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Serious questions from an arachnophobe- about species, enclosures etc.

Hello!

Please excuse the spelling and grammar etc. English is not my first language; hope you still get the point I’m trying to make and get what I´m asking etc.

Alright…I’m now writing that which I never in a million years thought I would write, but here we are. This is probably a sign that I’m getting completely insane…but oh…well…

In all my life I have been completely terrified of spiders (at least as long as I can remember), arachnophobia in its most severe form. I can tolerate very tiny spiders without panicking but if that spider would end up on me, I still panic. This despite the fact that I can leave them be if they´re in a corner off my room for example (that is if they have made a web). I started working on that acceptance when a small spider decided to make a web between two of my flowerpots (in one of my windows). This spider was actually molting etc. and lived in its web for quite a while…but either it moved/went outside or died. I feed that one on occasion…when a fly ended up inside etc. Very interesting to watch…from a distance...

Sweden does not have any dangerous spiders and not (in comparison to other countries) any really large spiders. Some of the largest spiders here in Sweden are the so called ”house spiders” (smaller/common: Tegenaria domestica and large: Eratigena atrica). One of those (not sure if it was the smaller/common one or the large one…disgusting and big is all I know) once entered my apartment (as an example of the level of my phobia). It ran past me when I was sitting on the floor = somehow, I suddenly were about half a meter to a meter away and standing up, no idea how I got up. I managed to kill it by smashing it with my trashcan that was nearby (yeah, I know the person who loves animals ends up “murdering” an animal…but there is just no other way for me, I just cannot handle doing something else, the feeling of panic is way too severe). After killing the spider, I sat for several HOURS shaking in my entire body due to the anxiety!

Memes that says something like ”Burn down the house” due to not finding a spider…I feel like that is definitely in proportion to the problem…almost.

Because of this crippling feeling of panic/anxiety…(we are talking on a crazy level, when writing about the spider above…I got shivers down my spine just for thinking about it) I would like to reduce or even remove this phobia. Being terrified of having the door or a window open during hot summer days, constantly looking around for ”monsters” with eight legs etc. is no fun. I hate basements and garages and the like. I love summer, the heat and so on…but to me (all my life) summer comes with a backside…which is the increased risk of ending up having a spider inside the apartment or even worse ON you etc. this sadly takes away a great deal of the charm of the summer months. I hate snow, ice and the cold winter…but…there is less risk of encountering spiders…so that is a plus.

Despite all of the above…I´m very fascinated with spiders and have no problem (almost, apart from some shivers down my spine once in a while and being a bit more jumpy afterwards…like if I get a leaf on me or something like such…leaves are scary, ok…hehe…) looking at pictures or documentaries/YouTube-clips of tarantulas and the like.

Sometimes the thought has hit me…this time it´s etched itself (more than usual) on my mind…that is; maybe I should get myself a spider as a pet…and thus forcing myself to take care of it and hopefully become less “panicky” after a while…but I don´t know if it is worth the risk of not being able to sleep ever again, always having to sit and stare at the terrarium making sure it´s not escaping etc. Then again, I already have trouble sleeping…but still…hehe. Would I even dare opening the terrarium…that´s also the question…what if it “bolts” and gets out…having a bit of a panic attack just thinking about that…

I like looking at (yes, I´m weird, I know) ”Dark Den” and others like that on YouTube. I find it very interesting even if I die every time a spider ”bolts”, escapes or showing off a ”threat pose” etc.

I literally felt like **** when I first brought home some dubias (I have lizards, a frog and a turtle), I´m not exactly a fan of that sort of bugs either…but I have calmed down quite a bit. The first time I had dubias at home…I slept with a light literally right in my face, to make it less likely to wake up with a roach in my face. I´m still not a fan and refuse to touch them and doing a thorough clean of their enclosures was less than fun; however, one escaped female found in a box full of papers did not really bother me (I still have no clue as to how she got out).

I don’t know if it would be similar/the same if I got a spider though. I don’t like roaches and that sort of bugs (well…bugs in general) but I don’t have an actual phobia of these creatures…spiders are on a vastly different level of scary to me.

I have after looking through a bunch of YouTube-clips etc. decided that the following species are more interesting to me than others:

  • Trinidad Dwarf Tiger Tarantula (Cyriocosmus elegans) – but…they seem rather (very) fast = total panic. I like the heart on their but, a bit different looking.
  • Chilean Flame Tarantula (Eathlus sp. Red) – however it seems like the often climb out of the terrarium and can be pretty fast = total panic.
  • Desert Blonde/Arizona Blonde Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes) – So freaking enormous…but I do think they look slightly less creepy than for example completely black spiders etc. Often recommended for beginners, although some seem to be a bit angry/like to kick hairs.
  • Mexican red knee (ex. Brachypelma hamorii, former Smithi) – Seems like a good choice for a beginner, nice colors but as with the “Arizona Blonde”…enormous…yikes!

