Getting over the Nerves

petshopguy

Arachnosquire
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Hey guys. I am an experienced entomology lover and I have kept many species of invertebrates as pets. My kids and I spend our summers exploring the wilderness looking for cool critters. I am looking to own and breed several species of T's and I am wondering about tips to get over the fear of getting bit. In catering, we use a special glove that knives can't penetrate and I'm wondering if I should just stick to that. I know that my fear comes from not having personal contact with them before, but I also know that it only takes one bite to enhance the fear. Plus, I don't want to hurt the T if I get bit and end up dropping him as a reaction. Maybe some helpful hints on species that are VERY unlikely to bite/sting. Any tips?
 

Vys

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Most Grammostola. Avicularia are not quick to bite or rub hairs either, but it isn't much more pleasant to get shot with poo :p
 

AubZ

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I must admit I feel the same. It's a mix of worrying about getting bite and then dropping the T. That's why I have stuck to handling my baby Avic. I want to get a pair of gloves to handle my adult T to get used to it. If I had someone that was not worried and passed it from his hand to mine, I would be fine.
 

JungleGuts

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Best way to get over the fear is to just do it. Handle some docile T's and forget the gloves so you can feel what its like more. I suggest you make sure your over the fear before you jump into breeding:) Sit on a bed or something when handleing incase it falls it wont fall all the way to the ground.
 

AubZ

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Once it's out I don't have a problem. It's getting it out that I'm worried about. My T is always a bit skittish whenever I open the enclosure, normally retreating to her hide.
 

Pociemon

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Just use a small cup and put it over the T and put the lid under it, and then you have it. Easy method.
 

KaineSoulblade

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I suggest you be calm and steady when you handle them. If you are shaky and nervous you are going to make the T's more nervous. I have always been confident when handling all T's, and no bites yet.

Sometimes things happen in the environment that you cannot control such as someone dropping an object or making a loud noise on accident that scares a T into biting you or bolting off your hand to it's demise. You cannot control these accidents but you can minimize complications of your environment. Hold them somewhere that is reasonably small. Like a small carpeted room that has no hiding places or nooks for them to escape and get lost in. Get them on to you hand and get a good feel for how they move and what they don't like. Progessive sessions of holding and learning thier attitudes and likes will help tremendously as long as you always remeber they are quite capable of doing the unexpected. They will communicate thier disposition through body language to you constantly.

If you are going to handle them bare handed be prepared, and know how to react if you are bitten. Because if you are afraid of flinging them in reaction you shouldn't hold them untill you are confident you can take a bite.
I know it's impossible for me to know if i am going to ever get bitten but I know a lot of things I can do to make the chance as minimized as possible. When and if the time comes one of my beloveds decides it's having a bad day and bites me, I'm going to let it finish and put it away.

Note; I wanted to add there is no 'species' that is not going to bite. The most psychotic tarantula I have ever laid eyes upon was a G. Rosea. That little bastard snapped at thin air if you walked by its glass. Avics and other normally docile T's have a chance of biting you as well so don't be lulled into a false sense of security with "safe" spiders.
 
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dukegarda

Arachnobaron
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The best thing do with your fear is, in fact is to get bit. Get it over with, then you'll realize it's nothing to be afraid of. I'm not saying shove your hand in front of your Ts and provoke them, be careful, but don't panic. Ever been stung by a wasp? Then you've basically been bitten by a small Tarantula, then again; I'm going on what others have told me.
 

JMoran1097

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Most Grammostola. Avicularia are not quick to bite or rub hairs either, but it isn't much more pleasant to get shot with poo :p
i hate getting shot with poo. it's extremely irritating and disgusting.
 

julesaussies

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i have bred various breeds of parrots for many years. Some are tame, some are not used to being handled but all must be at some point whether it be for grooming or veterinary care. i've had to handle various birds of prey as well when working for a vet who was licensed with Fish & Game to treat such wildlife. i've had to catch loose flighted birds and can pretty much count on getting bit in those situations but i likely only have that one chance to grab them. Birds can be tricky because while not as fragile as a T - they are very fragile and must be restrained properly for the safety of the parrot and the person. Over the years i have become able to handle and groom or treat pretty much any size parrot from only an ounce to quite large by myself. That said, i have great respects for all beaks and especially the larger ones. In fact, i would honestly rather hold and treat myself rather than have some inexperienced family, friend or even veterinary staff member hold for me as that seems to be the times i get bit. Okay, you're probably wondering how this relates to holding T's...

