Category Archives: Spiders

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!

Spiders Commonly Found in Charlotte

North Carolina is home to dozens of species of spiders. While most species of spiders are relatively harmless, two poisonous species are common in the Tar Heel state, the black widow and the brown recluse spider.

Black Widow Spider

Spider, Black widow femaleThe black widow spider may cause severe neurological problems and under extreme circumstances, even death. Female black widow spiders will, on occasion, even kill and eat the male after mating. They’re larger than the male, by about half, and have a reddish hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. A bite from a black widow spider contains 15 times more venom than a prairie rattlesnake.

Female black widow spiders will hang upside down from their web to keep an eye on their egg sac. These spiders are quick and will attack anyone that comes near their egg sac. After a bite from the black widow, the following may happen:

  • muscle aches
  • redness
  • burning
  • swelling at the bite site
  • abdominal pain

If any of these symptoms arise, head to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Brown Recluse Spider

Spider, Brown RecluseBrown recluse spiders are very small, often smaller than a quarter and have six eyes and a violin shape. In some areas of North Carolina, brown recluse spiders are referred to as fiddle-back spiders. Brown recluse spiders like to hide in cool, dry places such as cardboard boxes.

Brown recluse spiders are often found in the flaps of cardboard boxes. Storing items in cardboard boxes in North Carolina pretty much guarantees you will have a brown recluse clan moving into your home soon. Brown recluse spiders are timid and often don’t bite humans unless they are pressed against the skin.

The bite of a brown recluse spider can result in redness and necrosis of the tissue around the bite site. In extreme cases, individuals may end up losing a limb or finger from a brown recluse spider.

Others worth mentioning

Another common spider found here in North Carolina is the golden orb weaver spider. This spider is harmless and will keep to itself enjoying the bugs found in your yard. Grass spiders are common all over the U.S. and spin dense, sheet like webs.

While most spiders are harmless, they can be a nuisance when they make their way into our homes. And while spiders generally prefer living outdoors, once they find a way into our homes, they are hard to get rid of.

In some cases, a separate pest problem may be attracting spiders into your home. A professional pest control company can examine the exterior and interior of your Charlotte area home to check for a spider infestation. Contact Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for a free pest inspection and keep your home pest-free.

The Cryptomaster Behemoth

A newly discovered arachnid TRULY has one of the coolest (and maybe scariest) sounding names of any creature!

Cryptomaster Leviathan
Source: Marshal Hedin via Wikimedia Commons
What comes to mind when you hear “Cryptomaster Behemoth”? Maybe you think of some kind of other-worldly guardian armed with a sword and shield while protecting a mausoleum. Perhaps a very, very tall computer programmer who encrypts data comes to mind? Or maybe you think of both: a tremendous crypt-keeping beast that stays current with today’s technology by having its tomb outfitted with high-speed internet and a Wi-Fi connection. I prefer to think that “Cryptomaster Behemoth” references the last one, mostly because of the visual it brings to mind.

The truth is the Cryptomaster Behemoth is not related to any of those. What it is related to is actually another previously recorded species of the Cryptomaster genus called Leviathan. Cryptomaster Leviathan was the first and original Cryptomaster and it was not until January 2016 that an article citing the new species was approved. The Cryptomasters are arachnids that are related to “Harvestmen”, or what we commonly refer to as “Daddy Long Legs”. Harvestmen are probably best known for their recent videos that can be seen all across social media. Each video is the same – the camera is focused on what looks like a large pile of pine needles until someone touches it and the whole mound comes to life; each “pine needle” is actually one leg, belonging to a Harvestman. It is at this point in the video that any nearby human starts running as if his or her life depended on it as hundreds of Daddy Long Legs scatter in all different directions.

So how did Cryptomaster Behemoth get its name?

The genus portion of its name “Cryptomaster” was named because it prefers to remain unseen. They always hide in the landscape, usually underneath some decaying, moist forest material such as stumps or leaves. Clearly, since the Leviathan species was thought to be the only Cryptomaster for decades, the name is well-deserved.

The last part of the name and part that defines the species, “Behemoth” was given due to the large size of this arachnid. Similar to Cryptomaster Leviathan, the Behemoth is much bigger than other arachnids that are genetically similar. According to the research team who discovered Cryptomaster Behemoth, both names, Leviathan and Behemoth, are from the Book of Job in the Bible and describe two huge and strong beasts.

