Handling tarantulas

Burak Toprak

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Dec 7, 2019
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I only handle my new world tarantulas to rehouse them and obviously it's not a good thing to handle your tarantulas and really shouldn't be done. That being said people are still going to do it, so what are the best ways to handle a docile new world tarantula (If its an old world T I kinda hope they get bit for being so stupid) that's as safe as possible for your tarantula and yourself.
 

Cemykay

Arachnopeon
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Oct 29, 2019
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Oh you are about to open pandoras box ;).
If you want to handle your tarantula, do it in a safe environment without any other pets and keep her whole body as close to a soft surface as possible. Having a catchcup nearby is also very useful.
 

jrh3

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I only handle my new world tarantulas to rehouse them and obviously it's not a good thing to handle your tarantulas and really shouldn't be done. That being said people are still going to do it, so what are the best ways to handle a docile new world tarantula (If its an old world T I kinda hope they get bit for being so stupid) that's as safe as possible for your tarantula and yourself.
Why discriminate OW vs NW? If your going to handle them, why not all? Because of the risk of a bite? Sounds like your best interest is not the safety of the Tarantula and just the keeper. There should be a balance, the balance should be just don’t intentionally handle them.
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
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I only handle my new world tarantulas to rehouse them and obviously it's not a good thing to handle your tarantulas and really shouldn't be done. That being said people are still going to do it, so what are the best ways to handle a docile new world tarantula (If its an old world T I kinda hope they get bit for being so stupid) that's as safe as possible for your tarantula and yourself.
The best thing is not to teach them how to handle tarantulas safety. The best thing is teaching them not to handle tarantulas at all
 

chanda

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Keep in mind that every time you handle, you put the tarantula's life at risk. Even the most seemingly docile spider can bolt or bite in an instant if startled. The keeper is at risk of getting haired or bitten - and of losing their investment in what might be a pretty expensive spider - while the spider is at risk of being seriously injured or killed if it falls (or is reflexively flung across the room if it bites or otherwise startles the keeper). Even if the spider survives the initial bolt/drop/fling, it could escape and end up loose in the house where it could die slowly of thirst or starvation, could come into contact with pesticides or other toxins, could get eaten by a cat, dog, or other pet, or might be squashed by a spider-fearing roommate or family member. If it is a species with potent venom, that also puts any family members, other pets, and other people in shared dwelling situations (such as an apartment or dormitory) at risk for a bite.

If you choose to handle, there are certain steps you can take to minimize the risks to the spider. These steps do not eliminate those risks altogether. First, choose an open area in the middle of the floor, without an abundance of nearby hiding places. Avoid getting too close to places with dark, inviting hidey-holes like the gaps underneath shelves or cupboards. Put the cage on the floor and get down on the floor yourself. (If possible, make sure it is a soft floor - if it is not carpeted, put down a thick blanket or other pad.) The closer the spider is to the floor, the less chance it has of being injured if it falls. Next, get a clear, lightweight catch cup and set it next to the cage - just in case the spider bolts and you need to recapture it. Close the door to keep out other pets, children, or other distractions. Turn off any fans and close the windows so the spider isn't hit by any sudden breezes. Finally, put your hand flat on the bottom of the cage, palm-up. Your goal is for your hand to just become part of the ground for the spider. If the spider reacts to your hand defensively (such as rearing up, exposing its fangs, kicking hairs, or actively trying to run away) stop right there and wait until later to try again. If the spider ignores your hand, you can use your other hand or the bristles of a soft paint brush to gently nudge the spider onto your hand. If this is your first time handling, or if you are nervous, stop there. You are still holding the spider - but it is also still in its cage and essentially on the ground. If you are feeling more confident (and the spider is being docile) you can slowly and gently lift the spider out of the enclosure. Remember, though - just like when determining cage and substrate height while housing the spider - it should not be more than 1.5 - 2 times its diagonal leg span above the ground. Don't put the spider up next to your face - even the feel of your breath could spook the spider - plus if it does decide to kick hairs, you don't want them getting into your eyes, nose, or mouth. When you have finished holding the spider, put your hand back into the cage and gently urge the spider back off.
 
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mack1855

Arachnobaron
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@chanda gives a well thought out and meaningful answer to the question on handling.Thanks for not going ballistic on the
issue.OP,read the post,its what you need to know if you do this.
 

RS4guy

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I loved handling my girls, I never had issues, except with an m. balfouri, she was a fast, aggressive little girl.

That being said, just use common sense, and be safe (for you and your T).
 

Burak Toprak

Arachnopeon
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Dec 7, 2019
Messages
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Why discriminate OW vs NW? If your going to handle them, why not all? Because of the risk of a bite? Sounds like your best interest is not the safety of the Tarantula and just the keeper. There should be a balance, the balance should be just don’t intentionally handle them.
Some old world T's can hospitalize you that's why????

Just posted this so when someone googles how to handle a T and ignores the risks they know the safest way of doing it. There's a way to respond in a constructive way keep that mind.
 

Rigor Mortis

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Nov 7, 2018
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I don’t always handle T’s, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis.
Stay thirsty, my spiders.

Nah but really I think @chanda has the best response here. We can't keep anyone from handling their Ts if they really want to, so we might as well give some good advice on how to be cautious instead of berating someone and making them feel bad or stupid for asking in the first place.
 

jrh3

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When I handle...I'm more of a Whiskey Coke...with an OBT chaser.

I mean hey, if its gonna hurt...why feel it?
Kind of like the youtube video tequila suicide. You snort the salt, squeeze the lime in your eye, then shoot the tequila. OK, I'm ready, hand me my OBT.
 

Vanessa

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Are we skipping the customary 'Let's Disguise this as a Tarantula Intelligence Post' portion of this conversation and just skipping right to the guts of it?
I'm going to start saving these threads and then drag them all out every single time someone doesn't use the search function to find their answer to this question... because almost every single time this topic comes up, someone will post a few pointers to reduce the risk to the animal (there is NO way to eliminate the risks).
 

Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
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Oct 16, 2019
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395
Kind of like the youtube video tequila suicide. You snort the salt, squeeze the lime in your eye, then shoot the tequila. OK, I'm ready, hand me my OBT.
Yes exactly...only with a pissed off spider on your hand the whole time...but yeah...exactly. :cool:
 
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