The black widow spider is perhaps the most feared spider in southern Nevada due to the potency of its venom, which is reported to be 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake. If its aggressiveness matched the potency of its venom, humans would be at far greater risk living in the Las Vegas and Henderson area. Fortunately, black widows are shy and will usually only bite humans when their web is disturbed. The black widow loves warmer climates and she’s right at home in our desert, but where does she go in winter?
Black widow spiders stay outdoors, for the most part. Widows build irregular erratic looking webs and live in crevices or recesses within rock piles, block walls, sprinkler valve boxes, and undersides of patio furniture. Garages, outdoor sheds and playground equipment are also popular spots to find black widows.
Black widow spiders go into a state known as overwintering in cold locations. As the weather gets cooler, widow spiders look for warmer locations to hunker down for the season. Once the black widow spider enters a storage shed, garage or home, she may find a suitable place where she can overwinter just like a hibernating bear. The spider’s metabolic rate slows to conserve energy. Winters don’t harm black widows because they are adapted to live through cold months in a low-energy state. They tuck in their legs and become dormant.
Black widow spiders emerge in spring when mating occurs through early summer. Young spiderlings continue to grow into adults during the spring and summer and mature by mid to late summer. Adult widows are most prevalent during late summer and fall. Here are a few tips to prevent an infestation:
Keep your home free of clutter and seal possible entry points.
Install screens and weather stripping to keep spiders and other pests from entering your home.
Always using gloves, remove old boxes and other unwanted items from dark corners of outdoor sheds and garages, reducing the number of places for the spiders to hide.
If you suspect a spider infestation, contact a black widow control specialist immediately. This is the safest way to get rid of black widow spiders in the home.
Baby, it’s cold outside! As the temperatures drop below freezing in the Las Vegas valley, just like us, scorpions are looking for warmth and shelter. A common myth is that scorpions die off during the winter, but they actually just hibernate. Scorpions can survive freezing temperatures, but they often choose to hibernate in homes where they can stay warm all winter.
Most scorpions are solitary arachnids, but during the winter Bark scorpions will nest together in large groups. Scorpions nest, or hibernate, in or under block wall fences, retaining walls, lumber, rocks, wall voids, and structural cracks and crevices.
Scorpions are nocturnal pests, so they hide during the day and are most active at night. They feed primarily on insects, especially crickets, cockroaches, and spiders. Scorpions can survive for months without food if water is readily available. As the only species of scorpion in Nevada that can climb, the invasive Bark Scorpion can scale walls and ceilings, then drop into beds, cribs, toilets and kitchen tables.
Eliminating food sources and harborage sites around your home is key to preventing a scorpion infestation. Make your home less attractive to scorpions by following these prevention tips:
Eliminate standing water. Scorpions have a preference and need to settle near water and in moisture laden areas.
Inspect cabinets, closets, and other dark places on a regular basis
Clear away brush, debris, and woodpiles from the perimeter of your home. Keep firewood above ground and 30 feet away from your home.
Repair damaged and torn window screens and seal cracks and crevices in your foundation. Scorpions only need the width of a credit card to gain access.
Seal entry doors and garage doors. If light can be seen streaming from the exterior, the seal beneath the door should be repaired.
Scorpions can survive temperatures well below the freezing point. If you have tried to eliminate these pests yourself without success, the best approach to control scorpions is through professional help. At Western Exterminator, our pest control professionals resolve Bark Scorpion infestations using a variety of different treatment techniques.
The roof rat is the most common rodent to invade Las Vegas and Henderson homes and they can be very destructive. Roof rats, as their name indicates, like high places, building their nests outdoors in trees or block walls and indoors in attics or upper levels of the home. Roof rats are very good climbers and can get into the home by running along tree branches, cables or wires.
How Do I Know If I Have Roof Rats?
Rats are nocturnal — that is, they are most active at night — and they live in hidden areas, so you can have a major rat problem in your home even if you never see any. Because of this, you need to keep an eye – and an ear – out for signs of rodent presence. Inspect your yard and home thoroughly. If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, you may have a rat problem.
Do you see droppings, especially around dog or cat dishes or pet food containers?
Have you had visual sightings of roof rats on fences, block walls, trees or eaves?
Do you find hollowed citrus and other chewed fruit in your yard?
Do you hear scratching sounds from the attic after dusk?
Are your pets sometimes unsettled for no apparent reason?
Have you ever removed a drowned roof rat from your swimming pool?
Do you find dark smudge marks along block walls or outside patio areas?
