How do I clean RAID off of a tank so that I KNOW there are no traces left?

jess578

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
15
The backstory:

I work at a pet store. I won't disclose which one. I'm the only person there who likes tarantulas, so when a guy called in asking if anyone was willing to rehome one for free with a tank, I took him up on it.

I am raising two chilean rose hairs, but he was offering an adult female for free. Something about his son is leaving and he wants nothing to do with his pets. So I arrange for him to drop it off at the store while I'm working.

The very same day that I called him back, I get a call at around 8pm telling me that his wife is freaking out and I have to pick it up that night. I drive all the way out to meet him, only for him to hand me a small tank that is freezing cold containing a limp tarantula. He then tells me his wife panicked and sprayed it with something, Raid or mite spray, he wouldn't be specific.

Btw, I really hate people.

I take it home half-crying and raging at the inhumanity in their actions and hope that it's just really cold and torpid. I warm her up and she starts to twitch, but it's just her legs folding up. She was such a beauty, had to have been a couple years old.


The question:
The tank was freezing, like it had been outside for a while, I'm thinking his wife would not let him bring it in the house. It also reeks of bug spray of some sort. It's a nice tank, I want to use it for my B. smithi who is outgrowing his smaller habitat, and as a possible transport carrier for my milk snake, but I want to make sure that there are no remnants at all of insecticide in the thing before I put any of my babies in there.

All I know about cleaning things is using diluted bleach, but that is to kill bacteria and disease, I have no idea what to use that can guarantee me that all the insecticide is gone. Does anyone know how to do this or should I just throw out the tank?
 
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Hobo

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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Jul 27, 2009
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2,206
It depends on what spray was used. Some are designed to stay and linger no matter what you do.
You work in a pet store right?
Trash the tank, use the store discount and buy yourself a new tank!
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
Agreeing with Hobo.

And it's a damn shame what those people did. She had to have known it was a pet! Just plain mean. And putting it outside to freeze to death... :mad:

I hope you, at the very least, explained that their actions cost that tarantula its life.

Either way, you did your best.
 

jt39565

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
179
Just because you can't see remnants of the spray or smell it yourself doesn't mean that any any with more acute sensitivity to the spray won't.
Trash it.
 

0siris

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
127
I kind of wish I didn't open this thread at 7:30 in the morning...:(

I can see how the woman might have been frightened, but spraying it was completely uncalled for, especially since it was in an enclosure.

I know it might be difficult for you to do, but I would call them and ask exactly what kind of spray they used. From there you could search about the pesticides effect on a tarantula. If you know it will eventually kill it, you may just want to put it down to save it some suffering.
 

Vespula

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 27, 2010
Messages
707
Those people make me so mad! It wasn't hurting noone! Why kill a defensless spider in a tank? :mad:
 

ryancreek

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
19
I've got about 4 semesters of college chemistry with lab work under my belt. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm pretty sure I can help you here if you must use the tank.

I know for a fact after reading a few things, that the active ingredient in common household bleach - sodium hydroxide (or NaOH, a source of hydroxide anion - a strong base) has been used to neutralize insecticides. It's not just for bacteria!

Also, we use acetone for most everything as a polar chemical solvent to remove traces of compounds on chemistry lab equipment to clean them. And it has to remove all of the traces because many of the reactions would be thrown off if we had contaminants. And acetone evaporates off really quickly so you don't have acetone left behind.

A pesticide application website also states that household ammonia (NH3 - also a strong base) and detergent, followed by a flush with water, can be used to clean pesticide sprayers. This makes sense because detergent creates phospholipid micelles that engulf certain contaminants/debris and allows them to be washed away.

So, if you really must use the tank, here is what I would do. I would be very surprised if it did not react with and remove the pesticide completely. I believe that few volatile compounds would withstand the trifecta bombardment of bleach (or ammonia), detergent, and acetone - plus hot water to boot. We've got the bases covered - acid/base, polarity, heat, etc.

Step 1 - Wash and scrub with bleach, then rinse with hot water
Step 2 - Wash and scrub with detergent (like dish soap) and hot water (and perhaps let soak).
Step 3 - Wash and scrub with acetone, then rinse with hot water
Step 4 - Repeat 1-3 a couple times, possibly replacing step 1 bleach with ammonia NH3 (in glass cleaner)
Step 5 -Dry well


But to be extra safe, then perhaps try housing some crix or any cheap invertebrates in it for a while to see what happens. If they're healthy after a couple weeks or so, clean the enclosure as normal (just water and dry), and then you can try housing a T.
 
