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 Many Legs Does It Have? Learn This and Other Centipede Facts!

CentipedeAre you familiar with centipedes? Chances are you know very little about them except maybe that their name means “100 legs.” They are often seen in homes in the autumn. While one in your home may not cause a problem, an infestation can be a nuisance. These facts about arthropods will help you recognize them and know what to do if you have an infestation.

Centipede Appearance

A centipede’s body is flat and divided into segments. Depending on the size and type of the centipede, the number of segments can vary dramatically. Some may have only 15 segments while others may have more than 150. Each of these segments has a pair of legs except for the first segment, which contains the mouth. Although some centipedes have 100 legs, others may have as little as 30 legs, or as many as 300 plus. Centipedes are usually brown or reddish and they have a pair of sensitive antennae on the front of the body. The mouth has a pair of sharp structures that contains venom.

Centipede Habitat

Centipedes prefer coming out at nighttime. Many centipedes do not have eyes, therefore they rely on a sharp sense of smell to find their prey. When they find their prey, such as worms and cockroaches, they inject venom into them. Centipedes like living in cool, damp places. In homes, they are often found in bathrooms, basements and closets.

Centipede Infestation

One or two centipedes in a home are not problematic because these arthropods eat other insects. However, because centipedes normally live between one to six years, there may be many centipedes living in a home. Although a centipede bite is not typically harmful to humans, it may be painful. A professional exterminator will have the pesticide and equipment that is needed to control the centipede population. The exterminator will also be able to educate you on what you can do to help prevent a future infestation, such as by filling in cracks and controlling the moisture in the home. He or she will also be able to look outside the home to find places where centipedes may like to breed, such as in compost piles and under plants and rocks.

If you need any other information about centipedes or if you need pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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

Why Do Cicadas Make Noise at Night?

800px-Tibicen_linneiIf you’re used to hearing cicadas sing at night, you may be interested to know that these creatures actually qualify as one of the loudest insects to be found anywhere in the world. The sounds that they make are far from random, though. Cicadas make their clicking and chirping noises quite intentionally, and they serve a very specific purpose. The songs are a mating call.

An Incredible Range and Population Density

Males make these calls in order to draw females toward them when they need to mate. Due to their high volume, the females can actually hear the sound at an astounding distance of roughly a mile from the male. The distance is for a single cicada, but as those living in North Carolina and along the east coast know, it is very rare to hear just one of these insects at a time. They are usually packed into dense groups, with all of the males competing with each other as they call for the females. In fact, estimates have shown that a single square mile can often hold up to one billion of these insects. Yes, you read that correctly . . . one billion.

How Do They Make These Sounds?

For those interested in the anatomy of cicadas, the insects have what is known as a tymbal. This is a device that can be compared to a drum or a plate, and is white in color. To make the sound, the cicadas cause this device, which is located near their abdomens, to vibrate.

The Cumulative Volume

The reason many people consider these insects to be pests when they rise up in a chorus, all trying to find a mate, is that the cumulative volume of the whole group of cicadas can be as loud as a lawnmower engine with the throttle pushed all the way down – or louder. Some studies have shown that they can reach an overall volume of 100 decibels. Though the mating period for cicadas is only a couple of weeks, the sound can keep people awake until sunrise, and quickly grow overwhelming.

Contact a Professional

If you would like to learn more about cicadas, pest control methods, or anything else about these common North Carolina insects, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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

Why does a water bug like water?

1024px-Wasserläufer_bei_der_Paarung_cropWater bug is a term that is used loosely to refer to many types of cockroaches. However, only bugs that belong to the order Hemitera are true water bugs. Aquatic in nature, water scorpions and water boatmen are examples of bugs that love water and use their feet as paddles. Other examples include giant water bugs, creeping water bugs and back swimmers. Oriental cockroaches are a type of water bug that may sometimes be found inside homes. As indicated by the name, water bugs are typically discovered near water sources such as pipes and areas in which humidity levels are high.

