Archive for Spiders

Since St. Patty’s Day just passed, learn about the shamrock spider!

Irish_cloverWhen you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you probably picture shamrocks, leprechauns, parties and plenty of emerald green. Although bugs probably don’t pop in your mind, there is one creature that goes along perfectly with this holiday since it is called the shamrock spider.

What Is the Shamrock Spider?

The araneus trifolium, or shamrock spider, is part of the orb weaver family. These creatures are also sometimes known as pumpkin spiders. Even though its name might give you this impression, the shamrock spider is not actually green.

Since shamrock spiders are orb weavers, they create a new web each day. These spiders can be fascinating to watch, especially in the early morning hours. If you watch closely, you’ll see the spider first tear down the previous day’s web, and then create a new web. The new web will normally be placed in the same location.

Just like other orb weavers, you will usually find a shamrock spider sitting upside down in the middle of its web. However, these cunning spiders don’t always stay in their webs. In order to attract unsuspecting prey, they will hide nearby behind leaves or other natural materials after attaching a thread to their webs to feel movement.

What Does a Shamrock Spider Look Like?

Some people find that shamrock spiders are difficult to identify because they come in a variety of colors. Female shamrock spiders can be dark red, light yellow, dark yellow, tan, red-orange, purple, black or brown. However, the males are normally a combination of browns and yellows.

The shamrock spider is known for its bold black and white legs. These legs especially stand out on spiders that have brightly colored orbs. If you’re trying to determine whether or not you’re looking at a shamrock spider, it’s important to remember that its stripes will always be in threes.

Is the Shamrock Spider Dangerous?

If you’ve found shamrock spiders on your property, you’ll be pleased to know that these types of spiders are not dangerous. The shamrock spider’s bite is not poisonous to humans. In fact, they are a favorite among some gardeners since they can reduce the amount of smaller pests in your yard.

Of course, you want to have shamrock spiders outside of your home and not in its interior. If you are dealing with spiders or other pests inside your house, contact Clegg’s online or at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamrock

How to Avoid Spiders

Spider-Web-Image-WikipediaAvoiding spiders can be bothersome, especially after they get into your house. While not all spiders are dangerous, many are and become threats once they set up home in your house. If they lay eggs, your home could become infested with these crawly creatures. Spiders are naturally attracted to homes because they are dry, warm and offer plenty of dark places in which to hide. Thankfully, there are ways that you can discourage spiders from entering your home.

Regular Cleaning

Keeping your house clean might be your No. 1 defense against spiders. Cleaning your home every day and keeping it as dust-free as possible is a great way to keep spiders and other insects at bay. If you notice any spiderwebs in the corners of your home, you need to take them down right away. Try vacuuming around that area as well to get rid of any eggs that the spider might have laid. Also, vacuum under your furniture. Those are dark spaces, and spiders often nest where they can’t be seen.

Look for Cracks

While it’s impossible for you to find every hole or crack in your home, keep a look out for ones that are noticeable. If it’s noticeable to you, it’s going to be like a welcome invitation to a spider. Start by checking around your windows and doors. If you notice any little gaps, try sealing them with caulk if appropriate.

Light Peppermint Oil

Did you know that peppermint and lemon are natural insect repellents? While it doesn’t keep all insects away, lighting peppermint oil around the house every few days will keep most spiders away. You can also spray some lemon grass oil around your doors and windows. This deters spiders from coming in your house and is an all-natural repellent, so it’s not poisonous to you or other animals.

Professional Assistance

Keeping spiders away is no easy task. However, following the tips above can limit how often you come into contact with these insects. The best way to prevent spiders from getting into your house is to be proactive. Once you see them running around in your home, it becomes more difficult to get rid of them. If you need more information on dealing with spiders, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider

 

Spiders? Man, Not All of Them Are Super Heroes! How to Get Rid of Them

1280px-Araneus_diadematus_web_1Although Peter Parker managed to get super powers after being bitten by a spider, few average citizens get that lucky. Many spiders are harmless, and none specifically seek out humans to prey upon. In fact, spiders do a great service toward humans by preying on other pests and depleting the populations of insects such as flies and mosquitoes. However, spiders don’t belong in your home, and some spiders can be dangerous.

