Tag Archives: Spiders

Dealing with Dangerous Spiders- What to do if you Spot a

Dealing with Dangerous Spiders: What to do if you Spot a Dangerous Spider in Your Home

Dealing with Dangerous Spiders-670People vary in their opinions and treatment of spiders. Some people hate them with a passion and will smash them on sight. Others live peacefully with whatever spiders decide to explore or even move into their homes. Whatever your reaction to the arachnid may be, it is important to learn how to identify dangerous and/or venomous spiders so that you don’t risk aggravating a creature that could do quite a lot of harm to you if it is mishandled.

How to Identify a Dangerous Spider

Unfortunately, there aren’t any universal identifying marks that will help you quickly figure out whether or not a spider is dangerous. There are some who believe that the brighter the color of a spider, the more threatening it might be to your well-being (the black widow and brown recluse being the exceptions to the rule). Still, color varies between spiders so a spider that should be bright red might be a more muted and brownish hue.

The best way to figure out whether a spider is venomous or dangerous is to learn about the different spiders that live in your area. A taxonomic guide to local spiders will tell you which spiders are harmless and which should be treated with care. Pay particular attention to the characteristics and markings of the spiders that could potentially pose a threat.

What to do When You See a Spider

No matter what type of spider you find exploring your home or come across in the wild, the best thing to do is to tread carefully and approach it slowly. Keep your mouth closed and your eyes covered—goggles, reading glasses, etc are usually adequate. Put on long sleeves and tuck the sleeves into gloves and tuck the legs of your pants into your socks. This way if the spider panics and rushes you, you won’t have to worry too much about it crawling into your clothes.

Note: This is also the best way to dress if you’re going to be spending time in wooded or grassy areas where spiders and other bugs like to live.

The goal is to get close enough to get a good look at the spider without causing it to panic and either rush at you (remember, some spiders jump) or run away. The best way to do this is to capture it.

Capturing a Spider

The best way to capture a spider is to put a solid glass container over it. Then, slowly slide a stiff piece of cardboard across the mouth of the container. Go as slowly as your nerves can handle. This way the spider is more likely to simply crawl up onto the cardboard and won’t try to escape under it, and you don’t risk squishing it or breaking some of its legs.

Should You Kill the Spider?

Once you’ve captured and secured the spider, you can kill it if you want to, but don’t smash it. The Smithsonian recommends putting the sealed container in the freezer so that it will go into a natural hibernation state and then, the next morning, submerge it in rubbing alcohol.

This accomplishes two goals: it kills the spider in a humane way that doesn’t torture it. It also leaves the spider intact so you can take it to a pest control expert or entomologist for identification. If the spider does turn out to be venomous or dangerous, you should take steps to prevent more of its kind from checking out your living space.

Dealing with a Spider Infestation

If the spider population has gotten out of control in spite of your better efforts, it’s worth hiring a pest control expert to help you eradicate your arachnid roommates. The best approach is an environmentally responsible one. You don’t want to risk harming other, wanted occupants of the house or that might hang out in your yard. Don’t try to take on an infestation yourself. You could do more harm than good!

Bedbugs, Spiders, and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

Bedbugs, Spiders, Bats and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

This Halloween, vampires, ghosts and goblins will not be the only ghoulish creatures haunting the night; bedbugs continue to make a startling resurgence in U.S. residences, spider infestations are up, and wildlife pests such as bats plague homeowners across the country.

Scary movies aren’t the only thing giving homeowners nightmares this season. As temperatures begin to plunge, pests everywhere begin to seek respite in the very areas you want them the least – your home.

Pests such as bedbugs are actually very similar to one of our favorite Halloween characters – the vampire.  A nocturnal creature, bedbugs are bloodsucking pests.  As they bite human skin, they inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin and allows them to bite undisturbed.  In fact, humans don’t usually wake up when they are being bitten; however, they do find themselves scratching circular, red, itchy welts in the morning.

Luckily, a bedbug bite doesn’t transform you into a bedbug; the way a vampire bite makes you a vampire. In fact, the only good news about bedbugs is that their bites do not transmit disease to humans.

Other ghoulish pests cannot make the same claim.  Bats are the culprits behind 72% of rabies cases in the U.S. between 1990 and 2002; and various species of spiders found in the United States pose serious health threats and require vigilant control procedures.