Of the above mentioned species the ”Arizona Blonde” feels like the most interesting species to me, but in that case a “nice/kind” specimen…the thought of an aggressive maniac that also happens to be gigantic…not a very appealing thought.

I have an empty (at the moment) 30x30x30 cm (that is the mini wide, 12x12x12) Exo Terra terrarium but have been thinking about buying some more small Exo Terra terrariums (good for different “small stuff”) for example 20x20x20/30 cm (ex. Nano wide/nano tall, 8x8x8/8x8x12) etc. I have seen a lot of people using different types of plastic boxes etc. But I need it to be totally escape proof! How do you keep your spiders/tarantulas? What is the best enclosure type; a plastic box or a terrarium regarding the ”can under no circumstances be able to get out” point of view? Would any of these sizes work or do you believe it needs to be bigger/smaller? If using one of the Exo Terra terrariums; does anything have to be done about the screen top (like putting Plexiglas there instead) or can you use the regular Exo Terra top as is? Are there any rules regarding the size of the enclosure for spiders?

Are this the worst idea ever…that is the question…but I can’t really get the thought out of my head…we will see how this develops. I have seen some “Youtubers” that have done what I´m contemplation doing and they have been able to “cure” themselves…but I don’t know to what degree they had arachnophobia before getting their first tarantula…

Is there any particular species that you would like to recommend (one that is not “going to bolt/be skittish”)? What size would you recommend for a beginner who does not want a fast spider that’s likely to bolt? Juvenile/adult?

Getting a Sling feels like a smart idea because of the fact that I´m not as terrified of smaller (tiny) spiders but…at the same time it feels like the dumbest idea ever, due to the fact that they seem more prone to be ”skittish/more likely going to bolt” and faster than bigger spiders… also because they seem more sensitive to mistakes in their care, and because you can’t know their sex etc.

How big does it have to be to be able to sex it? Are there any difference regarding “temperament”/behavior due to the spider’s sex (female/male)?

I’m sensitive/allergic to wasps/bees…can this cause a problem with owning a spider? Could this mean that I could react more to the urticating hairs? I don´t even want to think about getting bitten, the thought of a spider that bites…not a pleasant thought…being bitten by an eight legged “monster” is not something I would like to think about…just hell no!


If you have any of the species mentioned above feel free to give me more information/describe your personal experience. As always it´s useful to hear from people who actually have the species in question (regarding any animal one is thinking about possible purchasing) …so please tell me what you think, about your experiences etc. Your contribution will be valued.

Thanks!

/SwedishArachnophobe84


Ps. This was previously posted at a different spider forum, but I figured "the more the merrier". You can never get to much help ds.
 

Rs50matt

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the hobby. Many people started with a phobia and not long after learning more about tarantulas learnt to love them and collect

I would recommend with YouTube to watch Tom Moran. His channel is more aimed towards education than entertainment so he doesn’t “mess” with the tarantula to get a reaction for views.

I’m a big fan of C Elegans. We have an Af C Leetzi (very similar) and they are very cute and don’t get big at all althou can be fast.

Homoeomma Chilensis ( Chilean flame) is my favourite species (we have 6) they are quite large for a dwarf species but still not big for a T. they possibly can be fast but all spiders can. They generally move quite slowly and only stroll around. Coming out of the enclosure is only because they are inquisitive but they’re too cute to force back in right away :) . After saying that you’ll be very fortunate to find one for sale that isn’t a sling and they take forever to grow.

A Chalcodes are one of the most preferred starters as they don’t move too fast and are more reluctant to bolt.

Brachypelma Hamorii again are good beginners but are more willing to kick hairs (in my experience) than most others

I’d personally suggest you getting a Juvenile Chalcodes.( about 3-4 inches or so) just so you don’t have a massive spider right away and you have something you can be comfortable working around as you grow with it.

Enclosure size is almost up to you.
image.jpg


This is a 4 inch A Chalcodes and the enclosure is 35x20x15

image.jpg


This is also an A Chalcodes 2.5 inch enclosure 18x11x8 braplast tub

If your looking at getting 1 tarantula then having a “proper” terrarium isn’t an issue. When you have many (we currently have around 230) it’s not financially feasible to spend €40 on every enclosure. Exo Terras are fine and the mesh isn’t an issue normally.

