It happens every day; you see a spider in your home. There are usually two things that happen, you let out a child-like scream and run away or you catch the spider and remove it calmly.
Rarely does it happen the way it did this week in Seattle, Washington, when a man noticed a spider crawling around in his laundry room and chose to take the problem on himself, with a can of spray paint and a lighter, creating a blow torch.
Obviously, things went terribly wrong and he set part of his house on fire, but luckily he and his mother both escaped the home. Although they were both unharmed, the estimated $60,000 in reported property damage is far too much of a price to pay for pest eradication.
Although this is a rare situation of pest control through fire, others have tried the same recently. In Kansas on June 30th a woman ended up setting her duplex on fire in a similar fashion going after a spider by creating a ring of death around the spider by lighting towels on fire. This stunt resulted in the death of the spider along with an arrest for aggravated arson.
Spider Control Tips
Fire is obviously not the right choice when it comes to controlling spiders. First of all, although spiders are unsightly, logically speaking, spiders are the good guys of the arthropod world. Our eight-legged friends are not destructive, do not spread disease and actually eat insects that poise much larger risks to humans! Nevertheless, spider webs are spooky and people have an ingrained fear of them. To help you deal with your Arachnophobia in a safe way, we have compiled some guidelines from our Entomologist Nancy Troyano for home spider control.
- Spider control should consist of a variety of integrated pest management techniques, beginning with an identification of the kind of spider(s) you are seeing, how they are entering the building, and any factors that may be contributing to their presence i.e. insect populations present (because they feed on insects), excessive clutter for them to hide in, etc.
- Place insect monitors in various areas to catch the spiders so you can determine what type of spiders are infesting your home, what they are feeding on and understand where they are most active throughout the building.
- Next, clean up /remove the clutter, store boxes off the floor, etc. to reduce spider harborage. Also, vacuum as much as possible to clean areas, and to remove spiders, their eggs and their webbing.
- Then use exclusion techniques to seal up cracks and crevices or gaps where spiders may be entering the building.
- If possible, replace outdoor bulbs with yellow bulbs in residential homes. In commercial sites, we recommend the replacement of mercury vapor bulbs with high pressure sodium bulbs.
If you are concerned about spiders, you can call on your local experts at Ehrlich to assist you with any of the above recommendations, and perhaps, provide your home with a material application to rid the property of spiders and insects (spider food) for good.
What do you think about this strange but true story? Do you have any questions about spiders? Share below in the comments.
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