How to control biting gnats
These are the steps you should take to reduce biting gnats around your home:
Spring is nature's alarm clock for insects. As the days start warming up, the bugs being coming out. Most of the insects that show up this time of year don't really bother anyone. We will be covering a few here that do.
Everyone's least favorite pest. These little buzzers are the deadliest human hunters on the planet. Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes' primary source of food comes from plants. The females only start hunting for blood when they reproduce. The blood they take from you or other roaming creatures allows them to reproduce more rapidly. The extra mosquitoes in turn hunt you down when reproducing and make even more mosquitoes. There's a pattern here.
To reduce this mosquito population boom, do the following for mosquito control:
Ants start appearing more often this time of year. They are looking for food and your house has plenty. A good pest control company can inspect your home for better ways to reduce ant problems. Sanitation is the key to keeping these bugs out of your home.
Wolf spiders are often confused with brown recluses. This is because they are also brown and a spider. Unlike brown recluses, wolf spiders are not a cause for alarm. Wolf spiders usually live in solitude. They do not spin webs. They keep their children on their back until they go out on their own. A huge plus to wolf spiders is they keep other insect populations in check. If you have a lot of wolf spiders, it could mean there is an underlying insect problem waiting to be discovered. Treating their food source is the best way to get wolf spiders an eviction notice.
Mice can be invasive and destructive to your home. While they can be a common pest, many people may not know very much about them. By being informed about their habits and abilities, you can be better prepared to keep them out of your home. Rodent control can be entirely possible, but it can’t occur unless you’re aware that your home may have a pest problem. Here are 10 facts you can use to help identify and control intrusive mice.
1. Mice can be found nearly everywhere
Mice can live in almost any type of environment and can be found all around the world. While they can easily survive in the outdoors, they often invade homes to take advantage of the plentiful food they can find there. Mice living outdoors generally burrow into the ground while mice living in a house or other building can nest in the walls or other nooks and crannies.
2. Mice have ever-growing teeth
Mice have large front teeth specially equipped for gnawing. Strangely enough, these large incisor teeth never stop growing, which can be what allows mice to constantly chew through things without wearing their teeth down to nothing. Mice share this trait with many other rodents, including rats. Since they need to keep their teeth from growing too big, mice constantly chew on anything that’s available, making them destructive to homes. Seeing signs of items that have been chewed on can be a red flag that you may need to look into Baton Rouge pest control.
Mice can chew on nearly anything, including:
3. Mice can fit through really small spaces
You may think your home is mouse proof, but it can be important to double check that every small gap has been covered. Mice can squeeze their bodies through tiny holes and, in some cases, are able to fit through spaces as small as the width of a pencil.
Some common entry points used by mice can be the spaces where the wall meets the ceiling, gaps under doors, or even drains in bathrooms. You can use a combination of foam sealant and wire mesh to fill in gaps and help keep mice out. If they still seem to be getting in somehow, you might need to look for help from a Baton Rouge pest control service.
4. Mice can jump incredibly high
While they may be small, mice can still be incredibly agile. In some cases, they can jump as high as 25 centimeters straight up. This ability can help them reach high places, allowing them to get into your home and access seemingly hard-to-get-to food in pantries and cupboards.
5. Mice can climb surprisingly well
In addition to being great at jumping, mice are skillful climbers. Their sharp claws and strong feet can allow them to scale challenging surfaces such as vertical walls. Even food that seems entirely out of reach to mice may not be safe as you think. Their climbing skills can also allow them to access the attic and roof of your home and hide in places where you might not expect them to. Baton Rouge pest control can help you to ensure that mice aren’t hiding out in the top of your home.
6. Mice don’t rely on sight
Mice can have poor eyesight, especially in bright light. Since they are nocturnal, their eyes can work best in the dark, but even then, it isn’t very good. This doesn’t hinder them too much though as their other senses, especially hearing, can be incredibly acute. Mice can hear things that are out of the range of human hearing and can even communicate with each using ultrasound noises. They can also feel vibrations around them and use this ability to sense potential predators coming from a distance.
