Differences Between Wolf Spider and Brown Recluse

Wolf spiders and brown recluse spiders are often confused for each other, due to their similar appearance. However, there are notable differences between the two. Differentiating between these two is important, since while the bite of a wolf spider is harmless to humans, brown recluses are venomous, and can cause tissue damage. As a matter of fact, wolf spiders are also venomous and their bites can sting, but don’t cause any long-term damage.

Location

Wolf spiders are found virtually all over the world, apart from the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. Brown recluse spiders, on the other hand, are only found in southeastern North America.

While living in Arizona you don’t have to worry about brown recluse spiders, though local and easily terminable infestations of the spider have been found.

The Violin on the Neck

brown recluse violin neck

Though other species of spiders (particularly cellar spiders and pirate spiders) have similar markings, it is one of the many traits that can help identify a brown recluse spider, since it clearly differs from the other two types of spiders in superficial visual characteristics. As far as their comparison with wolf spiders goes, the latter don’t have any such markings.

Eyes

Both brown recluse and wolf spiders have contrasting and peculiar arrangements of eyes, which can be used to identify them.

brown recluse wolf spider eyes

Legs

All spiders, being arthropods, have 8 legs. However, the individual design of their legs varies massively between species. In this case, wolf spiders have stockier legs with spines. In contrast, the brown recluse spider’s legs are much more slender, and don’t have spines. Instead, they are often covered in fine hair.

brown recluse wolf spider legs

Color

The color of various individuals of both types may vary, but there is one important identifying factor. The brown recluse spider always has a uniformly-colored abdomen, while the wolf spider’s abdomen has patches and lines in different colors.

brown recluse wolf spider color

Armed with these tips, you should now have no trouble in distinguishing between these two confusing species of arachnids. Remember: Wolf spiders―the spiny-legged, multicolored, eight-eyed, non-violin-marked ones―are perfectly safe for humans, while brown recluse spiders―the hairy-legged, uniformly colored, six-eyed, violin-marked ones―can cause serious injuries, and should be kept at arm’s length.

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Spooky Spiders in Arizona

spooky-spider-in-arizonaPeople seem to be more afraid of spiders than any insect out there, despite the fact that while a few of their bites can be dangerous, getting a disease from a mosquito such as yellow fever is much more harmful to humans. NC State University entomologist Matt Bertone says their frightening reputation is hardly justified. Bertone comes face to face with countless species of spiders every day. He states that most of the time when people call in thinking they have a spider bite it’s usually some other insect bite or a skin rash. Most spiders can’t bit us because their fangs aren’t big enough to pierce the skin. Even if they do bite us, it is usually no more painful than a minor bee sting.

Even bites from dangerous spiders such as black widows and brown recluses are very rare, as spiders tend to run away from people, only biting when they feel threatened. Just as we tend to stay away from them, they stay away from us. However, we are much closer to spiders than we might think. After doing a study of 50 different houses, Berton found that there was at least one spider, alive or dead, in every room of the houses. But, don’t worry, they stay pretty well hidden.

Are you afraid of spiders? Have you ever come across any of the venomous kind?

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Issues With Little Black Ants Everywhere?

Are you finding issues with little black ants everywhere?

Did come home or wake up to hundreds of tiny critters uniformly marching in a line to you kitchen, pet food bowl, or restroom?

Hot weather creates the perfect storm for persistent ants to head into your home in search for food and water. The endless clusters of them may seem unstoppable but there is an effective way to combat them.

But first, let’s learn a little bit about these unwelcomed guests.

Who are these guys? And What Are They Doing In My House?

Little black ants can come in a variety of colors ranging from dark-brown, black and jet black. They can be found throughout the United States, including the Phoenix Valley of Arizona.

Just like their name, they are about 2mm in length and have two nodes on its pedicel. The little black ants are very similar in appearance to Pharaoh ants except for its darker coloration.

Where Are They Coming From?

Almost all little black ant colonies originate from an outside dark covering. Tree stumps and piles of wood and bricks are common nesting areas for this type of pest. Once inside, they can be found in wall voids, underneath the edge of carpet or t-mold, cabinets, or masonry.

Don’t be deceived if the problem has progressed and it appears the ants are coming in from all around – the infestation originates from one source. The source will be found in one of the nesting areas mentioned above. The next step is to find this location by tracking the ant trail(s) using some professional techniques.

