Southern California and the Los Angeles area is home to many different species of spider, and unfortunately, sometimes they find homes on our own property. From common house spiders to the deadly and poisonous black widows, homes in Orange County and nearby areas are full of unwelcome visitors. It is up to homeowners whether to rid their homes of spiders or to rub elbows with their eight-legged, hairy friends, but before making such a decision, it may be useful to look at the risks involved. This is the Treebark Termite and Pest Control guide to the 5 most common spiders found in the Southern California home, and the risk of keeping them around. Here are the 5 Most Common Spiders:
1. Brown recluse
Most brown recluse spiders are light brown with little or no markings. Others may have an orange tint or violin-shaped markings down their backs. The best way to identify a brown recluse spider is the number of eyes. Most spiders have eight eyes, just like they have eight legs, but brown recluses only have six eyes.
While it is very rare for a brown recluse to bite a human, the consequences are very serious. As the name implies, brown recluses mostly keep to themselves, only known to bite people in self-defense. In the case that they do occur, brown recluse bites require immediate medical attention. Brown recluses are best removed from the house in order to avoid danger.
2. Hobo spider
A hobo spider is brown or orange with black shapes down its back and pedipalps shaped like boxing gloves. A hobo spider is best identified by its funnel-shaped web, found in quiet parts of the house such as unused cabinets and storage rooms.
Bites from hobo spiders are rare but may be serious. While red and swollen at first, a hobo spider bite will appear healed after a few hours. The problems, if they appear, will be more subtle: nausea, fatigue, vision problems, and other less noticeable symptoms. As diagnosis may be difficult carried out at home, it is better to keep the home hobo spider-free.
3. Southern house spider
Male southern house spiders are light brown, while females are black. Males are frequently larger than females. While they do not have a very distinctive appearance, southern house spiders can be told apart due to their hairy bodies.
Southern house spiders are not dangerous, and only need to be removed if they are considered a nuisance.
4. Brown widow
A brown widow has a light brown abdomen decorated with colorful eye-shaped markings. It has brown-gel-like legs with black stripes. Like the black widow, it has a distinctive hourglass shape at the base of its abdomen.
While painful, a brown widow spider bite is not very dangerous, with only one verified case that required hospitalization. At the same time, their choice of hiding places leaves them mostly in the open and more likely to interact with people than more reclusive spiders. Homeowners with brown recluse infestations may see the spiders throughout the day, creating an uneasy feeling that they may choose to remove. Learn more about brown widow spiders here.
5. Black widow
Female black widows are black with a distinctive red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Males are slightly lighter, either brown or gray, and may or may not have a light-colored hourglass shape on their own abdomens.
A bite from a female black widow is very serious. Black widows stay in warm, dark, dry, and undisturbed areas, and have little risk of interacting with people, but may do so in self-defense or if the human disturbs their home. Due to the dangers of a potential bite, it is advisable to remove the threat.
If you have concerns that your home may be infested by spiders or wish for their removal, consider calling , with locations throughout the Orange County and Los Angeles area. Our friendly staff will gladly help to answer all of your questions.
Subterranean termites may be small, but they are capable of a terrible amount of home damage. You may have subterranean termites if they come from underground, track dirt, eat in the direction of the wood grains, and favor soft, rotting wood. They are found most often in the south, especially along the California coast and throughout the southeast. Physically, these termites are easily mistaken for drywood termites, but many of the treatment practices are the same. Subterranean Termites swarm every March/April. If you are seeing flying black bugs that look like fat ants, chances are you have subterranean termites. Subterranean Termite Treatment Options:
1. Poisonous Bait
A trap uniquely designed for subterranean termites, this baiting system is designed for harvesting termites to bring home poisonous bait instead of wood from the structure of the house. A colony of termites can essentially be trained to use the poisonous bait as their primary source of food and ignore the wood above. Traps are buried around the foundation of the home and bait inserted whenever termites appear. The advantage of these traps is they mean less exposure to chemicals for the residents of your house. The downside is these traps must be investigated once a month and maintained constantly in order for their effect to work.
When things get bad, many people turn to tenting their house. This means moving out of the house for three days, taking the pets and the plants along. Though fumigation is highly effective, it is not a permanent solution. It does a thorough job of killing the termites present in the house, but does nothing to prevent a future colony from moving in. Clearly this is not the final solution. This particular treatment is only good for Drywood Termites and not for subterranean termites and doesn’t apply.
3. Treebark Final
Of course, it’s only natural to save the best for last. This all-in-one termite treatment kills the both types of termites and keeps them away. There is no need to take the pets, children, and plants out of the house for the treatment, either. An annual inspection is enough to make sure everything is working like it should, and this inspection is part of the package. Treebark Final is simply good at what it does.
Everyone has their favorite forms of pest control, but there is only one in this list that is efficient, environmentally friendly, and effective. Sometimes it just makes sense to pick favorites.