7. Mice love to eat
Mice are almost constantly in search of food, and they can eat a surprising range of things in your home. They can eat both plants and meats, and this omnivorous diet allows them to devour just about anything they find. From cereals and grains in your pantry to crumbs that fall under the kitchen table, food can be what draws mice to your home in the first place and can keep them surviving there for a long time. It can be important to look into Baton Rouge pest control to stop a mouse problem from getting out of control.
8. Mice have specific habits
Almost all mice can behave in a similar way. They have specific habits that can help you find and catch them. When they move throughout your house, they will generally stay close to walls, traveling along the edges of the room. Mice are mostly active at night and won’t usually come out into the open during the day. While they can be social towards other mice, they are also territorial and can need to have a large area to themselves.
9. Mice are dirty
Mice can not only cause problems by chewing on your stuff and leaving behind droppings, they can also pose a real risk to the health of anyone around them. Mice can carry all kinds of diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
Diseases carried by mice can include:
Some of these conditions can be life-threatening. Risk of disease can be the number one reason why it is vital to get help from a Baton Rouge pest control service if your home has been invaded by rodents.
10. Mice can be gotten rid of
Luckily, rodent control can be accomplished with the help of pest control experts in Baton Rouge. By noticing the signs that your home may have a mouse problem, you can be one step closer to solving that problem. Preventative measures, such as sealing off easy mouse access points into your home, can help lessen the risk of a new problem developing. Being well-informed as well as prepared to get help if needed can the best way to keep your home safe from these scurrying, destructive pests.
A peculiar pest, silverfish may be spotted scurrying around in the middle of the night, looking for somewhere to hide when startled. Their long bodies and wave-like motion strike some as creepy and alarming, but they’re more of a threat to your home than to your family and pets, barring allergic reactions. Still, this unfamiliar critter can be a cause for concern. If you find signs of an infestation, calling a Baton Rouge pest control company sooner rather than later is a good idea to save personal belongings from potentially serious damage.
What Is a Silverfish?
The silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) is a small, grayish-blue insect with a slender body shaped somewhat like a flat carrot and measuring about 1 inch in length. Its name comes from the almost silver-colored shimmer to its scales and its swift, undulating manner of movement that resembles a fish swimming. It also goes by such names as “fishmoth” or “carpet shark”. Its life cycle has three stages - egg, nymph and adult, lacking the pupa phase that many insects go through. Young fishmoths have a white coloration and lack scales. Adults can lay eggs at any time of year, with no specific mating season, and the development from egg to adult takes place over about three to four months, though some can live as long as six years.
What Makes Their Habitat?
Silverfish fleet of foot on their six legs, but they lack wings and are not adept climbers. They also tend towards a nocturnal life, so during the day, they will likely be hiding in various cracks and crevices. They prefer dark environments with moderate temperatures and plenty of moisture; they’re likely to gather around plumbing fixtures, especially with leaky pipes, and can also be found in attics, basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Another major attractor is, of course, food - they’re not picky eaters, and most proteins, sugars and starches will attract them, leading to a variety of potential meals around the house.
What Are the Risks of Infestation?
The dietary habits of silverfish make them a nuisance when they take up residence in your home. Their fondness for starch and sugars both simple and complex leads them to eat glue, paper, fabric and even the cellulose found in personal hygiene products such as shampoo and shaving foam. They also feed on dandruff and human hair - again, this is a factor in their attraction to bathrooms. The infestation escalates past mere nuisance and becomes a threat to your home, though, when they start digging into personal belongings. Left unchecked, carpet sharks will eat book bindings and pages, photos and more, especially wreaking havoc on items in storage in an accommodating attic or basement. They also chew holes in wallpaper and start eating the paste behind it, handily destroying wall decor.
Silverfish do not bite and have no diseases they’re associated with that can be communicated to humans or pets. An encounter with one can be creepy or disturbing - especially when it crawls out of a sink drain or gets into your toothpaste - but for most people, no further harm comes to them at the hands of this insect. However, respiratory allergies can be aggravated by inhaling their eggs, scales or feces, as well as parts of dead insects. Any of these can mix with other forms of dust in your home. Specific allergies to these bugs are triggered by tropomyosin, also found in shrimp and other shellfish, and can produce even harsher reactions such as rhinitis - irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose - or bronchial asthma. Children can be especially susceptible.
