Encounters between people and spiders are usually accidental and bites are a response by the spider when its web or nest (or the spider itself) is disturbed. Most spiders produce venom therefore, they could be considered “poisonous.” The venom is stored in glands that empty into the spider’s fangs or chelicerae. For the most part, spider bites are insignificant. However, just as bee and wasp stings may trigger allergic reactions in some people, the same can be true for spider bites. Young children, the elderly and hypersensitive individuals are more likely to react more strongly to a spider bite.
Web-building spiders are most likely to show up in areas where insects are abundant; e.g., woodpiles, around porch lights, windows or water sources (such as water spigots). On occasion, you will find spiders on objects or in areas that have been left undisturbed which may include sandboxes or even children’s toys. Check these items periodically for signs of spiders.
Finding a large number of spiders indoors usually means that there is an ample supply of insects and other “spider food” in the area. Any real attempts to get rid of spiders should focus on eliminating the insects upon which spiders prey:
—Sanitation requires the reduction or elimination of conditions that attract insects; e.g., high moisture and ready access to food of some sort.
—Exclusion: Find the entry points used by both insects and spiders and seal or close these areas.
—Knocking down and removing webbing, or mechanically removing/killing the spiders.
—Vacuum the areas along baseboards, in corners and under and behind furniture.
—Clean bookshelves periodically.
If you’re concerned that more spiders will show up or hatch from an unseen egg sac (they probably will), then—if you know what you’re doing—you could carefully apply an insecticide along baseboards, in corners, and inside storage closets.
Crawlspaces are often attractive environments for spiders. Simply setting off foggers (“bug bombs”) is not likely to be effective and can be hazardous particularly if you contaminate your air-conditioning system. Crawlspace treatments are best left to pest-control professionals.
If you’re concerned, call us!
Adult red imported fire ants are reddish to dark brown. They are “polymorphic,” meaning that a colony will contain ants of different sizes ranging from 1/16” to 3/16”. The workers perform different jobs such as tending the queen and “brood,” maintaining the nest, and gathering food. Some of the workers serve as “soldiers” which protect the colony. At certain times of the year (mostly spring and summer), you will find winged males (which are small and black in color) and winged females (about 1/3-inch long).
Fire ants are small but highly aggressive. They inject a necrotizing, alkaloid venom when they sting. The stings result in painful, itchy, and persistent pustules, and sometimes in severe allergic reactions. Five million people are stung each year in the southeastern United States. About 25,000 of these people require medical consultation. When a fire ant mound is disturbed, workers boil to the surface, run up any legs, arms, etc., in the vicinity, grab the victim’s skin in their mandibles and sting synchronously in response to the slightest movement. The attacks are coordinated and dozens or even hundreds of workers sting in unison.
Fire ants live in colonies that may have 100,000 to 500,000 ants. The queen of the colony can lay from 1500 to 5000 eggs per day, never leaves the nest and can live for many years. Worker ants take care of the queen and her eggs, build the nest, defend the colony, and find food. Preferred food of fire ants consists of protein-rich sources such as insects and seeds. Winged male and female ants fly from the colony in the spring and summer to mate in the air. The males die and the females become queens that start new colonies.
While fire ants are typically an outdoor problem, disturbances during/after severe weather may bring them indoors in search of food or even “dry land” and, unfortunately, into closer contact with people. Worker ants forage for nearby food sources by traveling through underground tunnels that extend out from the mound and then onto the soil surface.
Here are some suggestions to follow if you find fire ants in your area:
— Watch where you step when clearing debris in yards.
— When eating outside, keep all food and drinks covered while they are not being eaten.
— Dispose of food in garbage bags and trashcans.
— Keep trashcans covered and, preferably, away from your house.
— Indoors, do not leave food exposed on tables, counter tops, or floors (in the case of dry pet foods).
–Keep shrubs and other vegetation pruned away from buildings so that ants can’t use them as a “bridge” to avoid treated areas.
Give us a call—we’d love to treat your property to help you control these little mobile fire bombs!
STINK BUGS ARE REALLY STINKERS – The stink bug feeds on a variety of hosts in the landscape. They also attack fruit trees (ornamental or otherwise). They may inflict leaf and fruit damage by feeding with their needle-like mouthparts.
