Homeowner’s Guide to Keeping Spiders Out

Homeowner's guide to keeping spiders out of Las Vegas NV homes - Western Exterminator of Las VegasWhile seeing spiders is a normal part of daily life throughout the entire year, they are especially abundant in the fall months. Every year when temperatures begin to drop, spiders start to move inside of homes for shelter and in search of a mate. As with most pests, spiders dislike cooler weather and are attracted to the dark, warm areas easily found inside of homes. Although most species won’t cause harm, no homeowner want a spider infestation. Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can prevent spiders from getting inside of your property in the first place. Read on for Rentokil’s top spider prevention tips for this fall and all year long.

What are Spiders Attracted To?

Like any pest, spiders are driven indoors for survival-based reasons. Some of the things inside your property that spiders may be attracted to include: 

  • Food: If you have other types of insects inside your home due to leaving out food or messes, spiders will appear to feed on those insects.
  • Clutter: Piles of debris, clothes, garbage, or anything else are the perfect hiding spots for spiders.
  • Warmth & darkness: Darker, warm areas of the home are sought out by spiders.

How to Spider-Proof Your Home

Except for black widows and desert brown spiders, most spiders are harmless and not aggressive. That said, no one wants to deal with an excess of spiders in their home, no matter what type they are! Successfully keeping spiders out of your home requires the same efforts needed for all types of pest control:

  1. Locate and seal any potential entry points for spiders. This includes patching up holes, cracks, crevices, and the like in your windows, doors, and more.
  2. Always inspect old boxes or pieces of furniture for spiders before bringing them indoors in case spiders are lurking.
  3. Keep a tidy home. As mentioned previously, clutter and messes provide ample shelter for spiders.
  4. Take proper care of your lawn and landscape. Untrimmed shrubbery and overgrown grass may draw spiders to your property, eventually allowing them indoors.

How to Get Rid of Spiders

Even when you’ve tried to seal your home from spiders, they may still be able to make their way indoors. DIY spider control only works so well, and seeing an excess of spiders inside your home signals that you need to call a professional pest control company. Expert pest technicians, such as those found at Rentokil, can not only locate the source of your spider problem but also keep future infestations from occurring.

Protect Your Home From Black Widow Spiders

How to prevent black widow spiders in Las Vegas.Very few people welcome the sight of a spider in or near their home, and it can be a frightening experience for many! While most spiders are typically harmless and actually beneficial to the environment, there are a few in the Las Vegas area to be wary of. Along with the desert brown spider, black widows are not only one of the most common spiders in Southern Nevada but also the most dangerous. Although they only bite when threatened, there are a number of ways you can prevent these poisonous spiders from getting in or near your home.

What Attracts Black Widows to Your Property?

Just as with any type of spider, black widows typically enter homes for survival-based reasons. They are solitary creatures and, for the most part, prefer to stay away from humans and remain in their outdoor environment. Some of the things black widows may be attracted to in your home include:

  1. Food: Spiders are drawn indoors to prey on the other insects that may be inside your home. When you leave out food, insects will feed on that food, and spiders eventually make their way indoors to feed on those insects!
  2. Debris: If you have piles of clothes, garbage, or debris scattered around, you may unknowingly be creating a haven for spiders.
  3. Warmth: Similarly to any pest, black widows may make their way inside to escape dropping temperatures at night or during the winter.

Preventing Black Widows in Las Vegas

Properly protecting your home from black widows entails the same methods that apply to many types of insects and pests. The best method of spider control is prevention, and there are a number of things you can do to keep spiders out of your property:

  • To prevent black widows from getting inside, make sure to inspect any boxes or pieces of furniture for egg sacs or live spiders before bringing items into the home.
  • Locate and seal off any potential entry points around the perimeter of your home, including windows and doors.
  • Always wear gloves when handling or sorting through boxes in attics or basements.
  • Trim back plants and trees from the foundation of the home and keep a tidy yard free of hiding spots.

Professional Spider Control Services

If you’ve implemented preventative measures to protect your home from black widows and still notice them in or near your home, it’s time to call in the professionals! Black widows have a very dangerous bite and quick, reliable action needs to be taken if they are on your property. At Rentokil, we know how terrifying these spiders can be—call us today to learn more about our spider control services!

How to Prevent Spiders from Getting Inside Your Home

Spiders may be drawn to your home for a number of reasons. Most people loathe or dread the idea of spiders in their home, even though they are typically harmless.Black widows in the Las Vegas valley. Western Exterminator That said, the Las Vegas area harbors several dangerous spiders that you definitely don’t want hanging out in your home, including the black widow, desert brown recluse, and wolf spider. By being aware of what spiders to look out for in your house as well as implementing prevention tactics, you can effectively reduce the amount of spiders that find their way inside.

