Venomous Spiders of North Carolina

Spiders are a common problem for homeowners in North Carolina. We have tons of spiders here in our area and those spiders love to establish themselves in and around our homes. They create webs in the upper corners of our living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and other areas of our homes. They create webs in secluded storage areas like above the garage, in the attic, and out in the shed. They get into the space between our window screens and our windows and make big webs up near our eaves and soffits. They're also common guests in our gardens, flower beds, berry bushes, landscaping, and other vegetation. And, while most of us consider spiders to be gross, we put up with them. We know that spiders can be beneficial, so we're slow to take webs down, especially when they're in a hard-to-reach location. But there are two spiders in North Carolina that we don't put up with at all, and rightly so. These spiders are the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider.

black widow spider in web
brown recluse spider up close

We have good reasons for not tolerating brown recluse and black widow spiders. These two types of spider have a venom that is considered medically important. But, before we talk about that, let's address the elephant in the room, the elephant named Steatoda grossa.
 
You are probably not familiar with Steatoda grossa unless you are an entomologist or pest control professional, but you might know this species of spider by its common name, "the false black widow." False black widows, as you can probably guess, are spiders that are often mistaken for black widows. But there is actually a big difference between these two spiders. The most notable is the difference in their venom potency. While a bite from a false black widow can result in blistering at the site of the wound and lead to a general feeling of malaise for several days, it isn't nearly as bad as being bitten by a true black widow. A bite from a true black widow could result in a trip to the emergency room. But, even with a true black widow, it is possible that the bite won’t be severe enough to result in a hospital visit. It all depends on how much venom the spider injects; if you trap a black widow, you're likely to have a worse bite than if you reach your hand into a brush pile and accidentally startle one.
 
If you see a large black spider and you're curious whether or not it is a true widow, look for a red hourglass marking on the bottom of its abdomen. False widows don't have this distinctive marking.
 
A bite from a brown recluse spider can also be serious. This spider can inject a venom that has necrotic properties which means it can rot skin tissue and result in the death of skin cells. If left untreated or when injected into a sensitive location of the body, a bite from a brown recluse can result in a disfiguring wound.
 
Fortunately, most brown recluse bites don't lead to this kind of wound. However, it is best to err on the side of caution when these spiders appear in your home.
 
Both brown recluse and black widow spiders feed on larger insects. For this reason, they often create their webs low to the ground. Unlike the neat, tidy webs created by many other spider species, black widow spiders create webs that are more tangled and messy-looking. If you see low webs that look tangled, it is a good idea to have a professional take a look and see what kind of spider you are dealing with.
 
If you're seeing either of these spiders in or around your home, here are a few tips for preventing a bite:

  • Be cautious when opening boxes that have been in storage.
  • Shake out shoes, clothing, towels, and other items before you wear them or use them in case one of these spiders is hiding inside.
  • Check your bedding for spiders before climbing into bed; the last thing you need is to trap one of these spiders between your sheets and your skin.
  • Remove brush from your yard to eliminate hiding spots for these spiders.
  • Wear gloves when working in your yard to avoid inadvertently making contact with one of these spiders and being bitten.
  • Be cautious and use a flashlight when going into a crawlspace or when crawling under a deck, patio, or porch.

For assistance dealing with common house spiders or venomous spiders, reach out to us at A-1 Pest Control. When it comes to solving pest problems, we are a proven leader in the pest control industry. If you are dealing with a pest problem, draw upon our over 50 years of experience to keep dangerous and destructive pests out of your North Carolina home. We are here to help!