Perhaps the biggest problem for homeowners is when hordes of the little stinkers seek shelter in homes and structures, similar to the behavior of the multicolored Asian lady beetle. Stink bugs don’t harm people, but can give off a very unpleasant odor when crushed or vacuumed.
Barrier exclusion is very important. Seal and caulk areas that may give access to the wall or house. If this is not completely successful and stink bugs are still entering your home, seal or caulk around baseboards, windowsills, and any points where you see them invading your castle. When vacuuming up the little devils, some people use a dedicated shop vac to avoid stinking up their household vacuum cleaners.
–Adjust or install tight-fitting sweeps or thresholds at the bottom of exterior doors.
–Install weather stripping around other parts of the doorframe.
–Seal utility openings where air conditioner pipes, phone, cable TV and other wires enter the foundation and siding. Holes can be plugged with caulk, cement, urethane foam, or copper mesh.
–Caulk around windows, doors, siding and fascia boards.
–Keep window screens in good condition and install insect screening behind attic gable vents.
Give us a call—we’d love to treat your property to help you control these little mobile stink bombs!
We may still be in winter, but you can’t go wrong with proper planning for spring. Part of that plan should include an audit of your current pest control efforts to ensure warming weather doesn’t equal free room and board for nasty pests.
While dozens of pests can be problematic during springtime, here are four pest families to be acutely aware of:
While honeybees provide mostly positive benefits to lawns and gardens, some next of kin can be dangerous to your home and health. Wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets are common in the Southern United States, often nesting in trees, gutters, and even home attics. This proves to be challenging and expensive, as nest removal / relocation can be complicated to prevent painful stings.
Few things cause more uneasiness than knowing your home is infested with fleas. As your cats and dogs enjoy more time in the sun, so grow their chances of picking up parasitic hitchhikers. Fleas are hard to spot due to their small size (roughly 3mm) and can cause widespread havoc if they’re given the opportunity to breed indoors. Female fleas can lay up to 5,000 eggs during their lifespan, which is only a few months.
Having an ant problem is no picnic. There are an estimated 22,000 species of ants in the world, of which a few (namely fire ants and carpenter ants) are particularly problematic for the Southeastern United States. Ants a hearty and resilient — queens can live up to 30 years or more, and worker ants can live a few years to boot. Fighting an ant infestation requires proper perimeter protection as well as thorough detection and treatment of problem spots and ant mounds.
As the winter cold starts melting away, spiders will stretch their eight hairy legs and mobilize to find places to hunt and nest. Problem spots include cluttered areas, damp indoor spots, and dark corners. North America is home to 3,000+ spider species, a few of which are particularly venomous. Just clearing cobwebs won’t do the trick!
Want to ensure your home is ready and protected for spring? Contact ClearDefense Pest Control for a free consultation.
Though pests come and go with varying frequency throughout the year, there is no such thing as a “season” for pest control. Pests are ever-present; lurking, waiting for an opportunity to build a home on your property.
Wintertime brings about an influx in rodent activity indoors simply because mice and rats favor the warmth and safety of a cozy house over brutal cod. Depending on region, you’ll likely also see more stinkbugs, ladybugs, and select other critters.
As Mother Nature begins to thaw, ant populations will begin stirring. With blooming flowers come bees, wasps, and spiders. You’ll also see an influx in flies and mosquitos, particularly if you live in damp areas or near a body of water. Any and all of the above can result in major problems (including potential health risks) if left untreated.
One important takeaway is to remember is that pest control is a year-round exercise. Proper prevention for springtime pests needs to begin in the winter unless you want to deal with a potential infestation when temperatures rise. Further, you can’t forget to continue home maintenance to ensure proper wintertime pest control.
It can be a juggling act if you’re not careful, as each season brings about its own challenges and requirements. While you won’t be constantly monitoring for cobwebs in the dead of winter, you’ll need to actively maintain your home and clear clutter to ensure spiders won’t have an easy transition inside as spring rolls about. The same holds true for rodents in that winter stowaways will become more active in search for food, and therefore more apt to scurry around.
To ensure you’re ready for all seasons, it’s recommended to have routine preventative maintenance on your home: filling gaps, fixing cracks, sealing leaks, clearing clutter, and the like. For active prevention, we also recommend an ongoing pest control arrangement with a professional team like ClearDefense Pest Control. This will include regular inspections, monitoring, and assistance should a pest issue arise.
