The Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider
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 Truly Nolen

Cut to the chase and contact your local Truly Nolen location 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 Truly Nolen for a free pest inspection today!

Treating for Bed Bugs in a Commercial Setting

Treating for Bed Bugs in a Commercial Setting

While hotels, along with multi-family and single family homes still rank as the top three places in the US for reported bed bug problems, according to a 2015 survey from the National Pest Management Association in conjunction with the University of Kentucky. Bed Bugs without Borders discovered that from hotels to hospitals, from daycares to dorm rooms and even to the corporate environment, bed bugs can be found just about anywhere people gather to relax and sleep.

Hitching rides in luggage, on clothes and even in electronics, bed bugs travel wherever there’s something they can catch a ride on. Fast-moving, bed bugs can also travel rapidly from unit to unit in multi-family properties, dorm rooms and rooms in healthcare facilities through the walls and holes made for plumbing and electrical installations.

Bed Bugs on the move

The survey also points out that one of the reasons bed bug infestations are on the rise in the US centers on our increasingly mobile lifestyles. As more people fly to their business and travel destinations and stay overnight, as we use public transportation and even as we Uber around town, we encourage bed bug activity.

Fortunately, the survey also shows that people are becoming more bed bug-conscious before, during and after traveling, checking bed bug registries before booking overnight accommodations, inspecting hotel rooms when checking-in, in addition to laundering and vacuuming all traveling items when returning home. Bed bugs can be challenging to eliminate altogether from commercial settings, as people unknowingly bring bed bugs into the commercial arena.

Commercial bed bug services requests on the rise to treat and monitor bed bug activity

Some states like Ohio, one of many, where bed bugs are showing resistance to commonly used materials, have Agricultural and Health departments teaming up to develop programs that distribute grant funding to political subdivisions and housing authorities in an all-out effort to combat bed bugs. These measures also include retaining ongoing professional pest control services that will also conduct monitoring services, as well as purchasing and distributing mattress covers.

Ongoing bed bug control is the only way to get a handle on these elusive pests

As commercial businesses can’t really track or control bed bugs arriving and departing their properties, Truly Nolen recommends ongoing bed bug control programs.

Truly Nolen takes commercial properties from inspection to prevention with a plan tweaked specifically to your business’s needs. Our innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system goes to work on bed bugs, starting with a free inspection of your commercial properties. After a thorough inspection, Truly Nolen service experts devise a plan with business owners or property managers to treat your business, customized to your schedule and other considerations.

Commercial businesses work with pest control companies prepping business establishments for bed bug treatment

Truly Nolen works with commercial properties step-by-step to prepare for bed bug treatments, suggesting that:

  • All washable or dry clean safe items should be removed in bags from affected areas and cleaned to avoid spreading bed bugs to additional areas.
  • All carpets in affected areas must be thoroughly vacuumed and vacuum cleaner bags disposed of inside a plastic bag, then sealed, and deposited in an outdoor receptacle.
  • Non-washable items, such as accessories, clocks, picture frames, office materials and supplies should be secured in plastic bags or totes and left for treatment.
  • All other miscellaneous items, including cardboard boxes, need to be bagged and left in affected area for treatment.

Truly’s innovative IPM system uses innovative technology and materials

Professional pest control companies constantly update to the latest materials and technology to treat persistent pests, as bed bugs continue to become resistant to commonly used materials. Truly Nolen’s innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system uses only the most effective, eco-friendly materials and methods to eliminate bed bugs from your property.

Treatments vary depending on affected material content and type

  • Treatments include low flow and high flow misting techniques on mattresses, box springs, curtains, leather, furniture and office supplies, depending on the composition of items. Paintings and other artwork are treated carefully with another method that will be safe for those items.
  • In hotels, motels, resorts, hospitals and other businesses with infested beds, Truly Nolen suggests using cost-saving options for mattresses and box springs. Bed bug specific encasement systems exclude future infestations, while any treated bed bugs inside encasements will soon die off.

Eliminating bed bugs takes education, communication, awareness and effort in commercial and residential environments. As bed bugs can affect all businesses and residential properties alike, homeowners and business travelers should know what to look for when traveling and practice prevention initiatives on returning from trips to prevent bed bugs from infesting their homes and businesses.