Our previous blog post covers in detail how ant trails are formed and typical pathways they take to get to food sources.

Be One With The Ants…Or At Least Know How To Follow A Trail

Following a clearly defined trail of hundreds of ants may not seem difficult; but, when you add breaks in the line, obstructions, coverings, or multiple trails – it can get tricky. To successfully track, follow the ant trail in the opposite direction that the majority of the ants are headed.

If there are multiple trails, this may take more time, but you will eventually find their home. It’s similar to solving a maze puzzle: Start with one route and if you come to a dead end, start from another route.

When you have followed the trail outdoors, removing grass or vegetation from the foundation, driveways, and sidewalks will be beneficial to continuing the hunt. Hidden trails can be found this way. Also, consider raking any vegetation or mulch around trees and shrubs. Ant colonies can be found underneath anything that is in contact with the soil – including sprinkler heads.

The most common nesting area for little black ants is tree stumps, dead wood or piles of items (bricks or stones). If located within a tree, the ants could be traveling up and down the trunk to a dead limb or hole high up – accessing this location may be difficult. Having a tree company prune any dead branches can remove the current ant colony and prevent any future ones from occurring.

If you still can’t find the nest, there still are methods for controlling the ant problem. Place baits near trail entrances into your home. This can attract many more ants for a couple of days before they start to subside. The baits will be collected by the ants and taken back to the nest to feed the rest of the colony. How’s that for a little bit of trickery?

Hooray, You Found The Ant Nest!

Now that you know where the hundreds of ants that were in your home are residing, you can take them out in one fell swoop. Contact a Pest Prevention company like Bug Guardian to help with ant eradication.

Continually monitoring pest activity around your property can make for a solid pest prevention plan as well, which is something Bug Guardian can also assist with.

A Shorter Summary Of Eliminating Little Black Ants

Just in case you zapped through the above looking for an easy-as-ABC control process, I have provided some quick bullet points. However, please note that the above provides very useful details (and some really cool images) for eliminating your ant problem.

  • What Are Little Black Ants? A 2mm ant that can be black, jet-black, or dark brown found throughout all of the United States. They are very common in the Phoenix Valley.
  • Where Are They Coming From? Common nesting place for little black ants are tree stumps and piles of wood and bricks. Foraging ants located inside can be found in wall voids, underneath the edge of carpet or t-mold, cabinets, or masonry.
  • How Can I Locate The Source? By using tracking techniques you can follow the ant trail in the opposite direction to find their nest. Smashing the visible ones in your home is a temporary fix, the nest has hundreds to thousands more that will invade. Find the ant’s nest to resolve the infestation.
  • What Treatment Do I Use For The Ants? Contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention to help with ant removal.
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As Fall ends and Winter arrives

PESTS BEGIN TO INVADE HOMES AS FALL ENDS AND WINTER ARRIVES

Bug Guardian Pest Prevention reminds homeowners to be cautious of unwanted pests as the season changes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – PHOENIX, AZ (1/3/2013) – As the fall season ends and the winter season arrives many homeowners think pests go away until the spring season.   This is not always the case.  The winter season is also a peak time for pests to make their way indoors seeking food, shelter and warmth.   Bug Guardian Pest Prevention, a pest control company servicing the Phoenix, AZ metro area, warns that homeowners are likely to experience increased pest activity inside the home as the seasons change.

“Transitioning from the fall to winter months, smaller pests including spiders, cockroaches and rodents search for a place to take refuge from the cold winter ahead – and houses are a great option,” said Tom Taylor, Owner at Bug Guardian Pest Prevention. “Unfortunately, these pests usually multiply fast, leading to a greater infestation and pest problem.  They can damage homes and can even become a danger to our health from the diseases they carry.”

Experts at Bug Guardian Pest Prevention recommend the following tips to keep pests at bay during the seasonal change:

  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home with caulk.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in trash containers with lids.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well-trimmed and away from your home.

“We also encourage homeowners to always be on the lookout for telltale signs of a pest infestation. If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe gnaw marks on wires, it’s best to contact a pest professional to inspect and treat the potential problem,” added Bug Guardian Pest Prevention.

For more information on these pests and how to protect your home, visit:  www.mybugguardian.com

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