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    [content] => <p><br>&nbsp;<br>Some insects are just plain irritating. On the other hand, some insects can pose a real danger to humans through physical and economic harm. So which pests are significantly (or even life-threateningly) dangerous, and which are less dangerous? We put together what we&rsquo;re calling the &ldquo;pest danger index&rdquo; to help you determine that. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>&nbsp;<br>Level 1 - A Little Dangerous&nbsp;</h3>
<p>&nbsp;<br>Level 1 pests are the sort of pests that pose their own sort of danger, but they aren&rsquo;t the type to pose a major threat.&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Ladybug on blade of grass" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/14979905906_a5a2caed39_c.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/ladybugs"><strong>Ladybugs -</strong></a> Ladybugs don&rsquo;t cause any sort of destruction, and they don&rsquo;t bite or spread disease. They can infest your home in large numbers, but their biggest crime is just being an annoyance and an unwanted guest inside your home. Ladybugs eat all sorts of harmful garden pests, so ladybugs in your garden can actually be a good thing. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Indian meal moth close up" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/43890223691_60619bcb07_c-min.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/indian-meal-moths"><strong>Indian Meal Moths -</strong></a> Sure, you don&rsquo;t want Indian meal moths flapping around your home and causing trouble in your pantry. These moths can definitely be an irritant with their ability to contaminate food, but as far as pests go, they&rsquo;re a nuisance and nothing more. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Stink bug on a leaf" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Stink_bug_7757617824.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550">&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/stink-bugs"><strong>Stink Bugs -</strong></a> Stink bugs aren&rsquo;t a direct threat to humans -- mostly they just, well, stink. It&rsquo;s a bit of a different story when it comes to agriculture, as stink bugs can be a serious threat to crops. But as far as house pests go? Stink bugs aren&rsquo;t much of a problem -- besides their smell.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Ant on a leaf" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Ant_on_leaf.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/ants"><strong>Most Ants -</strong></a> Excluding carpenter ants and fire ants, the majority of ant species that occupy homes pose hardly any threat at all. You still don&rsquo;t want these insects wandering about your home, but they won&rsquo;t hurt you and they aren&rsquo;t big disease spreaders.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p>
<h3>Level 2 - Somewhat Dangerous&nbsp;</h3>
<p>&nbsp;<br>Level 2 pests pose some threats to humans, but for the most part, they aren&rsquo;t major disease spreaders, health risks, or causing serious home damage -- although some can trigger allergies, which is no joke!&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Carpet beetle crawling around" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/26103053207_b5fb73b305_c.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/carpet-beetles"><strong>Carpet Beetles -</strong></a> For the most part, carpet beetles aren&rsquo;t a big problem. However, they can contaminate food and cause damage to clothing, blankets, and carpeting. They can trigger allergies in some people, which puts them a tier above ladybugs, moths, ants, and stink bugs. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Lunging wolf spider" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Wolf_Spider_rpp.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/spiders"><strong>Most Spiders -</strong></a> Outside of black widows and brown recluse spiders, the vast majority of spiders found in North Carolina pose little threat to humans. In fact, these spiders can do a nice job killing any other, smaller nuisance pests that live in your home, because many of those pests are spider food. Still, as unlikely as it may be, there&rsquo;s a slight chance that some spiders will bite you, and even though bites from most common house spiders can&rsquo;t even puncture human skin, it still makes them marginally more dangerous than level 1 pests. &nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Fly resting on a twig" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Blue_Bottle_Fly_10.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/flies"><strong>Flies -</strong></a> It&rsquo;s true that flies can spread germs and bacteria because they do tend to hang out in unsavory places like garbage cans and sometimes even on feces. So obviously this is gross, but is it actually a serious threat? For the most part, no. <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/3883353/houseflies-bacteria-sick-reality-check/">According to a recent study</a>, the amount of bacteria a fly can transmit to a person isn&rsquo;t really enough to make them sick, with the exception being babies, the elderly, and people in hospitals with lowered immune systems. They aren&rsquo;t a non-threat, but they don&rsquo;t match up to the pests in our next section.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p>
<h3>Level 3 - Dangerous &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</h3>
