Serving all of South Florida

Black Widow Blues

Black Widow Blues

Black widows are one of those spiders you want to steer clear from. That little red hourglass on their body is a bright red warning light advising you to stay the hell away. Trust me, you don’t want to get bitten by one of these deadly arachnids. It hurts…a lot. You won’t die, but you might want to.

The major toxins in a black widow’s venom that cause the excruciating pain are called latrotoxins. The toxins actually hijack your nervous system and turn it against you. What is known as an alpha-latrotoxin inserts itself into the membrane of the pre-synaptic regions of your neurons, causing all of the neuron’s vesicles to dump their neurotransmitters. That dumping stimulates motor endplates, making your muscles cramp up. This is what causes the extreme pain.

So, why do these tiny creatures pack such a punch? Scientists think it has to do with the evolution of their diet. The venom allows the spider to catch larger prey (small mammals and reptiles) as well as smaller more typical prey…as well as their mates. Thankfully for humans, black widows aren’t very aggressive, so you really have to “bug” it for it to react strongly enough that it bites you. So, just watch those dark corners and you should be alright for the most part.

Have you ever seen a black widow in your home? Have you ever been bitten by one?

Man vs Bugs: A Look At The Age-old Battle

Man vs Bugs: A Look At The Age-old Battle

There are 300 pounds of insects for every pound of human. In a traditional battle, this gross outnumbering of “force” is a sure sign for an overwhelming, crushing, depressing defeat. And if these bugs weren’t so tiny, we humans would probably have gone extinct long ago.

Of course, a lot of benefit can also be credited to that riveting organic machine perched atop our otherwise helpless heads. Thanks to the human brain, we have formulated ways — from the deadly efficient to the creatively comical — to defend ourselves from what most of us consider to be age-old nuisances.

Here are just some examples of the more creative weapons we can use to make fending pests off more fun than just a plain old chore:

  • Bug-A-Salt 2.0 – If action-packed shooting is more your kind of game, then the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 might be the right bug exterminating tool for you. This plastic shotgun can fire up to 80 blasts of table salt — enough for you to put down dozens of those terribly slippery houseflies you’ve been trying to get rid of for days.
  • The Commander Mosquito Magnet Trap – If a mosquito invasion is your problem, then this semi-intelligent mosquito death trap is your friend. Leave it on your backyard or front porch and it will do its job — and if you have it wifi-connected, will dutifully send you text and email updates along the way.
  • The Executioner Pro Zapper – If you’re more of the sporty type, then this electric tennis racket-like contraption might be just the perfect handheld accessory for you. Multi-purpose to the core, you can practice your tennis chops and arm swings at the same time you get to zap those flies, mosquitoes and other pests to death.

Indeed, there are other more prudent ways to handle your house pests, such as calling pest control professionals. But sometimes, in the spirit of livening up uneventful domestic chores, you just have to get a bit more cheeky with the little spirited buggers.

Yes, it’s furry and purrs, but it is not a cat!

Yes, it’s furry and purrs, but it is not a cat!

Did you know that wolf spiders actually will purr to attract their mates? Almost a soft sweet serenade. Spiders communicate through vibrations so the purring actually does make sense.

A male wolf spider will use these vibrations when a female is close, and also they both must be standing on a solid ground where the vibrations from the purr can be felt. Dried leaves are also a good spot for the males to make their mating call purr because the leaves will amplify the noise and sensation for the female.

Scientists were aware that wolf spiders are capable of making audible noises. But, it is hard to explain why wolf spiders would make such a noise if they don’t have ears. The answer lies in the small hairs all over a wolf spiders body. They work as an extra sensory that can “feel” the sounds in the vibration allowing the male to call out to his female.

Because of their size and body hair, the wolf spider is commonly mistaken for a tarantula. Both of these spiders are harmless to humans, and are very non aggressive unless they feel threatened. Their bites are not deadly, although the bite site could be extremely uncomfortable.

For more information on the wolf spider, please click here

It’s not your food we want! It’s your home!

It’s not your food we want! It’s your home!

They are hungry and they hide very easily. They want to eat, but not your typical food. No, termites will settle for nothing else than your home. How can you combat them? There are several ways.