Contact ClearDefense Pest Control today for a free consultation to discuss your home or office needs. It’s never too late to consider a pest control solution!
At ClearDefense Pest Control, we invite you to join us in a New Year’s pledge to prevent pests from invading your home or office. The pledge is simple and straightforward, and might help save your home from unwanted guests.
In 2018 …
I promise to keep my yard clean and protect my perimeter
It’s an acquired taste to enjoy mowing the lawn, clearing brush, and trimming overgrowth. The reality though, is that a clean yard minimizes chances of unwanted pests. A disheveled yard provides ample hiding and a safe haven for pesky critters. Keep hedges trimmed, clean up the wood pile (or rotting trees), and monitor for unsolicited activity.
I promise to check my home quarterly for cracks, loose siding, and entry gaps
Your home is only as safe as your siding. A single crack can be a welcome sign for various pests of all sizes — rodents, bugs, snakes, and more. Ensure gaps are sealed and paths to entry are minimized. Regular maintenance can mitigate long-term damage and improve property value to boot.
I promise to minimize clutter in my garage every month
When’s the last time you used those golf clubs? Do you really need to have those old tools piled in the corner? Clutter is home sweet home to spiders and other creepy-crawlies. Keep everything clean and dry with preventative maintenance and the chances of infestation reduce drastically. For extra protection, lay down bug or mouse traps in high-risk areas such as under workbenches or dimly lit areas.
I promise to stay proactive with routine inspections
While ClearDefense Pest Control offers thorough home inspections, we want you — the homeowner — to stay alert too. You don’t need a professional exterminator to check spackling or caulking, nor do you need an expert to identify a hole in the roof. Mark your calendars and take an hour out of your day to ensure your home is not susceptible to risk. If you need us, we’re happy to help!
I promise to ask for help if I need it
It’s not always easy to ask for help, but sometimes you must. In this case, we’re pest control specialists who alleviate infestations and keep your home and yard protected around the clock.
Want to schedule preventive maintenance in 2018? Contact us today for a quote.
Gettin’ chilly, isn’t it? Pests think so too.
Overwintering pests like to nuzzle up in your home during the winter months. It’s a straightforward relationship — it’s cold, so these critters want to come inside where it’s warm. Winter months may drag along with no obvious signs of infestation, but as the temperatures rise, effects of their stay may materialize in the form of damage.
While it is true that many common pests cause less damage during winter, it is also important to stay proactive and alert. Here’s a short list of common overwintering critters that you’ll want to avoid.
While a welcome sight in gardens, ladybugs (also known as ladybirds) can leave stains and foul-smelling fluids in your home.
These loud creatures can keep you up at night. Larger varieties can even prove a bit frightening if they catch you at an inopportune time. These insects are oftentimes food for other household pests, so catch them while you can.
Moths can damage clothing or furniture, and are notorious for hiding in dark corners, enclosed spaces, and other hard-to-reach areas.
Rats and mice repopulate quickly and can damage electrical wiring and wooden furniture. They can also carry diseases and contaminate food in short order.
Here’s how to prevent an overwintering pest infestation:
- Call a professional exterminator service like ClearDefense Pest Control
- Ensure cracks, entry points, siding and windows are properly sealed
- Tidy up inside and out. Minimizing clutter reduces attractants and hiding spots
- Fix leaks and clean up damp areas of your home
If you encounter a pest problem this winter, don’t fret. Contact ClearDefense Pest Control for a free service quote.
Identifying a mouse problem isn’t always as easy as cartoons make it seem. There’s not always a perfectly shaped hole in the wall, nor is the rodent in question considered harmless. Mice carry diseases and can cause substantial damage to property. Additionally, the winter months can drive them indoors as they seek shelter, so now is the time to consider preventive measures to protect your family and property.
Signs of rodents
There’s a trail of clues when a pest invades your home, and some evidence is easier to identify than others. With mice, there are few telltale signs that are cut and dry:
- Droppings. Granular in shape. More droppings means more mice.
- Nests. Mice will create makeshift nests with supplies they find laying around.
- Gnawing marks. Mice like to chew on wood, piping and sometimes even electrical wiring.
Other signs aren’t always clear:
- Outdoor holes or cracked siding. Is this a result of Mother Nature or a furry fiend? Look for gnaw/scratch marks, loose dirt surrounding the area, or droppings.
