It makes perfect sense to want to hold your newts constantly—they’re super adorable and cuddly, after all!
However, there’s a fine line between wanting to hold and actually doing it. This fine line is usually defined by the question: Can you hold newts?
Oddly enough, the answer here is both a yes and a no. How so, you might wonder? Well, it’s best you read on!
Let’s start first by describing how newts function.
Newts are tiny creatures running around in the wild, climbing trees and rocks for food and mates.
Because of their small statues, they only have one defense mechanism: their poisonous skin!
Certain newt species produce a toxin called tetrodotoxin (TTX), which can be pretty dangerous when ingested.
This toxin can cause the following symptoms in order:
- Lip and tongue numbness
- Face numbness
- Arms and legs numbness
- Muscle weakness
If treatment isn’t administered quickly after ingestion, there’s a substantial risk of complete paralysis and death.
So, here’s a list of some of the most popular poisonous newts:
- California newts
- Rough-skinned newts
- Eastern (red-spotted) newts
- Fire-bellied newts
- Chinese Warty newts
After reading the previous information, there’s a chance you never want to hold a newt ever again!
Fortunately, though, you can still hold the little fellow as much as he’ll allow you, but under a couple of conditions. The first is making sure your newt isn’t an extremely poisonous one.
For instance, here are some of the most popular non-lethal ones:
- Smooth newts
- Palmate newts
- Great Crested newts
- Marbled newts
- Alpine newts
The other condition to holding newts is learning how to do it properly. This means learning how to keep yourself safe as well as the newt.
Now that you know what these little fellows can do, it’s time to learn how to hold one correctly. All you have to do is follow the steps below:
Before picking up your newt, you must ensure your hand is free of almost anything.
This means it’s clean and doesn’t have any dirt or grime. Also, it shouldn’t have any perfumes, lotion, or harsh chemicals that might harm the newt.
Lastly, ensure the product itself you use to wash is free of perfumes and chemicals. If not, simply wash your hands with regular soap and water for 30 seconds at least.
The last thing you want to do when trying to hold your newt is startle him. One too many instances of this happening, and you’ll find him hiding away from you.
So, your strategy should be to approach your newt slowly and gently. Don’t make any sudden noises or moves that could frighten him away.
Grabbing your newt can be very harmful to the little guy. For example, you could accidentally injure him or cause him to become stressed about the approaching hand.
Hence, simply start by offering your hand to the newt! It’s easy, harmless, and allows the newt to approach you all on his own.
It’ll also allow you to scoop him up in the balm of your hand instead of using your fingers to grab him.
Because newts are so tiny, we tend to freak out about harming them or accidentally dropping them.
Unfortunately, this can make you tighten your hand unconsciously on his tail, arms, or legs, causing him great pain. So, mind the extremities and be gentle.
The final step in holding your newt is placing him back and cleaning your hand.
This is one of the most critical steps, as the poison can only harm you if ingested or if it comes in contact with your eyes or any open cuts.
Therefore, don’t touch anything else after holding your newt, and wash your hands with soap thoroughly.
So, again, can you hold newts? Thankfully, yes, you can! However, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.
To summarize, you must wash your hands before and after holding the newt. The first time is to protect them from any chemicals, and the second is to protect you from their poison.
Moreover, you’ll need to be gentle and approach as slowly as possible to avoid startling him.
Finally, always be careful after touching a newt, as their poison can harm you or your loved ones.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house. Growing up, I had pet dogs, cats, deer, sugar gliders, chinchillas, a bird, chickens, fish, and a goat.