Roof rat Control
Once rats have invaded your garden or landscaping, unless your house is truly rodent proof, it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them indoors. Experience has shown it is less time consuming to control rodents before their numbers get too high, and fewer traps and less bait will be required if control is started early. Many home owners in the Las Vegas and Henderson area will often opt to hire a professional extermination company that is trained to deal with roof rats before the pesky rodents take over their home.
Spring in Las Vegas is short lived and as the weather heats up, many insects and pests wake up from a winter’s nap and are ready to get busy finding food. If your Las Vegas or Henderson home proves to be a good source of food for foraging insects and rodents, they will gladly come invade your living space.
In order to prevent pests from getting into your home this spring, here are some indoor spring cleaning tips to keep your home pest free from the Las Vegas pest control professionals at Western Exterminator:
1. Secure Window Screens
Before opening up windows to let the spring breeze flow in, make sure that all windows are secured with screens that fit properly and have no holes. Windows are an easy way for small flying insects to gain entry, so you want to avoid the small holes and loose fitting screens before the windows go up. Also, make sure that if you are going to keep a door open for some extra air flow, you have a screen door to keep the pests out. Open doors are an open invitation for all size pests.
2. De-clutter Your Home
Clean out storage spaces such as the garage, attic, and outdoor sheds. These are perfect homes for pests any time of the year as they are less frequented by humans. Also, any stacks of newspapers or other items provide a great home for pests such as spiders, so you want to be sure that the clutter is gone.
3. Deep Clean Your Kitchen
A deep clean of your kitchen is another good tip to keep the pests out. If there are spills or open food, cockroaches, ants and rodents are likely to find their way into your home. Spend extra time to get rid of any build-up on areas such as under the fridge or stove, the sides of the stove, and in cupboards. It’s easy to let these hidden places be forgotten, but with any food build-up, the pests will try to take advantage.
4. Sanitize Food Surfaces
Make sure to sanitize and clean your food surfaces regularly to keep pests away. If cockroaches or rodents do happen to get into your home, they will leave counters and other food surfaces contaminated, so it is important that you are on top of keeping these places sanitized to protect yours and your family’s health.
5. Spruce Up The Yard.
Branches, leaves, weeds, and dead plants can attract pests. These areas provide a place for the pest to build a nest, and they might eventually come inside your home since the nests are near the building. Also, make sure to get rid of standing water in the yard, because the water could attract mosquitoes since they lay eggs in standing water.
By following these spring cleaning tips, you will be able to enjoy not only a squeaky clean home, but one that is free of any bugs or critters. Due to the amount of time we spend outside in the spring and with open doors and windows, it becomes very important to stay on top of the spring pest prevention measures.
If you tackle these 5 tips and bugs are still trying to take over your home this spring, contact the experts at Western Exterminator for highly effective residential pest control services designed to fit your home.
Baking is a tradition in many homes, more so as the holiday’s approach. Nothing can ruin a fun baking experience faster than discovery of pests in your storable foods. There are several types of pests that thrive in the storable foods, and these types of insects can quickly become a pain and expensive hassle for any homeowner.
Below we’ve outlined some steps homeowners can take to remove a pantry pest infestation, and keep these pests out in the future.
Understanding the pests that are in your storable foods
Storable foods pests, often referred to as pantry pests infest common baking ingredients such as: flour, dried fruits and nuts, cereals, pre-made mixes such as pancake and biscuit mixes, and much more. Pantry pests, such as: ants, beetles, earwigs, weevils, pillbugs, and even cockroaches thrive in pantries where food is plentiful, and natural predators are rare. Often homeowners are not aware that they have a pantry pest infestation until they open baking ingredients such as flour, cake mixes, and others.
Removing a pantry pest infestation, and preventing it from happening again in the future is not as hard as it may seem. Below we’ve outlined a few helpful steps to get control of your food storage area back, and keep it free from these pests in the future.
Removing pests and insects from your food storage area(s)
First, it’s important to understand that the reason the insects are there is because they have easy access to food. The goal when removing a pantry pest infestation is to remove easy access to the food they want, and not give them a reason to come back.
Conduct a thorough inspection of all food in your pantry. Pay particular attention to food stored in boxes, bags, and plastic packaging. These types of food containers make easy targets for pantry pests as they can easily chew their way into them.
Remove any contaminated food, making sure to dispose of it in an outside garbage can well away from your home. Once the contaminated food has been removed, conduct a thorough cleaning of your food storage area. Vacuum up any food particles and other debris, and clean all surfaces with a good cleaning agent/solution.