Dangerous Spiders in Your Home

While most house spiders are harmless and even help eliminate other insects in the home, there are several particularly aggressive types that should be avoided. When these do make their way inside, it’s important to call a professional who can remove them for you. The three types of spiders you should be wary of are:

  1. Black widow: This species is easily identified by their shiny black bodies and signature red hourglass marks on the abdomen. Western Exterminator protects Las Vegas valley residents from desert brown spiders.They are especially aggressive when they are defending their eggs, which is typically when a bite may occur.
  2. Desert brown spider: Cousin to the well-known and feared brown recluse spider, desert brown spiders prefer quiet, undisturbed locations in warmer climates. They are only aggressive if they are threatened, in which case they may bite.
  3. Wolf Spider: These fast-moving spiders have a unique Union Jack impression on their backs. Although less venomous than black widows and desert brown spiders, they are known to give painful bites when provoked.

Preventing Spiders from Coming Inside

If a spider’s outdoor environment simply isn’t doing it for them anymore, they are likely to seek out a new environment for food, shelter, or even mating reasons. Western Exterminator protects Las Vegas valley residents from wolf spiders.Taking preventative measures to ensure your home is not suitable for spiders is the best method of avoiding and controlling dangerous spiders infestations. Some spider prevention tips include:

  • Inspect the areas around your property for existing populations of spiders.
  • Identify any holes, cracks, or crevices on the exterior of your home and seal them.
  • Cut back bushes, trees, shrubs, and any other landscaping that is too close to the foundation of your home.
  • When cleaning inside your home, sweep every corner and remove cobwebs from ceilings.
  • Tightly seal food and keep a tidy environment inside to avoid insects spiders prey on.
  • Caulk the gaps in doors and windows, or install secure screens.
  • Keep attics, garages, and basements organized and free of clutter.
  • Thoroughly inspect or shake out boxes or other items from outdoors or the garage before bringing them inside.

Professional Spider Prevention and Control Services

If you’ve followed all the above prevention tips and still have spiders in your home, it may be time to call in a professional. Any dangerous spiders should also be taken care of by an expert, who can help keep spiders out of your home for good. At Western Exterminator, our technicians can be trusted to professionally and reliably eliminate spider infestations. Call us today for more information!

Pests that Hitch a Ride on Your Christmas Tree

If you’re worried about bugs hitching a ride on your Christmas tree this year, you’re not alone! According to Associate Professor Bjarte Jordal at the University Museum of Bergen, your Christmas tree could be home to over 25,000 tiny insects!

The key word here is: tiny. Although the idea of carrying creepy insects inside isn’t exactly a welcome thought, the research conducted by Jordal is also not as serious as it sounds. Read on to find out more about pests that hitch a ride on your Christmas tree!

Common Pests in Christmas Trees

Christmas trees (typically spruce, fir, or pine) are natural homes for many different species of insects, especially pests that feed off of softwood trees. Evergreen trees are also home to a lot of nesting insects during the winter. Here is a brief list of pests commonly found on Christmas trees:

  • Wood or bark beetles
  • Praying mantises
  • Spiders
  • Weevils
  • Aphids
  • Mites
  • Moths

A lot of these pests are microscopic, and will be invisible at first glance. If you find a lumpy, almost oblong brown sac, you’ve found a praying mantis sac. Be sure to remove the nest–praying mantis sacs have been known to hatch once warmed up inside! Praying mantises feed on insects that harm gardens and shrubs, so we recommend carefully placing the nest outside in another tree or bush.

Are Christmas Tree Bugs Dangerous?

None of these insects poses much of a threat to humans. Poisonous spiders don’t typically live in trees, and most of the other possible insects cannot (or will not) bite humans. One of the only possible dangers is mites: if the tree has an extreme population of mites, or someone has a very sensitive mite allergy, there might be an allergic reaction.

Don’t be alarmed by any wood-boring or bark beetles you find on your Christmas tree; beetles that eat softwood generally don’t go for furniture!

Preventing Bugs From Living in Your Christmas Tree

These pests might not be dangerous, but most people still don’t want them indoors! A really easy way to make sure the bugs don’t hitch a ride inside is to have your tree shaken before you take it home. Most pick-your-own Christmas tree lots have a shaker on the lot, and will shake your tree before netting it for transport.

