horrendous! Thanks for the warning though. I'm a newbie and had my 2 slings for just over 2 weeks (G. pulchra and B. hamorii) - your post has got me wondering - When I bought my 2 slings, an item that came recommended was spider handling gloves.... I'm guessing they are just regular thickened gloves to protect from bites and/or urticating hairs. At the time I thought it odd as every video I'd watched/information I'd read even from well known and trusted persons all showed handling their T's bare handed (even if encouraging its not done or kept to absolute essential reasons for doing so). In your case, I guess gloves like this would have protected you suitably. Maybe worth me getting a pair of them after all to protect from any unwanted sensitivities - not that I plan to handle my T's but acknowledge there may be times I have to for their own safety / if they escaped etc.
Yeah, gloves are a good idea
 

Pmurinushmacla

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Another vote for ows lol. I think its specific genus(es?)that have bad urticating hairs, I've had my g. Rosea for a decade and not once felt them after handling the molt, cleaning enclosure bare handed, etc.
 

Marcostaco

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Another vote for ows lol. I think its specific genus(es?)that have bad urticating hairs, I've had my g. Rosea for a decade and not once felt them after handling the molt, cleaning enclosure bare handed, etc.
Of course reactions to urticating hairs can very well depend from person to person. But I think it'll be better not to find out lol
 

Finikan

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Of course reactions to urticating hairs can very well depend from person to person. But I think it'll be better not to find out lol
Agreed. I was the person who handled my stirmis molt and then rubbed my eyelid. Felt like a loose hair across my eye and I would forget and "brush it away", causing my eye to water slightly. Lasted a few days to a week. If i remember correctly, my eyelid looked a little puffy but not red or irritated.

Definitely varies between people and HOW they are applied, for lack of a better word. I am in no way downplaying them! Having hairs kicked at you would likely be a different story from having a few strays in an eyelid.

My recommendation: rather than not keeping a species, just use gloves, use long handled tongs, and always use caution.
 
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