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.
There are plenty of things to love about fall in New Orleans. However, while autumn in the city can bring fun times and pleasant weather, it also brings a new group of bugs and pests to worry about. Where moist conditions in the spring and summer create ideal environments for roaches and mosquitoes, the dryer weather in the fall is ideal for spiders, rodents and other insects that like to create nest-like homes in attics and other typically dark spaces. Worst of all, these pests have had the entire summer to breed and build their population before emerging in the fall. Their high numbers mean homeowners must be aggressive when it comes to fall pest and rodent control. What types of pests should you be on the look out for come fall in the city? Here are a few of the worst offenders.
It’s a well-known fact that rodents are some of the city’s most despised residents. In fact, one 2016 report ranked New Orleans top in the nation for rat and general pest infestations. The common house mouse is a main offender, taking up residence in the walls and basements of New Orleans homes in the fall and winter. As the weather cools down, these critters like to sneak into buildings through cracks in the foundation, window gaps and the like. They need no more than a quarter inch of space to get into your home in some cases. Once inside, they can quickly wreak havoc as they chew and shred up everything from paper to furniture to wiring. They can gnaw holes into walls and in extreme cases can even weaken a home’s infrastructure. Take the first steps toward rodent control by:
While those steps can provide a good start, mice can be notoriously difficult to get rid of both because of their rapid reproduction and how tricky they can be to catch. This and the dangers associated with their waste makes it a good idea for homeowners to leave rodent control to New Orleans pest control experts.
Fall is a prime mating season for spiders, which means they are more likely than ever to come out of hiding and cross your path. Southern Louisiana is home to more than 16 different types of spider, including the black widow and brown recluse spiders with bites that can be fatal to humans. That makes a spider problem more than a creepy inconvenience and as important as rodent control.
Spiders typically prey on small insects. When those pests come into your home seeking warmth and food in the fall, spiders have a tendency to follow them. Some of their favorite homes include attics, crawlspaces and basements. Because spiders aren’t much interested in human food, wiping down counters, disposing of trash and other typical pest prevention efforts aren’t likely to work. Instead, focus on:
Because of the unique threats some species of spiders can present, consider asking about experience with spider extermination when choosing a New Orleans pest control expert for general critter and rodent control.
At less than an inch long, the common clothes moth might not seem like a major threat. But it can cause a lot of damage to personal property, as countless New Orleans homeowners discover each year. These cream-colored menaces like to feed on just about any fabric item, especially wool and cashmere. The insects aren’t necessarily more plentiful in the fall, but they are more likely to be noticed around then, as homeowners pull cardigans and other thicker clothing out of storage boxes. When you notice tiny, unexplainable holes in your favorite shirt or fall pants, these moths are a likely culprit. The fall, when you’re likely packing up summer clothes, is a great time to address these pests. You can fight back by:
Like rodent control, moth control can help you avoid damage to your personal property.
Termites are a known problem in New Orleans, particularly in the French Quarter. What many people don’t realize is that termites cause trouble year-round, even when you can’t see them. These wood-chewers don’t hibernate. Instead, they prefer to dwell in a warm area that’s roughly 75 degrees. As the temperatures cool down outside and warm up inside, more and more of these creatures are likely to show up in your home, where they can destroy its infrastructure with shocking speed. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t provide any funding or help with termite eradication in private homes. That leaves it up to you, the homeowner, to take steps to keep them out of your house. Take action by:
Termites present one of the most destructive and challenging pest menaces in the city. It’s a good idea when you are investing in rodent control or other pest prevention to ask your specialist about their specific experience with these creatures.
The fall months can bring a welcome respite from some of the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer. But the change of seasons may also bring new types of pest headache. When fair-weather pests are ruining your autumn, consider calling a pest management expert to provide the rodent control and general extermination to help you reclaim the season.
Southern Louisiana, with its warm, subtropical climate, is a favorite spot for vacationers. It is also a prime destination for insects. They thrive in the moist climate, and the topography provides many places for them to live. Like humans, insects want to be left alone to find shelter, eat food, mate, and raise young. When the worlds of humans and insects collide, though, some biting and stinging bugs will defend themselves, however reluctantly. In certain cases, you may want to consider pest control services. In southern Louisiana, it is a good idea to ask this important question: Will it bite?
In short, yes. However, mosquitoes do not actually bite. Rather, female mosquitoes insert a straw-like mouthpart through and under your skin in order to feed. Your body instantly reacts to a substance the mosquito releases just beneath your skin, and your immune system kicks into action. It sends histamine, which makes blood vessels swell, causing the characteristic bumps you see after a close encounter with a mosquito. Nearby nerves become irritated from the swollen vessels, resulting in an itching sensation.