Invest in food storage containers. Reusable food storage containers are available at just about every supermarket. These containers will help keep pests out, and your food fresher. Reusable plastic or glass containers work well, just make sure the lids seal well.
Use these food storage containers for items like: flour, sugar, baking mixes, dried fruit, cereals, and other potential food sources for insects. For food items like chips and bread that don’t have a long shelf life, make sure to seal these bags between uses.
Check expiration dates regularly. Check expiration dates on your storable foods regularly. Make sure to discard anything past date. Getting into the habit of checking food storage can also help alert you to any problems in your food storage area before they get out of hand.
Clean your food storage area. Cleaning up spills will help to not invite pantry pests back into the area. Crumbs and spills in cupboards, floors, and food preparation areas can and will be easily detected by foraging insects such as ants and cockroaches.
With a little bit of work, and developing good habits when storing your family’s food, pantry pests can be a thing of the past. There are times when a pest infestation requires the expertise of an experienced pest control company, if you’re facing a pest issue that has you at wits end, consult with a licensed pest control professional to get expert advice and treatment options.
As the weather gets colder here in the Las Vegas and Henderson areas, people will want to spend more time indoors, and unfortunately, so will common pests and rodents. Insects such as cockroaches, spiders, and scorpions; and rodents like mice, and roof rats will seek shelter to survive the winter, and there’s nothing more inviting than a warm cozy home.
Keeping Pests Out Of Your Home
Insects and rodents alike can introduce diseases and bacteria into your home, and can also cause a lot of damage. Understanding how to keep these pests out is the first step to ensuring a comfortable, pest free winter.
Below are 8 pest proofing tips to make sure that bugs and rodents stay out of your home this winter.
Make sure needed ventilation points are screened off on the exterior of your home. Attic vents, foundation vents, roof soffits and other exterior entry points should be inspected to make sure they’re in good condition.
Keep your garage and crawl space dry. Insects and rodents are attracted to places they know they can get water. Keeping these areas dry, and free from excessive humidity, will help to detract these unwanted pests.
Seal up any cracks in siding, stucco, and piping. Using exterior grade silicon is a quick solution to stopping entry.
Keep food preparation and storage areas clean and tidy. Leaving food and crumbs out is an invitation to pests like cockroaches, ants, and rodents. Keeping dry foods stored in airtight containers is also recommended.
Inspect your windows and doors. Weather stripping, damaged window frames, and doors that don’t close correctly are all easy entry points to your home. Replace or repair window screens for an added level of protection.
Keep landscaping materials and plants away from your house. Keeping trees, bushes and plants trimmed so they don’t touch your home is an easy and effective way to keep pests away. Trim tree branches back away from your roof. Don’t make it easy for rodents to access your roof.
Don’t let pests hitch a ride into your home. Bringing in the holiday decorations from the garage or storage shed? Make sure pests don’t hitch a ride in storage containers, just one spider can spawn hundreds of babies.
Don’t leave pet food outside, and keep bird feeders away from your house. Rodents love any food, so leaving these items outside is an open invitation to a never ending buffet.
Do It Yourself & Keep The Pests Out of Your Home
The above are a few ways you can protect your home from pests moving in this winter. A little work will help to keep the bugs and rodents out, and your family comfortable. However, if you do encounter a pest or rodent problem this winter, seeking the advice of an experienced pest control company can help you rid of these unwanted visitors.
Once the weather starts to cool off here in Las Vegas and Henderson, Roof Rats will be on the move, looking for warmer areas to build nests. Roof rats often construct their nests in attics of homes as they offer protection from the cooler temperatures outside, as well as ample room to nest. These unwelcome house guests can wreak havoc on a home, and any other place they nest due to their destructive nature. These pesky rodents chew on anything from home electrical wiring, to structural beams, drywall, and more. They constantly chew and gnaw just about anything to keep their front teeth from growing too long.
How Roof Rats Get Into Your Home
Roof Rats, as their name implies, prefer living higher off the ground. These vermin rodents can travel via power lines, tree tops, roofs, and even by ground nesting and breeding to create ever growing populations, which can spread out like a plague. If you’re a home owner, or business that’s been infested by Roof Rats, it’s a pretty good bet that homes or businesses around you have the same problem.
Signs of a Roof Rat Problem
If you’re not paying attention, a Roof Rat infestation can go unnoticed for a while, but will eventually manifest itself in one way or another, often with costly repairs to your home or vehicle(s). Understanding the telltale signs of a Roof Rat problem early can help you decide quickly the best solution for your specific issue.