How Do You Find an Infestation?
As with any other pest problem, the sooner you identify a fishmoth or carpet shark infestation, the better. The nocturnal habits of these insects make actually encountering one a little difficult, but not impossible. That said, spotting a silverfish is a certain sign of a larger infestation, since they proliferate so quickly that an individual straggler is unlikely to truly be alone. Droppings are also decisive evidence, and they are easily identified by a unique appearance resembling small black pellets or peppercorns. These will be commonly found wherever the insect is likely to feed - pantries and food boxes are obvious enough, but they may also be found among books and papers since fishmoths feed on these as well. Shed skins and scales, as well as unusual yellow stains, also mark the passage of these pests, and a diligent eye can pick them out if you know what to look for.
Though less ideal as a first sign of infestation, damage to your home and possessions can be conclusive evidence. Silverfish will chew holes through paper, books, cardboard boxes and wallpaper to get to the cellulose and glue they enjoy, and they also burrow into boxes or containers filled with cereal, oats, flour or sugar. A particularly bad infestation can lead to them eating laundry and linens too. Catch the infestation early enough, though, and you won’t have to worry too much about extensive damage.
What Can You Do?
Preventing an infestation yourself is significantly easier than trying to get rid of pests without professional assistance. The main goal is to make your home unappealing for silverfish to move into. Filling in cracks and crevices is a good start, not only blocking their entry into your home but also removing hiding spots. A dehumidifier is also useful, keeping your home dry to deprive the bugs of moisture. Fixing leaky pipes swiftly also reduces moisture. Spread scents that the insects hate in areas where they would normally congregate, such as bathrooms and kitchens - these include cinnamon, cloves and cedar shavings.
To remove an established population of silverfish, calling on professional Baton Rouge pest control is the optimal solution. Pesticides and other chemicals can be hazardous to the health of your family if improperly used, and tracking down the nest can be considerably harder than finding the signs of a nest in the first place. Trained professionals have the tools and know-how for the job and are ready to cooperate with you to investigate and construct a plan for safe and thorough extermination.
When it comes to pest control in Southern Louisiana, there may be a number of different critters and insects you are looking get rid of. One of the most disturbing flying pests found active throughout the state, especially during the summer months, are wasps. Though wasps do provide benefits to the ecosystem they habit, for humans they pose risks of stinging, which is not only painful but can also lead to dangerous allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock. If a wasp nest is not in a location that greatly disturbs human activity, it is best to avoid it and tolerate it as best as possible. If there are many human-wasp interactions, however, it may be time to look into professional wasp control. Before you enlist an extermination team, learn more about the habitats, dispositions, and food sources of these stinging insects with the following wasp facts.
Difference Between Wasps and Bees
When identifying insect species for pest control, it is important to make sure you are dealing with wasps rather than environmentally essential honeybees. One of the main differences between wasps and bees is why the former is considered a pest, and that is the wasp’s temperament. Wasps are known to be much more aggressive than bees.
In terms of physical traits, wasps have longer, more slender bodies with narrow waists. Additionally, while both bees and wasps drink nectar, wasps are unable to turn that nectar into honey. Similarly, most wasp species do not pollinate, although there are a few species known to contribute successfully to plant pollination.
Types of Wasps
It may surprise you to learn that both hornets and yellow jackets are actually types of wasps. All are typically much more aggressive than bees and are a target for rapid pest control. Hornets live in large, highly organized colonies. Their main physical distinctions are their size, which is typically much bigger than other wasps, and their coloring, which is usually black and white or reddish-brown. Yellow jackets are noted for their bright yellow and black markings. Unlike other types of wasps, however, yellow jackets often build their nests low in trees and bushes along wooded regions. They are often highly aggressive and may sting repeatedly.
