Archive for the ‘Information, how-to, and things about pests’ Category

Ant: The Pavement Ant

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

One of the many varieties of ants is the pavement ant. This ant gets its name because it usually makes its home on or under pavement. When you see those little dirt looking mounds on the sidewalk or flushed up to the foundation of a building, those are where pavement ants hangout.

ant pavement ant

Here is a mound that pavement ants have built on a cracks of a side walk.

The piles of dirt are actually soil particles that they have moved from their colonies, usually the colonies are nearby or under the pavement where the mound is located. Pavement ants will make their colonies under things like sidewalks, building slabs, large rocks, wood, and or boards. Lawns and anywhere water might be are also popular spots for pavement ant colonies. As the pavement ants build their colonies they can become very territorial of them and during the spring there are often ant wars over territory on the sidewalks where they reside.

These pavement ants that go to war seem pretty scary, but for the most part they usually don’t bother people unless people bother them – for instance, destroying their mound on the sidewalk. Don’t forget ant bites are never fun to get.

ant pavement ant

Here is an up close image of the pavement ant.

Pavement ants are dark brown to black in color and are small, measuring about one-eighth of an inch long. Their body parts help distinguish that they are pavement ants too. They have an uneven thorax with 1 pair of spines, grooves on the thorax and head, and two pedicels that connect the thorax and abdomen. These traits are hard to see on such tiny insects, but are visible once you get up close. Another trait is that some of the pavement ants have wings. Like other ants, there are the workers, swarmers and Queen. In the pavement variety of ants the swarmers have wings, and are twice as large as the workers.

The swarmers are also the reproducers. They mate with the Queens who will bury her eggs in soil. Often the soil is the location for the new colony that this group of workers will help start. The swarmer’s only job is to mate with the Queen, and reproduction is at its highest in spring and summer. As the eggs hatch and the ants develop, they will spend that time about two to three months, tending to the Queen of their colony. Once the workers develop into adults they will continue helping the colony. One very important thing for workers to do is to get food.

ant pavement ant

These pavement ants are eating away at a sunflower seed shell, see they will eat anything.

The pavement worker ants leave the colony to find food. They will eat pretty much anything they can find, although they prefer things like greasy food, sweets, fruits, and insects — dead or alive. As they leave the colony in search of food, ants leave a trail behind them in order to know where to go back for more food and how to get back to the colony. Their journey in search of food can take the pavement ant up to 30 feet away from the colony. If there is a home, office, or restaurant within that 30 feet radius, the pavement ants may make their way into them to find a meal. This is usually the ant that people find in their kitchens, and so on. The pavement ant will really only go inside to find food, otherwise it stays outside.

Although depending on the location of the colony there are rare occasions that the pavement ants will migrate into homes for heat during the winter. If this does occur, the pavement ants will reside within walls, under floors, or inside insulation. So homeowners won’t really see that they are there, until they come out looking for food. This can become a problem as the pavement ants can contaminate the food with their waste. If you see pavement ants inside your home — no matter what season — call your local pest control company to get rid of the ants.

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Centipede: The House Centipede

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Centipedes are a gross thing to find in your house. Many times people find them near a water source, like a drain or a toilet. People usually assume that the centipede got there by crawling up through the drain pipe, but that actually is not true. Although centipedes do live in damp areas, they do not crawl around through pipes.

centipede house centipede

Looks like this centipede is trying to get off this chair. Notice how longs their legs are, yikes!

Centipedes are flat looking, and sometimes seem to be slimy. Their coloring is brown to gray, and have stripes on their body. They can be up to two inches long, and on that long body are even longer legs. The centipede has 15 pairs of long legs, equaling 30 legs on their whole body. Their legs are white banded. The pair of legs at the end of the body is the longest out of all 15 pairs; and, this last pair of legs is also antennae.

Even though the centipede isn’t the prettiest pest to look at it actually can be beneficial to have in or near your house. Centipedes eat other small insects like cockroaches, spiders, insect’s larvae, and flies. By eating these types of insects they are getting rid of the other pests, this can be a good thing for homeowners. Centipedes will usually come out to hunt for food in the evening and night time because they are nocturnal.

