Lovebugs, also known as honeymoon flies and two headed bugs, are a non-native pest that came over from Central America about 80 years ago. Lovebugs are most commonly found in the United States in the Gulf Coast states, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Mating season occurs twice per year, once in May and again in September. During lovebug season, males attach themselves to females and stay connected to each other during the entire mating process, sometimes taking up to 12 hours. The female will then lay anywhere from 150 to 300 eggs. Within 4 days of laying these eggs, the female dies.
Lovebugs are usually active between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. They are attracted to heat and exhaust and are often found near highways. While they don’t bite or sting, they can leave an acidic residue on your car which can damage paint and clog radiators.
Although they don’t cause significant damage to humans, they can be quite a nuisance. Here are 4 ways you can keep lovebugs away.
- Avoid light colors. Lovebugs are attracted to light colors. Avoid wearing dark colored clothing when possible. Don’t sit near light colored walls, as well.
- Blow them away. Lovebugs are not good fliers. They can easily be kept a bay by using fans, especially outdoors.
- Avoid peak hours. Lovebugs are typically active between 10 am and 6 pm. Limit outdoor activities during these hours when possible. They are also attracted to heat and exhaust fumes. Try to time driving activities, mowing, and other yardwork around these peak hours if you can.
- Protect your car. Lovebug season peaks twice per year, in May and September. Just prior to these times, apply a thorough coat of wax to provide a barrier between the bugs and your paint job. Wash off any bugs as soon as possible after arriving at your destination.
If you have a problem with lovebugs or any other pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
The cooler weather of fall drives many pests indoors in search of warmth from the cold, shelter from the weather, and food when supplies are scarce. These overwintering pests will spend the cold season indoors, often in your home, until the weather warms back up in the spring. Some common fall pests are spiders, rodents, roaches, and stinkbugs. Don’t let these pests take over your home this fall. Keep them out with these 4 fall pest proofing tips.
1. Seal Them Out
The first step in pest-proofing your home is to seal them out. Pests can be very creative when it comes to finding ways into your home. Screen attic vents, chimney openings, mail slots, and pet doors. Seal any cracks or crevices on the exterior of your home with caulk or steel wool. Seal around any utility pipes that enter your home. Replace or repair weatherstripping on doors and windows. Repair any loose mortar around windows and foundations. Install door sweeps on your doors. Repair and replace any window screens.
2. Dry It Out
Most pests need water to survive. Many prefer a moist environment to thrive in. Eliminating sources of water will help keep pests out of your home. Keep crawlspaces, attics, and basements dry and ventilated. Consider crawlspace enclosure. Use a dehumidifier in garages and basements. Make sure you have a proper drainage system installed outside your home. Install gutters and keep them clear of debris. Consider installing gutter guards to help eliminate clogs. Make sure drainpipes are diverting water away from foundations. Repair any leaks as soon as possible. Get rid of any standing water on your property.
3. Clean It Up
Pests will also be drawn to any areas of your home where they can find food. Eliminating these food sources will go a long way towards pest-proofing your home. Keep kitchen counters and appliances clean. Store food in airtight containers. Empty your trash regularly and use trashcans with lids. Clean up after each meal, making sure to not leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Seep, mop, and vacuum regularly. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.
4. Don’t Forget Outside
Some pests will lurk outside your home and use every opportunity they can to hitchhike their way inside. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and inspect it carefully before bringing it indoors. Keep shrubbery trimmed and grass mowed. Don’t let any limbs or branches touch the exterior of your home. Inspect any storage boxes, decorations, etc. before bringing them inside.
If you have a problem with pests during any season of the year, contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.
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Spider sightings tend to increase when the weather cools off. While most spiders prefer to live outdoors, a few will make their way inside in search of food and water. Most spider species also mate in the fall, increasing the numbers we see as they go in search of their partner. Young spiders are born in the spring, taking the summer to grow and mature. By fall they are bigger, venturing out and starting to build their webs. All of these factors combine to increase the number of spider sightings we see near the end of the year.
There are many types of spiders common to this area, some venomous but most harmless. Here are 9 of the most common spiders in Georgia to look out for this fall.
Joro spiders are a non-native species originating in Asia that were first spotted in Georgia in 2014. Since then they have started to expand their population throughout the southeastern United States. Joro spider eggs hatch in late spring, with sightings as early as May. They will build their webs anywhere they can find, including decks, porches, houses, plants, landscaping, etc. They are larger than most other spider species in the US. Females can measure up to 4″ in length with males only reaching about 1/4″ in size. Their colors vary – males are usually brown while females can be blue-gray or yellow with red markings on their abdomen and black legs with yellow bands. They are commonly found on the edges of woods and around homes. They are not usually seen indoors and their bites are rare. There is no research to show that Joro spiders are dangerous to humans.