Everything is relative, though. The Cryptomaster Behemoth is not very big compared to a human. In fact, Cryptomaster Behemoth has a body length of about four millimeters. At this size, the Cryptomaster Behemoth could sit comfortably on your smallest finger’s nail.

So, despite having a name suited for some kind of colossal monstrosity, the Cryptomaster Behemoth is really nothing more than a harmless Daddy Long Legs. Therefore, if you were hoping to see one on your next visit to the forests of Oregon, you might want to practice your woodland hide-and-go-seek skills and bring a magnifying glass. Truthfully, thank goodness these things are not as big as their name implies!

Beware of Spiders

Several kinds of spiders are commonly found in Charlotte, but how can you tell the difference between poisonous and harmless spiders? More importantly, how can you keep these eight-legged critters safely out of your home?

The Dangerous: The Brown Recluse Spider and the Southern Black Spider

 

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse SpiderCommonly found in closets, attics, and basements or in other dim areas of the home, the Brown Recluse is noted for its violin-patterned markings on its back. For this reason, it’s also known as a fiddleback. With leg spans about the size of a quarter, the males have slightly longer legs. Perhaps one of the most dangerous of the spiders commonly found in Charlotte, the Brown Recluse usually bites only when surprised. Most people get bitten by Brown Recluses when they put on shoes or clothing in which the Brown Recluse is hiding, or when they’re cleaning a dark storage space. The Brown Recluse Spider’s bite looks like a bull’s-eye on the skin. Eventually, the central blister in the bull’s eye falls off. The bite of the Brown Recluse Spider can often result in burning pain, itching, body aches, or fever. If a Brown Recluse has bitten you, apply an ice pack to help with swelling and immediately seek medical attention.

Southern Black Widow

Black WidowAlso found in dark areas such as garages or attics, the Southern Black Widow Spider also may make her home in areas of the outdoors. Distinctly hourglass shaped, black, and shiny, the Brown Recluse is about 1.5 inches long and has eight eyes. Female black widows are poisonous while males are benign. Their webs are stronger than that of other spiders and the build of the web tends to have a random pattern.

Like the Brown Recluse, the Southern Black Widow may be found hiding inside clothes or dark areas and is not aggressive, usually biting by accident. Woodpiles and tree stumps may house a Southern Black Widow. Where there is one Southern Black Widow, there are probably babies as well. A Southern Black Widow’s bite may not hurt and may go unnoticed, but it can cause abdominal pain, dry mouth, sweating, swollen eyelids, and muscle aches. If bitten, wash the bite, use a cold compress to control the swelling, and go to the doctor or hospital immediately.

The Mostly Harmless Spiders

With the exception of the above two spiders, most spiders in North Carolina are fairly harmless, unless the person is highly sensitive to spider bites. If you think a spider has bitten you, seek medical attention immediately.

Controlling Charlotte Spiders

Spiders can often be beneficial to outdoor gardens. However, to control outdoor spiders, blast webs with water or move them with a rake or broom. One of the best ways to control spiders is to clean bookshelves, baseboards, and behind furniture on a regular basis. If you’re concerned about the appearance of new spiders in your home, consider an insecticide made for in-house use; these can often be used in closet, around baseboards, or in storage areas or other potential areas where spiders may be found. Use work gloves when handling boxes or working in dark areas such as garages. Also use gloves when stacking lumber or firewood. Inspect clothes and shoes before putting them on.

If you’re concerned about spiders or suspect an infestation, call Truly Nolen of Charlotte at 704-910-2936 to schedule an inspection.

Fall is Here: Lookout for Common Pests This Season

If you’re already noticing a chill in the air and have an intense craving for everything pumpkin, then it’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to the fall season. Though you’ll be glad to be rid of pesky summer pests, the cooler months promise pest problems of their own. Here, Truly Nolen outlines the common types of pests found in the fall months, tell tale signs of what to look out for and pest hot spots in and around your home.

