Dear Spiders,

As a mature, well-educated, scientifically-minded and compassionate adults, I know that spiders are beneficial critters, beautiful, talented, dainty and deadly, largely to bugs which, lets face it, don’t appeal much to me. As exoskeletal creatures go, spiders rank at the top for me.

 

Logically.

 

Unfortunately, my response when unexpectedly faced with a spider is generally not driven by logic. So, in my best interest and yours (because, though talented and venomous, I have a weight advantage and am not afraid to use it), there are certain ground rules which, if you follow, will certain serve your life expectancy well.

 

As a good host, there are places in my house that are well suited for spider occupation, both because of low traffic, but also because one is less likely to scare the crap out of me and get reflexively killed. However, I must warn you that spiders that I recognize as deadly venomous will not get a chance to plead the fifth – and I know what you look like, so you’d best find a more congenial host.

 

For instance, my garage is fair game for any non-lethal spiders since I try not to go in there anywhere but the freezer and, if something else must be fetched, try to find someone else to do it. Also, the tops of my windows, which you’ll be pleased to know are never cleaned, are fair game as they are out of reach of most of my cats and my children and are generally covered by window treatments. As my house is frequently dark (and is not high on bugs) that might be a good hunting place anyway. If you are so adventurous as to take out a wasp (a creature I loathe inside my house), and I see evidence of such in your web, I will actively work to preserve your life. My son’s closet is another spot as he can’t open the door (because a very heavy bunkbed blocks it and the far corners of the high ceilings in my room are also fine as long as you have the good sense not to drop on me or my children. You can also amuse yourself in my cupboard with wine glasses since I bought them with my ex-husband in mind and never use them.

 

Places I would avoid involve the pantry, since it’s ill lit and I’m likely to freak out, on or around where my children sleep (which isn’t safe for you anyway), anywhere you’re likely to land on me or stationed in my bath or shower in such a way you land on me. The tiny spider that’s taken up residence in the corner of the shelf is welcome to stay (though the bath you took earlier may change your mind) as long as you don’t (a) grow to monstrous size, (b) turn out to be a baby recluse (since you’re definitely not a black widow), (c) move somewhere where you might be tempted to drop on me or (d) hatch a million microscopic spiders and take over the shower stall.

 

I’m hopeful, with this understanding, we can all learn to live in harmony.

 

Sincerely,

 

Stephanie Barr

Lauralee Proudfoot, I wonder if Ross would enjoy this.

Of course he would, and so did I; thanks for allowing us to share it here.

If you have pest issues of any sort, including, of course, spiders, please do email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or call us at 705-534-7863 and we’ll be happy to help you solve them.

Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) is a highly venomous species of spider that is a native species to the United States. Canada and Mexico. The Northern Black Widow spider can be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. They are rare to find, but they generally like to hang out around trash piles, sheds, under rocks, wood piles, etc. Anyplace that is dark and a little damp is a great place for them to hide.

Female black widow spiders are known for their distinctive black and red colouring and their sometimes habit of eating the males after they mate. The mature female black widow spider is usually around 1.5 inches long and about .25 inches in diameter. They are shiny black with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the ventral (under)side of their abdomen, which is very round. The sizing of the female black widows can vary especially in egg-carrying or gravid females. The abdomen diameter in a gravid female can be more than 0.5 inches.

Mature male black widow spiders are very different in appearance to the females. Males are much smaller than females with their bodies at less than 1/4 inch. Their colouring is usually black but often they take have a similar appearance to that of juvenile black widow spiders. Juveniles have a distinctly different appearance then the females (and some males) in that their abdomens are greyish to black in colour with white stripes running across them spotted with orange or yellow.

Black Widows will typically prey on a variety of insects, but they will also sometimes feed on woodlice, diplopods, chilopods and even other aracnids. When their prey gets entangled in their web, the black widow will wrap the prey securely with web and then bite and envenom the prey. The venom takes up to 10 minutes to work and then digestive enzymes will be injected into the wound of the prey. After that the black widow will carry their prey back to their retreat where they will feed.

Despite being known as highly venomous spider, there is not much to worry about. In an article here Antonia Guidotti, an entomology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum, says while black widow sightings make headlines, Ontario is not exactly undergoing a scourge of the famed eight-legged arachnids.”The black widow is very rarely encountered. Most of us, even entomologists, haven’t seen a black widow in the wild in Ontario. Most of you are never going to see one. And the risk if you come across one is very small,” she assures.Guidotti says even if one should have the misfortune of encountering a black widow, the spiders present a much smaller danger that we’ve been led to believe.

Brown Recluse Spiders

The Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is also known as the violin spider or a fiddleback because of the violin-shaped markings they often have on their thorax. They are known to live in United States of America, Mexico and Canada. In Canada they are known to live southeast Ontario and southern parts of Quebec. They are typically light to medium brown but can range in colour from cream to dark brown or blackish gray.

Brown recluse spider

Brown Recluse spiders are relatively small and are usually between 6-20 mm however they can grow larger. They have no obvious colouration patterns on their abdomens or legs and their legs also lack spines and their abdomens are covered in a fine short hair that gives the appearance of soft fur. Unlike many other species of spiders, brown recluse spiders only have six eyes instead of eight. Their eyes are arranged in pairs with one median pair and two lateral pairs.

Adult brown recluse spiders live for about 1-2 years and in their lifetime an adult brown recluse will produce several egg sacs over a period of 2-3 months from May to July with each sac holding about 50 eggs. The eggs will then hatch in about a month and the spiderlings will reach adulthood in about a year.

Brown recluse spiders are resilient spiders and they can tolerate up to 6 months of extreme drought and scarce food.

They will build irregular webs that frequently include a shelter the consists of disorderly threads and they will also usually build their webs in places such as woodpiles, sheds, garages, cellars and other places that are dry and generally undisturbed.

If you are seeing spiders of any sort – and more importantly webs – on your home, cottage, storefront, or signs, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at (705)534-7863 or email us Ross will be happy to help.

Spider sprays & rain

… because, of course, the skies just opened.

If you had your spray done today though, not to worry …. first of all, it only needs about half an hour between the spray and the rain for the rain to have minimal/no effect….  and all but the last one or two trailers he did this afternoon had more than that….

but he’ll be back again in the next day or two to finish up with others anyway, so will do some touching up just to be sure.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse SpiderThe Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is also known as the violin spider or a fiddleback because of the violin-shaped markings they often have on their thorax. They are known to live in United States of America, Mexico and Canada.

Check out our blog post about brown recluse spiders here.

If you have carpenter ants, spiders, or any other pests (well except for the ones you brought into the world yourself), give us a call at (705) 534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will solve it.

Serving Victoria Harbour, Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Muskoka, Tiny, Tay and Simcoe County as well – and pretty much anyplace in and around these areas. Island and weekend calls, no problem.