Termites are tiny soft-bodied insects known for their wanton destruction. Termites are often known as white ants; however, they are not related at all. Ants and termites are social insects but ants are from the order of Hymenoptera, whereas termites are from the order of Isoptera. Surprisingly, termites are a kin to cockroaches. In fact, DNA analysis showed that termites are closely related Wood roaches.
Since some people are confused between ants and termites. It is important for you to know how to tell them apart. Ants and termites have different colors. Ants have shades of red, brown and black while termites are mostly pale and white in color but some species have shades of red, black or brown. Ants have obvious waist while termites do not have them. Lastly, ants have bent or elbowed antennae, while termites have straight and beaded ones.
There are thousands of termite species around the world but only a few of them are capable of significant damages to our homes and properties. The termite species that often cause damages are subterranean, dampwood and drywood termites.
Subterranean termites or Rhinotermitidae are termites that live in large colonies that contain hundreds and thousands of individuals. They are found all across North America and are highly invasive termites. In fact, they are the most common termite you would find in homes. A clear sign of subterranean termite infestation are blisters or dark areas in wooden walls or flooring. The damage will go unnoticed because termites would only consume spring wood and leave the grain and the exterior surface unscathed.
Rhinotermitidae colonies are often in contact with soil. The members of this family are small. Soldiers and workers are 5mm on average and share pale white color. The soldiers of this family sport a flat region behind their head which is called pronotum and produces stinging fluid as defense. Average queen would produce at least 100 eggs each day. There are more than 300 members of this family and the most prominent ones are the Eastern Subterranean Termite (Reticulitermes flavipes) and Formosan Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes formosanus) or Formosan Termites.
Eastern Subterranean Termite (Reticulitermes flavipes)
- Soldiers and workers are pale to pale-tan.
- Soldiers have darker heads.
- Adult termite has darker colors.
- Soldiers and workers are 5mm to 7mm in length.
- Adult termite is 10mm in length.
- Swarming occurs during mornings of February to April.
Formosan Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes formosanus)
- Workers are pale yellow or pale brown and lack prominent mandibles.
- Soldiers are pale yellow or pale tan with large oval-shaped heads and prominent mandibles.
- Reproductive adults have yellowish brown color and have hairy wings.
- Soldiers and workers’ size range from 6mm to 19mm in length.
- Reproductive adult termite is between 12mm to 17mm in length.
- Formosan termites are highly destructive and attack almost all sorts of structures.
- Swarming of Formosan termites is massive and occurs during dusk or calm and humid evenings of April to July.
Dampwood termites or the family Termopsidae are the largest termites with the average size of 25mm. There are only 20 species under this family and they are spread amongst Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. They often nests in wet and rotting wood and require no direct soil contact. Termopsidae termite colony sizes are moderate compared other termite species. These termites produce frass or fecal pellets, which indicates infestation. Prominent member of Termopsidae is the Pacific Dampwood Termite (Zootermopis angusticollis).
Pacific Dampwood Termite (Zootermopis angusticollis)
- Pacific Dampwood termites are large termite species.
- Workers are 10mm to 15mm in length.
- Soldiers are 15mm to 20mm in length.
- Reproductive adult termite is 25mm in length.
- Worker termites have pale to milky white color.
- Soldiers are darker pale with a prominent dark brown head.
- Reproductive adult termite is orange to red in color.
- Swarming occurs throughout the year but is more prominent from August to October and happens during warm humid evenings just after sunset.
Drywood termites or Kalotermitidae are termites that feed and nests on above ground wood. Unlike other termites, they don’t come into contact with wood through soil and live on dry wood. However, they have the habit to dwell and feed on damp and rotten wood. Unlike other termite species, drywood termites lack true worker caste. What they have is pseudergates and nymphs, which serve as workers for the termite colony and can molt into soldiers or alates if necessary.
Members of Kalotermitidae live in small colonies – members would be from 50 – 3,000 depending on the age of the termite colony. They do not need water because they live off of the moisture produced when digesting cellulose; thus, producing fry and distinct fecal pellets. There are more than 400 species of drywood termites and are common to all continents except to Antartica. In the US, drywood termites often found in coastal states of south and southwest US. Prominent members of Kalotermitidae are West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis) and Western drywood termite (Incisitermes minor).
Western drywood termite (Incisitermes minor)
- Soldiers are large and reddish-brown with visible teeth on mandible
- Reproductive adult termite has orange and brown head with dark brown body.
- Soldiers are 8mm to 12mm in length.
- Reproductive adults are 11mm to 12.5mm in length.
- Pseudergates are slightly smaller.
- Western drywood termite swarmersappear during late summer and during sunny days.
- Termite colony members number to thousands.
West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis)
- It is also known as Powderpost termite.
- Reproductive adult termite has dark brown color.
- Pseudergates are pale and white.
- Soldiers have pale bodies and dark heads.
- Reproductive adult termite is 9mm to 11mm in length.
- Soldiers are 4mm to 5mm in length.
- West Indian drywood termite swarmers take flight from nights of April to June.
