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9:35 AM   July 23, 2014
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Spider Sales Basics: Spinning the Web

A growing desire for spiders as pets has fueled a buying trend for arachnids among consumers. Before deciding to stock these insects, get the facts on their special concerns. Lack of emphasis on several of the finer points of spider husbandry can lead to dissatisfied – and sometimes bitten – consumers.

Venom
Nearly all spiders deliver a venomous bite. Reactions to even the smallest spider bites can range dramatically, from local itching and redness to painful swelling and tissue damage. Though few spiders in the pet trade are likely to cause severe reactions, young people and those with impaired immune systems – including employees – should be cautioned and prepared accordingly.

In addition, tarantulas also posses fine hairs on their abdomen, which they can easily expel when threatened. These hairs can cause significant irritation to sensitive skin and can easily damage the eyes. 

Interaction with these pets may be limited to a look-but-don’t-touch policy. When exposed to other members of the family or other household pets, the danger to the spider and others may be prohibitive.

Mortality
More traditional pets enjoy moderate to long life spans and become part of family life, framing holidays and special occasions as any other member of the family would. Though tarantulas, in particular, have been know to live more than 20 years with proper care, their more diminutive counterparts are likely to expire much more sooner. This can be a major factor when purchasing exotic species that my command higher prices, while offering only temporary enjoyment.

Delicate creatures, particularly susceptible to infection and trauma, may need highly specialized care, should they fall ill. The majority of veterinarians have no background in treating arachnids. A sick pet offers little hope for recovery.

Escape Artists
Designed to live in the smallest cracks and crevices in nature, most spiders are adept escape artists. Even the smallest opening in an enclosure can mean the loss of a pet. Terrariums and other environments must be carefully chosen and spider proofed before adding any species. 

Legal Matters
Some municipalities restrict spider ownership. Make sure you understand the local implications of becoming a spider owner, before stocking and selling your first arachnid. Also, be aware that many forms of liability insurance may not cover damages cause by the ownership of a spider as a pet. <HOME>


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