wolf spider sigma pest control

Spider Spotlight: the Wolf Spider

Is it a wolf? Or is it a spider? The name “Wolf Spider” comes from the Greek word “Aukoc” meaning “wolf”. It is used to describe the spider’s hairy appearance, agile hunting capabilities, and excellent eyesight.

The wolf spider can range from 1/2 inch to two inches long and, like a wolf, they chase and leap on their prey. Wolf spider features include:

  • Orangish-brown coloring with gray and black splotches or stripes that give it a camouflage look.
  • The wolf spider has eight eyes, made up of three different sizes, and laid out in three rows on top of its head.
  • Like all spiders, the wolf spider has eight legs. In addition, the wolf spider has two extra leg-like appendages near its front.
  • Female wolf spiders can carry their egg sac on their body and sometimes be seen with the young riding on their backs.

Where do wolf spiders live?

Wolf spiders live just about everywhere: deserts, forests, grasslands, residential lawns. The ability of the wolf spider to adapt to its surroundings has made it possible to live just about anywhere on earth.

Their survival capabilities are due in large part to their ability to camouflage themselves from predators. From above, the wolf spider coloring makes them look like a moving leaf pile.

Wolf spiders are a favorite treat for frogs, toads, and salamanders. Some snakes and lizards are also known to each wolf spiders.

The wolf spider hunts for food without using a web. Some wolf spiders dig deep burrows into the ground where they can get away from the weather and predators. Some have been known to put a trap door on that burrow to catch unsuspecting prey.

Other wolf spiders will hide out under rocks, trees, and foliage.

What do wolf spiders eat?

Usually under the dark of night, the wolf spider will hunt for crickets, other spiders, ants, grasshoppers and many other types of small insects. Some species chase down and grab their prey, while others wait for it to walk by and ambush it. Wolf spiders often jump on their prey, hold it between their legs and roll over on their backs, trapping their prey with their limbs before biting it.

How do you get rid of wolf spiders?

If you have wolf spider activity around your home, it is a sign that you most likely have an insect problem. Remember, wolf spiders feed on insects and they’ll go where the food is. The more insects you have, the more likely you also have wolf spiders nearby.

There are several do-it-yourself actions you can take to keep wolf spiders out of your home:

  • seal cracks, crevices, gaps and other openings in the home structure, foundation, and around doors and windows,
  • remove piles of old papers and boxes to reduce sheltering areas,
  • keep the home clean and picked up of trash to remove food sources.

Regardless of the precautions you may take, wolf spiders are difficult to eradicate because they are a solitary spider that generally operates alone.

It is far easier to remove their food source; insects. Sigma Pest Control’s Quarterly Pest Control Service is your best protection against wolf spiders and other pests.

Keeping wolf spiders out of your house is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. That’s why our Quarterly Pest Control Service is so effective.

We return every three months to and treat your home and property for ants, spiders, roaches, wasps, fleas, centipedes, crickets, mice, rats and much more.

black widow spider

Spider Spotlight: the Black Widow

The name, Black Widow, comes from a popular belief that the female EATS the male after mating. This is a rare occurrence and seldom happens in nature. Male black widow spiders tend to select their mates by determining if the female has eaten already to avoid being eaten themselves. 

The black widow spider is a member of the Theridiidae family of spiders and can be found all over the world. There are five species established in the United States and are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen.

For such a small creature, the black widow spider has particularly potent venom and packs quite a punch. It’s venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. For humans, a black widow spider bite rarely causes death. The more likely symptoms of a spider bite are muscle aches, nausea, and trouble breathing.

Identification

  • Female black widow spiders are about half inch long, to about 1.5 inches long when the legs are spread.
  • Females are roughly twice the size of males and are known to have poorer eyesight than their male counterpart.
  • Black widow spiders are mostly black but can sometimes be brown.
  • Both male and female have the same shiny abdomen, but only the females possess the reddish hourglass shape on the underbelly.
  • Male black widows are known to have yellow and red bands and spots over their backs.
  • Newly hatched spiderlings are predominately white or yellowish-white

Behavior

Black widows are web spinners. When the temperature is 70 degrees or higher is when they are the most active. They spin their webs in order to ensnare prey for food. They usually eat small insects such as ants, bees, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, and beetles.