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QuantumGears

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
33
I've got about 4 semesters of college chemistry with lab work under my belt. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm pretty sure I can help you here if you must use the tank.

I know for a fact after reading a few things, that the active ingredient in common household bleach - sodium hydroxide (or NaOH, a source of hydroxide anion - a strong base) has been used to neutralize insecticides. It's not just for bacteria!

Also, we use acetone for most everything as a polar chemical solvent to remove traces of compounds on chemistry lab equipment to clean them. And it has to remove all of the traces because many of the reactions would be thrown off if we had contaminants. And acetone evaporates off really quickly so you don't have acetone left behind.

A pesticide application website also states that household ammonia (NH3 - also a strong base) and detergent, followed by a flush with water, can be used to clean pesticide sprayers. This makes sense because detergent creates phospholipid micelles that engulf certain contaminants/debris and allows them to be washed away.

So, if you really must use the tank, here is what I would do. I would be very surprised if it did not react with and remove the pesticide completely. I believe that few volatile compounds would withstand the trifecta bombardment of bleach (or ammonia), detergent, and acetone - plus hot water to boot. We've got the bases covered - acid/base, polarity, heat, etc.

Step 1 - Wash and scrub with bleach, then rinse with hot water
Step 2 - Wash and scrub with detergent (like dish soap) and hot water (and perhaps let soak).
Step 3 - Wash and scrub with acetone, then rinse with hot water
Step 4 - Repeat 1-3 a couple times, possibly replacing step 1 bleach with ammonia NH3 (in glass cleaner)
Step 5 -Dry well


But to be extra safe, then perhaps try housing some crix or any cheap invertebrates in it for a while to see what happens. If they're healthy after a couple weeks or so, clean the enclosure as normal (just water and dry), and then you can try housing a T.
As a biochem major I agree but after you rinse with all of these chemicals rinse about a hundred times with water. Not literally 100 times but 5 or 6 just to be sure.

In analytical chemistry the idea of "chemically clean" is drilled into us. Rinsing with deionized water works best. I've prepared many solutions from "clean" glassware for a titration and as soon as I made the solution there was a precipitate.:wall:
 

jess578

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
15
Original Poster here.

Thank you everyone for your replies and help. To those who said they hope she pulls through, just to correct you since it was sort of vague in my original post, but she was dead when they gave me the tank. If the cold didn't kill her, the insecticide surely finished the job.

I've decided to just trash the tank. It's not worth the $15 price tag to risk the life of my B. smithi that I raised from a 1" spiderling. Also the time it will take me to clean it in such a way to make sure everything is off, I would make much more working at my job for the same amount of time.

In a way its good, I signed up to these forums because of this incident and it seems like a helpful place to advance my tarantula hobby. Thanks once again.
 

jess578

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
15
As a nice turn of events in this whole ordeal, and a sign that life truly goes on, I came home from work today to find my B. smithi molting. {D



 

bobusboy

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
287
....wood chips....

You might want to change the substrate out for peat or cocanut coir.
 

Bjamin

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Messages
63
I have to say some people really need a good kick in the teeth poor T.
 

Mal De Hyde

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Messages
11
I would most likely agree with Mr. Skeleton -- regardless of whatever chemical combinations may be used, the lingering worry that traces of RAID might remain in the tank would prompt me to dispose of the tank. Otherwise, I have not the chemistry credentials of several of the other posters here, but nonetheless I will go out on a limb and say that buying ten gallons of distilled white vinegar (if you can find it inexpensively enough), filling the tank with it, covering the top with something like clingwarp and letting it sit for some time might be worth considering. I am a very anti-chemical person and am revolted by substances like RAID and (loathingly) DEET insect repellent (seeing what the latter can do to plastic ought to be enough for most people; furthermore, I have heard that maybe 30% of the DEET in repellent is absorbed into the human bloodstream to do who knows what).

As for the woman in the pet store, remember this. Esoterically it is stated that all negative actions/reactions can be traced to fear of some type. The woman's actions described therein were obviously directly related to fear. Imagine what the rest of her life must be like -- one fear-spawned negative action/reaction after another. What abject misery :barf:.
 

LV-426

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
500
About 14 years ago i got my 1st T. I believe it was a G rosea. I was really young and getting all kinds of snakes and lizards. So one day the T had died, later my girlfriend at the time said she killed it by pouring alcohol onto it. Down the line we broke up and i had recently come to the conclusion that she hated everything that took my attention away from her. Its sad poor thing was killed by my ex's jelousy. ridiculous and pathetic
 
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