While inside a home the centipedes really do not cause damage. Also the centipede is harmless to people. It is very rare that a person would get bit by a centipede. They do have a pincher, but they are used for attacking prey and eating. If a centipede were to bite a person there would be some swelling and a stinging pain, but again being bitten by a centipede rarely happens.

The places to keep your eye out for centipedes are anywhere that is dark and or damp. If there are centipedes in your house they are usually found in places like, basements, bathrooms, closets, cabinets, cracks, crevices, garages, and or under firewood. So keep a look out! Although there are some things to do inside your home to help keep centipedes away like cleaning as much as possible and keeping areas dry, especially the areas where centipedes are most often found. A couple other things that will work to help get rid of centipedes are getting rid of their food supply, i.e. other small pests. So have your local pest control company come out regularly to service your house. Also you can lay sticky traps around your house to help catch them.

Throughout the year centipedes may be in your home, so always keep it clean and dry to help prevent centipedes even wanting to get into your home. The one time of the year centipedes might be more of a challenge is during the winter, when they will be coming inside to hibernate. Fortunately they do not reproduce while hibernating, but you still could have a large number of centipedes entering your home.

Once spring comes they will go outside in order to reproduce. While outside if you do come across any centipedes don’t try to kill them they are actually more beneficial outdoors than they are indoors, and should not be bothered. The only problem that can come from centipedes being outside is that if they make a home near your house they are more likely to go inside. Avoid this from happening by keeping any leave piles, composts, wood, or any organic matter away from the house. These items are better off in your yard or garden anyways, and so are the centipedes.

centipede house centipede

This centipede has found a great spot outside, hopefully he stays out there!

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Flies: The Cluster Fly

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

The cluster fly is a nuisance pest for homeowners. It does not bite people, carry diseases, no cause any real damage to a home. Cluster flies are about five-sixteenths of an inch long; they are gray with golden-toned hairs on their thorax. Spotting them is easy because they are usually all clustered together on walls outside, sunning themselves. This is also where their name comes from, because when resting they usually will be clustered near each other. The cluster flies are similar to many other pests as they just want to get inside houses to stay warm. With this in mind, the winter time is when people will most often find cluster flies inside their homes.

flies cluster fly

Here is a close up of a cluster fly.

In order to get inside homes, cluster flies search for any small openings outside that will get them into the house. Also when windows or doors are open, that becomes a great entry opportunity for the cluster flies. Cluster flies will start entering homes in the fall, as the weather begins to cool down. By the winter most cluster flies will now be hibernating within a warm home. While hibernating the cluster fly is not very active, so a homeowner might not even know they are there. Although there are occasions where the cluster flies will come out in the day to sun themselves. Even though the cluster flies are in a warm house, they still enjoy sunning themselves in actual sunlight. If homeowners were to spot them it would be near the windows of the home; otherwise they pretty much stay in their hibernation spots. The areas of a home that the cluster flies like to hibernate in are the attics and wall voids. The cluster fly is also known as an attic fly because that is their most popular spot to be found. Cluster flies also like to be higher up, hence the attic as a popular hibernation spot. Many times people may spot them in their attics because they all clustered together once they are in there. Seeing a big blackish looking spot in your attic might be frightening, but it is probably just cluster flies once you look up close. Once spring starts to turn the cluster flies will leave the house and venture back outside. Once outside again they will mate and eat, neither of which they do during hibernation.

Now that spring is here and the cluster flies are back outside mating will begin. The cluster flies reproduce very frequently. The females do not have to do much; all they do is mate then they lay the eggs. The eggs are laid in soil near earthworms. About three days later the eggs will hatch and the larvae will migrate towards the earthworms, and then burrow inside of the earthworms. The rest of the development is done inside the earthworm using it as a food source. Once fully developed the cluster fly will be on its own. This cycle will continue from the spring to the summer. During this time up to four generations or more can be made. As summer comes to an end and fall approaches the cluster flies will have to look for another home, or the same home, to hibernate in.

flies cluster fly

These cluster flies are sunning themselves outside, and are probably looking for entry points into the house at the same time.