The ultimate goal of wasp control is to eliminate the nest. This should only be done, however, if it is causing a persistent problem for humans in the vicinity, as tampering with the nest is in itself a risky action. Wasps are highly defensive and protective of their nests and will usually swarm to defend it.
They tend to build these colony structures in locations that are not easily visible to humans, which can lead to surprise encounters, aggressive wasps, and painful stings. Most wasps build their nests out of paper-like material or mud in such places as under the branches of trees, attic rafters, window and door frames, under deck or porch floors, house eaves, porch ceilings, and under railings. When wasps begin to die off during cooler weather, their nests are deserted and are usually not reused by subsequent generations.
Within a nest, colonies may contain between 1,500 and 15,000 wasps, depending on the species, all populated by a single reproductive female. Pest control seeks to eliminate the nest, effectively destroying the colony. Each colony typically includes three kinds of wasps: the queen, the female workers, and the male drones. The queen lives for approximately one year and will hibernate in the winter to emerge in the spring, usually around May. The female workers live for about three weeks, while the male drones may live slightly longer than their female counterparts, and their main purpose is reproduction.
Wasp Food Sources
Like bees, wasps are drawn to sweet food sources, such as nectar, honey, sugar, and fruit. In fact, they have been known to occasionally steal large quantities of honey from beehives. Because of their diet, wasps tend to build their nests near picnic sites, outdoor patios, or any places with open garbage cans. Initial stages of pest control can include changing human habits to keep an area cleaner and free of wasp food sources. In addition to sweets, however, some species of wasps also feed on other insects, both living and dead. This means they can keep your garden free of other pests and are actually beneficial to the growth of flowers and other plants.
Indoor infestations are serious occasions for professional pest control. Luckily, wasps do not usually come into homes purposefully, except for a queen looking for a roost to hibernate through the winter. If a nest has been built near a window, door, or exposed crack, then wasps may begin to fly in and out of your home looking for food. Sometimes, however, wasps may build their nest inside an exterior wall, with access via a small hole or crack. When homeowners see wasps flying in and out of this crack, they tend to seal it up, often inadvertently trapping wasps inside the house. They may then begin to chew through the wallboard and infest your home.
Wasp stings are one of the biggest threats of infestations and one of the prime reasons to call in professionals for pest control. Unlike bees, wasps do not die when they sting you, nor do their stingers stay in your skin, but their poison can be potent. Wasps also inject a chemical with their sting that makes you more easily detectable to other wasps, which is why it is especially important to avoid wasp nests and their swarms.
Quick treatments for wasp stings include washing the wound with warm soapy water, reducing any swelling with ice, applying an antiseptic, and taking painkiller or antihistamine to reduce soreness or itchiness. If you are stung and start showing signs of a serious allergic reaction, it is imperative to see a doctor immediately.
With this collection of wasp facts, you can be better prepared to recognize a potential infestation. Pest control is an essential mitigation strategy for keeping your home or office space a healthy living environment for humans and other non-pest species. While wasps provide some benefits to nearby gardens, if their aggression becomes intolerable, be sure to contact your local exterminator for effective wasp control.
As the name suggests, powderpost beetles can reduce wood to a fine powder given enough time. These bugs are more than just a nuisance and can cause serious damage to your property and belongings. Learning more about these insects can help you determine when to contact Baton Rouge pest control professionals to avoid further wood damage.
What Are Powderpost Beetles?
There are 70 species of woodboring insects known as powderpost beetles. These pests target deciduous trees, and depending on the species, they can attack hardwood and softwood varieties. Most species of powderpost beetle share a few characteristics. In their adult form, the beetles don’t usually cause much damage to the wood. It’s when an adult lays its eggs on exposed wood that the larvae can cause problems.
The larvae create tunnels and galleries in the lumber as they take in nutrients and grow. As they feed, they leave behind frass, also known as wood powder. The frass may be compacted together, sticky or left loose and powdery. Depending on the species, the larvae can spend months or even years inside before emerging. It’s only when they tunnel out as adults that you realize you have an infestation and need a pest control service.
