You may have heard a couple stories about the brown recluse spider and how it can be dangerous, but would you know if you saw one? Do you know what climates they live in, and how they behave? When it comes to spiders that may pose a threat (or at least, an annoyance), it's important to understand how to spot them and what actions to take if it looks like you have a pest problem! Let's take a closer look at the brown recluse and everything you need to know!
The brown recluse is an unassuming spider, colored light to dark brown and only around ¼ to ½ inch long – and most of that is the recluse's spindly legs. The easiest way to identify the brown recluse is the violin-like brown shape on its back. However, because of the recluse's size you usually have to get pretty close to see this, so be careful when studying spiders! If you spot a small brown spider in your home and you live the right climate (more on this in a bit), it's usually worth a careful examination.
The brown recluse is well-named: These spiders are famously reclusive and prefer to stay away from people, animals and light, hiding in dark spaces. That means you can often find them in woodpiles, sheds, and piles of old leaves outdoors. Inside, their hermit-like habits can prove more dangerous: Brown recluses may call boxes in your attic or basement home. They may find a spot to live in dark closets or at the bottom of boots, too. When exposed, they will usually try to scurry away.
There are 11 species of brown recluse spiders that can be found around the world (except, up to this time, for Asia and Australia). In the United State, brown recluses tend to stay where it's warm and preferably dry. They are found primarily in Midwest and Southeast states, and have been seen as far west as Nebraska and as far north as Ohio.
Danger and Prevention
The goods news is that brown recluses are not aggressive. If they bite a human, it's generally by accident as they are trying to get away. However, that bite can be potent, especially if high levels of venom are injected. Reactions vary from a mild allergic response to serious tissue death, so it's important to keep an eye on the bite if you think it was a recluse.
Prevention is all about making sure these tiny spiders can't get inside. It's important to seal up any cracks, gaps and small spaces in your home, as well as making sure that your weather-stripping doesn't wear down. Make sure your attic and basement are tidy, and that all containers are tightly sealed. Outside, keeping wood piles away from the house and making sure there is no piled debris can help keep recluses away. Pest professionals can help you make these changes, and clear out a serious infestation!
Do you think that you might have dangerous spiders or other unpleasant bugs living in your home or business? Schedule your service with us today!
The famous black widow spider is bad news for homeowners — but do you know how to spot one? Do you know if black widow spiders live in your area, and in what parts of your home they are likely to be found? If you have a pest problem that can pose health issues, it's important you know how to identify it and what to do next. So let's examine the infamous black widow and what you should know about this spider.
Out of all the dangerous spiders, black widows are one of the easiest to identify thanks to that famous reddish-orange hourglass on their abdomen (females only). However, the hourglass is on the front of their body, so if you are looking at the back of the spider, all you'll see is a small black spider around 1 and ½ inches long. Additionally, the hourglass mark only shows up on mature spiders, so young black widows will just look black.
Black widows are big fans of warm weather. When the temperature hits 10 degrees Fahrenheit or higher they will often be active, spinning their webs: These webs are typically described as "irregular" without any set shape, which allows the widow to build webs in many different places. However, they typically prefer webs at ground level, where they often spin in bushes and corners.
Interestingly, the black widow does not actually kill and eat their mate – at least, not often enough to win a name for it. Many spiders occasionally devour their mates, and black widows are no exception. However, the female of the species does tend to be more aggressive, while the male rarely bites anyone.
The black widow is a hardy species, and can be found in every state except Alaska, which is too cold for the spider. In other colder climates, the black widow will try to venture inside to find warmer areas during the winter. This means that cold months can be an especially dangerous time to encounter black widows seeking refuge – and ready to defend their territory.
Danger and Prevention
Black widow females can be aggressive when spinning their webs or laying eggs and guarding their egg sac, which can lead to bites when disturbed. Fortunately, black widow bites very rarely kill anyone except the very sick or very sensitive. However, the bite can cause fever, increased blood pressure, and nausea: It's important to treat these symptoms quickly to avoid any danger.
Prevention focuses on being tidy and careful. Keep wood piles and other debris away from the house, and elevated if you can – black widows rarely venture far away from the ground. If you spot webs in your storage areas or closets, examine them for black widows before you start moving them. If you seem to have a serious infestation, contact a professional and ask them about the next steps you should take.
Do you think that you might have dangerous spiders or other unpleasant pests living in your home or business? Schedule your service with us today!