Texas

Centipedes

Characteristics:
Size: Centipedes are very long and narrow, and flattened from top to bottom. There may be a great many pairs of legs, but they will have a single pair on each segment of the body, separating them from millipedes. They have a pair of very long antennae and the last pair of legs projects backward and are much longer than the ones before it. Most centipedes measure about two inches however, a couple species can grow to six inches or longer.

Color: Color is usually dark reddish brown, although some may have a blue-green tint on a tan background.

Habits: Centipedes are generally nocturnal and hide outdoors under boards, rocks, or vegetation during the day. Indoors, they are usually found on baseboards and around doorways and windows, wandering on walls in crawl spaces, basements or garages.

What Do Centipedes Eat?: Centipedes are nocturnal and come out at night to eat spiders, insects, earthworms and snails.

Reproduction: Females lay their eggs one at a time, burying them under a shallow layer of soil to protect them from being eaten by other insects and male centipedes. Some species live up to six years.

Other Information: Centipedes can inject venom through a pair of appendages directly behind the head.

House Crickets

Characteristics:
Size: House crickets are generally about 1 inch long.

Color: House crickets are light tan or brown and have long, thin antennae and enlarged hind legs for jumping. The adults have wings that are held flat and overlapping on their abdomen. On the head there are three black bands that run side to side.

Habits: House crickets attack all types of material, and often it is synthetic fabrics that are most damaged, although cotton, wool and silk are attacked as well. They also feed on food such as baked goods as well as other organic matter and insects both dead and alive.

What Do House Crickets Eat?: House crickets attack all types of material, and often it is synthetic fabrics that are most damaged, although cotton, wool and silk are attacked as well. They also feed on food such as baked goods as well as other organic matter and insects both dead and alive.

Reproduction: Females appear to be prolific, producing an average of 730 eggs. The eggs hatch within two to three months. Females use a long narrow structure called an ovipositor to deposit eggs into the ground or other damp material such as sand or peat moss. Adult crickets will often eat their own young and it is normal for some adults to die naturally after mating.

Other Information: House crickets are known for their characteristic chirping noise. It is only the male cricket that sings, and he does so to attract females. When they chirp, crickets rub the teeth on the sharp edge of one wing against a thick, rough scraper on the opposite wing, using it as a bow. As the temperatures rise, their songs become louder and faster.

Violin Spiders

Characteristics:
Size: Though they can vary in size, violin spiders are typically about the size of a US quarter.

Color: Violin spiders, also known as brown recluse spiders, are light to dark brown spiders with very long legs and short hairs covering the legs and body segments. On the top of the body there is usually a pattern that resembles a violin.

Habits: The violin spider uses its silk only for lining its retreat and for covering its eggs. It does not use the web to catch its prey. It spins a loose, irregular web of very sticky, off-white to grayish threads. The violin spider is very capable of biting humans, and its cyto-toxic venom causes tissue death at the bite site, which can lead to a large, infected, and lingering wound. The violin spider commonly lives inside structures, hiding within clothing, behind furnishings, and in attics and wall voids. They prefer to remain in areas of low activity and are not aggressive, biting only when provoked and threatened.

What Do Violin Spiders Eat?: The violin spider is a hunter and comes out at night to search for insects.

Reproduction: Females lay about 50 eggs that are encased in a silken sac. Each female may produce several egg sacs over a period of several months. Spiderlings emerge from the egg sac within a month. It takes an average of one year to reach the adult stage. They live about one to two years.

Other Information: Violin spiders can survive up to six months without food or water. The lesion from its bite is a dry, blue-gray or blue-white, irregular sinking patch with ragged edges and surrounding redness - termed the "red, white, and blue sign."

Wolf Spiders

Characteristics:
Size: Wolf spiders vary in size from small species with only 1/2 inch leg spans to large ones whose legs may stretch out 5 inches.

Color: Wolf spiders are long legged and covered with short hairs, gray to brown to dark brown in color, and have several darker stripes.

Habits: Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders not associated with a web. In fact, they only use silk for lining their nest and covering their eggs. They are very mobile, very fast, and very aggressive when threatened. Smaller species have been knows to run across the water of a swimming pool, suspended on the surface tension of the water. Retreats for the spiders are holes in the soil, under debris on the ground or within woodpiles. They commonly enter structures and can be found running across floors or walls as they search for food.

What Do Wolf Spiders Eat?: Wolf spiders are hunters and hunt for insect prey under cover of night.

Reproduction: The female constructs an egg sac of white papery silk, which she carries around attached with strong silk to her spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch, they are carried around on the females back until they are ready to disperse by ballooning to the ground.

Other Information: Wolf spiders are often confused with the brown recluse, but they lack the violin-shaped marking behind the head. The wolf spider is shy and runs away when disturbed.

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