Dealing with mice in your home
While it is recommended to consult a professional for infestations, you can use bait boxes and traps to take care of most routine mouse problems. One common mistake when using traps is the bait becomes “tainted” with a human scent, which alerts mice to keep clear. Do not handle bait with your bare hands. For bait, use peanut butter instead of cheese.
Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to find just one mouse in your house — that’s because they reproduce quickly and can hide nearly anywhere due to their small size and flexibility.
Ensure food is properly stored and there’s no clutter left on the floor. Rodents will take any available opportunity to eat, nest, and reproduce. Cut off their food and shelter supply to shorten their stay.
Remember: rodent control is a two-pronged approach. You have to eliminate the active pests, and also prevent future pests from making a home in yours.
Are you encountering rodent issues in your home or office? Contact ClearDefense Pest Control for help.
Yes, it’s true that the winter months provide a much-needed reprieve from many household and lawn-faring pests. But some pests just don’t know when to quit, and may actually revel in the cold if you’re not careful.
Here are three pests that can thrive in the winter months.
Just when you thought your walls were safe for winter. Hollywood dramatics aside, termites can thrive during cold snaps simply because they’re out of sight, and therefore out of mind. Subterranean colonies remain active year-round, though the cooler months may slow down activity in most regions. In Southern states, termites continue laying eggs, tunneling, and foraging at nearly the same rate as other months. Regular monitoring is recommended to ensure these critters don’t flourish. Keep an eye on water-damaged areas and look out for mud tubes. Perimeter monitoring is recommended to ensure maximum protection.
Consider this a cautionary tale. Don’t let your guard down!
Feels good to snuggle up in a warm home, doesn’t it? Mice and rats feel the same way. These rodents aren’t simply destructive — they bite, potentially carry diseases that can harm your family and pets. They reproduce quickly, creating babies every few weeks. Proper precautions to prevent a rodent infestation include keeping food properly stored, floors and walls clean of clutter (which makes for a perfect hiding spot), and securing potential outside entranceways.
Look for cracked wood, door gaps, and holes in siding. For homes with an attached garage, make sure the door stays shut when possible.
As the weather chills out, stink bugs look for a spot to hibernate sans frostbite. That means your home or office is a prime target. Stink bugs are relatively small and therefore can navigate tiny cracks and crevices, so in addition to securing doors and windows, keep an eye out for loose paneling, window screens, cracked wood from the outside. Given that stink bugs are attracted to light, avoid leaving lights on overnight as it will serve as a beacon to nearby pests. If your home is overrun by these critters, be careful with vacuuming as their odor spreads easily. Cleanup is better suited by catching individual bugs and flushing.
If you encounter any of the above pests this winter, or are just looking to take preventative measures, give ClearDefense a call.
When it comes to awareness of your home, it’s crucial that you know what to look for as signs of a pest problem. Early detection is the most powerful defense you have against damage and destruction of your home, not to mention successfully eradicating the problem. So if you begin to notice any of these red flags, know that it’s time to call in an expert.
Chewed Up Wires or Furniture
Rodents attack anything they can get their hands, or rather teeth, on. If you’re noticing that there’s unexplained damage to your furniture, walls, or baseboards, that’s definitely a sign to keep track of. Additionally, if there are suddenly chewed through wires, damage to your insulation, or any other unexplained teeth marks in your home, be aware that it might point to a larger pest problem.
If you spot rodent droppings, cockroach droppings, or any other waste that might have come from pests, that’s a definite time to call a professional. If you’re noticing waste evidence of pests, the pest problem is probably past the introductory stages. Call an expert immediately and get your home inspected. You don’t want the problem to go any further.
If you’re noticing peeling or warped paint, that might be a sign of inner damage due to insects. Termites, carpenter ants, and other wood eating pests can nest in your walls and cause all kinds of damage invisible to the naked eye. If you notice that a section of your paint looks damaged or different from the rest of the wall, keep an eye on it and call a pest control technician. When it comes to the integrity of your home, you don’t want invisible damage weakening the infrastructure.
The pitter patter of little feet over head you’re hearing? Random squeaks or rustling when you turn on the lights in your basement? Don’t ignore the signs! Call a North Carolina pest control expert today!