Speakeasy forum


Be careful next time you handle a tarantula.

by JP Bill / March 13, 2013 12:45 PM PDT
Toronto boy gets nasty surprise from tarantula brought in as birthday treat

When you think of animals brought to entertain kids at a birthday party you're probably thinking a pony, a goat or maybe a little monkey.

But Matthew and Allison Litzinger wanted their three-year-old son's third birthday to be special, so the Toronto couple arranged for an exotic animal handler to bring over a baby kangaroo and an owl and, oh yes, a tarantula.

The boy, who the Litzingers didn't want named, got to hold the Rose Hair tarantula and that seemed to go well. Until a few seconds later when he began to blink, rub his eye and start to cry, the National Post reports.

He didn't stop crying for hours. His discomfort went on for days, the Post says.

The Litzingers later learned their son had been the target of the tarantula's lesser known defence mechanism called urticating hair.
Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Be careful next time you handle a tarantula.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Be careful next time you handle a tarantula.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Funny, that was my first thought, before I even opened the
by Ziks511 / March 13, 2013 1:03 PM PDT

post. Tarantula hair can be very irritating, and in a child aged 3 it must be awful, poor tyke. Has anyone talked to these folks about "Age Appropriate" entertainment? The owl, depending on species is a stretch given the claws and the beak, and hopefully the baby kangaroo went alright despite the dangers of the adult 'roos who grab with the arms and kick incredibly powerfully with their feet, potentially causing life threatening injuries.

My son's third birthday outdoors in our backyard resulted in large blisters from mosquito bites to which he was apparently allergic. He needed benedryl and childrens tylenol for 3 days. I have a photo at my bedside taken shortly thereafter with his bunny in his left hand and a bandage from wrist to elbow. He's in front of the main landing gear of an A-26 Invader, and is just slightly taller than the tire.


Collapse -
Spider hair
by Willy / March 14, 2013 1:50 AM PDT

The fact is was for a 3yr. old just leaves me to suggest "what were they thinking"? At that age anything can happen and/or if it did the youthful age alone puts even greater harm to the inflicted, as usual advise for "toxic animals" is they are more dangerous to the old and young. Even, an adult of healthy disposition can be hurting.

People that eat spiders, toss into fire to burn-off the hairs. Eat the remains and use the fangs as "toothpicks". That's a big spider. -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
Agreed. Tarantulas are handled often because
by drpruner / March 14, 2013 5:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Spider hair

they are lethargic except when going after a meal. (Humans are too big to be eligible.) But they will bite if mishandled enough- which a 3-yr-old is likely to do. I've heard about the hair, but probably the kid was sensitive.
Related: My wife gets swellings and discomfort when common garden ants bite her. Yes, they bite her- don't know how, with their small jaws.

Collapse -
mix baking soda and water onto a rag
by James Denison / March 14, 2013 7:14 AM PDT

put over the ant bites. It's the formic acid which makes the bites hurt so much. Neutralize the acid. In Florida we had to deal with "fire ants".

Collapse -
Thanks for the tip, I forgot about the formic.
by drpruner / March 15, 2013 6:58 AM PDT

However, may not help her. The stuff seems to get quickly into her system, beyond the bite point. She doesn't go anaphylactic, but she is bothered by it.

Collapse -
try vinegar too
by Glenda. / March 16, 2013 6:13 AM PDT

I am allergic to mosquito's and aunts and bee's! The vinegar stops the itching immediately! And I always keep benedryl on hand!

Collapse -
we all say bite, but the fire ant actually stings to
by Roger NC / March 15, 2013 9:17 AM PDT

inject the formic acid. It literally bites and holds on with it's jaws (like the stereotype of bulldogs) while it stings. BTW, I think there is actually over 500 different species of fire ants. Some actually live north of the central US while the imported fire ant is spreading through the south. If I recall correctly, I was reading on them one time and the southern ones are spreading up the east coast and the northern ones are spreading down the central US.

We're surrounded.

I'm not sure about if any other ants inject formic acid. Some other ants do sting, tho not all.

Just goes to show, I was looking around links, some said fire ants and some others inject formic acid, some only bite. Then a site says

These aggressive ants are unique, because, they have poison sacs containing piperidine alkaloids. They inject these chemicals into the human body, causing severe itching, pain and swelling. Fire ant bites can prove fatal to those with allergy.

Peperidine alkaloids are found in hemlock.

And fire ants, a bit like killer bees, attack in huge numbers.

Collapse -
(NT) French for ant: le formi
by drpruner / March 15, 2013 9:31 AM PDT
Collapse -
Fire ants
by Willy / March 15, 2013 11:22 AM PDT

I've seen 1st hand how it can play out via fire ants in Texas.

A baby got attacked, the father removed baby and was attacked. Baby cries during the time, father starts to swell. They go to hospital, baby is released hrs. later, father stays until next day. Mom totally upset, and everyone is surprised as heck that it all happened at co. picnic.

I have local ants here(Ohio) that make a dirt mound of 3-8in. depends on surface water and these are small black/brownish ants. They react quickly and aggressive to my shovel as I try to remove from areas that are too close to human traffic(not often). They release a strong formic acid(smell) that is immediate to the area and I'm standing up. They do bite but I'm so use to it other than bite. If it gets bad(swelling) I tape copper penny to area. Same treatment for wasps/hornets. -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
I got hit by them on the farm
by James Denison / March 16, 2013 4:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Fire ants

when I was a kid. Grandma stripped my clothes off and hit with a water hose to wash them all off quickly. Grandpa dumped some DDT onto the hill. After that he went around and got all the hills with the DDT that were near the living areas.

Collapse -
They're nothing that a rolled up newspaper won't cure.......
by Tony Holmes / March 14, 2013 2:25 AM PDT

I detest those mindless little cannibals.

Collapse -
Cannibals? only the females.......
by Roger NC / March 14, 2013 2:57 AM PDT

Or so it seems. ......then scuttles away if he can—females sometimes eat their mates.

How about Golaith ? it's only a foot long and eats mice. Replace your barn cat with a golaith tarantula?

Seems Golaith might can take care of those pesky pit vipers too, if he can handle the fer-de-lance, why not an old copperheady for you.

Note the statement in the first that says there is not a single confirmed human death from a tartanula bite. Of course, they're talking about from the venom, who knows how many have had heart attacks from it.

My late wife would have broken her neck trying to get away if she had stumbled on something like that. She really disliked spiders, and if one in the house had a fit until I killed it. Outside, she did get a bit fascinated by some building large webs in our shrubbery and took pictures of them. As long as they maintained a decent distance from the porch, deck, or steps, she'd leave them be.

Collapse -
I like 'em because of the way they move.
by drpruner / March 14, 2013 5:34 AM PDT

They never scuttle or go randomly, they just stroll across the floor like the new Marshal in town. Happy

Collapse -

I don't think I have anything to worry about concerning them.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.