True Powderpost Beetles
The adults of this species are very small, less than a one-fourth of an inch. Their coloring is a reddish-brown, and they appear slightly flattened. This species prefers wood with a high moisture content. Lumber with a moisture content of less than 6 percent can help discourage true powderpost beetles from feeding on the material. These insects feed on the starch, sugar and protein of hardwood and sapwood tree species. Oak, hickory, cherry and walnut flooring, as well as antique furniture, can be frequent targets of true powderpost beetles.
The name of these beetles is attributed to the ticking or tapping sound they create to attract mates. The larvae of deathwatch beetles, while quite soft, are still able to consume both hardwood and softwood. The frass of these beetles is compacted into pellets in the various tunnels and galleries inside the wood. Adults range in size from one-fourth to three-eighth of an inch long. Get in touch with Baton Rouge pest control professionals if you believe the repeated tapping sounds coming from the rafters are deathwatch beetles.
False Powderpost Beetles
False powderpost beetles are reddish brown to black in coloring. Unlike other species, the adults drill into the wood to lay eggs, leaving behind a hole larger than one-eighth of an inch in diameter. After the larvae mature into adults and emerge, the exit holes do not contain the powdery frass, but the galleries and tunnels inside the wood do. The frass tends to stick together and is compacted.
Round-Headed Borers or Longhorn Beetles
These beetles tend to infest dead or dying trees, though a few species attack living trees. A frequent cause of indoor infestation occurs when firewood is brought in from the outside. The adults range in size from one-half to three inches long, and the larvae can be one-half to four inches in length. Most species can be characterized by their long antennae while just a few species have short antennae. Some of the species also mimic the coloring of wasps, ants and bees; however, most of the species have coloring that matches their environment. Contacting a Baton Rouge pest control service can help you identify the species of round-headed borer or longhorn you are dealing with.
Assessing Active Infestations and Inactive Infestations
Knowing whether your lumber is actively infested is an important step in addressing your wood damage. Sometimes, an infestation can die out without your intervention. Chances are you are dealing with an active infestation if the color of the frass resembles fresh cut wood. If the exit holes look weathered and match the rest of the wood, it’s more likely that the infestation is an old one. If your wood is in an area with some air movement, the very presence of any wood tailings can be a sign of a recent infestation. Conversely, if your wood is in an area that has not been disturbed recently, a layer of film or dust over the frass can indicate a dead infestation. One way to check if you have an active infestation is to remove the frass and recheck the area in a few days. If there are new piles, you could have an active infestation. It’s important to remember that most active emergences occur through the months of April to July.
Determining whether you have an active or inactive infestation can be a difficult assessment to make on your own. Pest control professionals can assess the wood damage to see if the larvae are still present.
Prevention and Treatment Strategies
Preventing powderpost beetle infestations before they begin can save you trouble down the road. If you have yet to make a lumber purchase, inspect it for signs of infestation. The following are tips that can help discourage infestation if you’ve already bought the lumber:
Finding the bored-out holes and wood damage from powderpost beetles can be a distressing experience. Given enough time, these pests can cause a considerable amount damage to your home and property. However, by following a few preventative maintenance tips, you can lessen the chances of wood damage from a powderpost beetle infestations. If, however, you’re facing an infestation beyond your expertise, contact a pest control company today.
It is termite season in Baton Rouge. While termites are active all year, they become very active right around Mother's Day. (Sorry Mom!) It is the right mix of temperature and humidity for termites to leave their home and seek out a new place to move. We call it swarming.
Termite swarming can be as simple as seeing a few termites flying around a light post. Other times it can be down right frightening like walking into a room of your home buzzing with flying termites. If this is you, don't freak out just yet. Termite swarmers to not necessarily mean you have a termite problem in your place. Get a Baton Rouge based pest control company to do a thorough termite inspection on your home.
How to Look for Signs of Termites
Wings - Look for loose wings lying near sources of light. Termite swarmers are drawn to light sources at night. Once they can to these locations, they can drop their wings and look for both a food (wood) and water source.
Flying Termites - Obvious, but these can be confused with flying ants. Capture a few in a container so you can show them to your pest control company representative.
