Spiders like the Black Widow spider and Brown Recluse spider have given all other spiders a bad reputation. These dangerous spiders strike fear in people, and justifiably so. All spiders are venomous to some degree, but that doesn’t mean they are dangerous. While all spiders are an eyesore, most spiders are harmless.
The problem with spiders is most of us don’t know which spiders are dangerous, and which ones are harmless… When we see a spider, we just run. How do we know which spiders bite? How do we know which spiders are dangerous?
The spider control professionals at Bulwark Pest Control have put together an informative infographic which helps us all identify the common spiders found in the United States, and whether or not they are dangerous.
WARNING! If you ever want to enjoy an Oreo cookie ever again, don’t read this article.
Pictures have surfaced on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler of a spider that has allegedly been found inside of one of America’s favorite snacks… The Oreo Cookie!
Spider Found Inside Oreo Cookie
Photo Courtesy of Facebook
The Oreo spider pictures come with the following caption:
“This is why you always take Oreos apart before eating them, always. Now think of all the Oreos you’ve ever eaten foolishly.”
After seeing the above picture, the public is left wondering if the Oreo was found this way by the consumer, or it was an easily replicated hoax. Is it real or fake?
The idea of finding a spider in your favorite milk dunking cookie is not unbelievable–After all, we have evidence of a maggot stuffed cookie.
Theories On The Oreo Spider
It’s fake. Somebody untwisted an Oreo and then smashed a living or dead spider into the cream. They posted a picture of what they “found in their cookie.” The cookie even appears to have some dirt attached.
Somebody was in need of an extra protein boost for their afternoon snack. Just imagine, an Oreo with nutritional value. The spider might be the healthiest part of that Oreo. Anybody could rationalize that!
Is The Spider Found In The Oreo Real Or Fake?
My professional opinion, as a bug guy, is that this Oreo spider is a hoax. Obviously there is a spider implanted in the Oreo’s cream, but it was likely put there on purpose.
We did the same thing here at the office with a scorpion. Here is a Scorpion Birthday Bash Oreo:
At first glance, the spider seems to be a simple garden spider. These spiders are rarely ever associated with indoor environments, and wouldn’t make its home in the very clean, and very FDA regulated, Nabisco factory.
Spider In Oreo Undetermined
The truth is that nobody is 100% sure if this is just an easily replicated hoax, or if a spider was really mashed between an Oreo during the manufacturing process. Oreo has yet to release a public statement. Investigative websites like Snopes are uncertain about the photographs authenticity; its hoax status is labeled undetermined as of March 1, 2013.
Us bug guys will keep you updated when we know more. Until then, maybe you should untwist your next Oreo before you eat it… Just to be on the safe side.
One thing we do know for sure at this point– The only thing worse than finding a spider inside an Oreo cookie you’re eating, is finding half a spider.
If you are deathly afraid of spiders, do not watch this video.
If you want to sleep tonight, do not watch this video.
If you have a heart condition or health concerns of any kind, do not watch this video.
If you want a glimpse of what Hell might look like, go ahead and take a peak! You may feel a little itchy afterward.
The above footage is not a spider apocalypse; nor is it a nightmare surpassing your most grotesque childhood terror; but rather a normal phenomenon in the Brazilian city of Santo Antonio da Platina– located only some 500 miles away from Rio de Janeiro; home of the 2016 Olympic Games.
It’s safe to say I now know what city I’m not visiting…EVER! So much for attending the 2016 Summer Olympics.
web of the Social Spider (Photo credit: larahsk)
It’s Raining Spiders In Brazil
The spiders, officially named Anelosimus eximius, hide out in the Brazilian trees by day and build huge sheets of web at night. The spiders work together building these webs, taking over the night sky, in order to catch massive amounts of insects. These sheets of webs can reach more than 3 meters in length, and also aid in carrying the spiders to other locations with a strong wind.
If you want a silver lining to this arachnophobic nightmare, there are no longer any flies or mosquitoes left in Brazil.
The Anelosimus eximius spider is common throughout Central and South America; from Panama down to Argentina. Because the spiders work together in colonies, building webs and catching insects, they are considered social spiders.
The video was filmed and uploaded to the WEB (pun intended) by Santo Antonio da Platina resident Erick Reis while filming an engagement party for friends.
Every boy growing up watched in amazement as Spiderman was able to shoot webs from his wrists; pulling endangered motorist’s cars off of bridges before they fell hundreds of feet into icy water.