Sexing of a tarantula is normally done through a molt. There isn’t really a size in which a tarantula becomes seizable. But for you the difference in male/female is for life expectancy not temperament (even thou it can vary) females live much longer and therefore are more desirable and more expencive.

Hopefully I haven’t rambled too much and you find something useful from it :)
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Hi. Congratulations on trying to get over your arachnophobia. I once too was severely arachnophobic and it ended up extending to pretty much all crawling insects, that's how bad it was.

Now I have 14 (soon to be 15) tarantulas and am at a point when I can happily crawl into small spaces at work with large cellar spiders and their eggsacs inches away from my head without feeling bothered by them. In fact, I feel very protective of them. I'm still not keen on E. atrica though but I cup them and put them outside nowadays, rather than running away screaming like before lol

I began to get over my fear when I realised how extremely fragile spiders are and I know it's a cliché but they are more scared of us and all they want to do is get away from us to safety.

I don't feel you are quite ready to get a tarantula yet. You may need a bit more time to desensitize yourself further. Keep watching videos and reading about tarantulas. Use this forum. I spent around 18-24 months doing this initially to get over my phobia until I reached a point when I became obsessed with tarantulas (in a good way). By then I was spending several hours a day watching videos and reading about them. It became my main way of relaxing. Even then I wasn't planning on actually getting a tarantula but I suppose it was inevitable that I would. I adore caring for my spiders.

When you feel able to have a tarantula in your home without it giving you sleepless nights, you seem to have made nice choices of species. I'd also like to recommend a sling of either Tlitocatl albopilosum or Euathlus parvulus (or similar - if you can get Euathlus sp), or a Brachypelma hamorri juvenile. The reason I suggest those is because:
1. Their body proportions are less scary to an arachnophobe. They are not leggy species.
2. They are generally pretty slow moving even as slings in that, they are not prone to bolting and if they do they tend not to go much distance. Though I suggest a juvenile hamorri as they are calmer than as slings (I have a B smithi sling which is quite a similar species and it's quite a speedy, bolty little thing) plus they are quite slow growing species.
3. My experience with these species when I open their enclosure lids is generally T albopilosum will go into their hides. Hamorri and E parvulus will freeze in position. Of course, there is always the odd occasion they do something different but this is my general experience. I would firmly recommend T. albopilosum as a first tarantula.

Yes, you can easily make any enclosure escape proof. Just make sure the ventilation holes are smaller than the width of the tarantulas carapace, that the lid fits and closes properly. If you use a plastic lidded enclosure you can even buy small crocodile clips to secure the lid even more. Small slings will need a small container such as a vial or small delicup, with a couple inches of moist substrate as most burrow at that size. Whichever species you get spend time beforehand researching their housing and care needs and prepare their enclosure beforehand. That's the best advice I can give anyway!
 

BrokenRay

Active Member
Welcome Swedish, I completely understand you as I myself have suffered from severe arachnophobia. When I was 17 I was bit on the face while sleeping by a highly venomous spider that left me in bad shape for weeks. Had to go to the doctor to get treated. My left whole side of my face even swelled 3 times over, it was bad. That even progressed my arachnophobia more.

Like you I was still fascinated with tarantulas, not true spiders which tarantulas are not. 2 years ago I got started of all places watching youtube videos on T's. I spent over a year researching everything I could on them which I had the time at the 3rd shift job I used to have. Once knowledge was obtained fear subsided.

Many people will reccomend beginner species but being a previous extreme arachnophobe I can give you the advice needed. Steer clear of fast moving, highly defensive tarantulas when starting out. Your best way to get started is on docile, slow moving and most importantly those species that are very forgiving of husbandry mistakes. Because more than likely you will make them unintentionally as part of the real live experience of owning them. Which I came out here to the forums to post my first bone head mistake on 1/2 in. G. pulchra I just bought which will be in a new post after this.

I'm a newbie T owner and got my 1st one on 12/10/20 a Honduran Tliltocatl albopilosum Curly Hair 2 in. juvenile. 1. Because of it's hardiness 2. temperament and 3. cost. I am happy to say he is 2.5 in. now and he sealed his burrow off a week ago so I know he'll be molting soon. For me I love the Curly Hair. Mine has a big personality and constantly redecorated his enclosure. I even caught the little booger head come out of his burrow with substrate and dump it in his water dish right in front of me.

Whateverspecies you like make sure to research everything about it. Believe me watching videos on them and taking care of them is 2 different things and don't fear them. Unlike true spiders tarantulas actually have unique personalities sometimes good sometimes bad.
 