Wall Pin Holes - Small pin sized hole in your wall may be termites. Look for frass and dirt at the hole or on the ground beneath it. Termite construct tunnels, but need to get rid of what they don't want in the tunnels.
Mud Tunnels - Check around the foundation of your home. A hardened mud tunnel going from the ground to your home along the foundation is sure sign of termite activity. It could be an old tunnel, so your pest control technician will check for damages to your home.
Weak Spots - Termites eat away cellulose in wood. This can lead to weakened areas and creaking in flooring and cabinets.
Bubbling Paint - Raised areas in paint can be a sign of termite activity. This can be from termite disposing of frass from beneath the paint. Instead of the frass falling to the ground, it stores behind the paint instead.
Termites are very prominent in south Louisiana. If you think you may have termites, contact Bug Ninja Pest Control today for a free termite inspection. You can also get your home under termite contract to prevent termite damage in the first place.
You may sometimes see armadillos on the roadside after a fatal encounter with an automobile. You may also see evidence of their presence in your yard or garden. Pest control strategies needs to include methods to manage these invaders. Understanding the animal and its habits can make critter control more effective, reducing or preventing the damage armadillos can cause to your property.
The nine-banded armadillo moved north out of Mexico in the late 1800s and was introduced into Florida by way of specimens that escaped from private zoos and traveling circuses. Its range has continued to expand northward but may be curtailed by climate. Armadillos have made a well established home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Armadillos have sharp claws that help them dig their dens. They prefer moist soil close to where they feed, often near creeks and other bodies of water. They have few natural predators in the United States, can live 12 to 15 years and reproduce quickly. Armadillos are nocturnal, usually coming out around dusk to dig for grubs and insects.
A single armadillo may have as many as 12 burrows in its territory. Individual burrows can measure up to eight inches wide, seven feet deep and as much as 25 feet long. Burrows have even been found to extend under the foundation of homes.
Pest control for armadillos often becomes necessary when they invade gardens and ornamental beds in their hunt for food or shelter. Telltale signs of their presence include uprooted but uneaten plants, holes in your yard and sometimes even damage to sidewalks or driveways caused by their burrowing activity. You may also see footprints or hear scraping sounds beneath structures.
Critter Control Strategies
Take a multifaceted approach to protecting your property from damage by armadillos to give you the best chance of success. Implementing these ideas can build a defense that achieves your objective.
1. Remove as many armadillo-tempting features as possible from your yard. Effective pest control involves making your property unattractive to armadillos. Characteristics that armadillos find enticing can include overgrown areas and wood piles that offer protection. Also trim shrubbery away from your house, and block entrances to areas under your house, porch or deck.
While the preferred diet of nine-banded armadillos consists of insects and grubs, they will occasionally eat some types of produce. If fallen fruit from plants or trees is left on the ground, it can provide a nice supplement to the armadillo diet. Clearing food sources and reducing opportunities to find shelter can be the first step in your campaign.
2. Determine the strategies to use. The effectiveness of different approaches is an important factor in deciding what to do next. Your particular situation and preferences also play a role in making this decision.
3. Maintain your armadillo-free yard. Once your armadillo infestation is under control, you’ll want to make sure you don’t erode the progress you’ve made. These ideas can reduce the effects of these animals' damage and help you make their return unlikely:
Armadillos may be funny critters to watch, but they can be trouble for a yard or garden. Their burrowing as well as their eating habits makes pest control an important component of maintaining your property and preserving its value. If you need pest control service in Baton Rouge, contact us today.
Spiders have long been cast as monsters and arch villains, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasies to the 1950s-era giant tarantula to Rod Serling’s sinister visions in “Night Gallery.” Spiders, however, do much good for your environment. They play a big role in managing the pest population in and around your home, and their webs are marvels to behold. Southern Louisiana, with its warm, moist climate, attracts bugs of all sorts, including numerous types of spiders. Some of these have venom that can harm humans. If you are concerned about populations in and around your property, talk to Baton Rouge pest control professionals about spider control. There is no need to panic, though, once you understand more about these retiring creatures. Here are a few words about spider behavior and a rundown of the three most dangerous poisonous spiders of Louisiana.