Food & Hunting

Black widow spiders, like most spiders, prefer insects for food. Once an insect is trapped in it’s web, the black widow makes small punctures in the victim’s body and sucks out the liquid contents.

Habitat

Black widows favor dry, dark locations to spin their webs. During the warmer months, they frequent the outdoors, but will seek warmer locations inside when it gets colder.

When outside, black widow spiders will tend to frequent protected areas under stones and decks, firewood piles and hollow tree stumps to spin their webs. The preferred habitats that are man-made structures like barns, outhouses, sheds, meter boxes, and verandas.

Indoors, black widow spiders prefer dark, sheltered space like garages, basements and in crawl spaces.

When they bite

  • Fever
  • increased blood pressure
  • sweating and nausea.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rash and itching

Pain is almost immediate and reaches its maximum after 1-3 hours. The pain associated with a black widow spider bite may continue for days before gradually subsiding.

Fatalities from a black widow spider bite are unlikely. Seek proper/timely medical treatment as soon as possible. If you notice black widows or signs of a spider infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional who can safely and effectively address black widow spider control. 

  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Apply a cold washcloth or ice pack wrapped in cloth to the area.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • If the bite is on your arm or leg, elevate it to prevent swelling.
  • Apply an antibiotic cream or lotion to the bite.
  • Call or see a physician for medical advice.

Prevention tips

Black widow spiders are common in the United States and are usually found in yards, woodpiles, sheds, and under decks.

They may also be present at campgrounds and other outdoor locations. People who work outside should be careful to avoid them.

Tips for reducing the risk include:

  • Check your shoes, clothing, and blankets before use, especially if they have been in storage for a while or left outside.
  • Apply insect repellant to clothes and shoes.
  • Use gloves and clothes that cover the body while cleaning out woodpiles and sheds.
  • Inspect the spaces around outdoor furniture before cleaning or sweeping.

The last word ...

Sigma’s Quarterly Pest Control Service (QPCS) covers antsspiders, roaches, wasps, fleas, centipedes, crickets, mice, rats, and much more.  Once we solved any issues on the inside of your home, we will focus our efforts on the outside to keep your home pest free. 

For the most effective solution to Pest Control, be sure to call Sigma Pest Control and have an experienced technician visit the site of infestation today.

CALL US! (540) 94-SIGMA
Sigma Pest Control LLC

spider

Spiders are moving farther north, according to new study

Changes of black widow spider distributions tracked.

According to a study that was recently released, populations of black widow spiders are shifting to move father north – specifically the northern region of Canada.

Researchers discovered the spider is taking on different habits and the most likely reason is that these changes are in response to climate change. The black widow spider is not alone in this reactionary behavior but there also has not been enough research on which groups of animals are changing behaviors and migrating to different regions.

The study entailed researchers analyzing collected data and observations from various stakeholders in order to track and document both the Northern and Black-purse black widow species. Based on the information they gathered, the researchers discovered the back widow species were migrating north and are becoming more present in regions toward Canada.

black widow

According to the researchers, spider distributions are not well known or tracked and documentation of areas of in-habitation is generally based on where scientists discover the spiders. By using both species of the black widow spiders, these research efforts will serve as examples of the need to begin track animal and insect migration.

Researchers intend to cement the method of tracking and documentation by carrying out future sampling attempts on a larger scale. The future studies will help to get a better general sense of where the spiders and other species are distributed.

Researchers have proposed to reach out to scientists and stakeholders used in the recent study to begin a project based on monitoring.

For more information about spiderscontact us at (540) 94-SIGMA. And don’t forget about our Pest Control service should those pesky black widow spiders come crawling around.