Often times cluster flies find the entry points into homes on the exterior walls while sunning themselves throughout the year. As the weather gets cooler they will use these entry points to get inside a warm home. Then the cycle will just continue and repeat itself from hibernating to mating and so on.

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Wasps: Bald Faced Hornets Life Cycle

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The life cycle of the bald faced hornet also resembles that of the yellow jacket. These two wasps have many similarities, yet they have their differences that make them the creatures they are. Unlike the yellow jackets the bald faced hornets have just one colony that they all live in. Everything happens within the nest, from taking care of the Queen, the Queen laying eggs, feeding the larvae, and protecting the hive. The bald faced hornet is not a problem during the winter. This is due to the fact that usually the Queens are the only ones to survive during the winter because they hibernate during the winter. Then comes spring and the lives of the bald faced hornet will begin again. The bald faced hornet life cycle starts in spring when they will form a colony throughout the year, and then in winter the workers, drones, and old Queens will die; leaving just the new Queens alive so they can go hibernate.

  • Queens come out of hibernation, and select a new spot to make a nest.
  • Sometimes worker bald faced hornets may have survived the winter if they found a warm place to stay, but it is very rare.
  • The Queen will lay her eggs inside the nest.
  • Once the eggs hatch the workers will take over the care of the larvae.
  • Once the larvae have grown they will become workers, and help expand the nest; and help with all of the other worker bald faced hornet duties.
  • While the queen is inside the nest she lays more eggs. When these eggs hatch they become drones which are males who are just needed to reproduce and new Queens who will be the egg carriers into the following spring.
  • Once the drones and new queens mature they will mate, shortly after the drones will die.
  • The new Queen will then start to look for a place to hibernate. She likes to find a protective place such as attics, tree trunks, hollow trees, or underground to hibernate.
  • During the fall workers begin to dwindle away and die. The Queen will also dwindle away, as the new queen will be hibernating at this time.
  • Since the nest has been abandoned at this point it will decompose and disintegrate, this also occurs due to the weather.
  • Then when spring rolls around the cycle will just repeat itself.
  • Also a new nest is always built, the bald faced hornets will never go back into an old nest, yet they might build a new one very close to the old one.
wasps bald faced hornets life cycle

Here is a bald faced hornet nest that has been destroyed, yet there are still eggs and larvae inside. The white sacs are the larvae, and the yellow sacs are the eggs.

wasps bald faced hornet life cycle

Here is a bald faced hornet hatching!

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Wasps: Bald Faced Hornets Are Actually a Type of Wasp

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The bald faced hornet is actually a wasp, not a hornet. This variety of social wasp is similar to the yellow jacket. Like the yellow jacket, the bald faced hornets have a Queen whose entire purpose is to reproduce for the colony. The most obvious difference between the yellow jacket and the bald faced hornet is their coloring. The yellow jacket is bright yellow with black markings, while the bald faced hornet is black with white markings. The white markings are on the front of the head, and some at the end of the abdomen. The coloring alone makes the bald faced hornet stand out more than any other wasp. The body of the bald faced hornet is about three fourths of an inch long. Another similarity the yellow jacket and the bald faced hornet have is that they can sting a person repeatedly. Unlike most bees their stinger is smooth and will not break off, and can be used over and over again to sting people.

wasp bald faced hornet

Here is a bald faced hornet, notice the white markings on the body. There's no yellow on this type of wasp, so it confuses people.

The bald faced hornet colony is made up of the Queen, workers, drones, and new Queens. Their life cycle is also similar to the yellow jackets. Within the colony the workers protect the Queen, and work for her so she can reproduce. The workers are also in charge of foraging for food for everyone in the colony to eat. Bald faced hornets eat nectar, sap, honeydew, and over ripe fruit. Of course the worker bald faced hornet does more than watch over the Queen and find food, they are the busiest of all the bald faced hornets.

