Insect and pest control in Vermont. Vermont’s climate is considered to be humid continental and the state experiences widely varying temperatures throughout the seasons. The geographical location and colder temperatures of Vermont provide relief from some common pest problems such as termites, but homeowners in this state still have to worry about certain pest problems. Prevention is the best practice when it comes to pest control.
There are many species of spiders in Vermont, but two poisonous spiders that homeowners should be aware of are the black widow and the brown recluse. There are no poisonous spiders native to Vermont but poisonings do occur because of spider bites from a black widow or brown recluse spider that have hitched a ride with people or produce arriving from other parts of the country. The Northern Black Widow spider lives in the eastern United States including Vermont. As with all widow spiders, only the female of this species is poisonous to man. She can be identified by her glossy jet-black body, long tapering legs and round abdomen. The northern black widow’s markings vary with red stripes across the female’s back or diagonally down the sides and a bright-red hourglass shape on her abdomen.
The web of the northern black widow is unorganized, resembling a cobweb, but its silk is very strong. The egg sac is round and tan. This spider is typically not aggressive and will often retreat or hide when confronted but is more protective of its web when an egg sac is present. Bites usually occur when the spider is disturbed. The bite is usually not fatal but there have been more cases of severe reactions in infants, children, the elderly or ill persons. They are found around woodpiles, meter boxes and other undisturbed places.
Brown Recluse Spider may be brown, gray or even yellow. This fragile-looking spider has a leg span not exceeding a 50-cent piece and often has a black marking on its back that resembles a violin, prompting the nicknames fiddleback spider or violin spider. The easiest way to identify this spider is by its eyes. While most spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows of four, the recluse has six equal-sized eyes arranged in three pairs. Like the widow, the recluse builds an irregular web and inhabits woodpiles, sheds, closets, garages and other undisturbed places. If bitten, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately.
Though these spiders are not, by nature, aggressive toward humans, if bitten by either of these spiders, you will need to seek medical treatment. Black widow spiders are, according to their name, black with a unique red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Brown recluse spiders can vary in color from cream to dark brown. Their distinguishing feature is a violin-shaped marking on their back. While brown recluse spiders will seek shelter indoors, the black widow prefers the outdoors, but can often end up in garages, sheds or basements.
Vermont homeowners may find themselves facing a couple different species of flies in their home. One of the most common invaders is the cluster fly, making its way indoors during the fall when the weather starts to turn cold. In Vermont, these pests are even more prevalent in places where earthworms are abundant as they feed on this insect. Though they are harmless and don’t cause any damage, it can still be very annoying to have large numbers of these pests spending the winter in your home.
Bats can be a common problem in Vermont, and once in your home, they can create serious problems. There are nine species of bats in the state but only a few become indoor problems. The big brown bat and the little brown bat are common household intruders in the Vermont. These two species both hibernate in the winter and may do so in attics or the eves of your roof. Though it is not common, bats can carry rabies, making them a potentially dangerous pest. If you find or suspect a bat problem in or around your home, don’t attempt to handle it on your own.
Carpenter ants are very prevalent in Vermont as well and are not only a nuisance, but can also cause structural damage to your home. These ants are relatively large, and in Vermont, the black and red carpenter ant both exist. These insects burrow into wood to make their nests, but the damage is usually done on the inside of the wood and the only evidence of their existence is the piles of sawdust that they leave. Carpenter ants are frequently seen in homes in the spring and summer months. You can usually tell whether the nest is inside or outside depending on what time of year you notice them. If you notice carpenter ants in late winter or early spring then the carpenter ant nest is probably located within your home. If you first notice carpenter ants during the spring and summer months , the nest is probably outdoors.
Carpenter ants actually have two types of nests – parent colonies and satellite colonies. Often, the nests in your home may be the satellite colony of a parent nest located outside. It’s therefore important to stop ants from nesting inside your home and to stop ants from getting inside your home. Remember that night is the best time of day, as carpenter ants are mainly active during the night