“Homeowners have an easy way of waking up from this type of house nightmare,” commented National Pest Management Association Vice President of Public Affairs Missy Henriksen. “Pest professionals have the training and expertise to assist homeowners through this type of home horror.”

For further information on these nightmarish pests or to find a pest professional in your area, visit bugs.com and www.pestworld.org.



Ants Beware! Spider Protected by Burglar-Proof Web

Ants Beware! Spider Protected by Burglar-Proof Web

By Jennifer Welsh | LiveScience.com – Tue, Nov 22, 2011

Just as a homeowner might adopt a large dog with an equally large bark to protect his or her property, a certain orb spider makes a similar investment to protect its web, according to new research that finds this arachnid uses a chemical in its web silk to repel ant burglars.

“Ants are often found in webs of some web-building spiders, but they are rarely observed foraging in webs of orb-web spiders, though ants are potential predators,” study researcher Daiqin Li, at the National University of Singapore, told LiveScience in an email.

“There must be other mechanisms of protection of ant invasion. One possibility might be some chemicals that could deter/repel ants.”

Ant deterrent

To figure out what was chasing the ants away, the researchers collected wild orb-web spiders (Nephila antipodiana) and analyzed their silk for chemicals. They found one, called 2-pyrrolidione, present in the silk strands that ants seemed to avoid in the lab, including the widespread Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) and two others. Even when tempted with a free tasty snack, the ants wouldn’t cross the silk strands that had been coated with this deterrent.

“Golden orb-web spiders produce a chemical in their web silk that deters ant invasion, which adds chemical defense to the impressive properties of spider silk, already known to be strong, elastic and adhesive,” Li said.

The researchers also discovered that young spiders don’t need to make this chemical, because their silk is too thin for even tiny ants to cross. Larger juveniles and adult spiders make the ant-deterrent to stop ants from invading their homes and their web, their fresh-caught prey and even the spiders themselves.

Chemical threat

The researchers aren’t sure how the spiders make this chemical (whether they add it to their silk or paint it on later), or how it works. The chemical isn’t what scientists call “volatile,” so it doesn’t produce a smell. The ants could be “tasting” the compound, because they only avoid the silk after they come into contact with it, but will stay in the vicinity even after that contact.

“The orb spider is potentially vulnerable to attack from groups of ants while sitting in its web waiting for prey, so the chemical defense in web silk may have evolved to not only protect the spider, but to reduce the time and energy that would otherwise be required to chase away invading ants,” study researcher Mark Elgar, from the University of Melbourne, said in a statement.

They’ve also found similar chemicals in other spider silks, which indicates this type of chemical deterrent could be widespread in spiders. Interestingly, the same 2-pyrrolidione compound has been seen in glands of the ant Crematogaster sjostedti — the same glands that make chemicals that signal a warning to other ants. The spiders could be mimicking these chemical warning signals.

The study was published today (Nov. 22) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

You can follow LiveScience staff writer Jennifer Welsh on Twitter @microbelover. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

Why Are Millions of Spiders Invading Thousands of Trees and Why Is It Good News?

Why Are Millions of Spiders Invading Thousands of Trees and Why Is It Good News?

Jesus Diaz — These huge trees are fully covered with thousands of spiderwebs, something never before seen in Sindh, Pakistan, where this photo was taken. Yes, it’s a eewrifying image, but it has had a surprisingly positive effect on the population of this heavily punished part of the world. How, you scream?

These spiders usually crawl on the ground but, when the massive July 2010 floods took over one fifth of the 307,374 square miles of Pakistani land, they escaped to the trees. The water is taking a long time to recede, so they thought it may be a good idea to adapt to the situation, establish camp and have a big party up there. The results is thousands of cocooned trees all around.

Gross? It is. But the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development thinks that the massive spiderwebs are a blessing and the eight-legged furry beasties are Bill Gates’ new best friends. It seems that these giant sticky pompoms are capturing mosquitoes by the truckload. According to the people in these areas, the mosquito levels are extremely low for this time of the year. Even more so taking into account the vast amount of stagnant water, which acts as a nursery for those bloody winged buggers. As a result, the risk of a malaria plague is a lot lower than what everyone was expecting.

In other words: Thank you, spiders! P.S. If I see any of you around my house, however, I’ll smash you faster than Doctor Octopus.