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Do tarantulas bite and are they poisonous?

August 19th, 2020

Do tarantulas bite and are they poisonous?

Spiders strike fear in the hearts of many, and tarantulas are among the worst offenders. But do tarantulas bite? If you are creeped out by these large, hairy spiders, you are most certainly not alone. It can be incredibly jarring to discover a tarantula in your Arizona home.

Even after you have chased the offending creature from your property, your nightmare may not be over. Just the thought of spiders in your home can be enough to make your skin crawl. You’re paranoid, anxious, and restless.

Learning more about your fears can help you overcome them. So, read on to discover all about tarantulas and their effects on humans. You’ll find answers to some of the most common questions people have about these unique spiders. Do tarantulas bite? Are they harmful to humans? Find out!

All About Tarantulas

Tarantulas are widely recognized around the world, so you are likely familiar with their large, hairy bodies. A fully grown tarantula typically measures around 3 or 4 inches across, though some species can get even larger. They usually live in warm, dry climates, like the deserts of the southwestern United States, including here in Arizona.

Using their two large fangs and strong front legs, most tarantulas dig burrows for themselves underground. They are also known for poaching abandoned burrows made by other tarantulas and small creatures, like ground squirrels. There are some tarantula species that spin funnel-like webs in trees, though they are not typically found in the U.S.

Because tarantulas don’t spin webs to catch their prey, they have to venture out of the burrow to hunt mostly at night. They feed on insects like grasshoppers, cicadas, caterpillars, and the like, though some larger species can eat frogs, rodents, and even birds! These spiders inject their prey with venom to paralyze it so that the tarantula can enjoy its meal at a leisurely pace.

Do Tarantulas Bite?

Now, on to the most important question on your mind: do tarantulas bite humans? The short answer is that it is possible but unlikely. Tarantulas aren’t out there looking for a fight, especially with a creature (human) that is so much larger. If you encounter a tarantula, it is more likely to run away from you than to try to bite you.

That being said, if the tarantula feels threatened and like it has no way to escape, it may bite you simply as a deterrent to enable it to escape. While tarantulas do have venom, which they use to paralyze their prey before eating it, they don’t necessarily use that venom when they bite humans.

Because they aren’t trying to eat you, they’ll typically give what is known as a dry bite. Many liken the feeling of this type of bite to a bee sting, and it is about as dangerous as a bee sting as well. While there is a small segment of people who may have a severe reaction, for most people, the bite will be completely harmless other than the minor pain and a bit of itching afterward.

It is important to note, though, that although tarantula bites generally aren’t harmful to humans, they can be dangerous for pets, particularly smaller ones. Because of this, you likely don’t want tarantulas hanging around your property. If you spot one, there may be others hiding out nearby, so it is smart to call in your local pest control experts.

Solve Your Tarantula Problems Today

At Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination, we are highly familiar with tarantulas and other pests common in Arizona and throughout the southwest region. We’ll inspect your property for pest activity and advise you on the next steps to make it pest-free once again. Call today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.

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