Enn49

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
Tarantula Club Member
Hello and welcome.
You'd be surprised how many T keepers are recovering arachnophobes including myself. I bought my 1st T to help me get over my fear and now have 90+. I can now cope with a T running onto my hand without flinching but I will admit to still killing the odd spider in the house especially those that run towards my feet when on the loo.
Whatever T you chose as your first just make slow careful movements when cleaning out or filling the water bowl, invest in some long tongs and enjoy your new friend.
 

Arachnoclown

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Tarantula Club Member
Welcome...steer away from dwarf spiders. Even though their cute the speed they have will freak you out. The chalcodes or hamorii will be good choices. Their not speed demons and they sit still for long periods of time.
I'm the opposite of a arachnophobe so I cant help ya much there. My wife was a arachnophobe but she would rather see large spiders, the bigger the better...tiny ones freak her out.
Good luck
 

faceinvader

New Member
@SwedishArachnophobe84

Just an opinion from a noob, so please take with a pinch of salt, and if anyone more experienced disagrees with me, their perspective will be far more valuable. That caveat out of the way... have you thought about starting with a jumping spider?

I used to be an arachnophobe but managed to condition myself out of it by learning about spiders and even went to a local petting zoo to hold a goliath bird-eater - it all helped me immensely and I wanted to start keeping some as - like you - I find them fascinating, if a little unnerving at times.

However, my partner's a much more committed arachnophobe and couldn't bear the thought of having a T in the house. He was convinced it'd escape, bury itself in the sofa cushions or bedclothes and he'd end up getting bitten without warning. That's just one of the "worst case" scenarios he'd go through whenever I started talking about getting spiders.

Anyway, I kind of changed course and got a Phidippus Regius - a jumping spider about 1" across. And those things are CUTE, making it really easy to anthropomorphise them. They're super intelligent and have great big eyes which they'll use to look directly at you, while ****ing their heads or occasionally even giving you a little wave. They can look cute even while they're feeding and, once you've got one, it's very difficult to stay nervous of them. They're fast but it's generally best not to handle spiders anyway, and they're lots of fun to just sit back and watch.

After a couple of weeks, my first p. regius had an identical neighbour, then I added a p. audax and an H. diardi to the collection - the last 2 were my partner's suggestions - he'd gotten attached :)

He became very enthusiastic about the whole thing and, as a result, I now have my first T - a trinidad dwarf tiger - which is just a lovely animal to look after. My ex-arachnophobe partner is now talking about buying "me" an A. Versicolor because he loves the way they look. :D

We don't handle our spiders, we just like watching and looking at them. But to demonstrate the difference it's made, my partner has gone from being someone who'll automatically smash a spider with a shoe the moment he sees it, to someone who'll happily open small enclosures to feed spiders and replace a water dish.

He said the jumping spiders were easy to anthropomorphise which helped him get used to them very quickly, then learning about them and spiders in general, helped him even more with his phobia - to the point where he became more interested than scared, and the rest is history.

I don't know if this would be the right way for anyone else but, regardless of the path you choose, overcoming your arachnophobia by learning about these amazing little creatures will give you so much pleasure and is immensely satisfying - it certainly was for us.

Best of luck on your journey!
 

Aracnoenthusiast

Well-Known Member
@SwedishArachnophobe84

Just an opinion from a noob, so please take with a pinch of salt, and if anyone more experienced disagrees with me, their perspective will be far more valuable. That caveat out of the way... have you thought about starting with a jumping spider?

I used to be an arachnophobe but managed to condition myself out of it by learning about spiders and even went to a local petting zoo to hold a goliath bird-eater - it all helped me immensely and I wanted to start keeping some as - like you - I find them fascinating, if a little unnerving at times.

However, my partner's a much more committed arachnophobe and couldn't bear the thought of having a T in the house. He was convinced it'd escape, bury itself in the sofa cushions or bedclothes and he'd end up getting bitten without warning. That's just one of the "worst case" scenarios he'd go through whenever I started talking about getting spiders.

Anyway, I kind of changed course and got a Phidippus Regius - a jumping spider about 1" across. And those things are CUTE, making it really easy to anthropomorphise them. They're super intelligent and have great big eyes which they'll use to look directly at you, while ****ing their heads or occasionally even giving you a little wave. They can look cute even while they're feeding and, once you've got one, it's very difficult to stay nervous of them. They're fast but it's generally best not to handle spiders anyway, and they're lots of fun to just sit back and watch.