These termite species constantly threaten your home. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your home and investment. Start by setting up a free termite inspection now.
There are many reasons why your home becomes a welcoming abode for white ants or termites. The more you have them, the higher the likelihood to have termites that will chew your house. Damp and dark areas to live as well as abundance of food such as cardboard, papers and untreated wood and wooden products are appealing to these pests.Continue reading
There are many good reasons to create homemade mouse traps rather than purchasing them at the store. For one, do-it-yourself traps are cheaper than store-bought ones and make use of objects that are just lying around the house. For another, homemade traps are typically more humane and trap mice without hurting them.Continue reading
Subterranean termites are actually multiple species of termite, just like there is more than one kind of drywood or dampwood termite. “Subterranean” refers to any type of termite that builds its colonies underground. Regardless of the species, any signs of termites around the premises of a home or business mean bad news. Anaheim is known for having a subterranean termite problem from the old tree roots.
Each Anaheim termite colony is divided into three castes: workers, soldiers, and alates.
Workers: 6mm long and cream-colored with no wings, these termites are responsible for most of the tunneling and household damage.
Soldiers: Cream-colored but with a brown head and large mandibles (jaws), this caste keeps the colony and territory safe from predators and competing colonies.
Alates: Dark brown and almost twice as large as worker termites with two pairs of wings, these termites breed while swarming in the air. As they grow older, alates (swarmers) lose their wings and move back into the colony where they continue to breed.
When to Look
Worker termites tunnel and eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Alates are mostly active at dusk but can be seen year-round. Solder termites are hard to find as they are frequently close to the nest. Termite eggs, nymphs, queens, and older alates will only be found in the colony.
When termites work their way through the foundation of a house, they leave signs behind. The wood may look fine from the outside but produce a hollow sound when knocked against. There may be hollowed-out tracks leading in the same direction of the wood grain. (If the tracks are leading against the grain, you may have dampwood termites.) Lastly, there may be tracks of dirt or tubes made of mudleading upward into the building. These tunnels may run along the wall or be suspended like a ladder between the ground or the building’s foundation.
Native and Invasive Termites
Most termites found in Southern California are Subterranean termites, an invasive species which have been present for centuries. Subterranean termite colonies are roughly ten times the size or larger than Drywood colonies, some of which branch out to smaller colonies inside the house. Subterranean soldier termites are also more aggressive and make up 10 to 20% of the entire colony, compared to the 2% within a colony of Drywood termites. The invasive termites are more likely to take down live trees and even build mud nests inside them. Subterranean termites also spread more quickly, meaning they create more nests and infest more houses undetected .
Termite Prevention and Treatment
If you suspect termites may be on the premises of your home, the first step is to call Treebark Termite and Pest Control for a free inspection. The second step is to follow through with Ryania Treebark Termite Treatment, a pet-safe and environmentally friendly treatment which kills termites and prevents them from returning. The service comes with a two-year warranty that can be renewed indefinitely. Lastly, our specialists will perform wood replacement on-site. Please feel free to contact us with any questions so you can get started right away
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Nobody wants dangerous spiders in their home, and black widows are among the most dangerous. Not only is their bite often deadly, black widows are known for hiding in obscure places, making them hard to spot. It is rare for a black widow to bite a person, child, or pet, but when it happens, the results can be devastating. To learn how to keep your household safe from black widow spiders, look over these three treatments designed to kill spiders and prevent them from returning.
Pet-friendly and child-friendly aerosol pesticides are available at the local department store, and when used in all of the right places, prove very effective against spiders. To make sure that no spiders come into the house, it is necessary to coat all of the possible entry points in pesticide. This means doors and windows, faucets, and the entry points of cables. If there is an unguarded opening, it is likely that spiders will eventually find their way through it. Non-toxic pesticide should also be used in possible hiding places for black widows. Remember that black widows seek out quiet, undisturbed areas of the home but may also appear elsewhere.
2. Perimeter Control
Aside from pesticide, there are other precautions that will help to ward against black widows as well as other spiders. Old, broken window screens can be replaced, and cracks in the walls can be filled with caulk. Not all vents and chimneys come with screens, so it is important to purchase a screen if none is installed. To prevent spiders from being drawn toward the house, turn off all of the outdoor lights and close the curtains when lights are on inside. In serious cases, it may be necessary to change the garden layout. As plants and decorations may serve as a place for spider webs and hiding places, the home is more likely to be infested when such things surround the perimeter. To eliminate indoor hiding places, replace cardboard boxes with sealable plastic boxes and clear out any clutter that spiders may hide in. Keeping the house clear of crumbs will also limit the number of insects, which serve as food to spiders.
3. Call Pest Control
When all is said and done, it can be difficult to eradicate a spider problem alone. The experts at Treebark Termite and Pest Control are trained in finding and securing every opening that spiders may come through as well as every nook and cranny that spiders may hide in. Treebark Termite and Pest Control is an ally against unwelcome pests. To free your home of black widow spiders and other problems, give us a call. We are happy to help.