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Dangerous Spiders Imported From Canary Island Bananas May Have Caused One Medical Emergency That Nearly Ended In Tragedy

Spider bites used to be shrugged off by parents from previous generations, but due to an increase in dangerous and exotic spiders in regions where they are not native, medical professionals are beginning to treat spider bites with a greater amount of concern. Dangerous spiders are relatively uncommon in the United States, but they are abundant in South America and even Mexico. Given the dramatic increase in global trade during recent years, the chances of finding a dangerous non-native spider in your town is now much more probable than it ever has been. You may be surprised by how often non-native spiders and insects are found by grocery store employees while unpacking food shipments from South America. Of course, the US is not the only recipient of agricultural food shipments from South America. The fruits that westerners have become used to having all season long are usually imported from South America. Europe also collects fruit shipments from South America and Island regions around the horn of Africa. In fact, a recent incident involving a British girl hospitalized as the result of a spider bite may have occurred as the result of spider-contaminated fruit shipments from the Canary Islands.

After a small area of skin on a girl’s forearm seemed to melt away in response to a spider bite, she was rushed to a hospital where she was promptly put on an emergency IV drip of antibiotics. The girl’s wound, which was initially no larger than a fifty cent piece, was immediately recognized by doctors as a false widow bite. The surgeon who met with the young bite victim claimed to have suffered a false widow bite himself, and he recently treated another British girl who also sustained a bite from the nasty spider. Upon the girl’s first examination, doctors believed that she would have to undergo surgery in order to have the affected area of skin removed. However, a heavy dose of three different antibiotics healed the wound, making surgery unnecessary. According to the doctors who treated the young girl, cases of false widow bites have been increasing in Britain, and it is being theorized that the spiders are arriving in Britain from banana shipments imported from the Canary Islands.

Do you ever wonder if the fruit that you buy from the store contains exotic insects from the fruit’s home country?

Spider Sightings Increase in Fall Months

Spider Sightings Increase in Fall Months | Phoenix Spider Control Experts

Spiders aren’t a seasonal pest, but many homeowners tend to notice an increased presence in their homes in the early fall months as the arachnids become more obvious while they search for a mate. Even though most spider species in the United States don’t pose health risks to humans, most people aren’t comfortable with any species sharing their living space. Magic Pest Control reminds homeowners that the best way to prevent spider infestations is to remove harborage sites within their homes.

Spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal, which means attics, basements and seldom used closets could be harboring these pests. Spiders can also crawl into homes through damaged window screens or cracks in the siding, meaning homeowners should conduct periodic checks of these areas to reduce spider problems.

It’s important to note that the black widow and brown recluse spiders are two species found in the United States that do pose health risks to humans when disturbed or feeling threatened.

The brown recluse spider typically does not bite humans unless threatened, but their bites can be painful and result in open sores. Measuring about a half inch with a dark brown violin marking on its back, brown recluse spiders build their webs in warm, dry and dark environments, notably basements and closets. Similarly, black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively. However, when they do bite, they can cause extremely painful bites, especially for children and the elderly. Recognized for its red hourglass shape under the abdomen, these spiders spin their webs close to the ground and are most often found in woodpiles and undisturbed areas.

Magic Pest Control offers the following tips to help prevent contact with spiders:

  • Avoid keeping clothing and shoes on the floor, especially if in an area known for spiders; consider storing inside plastic containers.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around the home.
  • Vacuum/sweep away webs in and around the home.
  • Shake out all clothing that has been in the laundry basket before wearing/washing.
  • Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter free.
  • If a spider bites you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.
  • If you have an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
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Spider Control Tips | Magic Pest Control

  • Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free.
  • Install screens and weather stripping on windows and door sweeps on doors.
  • Fix any cracks in siding and walls, especially where pipes or wires enter the home. Use a silicone-based caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
  • Store clothing inside plastic containers and check shoes before putting them on, as spiders often hide in these items.
  • If you suspect that a spider has bitten you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.
  • If you have a spider infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional.

Why Researchers Are Fascinated With The Spider Species That Eats Only Termites

Why Researchers Are Fascinated With The Spider Species That Eats Only Termites

Animal Predators can be either picky or indiscriminate when it comes to their feeding choices. There does not exist any predators that can eat just anything, as every predator species has its own tastes. Researchers have also never discovered any predatory animals that only consume one single species, except for one. Recently researchers discovered the very first monophagous true predator, which is a predator that consumes only one particular species of animal. The predator in question is a type of spider that belongs to the Ammoxenidae genus. Researchers have demonstrated that at least one spider species in the Ammoxenidae family preys upon, and consumes only one termite species. This termite species is known as Hodotermes mossambicus.

The Hodotermes mossambicus species of termite is more commonly referred to as the harvester termite, and they can be highly destructive to grassland and other forms of vegetation. Ammoxenid spiders live both in and out of soil and they are sometimes called sand divers due to their ability to dive headfirst into the ground when threatened. Since these termites and spiders both inhabit South African soil, they naturally encounter each other often, and these encounters never end well for the harvester termites. The spiders are always found to be concentrated in regions that are also highly populated with harvester termites, as the harvesters are their only food source. Ammoxenid spiders are able to detect termites either through vibrations or chemical cues. Once a young Ammoxenid spider is given its first harvester termite prey, the spider picks up on tactile cues from this initial encounter in order to locate more harvester termites on its own in the future.

