Insect Night Spider MoonArachnophobia is one of the most common phobias plaguing the human species. People with arachnophobia experience fear and unease when they believe they are in the presence of spiders. The sight of cobwebs or spiders themselves can cause a person with acrophobia to have panic attacks, scream, cry, or even faint.  This phobia affects around 3.5 – 6% of the population and there is still much debate on whether the fear of spiders is a result of an evolutionary need to protect oneself from venomous creatures or something we learn to fear by observing how others react around them.

Spiders have gotten a bad reputation, only being seen as creepy crawlies hiding away in dark corners, preying on unsuspecting insects and sucking the life right out of them.  Movies like Arachnophobia, Eight Legged Freaks, Tarantula, or Kingdom of Spiders aren’t doing these little guys any favors either! There is a lot more to the spider than what we see on the movie screen! Here are some spider facts that you may not know:

  • In other cultures, including Cambodia, Costa Rica, and South America, spiders are included in some traditional foods. Fried spiders are a popular tourist snack in Cambodia!
  • Spiders are not insects, they are arachnids – other arachnids include ticks, scorpions, and mites.
  • Spiders are found all over the world, except on Antarctica.
  • One species of spider, the Bagheera Kiplingi – which is found in Central America, is actually a vegetarian!
  • Most spiders feature 4 sets of eyes. The pattern of how they are arranged though will depend on the species.
  • The largest spider is the Goliath Bird Eating spider of South America – this spider can have a body length up to 12 inches along with fangs measuring around 1 inch! The Huntsman spider is the world’s largest spider by leg-span, this spider’s body can also reach up to 12 inches long with a leg span reaching a massive 6 inches! The goliath has a heavier body mass than the huntsman thereby awarding it the title of world’s largest spider.
  • A common house pet is the tarantula! Owners of these pets claim tarantulas are intelligent and very affectionate. Tarantulas can live 10-20 years.
  • The wolf spider is the only spider in the world that will carry her babies on her back! The egg sac remains attached to the mother wolf spider until the young are ready to hatch. Once hatched, the babies move onto the mother’s back and hitch a ride until they are ready to survive on their own.
  • Spiders take approximately 60 minutes to spin a complete web.
  • Spiders eat insects and are a source of natural pest control. Spiders can help rid your home of sow bugs, mosquitoes, flies, moths, and roaches.
  • The myth that you will eat 8 spiders in your sleep throughout your lifetime is false! In 1993, Lisa Holst, a columnist for PC Professional Magazine, wrote about how gullible people are to believe the facts received in e-mail chain letters. She created a list of made up “facts” which included the spider stat – proving her point when the entire world picked it up and spread it as fact. Unfortunately, no one has been able to confirm that the article, or Lisa Holst herself, actually exist. The question still remains if this stat – and origin story –  is true or false, but we say false.
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Photo courtesy of Victoria Rutkowski

Photo courtesy of Victoria Rutkowski

QUESTION: Where do bugs go in winter?

ANSWER: Insects can adapt to survive many different climates and changes in weather conditions.  Insects will go through behavioral and/or physiological changes to adapt to cold temperatures and increase their chances of survival during the winter.  Many insects maintain a low level of activity during winter months while other enter a hibernation state.

Insects also survive through winter with partial dehydration and reduced feeding, which reduces the chances of excess water in their bodies freezing.  Some insects can survive in certain stages of growth that are more protective from the elements, such as eggs in an egg sac or pupae in a hard cocoon, both of which do not require food or water.

Overwintering insects will seek out dry, protected areas such as bricks, wood piles, and mulch as they can provide shelter in cold weather.  The lights and warm air coming from your home can also attract many insects to overwinter inside your house.

Some common overwintering pests to watch for in your home are:

  • Cluster Flies: These flies do not present any health hazards.  They are slow moving flies that hatch in late summer and early fall. They can be present in very large numbers and are difficult to eradicate once inside a home.  These flies are usually located in attics, window frames, and wall or roof cavities.
  • Asian Lady Beetles: These beetles produce an unpleasant odor when frightened or crushed and can stain surfaces.  They have also been known to bite humans.  Asian Lady Beetles enter homes in winter months by the thousands through any crack, crevice, or opening and gather in warm places once inside.
  • Boxedler Bugs: These bugs become a nuisance when they enter homes in the fall.  They will crawl into houses from the ground level but can also fly to higher elevations.  They enter through chimneys, electrical wiring cut-outs, doorways, and windows.  They will congregate in warm places in a home.
  • Stink Bugs: Stink bugs are highly attracted to light. External and interior lights should be reducing during times of heavy stink bug movement. They search for shelter in late summer and become a nuisance inside homes.

