1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Video:How to Handle a Tarantula

with Phil London

Though tarantulas look fierce, they are also quite fragile. Learn how to properly handle and hold your pet tarantula.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Home Videos
  • Exotic Pets Videos

Transcript:How to Handle a Tarantula

Hi, I’m Phil London from Pet Guy Central in Suffern, New York, here for About.com. I’m going to show you how to properly handle your pet tarantulas.

Tarantula Temperament

When you’re handling your pet tarantula, the first thing you want to really remember is that you want to make sure that you have a friendly tarantula. That you’re not going into a cage with somebody who’s aggressive. They’re not the type of animal to always back away and sometimes they’ll come right for you.

Approach Tarantula From Below

You want to keep in mind that they are a lot smaller than you. So, if you can imagine you’re sitting in your house and all of a sudden this giant hand comes over, rips your roof off to try to grab you. Everybody’s going to be afraid of that. No matter how big you are. No matter how many times that happens. So, a lot of times you want to go towards your spider from underneath.

So, a lot of times you want to stick your hands right under the spider, kind of let them walk on you or even straight under the bedding. Pick it all up at one time, so a lot of times if your spider is one of the friendly ones they are receptive to you kind if scooting them over on to your other hand. And you just kind of give them a small tap right on their back end too to motivate them in the direction that you want.

Avoid Surprising Tarantulas

And, this guy here is one of my favorites: the Chilean Rose Haired Tarantula. Usually one of the friendliest ones that there are. So it’s a very, very good starter spider where they’re very mellow. When I first went into the cage, I made sure that the spider’s aware. You put your hands in there and I kind of just more or less just scooped right under his body. He’s more or less just getting motivated to walk onto the other hand. So, a lot of times you kind of just move their back end so that they feel somebody behind them and want to move forward.

Be Quite and Patient

They initially are a little bit active just because they kind of got disrupted from their environment and they’re moving around. So, they’re going to check out their surroundings and you want to be relatively still and not too extremely loud to make them nervous.

Signs of a Nervous Tarantula

Again, the more you have them out and the more you’re doing stuff with them the more they’re used to it. Um, if the spider happened to be scared at this point he’d either be crunching his entire body up into a ball, kind of in a protective way. Or, he’ll actually stand up on the back two sets of legs. That’s these two here and these two here, to make himself look a little bit large so that you’re seeing the under side of his body where his fangs are.

Let Your Tarantula Settle In

Now, once he settles into a spot that he’s going to enjoy and like he’s more or less just going to stay there and unless you move him along his way or you disrupt how he is by moving your hand or something like that – generally they’re going to find somewhere they like and stay there for the most part.

Be Gentle When Holding Your Tarantula

They will stay on you by their own recourse. They do have a set of hooks in each one of their feet that’s actually going into one of my layers of skin. These are the same hooks that wind up holding onto their web. You don’t want to scare them too much and their body is relatively brittle where their outside is more or less a very thin calcium shell so if they do happen to drop or you crunch them or something like that, you can break them. They do have the hairs as a defense. But they will use that venom in their fangs if need be. Thanks for watching. To learn more visit us on the Web at About.com.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.