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Desert Tarantula

Aphonopelma chalcodes

Actual Size: 8-13 mm

Characteristics: Desert tarantulas are covered in thick, bristly hairs. This is common among most tarantulas, but the desert tarantula has distinct coloring. Females are a uniform tan color, while males have darker legs, a reddish abdomen, and in some cases, a white thorax.


  • Desert Tarantulas are typically docile, and not aggressive towards humans.
  • These tarantulas will bite a human if provoked.
  • When attacked, the desert tarantula will scrape hairs off its abdomen, throwing them in its attacker’s nose and eyes to irritate. This is a defense mechanism of many species of tarantula.
  • The desert tarantula does have fangs, and at maturity they are approximately 6 mm long. The venom from these spiders is considered poisonous, but not deadly.
  • Although many describe a tarantula bite as feeling like a bee sting, it’s wise to seek medical attention, in case of allergic reaction.




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Pest Description

Desert Tarantula Behavior

Desert tarantulas live in burrows, and are among the larger tarantula species. Desert tarantulas feed on crickets, grasshoppers, scorpions, smaller spiders, and even small lizards, stalking them from underneath the sand, well-hidden in their burrow. Male desert tarantulas tend to be smaller than female desert tarantulas. Male desert tarantulas reach sexual maturity around ten years. They can live anywhere from three to twelve years, but they only live one season past their sexual maturity. Female desert tarantulas can live nearly 25 years, reproducing several times over their life span. Desert tarantulas are most active during mating season, which takes places in fall. Humans are most likely to discover tarantulas during this season, as males search to find a mate and females emerge from their burrows.

Tarantulas prefer living in undisturbed area that they can burrow in. They do not generally prefer living indoors.

Preventing Problems with Desert Tarantulas

Desert tarantulas, despite the urban legends built around them, are generally docile creatures. They are very rarely aggressive towards humans, and typically need to be really provoked to bite a human. It’s always best to consult a pest control professional if a tarantula infestation is suspected. This expert will be able to identify the spider, treat the possible infestation, and recommend exclusionary techniques for the future. At Pest Control Inc, our pest control professionals resolve desert tarantula issues with a variety of different treatment techniques, including surveillance, dust applications, removal,and exclusion solutions.


Call us at (702) 385-1269


or click the button, and we’ll call you back in minutes!