Crooks and bad guys, even those with superhuman strength, were tied up by Spiderman’s webs. Wonderment filled our heads, as we watched all the many possibilities of spider silk.
I remember wishing I could shoot those powerful spider webs at a schoolyard bully or be able to effortlessly swing from my house to a tree branch.
A Century’s Old Question
Apparently I am not the only one who has wanted to unleash the secrets of spider silk.
For decades, scientists have been studying spider silk hoping to unlock its mysteries and apply this knowledge to real world application.
Scientists are now closer than ever to answering the question,
“How does a spider spin a web of silk that is five times stronger, on a weight-to-strength basis, than steel; and how can we manufacture it?”
The Strength of Spider Silk (Photo credit: BlueRidgeKitties)
The Strength Of Spider Silk
Spider silk is five times stronger, on a weight-to-strength basis, than steel with about 1/6th the density.
Here’s a real world example displaying the strength of silk:
An 1881 Tombstone, Arizona gun fight gave us all an idea of just how strong real silk is. George Emery Goodfellow, a doctor of the times in Tombstone, AZ was examining the deceased after a gunfight. One of the men involved had taken a couple bullets to the chest, but the Dr. Goodfellow couldn’t find a single drop of blood on the man. As he removed his clothing he found a silk handkerchief holding two smashed bullets. Although the man has still died because of the force of the bullets, the silk handkerchief stopped the bullets from piercing the man’s chest.
Solving The Mysteries of Spider Silk
Over the last ten years scientists have unlocked a few portions of the spider silk puzzle, and hope to replicate it. We now know the key proteins used by spiders to spin their silk. Unfortunately, scientists have been unable to translate this knowledge into a technique that would enable the industrial-scale manufacturing of synthetic spider silk that is as powerful as the real stuff.
The problem has always been fairly fundamental. While scientists understood the substances or proteins used by these ingenious spiders, they couldn’t figure out the mechanics of how spiders combine those proteins to make spider silk. When they tried it in their labs, they got inferior products… Until now!
It turns out that a key part of the answer to this complex question is really pretty simple. It’s all in the timing… The timing of tiny globular structures.
Tiny Globular Structures
Scientist recently stumbled upon some unusual spider silk features, and a big part of the secret. These features happened to be tiny globular structures called “micelles” which when combined together formed larger and larger gel-like structures. These micelles happened to be the precursors to silk fibers.
Scientists now believe that they can take these micelles, and add some non-silk polymers to it to enlarge them and manufacture spider silk… But there is still one challenge.
The Next Challenge
Spiders controlthe water content of the gel to prevent the proteins from crystallizing until they are ready to spin the silk fibers. If the proteins crystallized too soon, the process would fail. Scientists are still trying to unlock this last part of the spider silk puzzle and replicate the process that nature has provided.
Look at That Spider-Man Go! (Photo credit: The Rocketeer)
Real World Applications of Manufactured Spider Silk: Inspired By Spiderman
Quick urban travel by rapidly firing thin strands of spider silk from building to building
Biomedical devices like artificial tendons and ligaments
Artificial skin for burn victims
Binding captured criminals with a webbing
Bomb stopping bulletproof vests
Biodegradable bottles and packaging
Blindfold an opponent with a thick blob of spider silk
A super strong spider silk polymer for high performance aircraft or motor vehicles
Super strong ropes, nets, seat belts, and parachutes
A massive web cast across a street or alley to snare rapidly-moving persons or vehicles
Spidersare amazing creatures, and so is the silk they spin. Let’s hope scientists can figure out the last few pieces of the spider silk puzzle, so we can all live out our childhood fantasies of becoming Spiderman!
Here we go again. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler have been inundated as of late with reports of poisonous spiders biting people, as they sit on the toilet of all places, resulting in your eventual death.
Here Is The Claim
NEW POISONOUS SPIDER IN THE UNITED STATES
A spider bite…please read………… And you thought the brown recluse was bad!
Three women in North Florida, turned up at hospitals over a 5-day period, all with the same symptoms. Fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally, death. There were no outward signs of trauma.
Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood. These women did not know each other, and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited the same Restaurant (Olive Garden) within days of their deaths. The health department descended on the restaurant, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail.
The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only went to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom.
That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom, and lifted the toilet seat. Under the seat, out of normal view, was a small spider.
