Have you noticed an increase in spiders during September? Although you may notice them more, there are not necessarily suddenly more spiders, just more sightings. Most spiders live for just one year. They hatch from eggs in the spring, grow and mature during the warmer months, reach maturity in summer or fall and seek mates to reproduce. The reason for more sightings is that the males are looking for female mates. After mating, the females lay eggs in an egg sac and most of the mature spiders die. The cycle resumes in the spring when the eggs hatch. This is the general cycle of spiders, of course, some species and occurrences can deviate a bit, but overall this is how a spider’s life cycle goes.
Photo credit: Bedbugs.org
Bed bugs could possibly rank up there with one of my worst nightmares. I’m typically not squeamish when it comes to bugs. Of course, I don’t want them taking up residence in my home, but when I see them it doesn’t make me want to burn my house down and completely lose my mind like my daughter does when it comes to spiders. However, there is something about those tiny bed bugs makes me come close to going crazy. I think it’s because they are small and hard to spot. Their flat bodies are about the size of an apple seed. They don’t fly but are quick movers. Even worse, female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs, which are the size of a speck of dust. One bright side is that they aren’t believed to transmit diseases.
Fire ants have been around in Arkansas since about the 1950s, but my most vivid memory of them wasn’t until I lived in Pensacola, Florida. Those little devils are everywhere down there. It is not a matter of if they will show up in your yard but rather when. Fire ants entered the United States through the port in Mobile, Alabama in the 1930s, so it only makes sense that they are so bad in the south.1 In Arkansas and Oklahoma fire ants are predominantly in the southern portions, but they are active in some parts of the River Valley. Fire ants are indicated by red in the above map. They are commonly named fire ants due to their ability to inflict painful stings.
It’s hard to believe we are entering the last month of summer, but don’t worry because there is still plenty of time for summer fun, which means there is still plenty of summer pests such as ants, flies, gnats, roaches, and wasps. How do you keep those summer pests out of your home?
For my daughter, a spider is a spider, is a spider. It doesn’t matter if it is poisonous or not. If she sees one near her, that poor thing made the wrong choice because it’s going to be dead in a matter of two seconds flat or she will just leave the room or, you know, burn the house down. In fact, back when she was about 14 years old she was home alone and a spider was in her room.
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