After a couple of weeks, my first p. regius had an identical neighbour, then I added a p. audax and an H. diardi to the collection - the last 2 were my partner's suggestions - he'd gotten attached :)

He became very enthusiastic about the whole thing and, as a result, I now have my first T - a trinidad dwarf tiger - which is just a lovely animal to look after. My ex-arachnophobe partner is now talking about buying "me" an A. Versicolor because he loves the way they look. :D

We don't handle our spiders, we just like watching and looking at them. But to demonstrate the difference it's made, my partner has gone from being someone who'll automatically smash a spider with a shoe the moment he sees it, to someone who'll happily open small enclosures to feed spiders and replace a water dish.

He said the jumping spiders were easy to anthropomorphise which helped him get used to them very quickly, then learning about them and spiders in general, helped him even more with his phobia - to the point where he became more interested than scared, and the rest is history.

I don't know if this would be the right way for anyone else but, regardless of the path you choose, overcoming your arachnophobia by learning about these amazing little creatures will give you so much pleasure and is immensely satisfying - it certainly was for us.

Best of luck on your journey!
Have you guys heard of Lucas the spider? I've heard lots of people that say watching those on YouTube was a helpful first step in getting over their fear
 
Thank you all so much for your answers!

Maybe taking small steps towards getting a tarantula would be good, given how severe you say your phobia is. Find people who already keep tarantulas and visit their collections. See how that goes before you jump into caring for one yourself.
I will absolutely take this whole thing very slow. The last thing I want to do is to rush into getting a tarantula. My phobia is real and I need to take that into consideration and make tiny steps towards owning a tarantula of my own. Once it´s here…it´s kind of late for second thoughts so I will make absolutely sure that I want to go down that road before making any decisions.

Welcome to the hobby. Many people started with a phobia and not long after learning more about tarantulas learnt to love them and collect...
Thank you. Already found Tom and have watch a bunch of his videos. I have decided against getting a C. elegans (at least as a first spider or even a second). They are pretty with their little “heart-butts” but their speed…I honestly believe I would not be able to handle that at all; and freaking out is probably not the best start to owning a tarantula…and it may also be detrimental for the animal (…I can´t really promise I would be able to keep cool if it sped a cross the floor…).

Euathlus sp red seems like a better choice for me and that one has ended up on the second place after my all-time favorite A. chalcodes. I do realize that it might be difficult to find any of my favorite two species in “the perfect size/age” for me (I believe that to be a juvenile or young adult after looking into it a bit more), but I will keep an eye out (if I decide to get a tarantula…or two…). Who knows I might get lucky…or I may just have to get used to the idea of getting a sling (preferably a sexed female) …even thought that seems more difficult to care for, than a slightly larger specimen or an adult.

The reasons for me wanting a female rather than a male are 1) they live longer and I hate losing pets, even if it´s a guppy or something... 2) and this is an important one; they seem to be less “leggy” and have a bigger abdomen and not be as “slim-butted” (yeah…that´s a word now, haha) as males generally and therefore I usually find females less…ehm…disgusting and creepy, hehe…

Stupid question (like this is the first one I’ve asked…): The spiders in your pictures look rather different, are they different localities or is the darker one (which looks different from other A. chalcodes I´ve seen) in premolt or something?

Hi. Congratulations on trying to get over your arachnophobia. I once too was severely arachnophobic and it ended up extending to pretty much all crawling insects, that's how bad it was...
Hello there fellow (at least former) arachnophobe! Good to hear from someone that has managed to overcome the fear and now has quite a few pet spiders. That gives me hope. I find them so interesting and I hate being scared, even though a know that they are nothing to be afraid of.

My brain knows this but sadly my body/feelings does not…chills down the spine and completely freaking out at the site of one…I mean come on…they are tiny!

Arachnophobia suck! I really wish I could just tell myself to stop being so ridiculous. I screamed like a madwoman just the other day due to a small spider (rolling my eyes and shaking my head at myself). Fun fact, I had seen the same spider previously and thought “ok, you can stay”. It was sitting in my kitchen by my table, like on the floor in a web. Later that evening I was standing by my table cutting up my dogs’ medication in the correct sizes and putting them in their “pillboxes/pill dispensers”. All of a sudden, the spider (you know, the one I didn´t freak out about before) comes down from the ceiling (in a tread) and “lands” on the bag with all the medications in (the bag was in front of me on the table). Cue “Instant freak out time” …I mean…ok…

I will let this take time and won´t rush into getting a tarantula. I am not ready yet at all…but I hope I will be someday in the future. Some days I wish I could just find the “perfect one” and bring it home right away…but I know that wouldn’t be a good idea; so, I will let it take whatever time it needs to take. I need to feel that I will be able to handle it (having a large spider in my home that is).

