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Fall Insect Check for the Home

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Fall weather means that animals and insects are facing changes in their life cycles. Temperatures are dropping and the day length is getting shorter. Typically, our first freeze happens mid to late October. What does this mean for our homes and the critters that we’d prefer not to become our new roommates?

It means that this is a great time to make a full sweep through the home and check windows for any gaps or open spaces that insects may come through. The same sweep and keen eye need to be applied to the foundation for any gaps that mice or insects may be able to make their way through. Seal these gaps with insulating foam or caulking, depending on the gap and location. Check to make sure that the gap underneath doors that lead outside fully seal, as well.

Making sure that your closets, infrequently used rooms, and basements have been cleaned recently to remove any dead insects. Dead insects are a food source for brown recluse spiders. And checking for live insect populations and mitigating them will keep wolf spiders from coming into the home in search of prey.

Spiders have been the hot topic recently for home invaders, and two species in particular. Wolf spiders don’t string webs to catch their prey, but truly do hunt them down. They feed on insects and other spiders. Brown recluse spiders feed on dead insects and are not as mobile.

The other big difference is that brown recluse spiders do have a venom dangerous (but not lethal) to humans, and the reactions vary greatly depending on the bite and the sensitivity to the venom. Wolf spiders only bite if they have been provoked and brought into contact to skin, and do not possess potent venom.

Check out the publications linked below to learn more about brown recluse spiders and wolf spiders and how to identify them.

Both spiders can be kept from becoming a nuisance pest by keeping a food source from becoming available. If an exterminator comes through the home, clean up any affected insects to prevent brown recluse spiders from having a food source. And having an exterminator come through to address insect populations keep wolf spiders from invading the home.

The number one tool that you can employ when it comes to spiders, prepping the home for fall, and just about anything is observation. You should know what is ‘normal’ for your home and space, and when something changes. When an invader comes along, or some other problem arises, these observations can be what helps you identify what is causing a problem and how to get rid of it.