Spiders are not aggressive. In fact, they want to cloister themselves away from humans and other disturbances so they can quietly construct a web, catch food, mate, and generally carry on with life. They do not go out to hunt and attack humans. In fact, they want to avoid you as much as you wish to stay away from them.
Sometimes, though, accidental contact occurs. Spiders prefer dark places, including shoes, drawers, nooks, and corners. Pay attention to your environment before sticking your hands or feet anywhere. Take a moment to look around you, carefully shake out your shoes, and watch where you are reaching. Most types are not poisonous spiders, but three species in southern Louisiana are dangerous to humans.
The Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) is typically different shades of brown in color, though variations can range from whitish to blackish gray. These spiders usually have a marking near their head resembling a violin, leading to other common names such as brown fiddler, violin spider, and fiddleback spider. Many other spiders, however, have a similar look, so take care what you touch, and, if in doubt, leave it alone. Interestingly, the abdomen of the brown recluse has many short, fine hairs that look like soft fur. As the name implies, they look for dark, dry places that are quiet, such as:
They seek to avoid contact and confrontation with humans, often choosing to run rather than fight. However, if they are cornered and cannot escape and feel threatened, they will bite. These poisonous spiders have venom that can cause significant injuries to skin tissue and may even lead to necrosis, or the premature death of living tissue cells.
If you are bitten, remain calm. Put the wound under cold water or ice, and get medical attention. You can start with poison control, but brown recluse bites should be taken seriously, and you probably will want to see a doctor right away. The good news, though, is that the brown recluse lives up to its name. Watch where you are putting feet and hands, and do not touch any spider that you suspect might be a brown recluse.
Perhaps the most feared spider in the world, black widows get their name from the occurrence of sexual cannibalism, as females sometimes eat males after mating, though this behavior may not occur in all species of so-called widow spiders. Furthermore, their venom is not regularly fatal to humans, though death can sometimes occur, especially in young children and the elderly. Females are most often dark, often shiny black, with a distinctive red hourglass shape on their abdomens. They produce silk-like strands that are sticky, and female black widows like to build webs near the ground or in holes burrowed out by animals. Generally, they seek dark, noiseless places where they will not be readily disturbed, like:
Though they are poisonous spiders, black widows are not aggressive. They will not seek out humans to attack them. However, they will bite if they are startled and feel their life is threatened. Black widow bites can be painful when they do occur, and the venom contains a substance that can affect the human nervous system. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, muscle spasms, and intense muscular pain. Antivenom can alleviate some of the pain and mitigate other potential dangers. If bitten, apply a cold compress to the site and get medical help right away.
Brown widows are thought to have originated in South Africa, but scientists are not certain. They have migrated to tropical regions around the world. They compete with black widows, and while not as poisonous as their cousins, they are more aggressive. They are interlopers, and only time will tell how the growing population of brown widow spiders affects the ecosystem. Brown widows often nest around buildings.
These poisonous spiders are varying shades of brown in color and sport a bright orange or yellow hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen. Their venom, like the black widow’s, is also a neurotoxin, though the effect of brown widow venom is usually limited to the bite location and the nearby tissue, while the black widow’s venom creates systemic problems. Nonetheless, their bites should be taken seriously. If bitten, call poison control and, if necessary, seek medical attention.
The Bottom Line on Louisiana’s Poisonous Spiders
Brown widows may be the most aggressive of Louisiana’s three most poisonous spiders, but even they will not actively hunt humans and attack them. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in obvious places where these spiders might be, such as around piles of wood and rubble, in dark corners of sheds, basements, and garages, and under stones. Gently check shoes for any unexpected inhabitants, and look where you are reaching and putting your hands. These spiders only bite if you surprise them and they feel endangered. It is common sense, really. However, if you are concerned about growing populations, you may want to talk to Baton Rouge pest control experts about spider control. Respect their environment, teach children to look but not touch, and these spiders will likely, in turn, leave you alone.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.