Handling

How to handle your pet tarantula
If you decide to handle your tarantula you must be very careful.  Your new pet requires very little care and being handled is not necessary for its physical needs.  Your tarantula is probably better off not being held, but if you want to handle your spider there are a number of safe ways to do it.

You should always use caution when handling your spider.  Many tarantulas are very quick and can get away easily. 

The safest way to pick it up is to grip it securely between the second and third pair of legs with your thumb and forefinger.  The tarantula’s reaction is to stop moving if you pick the spider up quickly and all its legs leave the ground at the same time. Another way of picking up your spider is to gently nudge it into the palm of your hand or temporary container. 

Once your tarantula is in the palm of your hand slowly lift it making sure the spider stays in one place.  Always keep your hand underneath the spider.  If your tarantula likes to crawl around a lot you will find yourself constantly changing hands to prevent your spider from falling. 

It is a good idea to not let your tarantula crawl all over you. Try to keep it in your hands.  These precautions are taken for the safety of yourself and your spider. 

If a tarantula falls from any great height it will most likely prove fatal for the spider. A fall from a height of three feet or more can burst the abdomen of the spider.  If your tarantula’s abdomen ruptures your spider will die a few hours later.

If you are hesitant about handling your tarantula the best idea would be not to do it.  You don’t want to hurt your pet unintentionally.

Tarantula defenses
A tarantula’s first act of defense is to withdrawal or retreat.  If this doesn’t work the spider will kick hairs at its attacker. 

A tarantula kicks hairs by using its back pair of legs to repeatedly rub the abdomen and shake loose hairs.  It will then flings these hairs in the direction of its attacker.  This defense is enough to discourage most attackers.  In humans these hairs can cause a painful, but temporary rash.

The tarantula does have a venomous bite, but its venom is designed to take down prey smaller than itself.  The bite of a pet tarantula is similar to that of a bee sting. 

If you are bitten by your spider clean the wound and use antiseptic to prevent any infections that may occur.  The bite may throb and ache for a while and in some cases there may be nausea and fever. 

If you are bitten and are afraid you may be having an allergic reaction make sure you receive medical attention as soon as possible.  This is especially important if you are allergic to bee stings. 

Like most animals your pet tarantula will give warning before actually attacking.  The spider will rear up on its two back pairs of legs and show its fangs.  If this does not discourage would be assailants, it will strike.  So if you see your spider displaying itself in this way, it is best to leave it alone.

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