Rodents:

House MouseAs the temperature drops outdoors, you won’t be the only ones happy for the warmth your home provides. Mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons will also look to find a warm, safe haven for the fall and winter months. Since rodents are one of the bigger pests prone to invading your home this fall, keeping a keen eye out for signs can help you identify a rodent problem before it gets out of hand:

  1. Rodent droppings- black in color and capsule shaped, you may notice these around food and water sources in your home or in attic or basement corners.
  2. Rodents will gnaw on wiring, PVC pipes, ducts, plumbing, and through insulation because they need to constantly wear their teeth down. Rodents will often chew through electrical wiring which can lead to electrical fires. Wires are covered with insulation in order to protect objects nearby from getting overheated. Rodents gnaw through the protective coating often leaving the hot metal exposed. With wires left exposed they often end up shorting out causing a spark, causing nearby objects to ignite.
  3. You may hear a “scratching” sound coming from your roof or attic. This is in fact the chewing noise that rodents make as they are having a field day with that insulation in your attic!
  4. Plumbing or wiring inspections may reveal a rodent problem. If it is brought to your attention that wires have been chewed through, address the wiring and rodent issue immediately.

Roaches:

cockroachAs one of the main perpetrators of the spread of bacteria, pathogens and allergies, roaches are also likely to seek out protection from the cooler weather. Your home is the perfect environment. With access to water, food and shelter inside your home roaches are all too glad to stay close by. Here are some of the typical hot spots for roaches:

  • Cockroach droppings or dark spots may be near small cracks or openings or in corners of rooms. Droppings can also resemble ground pepper on countertops and may give off a “musty” smell.
  • Empty egg cases from female roaches may be left behind.
  • Roaches gravitate to places that are more prone to moisture, such as pipes and faucets found under your sink. Roaches live in groups, so even if you only see one or two, chances are there are many more hiding behind the scenes.

Spiders:

SpiderAlthough intimidating, most spiders that enter your home (such as the common household spider) are not dangerous. Even though the majority of spiders are not dangerous they can be a sign that other pests are present in the home. Here are some of the typical places you might find spiders in your home:

  • Spiders are likely to make their homes in garages and attics, as well as near windows, eaves and doorways.
  • Certain spiders, such as the retreat spider, may also venture through cracks in wood flooring or shelving and in between furniture.
  • Where there are spider webs, there are spiders. Some webs represent the abandoned home from a previous set that may have exhausted its food supply in that particular area.
  • Keeping a close eye out in dark, moist areas such as garages, basements, window wells, and crawl spaces is also a way for homeowners to be aware of any spider activity that may be taking place.

Truly Nolen Treatment Approach

During the winter months, pests will aim to make their way inside your home as a means of protection from the outdoor elements, and to continue their feeding and breeding habits in a more controlled and comfortable environment. Based on this seasonal change in pest behavior and life cycle, Truly Nolen protocols adapt to meet the needs of homeowners looking for safe and effective pest treatment that will prevent and eradicate brewing infestations and eliminate pests inside the home.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative approach to tackling fall and winter pests involves using naturally occurring and environmentally friendly products that work to minimize pest resistance over time. Your Truly Nolen professional will work with you to identify ways pests and rodents may get in your home in the first place. This method is a more proactive approach designed to keep working throughout the year.

Truly Nolen’s Fall Treatment Approach Includes:

  • Botanical aerosols to naturally eliminate pests hiding in closets or cabinets.
  • Removing spider webs from windows, beams and ceilings.
  • Setting of bait stations throughout the home, especially under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Application of powder to treat pests hiding in smaller areas of the home (window and door frames, eaves and fixtures).
  • Placing monitoring stations in specific areas to trap pests.
  • Dust treatment in small crawl spaces and attic.

Through targeted methods and applications, Truly Nolen is able to keep your home pest free this fall and winter, allowing you and your family to enjoy the warmth and comfort of your home without the worrying about pests. Call Truly Nolen today to schedule your free inspection!

Fall in Love With These End of Summer Tips for a Pest Free Home

The warm, Summer days are coming to a close and as we slowly transition into Fall, it is easy to forget that pest activity does not necessarily disappear with the balmy breezes and flip flops that are indicative of the hot summer months. In fact, over the course of summer, the warm weather provides the perfect opportunity for certain pests to breed and colonize new areas in and around your home. The summer months would have seen a proliferation of everything from stinging insects and flies to ants and mosquitoes.

As if summertime pests weren’t bad enough, entering the cooler months is sure to bring about a new season of pest activity and a host of challenges for homeowners. Not to be outdone, pests such as spiders and rodents are only too eager to invade your home this Fall, in an effort to stay warm and escape the cold reality of the cooler months.