For me it's all how i am prepared mentally because you can't fling birds across the room either. While they aren't venomous they can take a finger off and break bones even more easily. i don't know if its something that i got more used to over the years because a bite still hurts just the same. i'm not terrified to hold them even when i am at risk of getting bit which is a lot depending on the bird and situation. While i am not so nervous about it that it affects me, i have prepared myself mentally over the years to not move when getting bit. It likely wouldn't reduce the injury to myself and only increase the chance of injury to the animal. i think it's just a mental preparation so i don't act on my reflexes when something happens.

i probably made it sound like i get bit all the time which isn't the case at all. However, i think confidence, respect and a pre-thought out plan are what have helped me to avoid bites to begin with. As i said, most all the bites i have endured have come as a result of somebody 'helping' me restrain so i have both hands available for whatever treatment is needed. When i hold my T's its the same thing for me. i respect them, don't handle any aggressive or venomous T's unless necessary and take all precautions. i watch the animal (whatever it is) for their body language to 'help' me predict what the animal is trying to tell me or may do. However, all T's should be considered unpredictable as they are wild animals - no different than a trained Tiger really. Wild animals usually react with instinct.

Sorry this was way too wordy.
 

Thoth

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Are the gloves you refer to the mesh filleting gloves, then they might not protect you as the fangs may penetrate in between the mesh and may get caught or damaged. Also, they would not be good for handling as the foot claws may get caught in the mesh.

If you are afraid of getting bit, just don't handle you ts. Probably safest all round option. No need to ever handle.
 

Merfolk

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Also, not to forget : they have claws, and are quite hard to lift from cloth or even skin if they don't want you to.

Best thing to do : present a safe wooden or otherwise familiar object (to the T) and make sure at least one leg make contact, then gently give a little push to the butt. It will move to the more solid ground!!
 

Moltar

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Best thing to do : present a safe wooden or otherwise familiar object (to the T) and make sure at least one leg make contact, then gently give a little push to the butt. It will move to the more solid ground!!
Yup, to elaborate on this i've found that dealing with a T while it's out of it's cage has more to do with encouraging it to go where you want it to than really manipulating it. With slow moving terrestrials you just steer them around by gently touching their rear legs or abdomen. I've seen video of people handling faster, aggro old worlders and it seems quite different for them.

Having said that, I only really handle my roseas. The adult smithi is waaay too skittish and flick happy to be encouraged to go ANYWHERE she doesn't want to and all the rest of my babies are still babies and thus very speeedy. They get a little walkabout if they're being rehoused but that's about it.
 

LimaMikeSquared

Arachnobaron
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We don't handle our T's at all. We enjoy just watching them, though the most interesting ones to watch tend to be the more lively and aggressive ones - even more reason not to handle one! The fun comes when we have to change tanks, though we find that potting them up is easier in the afternoon - they are all lunatics in the morning!
 

cacoseraph

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as long as you are sticking to the generally accepted hand pets (except G. rosea) their bite is no big deal. i'm quite certain you have hurt yourself worse cooking.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Best way to get over the fear is to just do it.
I 100 percent agree with this statement. Although I don't agree at all with feeling the need to handle a tarantula (which is why I omitted the other content in the quote), the best way to get over the nervous feeling or fear is to just work with a few different tarantulas so you get to know how they react. Biting isn't a very likely occurance with many species, but most of them will run rather quickly out of their container and across the floor. This happens with even the most docile of tarantulas so keep that in mind and plan appropriately.

- Lonnie
 
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