Why Water Bugs Love Water

In general, water bugs require two basic things to survive. Like virtually all living organisms, these insects require food, but remaining hydrated is especially important. Therefore, water bugs tend to stay close to sources of vital moisture wherever they can find it. Some interior areas water bugs like to frequent include bathtubs, sinks and damp, dark areas places like basements and crawl spaces. In outdoor settings, water bugs live near decaying organic matter such as dead leaves and fallen trees. When water bugs enter a home, it is typically because they are seeking food and/or water, oftentimes when conditions outside are unbearably wet or cold.

Discouraging Infestation

Moisture control is obviously an important first step toward not attracting water bugs into the home. Areas that have abnormally high moisture levels should be addressed by sealing leaks, implementing proper ventilation and allowing the area to adequately dry after a flood. Leaky pipes should be corrected to avoid potentially causing molding and rotting in surrounding areas. Sanitation is also significant in preventing infestation. Because water bugs may feed on mold, any mold infestation should also be completely eliminated. All food should be stored in air tight containers. In areas surrounding the home, mulch should be kept to a minimum. Trimming shrubs and vegetation around the house can also discourage bugs from finding concealment and a possible food source near entry points to the home. To provide a physical barrier, cracks in exterior walls and other potential entry points should be sealed with caulk.

Calling on the Professionals

Households that have difficulty preventing an invasion of water bugs should enlist the services of a pest control professional who is qualified to examine the home, offer additional suggestions that may help secure the home and, if necessary, reduce the population of water bugs that have gained access. To contact a professional pest control service that can take care of keeping water bugs away, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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

What to love about lovebugs?

LovebugsLovebugs are known for their large populations on the East Coast, including North Carolina into Florida. With their affectionate name, you’d imagine lovebugs were welcome insects, but these tiny flies are more pests than helpers inside or outside the home. If you find yourself with an infestation, calling the professionals may be your only reprieve unless cold weather is on its way.

Why are they called “Love” Bugs?

The lovebug, is actually called Piecia nearctica and it is a member of the family of march flies. They have been dubbed “lovebugs” because of their in-flight mating. These pests pose no threat to the environment or people as they do not bite or sting. The only time that they cause problems is when the weather warms up and then they become a nuisance.

Not Man’s Best Friend

Lovebugs cluster into huge swarms. You may see them on the road as you drive home. The flies smash against cars, damaging paint and hindering radiator use as their bodies cover the cooling element. Drivers are also bothered by poor vision because the Lovebugs remain stuck on the windshield.

The Buzzing with Bees

Lovebugs don’t just bother humans. They also hinder pollination. Bees look for flowers each day to collect nectar. As the bees visit each flower, pollen sticks to their hairs, allowing them to cross-pollinate with other plants. If a bee sees a plant and flower that’s infested with Lovebugs, however, the bee avoids the area entirely.

All out of “Love”

Unfortunately, Lovebugs do not respond to insect repellents containing DEET or citronella so the best way to keep Lovebugs out of your home is through barriers. Repair any broken screens and keep doors closed to stop these flies from entering. Your car may have many Lovebug victims on the windshield, but if they get into your home, they will be bothersome and they will not show you too much “love”.

For more tips or for professional assistance, contact Clegg’s online or by phone at 888-672-5344.


No more escargot! How to remove snails and slugs from your garden

snailYou work hard on making your garden gorgeous. Unfortunately, there are plenty of predators out there to damage your beautiful array of vegetables, plants and flowers! If snails and slugs are hurting your gardening efforts, here are some ways to get rid of them for good.

1. Remove them manually

Before you do anything too drastic, take a look at the slug and snail situation you have now. Remove them slowly using a flat knife. Placing them 20 feet away from your garden area can be just as good as termination.

2. Create barriers

You want the garden to be hard to get through for these pests. Using mulch around the plants and flowers can deter them. Take a combination of pine needles, old leaves and bark pieces and place it around your plants.

3. Copper tape

Putting a copper strip around your garden can deter these pests from entering your space. Copper tape can be found at most plant nurseries. The copper reacts with the slime that the slug and snail produces, and sends a small electric shock to them when they touch it.

4. Honey and yeast

Make a honey and yeast trap to get rid of slugs. Take a cup of boiling water with one part of honey and one part of yeast. Allow this mixture to cool down. Create a small hole in your garden where the slugs usually gather and fill the hole with the concoction.

