Spiders Commonly Found In California

Some of us are terrified, some of us are indifferent and some of us keep them as pets. What are they? Spiders! Here is a list of spiders commonly found in California and some general information about them.

The Wolf spider

The Wolf spider preys on insects that are crawling or resting on the ground. Wolf spiders actively hunt in the open during the day and night, often observed on the ground in litter and on low vegetation. The Wolf spider burrow is often found under debris or on soil. Instead of spinning webs to catch prey, make a small, thick web where they rest. Wolf spiders a distinctive pattern of eyes: four small eyes in front in a straight row, one middle pair of larger eyes, and one rear pair of widely spaced eyes on top of the head.

Adult Wolf spiders have been mistaken for young to juvenile Tarantulas as they have long hairy legs. They are usually black and white or strongly contrasting light and dark, which can make them difficult to discern unless they are moving. Currently, there is about 200 species in North America.

The Cellar spider

Cellar spiders have extremely long, skinny legs with small bodies that are usually tan or gray. The web of a cellar spider is usually very messy, similar to the web of a cobweb spider. Like all spiders, cellar spiders have 8 legs, 2 body parts, and fang-like mouthparts. The body length of adult cellar spiders about 1/4″ or less.

The Black widow

The black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus, is the most common harmful spider in California. Venom from its bite can cause reactions ranging from mild to painful and serious, but death is very unlikely and many symptoms can be alleviated if medical treatment is obtained. Anyone bitten by this spider should remain calm and promptly seek medical advice; it is helpful if the offending spider can be caught and saved for identification.

The typical adult female black widow has a shiny black body, slender black legs, and a red or orange mark in the shape of an hourglass on the underside of the large, round abdomen. The body, excluding legs, is 5/16 to 5/8 inch long. Only the larger immature female and adult female spiders are able to bite through a person’s skin and inject enough venom to cause a painful reaction.

The Yellow sac spider

The common, house-dwelling agrarian sac or yellow sac spider, Cheiracanthium inclusum, is a small spider that spins a silken sac web in the corners of ceilings and walls, and behind shelves and pictures; it is also commonly found outdoors in shrubbery. This spider is light yellow and has a slightly darker stripe on the upper middle of the abdomen. The eight eyes of this spider are all about equal in size and arranged in two horizontal rows.

Yellow sac spiders can be seen running on walls and ceilings at night and quickly drop to the floor to escape if they are disturbed. Bites usually occur when the spider becomes trapped against a person’s skin in clothing or bedding. It is estimated that sac spiders are responsible for more bites on people than any other spider. Typical symptoms of a bite include initial pain, redness, and sometimes swelling.

For spider pest control, and all other pest control services for your home or business, contact Earth Guard Pest Services at:

877-D-BUGIN-U (877-328-4468)

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Green Pest Control by Earth Guard Pest Control

At Earth Guard Pest Control, we care about your health and safety and the environment. We are proud to be an EcoWise© certified company and work to stay informed about the safest, most effective pest management methods available.

Our goal is to use the least-hazardous, most effective green pest control methods possible to protect your home or commercial property. To do this, we put together a comprehensive pest control plan, utilize chemicals certified as safe for your family and the environment, and provide extensive monitoring, accurate record-keeping and thorough inspections.

But being Green is not just using certified green chemicals. It is also understanding pests, their lifecycle and breeding habits. Our pest control experts focus on creating an environment that is not pest friendly, reducing the need for pesticides at all, and reinforcing our commitment to a safe and responsible approach to managing pests.

If the pest problem has reached a significant level, our pest control technicians will carefully apply the best chemicals for the situation, at a level intended to manage the pest problem without exposing family, pets, or the environment. In addition to chemical applications, we also utilize trapping, screens, door sweeps, caulking, and other materials that will exclude the pests from your environment.

Call Earth Guard today and put our Sacramento pest control team to work meeting your pest management needs with safest environmentally friendly pest control techniques and chemicals.


