You Sure It Was A Brown Recluse?

I have heard it countless times. "I was bitten by a brown recluse." "My doctor said it's a brown recluse bite." "I have those deadly spiders all over my house." Fact is, the brown recluse spider is the most misunderstood of all spiders out crawling the black widow five to one. Chances  are, if you live in Maryland, Pennsylvania or West Virginia it wasn't a brown recluse after all and, you'll probably never see one. Here's why...

 Brown recluse spiders are so steeped in myth and fear you most likely identified the wrong spider. Everyone seems to believe them to be large spiders with lengthy legs spreading across the palm of any hand. But these spiders are no bigger than the size of a quarter. So, that huge spider  you thought  was a brown recluse was more likely a wolf spider if you live in MD, PA or WV.

Brown recluse spiders are so steeped in myth and fear you most likely identified the wrong spider. Everyone seems to believe them to be large spiders with lengthy legs spreading across the palm of any hand. But these spiders are no bigger than the size of a quarter. So, that huge spider you thought was a brown recluse was more likely a wolf spider if you live in MD, PA or WV.

What Does A Brown Recluse Look Like? 

Brown recluse spiders are light brown to tannish in color. Sometimes called “fiddle-backs," brown recluse spiders are one in several species of spider, including the wolf spider, all having this same violin-shaped marking. The best indicator next to its color and size is the brown recluse has six eyes (or three pairs) while other spiders have eight eyes.

Where do Brown Recluse spiders live?

Brown recluses are, in fact, reclusive creatures that are very shy and not easily found. If you live in Maryland, Pennsylvania or West Virginia for that matter chances of you finding a brown recluse are next to slim because this spider is rarely found outside of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi.

Now that you know about the brown recluse perhaps you won't worry about them so much. But, if you do feel you saw one, or if you have a spider issue in your home give Gladhill Services a call 717-597-1040 and they can help.

Learn more about how Gladhill Services helps create healthy homes >>>

Don't Allow These Four Bugs Inside Your Home Before Summer

Live pest-free this summer by learning how to prevent these four insects from entering into your world.

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1. Flies

When it comes to nuisance pests, flies get inside homes during spring, summer, and fall. Flies are frequently found by professional in attics where they gather in large swarms. For some homeowners, flies may become a horrible part of reality when living near farms and other rural areas making their control an ongoing routine. Flies make their way inside through cracks in your doors, windows, and eaves as they try avoiding cooler temperatures.

While flies do not cause any real damage to houses, they can be very annoying and unsightly as the dead pile up on floors near windows. Flies can also spread harmful bacteria throughout your home. The best way to prevent flies from getting inside your home is to seal up cracks in the exterior of your house. Installing and repairing damaged screens will also help keep flies outside this year. 

2. Boxelder Bugs

Found near boxelder trees mostly, boxelder bugs gather in large numbers to stay warm. They are a darkish-grey to black with distinctive red lines on their back. Like flies, they enter houses in the fall seeking warmth. During spring, boxelder bugs become active again becoming a major annoyance as they gather in sunlight mostly on the south and west facing walls.

Boxelder bugs do not pose any threat to your home. They do not bite or sting but, can stain curtains and other fabrics. To prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home, seal up any cracks and crevices on the exterior of your home. Pay special attention to the south and west sides of your house, where sunlight persists longer during late summer and fall.

3. Lady Bugs

As the days warm lady bugs will become more active just like the boxelders do. There's nothing unusual about seeing them flying around inside your house, climbing up near windows or just sitting on a piece of furniture. Lady bugs will not damage your house or furniture, they will not harm you in any way, but some species are known to emit an odor when threatened or crushed.

Again, sealing up any tiny cracks and crevices around your home with caulking can close off the entry points of these insects. You can also sweep or vacuum lady bugs when you find them wandering around inside on curtains or furniture.

4. Stink Bug

Stink bugs feed on plants such as veggitables, fruit trees and several species of weeds. They are well-known in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Vrginia for their foul-smelling odor emitted when threatened or crushed. Warning: crushing a stink bug will only cause more to come. 

Stink bugs enter your home during fall passing through gaps in doors and windows and exit the house in spring making their way back outside. Stink bugs become more active as outside temperatures warm up. By using caulk again to seal openings and by replacing damaged screens will help prevent these critters from making their way inside. 

These four bugs will be looking to get inside your home this spring so, follow the professional advice above to help keep them all out before summer and prevent their return this fall.