In most cases another duty that the worker usually has is stinging people, since the Queen stays safe inside the nest the workers are there to sting anyone or anything that may bother them. However, being stung by a bald faced hornet can for the most part be avoided. Bald faced hornets only sting a person when they feel threatened or their space has been invaded. The invasion of space usually occurs when a person tries to approach a bald faced hornet nest. They are very protective of their nests, and if a person comes within three feet of the nest the bald faced hornet will become defensive and start to attack. One job that a worker bald faced hornet has is to guard and protect the nest, so imagine how territorial they are. Not only that, but there can be up to 800 bald faced hornets in the nest at one time. You wouldn’t want to be the one to invade their space and upset 800 bald faced hornets.

The nest itself is made up of small pieces of wood particles that the bald faced hornets chew up; and a chemical in their saliva turns the wood into a paper like substance. The worker bald faced hornets then use the paper like material to build the nest. The nest can grow as round as a basketball while maintaining the shape of a football, it has up to four layers of combs, and one entry hole at the bottom. Often times the bald faced hornets nest are made within trees, shrubs, meadows, forest edges, and or gardens. Sometimes the nest will be made closer to people like in the sides of buildings, utility poles, under roof overhangs, under decks or porches, sheds, wall voids, and or crawlspaces. With these locations there is a higher risk of a person coming in contact with a bald faced hornet, so homeowners need to be aware of these spots as possible nest locations. Check these areas of your home; if you see any type of nest it is best to call your local pest control company out to handle the nest. Only professionals should handle the removal of the nest, it can be very risky to do yourself. No one wants to be the one to invade a bald faced hornet’s space and risk being stung multiple times.

wasp bald faced hornet

Yikes! This bald faced hornet nest was made under a roof hang right by an entry point to the house. This is extremely dangerous and should be taken care of right away by calling your local pest control company.

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Stink Bug and Box Elder Bug are the Same Bug

Monday, December 21st, 2009

The box elder bug can be a very annoying bug to homeowners. It is actually known to be a nuisance more than a pest because the box elder bug does not harm things like other pests do. The box elder bug does not damage things within a home, does not bite people, and rarely damages things outdoors. The only slight damage that comes from having box elder bugs inside a home is that their excrement can leave a stain on items like carpet, draperies, and walls. Also, if a box elder bug were to be killed by being stepped on or crushed by something it would let out a foul smell. The box elder bug is also known as the stink bug due to the foul odor it releases if crushed. Those are about the only two negatives that a box elder can bring into a home. When the box elder is outside it doesn’t do much harm either. Of course it feeds off of trees and such, but it actually does not damage them. The only time the box elder bugs could damage a tree or plant they eat is if there were an abundance of box elder bugs feeding all at once. Considering the damage that many other household pests can cause the box elder bug is not a threat, rather just a nuisance.

stink bug box elder bug

Here is a close up of a box elder bug.

Spotting the annoying critter is easy. The box elder bug has very distinct physical traits. They are about half an inch long, are an elongated oval shape, have wings, dark gray to black coloring, have three stripes of reddish orange right behind their head, red lines along their sides, a diagonal line on each wing, their abdomen is bright red, and their legs and antennae are black. The only problem is that their darker features help them blend in with tree bark, so they aren’t always easy to see. When they are not on trees they are easier to spot. Many times box elder bugs can be found on plants, grass, or flowers and the contrast of colors will make them more apparent.

stink bug box elder bug

This is a box elder tree, a main food and shelter source for the box elder bug. If you see one of these trees there are box elder bugs near by.

While on plants, grass, or flowers the box elder is most likely eating, as these are some of the foods they eat. The box elder bug also eats low vegetation, seeds, new twigs, cherry trees, peach trees, apple trees, ash trees, maple trees, and female seed bearing box elder trees. The female box elder tree is a favorite food for the box elder bug, and provides as a place to live. Also the ash and maple trees can both be food and shelter.