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USDA Investments in Pest Management Research Help to Protect America’s Food Supply

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2012—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $33 million to support research and extension activities addressing pest management issues that have human health, environmental and economic consequences across the nation. The awards were made by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“The projects supported through these programs will support research, education and extension activities that help to find innovative pest management solutions for our farmers, consumers and families, aiming to ensure a safe and affordable supply of food,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director.

NIFA offers a wide range of pest management programs that support the development of science-based solutions to address human health, environmental and economic issues. NIFA supports research, education and Extension activities that promote pest management in general, and reduced-risk pest management in particular. The agency’s pest management programs are implemented through working partnerships with scientists in our nation’s colleges and universities, other federal agencies and the private sector.

NIFA’s pest management programs work in coordination with stakeholders to address the broad goals outlined in the National Roadmap for Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which was developed by federal and non-federal IPM experts, practitioners, and stakeholders in 2004. In addition, NIFA’s pest management programs play a key role in ensuring food security for all.

Fiscal year 2012 pest management awards were funded through 10 programs:

Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers: The Regional IPM Centers work to improve the costs and benefits of adopting IPM practices and reduce the environmental and human health risks associated with managing pests. The centers serve as focal points for regional pest management information networks, collaborative team building and broad-based stakeholder participation. FY 2012 funding: $3,805,820

Regional Integrated Pest Management Grants Program: This program supports research and extension efforts that develop individual pest control tactics, integrate individual tactics into an IPM system, and develop and implement Extension and education programs. FY 2012 funding includes:

  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – Northeast: $569,739
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – North Central: $722,337
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – South: $789,792
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – West: $642,039

Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP): PSEP is managed jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NIFA and supports educational programs for pesticide applicators in the proper use of pest management technologies. Extension programs at land-grant institutions, in conjunction with state regulatory agencies that certify and license applicators, provide these education programs. FY 2012 funding: $500,000

Pest Management Alternatives Program: This program provides support for the development and implementation of IPM practices, tactics and systems for specific pest problems while reducing human and environmental risks. FY 2012 funding: $1,291,507

National Plant Diagnostic Network: This national network of existing diagnostic laboratories rapidly and accurately detects and reports plant diseases and other pests of national interest, particularly pathogens of high consequence. The network provides the means necessary for ensuring that all participating land-grant university diagnostic facilities are alerted of possible outbreaks and/or introductions and are equipped to rapidly detect and identify pests and pathogens. FY 2012 funding: $2,750,940

Methyl Bromide Transitions: This program supports the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives to methyl bromide uses for which the United States is requesting critical use exemptions. FY 2012 funding: $1,894,937

Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4): This program provides safe, effective and economical pest management solutions for growers of minor and specialty crops. IR-4 facilitates crop protection by providing expert assistance with product development and registration. FY 2012 funding: $11,073,505

Expert IPM Decision Support System: This program supports the development of expert systems that help guide, demonstrate and multiply impacts of USDA supported IPM programs. FY 2012 funding: $141,544

Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination and Support Program: This program supports state and local contributions in advancing the goals of the National Road Map for IPM by addressing priority needs associated with the implementation and evaluation of extension IPM programs.  FY 2012 funding: $8,898,218

Promoting Integrated Pest Management in Affordable Housing: Through an interagency agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, NIFA funds projects that use IPM to address housing conditions that threaten human health and strengthen affordable housing communities. FY 2012 funding: $318,182

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Local employees trained in pest management products

Making green decisions about home and garden pest management products at the store is now a snap. Shoppers now have a new resource at retailers throughout Napa County: employees trained by professionals who have spent a rigorous year volunteering in retail nurseries, hardware stores and garden centers, educating and training store employees about less-toxic pest management products and methods.

These professionals, called Integrated Pest Management Advocates, have been taught by top experts from the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UCIPM) and professionals in the nursery industry.