Black Widows

A black widow spider has a venomous bite that, while seldom fatal, can cause humans to become quite ill. Black widows are small, black spiders with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the abdomens. A black widow’s bite feels similar to a pinprick, and many people do not notice the bite at first. Symptoms of a black widow bite include:

  • Red marks and swelling at the location of the bite
  • Chills and fever
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Brown Recluse

The other common dangerous spider in North Carolina is the brown recluse. These medium to small brown spiders can be identified by a fiddle-shaped mark on their backs, a mark that has given them their nickname “fiddleback spiders.” A bite from a brown recluse is generally accompanied by mild stinging. Within eight hours of the initial bite, the victim often experiences intense pain as well as a deep reddening of the area that was bitten. Usually, a blister will form and then fall off, leaving a deep ulcer. The bite may also cause rash or fever.

As is suggested by their name, brown recluse spiders do not generally live in heavily trafficked areas. Bite victims of the fiddleback spider are often bitten when sorting through storage areas that haven’t been disturbed in a long time.

Spider Infestations

Usually, spiders live outdoors, and most of the time, spiders won’t bother humans. However, if you notice spiders in your home, you need to make sure your family is safe. First, make sure the spider isn’t dangerous. If you notice a black widow or brown recluse, kill it immediately. If you are bitten by one of these spiders, seek immediate medical attention.

If you need assistance with a spider infestation or other pest problem, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

How to Deal With a Black Widow Spider

800px-Adult_Female_Black_WidowSpiders perform essential tasks in nature, such as controlling insect populations when they feed. Although spiders are beneficial, there are some species that are harmful to humans. Black widow spiders are one of the top venomous arachnids in the United States. They prefer the outdoors for web-spinning, but they can migrate indoors for shelter. If you come upon a black widow, it’s best to have a smart strategy to remove it before it can harm young children or pets.

Bug Catcher Vacuum

If you want to get rid of a black widow, but want to stay far from it, try using a bug catcher vacuum. These inexpensive plastic tubes have a motor and vacuum attached to a handle. You place the tube near the spider and press a button. The vacuum sucks up the spider, allowing you to capture and dispose of it as necessary. You can even look at the spider up close as it sits in the transparent tube without any threat of harm.

Chemical Pesticides

A black widow found outdoors may find its way into your home. If it isn’t near any desired plants, such as edibles, you can spray spider pesticide directly on the arachnid. However, don’t miss the target. Sprays aren’t effective if you spray the spider’s surrounding habitat. They simply walk over the application. Cover the spider and web with chemicals and it will die relatively quickly.

Old-Fashioned Shoe Solution

Although it’s a messy alternative, some people still prefer a swift crushing to remove the spider from the house. Using a sturdy shoe and a fast swing, crush the spider with the sole. Remove the spider carefully to avoid contact with any venom. If possible, rinse the shoe sole off to completely clean it of spider parts. You don’t want anyone being exposed to possible venom in the home.

Discouraging Infestations

You don’t have to deal with a black widow if you take some precautions against them. Keep outdoor clutter to a minimum to avoid an infestation. Use caulk to fill crevices in the home. Spiders often use these cracks for shelter or passageways. Periodically vacuum dark corners inside the home, especially near the ceiling, to remove black widows that may be too small to actually see yet. Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control can come out to help you find the best management strategy to keep your family safe.

If you have any questions about black widows or spider infestations, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344. We’re happy to evaluate your needs at home with a personal inspection.

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adult_Female_Black_Widow.jpg

Why Are So Many People Afraid of Spiders?

