Wolf Spiders: A True Halloween Horror

A wolf spider sits on a stepping stone near some grass

You may enjoy the sweets and scares of Halloween, but things get all too real as soon as you see an actual spider in your home. For most the instinct is to grab the nearest and heaviest object and use it to squish the eight-legged invader. The urge will probably be even stronger if it’s a particularly big spider. But what if we told you that stomping that spider without looking may result in a rippling onslaught of baby spiders by the hundreds?

This isn’t the plot of a cheesy horror movie – it’s a very real possibility when dealing with the wolf spider. So how can you identify this particular arachnid, and what can you do to keep it from getting into your home?

Wolf Spider Habits and Appearance

Wolf spiders range in size, from 1.5″ to 4″ depending on the climate they’re found in. Their bodies are made up of two parts, the cephalothorax and the abdomen, along with a set of fang-like mouthparts called the chelicerae. Because of their appearance, they’re often mistaken for other, more dangerous species like the black widow or the brown recluse. Wolf spiders are unique in that unlike these sister spiders, they’re free roaming and don’t make webs.

While being far from the fastest runners in the world, the wolf spider can skitter to capture prey at two feet a second. They eat larger insects like roaches and grasshoppers, and other smaller, less fortunate spiders. And since they don’t have a web, the mother wolf spider chooses instead to carry her young on her back. From eggs in a sac to a cluster of spiderlings, this hardworking single mother keeps her hundreds of children close at all times. So, if you kill or attempt to disturb the mother, these babies will scatter in every direction.

You can avoid turning your home into a daycare of scared spider children. All you need to do is take a few simple precautions.

Getting Spider-Free

Spiders, wolf spiders included, like to hide in a place where they won’t be disturbed. When out in the wild, wolf spiders love to nest under tree roots or in the cover of fallen leaves. If they were to get inside, they’ll prefer to stay amongst the cluttered, quiet corners of the house. That’s why we suggest vacuuming on a regular basis, along with keeping your closets, basement and attic clear of clutter. Doing that will make it so spiders have fewer places to hide and set up shop.

Outside the home, you can create a similar effect by moving piles of firewood and debris away, if they’re against the side of your home. You can also trim shrubs and any tree branches touching the roof. Spiders do not choose to come into your house by chance. If you make it inconvenient for them to get in, they usually won’t. But if all that doesn’t work, you can count on Southern Pest Control to solve your spider problem in no time.

Southern Pest Spider Control

We provide long-term spider control for homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We can send an expert to your home that will find entry points that spiders can take advantage of and seal them up.  Once we finish, you’ll be able to enjoy your scares through the safety of a television screen – and have a happy, and spider-free, Halloween. To get started, contact us today!

Spiders – Are They a Problem

Spider on siding in the Mississippi gulf coast; Southern Pest Control


spiders

There are 21 unique species of spiders found in Mississippi. Most of these are unable to puncture human skin, and if they do, their venom is not generally harmful to humans. There are three main species in Mississippi that health officials worry about — the Black Widow, Brown Recluse and now the Brown Widow.

For lots of people, encountering one of these eight-legged creatures can be a fearful experience. Many people hate the thought of having spiders in their homes, but indoor and outdoor they can provide value. Spiders primarily feast on other insects and are actually quite helpful in controlling insect populations, as well as potential infestations of other types of more harmful pests.

There is also the misconception that all should exist outside of the home, and that it is unnatural for them to be inside. In actuality, there are both indoor and outdoor types of spiders. Almost every type of indoor spider species lives exclusively indoors, as they do not have the ability to survive in an outdoor setting. Likewise, many outdoor spider species live exclusively outdoors for similar reasons. Most indoor spider species are carried into the home through egg sacks that are attached to items that are brought in from one space to another. Most spiders are quite harmless; spiders are more interested in eating other bugs than in causing harm to humans.

One of the most common questions that people ask is whether or not they are poisonous. The majority are indeed poisonous, in the sense that they contain venom, which they use to paralyze and kill their prey. Even though most spiders contain poisonous venom, it is a small threat to humans, as their fangs are often not long enough to break through average human skin. As stated previously of all of the species of spiders commonly found in Mississippi, there are only three that you should ever have to really worry about: the infamous Black Widow spider, the Brown Recluse , the Brown Widow.

We at Southern Pest Control are here when spiders become a concern at your home or office. We have been ridding people in the Gulf Coast Region for over 37 years, with a trained professional staff. Please visit our website at www.southernpestcontrol.biz to meet our team and the services we offer.



Keep Unwanted Christmas Pests Out

Christmas Tree in the Mississippi gulf coast; Southern Pest Control

Christmas Tree Pests

Keep Unwanted Christmas Pests Out

In rare circumstances, the Christmas tree that you bought on the lot can come with holiday pests. There are a couple types of Christmas tree pests: those that actually feed on the tree and that are pests from the tree growers, and those that are just hitchhiking on the tree.

The two most common grower pests are spruce spider mites and aphids. The white pine aphid is a black insect that can be found on pine trees. These grower pests are usually killed by treatment before the trees are cut for sale. Growers say that only about one in 100,000 cut trees are accidentally shipped with pests. If you cut your own tree or greens, you’re much more likely to be bringing home some harmless Christmas tree pests.

Christmas Trees Can Hide Hitchhikers

The second group of pests is those that have crawled into the tree looking for shelter. These include spiders, sowbugs, ants, and beetles. These pests may have been hiding in the tree when cut or may have moved in during transport, storage on the lot, or even while the tree sat in your yard for a couple of days. A evergreen tree provides winter shelter for all kinds of pests. Once the tree is moved indoors, the insects become active again. Sometimes a praying mantis will lay an egg case on a branch. It looks like a beige chunk of Styrofoam. Simply cut it out and dispose of it.

This makes it sound like all Christmas trees are infested with pests.  Most of the time, the tree won’t have any pests. None of the Christmas tree pests can cause any damage to your home, they don’t bite or sting, they are simply nuisance pests. Remove the pests by hand or vacuum up those that have left the tree. They won’t reproduce in your home either since most will die quickly once they are in a drier indoor environment.

Inspect Before You Buy or Cut Your Tree

Look for aphids or other small insects along the branches ,where the branches meet the trunk. Look for spider webs and look at the bottom of the branches, too. Look for powder-like sawdust and tiny holes on the trunk that are an indication of bark beetles. Bring a flashlight if you’re shopping at night.

When You Get the Tree Home

Before you bring your tree inside, shake the tree and pound the base of the trunk on the ground to remove any insects or spiders. Cut out any egg cases. Remove dead needles and debris. You can even hose down the tree if temperatures are above freezing.