Harry Potter’s friend, Ron Weasley, is probably in good company when he admits he hates spiders. But how much of spiders’ negative notoriety is really just a bad rap?
In truth, spiders are not intentionally harmful to humans. Most spider bites occur when humans accidentally trap or brush up against a spider and receive a defensive bite. On rare occasions, spiders may have a serious lapse in judgment and bite a human finger (or other body part) mistaking it for a caterpillar or other such prey. Even then, most spiders are too small and not capable of breaking the skin with their fangs, or their venom too weak to be dangerous to humans. Simply put — most spider bites are accidental, harmless and require no specific treatment.
Still, that is not enough to stop spiders from having a bad reputation. It is common for any unexplained skin irritation to be called a "spider bite." In fact, most skin lesions and symptoms that are attributed to spiders are rarely actually due to a spider bite. Research has shown that 80 percent of presumed spider bites are actually bites from other insects, or due to skin infections such as MRSA (a resistant staph infection).
Yet, occasionally, a spider’s bites will cause real harm. Spider bites may cause injury by three mechanisms. First, especially with larger spiders, the bite itself may be painful and cause injury. However, far more concerning is the spider's venom, which can include necrotic agents or neurotoxins. Spider bites rarely transmit infectious diseases.
Most spider bites are less painful than a bee sting. Pain from non-venomous spider bites typically lasts for five to 60 minutes while pain from venomous spider bites frequently lasts for longer than 24 hours. The rate of a bacterial infection due to a spider bite is low (less than one percent).
The two spiders of greatest concern in the United States are the brown recluse and the black widow spiders, most commonly found in southern states. Both species prefer warm climates and dark, dry places. Typically, these are timid, non-aggressive spiders, often found in dry, littered, undisturbed areas such as closets, woodpiles and under sinks.
Black Widow Spiders
Black widow spiders can be found throughout North America, but are most common in the southern and western areas of the United States. Male widows, like most spider species, are much smaller and generally less dangerous than the females. Widows tend to be non-aggressive, but will bite if the web is disturbed and the spider feels threatened. The more dangerous female is a dark colored spider and with a red hourglass marking on its belly. The bite feels like a pinprick, and at first may go unnoticed or seem rather minor. Early on there may be slight swelling and faint red marks. Within a few hours, though, intense pain and stiffness begin. Other signs and symptoms include: chills, fever, muscle cramps, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Typically, black widow bites are less common, but more severe than brown recluse bites. That said, no one in the United States has died from a black widow spider bite in more than 10 years.
Brown Recluse Spiders
The brown recluse spider, also known as the violin spider, is most commonly found in the south-central, mid-western and southern states of the United States. Most encounters with this spider occur from moving boxes or rooting about in closets, attics, garages or under beds where they may have nested. These spiders are brown in color with a characteristic dark violin-shaped (or fiddle-shaped) marking on its head. Whereas most spiders have eight eyes, brown recluses have six equal-sized eyes. The bite produces a mild stinging, followed by local redness and intense pain within eight hours. A fluid-filled blister forms at the site and then sloughs off to leave a deep, enlarging ulcer. Systemic (or generalized) reactions from a brown recluse spider bite vary from a mild fever and rash to nausea and listlessness. Generally, brown recluse spider bites are reported much more frequently than black widow bites, but while the brown recluse bite may cause very significant local skin reactions, it is much more unusual for these bites to cause generalized symptoms. Unfortunately, brown recluses are almost communal and can be sometimes be found in great numbers.
What To Do
When To Worry
- If you suspect a spider has bitten you, try to bring it with you to the doctor so they can determine the best course of treatment based on the species.
- Clean the site of the spider bite well with soap and water.
- Apply a cool compress over the spider bite location (using a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice).
- If you suspect the bite is form a black widow or brown recluse spider, and the bite is on an extremity, elevate it.
- Consider tying a snug bandage above the bite and elevate the limb to help slow or halt the venom's spread. Ensure that the bandage is not so tight that it cuts off circulation in your arm or leg.
- Adults can take aspirin or acetaminophen and antihistamines to relieve minor signs and symptoms (but use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers).
- Seek medical attention for any severe signs and symptoms, or if signs and symptoms continue to worsen for more than 24 hours.
If a local reaction continues to get worse for more than 24 hours, it may be time to seek medical attention. Look for redness spreading away from the bite, drainage from the bite, increase in pain, numbness/tingling, or a discoloration around the bite that looks like a halo or bull’s-eye. If generalized symptoms set in, be concerned. In very rare cases, there have been reports of spider bites (by spiders considered otherwise harmless) causing allergic reactions - including anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition (much like may result from the sting of a bee, or wasp in a highly allergic person).
Contact a pest professional if you think you may be dealing with a spider infestation.