Not likely. In general, termites feast upon wood rather than humans. Soldier termites, though, can become biting bugs if they feel they are under attack. Therefore, bites from these termites only happen when they are severely threatened. This is a case where it is best to leave these insects alone and hire professional for termite pest control.
Yes. After a tick gets on your body, it generally settles in your hair, armpit, or groin. It will get comfortable and begin to take in blood, growing larger as it feeds. The tick may gorge for days, or in some cases weeks, before releasing its hold and falling off. Once attached, ticks do not roam around, nor does one tick make multiple bites. The best way to know if you have received a bite from a tick is to search your body. Ticks are generally harmless, but they can pose a danger to those who are allergic to them. Some ticks also carry viruses that can cause debilitating illnesses.
Unlikely. Spiders are not aggressive bugs. They only bite when they are feeling threatened. In fact, they do not want to have contact with you any more than you want to with them, and they will only bite in cases of accidental contact, such as a human reaching into a nook where a spider is hiding. Most spiders’ fangs cannot penetrate human skin. More sensitive individuals could sometimes experience localized swelling, redness, and pain should a bite occur when there is inadvertent contact (during the night while sleeping, for example), but many humans would not even notice a bite.
There are more than 3,000 species of spiders throughout the United States, with only three of these considered dangerous to humans. All three of those species are found in Louisiana:
The best rule to avoid these bugs is to look before sticking your hand anywhere. Pay attention to your surroundings. One of the names says it all: recluse. These spiders want to find quiet places, and they only bite if they feel severely threatened. Leave them alone, and they are more than happy to return the favor.
Probably not. So-called stink bugs are vegetable and fruit eaters, and they usually do not bother humans. Like other insects such as termites, they only bite if they feel severely threatened.
Not likely. Cockroaches are generally not biting bugs. They may bite humans only in cases of severe food depletion, and even then they only target people who are sedentary.
Yes. Ants do bite. However, each species has its own type of “attack.” Sugar ants sometimes bite humans in defense, but their bites usually do not cause pain. Carpenter ants, however, can inflict painful bites if they are feeling threatened. Fire ants also bite, but it is their sting that has become infamous. They bite in order to grip their prey securely, then begin to sting. Fire ants can build huge mounds from which they swarm out if disturbed. They have been known to harm and even kill livestock.
No. Bees are not biting bugs but rather stinging insects. Female bees are the ones that can sting. When a honeybee stings, however, it pays the ultimate price: Its stinger becomes embedded in the human’s skin, and the bee dies. Queen bees retain their stingers and can sting multiple times, but they seldom venture out in the open and encountering one is not likely.
Bumblebees are not hostile. When a female bumblebee feels severely threatened, though, it will caution you up to three times before stinging by raising and then straightening its middle legs and displaying its stinger. If you see this, back away from the bee, and it will not bother you. If a bumblebee is driven to sting, it retains its stinger and so does not die.
No. Like bees, wasps are not biting bugs; they sting. Only the females attack humans, and their stingers do not detach, allowing them to sting multiple times during an assault. Like most insects, they become violent only to defend themselves when they feel they are in danger. They will not bite humans, but they can bite prey or objects when building a nest.
No, but some sting. For example, the large American Dagger Moth is safe enough, but its caterpillars are bristly and will give anyone who gets too close an uncomfortable sting. Generally, if in doubt, do not touch.
Insect Etiquette 101
Just like humans, insects in southern Louisiana want to feel safe while they go about their daily activities. Most biting bugs and stinging insects are not aggressive in themselves, as long as you respect their spaces and do not provoke them. In some cases, however, such as termite infestations, you may want to engage pest control professionals to prevent costly damage to your home or business. Other species, such as mosquitoes and ticks, feed on blood and will seek you out. A good rule is to leave insects alone and show consideration for their habitats, and teach children to do the same. The best way to coexist with insects is to carefully look but do not touch, and chances are they will not harm you.
Whether you own a home, rental home or apartment complex in the area, pest control should be one investment that you don’t skimp on. Because of Louisiana’s humidity, high temperatures and dense population, pests love the Bayou State, and it’s not uncommon for residents to deal with cockroaches, love bugs, mites and mosquitos on an almost daily basis. Another pest that residents have to be on the lookout for is the wolf spider.