The advocates then spent nearly one year with store managers, buyers and retail associates training and guiding them toward effective pest management products and techniques with the least impact on the environment. The program was funded by a Pest Management Alliance grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and is getting a boost of new funding from the U.S EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund.

This program is an offshoot of the already successful “Our Water, Our World” (OWOW) program, sponsored by the Napa Countywide Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program and other Bay Area stormwater agencies.

OWOW raises awareness about the connection between pesticide use and water quality by providing point-of-purchase information to consumers about integrated pest management (IPM) and less-toxic pest control alternatives. OWOW developed 30 fact sheets (all translated in Spanish) describing less-toxic pest management tips for specific pests. These fact sheets are placed in retail nursery and hardware stores along with ‘shelf-talkers’ (shelf tags) below selected products on store shelves to make it easier for shoppers to identify safer alternatives to conventional pesticides.

Consumers should look for the OWOW logo and approved products in one of the following local stores: Central Valley Builders Supply in St. Helena and Napa, Steves Hardware in St. Helena, Silverado Ace Hardware in Calistoga, and Mid City Nursery in American Canyon. Participating Napa retailers include Home Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware, Zeller’s Ace Hardware and Van Winden Nursery.

“This program is really about helping consumers all over Napa County. It can be overwhelming to make choices at the store because of the breadth of products available,” explains County Stormwater Program Manager Jamison Crosby.

For more information on less toxic gardening products and water pollution prevention tips, visit

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Bugs Without Borders

Recently the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky published Bugs Without Borders, a 2011 study of pest management professionals in the U.S. The results are scary.

  • 99 percent of responding pest management professionals had encountered bedbugs in the last year
  • More than 8 in 10 respondents said bedbug cases are increasing in the U.S.
  • Reports of bedbugs have become more common in daycare facilities, dorms, nursing facilities, movie theaters, and on public transportation

While they were almost nonexistent just a few decades ago, these tiny little blood suckers are making a comeback in a big way – one that might take a serious toll on your life. Get an infestation in your home and those bedbugs can wreak havoc on your finances, health, and sanity.

Initial extermination costs

Usually when you find pests in your home, a can of bug spray can kill every insect in sight. But the cheap and easy method doesn’t work with bedbugs. Most commercially sold bug sprays aren’t designed for bedbugs. To make matters worse, bedbugs have an increasing resistance to chemicals, so what worked in the past might not work in the future.

Most experts recommend professional extermination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a costly mix of chemical and nonchemical treatment:

CDC and EPA promote integrated pest management (IPM) for bedbug control. IPM is an effective pest control method that uses information on the life cycle of the pest and incorporates nonchemical and chemical methods. Nonchemical methods to effectively control bedbugs include heating infested rooms to 118°F (48°C) for 1 hour or cooling rooms to 3°F (-16°C) for 1 hour by professional applicators; encasing mattresses and box springs with bedbug-excluding covers; and vacuuming, steaming, laundering, and disposing of infested items. Any effective control measure for bedbugs requires support from all residents in affected buildings and ongoing monitoring for infestation from other housing units. Often, multiple inspections and treatments are needed to eradicate bedbugs.

This method will work, but could cost thousands of dollars. Jeff Eisenberg, author of “The Bed Bug Survival Guide,” recently told Time that a knowledgeable exterminator can cost at least $400 or $500 per room.

Future prevention costs

Spending serious cash on extermination isn’t always the end of a bedbug problem. Bedbugs nest inside your mattress, pillows, sofa, curtains, clothing, suitcases, and even behind electrical switch plates and in drawers. If one female survives the treatment, the National Pest Management Association says she could lay up to 540 eggs in her lifetime – starting the cycle all over again. That is why many exterminators and experts recommend either treating your soft furniture and clothing or throwing infested items away.