In the tourist, hospitality, healthcare and just about every other industry today, business owners are at risk for bed bug infestations. Most companies can’t afford to constantly fight bed bug issues, so getting on board with a reliable professional pest control company, such as Truly Nolen just makes good business sense. Bed bugs may be challenging but Truly Nolen knows how to keep them out of your homes and businesses. Contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free bed bug inspection today!

Phoenix Pest Control Technician Ray Rogers is TRULY Golden

Truly Nolen Pest Control Technician Ray Rogers, who started with the company on September 15, 1966 at its Phoenix service office at the age of 17, is celebrating an amazing milestone in this day and age on September 15, 2016 – 50 years with one company!

Rogers, who has always worked out of the company’s Phoenix service office, originally started as a termite technician, but after six months, he switched to general pest control and has kept the same route and territory ever since. “There are two people on my route who have been customers of mine for the entire 50 years I’ve been here,” said Rogers. “They are now in their 90s and I always enjoy seeing their familiar faces.”

Rogers said he has seen Mr. Nolen at least 20 times over the last 50 years and has flown with him on his private plane before to help bring trucks from Tucson to Phoenix. “One of the reasons I have stayed with the company for so long is because Truly’s attitude about his employees has always been so warm,” said Rogers. “I’ve worked for so many different managers throughout my career, and each one of them has helped make this branch feel like home for me.”

Blessed with a wife of 36 years and four children, Rogers said one of the reasons why he has not retired as of yet is because he enjoys moving around and not staying in one spot all day. “From bees and mice to bird work and roaches, I’ve helped my customers have peace of mind throughout my career, which is one of the things I’m most proud of in my career,” said Rogers.

When asked what advice he would give to someone in terms of remaining with a company for a long time regardless of the field, Rogers said meeting challenges and taking them in stride has kept him going for 50 years. “Wherever you work, whether pest control or any other industry, you have to be willing to do the work required,” said Rogers. “Everything is a team effort no matter at what point you are in your career, so if you’re not willing to make sacrifices that help your team, it will be hard to be successful down the road.”

“Ray is someone our entire team learns from on a regular basis,” said Leo Gomes, Truly Nolen District Manager, Phoenix Valley. “We are so fortunate he has been part of our team for 50 years and we look forward to many more years together.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit or follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Phoenix Pest Control Technician Ray RogersPhoenix Pest Control Technician Ray RogersPhoenix Pest Control Technician Ray Rogers

Commercial Services from Truly Nolen Charlotte

Keeping up with the daily operations of a housing development, restaurant or commercial kitchen, or educational institution can be taxing. Owners and managers in Charlotte, North Carolina who run these businesses thrive when they’re able to keep their focus locked on things such as team management, financial planning and security and meeting the current health standards. If pests come around, there are bigger things for you to worry about, and the fastest fix will come from a pest control expert, such as Truly Nolen Charlotte.
Bugs on Sandwich

Commercial Services

Truly Nolen Charlotte hones in on commercial services with specific programs outlined to manage pest problems, including rodents, bed bugs, termites and other common infestations. Pests can cost a business financially with the loss of business and reputation if not handled in a timely and targeted manner. The following are a few pest management programs from a list of commercial services offered by Truly Nolen:

Truly Nolen offers a restaurant program, which is a twelve step monthly food handling program as well as a commercial progressive pest program, which is a nine step monthly non-food handling program, both of which use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to deal with most crawling insects in a commercial environment.

Benefits of Commercial Programs

Commercial programs, such as those listed above, help to provide peace of mind to both management as well as clients and customers who frequent these businesses. HOAs, property managers, residents and tenants all benefit from a sound night’s sleep, knowing their pest problems are not compounding overnight. Restaurant management and kitchen staff can rest assured they will pass the food safety portion of their health inspection. Last but not least, time and money is saved in the long run when you choose a professional pest control agent to eradicate your pest problem or for preventative service.

Contact Truly Nolen of Charlotte at 704-910-2936 and let us take one thing off your to-do list.