The spider will first attack a harvester by biting one in between its head and cephalothorax. The harvester is then pulled beneath the soil’s surface where it is sucked of all its innards. Since harvester termites are not active year round, the spiders must collect enough harvester prey to keep on reserve during the termites off season. The spiders collect extra harvester termites by placing them in silken sacs for later consumption. The Ammoxenid spiders and their silken sacs are often found habitating abandoned harvester termite mounds.

Do you think that there are more spiders or insects that prey upon one particular species, but scientist have yet to discover them?

 

 

Where Are These Spiders and Scorpions Coming From?

Where Are These Spiders and Scorpions Coming From?

It’s easy to get frustrated with the pests in your home. You kill a scorpion one night, then find a spider in your home the next night. You think, “How do these bugs keep getting in?”

You think, “Where are these bugs coming from?”

You wonder, “Is there something that I can be doing to keep spiders and scorpions out of my house?”

Yes, there is something that you can do to keep spiders and scorpions out of your home. Here are some tips:

Frequent Cleaning: How often do you vacuum? How often do you sweep and mop? How often do you clean the windows and baseboards? These are the things that need to be done at least twice a week to ensure spiders and scorpions don’t make their way into your home. Many times, they come in simply because the kids haven’t picked up the floor in a few weeks, and things are piling up, making for great hiding spots.

Sealing: Spiders and scorpions, especially scorpions, can fit through cracks you can barely even see. Go around the baseboards and the foundation of your home with something as simple as caulking to seal those tiny cracks. If the baseboards are pulling away from the wall, if the corners don’t align perfectly, or if the windows are showing cracks along the house siding, use some caulking to seal those areas.

It’s the Season: Fall is the season for these types of pests. Scorpions and spiders began to make their way into your home to escape the evening chill.

The best thing that you can do to keep scorpions and spiders away from your home is to call in the professionals. Professional pest control experts, like our very own Magic Pest pros, will not only exterminate any pests, we will also seal your home to keep them out for the future.

Creeped Out By Spiders? Happy Halloween and Spider Season!

Creeped Out By Spiders? Happy Halloween and Spider Season!

One of the most commonly associated symbols of the fall season is the spider. These eight-legged crawlers even get their own spooky holiday on Halloween!

For Gilbert, Arizona homeowners, however, spiders are not restricted to the drop-down versions that hang from terraces or front porches on Halloween, or dangle upon glow-in-the-dark webbing across the bushes in October.

Web-spinning spiders can be found in many locations in and around a home. And while spiders are quite beneficial to our ecosystem – they eat unwanted insect pests – they are creepy and can be quite a nuisance for those who share the very common arachnophobia.

creeped-out-by-spiders-happy-halloween-and-spider-season

There are about 13 (lucky number 13) recluse spider species throughout the nation, and many of those species reside right here in the dessert of Arizona. We are quite use to the brown spiders, the hairy spiders, the large and small spiders, the more dangerous spiders like the Black Widow Spider, and the creepy but non-venomous Wolf Spider,  and the long-legged cellar spider (sometimes called the “daddy long-legs” spider).

Web-spinning spiders do not pose a threat to humans, but they are quite lethal to the unsuspecting prey that fly, fall, or are blown into the concentric circles that make up their webs.

Spider webs – often regarded as one of the strongest natural fabrics, and can be built and rebuilt overnight – are half as strong as a steel thread of the same thickness and more elastic. Spider webs are found in garages, carports, eaves, attics, sheds, around windows, and other places around your home.

How can you prevent spiders from becoming a nuisance around your home? Check out these tips:

  • Eliminate clutter: Spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal. Attics, crawl spaces and storage sheds are prime locations. Keep these areas clean and free from clutter, and seal boxes with tape to prevent spiders from climbing inside.
  • Suck and sweep spiders away: Vacuum or sweep windows, corners of rooms, storage areas, basements, and other seldom-used areas regularly to remove spiders and their webs. A spider’s soft body will not survive this process.
  • Wash clothing: Avoid leaving clothing and shoes on the floor, and consider storing them inside plastic containers in the off-season. Shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing. Wear gloves when going through boxes or when removing items from storage areas.
  • Seal cracks and crevices: Spiders can crawl into homes through damaged window screens or cracks in the siding. The exterior of homes should be inspected for these defects seasonally, as weather and changes in temperature can cause or worsen existing problems.
  • Inspect packages and boxes: Inspect such items as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Plants and firewood also can provide modes of transportation for spiders.
  • Maintain your landscape: Outdoors, you can eliminate spider hiding places and web-building areas by keeping your yard free of trash, leaf litter, and overgrown vegetation. Make sure to trim shrubs and plants near the house and other structures to discourage spiders from establishing a foothold.