Disposal is costly. My mom runs a small apartment complex that has had bedbug problems off and on for the last year. A few months ago one tenant found bedbugs in his apartment. The apartment was treated but he still felt like bugs were crawling all over him at night, so he tossed everything. All told, he spent more than $4,000 replacing his mattress, linens, sofa, and clothing.

If you choose to keep your stuff, you’ll still need to shell out more cash for treatment. For example, anything that can fit in a washing machine will need to be washed and dried on high heat and then placed inside large plastic bags until you’re sure the bedbugs are gone from your home. Your mattress must be sealed up in a special case. According to Eisenberg, only two manufacturers make effective mattress encasements: Mattress Safe and Protect-a-Bed. Mattress Safe cases run from $79.95 to $128.95 depending on the size of the bed. Protect-a-Bed cases cost $80.99 to $134.99.

Health risks

If bedbugs have an upside, it is that they don’t transmit disease and typically don’t pose a medical threat. In most cases people experienced itchy bite marks that could be treated with over-the-counter creams and antihistamine pills. But there is still a small risk of developing some medical problems that could require treatment.

The CDC warns that excessively scratching the bites can cause a secondary skin infection. Some people also develop an allergic reaction to the bites and have to seek medical treatment. It’s rare, but these allergic reactions can be severe.

The treatments can also lead to health problems. Between 2003 and 2010, the CDC found at least 111 cases of people who got sick from insecticides used to treat bedbugs. There was one reported death from excessive insecticide use, a 65-year-old woman in North Carolina with a history of health problems. All other reported cases were mild in nature.

Emotional toll

Then there is the emotional toll. Even though cases have been reported across the country, there is still a stigma attached to bedbugs. People discover they have them and get embarrassed, worrying that neighbors will think their homes are unclean. Take my mother’s apartment complex, for example. The few tenants who have fallen victim to these bugs are terrified the neighbors will find out.

Even if you don’t have neighbors to worry about, bedbugs can still take an emotional toll on your life. Many people have trouble sleeping once they know their home is infested. The Columbus Dispatch recently interviewed Rod Bodwalk, who has had trouble with bedbugs in his apartment. Bodwalk threw away his mattress and ripped up the carpet. He sleeps in a sleeping bag and stays up at night to catch the bugs on a piece of duct tape. Bodwalk told the Columbus Dispatch:

“You can’t imagine after working all day and then not being able to go to sleep. They would wake me up every night between 2:30 and 4. I’d feel them crawling over me and reached over and get the duct tape and smash them.”

Once the bugs are finally gone, some people suffer from anxiety and develop a fear that they’ll catch them again. Last year after discovering bedbugs in her New York apartment, my friend moved, leaving all of her stuff in a dumpster. To this day she won’t come into her apartment without inspecting her clothes for bedbugs first. She’s terrified she picked them up on the subway. She has even had a few nightmares that bedbugs are crawling on her in her sleep.

Bedbugs spread quickly. You can pick them up in a public place and carry them home with you. The CDC says bedbugs can travel more than 100 feet in a night to find a new home. But there are still things you can do to prevent or stop the spread of bedbugs. The National Pest Management Association’s site, Pest World.org, has a list of everyday prevention methods. They include:

  • Vacuuming out suitcases before bringing them in the house
  • Regularly inspecting your sheets for blood spots
  • Storing your suitcase in a plastic bag while on vacation
  • Using a flashlight to inspect any room you spend time in
  • Inspecting secondhand furniture for infestation before bringing it home
  • Inspecting pet beds and crates on a regular basis

For all bed bug and pest control needs for your home, office, or property, contact Earth Guard Pest Services at:

877-D-BUGIN-U (877-328-4468)

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As the days of fall become cooler, requests for help in controlling household pests become more frequent. Uninvited visitors will routinely seek refuge in our warm homes. While many people don’t mind encountering insects, spiders or a furry critter outdoors, most people consider these animals pests when they come inside the home. Even one insect may be considered too many. People use over-the-counter pesticides to control household pests but often fail to consider long-term solutions to avoid pest problems.