I don´t think I have to fully get rid of my arachnophobia beforehand, but I need to feel like I can get used to the idea of having one in my home and feel like I can get used to taking care of it. I obviously don´t want to put myself in a situation where I have a full on panic attack (or something like that) every time I need to fill its water bowl etc. I need to feel a bit surer about being able to cope with a spider living in my house and depending on me to survive…before taking on a live animal…and then having trouble caring for it without being panicked.

I still think dubia roaches are creepy and I don´t want to touch them, but even from the beginning (when I first got them) I was able to give them food and water etc. and as time has gone by, I feel less and less creeped out by them. I need to somehow get to that point with a tarantula (like when I first got the roaches), so that I can take care of it, even if I still feel creeped out by it.

Eventually I believe I will be less creeped out…just like with the roaches. The difference between a tarantula and the roaches for me are 1) I have a phobia for spiders but not really for bugs/roaches…just don´t particularly like them. 2) I am fascinated by tarantulas and interested to know more about them etc. Roaches are just here because I need to feed them to my other pets, I don´t have the same fascination for them at all. This makes me feel optimistic that I may get used to the tarantula faster…but then there is the stupid irrational fear…so I guess it might just take as long time as it did (does) with the roaches after all.

Regarding the mentioned species: I think “curly hairs” look absolutely disgusting, so I will definitely not get one of those. They creep me out like crazy. I will however take a closer look at the Euathlus parvulus, because I don´t know much about it (and definitely not enough to make a decision for or against it).

Welcome Swedish, I completely understand you as I myself have suffered from severe arachnophobia. When I was 17 I was bit on the face while sleeping by a highly venomous spider that left me in bad shape for weeks. Had to go to the doctor to get treated. My left whole side of my face even swelled 3 times over, it was bad. That even progressed my arachnophobia more...
Haha, thanks!

That sounds absolutely terrifying! I can´t even imagine being bit by a spider let alone a venomous one, yikes! Hope you´re doing ok now and it didn´t give you any lasting problems, but either way what a horrible experience that must have been. Just awful.

I find tarantulas less ehm…crazy creepy (creepy…but not as creepy) than a lot of other spiders. Not sure if they are the ones known as true spiders but I guess so. They are “leggier” and less “cuddly-looking” (can´t believe I wrote that while talking about tarantulas) than tarantulas so that type of spiders freaks me out more (but tarantulas still freak me out).

I wish knowledge would make my arachnophobia go away…but I don´t believe it´s that “easy” for me. I know plenty about tarantulas (and spiders, as I said fascinating creatures) and my brain says “see nothing to be afraid of” but my body and feelings…still screams and freaks out. It´s infuriating when your “realistic mind” knows that there´s nothing to worry about… but you still react like an idiot when there is a spider in your home (or worse still, on you) …stupid “reptile brain” …

Regarding your “arachnophobe-newbie-tarantula owner” tips: I will absolutely stay far away from fast moving ones. I know that would be a… to say the least…not good (lets go with that) idea. This is why I feel as though C. elegans is probably not the best to start with…I like them for their size and looks…but their speed would definitely be more than I can handle. When it comes to a defensive species…yeah… let’s just say that such a spider, would probably be an even worse idea, just the thought of a big angry spider threatening to bite… (so I´m out of here, where´s the door?)

I´m well aware of the difference between watching movies and actually taking care of one…if I didn´t I would already have a tarantula; but having it in my home and “interacting” with it, is miles away from seeing it from afar. I can look at a tarantula in a terrarium but it´s “the whole opening the terrarium and messing about inside” (like changing water bowls, feeding etc.) that really freaks me out (not to mention having to rehouse it for some reason or having it bolt out, worst case scenario onto me…oh, my, don´t even get me started on the “freaking out level” of that one).

Yeah, they seem to have personalities from what I have seen on all the YouTube clips that I´ve been watching. If I decide to get one (or two…) I hope to get a docile, calm, slow moving girl without too much attitude. So basically, I´m looking for a sweetheart not a rambunctious, crazy, “wild child”, haha.

Hello and welcome.
You'd be surprised how many T keepers are recovering arachnophobes including myself. I bought my 1st T to help me get over my fear and now have 90+. I can now cope with a T running onto my hand without flinching but I will admit to still killing the odd spider in the house especially those that run towards my feet when on the loo...
Well, I have realized that I´m far from the only arachnophobe who want´s to get a pet spider (or two…). Hearing about other arachnophobes (like yourself) getting over their fear and being able to keep tarantulas gives me hope (even if you still kill spiders running towards your feet).

I´m not looking to get as many as you have, but I would like to get one (or maybe two). I have plenty of other animals so having “a million” tarantulas like you (even if I would be able to get over this stupid fear) is not plausible; after all, there´s just twenty-four hours in a day. But I could definitely manage caring for one or two.

