According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 41 million little ghouls and goblins (and some adult ones as well) in the United States participated in last year’s Halloween festivities, collecting treats of all kinds in pillowcases, plastic pumpkin heads or extremely large pockets
Consumers buy an estimated $2 billion of the $19 billion of candy sold annually in the United States at Halloween. What candy is most in demand with trick or treaters? The hands-down winner is chocolate, with a whopping 90 million pounds sold during the week of Halloween alone.
Halloween is also busy time for the Clark Man. Aside from carving jack-o-lanterns and enjoying a tasty chocolate or sweet treat, he is busy making sure pests don’t pull any “tricks” on homeowners.
The pest that gains the most notoriety during Halloween is the spider. Spiders are synonymous with the October 31 holiday, and that makes sense, because spiders are usually more active in the fall. Spiders reach maturity during the fall months, and fall’s increased moisture and cooler temperatures are more conducive to web building.
And while spiders are beneficial to our environment, since they hunt and eat other less desirable insects, and generally are not a threat to homeowners, they still rank high on most people’s “things I don’t want to see in my house” list. The fear of spiders – officially known as arachnophobia – even inspired the 1990 cult-classic movie Arachnophobia, but spiders commonly seen out in the open during the day are unlikely to bite people.
It is true that certain species of spiders – black widows and scorpions – can present a threat to homeowners who unknowingly cross their paths, but the black widow, for example, spends most of its time hiding under furniture or boxes, or in woodpiles, corners and crevices – locations not frequently visited.
To keep your “close encounters” with spiders to a minimum, the Clark Man suggests the following spider prevention tips:
- Remove and reduce trash and rubbish from your home, such as woodpiles, boxes, plywood, tires, and trash cans – especially if they are stored adjacent to the house
- Seal cracks and crevices around doors, and windows, on the foundation, and at access holes for electrical conduits or plumbing
- Remove clutter in closets, pantries and storage areas inside your home
- If you leave clothes and shoes outside in the garage or porch, be sure to shake them well before putting them on
- Apparel and equipment that is only occasionally worn (garden gloves, boots, athletic shoes, baseball mitts, camping gear, sleeping bags, etc.) should be stored in tightly closed containers, especially if stored in the garage or other dark storage areas.
- When removing boxes and other items from the garage or storage areas, wear a pair of heavy gloves in case you encounter a black widow spider nesting among the items.
Remember, if you have a problem with spiders around your home, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will come out, make a proper identification and provide a treatment recommendation.
Until next time, I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.