5. Beer

Take a jar and fill it with dark ale beer. Dig a hole and make it so the jar is only one inch above the soil. Slugs are attracted to beer and will fall down into the hole. They will become submerged in the alcohol and drown.

6. Plant other plants

Planting other plants can deter slugs from ruining your garden. Plant items like mint, chives, ginger, garlic, chicory and red cabbage. Most slugs don’t like the taste or texture of these plants.

7. Change your watering routine

Snails enjoy the moist earth. That’s why they love coming out at night after people water their garden. Say goodbye to snail damage by simply changing up your watering routine. If you water in the morning instead of the afternoon, the soil will be dry by nighttime.

It isn’t always easy getting rid of garden predators. However, with these tips and techniques should help. But if you need professional help, contact Clegg’s online or by phone at 888-672-5344.


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

No More Masked Creatures! How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Shed!

raccoonIf you are a resident of North Carolina, you are likely no stranger to raccoons. These mammals are common in yards and properties across the state and can even be a nuisance to many. They might go through your trash, attempt to get into your shed or even dig up your garden. So how can you keep these pesky critters away from your trashcans, garden and shed? Here are a few recommendations:

Turn on the Lights

One of the ways that you can keep raccoons away from areas on your property, like your shed, is to install bright lights. Raccoons are nocturnal; thus, they tend to shy away from areas that are too bright. Though light will not be a total cure-all to your raccoon issue, you will certainly find that it will deter them from coming near. Remember, the brighter the light, the better this method will work. Noise can also work, but at night, this can be disruptive to your neighborhood.

Try Some Repellants

You will find a number of over the counter repellants on the market that are made for raccoons. Keep in mind that not all of these products are effective for all raccoons. For instance, if you have a nesting mother with babies, a product containing the scent of male raccoon urine can work well. This works because mother raccoons know that males will attack and kill the young. Other repellents that may work include ammonia and bleach. Keep in mind, however, that these substances can be dangerous to neighboring plants or other areas in your yard.

Remove Food Sources

Raccoons will not go into areas where there is nothing for them, especially food. So, it is important that you take the time to remove any food sources that they might be attracted to. For instance, if you are having problems with raccoons getting into your shed, find out why they are going in there. Food is a great motivation for them. They will be attracted to garbage, birdseed, pet food and anything else that they can eat. By removing the food, they will have no reason to get into the shed.

Cover Access Points

And last, you should take steps to cover any access points, if possible. Even small holes or access points into a shed can be large enough for raccoons to enter. Though raccoons might look large, they can still get into very small spaces.

If you have more questions about keeping raccoons away or need professional assistance, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

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

What’s so lovely about ladybugs?

ladybugAdorable, flying beetles with bright red shells and polka dots seem to put a smile on both children’s and adults’ faces in the springtime. Ladybugs often appear out of nowhere, dropping onto an arm or nearby leaf to rest. However, larger numbers of ladybugs congregate for winter’s chill in the fall. And these congregation points could be in your home if active barriers aren’t implemented.

Beneficial for the Garden

While you don’t want them inside your home, lady bugs are not all bad, especially for your yard. Allow ladybugs to roam about your garden. Their small size makes them perfect predators for mealybugs and aphids. These tiny pests eat away at edibles, foliage and flowers. The ladybugs simply want these insects as a meal, not your gorgeous garden. Even a small group of a dozen ladybugs isn’t a problem in the garden. They’ll spread out to create natural pest control.

Indoor Headaches with Ladybugs

When cooler fall weather arrives, ladybugs look for a perfect place to hibernate. Because they’re cold-blooded, they cannot fly effectively in the fall or winter. Your home becomes a wonderful winter home. They’ll find their way into wall crevices and under carpets. You may even find them under rugs or in floor cracks. Any space they can fit gives them a warm area to wait out the cold weather.

Small Infestation Solution

The moment you see an infestation, consider using the vacuum to remove them. A hose extension allows you to suck up the ladybugs without harming your home. You may need to repeat this vacuuming to find other ladybugs moving in. To keep them from perpetually moving indoors, use caulk to seal all crevices and cracks. With no access, ladybugs move onto the next home for refuge.

