The ATX Pest Podcast: Unraveling the World of Wolf Spiders and Mastering Eco-Friendly Pest Control

Welcome to the ATX Pets Podcast, episode 3. Today we’re going to talk about spiders, probably more specifically about the wolf spider, because the wolf spider is the most misidentified spider there is, the most misidentified spider there is. Also, they’re a great spider to have around. At the same time believe it or not, and there’s some things I understand about them. For instance and this is in general with spiders everybody has spider bites all the time. Oh, spider, I get the call all the time. Even my own mother swears up and down for the last 50 years of her life she gets bit by spiders at nighttime all the time, which isn’t the case. Okay, actually, spider bites are very rare. They’re actually very non-aggressive in nature unless you’re sitting there fiddling with them too much. You know you fool with them and then you might get bitten. In regards to wolf spiders, okay, they’re the sometimes really large-looking spiders. Everyone thinks they’re a brown recluse. We get every pest control company. We all get phone calls from them, probably on a weekly basis. You know people are freaking out and I understand if you don’t know, you don’t know, um, but they’re actually a great spider to have outside your home. Of course, you don’t want it inside, you don’t want them. You don’t want bugs inside your home, um. But if you’re going to have spiders outside, I want wolf spiders. They’re predatory, hunting spiders. They’re not web-making spiders that actually make all the nasty webs on your fence, on your home, in the eaves and whatnot in the trees and catch spiders, if you’ve ever noticed, especially in the morning, and we see this as exterminators all the time and I’m sure, like long companies do this of course, every day, we all do. But early in the morning, with the morning dew and everything’s kind of glistening and a nice, you know a nice day where the sun’s coming out shiny, everything shines, it glistens. You can see all those little webs Inside the yard. That’s primarily wolf spiders. Okay, wolf spiders will make, make nests in the ground. Sometimes they’re really thick looking webs and the ground actually is wolf spider, and there’s other spiders that do, of course too. But Wolf spiders are very notorious for this and they will go hunt their prey.

And if you have and here’s a concept if you have gaps in your doorways, do you think maybe they can go through there? That’s why they’re classified in the pest control industry as occasional invaders, just like a scorpion or an American cockroach. Those are classified as occasional invaders, which I need to do a podcast on, just on occasional invaders, but I don’t want to get off the topic. But we’re talking about wolf spiders right now. Wolf Spiders right now. If you don’t seal your doorways up, well, you’re going to have gaps, you’re going to have draft, and where draft comes in, you know an opening is a no brainer. You have an opening and you just walk right through. That’s how they’re getting it, no brainer. But when you have just opening, you just walk right through. Okay, that’s how they’re getting it, okay, no-brainer. But when you have just quite, not very, not tight enough and you do have some gaps, the other thing that happens it gives draft. So what happens is some of your more common house spiders and web making spiders. They are gonna get in your home and if you’ve ever noticed, especially like an entryway, like for you call that a foray, I think fancy um, you get a foray um entryway, whatever the hell you call it um to get in the corners and make little webs right there. Okay, the reason they do that is they’re extremely strategic. It actually they’re actually making that web right there, playing the draft of that door, because their hope is that that draft is going to essentially send a bug their way and get caught in their web. And now they have a meal. So that’s why they strategically set shop up in those areas. Okay, near doorways. So fix your doorways, okay.

The other thing, how you can do now we’re going to talk a little bit about prevention and control. Okay, the other thing you’re gonna do is, if you don’t hire a pest control company, it’s the easiest thing because you don’t have to fool with it and they do all these things and have all the equipment and all the different products necessary to take care of all these different issues, even more so than just spiders. You know, it’s a higher company. You can get a professional service, no offense. But if you can’t read a label and understand a label of certain insecticide, that don’t know what the difference are between repellents and non repellents and this, and you know, don’t bother because you don’t know how to safely apply, which can be catastrophic on the environment, catastrophic on beneficial insects and also just not safe for you or your pets or your family, okay, so if you are bound, determined to be a do-it-yourselfer, call me. I’ll get a label up, go online and I’ll. I’ll take a couple minutes of my time and teach you how to properly read a label. I’m not calling to tell you how to do all. Mix it. I’m gonna teach you how to read a label. I’m not calling to tell you how to do it, I’ll mix it. I’m going to teach you how to read a label. Okay, I’ve done that before and I don’t mind doing that. Okay, so you can call me. I’ll give the number out, my number out, at the end of this episode here, here, shortly. So what are the things you can do? Doorways, we know that let’s can do. Doorways, we know that let’s help prevent things. And getting inside, you know, if you do have webs inside, vacuum them up. A vacuum is invaluable. I’ve never met a bug or anything arachnid, you know insect that’s resistant to a vacuum. Nothing’s recessed to a vacuum best tool ever. And then you move on to the outside of the home, of course, course, spraying insecticide, putting barriers of treatment down, okay, maybe dusting some weep holes and that wall voids good residual dust there. And then, most importantly, for spider control, other than just treating the perimeter, is also what conducive conditions you have around. You have a bunch of stacked up firewood in your house. Get that crap out away from there, at least 50 feet away, far away as you can debris, you know. Just keep a clean landscape. Don’t let your um, you know your, your grass, weeds, bushes, things get out of hand. Keep it nice and trim. Nice, clean landscape is going to be less buggy every single time.