<p>This group of pests moves out of the &ldquo;slight risk&rdquo; category and qualify as downright dangerous, capable of causing health problems for some.</p>
<p><img alt="Wasp resting on its wasps nest" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/wasp-5350541_640.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550">&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/stinging-insects"><strong>Stinging Insects -</strong></a> Although not every species of bee, wasp, and hornet are equally dangerous, on the whole, it hurts us to say that stinging insects are quite dangerous. Their stings can be quite painful and even life-threatening to those with allergies, and their nesting habits can at times cause serious structural damage to homes and other structures. They get a few bonus points for being the world&rsquo;s pollinators, but that fact doesn&rsquo;t make them any less dangerous. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Cockroach flipped on its back" height="412" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/inverted-cockroach.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/cockroaches"><strong>Cockroaches -</strong></a> Cockroaches might be one of the most hated creatures on this whole list, and for good reason: They are capable of spreading bacteria and disease because of their penchant for hanging out in dirty places, and can contaminate surfaces with that bacteria causing diarrhea, dysentery, and salmonella. They are also capable of triggering asthma attacks in asthmatic individuals, and top of all that, they&rsquo;re sort of terrifying. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Bed bug in hair" height="364" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Cimex_lectularius_bed_bug_5975912718.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><strong><a href="/pest-library/profile/bed-bugs">Bed Bugs -</a></strong> While it might seem strange to loop bed bugs in with some of these dangerous insects- they don&rsquo;t spread disease, and their bites at worst cause an allergic reaction- we think the psychological effects of bed bugs make them nearly pretty dangerous. In fact, those psychological effects are significant enough that there have been <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22195533/#:~:text=Background%3A%20In%20some%20individuals%2C%20psychological,posttraumatic%20stress%20disorder%20(PTSD).">entire studies done on them and their potential to cause PTSD</a>. We think that&rsquo;s serious stuff. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>Level 4 - Very Dangerous &nbsp;</h3>
<p>&nbsp;<br>This category is reserved for the pests that can really do some real damage, whether that&rsquo;s to a person&rsquo;s health or to a person&rsquo;s living space. In our eyes, these are the worst of the worst. &nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Tick close-up" height="375" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/Ixodus_ricinus_5x.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><strong><a href="/pest-library/profile/ticks">Ticks -</a></strong> Ticks are usually not all that dangerous to humans. In fact, chances are you&rsquo;ve gotten a tick before, and it hasn&rsquo;t really been much of an issue. However, ticks do carry a number of diseases that can cause various health issues- like Lyme Disease- and even some that can be fatal, like Tularemia. That doesn&rsquo;t mean you should panic if you get a tick bite, but it does definitely make ticks very dangerous on the whole. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Mosquito sucking blood from a fingertip up close" height="359" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/PIXNIO-46056-725x473.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/mosquitoes"><strong>Mosquitoes -</strong></a> Mosquitoes are a lot like ticks: usually not a huge problem, but on occasion a major problem. They transmit a whole host of serious diseases, most notably West Nile Virus and encephalitis. So, while those itchy bites do not seem serious at first, they are worth avoiding if you can.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Group of termites up close" height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/CSIRO_ScienceImage_3639_Mastotermes_darwiniensis_Giant_Northern_Termite.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"> &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/control/blog/Termites%20-">Termites -</a> Termites are a strange case, because you can go years with a termite infestation without even knowing they&rsquo;re slowly gnawing away at your home. However, they are very dangerous insects for one simple reason: they can do serious and expensive damage to your home. It&rsquo;s even possible for a termite infestation to get so bad that a structural collapse occurs. That financial risk puts them in the &ldquo;very dangerous&rdquo; category for us.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Are you having problems with any of these dangerous (and not-so-dangerous) pests? A-1 Pest Control can help! We can help you with treatment for each and every one of these invasive insects; just <a href="/contact-us#schedule">get in touch with us</a> and we&rsquo;ll help you with any problem that you&rsquo;re having ASAP. &nbsp;</p>
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 Some insects are just plain irritating. On the other hand, some insects can pose a real danger to humans through physical and economic harm. So which pests are significantly (or even…

