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Is it a bite or a sting? How can you tell? Many people are terrified of spiders and rightfully so! Their bites can be excruciatingly painful and in severe cases, deadly. Luckily, we found this guide from Dr. Stuart Mitchell that will help differentiate between bites and stings as well as two of the most common types of biting spiders in Florida: the Brown Recluse spider and the Black Widow spider.

Bite or Sting?

Bite

  • Offensive (typically).
  • Venom injected via structures of the mouth (fangs).
  • May result in tissue destruction, allergic reaction, paralysis, and/or death.

Sting

  • Defensive (typically).
  • Venom injected via tapered, posterior structure (modified ovipositor or "stinger").
  • Immediate pain (usually non-fatal); an allergic reaction possible.

Venoms

*Venom composition, potency, and toxicity vary by spider species. For example, hunting spiders have more potent venoms than web-spinning spiders (except for Widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.). Only a few spider species can cause injury.

 

  • Most spiders do not have enough venom.
  • Most toxins are not harmful to humans.
  • Fangs cannot penetrate human skin.
  • It is doubtful that there are any truly "deadly" spiders (bites that can be anticipated to cause deaths in humans).
  • Envenomation of toxic spider compounds may cause skin lesions, systemic illness, neurotoxicity, and potentially death.
  • Venoms are composed of complex proteins and proteolytic enzymes designed to incapacitate and/or initiate digestion of prey.
  • Tarantulas have venom, but barbed, urticating hairs can irritate eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.

Two main clinical syndromes

Bite from a Black Widow spider (Latrodectism)

  • Sharp pain at bite site.
  • Spider often seen.
  • Severe muscular contractions of large muscles.
  • SLUDGE (salivation, lacrimation or eyes watering, urination, defecation, GI distress, vomiting, and bronchorrhea or excessive mucus).
  • Hypertension, tachycardia, fasciculations (twitching), fever, and diaphoresis (sweating).
  • Usually symptom resolution.
  • Death is rare.

Bite from a Brown Recluse spider (Loxoscelism)

  • Local bite often not noticed or stinging sensation.
  • Severe pain and itching.
  • Possible clear or hemorrhagic vesicle to dark eschar.
  • Eschar sloughs and can have progressive necrosis.
  • In extreme cases, hemolytic anemia or red blood cell destruction, rash, arthalgias (joint pain), fever/chills, nausea/vomiting, and renal failure.
  • Death is rare.

 

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Spring is well underway and that means spring-cleaning! A task many of us dread and put off for as long as possible. However, getting your home in tiptop shape will not only help clear your mind but it will also make your home safer.

 

As you clean your home, you may find it is much dirtier than you thought and this dirt is what insects love. People can react negatively to the dust and pet dander allergens hidden throughout their home. Consequently, this dirt attracts pests that can also lead to allergens and sickness in people.  For example, did you know that people can be allergic to cockroaches? Allergic reactions to cockroaches include stuffy nose, rash and asthma. Roaches are also known to spread more than 30 different kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella.

 

Our friends at Pest World have created a thorough guide to cleaning your home and eliminating common elements that attract a multitude of pests. It’s a big job but once complete, you’ll be thrilled you tackled it. Happy cleaning!

 

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Falcon was founded by Charles Witherington in Central Florida over 45 years ago. Today, the company is still owned and operated by his son, Louis and his wife, Patti. In honor of Earth Day, we want to celebrate our Central Florida roots by encouraging you and your family to explore our beautiful state.

 

With a plethora of pristine beaches, parks and museums, Florida is the perfect place to explore. If you’re looking for a fun family activity why not visit one of our many orchards? Florida has the ideal weather for growing oranges, blueberries, strawberries and more. If you prefer to admire nature, take a stroll through Orlando’s Leu Gradens where you’ll find a beautiful showcase of Florida’s natural trees, shrubs and flowers.

 

Have guests visiting from out of town? Blast off to Cape Canaveral’s Kennedy Space Center for an out of this world experience. Wander through the Astronaut Hall of Fame, see real rockets that were in space in the Rocket Garden or catch an IMAX show. There’s also an Angry Birds hands-on exhibit and a children’s play space for the little ones.

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Canoeing in one of Florida’s many natural springs is a great idea for a fun time with friends. Wekiwa Springs State Park is a short drive from Orlando and offers cool springs for swimming, canoeing and kayaking, picnic spots as well as biking and horseback riding trails.

 

There are countless things to do throughout Florida. For more ideas, check out our Pinterest. It's packed with fun, interesting things to do in the sunshine state. Happy Earth Day!

 

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This is just bzzz-serk! A semi-truck carrying a load a honey bees overturned on Washington interstate on Friday, scattering boxes of nearly 14 million live honey bees across the highway. Beekeepers frantically used smoke to calm and reload the bees before the sun came up and rising temperatures would agitate them. Click here for more on this bzz-worthy story.

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Magnolia trees are beautiful plants found throughout the South. We're lucky in Florida to be surrounded by their glossy green leaves and beautiful fragrant flowers. Unfortunately, magnolia trees are prone to scaling. If the problem is severe enough, branches die and the tree is weakened which can severely slow growth. Our technicians at Falcon Lawn & Pest have the knowledge and expertise to eradicate scale as well as other common diseases and pests that threaten your landscape. We offer FREE inspections and will create a customized plan to fit the unique needs of your home and yard.

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