At Poulin’s Pest Control, we’re experts in elimination of pest problems.  If you want to take care of the problem yourself, we carry a number of products to assist with many pest problems, and if you need our help, our technicians are standing by.  Remember – there’s no foolin’ with Poulin.

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Photo Courtesy of Victoria Rutkowski

We receive a lot of calls in the fall from people concerned about ladybugs taking over their homes and biting their family members. Ladybugs do not bite! If you are being bitten by an insect that looks like a ladybug, it’s actually an Asian ladybird beetle. Ladybugs, at this time of year, are already likely to be hibernating and not even present – Asian ladybird beetles, on the other hand, are still very active and visually look like a sweet, innocent summer ladybug. Just to make sure everyone sees it again, ladybugs do not bite humans, only Asian ladybird beetles can.

This imported insect pest was introduced into Canada during the 1970’s to help rid farmers crops of insect pests that would be naturally reducing farmers yields in certain crop types. As we go through the past 40ish years, we have seen especially over the past two years a large increase in these Asian ladybird beetles trying to find overwinter sites in your home in the Fall. They do not have any food sources left and the temperatures are decreasing so they are on mass trying to move into your windows, doors, ledges, cracks and vegetation areas around your home to survive and hibernate over the winter. They will emerge next Spring and return to the farmer fields to be biological controllers again for farmers.

If Asian ladybird beetles are being a nuisance to you and are making their way into your home, there are several effective options to consider when wanting to control these ‘new fall pests’.  There are both chemical and non-chemical control options. Some options available are as easy as vacuuming the pests up or leaving out sticky traps. Come down to our retail store to ask our staff for some great tips and product options to deal with Asian ladybird beetles, or you can give us a call at 1-888-768-5467 and we will be happy to help you out!

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tales from the techI showed up to a cockroach job, that turned out to be double booked.  When a job is double booked I don’t have to stay because someone else is already there doing the job and I can go right to my next appointment.  I went in to see who was already working, it was one of our techs that had been here for years and years.  I thought it would be funny to creep up behind him and give him a scare! I walked up slowly, making sure he wouldn’t know I was there… but then I heard him doing something odd.  He was clearly talking to someone, but there was no one around.  I wondered if he was having a senior moment.  Then I saw who he was talking to:

“Hey little buddies!”

“I see you there!”

“Yes, I see you too!”

“How are you guys doing today? It’s not going to be good for you now…”


He was talking to the roaches!  I stopped in my tracks and backed away slowly.  He was clearly having a moment with these roaches and who am I to interrupt? I had a good laugh as I walked back to my truck.  I never let him live that one down!

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house mouseHi I’m a mouse that likes to hide, but where am I most likely to be… in the home I like to hide in locations where I can’t be seen such as behind cupboards or behind the wall voids, beneath the sink via the pipe chase holes or even in a pantry that has access holes. I only need an opening the size of your small finger to move quickly from location to location in your home. I like to stay near my nesting area where I build up a comfy spot to have my babies.

I also enjoy leaving urine trails and like to poop in corners and along edges. These little small shaped ‘football’ poops can be dangerous if you find them in locations where deer mice are present. Do not disturb this type of fecal matter as it may have hantavirus present in it and if your aerosol the fecal matter and breathe it in it could kill you. So please soak down the fecal matter with a 50:50 water bleach mixture; let it sit for 15 minutes and you better wear an N-95 mask, rubber gloves and goggles to clean it up and disinfect the area. In the home, it is unlikely to be a deer mouse but it’s always best to be careful if you do not know whether I’m a house mouse or a deer mouse.

All I need to survive and propagate is a little water, a food source and a location to hide. I really like to hide behind stoves and fridges as food stuffs and water can be there and provide me a great place to hide. If you have open food, spilled food stuffs or even an open bag of dog or cat food will give me the chance to grow, reproduce and create even more of a mess in your home.

So how should you keep me out? Well exclusion at this time of year is key! Fill, seal, repair any crack, hole or crevasse that I can fit through. Also place bait stations or Ketchall’s or snap traps or sticky traps along walls where you are seeing evidence of my presence. Calling the professionals at Poulin’s will help give you the best defense of keeping me out of your house in the fall because this is the time of year I want in.

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