Pest Control – Brown Recluse Spiders

 

Brown recluse spiders, or Loxosceles reclusa, belong to a family including eleven indigenous US species and are also, due to a marking on their backs, known as violin or fiddle-back spiders. Because other spider family members have a similar marking, the violin shape isn’t the brown recluse’s most distinguishing feature. The thing that sets the brown recluse apart from other violin marked spiders is that brown recluse spiders only have six eyes instead of eight.

Chocolate brown/tan and measuring about .25 inches with a leg span of about 1 inch, the brown recluse’s reputation is a lot larger than its actual physical size. Brown recluse spiders mate in June or July at which time the females deposit 20 to 50 eggs, in a spherical-shaped case. Over their two-year life spans, female brown recluse spiders deposit 2 to 5 batches of eggs.

Well established in the South and Mid-west, brown recluse habitats are expanding into northern areas

Established in mid-western and southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas, brown recluse spiders make the occasional appearances in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming. Although brown recluse spiders are rare in these areas, they may be transported in cargo boxes and similar items from a locale where brown recluses are common.

Brown recluse bites dangerous, with physical damage

Living in caves and rodent burrows in the wild, brown recluse spiders can become pests when they take up residency in attics, under furniture in storage areas, in cracks and walls, as well as in woodpiles and other yard debris. Non-aggressive by nature, brown recluse spiders avoid humans, making their homes in dark, undisturbed places. Brown recluse spiders only bite humans as a defense when trapped or threatened. Typically this happens when someone is searching for things in an attic, moving stored items, or cleaning up woodpiles and other yard debris. Accidentally blundering into their nesting areas, humans can fall victim to brown recluse bites.

Initial bite not painful but may cause flu-like symptoms and in rare cases, death
While the initial bite from a brown recluse isn’t seriously painful, no more than a stinging sensation in most cases, brown recluse spiders inject a venom that can cause systemic flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, nausea, chills, fever, joint pain and other more serious symptoms, such as jaundice, bloody urine and convulsions leading to death in rare cases.

Brown recluse venom contains tissue-killing neurotoxins
Because brown recluse venom contains cytotoxic neurotoxins, brown recluse bites can cause necrotic lesions that take a long time to heal. Generally, around seven hours after a brown recluse bite occurs, a small blister appears on the skin that will continue to grow. Depending on the amount of venom injected, a brown recluse wound could be as small as a dime or as large as 8 inches in diameter.

Destroying the blood vessel walls around the bite site, the tissue surrounding the bite site turns black and eventually sloughs off. Decayed tissue around the bite site can leave deep depressions in the skin and cause scar tissue to form, with healing often taking six to eight weeks or as long as a year in some cases. Due to the lengthy healing process, victims risk secondary infections as well.

Other cases of mistaken identities

Brown, medium in size with chevron patterns on their abdomens, hobo spiders, from Western Europe were introduced to the Pacific Northwest some time before the 1930s via Seattle’s international port. Unlike brown recluse spiders that naturally avoid humans, hobo spiders have been spotted running across floors in homes.

Also, many bites previously attributed to brown recluse spiders are now being acknowledged as hobo spider bites. Although hobo spiders are now taking the heat for causing the most cases of serious venomous bites in the Northwest, in many cases, hobo spider bites do not result in necrotic lesions as no venom is injected into the skin.

Ways to get rid of Brown Recluse Spiders

While brown recluse spiders aren’t known for large infestations by definition, as they tend to live in out-of-the-way places, away from other living beings, should you see more than one spider per week, you may want to contact a trusted pest control company.

The best way to avoid brown recluse spiders in your home and on your property is to make your home unattractive to all spiders and other pests, as well. Preventive measures include:

  • Excluding spiders and their prey by sealing or caulking all cracks and crevices around the foundation of your home and any points of entry in your home.
  • Be careful where you are reaching with your hands, so you don’t come in contact with one accidentally.
  • Eliminating all clutter from the interior and the exterior of your home.
  • Cleaning storage areas and attics regularly.
  • Regularly vacuuming and sweeping, as well as keeping all food items stored properly and food prep and dining areas wiped down and all food contained or deposited in closed trash containers.
  • Removing all debris, dense vegetation and woodpiles from the exterior of your home.

Cut to the Chase: Contact The Bug Lady

Cut to the chase and contact NWA Ladybug Pest Control to ask about our Four Seasons approach to pest control. Convenient scheduling and our innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system use many different techniques and materials to keep your home pest free all year-round. Contact NWA Ladybug Pest Control  for a free pest inspection today!

 

 

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Ants – How to get rid of Ants in House Plants

Getting Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

The most effective way of getting rid of ants in potted plants is a combination of baiting and using insecticidal soap. Buy some ant bait and place it along any trails you see leading away from the plant. Odds are the ants have a larger nest outside. They’ll carry this bait back to the nest, thinking it’s food, and will kill the whole colony. This will reduce your likelihood of ant problems in the future.

Next, take the plant outside and submerge it to just above the surface of the soil in a solution of 1 to 2 tablespoons insecticidal soap to 1 quart water. Let it sit for 20 minutes. This should kill any ants living in the soil. Brush off any ants still on the plant itself. Remove the plant from the solution and let it drain thoroughly.

Getting Rid of Ants in Container Plants Naturally

If you don’t like the idea of putting chemicals on your plant, there are some more natural solutions you can try. Ants don’t like citrus. Squeeze a citrus rind in the direction of your plant so that the juice spritzes out. This should help to repel the ants. To make a more heavy-duty citrus repellent, boil the rinds of half a dozen oranges in water for fifteen minutes. Blend the rinds and water in a food processor and pour the mixture around your plants.