Do you have arachnophobia? By some estimates, up to 50% of people are afraid of spiders. Why, you may ask? No one knows for sure! There has been a lot of research done and there is speculation it might be a leftover survival instinct from mankind’s early days. Others believe it may be more of a cultural or learned fear. Maybe all the scary movies with spiders (think of the scene in the Harry Potter series where the spiders, large and small, terrify Ron Weasley) feed the fear, or maybe it started when your brother dropped that spider on your shoulder when you were two. If you are afraid of spiders, the reason doesn’t much matter!

brown recluse spider controlScientists say there are around 40,000 different types of spiders in the world, and they’ve existed for more than 300 million years. While all spiders can bite, most of those bites cause no problems for humans. There are only two spiders in North Carolina you need to avoid. These are the black widow, easily identified by the red hourglass shape on its back; and the brown recluse (shown left). Of the two, the bite of a brown recluse is likely to cause more damage to humans. These spiders prefer dark areas, so if you encounter them inside your house it may be in your garage, attic or storage area. Learn how to identify a brown recluse and what to do if you find one in your house.

Common Spiders in North Carolina

Jumping Spider courtesy of Tatjana Jovanovic-GroveMost spiders live outdoors and feed off of insects. Some build sticky webs so they can trap their prey, while others hunt. They do not eat the insects immediately, but instead grind and liquefy their food with digestive enzymes before ingesting it. Spiders are beneficial to the landscape as they keep the insect population down. Some of the most common spiders you’ll find include the Black and Yellow Garden Spider, most commonly seen during the summer in large webs; the Wolf Spider, usually gray, black and brown with a noticeable stripe down its back; Grass Spider on baseboardthe Grass Spider (shown left crawling along a baseboard); Crab Spiders, small, colorful spiders that live in flowers and prey on small insects; and Jumping Spiders (shown above, right), that stalk their prey. Harvestmen, sometimes referred to as “Daddy Longlegs,” are also common to the area. These insects are not spiders at all, but are Opiliones. They also hunt and eat other insects. For a great resource and more photos of area spiders, visit the NC State University website.

The more you know about spiders, the less afraid you’ll be. If you see spiders in your yard or garden, just leave them alone. If you do find one or more black widows or brown recluses in your house, you may want to call a pest management professional.

Steps to Take When You Encounter a Brown Recluse

brown recluse spider controlAre you dealing with spiders? Whether you have a fear of spiders or not, you probably don’t want them in your home, especially if they are brown recluses. Here are some steps to take if you do encounter a brown recluse:

1. Identify it as a Brown Recluse
First, it is important to identify if the spider is a brown recluse. The nickname for a brown recluse is the violin spider because of a mark on its back resembling a dark brown violin pointing backwards. As its name suggests, it is brown in color and only has six eyes instead of the usual eight, with one pair in front and another pair on either side. Its body is only about 3/8 inches long, and its legs have no stripes.

2. Don’t Panic
Second, don’t panic if it is a brown recluse. Although brown recluse spiders have a reputation of being extremely dangerous, experts say most bites heal quickly without any serious consequences. The severity of a brown recluse’s bite depends on the amount of venom injected. Redness and swelling typically result, although the bite may go undetected for several hours. If you are bitten by a brown recluse, though, and experience medical concerns appearing to be serious, you should seek the aid of a medical professional.

3. Be Aware of Hiding Places
If you encounter a brown recluse, chances are fairly good that others are around. Therefore, you should watch for places they may be hiding, such as in your slippers or clothes lying on the floor. This is where neatness becomes a virtue. Because brown recluse spiders like to live under and between items, such as cardboard boxes or wooden boards, you can reduce the possibility of an encounter by eliminating clutter. Remove bed skirts and ruffles to help keep spiders out of your bed, and store firewood away from the house.

4. Hire Pest Control Services
One of the best solutions for eradicating brown recluse spiders is to use the services of Clegg’s Pest Control. They have the necessary knowledge and experience to formulate an effective treatment plan that will work well for you. Their service personnel are knowledgeable in what areas to treat, and they have the specialized equipment to get the job done right.

Brown recluse spiders are nearly impossible to eradicate completely. However, by implementing the measures outlined above, you should be able to drastically reduce their number and avoid painful contact with them in the future.

Request pest control services online or call us at 888-672-5344.