Read More

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    [openingParagraph] => <p>Pest control: it seems like a relatively new invention, especially considering how it&rsquo;s done in the <a href="/home-pest-control">modern day</a>. There&rsquo;s a steady stream of new technologies and new treatment methods that are seemingly always evolving which have kept the industry planted in the now. When you think of pest control, what comes to the top of your mind is probably new pesticides, heat treatments, and traps that have been specifically designed to tackle particular types of infestations.</p>
    [content] => <p>But the truth is, pest control isn&rsquo;t just a modern invention, even though today&rsquo;s iteration is certainly rooted in modern sensibilities. Pest control has actually been around for nearly as long as human civilization! It makes a lot of sense &mdash; pests, after all, have existed as long as people have &mdash; so it&rsquo;s natural that humans through the ages have been looking for ways to combat them.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Here&rsquo;s how they did it in the olden days.</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Egypt</h2>
<p><br>Controlling invasive pests has been an especially important part of the maintenance of civilization since the birth of agriculture. When dependence on crop farming became integral in the way people ate, the importance of having methods for protecting those crops against pests became incredibly important, and directly linked to the survival of entire cultures. This is something that the famously innovative Ancient Egyptians knew, and they are the earliest recorded civilization to use pest control, starting in around 3000 BC.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Remember, this was well before the discovery of pesticides &mdash; the Ancient Sumerians wouldn't start using the earliest pesticides until about 500 years later, in 2500 BC. But the Egyptians worked with what they had, and what they had was a wealth of domesticated animals that could be utilized as a fleet of pest hunters.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>The Egyptians famously viewed cats as magical creatures, but felines also had some practical utilization outside of ancient mysticism: being natural rodent hunters, cats would guard grain stores from rodent invaders who could eat and poison food sources. Ancient Egyptians even dabbled in some rudimentary home pest control, domesticating mongooses and using them to take care of <a href="/rodent-control">invasive rodents</a> and snakes that had made their way into homes.&nbsp;</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Sumer&nbsp;</h2>
<p><img alt="Two parallel pillars in a row at the Vakil Mosque in Iran" height="700" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/blog/photo-1554058922-d51b58b707f5-2.jpeg" title="Vakil Mosque in Iran" width="1050"></p>
<p>The Ancient Sumerians were the earliest recorded civilization to reside in Southern Mesopotamia, and among their almost innumerable innovations was the invention most relevant to us: the earliest recorded use of a pesticide. Being a highly agrarian society, the Sumerians were looking for ways to drive away crop-eating pests. Unlike the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Sumerians did not use domesticated animals to protect their crops. They instead used a sulfur compound, an element that they discovered was effective at warding away many crop-eating insects. It was effective enough that it is still used today--even in our own products!</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome&nbsp;</h2>
<p><br><img alt="Line of pillars in a &ldquo;V&rdquo; shape at The Parthenon, Greece" height="700" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/photo-1531816458010-fb7685eecbcb-1.jpeg" width="1050"></p>
<p><br>The Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans are two of the most talked-about ancient civilizations, in part because so much of what they did was well-documented by historians and writers of the time. This has allowed for many of their pest control methods to be relatively easy to access today.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Some of these practices were just not effective&mdash; but they are interesting. As <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1975/12/01/archives/ancient-farmers-knew-pesticides-methods-used-2000-years-ago.html">The New York Times noted in a 1975 article</a>, Greek writers recommended using a crayfish to ward off caterpillars, soaking seeds in olive oil before planting them, and praying to the gods for a blessed harvest &mdash; a practice common in basically all ancient cultures.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>While there were more bizarre pest control practices, the Ancient Greeks and Romans actually used quite a few methods that became the standard practice for centuries afterward. It was in Ancient Rome that the use of amurca &mdash; a substance made out of crushed olives and salt &mdash; began, because of its ability to kill crop-eating ants. Amurca would become a staple baseline ingredient of many pesticides moving forward.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>The Ancient Greeks would also spread wood ash on crop fields, because it was a good pest repellent &mdash; another method that some gardeners still use. They also discovered the value of using smoke to deter insects, which you may have noticed yourself in the summertime. When the mosquitos are out, it usually helps to get a little closer to the campfire.&nbsp;</p>
<h2><br>The Blueprint For the Future&nbsp;</h2>
<p><br>There&rsquo;s no doubt that all of these different cultures and civilizations from thousands of years ago are pretty much the forefathers of pest control. These early discoveries and methods not only contributed to the growth and survival of the human race, but also became the blueprint for the model and method of pest control that would follow in the centuries to come, and even forming the bedrock of what pest control is today.</p>
<p><br>While many of these initial methods were quite different &mdash; and sometimes silly! &mdash; when compared to the science and technology-driven treatments that we deploy here at A-1 Pest Control, the purpose is similar: using the best and most modern tools at our disposal to find ways to turn pest problems into pest solutions. We&rsquo;re proud to carry on this tradition.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Want to learn about pest treatment that&rsquo;s a little more modern? Check out our blog, &ldquo;<a href="/blog/post/the-bedbug-problem">The Bed Bug Problem</a>&rdquo;!</p>
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Attempts to control pest populations is nearly as old as civilization itself. We educate readers on how some ancient civilizations dealt with pests.