Identifying Wolf Spiders
Spider control in Louisiana begins with understanding the wolf spider and specifically, what it looks like. The wolf spider is a fairly large arachnid that has the potential to grow up to two inches in diameter. It is covered in orangish-brown fur and has stripes or spots that give it a camouflaged look. Its eight eyes are arranged in three rows, with the two medium-sized eyes on top, the two largest centered right in the middle and the four smallest eyes lined in a neat little row on the bottom. Like all spiders, the wolf spider has eight legs, but its two front legs stick out in front, giving this species more of a crap-like appearance than spider-like. Like its namesake, the wolf spider chases and leaps after its prey, a thought that could give even the most spider-tolerant individuals a chill.
Because of its large, hairy and overall unique appearance, the wolf spider strikes a lot of fear into peoples’ hearts, but the truth is that the species is not all that dangerous. While its bite does hurt, unlike the bite of the brown recluse or the black widow, it’s not potentially deadly. It can, however, be hazardous to those who are allergic.
Baton Rouge pest control experts know how to identify grown wolf spiders from other species that may look similar. Better yet, they can identify the young, which look significantly different than adult spiders, and employ proper spider control measures to eliminate existing wolf spider infestations and prevent future ones.
Understanding Wolf Spider Habits
In addition to being able to identify the wolf spider, professionals have made a study of wolf spider behavior and habits. Wolf spiders, unlike many other species of spider, can be found all across the U.S. This is because the wolf spider doesn’t need specific conditions to thrive; it simply needs insects to feed on. Because most insects are found in wide open spaces or bustling communities, this species of spider is typically found in wide open areas, in large cities and on farmlands. They can also be in wood piles, leaf piles and other ground clutter.
Like most insects, the wolf spider is most active during the warmer times of year. This makes places like Louisiana an ideal breeding ground for them, as Louisiana is almost always warm. Because the wolf spider can remain active year-round in the Bayou State, it’s important for property owners to invest in year-round pest control. Without routine spider control, your home is at increased risk of an infestation.
Different from many species of spider, the wolf spider does not spin webs to capture its prey. Rather, it hunts, like the wolf it is named for. Like many mammalian predators, the wolf spider goes out at night and hunts down prey, usually smaller bugs and insects. When it spots its meal, it chases it. When on the hunt, the wolf spider can perform impressive feats, including climbing and swimming. Because it is a hunter, the wolf spider relies on its vision rather than its other senses, as most other arachnids do.
Controlling the Wolf Spider
Because it is not a stationary spider and is quicker and agile than most other bug species, the wolf spider is surprisingly difficult to control. Moreover, these arachnids are generally loners, making it difficult for pest control experts to identify infestations. For this reason, it’s important to work with a pest control expert who has experience in controlling the wolf spider.
Many house pests can be killed by setting out poison that can be passed from one bug to the next. However, because the wolf spider does not eat bait or socialize with other bugs, it can be difficult to get that poison into its system. Instead, wolf spiders are eradicated via direct contact. This can be either physical or chemical, but if you suspect that you have a wolf spider infestation, chemical is likely the best way to go.
Before spider control measures can be implemented, your pest control team will need to block off any entrances to your home. It is counterproductive to kill off one spider only to leave an opening for others to enter. The pest control team you hire may seal off any gaps, crevices, cracks or other openings in your home’s structure through which a wolf spider can crawl. They may recommend that you seal your windows as well. You may be asked to get rid of debris piles in or around your home, as wolf spiders tend to seek shelter in chaos.
Once structural modifications are made and debris piles cleaned up, your pest control team may proceed to bomb your house with either chemicals or a fogger. This serves to eliminate existing spiders and unhatched eggs. It is important to note that a fogger will not prevent new spiders from entering the home, which is why the aforementioned modifications are necessary.
If your goal is to eliminate wolf spiders from your property entirely, talk to your Baton Rouge pest control team about spraying beneath your windows, around the foundation of your home and outside of entrances. If necessary, a member of the team may need to spray directly into cracks and crevices. Such measures are best handled by professionals who know where and how to apply them, as pesticides used incorrectly can be bad for your health and the health of other residents.
Investing in Spider Control in Baton Rouge
Though the wolf spider is not necessarily dangerous to the average person, dealing with a bug infestation is never fun — especially when that bug can grow to be two inches in diameter. If you don’t want to want to deal with the fearsome wolf spider on your property, work with a Baton Rouge pest control team year-round. The right team can easily identify this arachnid and take measures to keep your home spider-free year-round.