FROM Pest World
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
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Buyer beware: NEVER buy (or take for free) USED bedding - mattresses OR frames from anyone -- EVEN IF YOU KNOW THEM!!
The story below highlights the importance of buying NEW directly from a reputable retail establishment! A "great deal" can end up costing you $thousands$ if any of the items you bring into your home have bedbugs hiding in them --- INCLUDING BED FRAMES -- where bedbugs can easily hide and not be seen!
BED BUGS: Dispelling Myths About Infestations Posted on: 9:31 pm, September 26, 2012, by Aaron Brilbeck, updated on: 10:18pm, September 26, 2012
"It seems like every week we are hearing from viewers with bed bug infestations. So we decided to talk with the experts to dispel some myths about the pests.
Michael and Amy Louck live in a clean, quarter million dollar home in Ankeny, and they’re fighting a bedbug infestation. There’s a misconception that bedbugs only infest dirty homes and slum apartments, but that’s not true. The Loucks got them when the bugs hitched a ride on a bed frame they bought on Craigslist. Now, they’re spending thousands of dollars to get rid of the pests, and have thrown out everything that may have come in contact with them.
“We’ve thrown out probably $10,000 dollars in stuff I would say,” Amy Louck says, “Most of the kids toys, all of the furniture that was in our daughters room, things that aren’t going to be easy to replace. Christmas presents, doll furniture, everything we could part with.”
According to the Polk County Health Department, that may not be the best way to get rid of the pests. “If you have a bedbug infestation chances are that they’re hiding in the carpeting, in outlets, in baseboards of the walls.” explains Sarah Boese with the Polk County Health Department, “So just throwing out items that you think might be in contact with the bedbugs probably won’t get rid of the problem completely.”
According to the Polk County Health Department the best way to get rid of bed bugs is to hire a professional to super-heat your home. Using chemicals yourself just won’t work. The Health Department also suggests regularly inspecting mattresses and bedding for signs of bed bugs like small black spots or tiny blood stains."
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C&C Home Services rarely goes over the amount of hours from our original quote. But let’s face it – sometimes a project may present us with a surprise and require additional work that was unforeseen. ONLY when circumstances are out of our control do we ever add additional hours….and we do so ONLY after a consultation & thorough explanation – so we promise no surprises when the final bill is presented.
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You can trust that C&C Home Services will not take on any project that we are not 100% confident in our skills & abilities to complete. We treat the work we do at your home as if we were doing it in our own home!
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"Mosquitoes, ants, water bugs, ticks and bees. They are coming out all over
the U.S. with a vengeance this summer according to bug experts.
The city of New Orleans has reported an elevated number of mosquitoes this
year, and so have many cities in northeast Illinois, as well as St. Paul,
Minn., where pest control workers have reported a 50 percent increase in call
In the Northeast, a mild winter and a mellow spring with warm and wet
conditions has added up to the perfect storm, creating a flourishing bug
Mike Deutsch, an urban Entomologist with Arrow Exterminating Company, tells
Fox News, "We are bracing for a major bug war, if you will. It all depends on
how the summer is. If the summer is really hot and there is a lot of moisture
like there has been the last month or so, the population of insects is going to
be out of control."
And there are certain species entomologists and exterminators are looking
out for -- the Asian tiger mosquito for one -- a very aggressive version of
mosquito that bites during the day. Many types of bugs have arrived far ahead
of schedule, says Deutsch.
"The mosquitoes were out early. Normally you don't really find them until
June, but we've got reports of mosquito problems as early as April, which is
very early. We also saw carpenter ant activity much earlier."
One of the
biggest concerns of having extra mosquitoes around this summer is the possible
increase in numbers of West Nile Virus cases. Last year, 11 people in the New
York City area contracted the virus. Two of them died.
Residents can take an active role in eliminating bug's breeding grounds
which usually involves water collection sites. Dominick Ninivaggi,
superintendent of Mosquito Vector Control for Suffolk County, Long Island, says,
"It is important to try and get rid of any standing water, particularly after a
rain. Get rid of any buckets, birdbaths, anything that has picked up water
because these mosquitoes can breed in a paper cup or even a bottle cap."
Ninivaggi says mosquitoes aren't the only blood-sucking predators they
are worried about. "We are also seeing an increase in certain species of ticks.
Ticks in the Northeast are a big problem, with the transmission of lime disease
and certain other tick-borne diseases. The mild winter seems to be giving us an
upper-crop of the ticks as well."
The best advice from these experts? Get out the bug spray on those warm days, especially when you might be near water and during dawn and dusk hours when these flying and crawling bugs are at their peak feeding times, and keep your fly swatter handy. You may need it for many types of insects this year."
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Krista gets to maintain and update the blog -- Eddie will, of course, have some creative input and all questions will be addressed & answered by him.