One thing that is rarely thought about during home repair, is what about the existing termite treatment? If you have done a home repair project that required you to dig up utilities for instance, that would disturb the termite treatment, if treated with a liquid termiticide.

Termites love to hide in piles of branches and left over yard mulch. Of course we always want to plant our flowers and such close to the home. The problem of course is that works as an attractant for termites. Move the mulch back and the chances of termites going after the wood in your home goes down. If you have an old tree stump still in your yard that is like a pre made castle to a termite.  Especially if it is close to your home it can be almost a termite trampoline for them to propel themselves right into the attic or other wood bore area in your home.

If you think you have a termite issue, make sure to have your home inspected and treated to avoid any future damage.

For more information on termites, please click here

Are the ants the problem?

Are the ants the problem?

Researchers have found new evidence that may show that ants are actually infecting honeybees with a deadly virus. The argentine ant is one of the most damaging pests worldwide, and now they are known to carry the deformed wing virus which is accountable for the collapse of many bee colonies.

Argentine ants are particularly dangerous because they are highly adaptable. They have very flexible diets and will devour everything from other insects to small animals like lizards. They are also very territorial and will overtake an area as its own territory. During the same research session it was discovered they also carry another form of virus that may make it a possibility to control the ants, which would save people from having to use harmful pesticides. They only take about 74 days to reproduce and they are like most ants serving their queen. The male’s sole purpose is to reproduce, and they die shortly after reproducing only once. Because they are highly adaptable, they will join with other colonies of argentine ants and take over an entire city block if left untreated.

If you see an argentine ant, there is a strong possibility there are hundreds you don’t see. Make sure to call your local pest control company to end your ant problem.

For more information on ants please click here

It’s fall! Time for new bugs

It’s fall! Time for new bugs

As the weather cools off, you may notice an entirely new set of pesky pests trying to take over your back yard. Tis the season for large adult beetles who are hungry and ready to eat. These beetles can be harmful to your backyard garden because they will eat the eggs of other beneficial bugs. By the time spring comes around the population of beneficial insects will have decreased because the eggs never hatch.

Some great tips to make sure you don’t leave your back yard wide open for the buffet is to clear away any fruits that may have fallen from fruit trees, as well as cleaning up any brush and other debris. Eliminating their hiding spots is a great start. You can also try oils and insecticide soaps, but be careful not to use actual pesticides on the plants in your yard. By doing that you may also eliminate the few good insects you want around all seasons. Lady bugs and praying mantis’ are wonderful insects to have in your garden. These two types of insects will keep some of the harmful insects away in turn keeping your garden healthy.

For more information on beetles, please click here

Smile! You’re on Camera!

Smile! You’re on Camera!

A San Diego weatherman got a surprise on camera when a large bug stalked him during his weather broadcast. Brad Willis was unaware that he was rolling on live TV when a very large flying beetle did a nose dive right for his face. This isn’t the first or last time these large beetles will invade your space.

Another reporter, Katya Leick from Kansas, was actually swarmed by cicadas while she was filing earlier this year. The cicadas were particularly annoying as every time she started speaking they would come out of nowhere. The reporter stopped and started her segment many times, and the grand all finale of course is watching her reaction as one of these bold cicadas actually landed on her face!

Cicadas are large swarming insects that typically stay underground until it is time to mate. They are not at all dangerous to humans, but can be pretty freaky for sure. You may harm yourself during a freak out but that is the worst these flying singers can do. You will know you have cicadas around your yard and in your trees first by their song they sing in the evenings. The males will “sing” to attract their females and warn off any predators. I guess in these two instances, the cicadas wanted to sing their songs on TV!

For more information on cicadas, please click here

Stop Spiraling Whiteflies Before They Ruin Your Landscape

The spiraling whitefly gets its name from the distinctive spiral pattern on the underside of leaves in a thumb print-looking “spiral” pattern of eggs. A white, waxy substance begins to build on the underside of leaves which coats the eggs and newly hatched whiteflies (nymphs). The spiraling whitefly nymphs secrete a clear substance called “honeydew”, the sticky honeydew can drip down from infested trees overhead and quickly accumulate on cars, pool decks, driveways, and patio furniture and grills below leaving a nasty mess for homeowners.