The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata), so named because of its reddened flesh color. This spider’s venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere.
It is now believed that these spiders can be anywhere in the country. So please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life!
And please pass this on to everyone you care about.
Just A Hoax
Wikipedia and other credible online sources have debunked the claim of toilet spiders biting restaurant patrons; stating the stories are fictitious. Although some spiders do prefer cool dark places, the harsh chemicals used to clean the toilet would likely deter any spider from making a toilet it’s home. No such story of a Two-Stripped Telamonia biting rear ends has ever occurred. The story is considered an urban legend.
The Real Two-Striped Telamonia Spider
The two-striped jumper (Telamonia dimidiate), is a jumping spider found in various Asian tropical rain forests. They are common in wooded environments in India, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bhutan. They do not live in North Florida Olive Garden restaurants.
The Two-Striped Telamonia Spider ranges in size from 8-11 millimeters. Females are a light yellow, with a white stripe down her middle. She also has a red ring around her legs. The male is very dark, with white markings, and red hairs around the eyes. The venom of this species is not medically significant.
Today is Halloween! Tonight, as you’re watching your scary movies, carving your pumpkins, and passing out Halloween candy to all of those little princesses, super heroes, ghouls, and masked kiddos trick-or-treating at your door; keep an eye out for a spider inside your home… It just might be a departed relative checking in on you!
According to superstition, if you see a spider on Halloween it’s the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
If this superstition is true, I’m a little worried. I’m sure I’ve squashed or vacuumed up a few Halloween spiders in my day. To think, the spirits of my beloved ones might dwell in my vacuum cleaner….Oh, no…What should I do?
Pest Control Operators and Spider Superstitions
As a pest control operator, what would your response be if a customer didn’t want you to treat for spiders this month because of this Halloween superstition?
Are there any pest control solutions that will only target the non-possessed spiders?
Rich Kozlovich, ofPest Management Inc.in Cleveland, OH said, “If I had a potential customer suggest such a thing to me, and was serious, I would tell them to go to another company. It has been my experience that irrational people have the tendency to be irrational about more than just one thing.”
Roya Talaei, an Environmental Services Professional in Toronto, Canada said, “If you see a spider on Halloween, hug it, give it a kiss, take it outside; and then ask the spider to do its job, of eating harmful insects.”
“I’m all in favor of hugging and kissing, but feeling 8 arms around me is a bit much…” – Paulakuiten Brouwer
Halloween Spider Superstitions
Halloween is believed to be a day when the veil between the realm of the dead and the realm of the living is the thinnest. The spirits of the dead can walk among people. Any animal, insect, or this case arachnid may be associated with a spirit; especially if it is behaving in an unusual fashion. Some living creatures, like the spider, are associated more closely with the dead than others.
Psychopomps are living creatures that are believed to ferry the souls of the dead to the afterlife, and include many birds, dogs, flying insects such as moths, and more. If insect such as a spider is seen to be openly present and watching, the possibility that it is possessed by the spirit of a loved one is considered in these belief systems.
Seeing A Dead Relative This Halloween
Identifying Possessed Spiders
This superstition got me thinking. “How can I identify a possessed spider from a spider that is non-possessed?”
If you catch a spider drinking Ovaltine, wanting to show you it’s collection of miniature figurines, or leaving you a birthday check for $4.50 it’s likely just your deceased Grandmother.
For Bulwark’s complete list of “10 Ways to Identify a Possessed Spider This Halloween,” clickhere.
To all of you in the pest control industry, the pest control professionals here atBulwark Exterminatingwish you a very safe and Happy Halloween!
New legislation has been passed in Annapolis, MD banning toxic pesticides within 25 feet of schools, daycares, government buildings, and waterways. Starting July 1, 2013 pesticides will only be used in emergency infestations. This new legislation is following the same pest control approach of other cities like nearby Washington, DC.
Here is a great blog on what the pest control industry is using to treat tick and fleas. Some Pyrethroids like Permethrin are working well for fleas as well as ticks. The article emphasizes customer preparation and education.
The drought and heat are forcing spiders, like the poisonous Brown Recluse, into our homes. We don’t need to be afraid of this home invasion, but the article does offer some helpful preventative measures we all can take.
As pest control operators, we encounter many bizarre pest situations almost daily.