Common household pests include arthropods, like roaches and ants, and vertebrates, like mice, rats and bats. We need to keep in mind that pesticides also may be poisonous to people and pets. If pesticides are not used carefully, you, your family and pets may be exposed to unnecessary risks. The risks are greatest for infants and toddlers because of their lower weight and greater tendency to place hands/objects in their mouths.

We recommend an integrated pest management strategy to control household pests. IPM includes a variety of nonchemical and chemical tactics to control pests and minimize human/pet exposure to pesticides. IPM often includes pesticides, but they should be used judiciously as part of your overall pest management plan. Every pest needs food, water, and a place to stay. To make your home less attractive to pests, follow these basic IPM principles:

Don’t provide food for pests.

Even a small amount of food can support a large population of roaches or ants. Food particles that find their way into nooks and crannies between cabinets and an appliance or wall are usual culprits. Clean up after pets as they often scatter bits of food. Feed pets in a limited area that you can easily clean. Don’t leave pet food out overnight. Roaches and other pests also eat pet food. When your pet has finished eating, store the remaining food in a sealed container or in the refrigerator. Tightly close bags of pet food when you are not using them. Cover indoor garbage cans tightly, or take the garbage out every night. Plastic liners will help keep garbage cans clean. Store garbage outside in heavy plastic or metal containers with tight-fitting lids. Keep food in protective containers. Store all food in tightly sealed bags or containers, or place food in the refrigerator or freezer.

Don’t provide water for pests.

Promptly repair dripping pipes. Leaky or “sweating” pipes under the cabinet are a good water source for pests. During periods of drought, more pests may enter your home seeking water. Never leave water standing in the sink or other containers overnight. Do not leave water standing under flowerpots. You may need to remove your pet’s water bowl at night or change to a system that dispenses water as your pet needs it.

Don’t provide shelter for pests.

Debris of all kinds will attract pests because it provides good places to hide. Avoid clutter. Never allow old newspapers, boxes, or other materials to accumulate inside or near the home. Many pests prefer to live in small, dark cracks or other protected areas. Seal up crevices and holes with caulk. Pay special attention to the kitchen area because pests prefer to stay near food.

Keep pests out.

We often bring pests – such as roaches, silverfish, and spiders – into the home with packaging. They hide in the crevices and in the bottom of packages. Inspect bags and boxes before you bring them into the house. If you buy an appliance, check it carefully for roaches before you bring it into the house. Used appliances are more likely to be infested if they have been in service for some time. Look for dead insects and fecal spots. Seal up cracks and holes where pests can enter your home. Check outside walls, window ledges, doors, and floorboards for openings; seal them with caulk. Be sure that all window screens fit tightly and that door sweeps are intact. Attic and chimney screens can prevent problems with bats, squirrels, and birds. Check for holes around water pipes, wiring, and other openings from the outside.

Following these basic guidelines will help you to prevent many pest problems and control problems when they occur. For all pest control needs and more specific information contact Earth Guard Pest Services at:

877-D-BUGIN-U (877-328-4468)

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IPM is Fundamental Wherever Pests Must Be Controlled

It is essential to practice IPM, whether managing weeds, insect pests or plant diseases ¬– on the farm, on commercial sites, on public lands, or in or around the home. Key components of IPM include making the habitat unfavorable for pests, excluding pests where feasible, using proper sanitation practices, monitoring the infestation level, knowing the pest tolerance level for the specific situation and implementing the necessary management practices.

Judicious use of pesticides is a critical component of many IPM programs.

Judicious (careful) use refers to various practices – following all label directions and making all appropriate stewardship decisions required in the particular situation. This includes applying a product registered for the target pest(s) after accurate pest identification, and consideration of the level of infestation and the potential for economic, health or other negative pest impacts. Careful use extends beyond pesticides to household chemicals, automobiles, medicines, alcoholic beverages, and countless other products that are part of our daily lives.