If you need further assistance call Gladhill Services 717-597-1040

The Fear, The Psychology, And True Nature Of Insects

Psychology tells us that if you wear bright colors you are energetic, outspoken and lively. If you prefer dark colors you're sensitive and artistic. If it's difficult to sit still you're easily frustrated or nervous. If you approach a person quickly you are confident. If you approach slow you are shy and uncertain. But, what about insects? Research now indicates they may be more human than human.

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Something Like Human

If insects are anything like people as researchers are discovering, there is much more to be understood about the way insects interact with us and with what they have to say. Maybe knowing the true intention of an insect could prevent the sting or bite. Better yet, this knowledge may help destroy the false beliefs causing our minds to discriminate against all insects everywhere due to their appearance or stigma.

Can you imagine the gentle touch from the delicate pads of a butterfly coming to rest on your arm on a warm summer day, or the soft tickle of a caterpillar walking along the side of your finger? What if the invisible flush of air felt under a hovering bee was nothing more than a friendly creature saying, "Hello." Fact is most insects would not willfully harm you. Insects are the opposite of aggressive, even the ones we fear most, like hornets, black widow and, Brown recluse spiders.

Researchers have discovered that insects react to threatening external stimuli by retreating or hiding - not attacking! While disproving their aggressive behavior, it was discovered that insects actually have solid memories, the ability to reason, remember, and react in a non-threatening manner. Like trees and other plants, insects are fully capable of communicating, so if it happens to one bug it's very likely they will all know.

It's important to note that there are insects like mosquitos, bed bugs, and fleas that do cause potential harm to people, but this doesn't mean they are aggressive. These critters are not much different from a human hunting deer or turkey because like humans, they do what they must in an attempt to survive.

Understanding the fear, psychology, and true nature of insects goes a long way in their prevention and control. Like bug whisperers, Pest professionals get insects. They may not speak the language of Bug, but, Pest professionals are well trained and know an insect's likes and dislikes. So much so that in recent years, Pest Control companies have begun moving away from standard treatments to rely on their understanding of insects as a means of prevention and control. IPM (or Integrated Pest Management) is the process of eliminating harborage sites, food and water sources near structures, (everything insects like) and repairing (or excluding) damaged areas on buildings to prevent insects from becoming a concern.

If you would like to understand insects a bit more click here or if you need some help preventing or eliminating them or other pests call Gladhill Services 717-597-1040 for assistance because we wanna know what's bug'n you.

 

 

 

 

Signs You Have Bed Bugs

Think you might have bed bugs? Inspecting for bed bugs is easy if you know just how to do it. In this post, Gladhill Services teaches you how to perform a DIY bed bug inspection just like the professionals do.

 Bed bugs can be hard to find sometimes. Even with the current bed bug epidemic, most homeowners and hotel cleaning staff have no idea what bed bugs look like.

Bed bugs can be hard to find sometimes. Even with the current bed bug epidemic, most homeowners and hotel cleaning staff have no idea what bed bugs look like.

Where to find bed bugs

Bed bug bites are often mistaken for other insects bites, while some people show no reaction at all. However, if you know where to look, you may be able to find bed bugs before its too late. At home or when traveling be sure to check:

  1. Headboards and footboards
  2. Tables, chairs, and inside drawers
  3. Ceiling and wall joints
  4. Loose wallpaper or paneling
  5. Cracks of baseboards
  6. Mattress and boxspring seams
  7. Luggage

Mature bed bugs are about 5 millimeters in length, flat-bodied with a reddish-brown color. Young bed bugs are pale white only turning reddish-brown after their first feeding. Bed bug eggs look like tiny grains of salt ( about 1 millimeter in size.) Young, bed bug eggs, and the adult bed bugs, along with fecal matter, shed exoskeletons, and egg casings are typically found together in aggregations. These groupings are common due to conditions like temperature, humidity, smells, chemical stimuli, and lighting.

Physical Evidence of bed bugs

Like most criminals, bed bugs are smart enough to hide from their victims but not smart enough to clean up their evidence. Look for these signs of physical evidence:

  1. Shed skins, exoskeletons or shells
  2. Fecal spots on your mattress and bedding
  3. Blood stains on your sheets and pillow cases

Look at the sheets on your bed inspecting the seams of your mattress. Inspect the box spring checking for any signs of physical evidence. Fecal spots will not be red, instead, they are dark brown to black.

How to Eliminate Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of. Elimination typically requires a strategic approach using more than one treatment method. If bed bugs are caught early enough you may have success with retail products as long as you use them according to their label. It's important to contact a professional like Gladhill Services if you need help as they can quickly inspect your home and determine the best treatment methods.