Truly Nolen of Mansfield, OH identifies some of the common pests that present a problem to homeowners during these fall months and explores tips for keeping your home pest free. Here, we also learn about Truly Nolen’s treatment approach, aimed at addressing pest activity that is specific to this time of the year.

Common Fall pests – What you need to know.

As the weather changes, certain pest activity will decrease, while others will be more active as they prepare for the cold months ahead. This is the opportune time for homeowners to take the necessary precautions in order to prevent Fall pests from entering the home.

Rodents:
mouse
As we enter into the cooler part of the year, rodents are keen on finding warm areas to settle into. Attics and basements make the coziest retreats for rats and mice that are extremely capable of finding sneaky ways to enter your home, even through the smallest of openings.

Both rats and mice are vectors of disease and their need to stay close to food and water sources means that seeking refuge in your home is ideal for them as the weather gets colder.

Spiders:
spider-2
Although many common varieties of spiders pose no significant threat to us, spider activity within the home may increase as summer comes to an end, as these pests are seeking a quiet, warm place to call home for the next few months. Addressing a spider problem early on can prevent these guys from laying eggs in areas of the home such as basements, tops of cabinets, inside closets and more. It is also important to avoid the growth of the spider population as they are also a source of food for other pests in the home.

Cockroaches:
American Roach
Perhaps one of the worst Fall pests, guilty of triggering allergies and exacerbating issues such as asthma, roaches are one of the primary vehicles for the contamination of food and the spread of pathogens and bacteria. Your home provides the perfect environment for roaches to stay close to food and warmth, so an increase in roach activity during this time is not uncommon.

Fall Head over Heels with Keeping your Home Pest Free

While you and your family are relishing the last remnants of Summer, Fall pests are already looking for ways to start to prepare as the weather cools down. Homeowners can still fall head over heels with keeping their home pest free by taking extra steps at doing their own control and prevention:

  • Monitor areas of the home prone to rodents (entry points, basements, cabinets, etc.) for indications of possible infestation (mouse/rat droppings, gnawed electrical wiring).
  • Keep both exterior and interior trash in lidded bins.
  • Avoid letting debris and clutter pile up on both the exterior and interior of the home. This gives rodents the perfect hiding spot!
  • Maintain regular service and treatment of spiders throughout the year.
  • Trim any shrubs or trees that are close to the home as overhanging branches make an easy roadway for spiders to get in.
  • Eliminate any existing cobwebs that you may see.
  • Avoid leaving piles of clothes or newspapers in any one area for too long as spiders like to hide in dark, quiet places.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers and avoid leaving used dishes out in exposed areas.
  • Holes or gaps on the exterior of the home make for easy entry so be sure to have these caulked and sealed.
  • Avoid bringing boxes into the home where possible, instead unpacking prior to going indoors.
  • Monitor dark, damp areas such as under the sinks and near faucets and appliances as roaches tend to gravitate toward these areas.

Truly Nolen – Treatment Approach to Fall Pests

As the long days of summer come to a close, pests will aim to make their way inside your home as a means of protection from the outdoor elements, and to continue their feeding and breeding habits in a more controlled environment. Based on this seasonal change in pest behavior, Truly Nolen adapts to meet the needs of homeowners looking for safe and effective pest treatment that will eradicate brewing infestations and eliminate pests inside the home.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative approach to tackling wintering pests involves using naturally occurring and environmentally friendly products that work to minimize pest resistance over time. This method is a more proactive approach designed to keep working throughout the year.

Some of the techniques used are:

  • Botanical aerosols to naturally eliminate pests hiding in closets or cabinets.
  • Removing spider webs from windows, beams and ceilings.
  • Setting of bait stations throughout the home, especially under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Application of powder to treat pests hiding in smaller areas of the home (window and door frames, eaves and fixtures).
  • Placing monitoring stations in specific areas to trap pests.
  • Dust treatment in small crawl spaces and attic.

Through targeted methods and applications, Truly Nolen is able to utilize innovative means to keep your home pest free from Summer into Fall and keep you falling in love with your home. Call your local Truly Nolen of Mansfield pest professional today at 419-520-9290 for a pest inspection.

Summer Household Pest Control Checklist for Columbus, OH

The transition from spring to summer is peak time for household pest activity. Truly Nolen of Columbus, OH wants to make sure that Columbus homeowners stay pest free this summer, giving you more time to spend outdoors without worrying about pests indoors. To ensure that Columbus residents are prepared for an increase in pest activity, Truly Nolen has created a checklist to help homeowners remain pest free this summer.