Outside the box elder bug enjoys the warmth from the sun. Many times if the box elder bug is not on a tree or plant, homeowners can find them along the south side of the home enjoying the sun. The box elder bugs sun themselves, just as people lie out and sun bathe. While sunning on the walls of homes box elder bugs will look for entry points like cracks or crevices. Box elder bugs will need to get inside the home when it gets too cold out, and cracks and crevices are the easiest way in. There are easy tips to help homeowners prevent box elder bugs from getting inside their home to hibernate.

Even though the box elder’s food supply and home is outdoors they do go into homes, but not for food like other pests. The box elder bug hibernates in the fall / winter. They start looking for a place to take cover in the fall and will make their way into the home or building as the weather cools down. Box elder bugs really like warm weather, so while inside homes they may follow the warmth of the house or any sunny areas to hibernate. Most often they hibernate in walls and attics. Once they find their spot, box elder bugs will become inactive, for the most part. At times in the day some box elder bugs will leave their spot in search of more warmth or sun, they will then return by the evening. This does not always occur, but it is how most homeowners end up seeing box elder bugs wandering through their home. Unlike other bugs or pests, the box elder bug will not even reproduce during hibernation. Only adult box elder bugs will survive hibernation, and even then some box elder bugs will get trapped within the home after hibernation and die.

Since the box elder bug does not reproduce in the fall and winter it will start reproduction once it gets outside again, in the spring. Box elder bugs will create one or two generations a year. The female box elder bug will lay her eggs on tree trunks, tree branches, leaves, stones, and or crack and crevices of tree bark. The eggs are a yellow tone, and as the nymphs inside develop the egg will change into a red tone. About two weeks later the eggs will hatch. The nymphs are about one sixteenth of an inch big, bright red, and wingless. Other than the coloring and the wings the nymphs look like smaller versions of adult box elder bugs. In order for the nymphs to develop into adults they suck fluids out of seeds, foliage, twigs, and or fruit. Also, during their development they will molt. Once they have become an adult they are on their own, and will keep the cycle going.

stink bug box elder bug

These are box elder eggs, some are more developed than the others as they are already red. There is also a nymph crawling over the pile of eggs.

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Stink Bug – Box Elder Bug Prevention Tips

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Prevention for the box elder bug needs to be focused on during the fall or in the late summer. The fall is the peak time of the year when box elder bugs are trying to sneak their way into people’s homes. Occasionally people will see box elder bugs crawling around inside their homes already and panic. Trying to catch and kill them is tricky because you don’t want to crush them and let out that awful foul odor. Many people will spray them with a pesticide or a water and soap solution. This does not always work because it has to be sprayed directly on the box elder bug. The best thing to do if you find box elder bugs in you home is to call your local pest control service out to your house. If you don’t think you have a box elder bug problem these tips will help ensure that a box elder bug problem doesn’t occur in the future. Like prevention for many other pests the steps are easy. Here are some of the basic tips to homeowners to help prevent box elder bugs from getting inside your home.

  • Go over the exterior of the home and look for any cracks or crevices, as those are the most popular entry points. Seal any if found.
  • Check all screens on doors, windows, and vents to make sure there are no tears. Repair or replace any that are damaged.
  • Seal any openings around windows.
  • Make sure all doors have thresholds and weather stripping. Also, make sure garage doors have a rubber bottom.
  • Seal any openings around pipes or cables.
  • Don’t leave piles of debris near the home, dispose of these properly.
  • Rake leaves and any seeds that have fallen, especially those from box elder trees.
  • Box elder bugs are attracted to light, so use yellow lights outdoors and at a minimum of use. Also make sure not to leave any windows open near your outside lights.
  • Vacuum the inside of your home frequently. If you find dead box elder bugs vacuum them dead or alive. Do not try to pick up, as there is a chance you can squish them. If that happens they could leave a stain, and will leave a foul odor.
  • If at all possible, remove any box elder trees, maple trees, or ash tress that are on your property. This is the most effective way to not have box elder bugs near your home.