9 Surprising Facts About Common Spiders
Spiders can be a pest that many people would rather not see at all. From spindly, long-legged arachnids to furry jumping spiders, they can be startling and just plain gross-looking. Luckily, Baton Rouge pest control services can help keep them from overtaking your home. Learning a few interesting facts about these eight-legged arachnids can help make them seem a little less frightening. Next time you encounter an intrusive spider in your home, you can feel well informed about these nine spider facts.
1. Spiders can be beneficial to the environment
Spiders can be an important part of many ecosystems. They work to both control the insect population and act as a food source for other animals such as fish and birds. That being said, spiders in your home probably won’t do much more than irritate you and can, in some rare cases, pose a risk to your safety. Keeping spiders outdoors where they belong can be accomplished with the help of Baton Rouge pest control.
2. Spiders can be found nearly everywhere
The world is full of thousands of species of spiders, with arachnids known to be living on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. Whether you are outside or inside, you’re usually never more than a couple of feet away from a spider and it can be estimated that around one million spiders can live on an acre of land. While these might be startling facts for anyone who isn’t a fan of these creepy crawlers, it can help to put it in perspective just how common arachnids are. Generally, spiders stay hidden away out of sight from nearby humans, but if you’re starting to see them regularly in your home, then it might be time to look into Baton Rouge pest control.
3. Spider species common to Louisiana are diverse
From average, run-of-the-mill house spiders to frightening black widows, Louisiana can be home to a number of diverse spider species. While certain species, such as cobweb spiders and jumping spiders are commonly found indoors, others, such as spotted orb weavers and yellow garden spiders, are generally only found outside.
4. Spiders bites are not always deadly
While almost every species of spider has some form of venom that it uses to kill prey, many do not have the ability to cause any real harm to humans. Spider bites can be a rare occurrence that is usually not life-threatening. Despite the fact that most are harmless, there are a few dangerous species that should be avoided.
Dangerous species can include:
● Black Widows
● Brown Widows
● Brown Recluses
Baton Rouge pest control can help you to lower the risk of dangerous spiders in your home, but if you suspect that you have been bitten by one of these species, it can be best to get medical help as soon as possible. While dangerous to everyone, the venom can be especially threatening to elderly individuals and children.
5. Spider webs are incredibly strong
While anyone who has dusted webs out of the corners of their home may not believe it, the silk spiders produce can actually be one of the world’s strongest natural materials. It can be hard to notice because of the small size of spider silk strands, but webs can be substantially stronger than steel.
Spider silk actually starts out in liquid form and hardens when air contacts it. Because the webs can easily fill up with dust and other debris, spiders often have to rebuild, leaving behind the abandoned silk that is commonly known as cobwebs. Pest control can be a good investment if you find that your home is being taken over by these messy webs. While many spiders leave behind cobwebs, some may roll old webs into balls and eat the leftover silk.
6. Spider muscles work differently from most other creatures
It can be a commonly observed fact that a dead spider’s legs automatically curl inwards. This can be because spider’s leg muscles are powered hydraulically. Strangely enough, the muscles only have the ability to curl in. To move their legs out, spider’s bodies pump the limbs with liquid. When spiders move, they will generally have four legs on the ground and four legs off the ground for each step.
7. Spider blood is blue
Spiders bodies do not absorb oxygen the same way that most larger creatures do. In most animals, the part of the blood that absorbs oxygen contains iron, which turns the blood red. In spiders, the oxygen binds to a molecule that contains copper instead, reacting to give their blood it’s unique blue color.
8. Spiders can be a lot scarier than they should be
If you are terrified of spiders, or even just a little creeped out by them, then you are not alone! The fear of spiders, known as arachnophobia, can be incredibly common, especially in North America and Europe. Despite the widespread fear inspired by spiders, they are generally harmless and don’t need to be something you worry about all too much. Baton Rouge pest control can help give you a little extra reassurance that you won’t have too many frightening encounters with arachnids in your home.
9. Spiders don’t have to be something you live with
As interesting as they can be, spiders don’t have to be something you deal with on a daily basis. Spider control can be entirely possible in most homes. If you live in either Baton Rouge or New Orleans, Bug Ninja Pest Control can help you to take measures to get rid of spiders. You can save yourself from having to worry about dangerous spider bites, nasty spider sightings, and obnoxious cobwebs by keeping arachnids out.
Spiders can have several interesting traits that can make them unique. Their bodies function differently from other creatures, and their webs can be one of the strongest materials on the planet. While spiders can be frightening as well as incredibly common, it can be important to keep in mind that they are usually not a big threat to your safety. Learning a bit more about them should help to lessen any arachnophobia you may be suffering, and Bug Ninja Pest Control can help you take care of the practical task of getting them out of your house.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.