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Cluster flies in the home: how to identify and control these pests

Many of you are struggling with a common pest problem—flies in the home. Flies living in and around the home transmit various human diseases, such as shigellosis, traveler’s diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and eye infection. Flies do not sting, but some blood-feeding flies can give a painful bite.

How to control cluster flies

  • Seal cracks and crevices around homes, particularly upper stories of south and west sides prior to periods when flies enter in late August and September. Exterior treatment of house walls with a registered insecticide can further limit entrance.
  • Locate the area where the flies are hibernating in the home and then treat them directly. Begin searching for resting sites on the southern and western sides of the building, and vacuum the flies off the surfaces on which they are hibernating. In areas inaccessible to vacuuming, a residual insecticide can be applied.
  • Devices to trap the flies are also offered on the market. These traps, attached to windowpane where flies are a problem, contain a non-toxic powder that works like quicksand in trapping the insects that fall in.
  • Swatting cluster flies is not recommended as it may attract more flies. Also, it is not advisable to control cluster flies by attempting to control the earthworm populations.
  • For current chemical control options, contact Earth Guard Pest Services at:

877-D-BUGIN-U (877-328-4468)

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More California Rodents Test Positive for Plague

Earth Guard Pest Services serves Sacramento and the surrounding communities with pest control services, including rodent control. Read below for more information about rodents and the plague in El Dorado County.

EL DORADO COUNTY – Two more chipmunks have tested positive for plague in the Tahoe area, adding to the one found back in the first week of October, the California Department of Public Health reports.

The California Department of Public Health has been running the tests, with the El Dorado County Department of Environmental Health being notified of the find this week, a release states.

Officials note that 41 rodents were tested as a precaution, thanks to the positive test of the earlier chipmunk. The earlier chipmunk was found at the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center in the Taylor Creek area.

The positive test for plague is to be expected, however, with officials noting that the disease is naturally present throughout California.

Early symptoms of the plague include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. The plague is curable in its early stages by antibiotics, but it may be deadly if left untreated.

To report a sick or dead rodent, contact El Dorado County Vector Control at (530) 573-3197.  For more information on plague in California, visit the following website: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Pages/Plague.aspx

Contact Earth Guard Pest Services for all your Sacramento area pest control needs, including rodent control.

877-D-BUGIN-U (877-328-4468)

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Jeremy Briscoe of Certis USA Named State Chair of California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA)

Jeremy Briscoe took the helm as State Chair of the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) today. Briscoe, who serves as National Ag Business Manager for Certis USA, Atascadero, CA, accepted the gavel from last year’s chair Dennis Duda of Wilbur-Ellis, Rio Linda, CA, at CAPCA’s 38th Annual Conference & Agri-Expo in Anaheim.

Briscoe, a 13-year participant of the 3,100-member organization, was named 2008 CAPCA Member of the Year, an award he shared with Sean Morelos of BASF Corporation, San Luis Obispo, CA. Briscoe and Morelos created the “Pathway to PCA” program to educate college students about career opportunities as pest control advisers (PCA). Studies show that fewer than 21 percent of CAPCA’s members are under the age of 44 and with aging PCAs retiring, the state could experience a shortfall of qualified PCAs. Since its inception, the Pathway to PCA program has recruited more than 200 PCAs into the profession.

Headquartered in Columbia, MD, Certis USA is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of biopesticide products for specialty agricultural and horticultural markets and the home and garden market. Certis USA products provide valuable solutions by meeting the challenges faced by today’s growers who are seeking sustainable alternatives, resistant pest management and harvest solutions, and low pesticide residues for market flexibility and export accessibility. For more information about Certis USA or its products visit www.CertisUSA.com.

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/10/22/4355922/jeremy-briscoe-of-certis-usa-named.html#storylink=cpy

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