Spider: The Yellow Sac Spider

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Yellow sac spiders can be found all across the United States. Not only is the yellow sac spider found all over the United States it also accounts for more spider bites than any other type of spider in the United States. That is a lot of bites to be caused by yellow sac spiders; unfortunately the number is so high because many times the yellow sac spider bites are misdiagnosed. The symptoms of the bite are similar to the bite from a brown recluse spider, but the yellow sac symptoms are not as severe. Therefore many times physicians diagnose the bite victim as being bit by the yellow sac spider; when in fact, it could have been a brown recluse spider, but the symptoms have not fully developed.

Since the yellow sac spider and the brown recluse spider bites are so similar it is important to know what to do in any case of getting bit by a spider. Read more about what steps to take if bitten by a yellow sac spider in our first aid for spider bites blog. Also it is important to know what a yellow sac spider looks like in order to help identify what kind of bite you may have gotten.

Often times people are bitten in the middle of the night, and may have no idea what really bit them. Other times when people get bit they see the spider, in this case it is best to try to catch the spider or bug that way the doctor can properly diagnose the bite. The yellow sac spider is about the size of a nickel, on average. The yellow sac spider has a body that ranges from one-fourth of an inch to three-eights of an inch long. The eight legs span about an inch in length, and the first set of legs are longer than the other six legs.

spider yellow sac spider

Yellow sac spider.

Another interesting fact is that the males are generally smaller than the female yellow sac spiders. Like most other spiders the yellow sac spider has eight eyes, and their eyes sit in two horizontal lines of four eyes. Also around their feet they have a darker looking coloring to them, it is actually dark dense hair. There is also a darker stripe down the abdomen. Considering the name of the yellow sac spider most people would assume the spider is yellow. Some are yellow tones, while others can range from an orange tone to a green tone. It has been said that the color of the yellow sac spider sometimes depends on what it has most recently eaten, but some do not think that is where the coloring of the yellow sac spider comes from.

The yellow sac spider eats many things, while it mostly hunts for small insects and other spiders. During the fall the yellow sac spider will usually migrate into homes in search of food. While in the summer the yellow sac spider has plenty of food outdoors to feed on, although that doesn’t mean they won’t try to go into houses.

For the most part, yellow sac spiders live outdoors. Outside the yellow sac spider can be found in places like trees, low vegetation and shrubs. Even though the yellow sac spider lives mostly outdoors it can be found within homes. No matter where the yellow sac spider is living it will always make itself a sac to rest in and spend its days. Being a sac spider, the yellow sac spider does not spin a web; rather they make silken sacs to reside in. The sac is also used as a place for them to sleep during the day and hibernate in the winters. Also, the yellow sac spider will spin a sac for its eggs to stay protected in, and for the spiderlings to molt in. The sac is also a way for people to identify that their home may be infested with yellow sac spiders.

If yellow sac spiders have migrated into a home they still will make their sacs to live in. Most often they will set up shop in corners or ceilings of walls. These spots make it easy for people to notice the sacs and proceed from there, the best plan being to call your local pest control company out to your home. Yellow sac spiders look for small places where they can be protected from predators. Many times these areas are the hidden areas inside a home; like the closet, basements, window sills, behind furniture, along baseboards, or in doorframes. The yellow sac spider can crawl up to high to places because they are good climbers. Also their silk can be used as a bridge from one object to a next, especially from high to low places. This tool comes in use both indoors and outdoors for the yellow sac spider. There are also places outdoors where the sacs may be hiding, like under foliage, leaves, stones, or wood. Many people may come in contact with these areas while outside doing yard work or gardening. So be aware of the yellow sac spider inside your home out outside of your home. Here are some tips for preventing yellow sac spiders from getting near your home.

Yellow sac spiders are nocturnal so homeowners won’t really see them running around in the day. Therefore the risk of being bit is higher at night when the yellow sac spiders are running around your house hunting for food. Sometimes the yellow sac spider may crawl into your bed or couch; this is when most bites occur. While people are in bed sleeping or on the couch watching TV or if the yellow sac spider is in your sheets or on your cushions it may panic and feel threatened by your body and therefore will attack or bite you.

