I want to buy a Tarantula....

Were you scared that your tarantula would bite you when you first got it?

  • Yes

    Votes: 11 36.7%
  • No

    Votes: 19 63.3%

  • Total voters
    30

HannibalCmp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
46
But everytime I think about it I get a shiver down my spine to think that it would be in the same room as me (right next to my bed) and in the same room with my Brother's Hamster. Will this pass after I buy a tarantula and fully understand it and its behavior? I am afraid that if (maybe I should have said when) I get bittenthat the fangs will go to the bone and that it will hurt like crap and that I may lose the pulse in my finger:( ...whoa that wasa long sentence. Will this fear of the bite also pass? I really want to get one and I don't think these will stp me from getting one but it would be comforting to know that tarantulas can be nice and friendly and not always out to get me. Please answer before tomorrow because that iswhen I am going to get one...I think.
 

Tranz

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
320
Just being near it will lessen your fear of it over time. You don't have to force yourself to do anything you don't feel comfortable doing around it. You should be getting only a docile species. What you get with it depends on its size and species.
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
3,786
I got my first T when I was 11. I was a bit spooked by the thing in general because it was so different than anything I'd had before, but out and out afraid, never (and I started off with an "aggressive" species because I didn't know any better :)). I'm 32 now and have never been bitten so unless you start off with one of the more unpredictable species I'd say your fear is about as rational as planning on winning the lottery.

If you stick to Brachypelma, Grammostola, Aphonopelma, or Avicularia species you will have a T that will be very unlikely to show aggression of any sort, and even if it does will almost certainly use threat postures and displays long before it ever tries to bite. They're simple creatures interested in food and shelter, not in tangling with something big enough to end their lives in about 0.2 seconds. Some of the African and Asian species don't make this judgement call but they're still not a threat unless *you* do something stupid. No T is ever going to just run up out of the cage and attack you. If you use forceps to work in their cage and a long handled paint brush for prodding them when you need to move them you will almost certainly never be bitten by even the most "aggressive" of species.

As for what to buy: you'll need some sort of cage, kritter keeper or petpal type cages work very well and are inexpensive, a water bowl, and substrate. Substrate can be anything from vermiculite to unfertilised potting soil. Gear it towards the moisture needs of the T you're going to get - e.g. a B. smithi can be kept bone dry with a water bowl so use pretty much what you want, but a P. nigricolor is going to need something with some moisture holding capacity.

That's pretty much it. Long handled forceps (hemostat type) and a long handled paint brush come in handy but aren't specifically necessary. You'll also want something to keep crickets in before they're fed out (another petpal will work for this duty). You really don't need much to keep Ts - about the only thing simpler is a cactus.
 

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
I have had tarantulas off and on since the early 80's, I have always respected them, not feared them and I have never been bitten by any of them yet.
I would recommend a couple of books:
"tarantulas and other arachnids" by marshall
"tarantula keeper's guide" by schultz
both books together should cost 20.00 or less at your favorite book retailer.
Ed
 

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Messages
2,118
I think you should hold off on getting a tarantula for a little while. Maybe you should go to the library and video store and get lots of books and videos on tarantulas (NOT 8 LEGGED FREAKS) and just learn as much as you possibly can about them. Then when you get really comfortable with the idea of having one in your house, get an adult or subadult docile species that you can keep in a good container that you can dump food in and pour water into a dish, without risking the spider dashing out of while doing it. Keep some tongs for retreiving waste/dead crickets. Noone ever said that you have to hold your tarantula just because you have one. I have six tarantulas and three of them I have never held, one or two of them I will probably have to stop holing when they get bigger.

Just take it easy and don't rush into something you aren't ready for.

Good Luck
BD
 

Slide

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 26, 2002
Messages
63
When I decided to get my first T, it hadn't really occured to me that there were so many different species and requirements for care, so I spent quite awhile doing research, and just lurking here and on the arachnid_world mailing list. The amount of information available is absolutely overwhelming.

For most species of T, getting bitten is not only uncommon (or, for some species, completely unheard of), but also nothing to worry much about. While all Ts do have some sort of venom, only a handful of the hundreds of available species are reportedly dangerous (most notably the Poecilotheria spp.), and even then, that's only from scattered reports. Most reports are either dry bites (no envenomation), or in the cases of envenomation, about as bad as a bee sting.

Of course, if you follow the suggestions here, and always respect the T, you'll probably never get bitten.

One thing that will most likely bite you, though, is the "T bug." It seems that most people, once they have a T, end up with several more. Just take a look at some of the collections members of this forum have.. :)
 

Venom

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
1,709
I wasn't really scared of my first T. Largely because it was a Eupalastrus campestratus ( pink zebra beauty ) . By the way, have you decided what species you want ?
 

arachnopunks

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
391
Getting a tarantula is a great way to get over your fear. Just remember, you don't have to handle it. Most of the spiders we keep really aren't handleable and the ones that are are handled very rarely. My husband has been keeping tarantulas for 12 years now and I have for over 4 years. Neither one of us has ever been bitten. My husband chooses to handle them more often than I do. The few times I have held them were to prove to someone who is afraid that it won't bite. My husband got his first tarantula to get over an irrational childhood fear. It worked like a charm. We really choose to keep spiders as more of a pet to be observed and only will disturb them if we have to. You should get the books mentioned before and read everything you can about tarantulas. Go to http://www.atshq.org and print up their general care sheet to take with you if you buy the spider. If you are concerned about bites, go to the bites forum on this site. If you notice there are not very many postings compared to this forum, so the bites are rare, but at least you will be informed. There is also a 'bite report' page at http://www.bighairyspiders.com and also info & photos on many great species. Good luck!!


-Jill
 

JacenBeers

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2002
Messages
1,265
My first tarantula was a Red Knee and it was a good starter. My second was a rose hair and my third was a Goliath. I think that you should start off docile. I never had a fear of being bitten unless a spider got out.
 
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