Whiteflies are becoming a common pest found on many ornamental plants in South Florida. With over 75 species identified in the state, these tiny white moths are capable of infesting a wide range of landscape plants. In fact, whiteflies have rapidly broadened their diet to include a taste for more than 50 species of plants in Florida. The type and level of damage you might see depends upon the species. They frequently attack plants such as avocado, banana, bird of paradise, black olive trees, chinaberry, citrus, fig, gardenia, gumbo limbo, ligustrum, mango, coconut palms, persimmon, and many other types of palms, trees, and shrubs.

Signs of whitefly infestation

Damage Caused by Whiteflies

Whiteflies can be an incredibly costly infestation to have costing you hundreds to thousands of dollars to replace or repair trees, shrubs, plants that are infested. Honeydew left by whiteflies is extremely sticky and very difficult to clean off, and may require pressure cleaning to remove. Ants also feed on the honeydew, so if ants become a problem, plants should be examined closely for these pests. As the infested plants ooze honeydew, black mold grows into the honeydew and covers the leaves and branches. The black sooty mold fungus interferes with the plant’s growth and long term livelihood. Waxy material and the sooty mold on the plant will take time to wear off unless physically washed off. Once the insect is under control, the sooty mold and honeydew will disappear.

Homeowners must monitor plants for early signs of an infestation. It will be easier to manage the pest before it causes major damage. If you have an infestation on a tree, be sure to search nearby trees as well because this whitefly feeds on many types of trees. The spiraling whitefly can cause serious harm to you home’s landscaping. If you suspect this pest is infesting your home or business it is best to treat immediately. Just Call Hulett today for an inspection.

Bugs, good for your body?

Bugs, good for your body?

According to a new study, a certain gut bacteria may actually help with your body fat but also may be able to help manage your cholesterol and triglycerides. Bugs in your intestines? Why not; I’m sure we all put much worse into our bodies. However this is the first ever study to provide proof that gut bugs, ie: bacteria are actually linked to good cholesterol. While it may be too early to prescribe these gut bugs as probiotic supplements to help with heart disease, there is growing evidence of the major benefits. Not only are they good and help support digestion, gut bugs will also help with immune system functions and produce vitamins for your body to digest. Gut bugs also produce an anti-inflammatory compound that may reduce swelling and pain in one of the most natural ways possible.

Over all, the researchers who worked on the study were able to find 34 different types of gut bugs that could help not only with good cholesterol but also help to keep a person’s BMI in check.

Most people don’t like the idea of all those critters floating around in their intestines, but hey, anything to stay healthy, Right?

For more information on gut bugs, click here

Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just stay away

Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just stay away

There are many critters to avoid this time of year. They may wonder lost into your back yard, becoming very close to you and your family. If you encounter any of these, the best thing to do is to stay back and call your local pest control company for help.

The Mojave green rattlesnake can grow up to seven feet long. They have a diamond shaped pattern on their backs and a distinguished rattle that sounds the alarm when you have entered their territory. Their bites are venomous and they are considered one of the most deadly snakes in the US.

The Tarantula Hawk is actually a form of wasps that feeds on larger insects as the name suggests. They will actually paralyze a tarantula, lay its eggs inside of the spider, and then the wasp’s babies will eat the spider from the inside out. Their stings are not fatal; however they can cause excruciating pain.

Poisonous spiders are also bugs to just stay away from. Brown recluse and black widows are two spiders specifically whose bites are non-fatal, but will lead to dangerous health concerns and sickness if left untreated. Both like to hide out in your garage and tool shed so be on the lookout before you just reach in and grab.

For more information on dangerous household pests, please click here

 Serving All of South Florida Since 1968 (All 12 Counties)

Pest Control Palm Beach

Location7670 Okeechobee Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33411



Pest Control Fort Pierce

Location2820 Reynolds Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34945



Pest Control Fort Myers

Location13790 Treeline Ave S, Ste 1
Ft. Myers, FL 33913



Pest Control Miami

8218 NW 14 St.
Miami, FL 33126



Pest Control Ft. Lauderdale

5580 Pine Island Road
Lauderhill, FL 33351