The other additional thing is one of the biggest things is don’t overwater your lawn. You shouldn’t be watering every single day. Don’t overwater your lawn. You shouldn’t be watering every single day. You sure the heck shouldn’t be watering for 30, 45 minutes at a crack. You shouldn’t water your lawn really any more than a couple times a week for about 15, 20 minutes, whatever that zone you set your zone properly. Over watering is going to wash away any insecticides. Um, it’s going to have a an effect on the effectiveness of your, your company, doing, trying to do their job, and we find that oftentimes for certain certain insect issues that we deal with at customers homes, we find out oh, in fact, oh, I’ve been watering my lawn every day. Stop it, okay. Here you might as well throw your money down the tube, okay, not that we’re not getting some kind of effect, because really what the reality of it is, pest control is really about doing a good job at the time of the service because of those factors, because it’s gonna rain also, so because the exotherm from the heat is gonna burn that residual away, so it’s it’s going to rain also, so because the exotherm from the heat is going to burn that residual away, so it’s it’s kind of like starting over usually, especially if you’re on a quarterly, um, bi-monthly is a better frequency. We’ve found way better results but because of cost and whatnot, I get it. You just want to have something in place. Well, you know, if you have just want to have something in place to do, you know to help out. If you just want to have something in place to help out, don’t expect phenomenal results. Don’t expect not to see a few bugs here and there. That’s normal and no matter what, you’re always going to see a few and you want to.

You don’t want to get rid of all the spiders. They’re essential for the ecosystem. They’re our friends, so don’t be fearful of them. They don’t, they’re not trying to bite you, and wolf spiders in particular are some of the best pest control you can ever have. They’re going around killing other other bugs Okay, ones that you don’t want to have in your house, like roaches, beetles, things of that nature, okay so, and other other spiders, um, scorpions, even so, they’re, they’re, uh, they’re, they’re, they’re essential. They’re a good thing to have around. Obviously, you want to keep them out of the you know kind of limit them, control, kind of limit them, control them, get a good control on them, but keep mine in your house, set up your house. And the other most important thing I don’t think I said this already, but I’ll say it, and if I said it again, oh well, because it’s important. So if I said it twice, great, because it’s one of the most important things to do For your web-making spider. You get cobwebs all over your house, on your fence. Remove those. Make sure your company is doing a good job at removing the cobwebs. That’s a source of protein right there, okay. So a couple things will happen. If you have cobwebs, it’s going to catch more bugs, okay, especially your flying insects. And now you have a nasty looking home because of all the cobwebs, but also to they’re just thriving, and so what you want to do is you need to remove and keep the house as clean as possible. Remove as many cobwebs off that property as possible. It’s going to put stress on those spiders. They’re going to be less apt to be on your home, around your home and you’re going to have a cleaner home and you’re going to have less bug activity period. The other thing is you want to try to put stress on spiders and have limit the amount of spiders you have on the outside of the home and potentially inside if you don’t have your home sealed. Um it’s have a pest control service over time we get so we have a customer, um any customer right and and we’re doing service for them. Over time you’re gonna decrease that population and basically get that to whatever threshold you’re gonna. You’re gonna get it to okay, which is minimal. You’re gonna have minimal activity on that property now and what’s going to happen is you’re going to be get yourself into what we call maintenance mode at that point. So initial service it’s kind of a flush out type service is, you know, probably a high population of Be get yourself into what we call maintenance mode at that point. So initial service it’s kind of a flush out type service is, you know, probably a high population of all these different bugs that we’re dealing with and then over the course of time, because of life cycles and whatnot, we’re gonna decrease the amount of activity around your home and then at that point, we’re gonna get it to a manageable level.

