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HOW TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST BUGS THAT SCARE US THE MOST

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No one likes mosquitoes, roaches or ants, but there are a couple of other summertime visitors to our homes that can make you even more nervous. We’re talking about bark scorpions and black widow spiders, mainly because of their bites. If you’re bitten by one of them, you may need medical attention. But you can make your home and yard less inviting for these critters, and you can fight back when you find them:

Black Widows

According to Curtis Whalen of Blue Sky Pest Control in Phoenix, black widows are more prevalent in Arizona than we realize. There are other types of stinging spiders as well – like the brown recluse – but they’re not often found in this state.

Where you’ll find them:

Close to the floor or the ground in areas around garages, under the edging of stucco at the bottom of exterior walls or at the bottom of concrete block fences or walls. Sometimes they can be in your closets. You can clean up possible areas in your garage or home that might attract spiders, including checking your windows and cleaning up under tables and beds or in closets.

What they look like:

On the underside of female spiders are two red triangles in what resembles an hourglass shape. Overall, they’re black or very brown in color.

How to get rid of them:

If you find them, squash and kill them and spray the area of their webs with pesticides. It’s a good idea to vacuum the area as well. They can produce egg sacs that hold hundreds of little spiders. Always check items taken from a garage or shed before bringing them into the house. Wear protective clothing when dealing with them. Once you find them, you may want visits from a pest control service.

Bark Scorpions

According to Whalen, bark scorpions are almost an “only in Arizona” critter that thrives in the Sonoran Desert. But they can also be found in northern Mexico and perhaps near our border with Texas. They’re most prevalent here when night-time temperatures rise above 68 to 70 degrees. So right now is probably prime time for scorpions.

Where you’ll find them:

In your yard, of course. Sometimes they get into the yard when the local territory has been disturbed by construction or when you bring home pots of plants from a nursery that have scorpions living in among the plants. Sometimes you’ll see them on the underside of the stucco of exterior walls of your home. They can also live in boxes in your garage or among piles of leftover pavers or building materials. They’re also known for nesting among the fronds in palm trees or in saucers under clay pots on your patio. In your house, you can find them hiding in ducts or vents or dark closets or cabinets.

What they look like:

They aren’t exactly insects or bugs, but they’re related to them. They have pincers, a curved tail and are a pinkish-beige translucent color. They can be very tiny, but can reach two to three inches in size.

How to get rid of them:

Getting rid of them can be very difficult. To keep them out of the house, seal all cracks and crevices they might use to squeeze in. Improve the weather stripping around doors and windows. Seal the gaps around air conditioner hoses and cable boxes. Keep landscaping well-trimmed near the house and prune branches away from the roof. Clean up the clutter in your yard and the messes in the garage. Scorpions eat crickets and roaches; so, if you find those bugs in or around your house, eliminate them.

Contrary to what some people say, scorpions can be killed with chemicals so call an exterminator.

If you’re bitten by a scorpion, the area of the bite may feel numb for 48 hours. Children or older people may need to see a doctor for an anti-venom treatment.

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