The black widow is one of the few structure-invading species of spiders in our area. Their fangs are big enough to penetrate human skin and their venom is powerful enough to cause side effects in humans. In fact, they are the most venomous spider in North America. Antivenom for their bites does exist. Female black widows grow to lengths of 3/4″ while males are about half that size. They are one of the easiest types of spiders to spot with black bodies and distinctive red hourglass markings on the underside of their abdomen. They have very round body shapes. These spiders can be found indoors and outdoors, preferring protected, sheltered areas to live in. They are most active at night, spinning webs to catch their prey in. Outside they can be found around decks, in barns and outbuildings, under rocks, or in woodpiles. Inside they can usually be found in areas that aren’t disturbed or used frequently, such as garages, basements, closets, and crawlspaces.
Brown widow spiders are another non-native species, although can now be found throughout the southern and western United States. Bites from the brown widow aren’t as potent as those from their black widow cousins and don’t cause nearly as bad of side effects. Only brown widow spiders bite. Brown widows also prefer undisturbed areas to live in but can often be found in garages and basements, gardens, on patio furniture, on mailboxes, on outdoor toys, and in storage closets. Female brown widows grow to about 1/2″ long while males are about half this size. Both males and females are brown in color with tan and black legs. They also have the hourglass marking like black widows, but theirs are orange in color.
Brown recluse spiders are commonly found in the southeastern and midwestern United States. They are also easily identifiable by the distinctive markings found on their bodies. These spiders are known for “secretive” behaviors, preferring to hide in warm, dark, dry habitats. They are commonly found in woodpiles, basements, and closets, especially in old shoes that aren’t worn often. They will bite, with symptoms taking up to 3 hours to show up afterwards. Brown recluses range from 1/4″ to 1/2″ in length. They are tan to dark brown in color with a dark fiddle-shaped marking on their back.
Wolf spiders are another common species you may see this fall. These spiders don’t use webs to catch prey; instead they hunt their prey, utilizing their speed to catch them. There are over 100 species in the US and Canada. Female wolf spiders grow from 3/8″ to 1-3/8″ in length while males range from 1/4″ to 3/4″. They are usually dark brown or yellow with striped markings on their legs. They are also very hairy. Wolf spiders hunt at night and hide out during the day. Once inside, they usually stay at lower levels and are often spotted in the floor along walls and under furniture. Outside they are found in woodpiles, under rocks, and other sheltered areas of landscaping. They can be beneficial to have around because they eat other pests that can cause problems around your home. They can bite but it is extremely rare.
Common House Spider
The common house spider gets its name from the fact that it is commonly found inside homes. These spiders are commonly found worldwide. They don’t pose a threat to humans and are more of a nuisance pest. Their webs in your home are the biggest issue they cause. Female house spiders grow from 3/16″ to 5/16″ in length while males range from 1/8″ to 3/16″. They are yellowish-brown in color with dirty white abdomens and dark stripes that meet at an angle.
Orb weaver spiders are named for the orb-shaped webs they create. There are over 2800 species of these spiders worldwide. Adults range in size from 1/2″ to 1″. Their coloring varies greatly among species; they are mostly reddish-brown to gray but some varieties are a vibrant yellow color. Because there is such variation among species, the best way to identify an orb weaver is by it’s large, circular, wagon-wheel shaped web. Orb weavers don’t pose any threats to humans but their large webs can be problematic around your home.
The crevice spider, also known as the southern house spider, are commonly found in the southeastern United States. They are often mistaken for brown recluse spiders. They range in size from 1/2″ to 3/4″. Males are usually brown or amber in color while females are black or gray and resemble tarantulas. They prefer to build their webs at higher elevations and are usually found on the outside of houses, outbuildings, and barns. They are known to crawl across anything in their path, including humans! They do not pose a threat to humans, however.
The trapdoor spider is a large, hairy spider that can range in color from yellowish brown to reddish brown to black. They have powerful jaws and sharp fangs. Trapdoor spiders get their name from the burrows they construct with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation and silk. They spend most of their lives underground and usually hunt at night. Trapdoor spiders are not aggressive and, in fact, are often timid when confronted. They can bite but this is rare. They do not pose a significant threat to humans.
Once you’ve identified the spider(s) you have around your home, the next step is preventing them. You can prevent spiders by:
- Getting rid of webs as soon as you spot them.
- Decluttering your home to help eliminate hiding spaces.
- Sweeping and dusting frequently.
- Using natural spider repellents like peppermint oil and cinnamon.
