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Preventative Treatments
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Limiting and Controlling Spiders in your Home

Spiders are one of the most prevalent and beneficial creatures. Even though the vast majority of spiders found in Michigan are not venomous or dangerous, many people have an inherent fear of the sight of one. Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is the most common of all phobias and for many people, the problem with spiders is simply their presence in the same living space. The wildlife technicians at Creature Control can assess your spider situation and help you decipher whether pest control treatment is warrantied.

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Characteristics and Benefits of Spiders

Spiders are not insects but are arthropods, or more specifically, they are a class of arthropods known as arachnids. Arachnids have eight legs and, unlike insects, have only two body segments (insects have three). Spiders typically are born in the spring as they come out of their egg sacs as soon as the weather gets warm. The mother spider may guard her young for a time by carrying them around on her back or by building a protective “nursery web” for them. The spiderlings will eventually leave their mother to establish their own webs.

To grow, a spider sheds its exoskeleton, a process called molting. The spider will go through successive phases of molts before reaching adulthood and sexual maturity. Mature spiders can look vastly different, depending on their species and sex. Their appearance can vary greatly, even among a single species. The common house spider, for example, can be white, yellow, brown, black, or any shade in between, living for one or two years typically.

Spiders can be quite beneficial to have around the home because they prey on other undesirable pests, such as mosquitoes, ants, wasps, and flies. Some spiders will even prey on other spiders like the daddy longlegs will eat black widows. Even the dangerous brown recluse spider eats cockroaches and silverfish. Spiders are numerous enough in agricultural fields, sometimes literally thousands or millions to the acre, that they serve to reduce pest insect numbers considerably.

Michigan Spiders including the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow

The vast majority of spiders found in Michigan are not dangerous to humans; people are likely to encounter the common house spider, wolf spider, daddy longlegs, orb-weaver spider and the jumping spider. Even venomous spiders are non-aggressive and will not (usually) bite unless they feel provoked or threatened. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, there are only two species of venomous spiders found in Michigan: the brown recluse and the black widow. The brown recluse is not indigenous to Michigan and cannot live in temperatures colder than 40°F, so they are extremely rare. It is believed that they come in on trucks originating from the southern states.

The northern black widow, on the other hand, is native to Michigan and can be found throughout the state, especially in the western lower peninsula. The black widow is small, only about a 1/2-inch-long (1.5 inches including the legs). They are entirely black, except females usually have a bright red, hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen. Males lack this distinctive hourglass marking but may have red or yellow bands on their back or abdomen.

Black widows are common around woodpiles, roof eaves, outdoor toilets, meter boxes and other undisturbed places. Take extra caution when working in areas where black widows may live; make sure to wear gloves and pay attention. Black widows are timid and prefer to flee an encounter rather than bite. If a black widow bites you, you should seek medical attention immediately. Their bites are quite painful and can cause acute latrodectism, a condition in which the spider’s venom quickly spreads throughout the body, causing agonizing muscle contractions in all major muscle groups, followed by severe cramping, vomiting, and sweating.

Though death is rare from a black widow bite, and though symptoms will usually dissipate within three days, medical treatment can considerably lessen the unpleasantness of the symptoms by use of muscle relaxers and antivenoms. Victims who are elderly, extremely young, or very ill are at higher risk for more serious complications.

Spider Removal with Creature Control Get Rid of Spiders with Creature Control Creature Control is You Spider Exterminator

Common Spiders Threats

Most people concerned about spiders in the home are worried about getting bit. Except for the rare brown recluse and the black widow, no other Michigan spider poses a threat to humans. This is not to say that they won't bite; any spider will bite if feeling threatened. That is why we recommend not to pick up or handle spiders. Sometimes, people can get bit while asleep in bed as some spiders are attracted to the warmth and darkness provided by undercover bedsheets. When a person unknowingly rolls over or moves quickly, the frighten spider will bite the sleeper before scampering away.

Spider's eggs are also a threat, in the sense that a spider allowed to lay eggs in the home freely will only beget more. The corners of ceilings and basements should be vacuumed regularly, as should dark areas behind dressers, the backs of picture frames and any other remote areas. The underside of outdoor roof eaves is also a common location for spider egg sacs. These spider sacs look like furry little white balls, usually smaller than a marble. To control the population of spiders near your home or business, simply removing any eggs sacs with a broom or vacuum can help.

Getting Rid of Spiders

While it is impossible to ensure that you will never again see a spider in your home, a combination of pesticide applications and minor environmental modifications can significantly reduce their occurrence. The technicians at Creature Control can apply a pesticide around the doors and window sills and spot treat areas throughout the home, taking care of existing spiders. For more extreme cases, granular pesticidal applications can be placed around the foundation and a surface-area pesticide can be applied to the outside structure.

Reducing the number of dark areas for spiders to hide in is also helpful; clean up any dirty rooms, regularly vacuum nooks and corners and any unused places such as the attic and basement. Destroying and removing spider eggs is essential for controlling spider populations. Also, make sure the layers of windows are intact and sealed properly. For help solving any spider or pest problem, call Creature Control today.

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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

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