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Bitten by a Tarantula: What to Do


Tarantulas are not aggressive animals and typically only bite when they feel threatened or are mishandled.Tarantulas are not generally considered to be dangerous to humans, as their venom is relatively weak and generally nonlethal to humans. However, tarantulas can bite if they feel threatened or are mishandled, and their bites can be painful.

If you are bitten by a tarantula, it is important to take the following steps to minimize the risk of infection and seek medical attention if necessary:

  1. Wash the bite wound thoroughly with soap and water: This will help to remove any dirt or bacteria that may have entered the wound during the bite.

  2. Apply an antiseptic to the bite wound: This will help to reduce the risk of infection and prevent bacteria from entering the wound.

  3. Apply a cold compress to the bite wound: This can help to reduce swelling and numb the area, providing some relief from pain.

  4. Seek medical attention if necessary: If you experience difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling after a tarantula bite, seek medical attention immediately as these can be signs of an allergic reaction.


A Word Regarding Medically Significant Tarantula Venom

Medically significant tarantula venom refers to the venom of certain tarantula species that can cause symptoms in humans. While most tarantulas have venom that is not toxic to humans, some species do have venom that can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the bite that a may last for days and can be very painful. In rare cases, the venom of these tarantulas can also cause allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling.

The Poecilotheria species, also known as the ornamental tarantulas are examples of tarantulas with venom that is medically significant to humans. These tarantulas are generally found in India and Sri Lanka.

If you are bitten by a tarantula with medically significant venom, it is important to seek medical attention to ensure proper treatment. Symptoms can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications and antiseptic creams but may occasionally require intravenous analgesics and/or hospitalization in rare instances.



Tarantulas are generally not aggressive animals and will only bite when they feel threatened or are mishandled. As a result, it is relatively rare to get bitten by a tarantula. To prevent tarantula bites, it is important to handle tarantulas gently and carefully, and to respect their boundaries. Never try to pick up or handle a tarantula without first obtaining proper training and knowledge about how to do so safely.

Additionally, a secure tarantula enclosure is an important factor in preventing tarantula bites. A secure enclosure can help to prevent accidental handling of the tarantula and reduce the risk of bites. Here are a few ways a secure enclosure can help prevent tarantula bites:

  1. Prevents escapes: A secure enclosure will prevent your tarantula from escaping, which reduces the risk of accidental handling or bites.

  2. Protects against predators: A secure enclosure will also protect your tarantula from predators, such as cats or other pets, which can reduce the risk of bites.

  3. Reduces stress: A secure enclosure can also help to reduce stress in your tarantula, which can make it less likely to bite. A tarantula that is feeling threatened or stressed is more likely to bite as a defensive mechanism.

Overall, a secure tarantula enclosure is an important factor in preventing tarantula bites. By providing your tarantula with a safe and secure environment, you can reduce the risk of bites and help your tarantula thrive.

If you do decide to keep tarantulas as pets, it is important to research and understand the specific care and handling needs of your tarantula's species. With proper care and handling, tarantulas can make fascinating and rewarding pets, without the risk of bites.


Please note that the information provided in this response is not intended as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns about your health or the health of someone you care about, you should consult a qualified medical professional. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your health.

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Very helpful information, thank you!

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