If the lot doesn’t have a shaker, not to worry–simply put your tree on a white sheet, shake your tree vigorously, and vacuum up any bugs that fall out! It’s that easy.

Professional Pest Services Year-Round

While a lot of pests look to come inside for the winter, the pests that typically live on Christmas trees will actually die inside. The dry and warm conditions of your home aren’t ideal for a lot of species. If you shake your tree and something–unusual–comes out of it, or if you’re concerned that you’ve picked up an infestation, give us a call! At Rentokil, we are committed to protecting our community, and we’d love to help you and your family stay pest-free year-round!

Avoid Pests: 5 Spring Cleaning Tips

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.

8 Tips for Pest Proofing Your Home For Winter

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 Homecockroach exterminators las vegas nevada and henderson NV

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Seal up any cracks in siding, stucco, and piping. Using exterior grade silicon is a quick solution to stopping entry.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Are Daddy Longlegs Dangerous Spiders?

The most persistent myth surrounding “daddy longlegs” is that they are the world’s most venomous spider and we’re only safe from their bite, we are told, because their fangs are too small and weak to break through human skin.

It turns out that the notion is false on both counts. But a little clarification is needed.

In order to understand this notion, it first must be determined what a Daddy Longlegs is.  According to Wikipedia, Daddy Longlegs can be referred to as any one of the following:

  • Opillones – these are an order of arachnids, more commonly known as Harvestmen
  • Pholcidae – an order of spiders more commonly known as Cellar Spiders
  • Crane Fly – a member of the family of insects in the order of Diptera

Daddy Longlegs is just a nickname, so let’s get scientific

As we can see from above, Daddy Longlegs is just a nickname, and can include any one of the above insects, so to understand if Daddy Longlegs are indeed dangerous, we should look at each insect separately to determine the answer to this question.

Opillones – Harvestmendaddy longlegs Opiliones spider control exterminators in Las Vegas Henderson Nevada

Harvestmen can be found on every contentment in the world, excluding Antarctica. There have been over 6,500 different documented species of Harvestmen worldwide, and the true number of different species is thought to exceed 10,000.  Harvestmen have been documented as far back as 400 million years through various fossils, which shows their basic body structure has changed very little since then.

Are Harvestmen venomous?

In short the answer to this question is no. This is a fable that has spread, which states a Harvestmen’s fangs are too short, or too frail to pierce a humans skin, and if these fangs were able to pierce the skin, their venom would be among the most dangerous in the world. Of all the different species of Harvestmen researched, not one of them has venom glands. Harvestmen also do not have hollow fangs to transmit venom, instead Harvestmen use their fangs as grasping claws.

Pholcidae – Cellar Spiders

Pholcidae, often referred to as Cellar Spiders as also commonly known as Daddy Longlegs.  Spiders from this family are fragile, and a range in body size from 2 to 10 mm. Their body can differ in shape depending on the group they belong to.  Legs on these spiders have been documented up to 50mm in length.

Are Cellar Spiders venomous?

Cellar Spiders are spiders, so yes they are venomous.  The real question should be: is the venom toxic enough to affect a human, and what kind of reaction would it produce when compared to other venomous spiders?

In 2004, the Discovery Channel’s television series, Myth Busters aired an episode that tested the urban legend of the Cellar Spiders venom. In this episode, Adam Savage stuck his hand in a container of Cellar Spiders, and noted that he felt a bite that produced a short lived burning sensation, but nothing else. It was also noted during the episode that these spiders’ fangs measured approximately 0.25mm in length, while the average human skin thickness ranges between 0.5 to 4mm in thickness.

Crane Flies

Crane flies resemble an oversized mosquito and are found worldwide.  Crane flies are often referred to a Mosquito Hawks, Mosquito Eaters, Gallnipper, and Gollywhoppers.  They sometimes are also referred to as Daddy Longlegs, because of their long legged appearance.

Are Crane Flies Venomous?

No they’re not, Crane Flies are an invasive flying insect, not a spider.  Crane fly larvae live in the top layers of soil where they feed on roots, root hairs, and crops. The larvae can harm the growth of everything from normal lawns, to agricultural crops.  Other than agricultural losses and damage to ornamental landscape plants, crane flies pose no threat to humans.

Identifying a Brown Recluse Spider versus a Desert Brown Spider

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 Markingdesert brown spider pest Western Exterminator of Las Vegas las vegas henderson nv brown recluse spider

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

The desert brown spider may or may not have a violin marking.
The desert brown spider may or may not have a violin marking.

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.