I recently had the pleasure of working with one of our lead technicians, Aaron Brill, on a few jobs in Nevada, and one day I was helping him prep a home in Reno for our Platinum Program, the year-round pest management program that provides preventative pest control measures as well as handles any problems that pop up.
The main issue these homeowners were dealing with was an abundance of spiders – specifically the Black Widow Spider. If you read my last post, you will know that I am terrified of Black Widows. They’re poisonous and creepy, and they were hatching all over the place in this house!
Black Widows are solitary spiders that usually live alone in their own little nook or cranny, but the population in this home was so big that some of the spiders were forced to make nests in the living space where the children play. Being a mom myself, I can understand the homeowners’ fear of these scary spiders being so close to their children.
It wasn’t a pretty sight. There were plenty of webs along with new and already hatched egg sacs. We found spiders crawling on the ceilings, hanging around window openings, lurking in corners, hiding behind furniture, and living under and in cabinets. And it wasn’t just Black Widows. We found other spiders too, such as the Wolf Spider, an aggressive house spider, and the False Widow Spider. There are at least eight False Widow Spider species in the United States. While they are the same shape as Black Widows and make similar webs, they are a different color and have different markings on their abdomens. I had never seen a False Widow Spider in Nevada. Thankfully they are less harmful to humans.
Typically, Black Widows prefer dark and humid places such as bathrooms or any place where there is excess moisture, such as a place damp from a leaky pipe or inadequate ventilation. During our evaluation of this property, we found a large hole from the garage area into the house where we believed these critters were entering the home. Aaron crawled in to seal up the hole and found six more Black Widows hanging around. It was a party, and I’m glad I wasn’t invited! Aaron got rid of the spiders, sealed up the hole and then cleaned and de-webbed the area.
After I had made it through this somewhat harrowing spider experience, it made me stop and think about the crazy world of pest management. No matter how hard you study, nothing can fully prepare you for the real world experiences of a pest invasion. It’s like being a detective. You never know what you’re going to come across at a crime scene, and it might take some serious investigating to figure out what’s going on.