Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spider Bites - How to Identify and Treat Them

Even when every precaution is taken to rid your home of spiders, one or two may still find their way inside, and you are sure to encounter them when you head outdoors.  Spiders prefer to run away from you rather than bite, but if they feel threatened or trapped, they may defend themselves.  Best Pest Control at the Lake of the Ozarks wants to make sure that you have a little information about 3 spider bites that could cause you some problems.

Interesting fact - all spiders in Missouri are venomous.  Fortunately, there are very few of them that have fangs large enough to actually pierce human skin.  If they do, most are harmless and will only leave a small irritation or discoloration on the skin.

The following three spiders are a bit more irritating than that.  Extreme reactions to bites from these are rare, but can be dangerous for children, the elderly, and anyone that is already sick.



Brown Recluse
Brown Recluse 

When a Brown Recluse bites, you may feel an immediate sting, but there is also a good chance that you won't know that it happened until the symptoms occur. Within hours of the bite, it could become painful and itchy.  The bite itself may appear like a bulls-eye. The center can blister, scab, and fall off, leaving a small ulcer.  In extreme cases, skin may turn black, and it may result in a scar. Sometimes you will feel body aches and have a fever too.

If you are bitten, treat it immediately by cleaning it and applying an ice pack.  It is wise to use antibiotic ointment to prevent any infection.  Symptoms usually go away within 48 hours, but it could take weeks to heal.


Black Widow
Black Widow

This spider bite will definitely be felt when it happens, but may not leave a very large mark.  There could just be two small fang marks left behind and a little swelling.  Muscle aches and cramps can spread from the bite area to the entire body, and you may experience nausea, trouble breathing, and weakness.  If muscle cramps occur, you may need emergency medical treatment and antivenin, but serious reactions are rare in healthy adults.

Clean the bite area well, apply ice, and keep a close eye on your symptoms.

Wolf Spider
Wolf Spider

The bite of the Wolf Spider can cause pain, redness, and swelling, and it's possible for the fangs to tear the skin.  If this happens, infection is possible and lymph nodes may swell.  

Usually, no medical attention is necessary.  Clean it well and apply ice when it happens.  The discomfort and swelling from this type of bite can last up to 10 days.

   


If any symptoms from a bite continue to get worse after 24 hours have passed, you should see a doctor.  Also seek medical attention if you appear to be having an allergic reaction such as hives, wheezing, or shortness of breath.  

For the most part, spiders are our friends.  They eat other bugs and generally keep to themselves.  If you do notice more than your fair share around the house, have Best Pest Control of the Lake of the Ozarks come by and see what we can do for you.    



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Friday, June 19, 2015

Venomous Snakes in Missouri

One of the animals that Best Pest Control at the Lake of the Ozarks has to deal with are snakes. While many non-venomous snakes are helpful to have around, most people are not comfortable sharing their space with them.  Below are a few facts about the dangerous snakes that are found in the mid-Missouri area from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Missouri has 46 species and subspecies of snakes, and most of them are harmless to people.  If they bite, it is usually in self-defense.  There are only 5 species of venomous snakes found in our state, and only 3 of those may be found in our Lake of the Ozarks area.  Many snakes are actually good to have around, eating rodents, bugs, and some other snakes.  Few people realize this, but all snakes that are native to Missouri are protected.  There is no open season on these animals, and it's technically against the law to kill them.  Of course, killing a venomous snake if it is near enough to bite people is a realistic exception.    


Osage Copperhead

This is the most common venomous snake in Missouri.  Its color can vary from grayish-brown to pinkish-tan, with hourglass-shaped crossbands of dark gray, brown or reddish-brown.  Its head may have a little pink or orange color, which gives it the name "copperhead."  The tail can be yellow or greenish-yellow, and the underside usually is a dusky mix of gray, tan, and black.  They live on rocky hillsides and along the edges of forests, and sometimes can be found among trees and in brush along prairie streams.  You will often find them by abandoned farm buildings.  They vibrate their tails when threatened.  If bitten by one, you should seek medical treatment right away.  A copperhead's diet consists of mice, lizards, frogs, and sometimes small snakes.



Western Cottonmouth

Also known as a water moccasin, it gets the name "cottonmouth" from the white-colored lining of its mouth.  Its coloring is black with little or no pattern or dark brown with darker crossbands on the back.  The belly is dark brown or black.  Young ones of this species look patterned like a copperhead and usually have a yellowish-green tail.  The venom is extremely dangerous, and a bite from this snake can be fatal.  It is semi-aquatic and mostly eats fish.  It will also eat frogs, other snakes, lizards, and rodents.



Timber Rattlesnake

This is the largest of the venomous snakes in Missouri.  It is a tan or yellowish-tan, with markings along the back which are dark brown and change from blotches on the neck to bands near the tail. A dark line extending from the eye along the angle of the jaw will often be present.  It also has a rust-colored stripe down the back.  The tail has a large rattle on the end.  You will find it on rocky, wooded hillsides.  They eat small rabbits and a variety of rodents.  It is dangerously venomous, but luckily there are not a lot of cases of rattlesnake bites in Missouri.



