Tarantulas are thought to have been around for millions of years and have stayed about the same. There over 800 species in the world. With 50 species living in the Southwest they are common in South Texas. They are big, hairy and fearsome looking. The good news is that they are not venomous or as dangerous as the black widow or the brown recluse. When you learn more about tarantulas you won’t fear them as much. If you come across a tarantula, don’t be afraid, instead, try and focus on how interesting they are. Yes, they are big and scary looking but are among the least-aggressive spiders around. Tarantulas usually mind their own business and unless you bother them, they won’t bother you.
Tarantula Spider Identification
Just like all spiders, tarantulas have two body segments. They have a cephalothorax and an abdomen. They also have eight legs just like other spiders. They are very sensitive to vibrations in the ground and will use this sensitivity to locate prey and/or danger. They can grow to a length of 3 to 4 inches. Female tarantulas are stockier than males and are covered in light brown or tan hair and the males are covered in black hair with reddish hairs on its abdomen. Tarantulas have urticating hairs on their abdomens. These hairs have barbs on them and tarantulas will flick them off their abdomens when they are disturbed. These hairs will usually lodge into the eyes of potential attackers and cause great discomfort and irritation. Male tarantulas can live for 10 to 12 years and females can live twice as long.
Facts About Tarantula Behavior
Tarantulas do not trap their prey in webs like some other spiders. They live in burrows or under rocks. They will create silk webbing to line their burrows to prevent sand and dirt form getting in. They are loners and only one spider will occupy a “house”. They will come out at night to hunt. They will prey on insects, other spiders and smaller snakes, lizards and frogs. Tarantulas will ambush their prey and bite with their fangs. The fangs contain venom that will kill their prey and help dissolve the flesh. Tarantulas also have powerful mouth parts that can crush their prey. The bite from a tarantula might be painful, but you don’t need to be too concerned because most tarantulas have venom that is about as potent as a bee. And remember, tarantulas will only bite you if you bother them. In your home you can find tarantulas nests, surrounded by an irregular mat of silken webbing in dark corners, spaces under or behind furniture that is rarely moved, crawlspaces and storage areas. If your yard is rich with insects, then you’re more likely to find them outside under stones or decks, behind garden plants and outdoor sheds.
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Even though tarantulas aren’t dangerous, they can be scary, and you probably don’t want them in your home or on your property. Call the experts at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control to eliminate any spiders or pests you might be dealing with.