- Keeping firewood away from your home.
- Shaking out clothes and shoes before wearing them.
- Storing unused or seldom used items in sealed bags or boxes.
- Contacting your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation, treatment, and prevention plan.
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In the southern states, there are many species of spiders found and there is a good chance you’ve seen some of them. Many spiders make themselves at home in our yards, gardens, flower beds, and inside our homes. But as the weather gets cooler, you’re bound to see more spiders come inside to seek shelter from the cooler weather. Here are a few common spiders that may invade your home when the temperatures drop.
A house spider is a common name given to spiders that are primarily found inside your house. They vary in color, but most are yellow to brown with elongated abdomens. They can usually be found in ceiling corners, under furniture, and inside closets, basements, garages, and crawl spaces. When outdoors, they are often found in windows, under eaves, and near light sources.
They can be a nuisance to have but are not a threat to humans. Because of the low humidity in newer homes, house spiders are becoming less common in houses and more likely to be found in garages, sheds, barns, and warehouses.
A brown recluse spider is light to dark brown, with a signature dark brown violin shape on its back. They are commonly found outdoors in debris and woodpiles but can be found indoors usually underneath furniture, inside storage bins, and in dark recesses like baseboards. The brown recluse can also be found hiding out in closets, attics, and crawl spaces.
This spider species is one you should look out for as its bite is painful. If cornered, they will bite, leaving an ulcerating sore that must be treated by a medical professional immediately.
Wolf spiders are typically dark brown with pale markings or stripes. Their legs are long and spiny, and most have hair on their bodies. If found indoors, they are typically on the floor, especially along walls and under furniture. If found outdoors, they are usually under leaves, woodpiles, yard debris, and stones.
They can bite, but it is very rare for them to do so; even if they do it doesn’t pose a significant threat to humans. They are unique in that they don’t catch their prey in webs but will chase them down using their speed.
One of the most easily identifiable spiders in the US, these shiny, black spiders are one of the most fearsome out there. Most can identify them by their prominent red hourglass shape on their back. Black widow spiders are commonly found around woodpiles and can easily access your home by hitching a ride on your firewood. They are also found in garages, eaves, empty boxes, and even shoes that are stored away.
Females are more aggressive than males and will bite. They can be extremely harmful to humans and their bite should be taken seriously. Symptoms from a bite include fever, elevated blood pressure, nausea, and sweats. It should be treated immediately to stop any further neurological damage.
Spiders are more common in the fall and winter as they make their way indoors, so be on the lookout for these spiders once the temperature begins to drop. If you suspect a spider problem, contact your local pest control company who can help identify the type of spider you have and provide you with a thorough inspection and treatment plan that is right for you and your property.
No matter what the temperature is, pests are still in search of two things: shelter and food. This means that throughout the year, your home is at risk for any pest to enter and invade. Each season brings different pests to the varying stages of their life cycles. This means that while you can expect mosquitoes in the summer, you wouldn’t expect them in the winter. It’s important to know the seasonal pest patterns for your area so you can make the proper preparations for your home.
Winter is a time for hibernation and survival for many pests and wildlife. The colder weather has most pests looking for shelter. Depending on the pest, they often seek it both outdoors and indoors. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects seek out places in logs or eaves of homes. Overwintering pests like spiders, cockroaches, and rodents tend to look indoors, sometimes in our homes, for a warm place to inhabit. The main key to preventing these pests is to start pest-proofing in the fall!
Springtime brings certain pests out from hibernation and many look to start the mating process. Pests that hibernate during the winter will awaken from a dormant state and emerge. Increased activity begins for pests like termites as their swarming season begins. Likewise, spring rain will drive ants out from their nesting sites in search for higher grounds. It’s important to ensure your home is prepared for these pests throughout the spring. Getting proactive now on your pest proofing will only ensure that these pests stay out of your home. Inspect the exterior and interior of the home for cracks or holes and make sure your yard is clear of standing water.
Backyard pests are out and about during the humid months of summer. While we tend to see fewer summer pests indoors, we do see a larger amount in our yards. Mosquitoes are especially active during these months due to the moisture of the spring and summer rains. Others like bees, wasps, and other stinging pests can be seen too.
Before winter hits, most pests are getting ready to hibernate and prepare for the cold weather during the fall season. In these months, certain pests and wildlife creatures will invade your property in search of shelter for the winter. Fall pests include ladybugs, boxelder bugs, and spiders. These pests are most likely looking for shelter before the colder temperatures hit.
If you feel your home is nesting unwanted pests or would like to ensure they don’t enter your home, call your local pest control company who can provide you with a home inspection, prevention plan, and treatment plan.