Summer Pests Checklist

Summer Lovin’- Common Pests Found in Ohio

Although homeowners should be watchful of pests all throughout the year, it is important to keep an eye out for pests that may have kept a low profile during winter. Pests who go into hiding in winter months to stay warm, are now emerging, eager to reproduce and expand their habitats. Here, we take a look at a few pests that Columbus residents may start to see more of than they might like during the summer!

Spiders

Brown Recluse Spider
Most of the species of spiders found in Ohio are not poisonous and are considered more of a nuisance rather than a threat. However, where there is one bug, there are two, three or more and spiders are usually a sign of bigger pest problems.

German & Oriental Cockroaches

German Oriental Cockroach
Perhaps two of the more common species, German and Oriental roaches thrive in hot, humid climates making summer the perfect opportunity for these guys to be out and about. German roaches prefer to be indoors, and will always make their way to food and water sources, whereas Oriental roaches can also be found in the immediate exterior portions of your home. Since they carry pathogens and allergens in their cast skins and in their droppings, it is important for homeowners to immediately address any sightings of German or Oriental roaches to avoid further infestation.

Centipedes

centipede
Although treatment of centipedes should start from the exterior, these creepy crawlies can make their way indoors into basements and crawlspaces. Centipedes do not pose a threat to homeowners, but they are a nuisance as they can populate quickly if left alone for an extended period of time.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants use their strong jaws to chew through wooden structures, leaving behind a trail of sawdust wherever they go. Damp, soft wood makes the perfect environment for them as they can easily chew out holes to construct their nests.

Rodents

Rodent
Rat and mice activity will increase since they have hibernated during the winter months, only to emerge in full force from spring into summer. As rodent population increases due to the warmer weather, homeowners should be aware of the warning signs left behind by rats and mice that indicate their presence in and around your home.

Bed Bugs

bed_bug
As you travel this summer, be weary of hitchhiking bed bugs. No hotel is immune from bed bugs so be sure to inspect the mattress and under the sheets of your hotel bed to make sure there are no signs of bed bugs or their blood. Bed bugs can easily attach themselves to your luggage, clothes, laptop cases and more.

Mosquitoes

mosquito
The hot summer weather is perfect for mosquitoes especially when there are backyard barbeques and pool parties. Be sure there isn’t standing water around your home where mosquitoes tend to breed and keep areas clean and free from crumbs.

Common Types of Construction for Ohio Homes

Along with the natural beauty of the state, Ohio homes also boast charming construction design elements indicative of the Midwest. These unique features are enjoyed by Columbus homeowners, but are also considered vulnerable areas that can attract pests:

  • Wooden siding, porches and decking
  • Crawl spaces
  • Basements and attics
  • Fireplaces
  • Wooden door frames , windows and roof shingles on older homes
  • Lush landscaping and mulch placed close to the home

Tips to Keep Pests Out This Summer

While many pests are considered to be nothing more than a nuisance, there are those that pose more of a risk to the health and safety of homeowners. Truly Nolen recommends the following for helping to keep pests at a minimum wherever possible:

  • Avoid piles of debris on both interior and exterior of the home to deter pests.
  • Trim shrubs and trees that may have overhanging branches that touch the exterior walls or roof line of the home as these provide an easy gateway for pests to travel.
  • Holes or gaps in screens, doors, windows or foundations should be sealed to keep pests from entering.
  • Basements and crawlspaces should be frequently monitored for indications of possible infestation.
  • Existing cobwebs should be removed to prevent additional spiders.
  • Dark, damp areas such as under the sinks and near faucets should be monitored carefully for roaches.
  • Keeping countertops clean at night and sealing exposed food and water are good ways to keep pests from enjoying a midnight snack.

When do I call my Truly Nolen Pest Professional?

Although homeowners can take steps to ensure that their home remains pest free this summer, there are some pest problems that need the help of a certified, trained professional. One or two pest sightings may be tolerated by most homeowners, but without a thorough inspection, it is difficult to assess whether or not there are more pests behind the scenes.

