Urticating hairs or urticating bristles, i.e.
irritating hairs, are one of the primary defense mechanisms used by numerous plants, almost all New World tarantulas, and various lepidopteran caterpillars.
Many tarantula species eject hairs from their abdomens, directing them toward potential attackers.
Why do tarantulas shoot hairs?
It turns out this is a common defense mechanism among New World tarantulas, as a way to ward of predators. Known as Urticating hair, the follicles are tiny, covered with multiple barbs, and can cause intense pain, as some species load them with irritating chemicals.
Are tarantula hairs dangerous?
While many of these pet tarantulas are considered relatively safe due to their lack of poison or fangs, they pose an underappreciated danger from their defensive hairs. Tarantula hairs have been reported to cause a number of medical issues in humans.
How do you treat tarantula hair?
Treating Hair Contact
- Be careful not to inhale any of the loose hairs.
- Where possible, apply duct tape or wax to pick up as many loose urticating hairs from your skin as possible.
- Use tweezers to pluck out as many hairs from your skin as possible.
- Apply steroid creams to the affected area for several days.
Can tarantula hairs blind you?
When threatened, tarantulas use their hind legs to flick small, barbed hairs into the air – causing intense pain if they penetrate a person’s eye. While the man’s vision has been completely restored, the hairs are still in his eye as they are too fine to pick out.