Whether it’s a house crawling with roaches,
maggot stuffed Oreo cookies,
or a spider’s nest crawling with it’s young,
these experiences will stick with us for our lifetimes.
Spider Living in Women’s Ear
A story that has been sticking with me comes to us from China. A woman who was seeking medical attention went into China’s Changsha Central Hospital because she felt a burning and itching inside her ear. To her horror, and the horror of her doctors, a spider was found living in her ear canal. The women’s physician, a Dr. Liu Sheng, speculates the spider made its way inside her ear canal while she was sleeping and had been there for approximately five days. I’m guessing the experience marks the first time in the doctor’s career in which he looked inside an ear and discovered something looking back.
The spider could not be removed with surgical tools, because the attempt would only drive the spider deeper inside the women’s ear and force it to dig its barbs into the ear canal. Instead of manually retracing the imbedded spider, Dr. Sheng opted to flush it out with a saline solution. The procedure was a success, and the women reportedly wept with gratitude after the spider crawled out.
In related news, ear plug sales have made a sharp sales increase this week.
Spiders and other insects will crawl into an ear looking for harborage, moisture, and heat. I recently watched as my brother-in-law had to have a tick removed from his ear canal. Like the women in China, my brother-in-law complained about an ear ache. After dealing with the pain for a couple of months he decided to seek medical attention. At first, the doctor thought he saw a sack of worms inside his ear canal. He poured hydrogen peroxide inside his ear and to their shock, a huge tick came crawling out instead of a sack of worms. The tick’s body had been mistaken for an egg sack and its legs for the worms. It was later determined that the tick made its way inside his ear while he was swimming in a nearby pond.
As a pest control operator, what has been your biggest pest related horror story? Please comment below!
Flea control needs to be an integrated program that includes customer cooperation, veterinary treatment of pets and treatment of infested premises by pest management professionals.
Fleas are very vital pests in the ecosystem. They can flourish on pets, especially cats and dogs, and they can be very annoying to humans. Some flea infestations are brutal, to the point that they can cause anemia.
Hotels are still in the news for bed bug infestations, and the public has become more conscious of all the troubles that these tiny blood-suckers can create. While the term “bed bug” may give the notion that they are sleepy, relaxed little creatures that somehow winds up in the sheets, the reality is way more frightening.
Watch this video for some great information on biting spiders:
Raise your hand if you’ve seen the movie “Arachnophobia”.
Well, I have. Once.
My first time watching it was immediately my last.
It’s one of those movies that messes with your mind for the next several days. Your skin itches a little bit more throughout the day. You check your towel before drying off after a shower. Maybe you shake out your clothes before getting dressed because you never know. You never when at what point you’re going to run across one of those little buggers.
It’s just you. You’re minding your business. Your sitting down for lunch at your kitchen table to enjoy a ham sandwich with some ranch flavor Doritos and a Dr. Pepper. Unfortunately for you you didn’t see that little rascal hitching a ride on the underside of your whole grain bread. You’re just minding your business, no big deal, thinking about…”AHHH!!!”
“What the $#%& was that?!?”
You certainly don’t remember putting a needle on your sandwich. Just then you see that little eight-legged rascal making a break for the edge of the table. As soon as you get done putting two and two together you start to feel a little tingling in that same hand.
…You can make up the rest of the story on your own.
But you know what really sucked about watching arachnophobia? Seeing how entire armies of spiders would descend on the residents of a house or even a town. But that’s all Hollywood stuff right? ….Right??
Try telling that to the Indian town of Sadiya, located in the Assam state.
According to news reports Sadiya has been overrun by myriads of venomous spiders, leaving two people dead (Yes, dead!), and numerous others with severe flu-like symptoms forcing them to seek professional medical attention.
Locals report that the spiders have arrived in droves and that their behavior is extremely aggressive. On top of that, experts are saying that this particular spider is not even native to the area. They have tried to identify it as various species, including a tarantuala, a black wishbone spider and a funnel-web spider. The wishbone and funnel-web spiders are native to Australia, so somebody has some explaining to do.
Whatever the species, the town of Sadiya has a real spider problem on their hands.
Or, maybe the town of Sadiya actually has a witch doctor problem on their hands, considering many of the victims first went to witch doctors to have their wounds sliced open with razors and their blood drawn out and burnt.
“That could have also made them sick”, said the superintendent of the local hospital.
Bulwark recommends NOT seeking medical attention from this individual, or those from his "profession", to treat spider bites