The Rise of a New Termite Species Found in Florida

New Termite Species Found in Florida

South Florida is home to many different termite species, including two invasive subterranean species, Asian and Formosan termites. In the continental US, these two aggressive termite species overlap only in South Florida. While the Formosan termite’s range extends from Key West, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina, Asian termites don’t move north of Palm Beach County, Florida. Well… they haven’t yet.

According to David Fleshler’s Sun Sentinel article, “2 termites mate, create havoc for South Florida,” researchers noticed the two “formidable non-native species” were swarming at the same time of year, since 2014. One researcher on both studies even mentioned that he witnessed the two species mating in the Ft. Lauderdale area where he lives.

“This is worrisome,” said Thomas Chouvenc, research assistant at the University of Florida’s Subterranean Termite laboratory in Davie, “as the combination of genes between the two species results in highly vigorous hybridized colonies that can develop twice as fast as the two parental species.”

Researchers say that the really troubling thing about these hybrid termites lies in the fact that they possess the potential to cause more devastating damage much faster than their parents. Many questions are circulating concerning this possible hybrid subterranean termite.

  • Will these termites be able to withstand colder climates?
  • Will they be sterile adults like many hybrids?
  • Will this hybrid be confined to South Florida?
  • How fast will hybrid colonies grow?

Adding to the horror of faster developing, more aggressive, difficult to control termites who are hungry for all types of wood, experts point out that, “a termite colony can live up to 20 years with millions of individuals, and that “the damaging potential of a hybrid colony remains a serious threat to homeowners, even if the hybrid colony does not produce fertile winged termites.”

How can homeowners prevent termites from entering their property, especially extremely aggressive termites, like this new hybrid?

  • Fill in all cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation, around all potential entry points.
  • Repair or replace leaky faucets and moisture creating conditions in basements and around the outside of your home.
  • Check wood structures regularly for any unusual activity such as termite waste or damaged wood.
  • Check for mud tunnels built by subterranean termites to access your home from their nearby underground nests.

Truly Nolen’s Total Termite Protection Plan

The best assurance for termite prevention involves contacting a trusted professional pest control company to set up a thorough inspection to evaluate your home and set up a customized protection system for your home. Our trained professionals inspect the interior and exterior of your home, around potential entry points, as well as checking in places termites like to hide.

Truly Nolen offers our Total Termite Protection Plan, geared to control and prevent any and all termite issues. Your Truly Nolen technician “thinks like a bug,” addressing all potential termite areas inside and outside your home with our extensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that combines above and below ground treatments into one plan focused on the treatment that your particular home requires.

Focusing on both the soil around and beneath your home, as well as your house, Truly Nolen safeguards your home and family against all types of termites, even new subterranean species. We treat termite prone areas and unlike other companies, we treat areas where termites are likely to hide on the interior of your homes including attics, wall voids, eaves, doors, windows and concrete slabs.

On the exterior, Truly Nolen treats cracks and crevices in your foundation, crawlspaces, spaces between slab joints, decks, unfinished wooden landscape features, fences, tree stumps and any other wooden areas on your property.

How It’s Done

Known for our constantly updating techniques and state of the art equipment,
our applications get the job done with several invasive and non-invasive methods, providing your family and home complete protection. Here’s the breakdown:

The Tornado: For cracks and crevices in finished surfaces, or termite galleries, the tornado forces a high-pressure mixture of materials with water and air as a propellant deep into cracks and crevices, penetrating deep inside doors, window sills, window jambs and moldings.

High Pressure Mister: Treats unfinished wood in wall voids, attics and other vulnerable places with high-pressure water mixed with active ingredients.

Liquid Treatments: Treating the soil around and under your home with liquid treatments in trenches and through small drilled holes creates a barrier around your foundation, your concrete slab and tub traps.

Under Slab Protection: Utilizing lightweight, stainless steel injection rods, we apply 360-degree coverage that saves you time and money.

As South Florida braces for the new hybrid super subterranean termite, fearing increased damage to Miami-Dade, Broward structures and other homes and businesses in the area, Truly Nolen urges homeowners to act immediately to prevent extensive termite damage with our Total Termite Protection Plan. Contact Truly Nolen to schedule a free termite inspection and get on the termite defensive with a plan customized for your home and family’s needs!