Read More

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    [openingParagraph] => <p>We get a lot of calls from new customers who&rsquo;ve woken up to pest infestations they never saw coming. One minute you&rsquo;re flipping a pancake and the next you&rsquo;re hurling a syrup bottle full of fat ants across the kitchen. It&rsquo;s not fun.</p>
    [content] => <p>You may think that a one-time or &ldquo;do-it-yourself&rdquo; spot treatment will fix your new founded pest problem. However, the real problem is that these spot treatments aren&rsquo;t the best treatments for eradicating pests in your home, especially nuisances like ants, spiders, and beetles, which you&rsquo;ll start to notice more of around this time of year. It&rsquo;s a cliche, but it&rsquo;s true that prevention is your best treatment against infestations.</p>
<p>Here&rsquo;s why.</p>
<h4>Ants</h4>
<p>Ants can crawl through teeny tiny cracks and spaces to get to your wood, your pantry, your countertops. And because they&rsquo;re so common, every household is likely to play host to a little ant army at least once or twice a year.</p>
<p>That&rsquo;s why regular ant treatments are your strongest defense against control and prevention. While DIY solutions may seem to beat back the problem somewhat, they&rsquo;re not ultimately effective and can in fact be dangerous to people and pets. And often these DIY treatments only target the surface of the problem, not getting at the whole nest or colony. You might even send your ants scattering, which could result in a broader infestation with more nests or colonies. Regular treatments are most effective because they&rsquo;ll eradicate the problem and keep on top of it so it doesn&rsquo;t build up again. &nbsp;</p>
<h4>Spiders</h4>
<p>Spiders can be scary--and some are even dangerous--and while there are tens of thousands of kinds of spiders throughout the world, you only have to look out for a few in North Carolina.</p>
<p>But those few are important, and investing in regular treatments to keep them away from your home and your yard can be a life-saving decision. Black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders can pose a serious risk to your health if you&rsquo;re bitten. But don&rsquo;t worry! Regular treatments can help reduce and eliminate spiders&rsquo; food sources and keep your house spider-free all year.</p>
<h4>Beetles</h4>
<p>Beetles don&rsquo;t bite, but they can cause allergic reactions, infest your pantry, or cause damage to your clothes, blankets, or carpets. Regular treatments will protect you from an infestation, but if you&rsquo;re seeing a beetle now it&rsquo;s possible you&rsquo;re already infested. Professional and ongoing beetle treatment will eliminate these pests from your home and keep them out.</p>
<p><a href="/home-pest-control">Learn more about regular treatments provided by A1 Pest Control today.</a></p>
    [postTitle] => Why Are Regular Treatments the Best Treatments for Ants, Spiders, and Beetles?
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    [abstract] => <p>You may think that a one-time or &ldquo;do-it-yourself&rdquo; spot treatment will fix a new founded pest problem. However, the real problem is that these spot treatments aren&rsquo;t the best treatments for eradicating pests in your home, especially nuisances like ants, spiders, and beetles, which you&rsquo;ll start to notice more of around this time of year. It&rsquo;s a cliche, but it&rsquo;s true that prevention is your best treatment against infestations.</p>
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You may think that a one-time or “do-it-yourself” spot treatment will fix a new founded pest problem. However, the real problem is that these spot treatments aren’t the best treatments for…

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