Calling in the Big Guys

A major infestation requires the help of a trained professional. A huge ladybug group could eventually attract other pests, such as spiders. The arachnids could be looking for warmth and a meal in your home. Before any infestations grow out of control, professionals can find all the access points and fill them quickly. Using pesticide foggers on ladybugs is typically not a solution because of their location and staining abilities when killed off. You don’t want stained floors from ladybug residues.

Because ladybugs are typically good for a property’s yard, it’s never a smart idea to eradicate them all from the area. While Clegg’s does not service lady bugs, we always like to provide our customers with insect information. However, if you have problems with any other type of pest, we’d love to help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

You Little Stinker! How to Stop Stink Bugs

stink bugsPentatomidae are also known as “stink bugs”. They are called this because when they are frightened their scent glands, located between their front legs, release a foul-smelling chemical which discourages predators. But you don’t want these stinkers inside your house so the best way to avoid a stink bug infestation is to stop them from coming into your home in the first place. Consider these methods for stopping stink bugs from entering your home.

Seal Your Home

The most common entry point for stink bugs is gaps and holes in your home. Scan your home carefully for holes and gaps that may be allowing stink bugs to enter your home. You should pay special attention to areas near windows and doors. You may need to caulk your windows again to make sure there are no cracks. Seal other holes in your home with putty or other materials that keep spaces filled.

Replace Window Screens

You might want to get some air in the summer, but you need to have quality screens in your windows. Installing new screens might also help you find other holes that need to be filled. Better screens will keep stink bugs out. If you don’t want to buy new screens right away, you must at least patch your current screens to close any holes or gaps. A faulty screen is one of the easiest ways a stink bug army can march right into your home. Be sure to shut out those stinks bugs so that they can’t get in your window screens.

The Color Yellow

Did you know that stink bugs love the color yellow? You can and should use this to your advantage. If you have a yard, you can place a yellow tarp with sticky material somewhere away from the house. The stink bugs will fly to it and be unable to fly away once they are stuck. Whatever you do, don’t kill stink bugs inside your home. The odor is terrible, and it takes a while to go away once it starts flowing.

To contact a professional pest control service that can take care of keeping stink bugs away from your home, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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

My garden is ruined! Tips to keep the wildlife away!

gardenYou have a beautiful garden and you don’t want to see it destroyed by pests and animals. Don’t fret! There are ways to avoid this unfortunate outcome. Using mulch, fences, raised beds, scare tactics, live traps and spray repellent, here are some ways to keep out unwanted garden guests.

1. Put up a fence

To deter animals from coming in your garden, you may want to place a fence around the area. Since deer are great jumpers, it’s best to make your fence high. You’ll want to create an eight foot barrier to keep your plants safe.

2. Build a raised bed

To prevent rabbits from coming into your vegetable garden, you may want to consider building a raised bed for your plants. This provides several advantages to you as a gardener. Using stock lumber to build your raised bed, your soil will be warmer. That also means it won’t become compacted under your feet.

3. Use spray repellent

You can easily keep aphids and slugs away from your garden when you use a nonchemical pest spray that you can easily make at home. Place a peeled onion, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and two peeled garlic cloves in the blender. Add in three cups of water and blend the concoction until it’s smooth. Strain the liquid in a spray bottle after you’ve let it sit overnight. Coat the plants well in the morning.

4. Place mulch around your plants

Take some mulch and place it between the plants and vegetables in your garden. Many things can be used as mulch. Simply take a mixture of wood bark and old pine straw needles. Animals are usually fearful when it comes to walking over these mulched areas.

5. Set up live traps

If you’re worried about the health of the animal and don’t want to kill them, you can use live traps in your garden. Many of these traps are made of some sort of steel mesh that comes in different sizes. Using crackers or vegetables, you can lure the animal into the cage and lock them in.

6. Scare them off 

If you’d simply rather scare the animals off, you can use a variety of auditory and visual devices to do so. These may include ultrasonic repellers or water sprayers that are motion activated. You might want to use visual devices like faux predators or reflective tape.

To contact a professional pest control service that help you keep the wildlife away from your garden, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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