To err on the side of caution, homeowners should be vigilant when observing possible signs of pest activity and contact a trained professional in the early stages so that the problem does not worsen as time goes on, eventually becoming a full blown infestation.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative Four Seasons Pest Control approach addresses the changes in pest behavior from season to season. Our trained technicians know what to look for, how to be proactive and how to treat an existing infestation. Call Truly Nolen of Columbus to keep your home pest free this summer and all year round.

Spiderman vs. Real Spiders: Who is the real hero?

From nursery rhymes that delight and fascinate young children, to scary horror stories that evoke fear, spiders have always played an important role as pop culture references. Boasting an impressive resume of leading and supporting roles, spiders weave their webs into many major movies, the most popular of which is Marvel’s Spiderman franchise. Even though these action packed movies are more about the stunts and computer graphics, Spiderman’s strengths are based on the real features and traits that spiders actually possess, which indeed make them truly amazing creatures.

As intimidating as spiders may seem, they are actually shy creatures that tend to retreat if you advance on them. In rare cases when there is close human interaction, the few spiders that are considered dangerous such as the Black Widow or Brown Recluse, can prove fatal if you are bitten, but most spiders are harmless and will not bite. Not to be confused with insects, spiders are Arachnids with all spiders having 8 legs and 2 distinct body regions. As much as our natural instinct is to get rid of any spider that we encounter, it is important to understand the benefits that spiders provide as they prey on undesirable insects and pest species, making them nature’s own biological vacuum.

spiders

Eight Legged Fun Facts

If you suffer with a true fear of spiders (Arachnophobia) it may not comfort you to know that there are at least 40,000 different species of spiders that exist. All spiders have venom and are therefore considered venomous, but most are still relatively harmless to humans. While the sight of them will make you go in the opposite direction, there are so many fascinating traits to these eight legged creatures:

  • Unlike insects, spiders do not have antennae or wings.
  • All spiders have 8 legs.
  • Female spiders can produce up to 3,000 eggs.
  • The most poisonous spider is the Brazilian wandering spider, also known as the Banana spider.
  • The silk weave spun by spiders is considered the strongest material in the world. In the Spiderman movies, the concept of being able to climb walls and swing from high levels using this spun silk is a huge part of the appeal of his character. In reality, scientists have not been able to replicate this material despite technology.
  • The only continent in the world that does not have spiders is Antarctica!
  • Spiders are filled with venom which is actually how they digest any food that they intake. Anything ingested is first turned into a liquid substance.
  • Jumping spiders can jump up to 50 times their own length (picture Spiderman leaping from building to building!)
  • Spiders can live in almost any habitat with only a few species surviving near water. This accounts for their highly diversified species.
  • Spidey Senses! Although Spiderman does not have 4 eyes like most spiders, his ‘spidey senses’ are just like that of a real spider. Near sighted, spiders cannot rely on their eyes to help them, so they must hone in on their other senses to help find food and defend themselves.
  • The most common method of capturing prey is by creating a web that insects or lizards will get stuck in. Some spiders hunt actively and will search their surroundings for food.

Types of Spiders

Although most of the spiders we encounter are harmless, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the more common varieties in the event that you do cross paths with them in your home.

 

Type of Spider Appearance Where to find it Get the bug spray?
Common House Spider
  • Long abdomen
  • Yellow/brown in color
Basements, garages, under furniture, around windows and near lights. The common house spider poses no real threat and is more of a nuisance.
Jumping Spider
  • Black with light markings
  • Shorter legs and more compact body
Around windows, doors, fences, decks and bushes. If threatened, the jumping spider can bite in defense, but their bite is not dangerous.
Long-bodied Cellar Spiders
  • Small body with long skinny legs
  • Range from pale yellow to light brown in color
Dark, damp places like basements and cellars. High humidity areas like sink cabinets, bathtubs, inside closets No real threat as these spiders do not bite.
Brown Recluse Spider
  • Range from light to dark brown
  • Noticeable dark brown violin shape marking on its back
Under woodpiles, debris, inside storage areas, baseboards, closets and attics. The brown recluse will bite in defense often leading to a painful bite and associated fever, sores and restlessness. Requires immediate medical treatment to avoid allergic reaction.
Black Widow Spider
  • Shiny and black body
  • Red hourglass shape on their underbelly
Found in boxes, around woodpiles or firewood and lower level areas. Female black widows can be aggressive if they are guarding recently laid eggs. A bite from a black widow can lead to high blood pressure, nausea and fever.

