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 Post subject: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:38 am 
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Ok, I have been asked for a little tutorial on how to pack a tarantula for shipping and this is how I do it - I do not claim to be an expert, but I never had a DOA ;)

#1 - a middle sized deli cup with air holes.
[url=Image]Image[/url]

#2 Add kitchen towel - I like the kind where you can choose the size of the sheet. Just a warning: I had brands of kitchen towels that smelled horribly when wet. Now I always test before I start to pack...
So step 2 is to take a 1/2 sheet of kitchen towel and fold it in half (so you end up with a double layered 1/4 sheet)
[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

#3 Put that on the bottom of the cup
[url=Image]Image[/url]

#4 - take a full sheet of kitchen towel and fold it over twice to make one long, narrow strip of 4-ply kitchen towel
[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

#5 - lay that strip along the side wall of the container
[url=Image]Image[/url]

Repeat #4 & #5 to cover any openings. It's ok to have some kitchen towel stick up above the rim of the deli cup - it'll be folded over later!
[url=Image]Image[/url]

TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:47 am 
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Next - repeat #2-5.... ;) The more padding inside the deli cup the better. You want your spider to be "snug as a bug on a rug". If I have a smaller spider I repeat all those steps even one more time, just to make sure the spider can't bounce around inside the container.
Here are more pictures on that repeat:
[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

Now, time for #6 - "The Funnel"
Take a full sheet of kitchen towel and grab it in the center
[url=Image]Image[/url]

#7 - push that kitchen towel all the way to the bottom of your (now padded) deli cup
[url=Image]Image[/url]

Cup with funnel!
[url=Image]Image[/url]

#8: add spider - you can easily coax the spider into the funnel / burrow.
Note: the kitchen towel is still bone dry! I have made the experience that tarantulas do not like to crawl into a wet funnel!
[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

TBC...


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:02 am 
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Usually the tarantula will try to hide and huddle up pretty snug at the bottom of the cup. Little trick at this point: terrestrial spiders will tend to go DOWN into the cup and hide while arboreals will tend to run UP and out of the cup - so simply turn the cup upside down and the arboreal spider will run UP into the funnel to the (now) top of the deli cup. Confused yet?

Make sure to nudge any legs close to the spider. Once he/she is in somewhat of a ball at the bottom of the funnel you can start to gently fold over the edges of your funnel = kitchen towel.
[url=Image]Image[/url]

Fold over any additional edges of padding that were sticking over the rim of the deli cup.

Now I use a water dripper to add water to the outside of the padding. The water will seep through all layers throughout the trip. If there is too much water or moisture in the padding you risk the spider to get broiled or steamed if traveling in warm climate. A well watered and fed spider will travel just fine for 1-2 days without an additional source of water. So I use moisture sparingly when shipping.
[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

Lid on!
[url=Image]Image[/url]

Secure lid with electrical (or similar) tape. I like the electrical tape because you can use tension to shrink wrap the tape...
[url=Image]Image[/url]

In case you have ever received a spider from me and wondered about all the cat / dog hair on the packaging tape - this is why: the helper crew ;)
[url=Image]Image[/url]

Back to the topic:
I like the styrofoam lined packages for perishable goods and since we started reading the paper online I am using U-Haul wrapping paper....
[url=Image]Image[/url]

First layer of balled-up paper
[url=Image]Image[/url]

Second layer with a little space in the middle for the cup containing the spider
[url=Image]Image[/url]

[url=Image]Image[/url]

Fill up to the rim with paper, add the styrofoam lid, tape the box shut - VOILA, ready to go!
[url=Image]Image[/url]

Hope this will give you an idea.... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:15 pm 
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I just remembered that Austin also posted a very similar thread a while back:
http://atshq.org/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14213


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:37 am 
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Nice job Anette. Any chance I know that spider? LOL

I believe that adding the water after the spider is packed is the key to getting them in. Sophia, Paraphysa scrofa, still lives at my house due to her refusal, about 10 trys to stay in damp lined container long enough to get the lid on. I finally decided it was an omen that she wanted to life here. :p

At later point, I experimented with dry vs damp and every time the T would willing crawl into a very tiny/tight dry place and refuse even a larger damp one.

Like Zing, I use up plastic bags and recycle bubble wrap to ship Ts.



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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:41 pm 
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So the space in the center should be just big enough for a hunched up spider- and you can really just "tuck their legs in" without them bolting out of the container and up the shower curtain? I ask because I'm going to be shipping a fast arboreal.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Celeste wrote:
So the space in the center should be just big enough for a hunched up spider- and you can really just "tuck their legs in" without them bolting out of the container and up the shower curtain? I ask because I'm going to be shipping a fast arboreal.


Yes, the center of the padding should be just big enough for the spider, all huddled up.
The secret to packing them is to act very calm and gentle and make them "feel safe" inside that funnel. They'd rather hunch and hide than bolt. Since you are packaging an arboreal remember the trick to coax them UP into the cup. Hold the funnel above the spider to be packed and let him run up into it. Once he finds the highest and snuggliest spot he should ball up.
Of course there is no guarantee that he won't bolt and I did have spiders that needed a few rounds of coaxing, but you can do it! Have one of the boys "spot" for you ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:28 pm 
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I think works especially well for arboreals. The "gentle, calm" part helps. They go right up and huddle like they are hiding. Little do they know. :p;)

Good luck Celeste and let us know how many get aways it does. LOL Joking aside, if it does get away, if possible, when it rests cup it with the prepared container and you have it.



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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Have to toss in my two cents in this. ;) :rolleyes:

When shipping in small vials, I found it works very well to use a small wooden dowel or similar small blunt end device and loosely drape/evenly fold the paper towel or TP over the end of the dowel and gentle push the dowel to bottom of vial. Trick is to keep paper loose and "work" it to the bottom. Remove the dowel and have a very nicely padded, tiny cavern that sling or small Ts.

For what ever the reason, terrestrial dwarfs and juvies will crawl up into these if the T can be held in cup of palm and the vial lowered over it. If T is in but fails to go to the bottom, a mini tickle on the fanny and it will go all the way in and huddle. You can cheat and gently blow on it to.:o



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 Post subject: Re: Shipping a tarantula
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:35 pm 
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Its a little late to post this - but Ken (the Bug Guy) did an excellent presentation at the conference on how to pack various kinds of arachnids - including a pokie. He has all the tricks and techniques down well, and he made the whole process look relaxed and easy. Don't know if anyone recorded the presentation - but if so, that would make an excellent informational video. And if not - maybe he'd consider doing it again on video and posting it?


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