The Most Frightening Fact About Bed Bugs

It's no secret Bed bugs are literally popping up everywhere lately. Increased travel, environmental conditions, and little in the way of information about preventing bed bugs is cause for concern. Below is a high quality image of a bed bug - remember it. This is an adult bed bug.

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Some Bed Bug Facts

While much can be written (or said) about Bed bugs and their habits, we find our customers more confused than informed when discussing Bed bugs with them.  Honestly, there is a lot to finding, living with, and eliminating bed bugs in most situations. Bed bugs will hide in a wall or along the seam of a mattress or boxspring. They can deposit 500 eggs over a lifetime. Bed bugs will come out from hiding in the middle of the night and feed on your blood. But, the most frightening fact about a bed bug is that once impregnated, a female will go into hiding for almost a year all to emerge long after your treatments are complete. Now what? Thats right, bed bug populations you already paid to eliminate are growing once again. Now, it's a year later!

Choosing The Right Option

Heat treatments and the popular one-time bed bug services should not be considered when seeking out professional companies to eliminate major bed bug infestations from your home. Sure, these types of services work in specific situations such as finding a single bed bug upon inspection or, when a infestation established itself only a few days earlier, and / or, when there is little doubt bed bugs are isolated to a single room. You have more options out there and spending the time getting informed about your choices is of utmost importance! There is an option right for you and your specific situation. Truth is most people don't realize they even have a problem with bed bugs to begin with. Once bed bugs are found it's usually too late, so to speak so, hiring a professional is your best chance for elimination.

Gladhill Services understands the difference and what it takes to eliminate mild to severe bed bug infestations. Each home is dealt with situationally because there is nothing routine about eliminating bed bugs from a home. 

How long before termites destroy my house?

Termite damage costs more than hurricanes, tornados, and floods combined each year! Eastern Subterranean termites are the most threatening to your home if you live in Maryland or Pennsylvania. These earth-dwellers won't hesitate to begin chomping away at any structure made of wood but, how long does it take before your home is destroyed?

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Subterranean Termites attack homes and businesses throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania but honestly do little to destroy an entire structure in a short amount of time.  They do in fact have the potential to cause some serious damage over time though. How much time you ask? It can take subterranean termites three plus years or more to cause any type of significant damage. As professionals in the industry know, it isn't so much a factor of time when compared to the kind of damage termites can do. Since termites eat away the wood from inside a structure, it can be difficult or even impossible to see the extent of the damage.

Each termite infestation is different with no way of knowing how much damage termites have or can do, which is why an inspection should be done each year. If you are unsure about termites in your home or need an inspection give Gladhill Services a call today and we can help ensure your peace of mind. 

Click here to learn more about termites

Natural Pest Prevention

Together, we must respect that there are certain insects, some may consider pests, that we should never try to control. Beneficial insects help balance our ecosystem. A good example of beneficial insects are honeybees.

What is "Natural" pest control?

Each method in natural pest control is vital to establishing and maintaining an effective approach to preventing and eliminating undesirable pests in your home. Inspections, exclusion, and non-chemical applications provide an integrated approach to pest control. Botanical materials formulated as dusts, liquids, and baits are made from essentail oils extracted from plants that have developed defenses against insects. Essential oils like clove, tea tree, rosemary, garlic, and thyme are effective against pests inside and outside of the home.

Prevention is the most important step in any pest control situation. Below you will find a guide to the basic steps in preventing insects from harboring in and aound your home. All insects need three basic things i.e. food, water, and shelter.


FOOD

  • Keep food prep and storage areas clean.
  • Do not leave food out.
  • Keep food in sealed containers.
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in sink or dishwasher overnight.
  • Rinse containers before recycling.
  • Quickly clean spills
  • Put garbage in sealed containers with lids.
  • Empty pet's dishes each day. 
  • Discard dead or dying plants.

WATER

  • Remove any source of high humidity.
  • Remove standing water in kitchen and bathrooms
  • Repair pipes and faucets that leak.
  • Install or repair seals around windows.
  • Repair weather stripping on all exterior doors.
  • Ensure down spouts flow away from foundation.
  • Ensure attic and basement is moisture free.
  • Remove water from plant containers.
  • Clean water dispensor trays

SHELTER

  • Remove clutter to deter harborage sites.
  • Clean your house on regular basis.
  • Seal holes in the walls.
  • Caulk cracks in baseboards.
  • Ensure window screens are fitted and in good condition.
  • Replace moldy or damaged insulation.
  • Prune or remove dead trees near house.
  • Keep lawn mowed weekly.
  • eep shrubs trimmed 3' away from house.