Under no circumstance do I recommend you handle your tarantulas, but if you must do it, I will be glad to share some tips with you.
Why don´t we recommend handling? Tarantulas are, for the most, very resistant animals, but their opisthosoma in particular is a very fragile part of their body. Their exoskeletons are very thin, and in most ground-dwelling females, it is very heavy. Tree-dwellers have lighter exoskeleton because they climb trees, and they can’t afford to be very heavy when moving from one branch to another. Another exception is the adult male tarantula. He is usually very thin, since it has a great deal of activity when in search of a female. He will climb up and down obstacles, and, if he was larger, his opisthosoma could fracture and cause death before he could complete his reproductive cycle.
When it is absolutely necessary to handle your tarantula, you should first do it over a soft surface, such as a mattress, blankets, or bedspreads, in case it should fall.
The best method for handling your tarantula without harming it is to put a clear plastic container over it, and then proceed to slide a piece of cardboard or even the lid under the container. You should do this very slowly not to hurt the spider’s legs. Once the tarantula is standing on the cardboard or lid, lift the entire thing - cardboard, container, and spider – and place it where you need it. It you have to take it to a farther location, the best thing to do is to slowly turn the container right-side-up, and carefully place the original lid on it. When you get to the place you want to put it, turn it up-side-down again, slowly put the container inside the new tank, and slide the lid out from under until the tarantula is standing on the surface, and then slowly remove the container.
Handling of an aggressive tarantula
If you need to hold it with your bare hands, you have to know first if your tarantula is docile and doesn’t usually bite, such as the Brachypelma or Avicularia, or if it has an aggressive nature like some Asian, African, or many South-Americans, such as the Ephebopus or Haplopelma.
If you have a docile one, watch the videos on handling a docile tarantula and immobilizing a docile tarantula that show two methods I consider appropriate for doing this. But if it not docile, do not attempt to take it with your bare hands, because, besides getting a very painful bite, you will probably fling the tarantula against a wall, killing it, when you yank your hand away.
Handling a docile tarantula
Immobilizing a docile tarantula
Some tarantulas are not very aggressive, but are extremely quick to move, such as the Poecilotheria or the Pterinuchilus.These will probably dart off when you want to catch them, and will likely defend themselves by biting you. In these cases, I definitely recommend the method shown on the video on how to handle an aggressive tarantula.