brown_recluse_spider

Keeping Spiders Out

Even if we’re inclined to bring out the spider décor at Halloween time, the rest of the year should be kept spider free if possible. The sighting of one or even two spiders may indicate that there is an infestation brewing and should be attended to right away to avoid the problem getting out of hand. To help reduce the possibility of spiders entering and staying in your home, there are a few preventative measures you can take:

  • Pressure clean the outside of your home to get rid of webs and possible spider eggs that cling to door frames and windows.
  • Repair damaged screens on all exterior openings of your house.
  • Remove debris, firewood or garbage away from your home as these areas serve as good resting places for spiders.
  • Using yellow light bulbs helps to deter insects, which in turn, deters spiders from feeding on them.
  • Any noticeable cracks or spaces should be sealed.
  • Minimize the opportunity for nesting by removing bags, boxes and papers that may be lying around your home.
  • Keep a close eye out in corners of ceiling, walls and windows and eliminate any cobwebs that you find.
  • Contact your Truly Nolen service expert who can effectively assess and treat any areas of the home that you suspect may have spiders.

National Pest Management Month: Four Common Pests to Watch Out For

We all know the feeling of the cringe-worthy moment when we hear little scurries across the floorboards, or see teeny droppings in our cupboards and run to call for the first available pest control service appointment.

For more than 30 years, the National Pest Management Association has celebrated the month of April as ‘National Pest Management Month’ to recognize pest management professionals for their efforts in protecting individuals’ health and property from those cringe-worthy moments. With spring season upon us, now is a good time to brush up on four common household nuisances and how to prevent or identify an infestation.

So the next time you see a creepy crawler and wonder what it is, keep in mind these four common pests:

Ants: Ranging from reddish browns to blacks and even yellow, ants are common throughout the year. No matter the climate, ants have an arduous way about them, making their homes in the tiniest of places. As the number one nuisance in the U.S., ants are capable of infesting office buildings, homes and restaurants. Ants are often attracted by sweets and proteins, so keep spills, pet food and other foods cleaned up and/or containers tightly sealed.

Termites: Termites live in colonies that can grow to large numbers. Their usual methods of infesting a home can include entering through cracks in concrete floors from underground, a space as small as 1/64th of an inch or larger. Termites can also be carried in through infested wood such as old furniture, firewood or building materials. Both Subterranean and Drywood termite colonies even have members equipped with wings, being able to fly into a home and begin a new colony. Make sure to have your home thoroughly inspected yearly by a professional to spot termites and/or damage before it’s too late.

Spiders: Varying greatly in size, spiders are often the sign of a more serious insect infestation. As carnivorous hunters, spiders feast on insects such as ants and crickets and hide in cracks and crevices under well-protected areas inside or outside the home. Being popular all year round, the best way to reduce the risk of spider invasions is to remove clutter, repair windows and screens and dust regularly.

Bed Bugs: Bed bugs are known to be travelers, packing away in your suitcase until the most opportune moment to make themselves cozy in your home. Living up to one and a half years, bed bugs produce between one and eight eggs daily. Since you can’t feel the bite of a bed bug, homeowners should be aware of inflamed bites with clusters or rows. Inspect your surroundings carefully when traveling to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you.

Woman faces painful recovery from spider bite

A woman in Lafayette, Ind. is temporarily in a wheelchair as she recovers from a brown recluse spider bite.

Two weeks ago, an Indiana woman was bitten by the venomous spider on the leg while she was asleep, according to Lafayette-area CBS affiliate WLFI-TV. She assumed it was a normal bug bite until the injury started swelling and oozing pus. After visiting to her doctor, the wound was popped and she was given antibiotics.

Within 24 hours, however, the wound started growing once more. The woman went to the hospital, where she was brought into surgery immediately.

According to WLFI, brown recluse venom eats away at cells and  the victim had to have dead tissue removed. One doctor told the news source that brown recluse bites can be so severe they require amputation. The woman who received the bite told the station she is grateful to have avoided those measures, and hopes to be able to walk without pain soon.

Brown recluses are one the U.S.'s most deadly common spiders. As their name implies, they live a hermit-like life style in sheltered places like woodpiles, crevices and cracks. These spiders can be recognized by their brown, bulbous body and the violin-shaped marking on their backs. If a brown recluse is spotted or suspected, it's important to hire a pest control professional to avoid being bitten, as a bite can result in serious medical emergencies.