Make your own soap solution with 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in 1 pint of warm water. Spray it on and around your plant. Soaps containing peppermint oil are particularly effective. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, chili powder, coffee grounds, or dried mint tea leaves can be scattered around the base of the plant to deter ants too.

How to Keep Ants Out of Houseplants

It’s important to clean up any spills in your kitchen and make sure food is stored securely. If ants come into your house for another reason, they’re more likely to discover your plants or set up camp inside.

 

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The Most Vermin – Infested American Cities

The Most Vermin-Infested American Cities

By Patrick Clark | January 17, 2017

The household critters that lurk behind radiators and under shower drains are a nuisance for lay people, and an impossible math problem for public health researchers and pest control companies: How many rats live in New York? Cockroaches in New Orleans? Since the U.S. Census can’t talk to the creatures to get a head count, the government does the next best thing: It asks homeowners and renters.

Every two years, the government statistical agency conducts the American Housing Survey (AHS) to paint a picture of the country’s residential stock. The online survey asks respondents about the homes they live in—how homeowners financed their abodes, the public subsidies renters enjoy, and an array of other information, including whether they think their neighborhood is safe, or whether their home is musty.

Also, whether they have seen evidence of cockroaches, rats, and mice.

Forty-one percent of New Orleans households reported roaches in 2015, according to Bloomberg’s compilation of AHS data, the highest of the 25 metropolitan areas broken out in this year’s survey. Philadelphians had the most rats and mice, with 18 percent of households reporting rodents. New York was the double-fisted king of creepy critters, with 16 percent of households reporting roaches and 15 percent reporting rodents—the only city to reach double-digits for both types of vermin. (To fully appreciate the size of the Big Apple’s pest population, it’s necessary to consider the numbers in aggregate: Some 1.1 million households saw evidence of cockroaches in 2015; 1.1 million saw mice or rats.)

Pest control was one of the early achievements of human civilization, said John Kane, an entomologist at Orkin, an Atlanta-based pest control company, but the long-term success of the project has been mixed. There was that time in the 14th century when the bubonic plague—transmitted by fleas that traveled on the backs of rats—wiped out a third of Europe’s human population. In modern times, Kane said, rodents are responsible for a huge amount of food waste, while the saliva, feces, and shed body parts of common cockroaches can trigger asthma and allergies.

Better data on pest populations can help exterminators launch targeted strikes, said Kane, limiting the amount of poison they release into the environment, and reducing the risk that the vermin build up resistance.

Roaches, as suggested by the charts above, are more common in warmer, wetter climates; rodents seem more likely to darken doors in older cities and colder ones. The data show that Miami was 6 percent more roach-infested in 2015 than in 2013 and that rodent sightings in Washington fell by 20 percent. (In that town, the rats have a way of finding their way back.)

The AHS doesn’t break out data for the same cities every year, but repeated nine cities in 2015. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington showed declining incidences for roaches and rodents; Chicago, Detroit, and Miami reported mixed results. Houston had 11 percent more roaches and 12 percent more mice and rats.

That leaves plenty of work for the pest control industry, which supported 24,000 U.S. pest control businesses and generated $12.3 billion in revenue last year, according to the research firm IBISWorld. (Two publicly traded companies—Rollins, which owns Orkin, and the ServiceMaster Company, based in Memphis, Tenn.—combine for 22 percent of sales.)

Vermin, meanwhile, appear to be the great economic equalizer. In Atlanta and New Orleans, households earning more than $120,000 a year were more likely to report cockroaches than less affluent households were. And in nine out of 25 cities included in the survey, those wealthier houses were more likely to report rats and mice.

“It’s not just the neighborhoods with broken windows,” said Kane. “I’ve been in mansions that were filled with rodent droppings in the attic.”

Design: Steph Davidson and James Singleton
Editor: Francesca Levy
Photo: Getty Images
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Pest Control – Common Winter Pests

 

Some people think that winter pests don’t exist in NW Arkansas but they most certainly do, and infestations are no joking matter! It is much easier to prevent a pest problem than to face one head on. Wintertime attracts termites, stink bugs, roaches and other crawling critters into your home through the cracks and crevices in your walls, chimneys and other entryways unless you take proper preventive precautions.

Common Winter Pests & Their Destructive Qualities

Pests target the warmth in your home as a safe and appealing place to survive the winter. Here’s a list of destructive qualities of pests that you can avoid altogether this winter through prevention:

Physical damage to the structure of your home and personal belongings
Contamination of walls and surfaces
Infestation of food products
Adverse effects to your health by spreading germs and irritating allergies
Disruption to your comfort and sense of well-being
Spiders, mice, roaches, termites and more are some examples of the critters you could find in your family room, garage and basement so best practice is to take action and prevent the problem before it starts.

What to Do for Winter Pest Issues

To safeguard your home from pests this winter, here are some pest control and prevention tips:

  1. Seal up cracks in the walls, ceilings and flooring when first cold hits
  2. Block entryways, fix window screens and chimney screens
  3. Maintain a clean yard free of debris
  4. Avoid leaving standing water or damp spots
  5. Clean up potential nesting areas and remove cobwebs

If you find unwanted critters like ants, roaches or mice have already entered your home to escape the cold, call a pest management company like NWA Ladybug Pest Control who can end the infestation promptly and manage further prevention. Don’t let anything bug you this winter, call an expert at NWA Ladybug Pest Control to handle all your pest control needs.

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