The yellow sac spider creates about one generation a year. The female usually will lay her eggs in the summer. She will deposit them into a sac to keep them protected. In this sac will be anywhere from 30-50 eggs. During the process of the eggs developing the female will stay near the sac to protect it. Once the eggs have hatched they will become spiderlings and molt for about two weeks. After that period the spiderlings will set out on their own venture. From there the cycle will just repeat itself, and there will be more and more yellow sac spiders out in the world.

Picture courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Spider: Yellow Sac Spider Prevention Tips

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Preventing yellow sac spiders is just like preventing any other pest, the only difference is the damage they can cause. No one wants pests, more so yellow sac spiders, in their home. Nor does anyone want to take the risk of being bitten by a yellow sac spider. Follow these steps to help prevent yellow sac spiders from invading your home:

  • Keep all beds from touching the wall.
  • If you have a bed skirt either move it so that it doesn’t touch the floor or just completely remove it.
  • Before wearing any clothes that come out of your closet shake them out.
  • Keep closets, attics, basements, and other storage areas clean.
  • Vacuum regularly, don’t forget the undisturbed areas like behind furniture.
  • Keep clutter out of your house.
  • Place sticky traps behind furniture and other large objects that yellow sac spiders might hide behind, like appliances, credenzas, or armoires.
  • Make sure screens on doors, vents, etc. are installed correctly, and that there are no tears in them.
  • Seal any holes around pipes that go into the house, check basements and crawl spaces.
  • Install weather stripping on doors and windows.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in the homes foundation.
  • Remove leaf litter, vegetation and spider webs that are adjacent to the house. A powerful hose should do the trick for the webs, etc.
  • Store wood piles away from the home.
  • Wear gloves when outdoors either gardening or working with things like wood or rocks.
  • Cut trees and shrubs back so they do not touch the roof or walls of the house.
  • Switch outdoor lights to yellow. As the yellow lights do not attract as many insects, i.e. yellow sac spider food.
  • Keep the use of outdoor lights to a minimum.

Spider: The Yellow Sac Spider Bite- First Aid Tips

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Getting a bite from a yellow sac spider sounds much worse than it really is, unless you are allergic. Any kind of bite seems to terrify people and for good reason, some insect venoms are very poisonous. Luckily, the yellow sac spider has venom that is not as poisonous as other insects or spiders. Many people confuse the bite from a yellow sac spider with the bite from a brown recluse spider, which is much more poisonous. The initial symptoms are very similar. The problem is that later on if the symptoms become more severe, you know it was a brown recluse and not a yellow sac spider. Many times because of the similar symptoms, the bite of a brown recluse spider is misdiagnosed as a yellow sac spider. This has resulted in the yellow sac spider being known for being one of the most common spider bites people get in the United Sates.

If you are bitten by a yellow sac spider there are some basic first aid steps to follow. Other than the symptoms that become apparent these steps can be used to help relieve the pain etc. in any occurrence of a spider bite.

  • Bites often occur in bed when the yellow sac spider gets stuck in the sheets. Also, when hiding in things like the couch, shoes, or clothes.
  • When a person gets bit they will feel a sharp pain, similar to the pain one would get from a wasp sting.
  • The bite mark will become red and filled with puss within eight hours of the bite happening.
  • Clean the bite with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Apply an antiseptic like iodine.
  • Ice the bite mark, and also elevate the area that has been bitten.
  • Other physical side affects symptoms people will start to have can be nausea, fever, skin necrosis, and stomach cramps.
  • If these symptoms are present go to a doctor as soon as possible, as there is a chance of being allergic to the yellow sac spider’s venom.
  • If at all possible take the spider that bit you to the doctor for a proper diagnosis.
  • The red mark will harden as it heals, and can take up to a few weeks to do so.
  • While the bite is healing make sure to keep it extremely clean. Clean it thoroughly on a daily basis so that it does not get infected. If necessary, go to your doctor for an antibiotic to help as well.