Tarantulas on the prowl during mating season - Tucson News Now

Tarantulas on the prowl during mating season

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Spider experts say this is the time of the year when the public will start seeing more tarantulas.  

They tend to be very active around this time due to mating season. They may be seen crossing streets as well as front and back yards. Experts say these are likely the males, out looking for a mate.  The males do not last long after they find one.  

Arizona Poison and Drug Info Center director and instructor Keith Boesen says the best thing to do if seeing tarantulas around the house is leave them alone. 

"They can be handled by some people, they do have the ability to bite their fangs are incredibly impressive for their size and it would be painful, but they don't have venom we'd be completely concerned with," said Boesen.  "While uncomfortable, it wouldn't be considered life threatening."

The hairs on the back of their abdomen are what the public should really be concerned about.  Experts say they will use those as a first line of defense; that hair can be irritating to the skin and cause breathing problems for family pets if they get too close to it. 

For those concerned about tarantulas getting into the house, experts say don't worry, they like to burrow themselves into the ground and likely have a hole or something outside the house. 

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