Inspecting Your Home or Business Property. This seems simple enough, but understanding the signs you’re looking for can make this task much easier to identify if you have a problem quickly.
Chew or gnaw marks in or around your homes exterior. Roof Rats will enter your home any way they can. Chew marks and holes on roof vents, soffits, crawlspace vents, siding, garage doors, and HVAC ducting can point to entry into the home by these rodents. Chew and gnaw marks on trees can also point to Roof Rat activity on your property as they like to hang out in the tops of trees. Roof Rats can enter your home through a hole as small as ¾ of an inch, so often a thorough inspection is required.
Signs of nesting. Roof Rats are looking for shelter, especially when nights get cooler. Las Vegas and Henderson residents often will find signs of nesting activity in: BBQ’s, vehicles parked for longer periods, boats, and storage areas. If these rodents take up nesting in one of these areas, they almost always will cause destruction as they can chew through expensive electrical cords, circuits, hoses and more.
Noises in the night. Roof Rats are nocturnal and active during the evening and night hours, as they prefer to move around when there is less human activity. Many customers of Western Exterminator have reported that they hear scratching and moving around in the ceiling/attic areas, as well as walls, and storage areas.
Foul smell. Where Roof Rats lives, they will also die. If you’re smelling a foul smell, often described as a rotten asparagus smell, you may have a Roof Rat infestation. This smell will often get worse when a homes HVAC system is turned on as the smell will circulate throughout a room, or section of the home. It’s notable to say this isn’t always the case depending on what type of heating and cooling system you use.
What to do if you have a Roof Rat Infestation
Rats in general are very hearty and resourceful rodents. Removing basic essentials such as food, water, and shelter are key to making sure your property is not a suitable place for them to live. Keeping pet food secure, garbage cans secure, and cleaning up any fruits and vegetable material will keep them looking for food elsewhere. Roof Rats can survive on very little water, so making sure that your home does not possess a water source is important to keeping them away. Water dishes, bird baths, fountains, leaky sprinklers / irrigation, and even leaky faucets all provide a readily available water source for rats.
Removing the Current Roof Rat population
This can be a tricky endeavor. Many home owners are tempted to use over- the-counter poisons and treatments to get rid rodents from their homes. Using over-the-counter poisons present three real dangers. First, if you have pets and/or children, you must be extremely careful not to inadvertently pose a risk to those family members. Second, if you’re successful in getting the rat(s) to consume the poison, they will most likely return to your home, their nesting place, to die. This often leaves home owners with a putrid smell and the discovery of dead rodents that need to be removed. Third, as a home owner, how can you know for sure that all of the Roof Rats have been eradicated?
Enlisting the Help of a Roof Rat Extermination Professional
Many home owners in the Las Vegas and Henderson area will often opt to hire a professional extermination company that is trained to deal with Roof Rats. These professionals will understand the nesting and feeding habits of this rodent, and know the telltales signs to look for when determining the entry points to your home. It’s this knowledge, along with different removal techniques, that allow a home owner to choose the best option to fit their needs. This makes professional extermination an attractive option for people dealing with Roof Rat infestations.
Along with the removal of the current Roof Rat population, a trained rodent control professional will be able to offer sound advice on how to make sure your home isn’t overrun by these unwelcome house guests again.
The media hype surrounding the Brown Recluse Spider, along with the often mis-identification of spider bites has led to a large amount of unwarranted hysteria surrounding this particular spider. Here at Western Exterminator we often get asked questions regarding this infamous spider and how to identify it, and in particular how to tell it apart from its close relative, the Desert Brown Spider.
It is also notable that Brown Recluse Spiders are not nearly as prevalent in Southern Nevada, Las Vegas and Henderson as the Desert Brown Spider.
Identifying Characteristics of the Brown Recluse Spider
The Brown Recluse – Violin Marking
Many people misidentify the Brown Recluse Spider just based upon the Violin, often referred to as Fiddle markings on the spider’s body, technically referred to as a cephalothorax. The spiders legs, eyes, and mouth fangs are attached to the cephalothorax. The color of this Violin shape will be dark brown in color. Other identifying characterizes of the Brown Recluse Spider are listed below:
Color of spider will be uniform, light tan to dark brown
Long thin legs
Oval abdomen, with no markings
3 sets of eyes
Spiders abdomen will be uniform in color, with fine hairs
The spiders legs are smooth, with no spines
Spiders legs will be uniformly colored
Spiders body will measure no more than 1/2 of an inch in length
And, of course there will be a dark brown Violin shape on the spiders cephalothorax
Identifying Characteristics of the Desert Brown Spider
Closely related to the Brown Recluse Spider is the Desert Brown Spider, they’re from the same Genus: Loxosceles. Just like Brown Recluse Spiders, the Desert Brown Spider can (not always) have a Violin shaped marking on its cephalothorax, but often it is much lighter in color when compared to the dark brown markings on a Brown Recluse. As both are from the same family and genus of spiders, many of the characteristics are the same. Desert Brown Spiders are typically yellowish-brown to tan in color, and measure the same size as a Brown Recluse at up to ½ an inch in length.
