- Dec 13, 2006
Inches? Feet? If using 16 inch forceps to do tank maintenance, do I still need gloves? And how far away is the face safe?
feet, definitely way more than inches
i'd say a big T. blondi can cast a dense cloud for 3-4 feet and i bet 1% of the kicked hairs can get to 6 feet. the density should drop off fairly quickly the farther you get from the cage, though
^ i have a feeling i am going to rue this as advice not taken in a ten-year or soIf I had a time machine, I'd make sure I'd been wearing gloves for the past two decades so I wouldn't be so sensitive now.
Sensitivity will increase over time. You may not have much of any reaction now, but keep in mind that the proteins coating these hairs are intended to provoke an intense (immune) response in the haired. Although when I started I at most got a mild itch that faded after a few minutes, after 20+ years of repeated exposure, a single hair from pretty much any species will cause a small welt to rise in my case that lasts hours. A really good hairing to my arms and I'll bust out in a rash that will extend over my shoulders onto my neck and back. If I handle things right out of the tanks and grind some hairs into my fingers they'll be swollen for days.maybe im just lucky but i was dealing with a large t.blondi at work and he was kicking hairs at me and my hand was inside the cage and i didnt feel a thing. ive actually had a few ts kick hairs at me and ive never had any irration to the uricating hairs. i think its due to me being made of steel.;P
CM is by far the only one who's had that happen to him. To my knowlage you can basically ask most long time NW keepers on this board and they'll tell you the same thing.Honestly, my tarantula knowledge is in the "noob" category, but I think it is incorrect to say that sensitivity will increase over time........ I am a beekeeper and some people become extremely resistant to the pain and itching of bee stings over time and others become more and more sensitive to the sting over time... I am not familiar with the specifics of urticating hairs, I just think that it is possible that some people may become more, or less, resistant to the effects of the hair over time.....
Venoms are not intended to provoke an immune response, they have functions like causing pain, paralysis, or even cell lysis, but immune responses are a happenstance occurence. The proteins coating urticating hairs have evidently been selected to provoke an immune response. While it would not be impossible that a small percentage of people never become sensitive (just like there are some people who don't react to mosquito bites), the overwhelming majority of people are going to follow right down the biological path the urticating hairs have been selected to provoke.Honestly, my tarantula knowledge is in the "noob" category, but I think it is incorrect to say that sensitivity will increase over time........ I am a beekeeper and some people become extremely resistant to the pain and itching of bee stings over time and others become more and more sensitive to the sting over time... I am not familiar with the specifics of urticating hairs, I just think that it is possible that some people may become more, or less, resistant to the effects of the hair over time.....
How is it scary? If you keep a cat, you know that many humans will develop allergic reactions to antigens in their saliva and at some point you may have to part ways with your feline friends, either because you can no longer stand to be around them or someone close to you cannot. If you keep venomous snakes, you know you need a genuinely escape proof tank and handling implements that let you eliminate the risk of a bite. If you keep new world tarantulas, you know that you need to minimise exposure to their urticating hairs to avoid painful skin irritation.This thread is scary
Yes, always protect your eyes if there is any risk that you might have some hit you there. Though I wouldn't bother during a calm and safe cage cleaning if you work carefully and slowly. But if you have a notorious hair kicker inside that tank while you're working I'd put something on for protection. What I do before a substrate change for example is to spray water on the substrate surface so that hopefully the hairs get bound to it before I start messing arround.What about your eyes then? It seems with hairs flying around like that some are bound to get in your eyes. I hear they can cause serious problems then.