The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake and the Western Pygmy Rattlesnake are also found in Missouri, but not generally in mid-Missouri near the Lake of the Ozarks.

To avoid the chance of being bitten by a venomous snake, follow these tips.

1. Wear protective footwear with high tops and thick leather or rubber to cover your feet, ankles, and lower legs.

2. Never put your hands under rocks or logs, and do your best not to step directly over them.  Step on them first, and then over them.

3. Look ahead at where you are walking before stepping and before sitting.

4. If a snake falls into your boat or canoe, do not panic.  Get to shore as quickly as possible and flip the snake out with your paddle.  Trying to kill it could result in it biting, or you both falling into the water.

5. If you cannot identify a snake, simply avoid it.


Discourage snakes from living near your home by getting rid of their food and shelter.  Piles of boards or other building material or piles of rocks and sticks or logs should be kept away from your house.

If snakes are a problem for you, don't hesitate to call the most trusted pest control company in the Lake of the Ozarks.  We have the experience and knowledge to properly get rid of them for you.  If you would like to know more about the non-venomous snakes in our area, there are details and photos of them all at the Missouri Department of Conservation.        


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Friday, June 12, 2015

7 Summer Tips To Keep Your Home Bug-Free

Summer is just around the corner, and the bugs are just as happy about that as we are.  Ants, mosquitoes, flies, spiders..... all kinds of them.  There are precautions you can take and things that you can do to manage the pest control at your Lake of the Ozarks home.  You should have Best Pest Control make a visit to treat the yard for the season, but make sure that you do these things too.  

Repair screens

Before the weather gets too terribly hot, you will want to have your doors and windows open as much as possible to let in that nice, fresh air.  Don't let the bugs come in with it!  Check all of your screens for small holes and tears and get them repaired.


Seal cracks and crevices

Make sure that you keep all crevices around doors and windows caulked and sealed.  This may be a small space, but bugs are small enough to get through them.  Also be sure to check for any small holes on interior and exterior walls.  Check to make sure that they are empty, then seal them up. Necessary openings that a rodent could fit through should be covered with some type of mesh.  


Trim shrubs


Pests enjoy hiding in bushy shrubs.  When they are trimmed it's easier to keep an eye on the problem. Make sure that they are not too close to the house either.  Make it as hard as possible for anything to hide in there easily.

Clear away yard debris

Another great hiding spot is inside piles of old sticks or other yard waste.  Keep these cleared away and out of your yard.  You also need to remove any dead plants as soon as possible so that they do not attract unwanted pests.

Dry up standing water

Mosquitoes are attracted to any type of standing water or puddle.  Dry these up as soon as you notice them.  After a rain, make sure that water hasn't collected in anything around the house. Birdbaths count as standing water, but birds are great for eating small pests.  If you have a birdbath in your yard, be sure to change the water often.



Keep garbage sealed

Make sure that your outside garbage cans are sealed up tightly.  Trash attracts all kinds of pests. Along the same lines, rinse all recyclables well before tossing, and keep those bins sealed up too.

Clean up after you grill

Summer is grilling season, and if you don't clean up enough after you are finished, little critters will come over for leftovers!  When you are done with the grilling area and any outdoor dining spots, clean up all spills and crumbs thoroughly.





These 7 things will help to keep pests from ruining your Summer.  If they do become a problem, let the experts here at Best Pest Control of Lake of the Ozarks take care of them for you.  We handle inspections, extermination, and preventative maintenance.  Contact us today for your free estimate.


LAKE OF THE OZARKS MOST TRUSTED PEST CONTROL COMPANY 

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Friday, June 5, 2015

What Can Best Pest Control Do For You?

Best Pest Control at the Lake of the Ozarks is here for more than just spraying for bugs around your house.  We offer a wide variety of pest control services for both your home and your dock, as well as a few other home improvement and repair services.  We are here to help you make all areas that you and your family use nice and livable.  


Pest Control, Animal Control, and Weed Control



We are here to keep all kinds of critters, from bugs like ants to animals like raccoons, out of your living areas and away from your family. Annoying weeds are something that we can easily spray for too.  Our services include:

  • Spider Control for Your Home and Dock
  • Ant Control
  • Mosquito Control
  • Termite Inspections & Treatment
  • Live Trapping
  • Weed Control
  • Lawn Spraying

Best Pest Control offers a full line of organic pest control products.  All of the chemicals that we use are low odor & FDA approved.    

Home Improvement and Repair


We see a lot of need for these types of services in the Fall, when people are less worried about bugs and are ready to clean up around their homes.  Some things that we can do for you are:

  • Deck Cleaning & Repair
  • Gutter Cleaning & Repair
  • Landscaping
  • Lawn Treatments
  • Leaf Blowing & Removal
  • Power Washing
  • Trapping
  • Weed Spraying
  • Winter Home Checks
  • Yard Cleanup


Best Pest Control of the Lake of the Ozarks is pleased to offer our services to many towns in the Lake area.  Give us a call today and let us know which of our services you could use.  It never hurts to ask, because we offer free estimates. Tell us what the problem is and we'll let you know how we can help and how much it will cost before any work is done.

     

LAKE OF THE OZARKS MOST TRUSTED PEST CONTROL COMPANY 

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