Bites from these spiders
Desert Brown Spiders are much more prevalent in the Las Vegas area, when compared to the Brown Recluse. In either event, both spiders are dangerous as their bites are necrotic. Bites from this family of spiders can cause severe tissue damage, which can result in a large open sore called a necrotic lesion.
Desert Brown Spider & Brown Recluse Extermination
The dangers associated with having these types of spiders in your home warrants asking for professional help for many home owners. Enlisting the help of a professional pest control company can help home owners identify areas of concern, and treatment options to keep these unwanted visitors out of your home.
The roof rat (Rattus Rattus) gets its name from its tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. According to the Southern Nevada Health District, roof rats have been documented in the Las Vegas valley since 1990. Initial identifications were made in areas including Spanish Trails and the Scotch 80’s, and were associated with imported palm trees.
Today, however, roof rats can be found in every neighborhood across our valley. From Anthem to Centennial Hills they can often be seen at night running along overhead utility lines or block walls. They may live in trees or attics, and climb down to a food source.
Roof rats are primarily nocturnal and usually begin searching for food shortly after sunset. If the food source is in an exposed area and can’t be eaten quickly, they will carry it to a hiding place before eating it. Many rats hoard considerable amounts of solid food, which they eat later in a dismantled wood pile, attic, shed or behind boxes in a garage.
To make your home less attractive to roof rats, follow these suggestions to reduce any type of rodent infestation:
Caulk all holes, cracks, crevasses, or gaps (any opening larger than a nickel) on the exterior walls and underneath the eaves of block or wood constructed homes, sheds, etc.
Pet doors, vents, and exterior door and window screens should be secured at night.
Secure garbage in proper rodent-proof containers.
Remove attractants such as pet foods, bird feeders, and standing water. Since these rats usually require free water, any source of water can be a strong attractant.
Prune shrubs so that the ground below them is clearly visible.
Stack firewood, lumber and other materials at least one foot away from walls and fences and at least 18 inches off the ground.
Eliminate or severely prune back vines growing on buildings and fences.
Prune trees so that the branches do not touch roofs, fences, overhead wires, or the branches of adjacent trees.
Prune the skirts of trees so that the branches do not hang down to the ground.
If you live in Las Vegas or Henderson and roof rats have overtaken your home or you simply want to prevent a rodent problem, we welcome you to contact us by phone or fill out our form. No matter how large a rodent problem you may have, our trained pest control technicians can curb your existing rodent activity and ensure that these pests are not an issue in the future.
For residential and commercial rodent control and prevention in Las Vegas and Henderson, call Western Exterminator today!
It’s the last celebration for the summer. Labor Day means shorter, cooler days are around the corner. The kids have started a new school year. Football season is starting! Maybe you have planned a party or barbecue. While the thought of your end of summer yard party is exciting, the thought of sharing it with insects and critters makes you cringe. Keep your guests happy and your backyard pest-free during your Labor Day party by following these tips:
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning a barbeque before sunset, adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles that can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes in the area.
Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to fragrances from shampoo, perfume and candles — not to mention food and drink. Avoid using scented items beforehand and provide clear plastic cups for your guests as aluminum cans and plastic bottles are good hiding spots for stinging insects.
Prior to the party, check screen doors and repair any holes. And with guests coming in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
1. Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers and containers.
2. Keep garbage containers sealed and away from guests.
3. Clean trash, spills and crumbs immediately from tables and other surfaces.
4. Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
5. Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in tightly closed garbage containers.
6. Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor space for eating and entertaining.
7. Remove or drain sources of standing water in your yard that could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including birdbaths, wading pools or garden ponds.
At Western Exterminator, we hope you enjoy your yard during these final days of summer without worrying about being stung. If you do discover a stinging insect issue on your property, give us a call or fill out our contact form! With stinging insect and pest control services offered in Las Vegas and Henderson, we are ready to help you enjoy the upcoming fall season!