Welcome...steer away from dwarf spiders. Even though their cute the speed they have will freak you out. The chalcodes or hamorii will be good choices. Their not speed demons and they sit still for long periods of time...
Yes…I´m beginning to feel as though dwarf species might not be the best to start with, at least not for an “arachnophobe-newbie”. From what I understand Euathlus sp red is smaller (not really a dwarf) but still quite slow moving for the most part (correct me if I have gotten that wrong) so, I still feel as they could be an option. However, I have decided against C. elegans because I don´t believe I would be able to handle such a fastmoving species as they seem to be (at least not for my first or even second spider).

So basically, I am the complete opposite of your wife then…I can (usually) handle the tiny ones but… bigger spiders really freak me out. If I decide to get a tarantula, I would want something “normal sized” at most. I would never be able to have a “bird eater” as a pet for example…I mean…whoa! Those are CRAZY BIG!

@SwedishArachnophobe84

Just an opinion from a noob, so please take with a pinch of salt, and if anyone more experienced disagrees with me, their perspective will be far more valuable. That caveat out of the way... have you thought about starting with a jumping spider?...
Yes, I have actually (considered a jumping spider, I mean). I find their face and big eyes rather “cute” (yep…I said that about a spider…the world must be upside down, hehe). I mean “Lucas the spider” …pretty endearing.

However, despite me finding them kind of “cute” they are still spiders, so…they still freak me out. In the end (after doing some research) I decided against them, because to me they have a huge downside; and that is the fact that they jump. The thought of opening the terrarium and the spider jumps out and lands on me, holy cow…that would freak me out (despite the “cute” appearance). They seem very personable and inquisitive… but the whole jumping thing; just no, that would not work for me.

Another thing that makes them less ideal for me personally, is that they seem to have a very short lifespan. I hate losing animals (weird if you would like that…but yeah…) and a short lifespan especially in this particular case doesn´t seem ideal. I would need time to get used to it and with such a short lifespan, it´s possible it would die just as I am starting to feel more comfortable with it; obviously that wouldn´t be an ideal situation.

I am very interested in and fascinated by tarantulas (and spiders in general) and I am always trying to learn more. Hopefully, I will get to a point when I feel as though I can handle having one as a pet. I believe the interaction will “force” me to start getting over my arachnophobia; but knowing my fear is irrational, knowing about different species etc. have not changed anything about how I feel and react in the presence of spiders. I think I need to physically be around spiders to get used to them and to get less phobic. This is partly why I would like to get a pet tarantula.

As someone mentioned earlier in this thread; there is a big difference between reading about an animal and actually having it as a pet.
This (I believe) really applies to getting past the arachnophobia as well, a picture or a movie is nothing like having the real thing running over the floor etc.

I can definitely relate to the statement of it being nothing like you think beforehand. Before you get yourself some parrots…you literally have no clue what you´re getting yourself into (and that is despite planning for it for nearly twenty years). Don´t get me wrong, I love my two crazy “feathered kids” …but…they can be a handful, haha. They can be lovely, sweet and fun…just to turn into a bitey, crazy “attack machine” the next second; it can hurt (and I have small parrots).

If I would (with the help of one or two pet spiders) be able to get a little less fearful of doing normal everyday things; like opening a door (in the summer) or walking into my parents basement without looking around everywhere…I think my life would be a lot less stressful (at least I would not be stressed out for no good reason whatsoever).

Your story makes me feel like that might be a possibility someday. Maybe I won´t be able to be fully free from my phobia, but if I can get just a little less freaked out at the site of as spider; that would be a big win for me.

Have you guys heard of Lucas the spider? I've heard lots of people that say watching those on YouTube was a helpful first step in getting over their fear
Yes, “Lucas the spider” is quite cute (at least for being a spider). I sent a link to a YouTube clip of it
to one of my siblings at one point and got the reply (after I had written something like that it was cute and if spiders looked more like that cartoon, I probably would not freak out at all) “…yeah…but it still has the creepy legs and moves like a spider…”. I am less of an arachnophobe than the sibling mentioned…so I find it rather adorable actually (despite the legs and all).

Who doesn't love lucas the spider! :T: he's adorable!
Yes…well maybe not everybody (see the story about my sibling in #10), but I find him rather cute despite my arachnophobia.

I've seen the thumbnails, but weirdly, I haven't actually watched any of the videos, despite just writing an essay about how cute jumping spiders are :oops:
Think I'm going to have to go check it out now - you know, for research purposes... :cool:
Yeah…research…that´s definitely what it is…

/SwedishArachnophobe84
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Add a Grammostola rosea to your list. Yes, you can get highly defensive ones, but generally they are pretty calm, don't move around much, and don't eat very often so you won't have to interact with it much. Also you won't need to be adding moisture to the substrate. You'll only need to refill it's waterdish. I think it would be a good choice for you and I'll leave you to research the species more!!
 