Okay, that takes a little bit of time, though, right. So, like I’m landscaping my yard or, you know, attempting to um, cleaning out weed beds, getting the leaves out of there, spraying the weeds and with weed killer, and blah, blah, blah, right and well, guess what? One application is not going to be enough to get it looking good. I’m a couple weekends away probably from having it ready to put mulch down and fill in some rock and whatnot, because if I don’t do my due diligence, I’m going to have weed still and it’s going to look like crap, and I did all that work for nothing. So same thing applies to anything. Just about it takes time. You’ve got to do it right. Do it right the first time. So that’s very important. I talk about mulch real fast, and I’ll probably do a podcast on this and mention this again someday, because this is really important. People don’t know this. Having excess mulch is a problem. So if you’re going to do it yourself, or you’re hiring a company and you’re doing it yourself like I’m doing it, you’re going to want to remove all that old mulch and then put new mulch in, and because you don’t want to put new mulch over the top of old mulch. And that’s usually what people do. Even companies, unfortunately, do that because they’re idiots and they’re just trying to do and basically, I feel like they’re just, you know, doing it half-assed and stealing from you because they’re not doing their job and not doing not doing the best job they could for you, for the money and what they’re. What’s happening is they’re creating several layers of decay, okay, moisture. It becomes a perfect habitat for a lot of different insects, especially like American cockroaches, which is everybody’s friend, right, nasty, you don’t want those. So it becomes. And even if it’s bringing more earwigs and beetles and things of that nature, well, what else do you think it’s going to bring? It’s bringing more spiders, scorpions, things of that nature, and also creating harborage for scorpions and others, all these insects. Okay, so it’s really important to do that properly. But we’ll talk about that and probably get into that when we do another, another termite one. I think I mentioned that actually, I actually have a termite one coming. It should have been last week, I believe I did the termite podcast and I think I already touched on the mulch and exposure of foundation and whatnot and the issues with that. So if you haven’t listened to the termite subterranean termite podcast, I believe last week, listen to go, listen to that one too. There’s some really good tips on that. But but, anyways, getting off, I’m getting off topic, as normal. Um, spiders, get a company, or learn how to read a label. Do it move cobwebs, do reoccurring services on the outside? Okay, seal up your house. I can promise you you’re going to have way less spiders and way less insects in general around your home. If you do all those things.

Okay, a lot of things go hand in hand. It’s the behavioral things that you have to look at, and that’s what I try to look at when it comes to my approach at pest control. Okay, or at and that’s what I try to look at when it comes to my approach at pest control. Okay, or prevention. And that’s another thing Companies always want. Some companies want to say, oh, we do pest control, and some of these companies want to say, we do pest prevention. It’s all the same damn thing, you know, it’s all these different tactics and however you know, however you want to, whatever you want to call yourself. Prevention, I look at as control, is more about spraying and praying. Prevention is talking about sealing up the home, exclusionary things that you can do. Exclusion means sealing up homes, modifying your property, you know. Those are more preventable measures, I feel. So you know lighting I didn’t touch on that. Spiders do you want to keep spiders from you know setting up shop and making webs on your home? Then limit your lighting around your house. Go get the yellow bug-resistant bulbs. Okay, you’ll have a lot less activity, I promise you. So, with all that said, I rambled on probably long enough today. I probably forgot 100 things I wanted to say. But that’s okay, you know, wolf spiders are. They’re a good thing to have around. Like I said, they prey on crickets and ants and cockroaches and things of that nature. And, yes, they can bite. Do they bite? Usually it would be extremely rare if they did. They do have venom in them. They are venomous technically. Is that going to hurt from you Now? You might get a little mild redness, if you actually did get bitten by one, or you might get a little itchy on your skin. Take some warm water or some mild soap and clean the area. Call it a day. You’ll be fine, I promise. And they’re not, I guess the moral of the story. They’re not brown recluses or black widows, okay. So don’t have fear of that. But if you’re unsure, you know, get with your company.

Don’t rely on Google for everything. Google is not our friends in most cases. Okay, there’s some good information, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot of bad information. So, um, it’s best to go to a professional and ask that. Don’t educate yourself by everything you read on Google. It’s not. You know, I’m, I’m horrible about that when it comes to medical stuff. I’m a hypochondriac when it comes to that. So, um, I’m, I’m learning to stop. Stay off Google. A lot of bad information out there. A lot of bad advice, okay. don’t know what the hell to tell you. Sorry, um, but tune in for next week. I don’t even know what I’m going to do yet. I have a couple ideas, but, um, we’ll have another episode coming out next week. So there again, if you want to speak with me, you have any questions for me? Glad to answer them, glad to help, 512-588-2998. And you can also email me Y’all be good!


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