Rs50matt

Well-Known Member
Yeah they are different localities. The larger lighter one is a “standard” Chalcodes the darker smaller one is a flagstaff orange. Getting a fairly large Chalcodes won’t be too difficult tbh they come up fairly regularly.
 

Tabitha

Well-Known Member
Welcome! I’m another serious arachnophobe turned serious arachnoholic!
I almost DID burn my house down when I saw a spider, I’m not joking! If I saw one, I Wouldn’t enter a room for weeks until I knew it was dead! I’d have nightmares about spiders and wake up and check the room Incase it was real!!
Now I have 25 or so and I’ve never loved keeping any animal as much as these, absolutely fascinating! They all live in my bedroom! A matter of feet away from my bed!
I have very sensitive skin but have never had any trouble with the urticating hairs, sensible precautions apply of course.
i started off with a Phiddipus Regal jumping spider, you can’t fail to love these! A great spider to fall in love with!
then got a B hamorii juv and wondered what on Earth I had done as I couldnt even look at it without feeling so ill! after the shock wore off I had the pleasure of watching it dig a tunnel and excavate soil and I was enchanted and realised they are only scary when you don’t give them a chance, but watch them, study how they feed and drink and spin webs and I swear you will see a whole different world.
I have a wonderful cuddly Chalcodes, shes slow and on show a lot. I don’t handle any though.
i now just have dreams about spiders, where one is on me but I calmly pick it up and remove it! what a change!
Im still not happy seeing a house spider but I cope so much better and life is much easier!
Good luck!
I don’t handle mine or encourage others, but I did go to an animal show and got to handle one, I wanted to put to rest a lifetime of fear from spiders and I did it!! A proud and fun day!
EF8E3E7B-2887-4EF3-BA70-3F65B99DFE55.jpeg
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Welcome! I’m another serious arachnophobe turned serious arachnoholic!
I almost DID burn my house down when I saw a spider, I’m not joking! If I saw one, I Wouldn’t enter a room for weeks until I knew it was dead! I’d have nightmares about spiders and wake up and check the room Incase it was real!!
Now I have 25 or so and I’ve never loved keeping any animal as much as these, absolutely fascinating! They all live in my bedroom! A matter of feet away from my bed!
I have very sensitive skin but have never had any trouble with the urticating hairs, sensible precautions apply of course.
i started off with a Phiddipus Regal jumping spider, you can’t fail to love these! A great spider to fall in love with!
then got a B hamorii juv and wondered what on Earth I had done as I couldnt even look at it without feeling so ill! after the shock wore off I had the pleasure of watching it dig a tunnel and excavate soil and I was enchanted and realised they are only scary when you don’t give them a chance, but watch them, study how they feed and drink and spin webs and I swear you will see a whole different world.
I have a wonderful cuddly Chalcodes, shes slow and on show a lot. I don’t handle any though.
i now just have dreams about spiders, where one is on me but I calmly pick it up and remove it! what a change!
Im still not happy seeing a house spider but I cope so much better and life is much easier!
Good luck!
I don’t handle mine or encourage others, but I did go to an animal show and got to handle one, I wanted to put to rest a lifetime of fear from spiders and I did it!! A proud and fun day!
View attachment 43672
I'll never forget the kindness and encouragement you gave me when I first joined this forum when you told me about overcoming your fear and encouraged me to pursue the hobby further. Thank you!
 

Tabitha

Well-Known Member
I'll never forget the kindness and encouragement you gave me when I first joined this forum when you told me about overcoming your fear and encouraged me to pursue the hobby further. Thank you!
Thank you Jess, that’s so sweet, I had to giggle a little when I see you now have 14!!?? Wow! That’s amazing.
i just know how strong the fear was but i know my life has been so enriched but the creatures I feared the most! I’m so glad you are doing so well and keeping so many and we have this amazing forum too!
So proud and what a transformation for so many of us here!
Life is so much better WITH tarantulas!!!:)
 

Tabitha

Well-Known Member
Must add part of the pleasure for me is making up a decorative Terrarium and lighting it nicely so It’s a nice thing to look at even when there isn’t a tarantula on view,
all mine are in terrariums not plastic containers, so I can see and enjoy them and more importantly firstly adjust to and Come to terms with actually seeing a spider safely behind glass clearly and I don’t need to risk anything by lifting off a lid to get a better look at them.:)
 
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