Tips to Prevent Florida Lawn Pests

dirt mounds in an otherwise healthy lawn hint at a possible lawn pest infestation

Tips and Tricks to Prevent Lawn Pests (in Florida)

Lawn pests are notorious here in Florida. From chewing grass to leaving behind dirt mounds, these tiny critters have a big impact on the overall well-being of your landscape. Knowing how to prevent lawn pests is a crucial step in maintaining a beautiful, well-manicured lawn all year long. To help you out, the experts at Florida Pest Control have put together everything you need to know to help prevent Florida lawn pests.

Watch Out for These Common Florida Lawn Pests

The first step to keeping your yard pest-free is to understand what types of insects and critters will try to invade. Getting familiar with the common lawn pests will help you identify infestations early on:

Best Practices to Prevent Lawn Pests

Getting rid of an infestation is much more challenging than preventing pests from invading in the first place. By spending a little bit of time on preventative maintenance, you could save a lot of time and energy later down the road. Here are a few great ways to prevent lawn pests:

  • Regularly mow: Long, unkempt grass is the perfect environment for pests to hide out and nest. Regularly mowing will keep your lawn tidy and make it more challenging for pests to settle in. 
  • Fix moisture issues: Most pests thrive in damp areas, which is why they are drawn to lawns that are frequently wet. Overflowing gutters, leaky irrigation systems, and overwatering are just a few common causes of moisture issues. 
  • Control weeds: Weeds are more than just a cosmetic issue for your lawn. They can also attract pests, which is another reason why you should keep your grass weed-free as much as possible.
  • Keep your yard clear: Insects and rodents love to live in piles of sticks, twigs, leaves, and other organic matter. Rake and clean your yard regularly to prevent pests from nesting on your property. 

Signs of an Infestation

It can be challenging to spot an infestation before it has the chance to establish itself. However, the sooner you spot pests, the easier they will be to get rid of. Keep an eye out for these warning signs of an infestation to spot pests before they can spread:

  • Burrows or dirt mounds
  • Holes or gnaw marks
  • Patches or strips of dead grass
  • Live pests or eggs

Use “The Drench Test” to Find Pests

Drench tests are an excellent tool for identifying infestations. To perform one, all you need to do is mix 3-4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with approximately 2 gallons of water. Once thoroughly mixed, pour the liquid out over a small patch of your lawn and wait for about ten minutes. If any pests rise to the surface, then you are likely dealing with lawn pests.  

Easy Steps to Help Eliminate Lawn Pests

Pests can cause significant damage to your lawn, even in a short amount of time. That’s why you’ll want to take quick action as soon as you notice the signs on your property. To get pests out of your lawn, follow these steps:

Clean Your Yard

Messy yards with lots of spaces to hide make the perfect environment for infestations to thrive. Taking a few minutes to tidy up your yard is one of the best ways to deter pests from invading your space. Here are our top tips for making your yard less appealing to pests:

  • Rake away leaves and debris
  • Regularly trim your grass
  • Clean out your gutters
  • Remove toys, tools, and other clutter
  • Avoid leaving pet bowls out
  • Use lidded trash bins

Use Natural Pest Control Solutions

Now that your yard is clean and tidy, it’s time to drive out any pests that have settled into your lawn. To do so safely, we recommend using natural pest control solutions that minimize your environmental impact. Here are some of the most effective natural pest remedies:

Invite Natural Predators to Your Yard

Beneficial birds and insects will not only fill your yard with life, but also keep the harmful critters at bay. Encouraging natural predators in your yard is a great way to control pest populations while remaining environmentally responsible. Consider encouraging these natural predators to enter your yard:

  • Wrens
  • Bluebirds
  • Lacewings
  • Praying mantises
  • Ladybugs
  • Big-eyed bugs

Use Neem Oil Spray

Neem oil is an excellent natural pest repellent. Derived from the seeds of neem trees, this oil is biodegradable and nontoxic to pets. Additionally, it is antibacterial and antifungal, which can make it effective against more than just pest infestations. 

Most garden stores carry neem oil spray, though you can make your own by mixing a quart of water with two teaspoons of neem oil and one teaspoon of mild soap. You can spray this mixture directly onto the plants to deter pests. 

Aerate and Dethatch Your Lawn

All lawns have a thin layer of thatch near the roots, which is made up of organic matter like dead grass stems or lawn clippings. While a thin layer can be healthy, too much buildup can become the perfect environment for pests to nest. Once your thatch measures over ¾”, it’s time to take action.

Aerating is one of the best ways to break down the thatch layer. To do so, you will use a special tool to poke small holes throughout the surface of your lawn. This helps loosen up thatch while allowing air and nutrients to penetrate deep into the grass roots. In addition to breaking down the thatch, aerating promotes stronger and healthier grass that is more resistant to pests. 

Try a Pesticide

Some infestations are stubborn. If you’ve tried everything and are still dealing with pests in your lawn, then it may be time to try a chemical pesticide. That said, pesticides are serious products that contain intense chemicals that could cause serious damage to your health or the environment if used improperly. It’s crucial to do your research or work with a professional before applying a treatment. 

When to Use a Pesticide

Pesticides contain harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals, which is why you should always use them as a last resort. Improper usage will put your family, pets, and property at an unnecessary risk. You should only use pesticides if:

  • You have researched all risk factors: Households with small children or pets have a higher risk of accidental exposure when using pesticides. Examine your property and household to determine if it is possible to safely apply a treatment. If you are unsure of the risk factors in your space, always consult a professional. 
  • You’ve tried natural methods first: Pesticides contain serious chemicals that should only be used as a last resort. To treat infestations in a safe and responsible manner, try natural pest control methods or get the help of an expert before turning to pesticides. 
  • You are dealing with a dangerous pest: Some pests pose a bigger threat to your health and wellbeing. If you are dealing with a severe infestation or facing a potentially dangerous pest, such as a rat, then pesticides may be the most appropriate course of action.
  • You’ve chosen a safe product: There are thousands of pesticides available on the market, and not all are created equal. It’s crucial to know how to read the label to find a safe and effective option. 
  • You are complying with local regulations: Some cities or HOAs have strict rules surrounding pesticide applications. Be sure to check local guidelines to ensure you are following all rules and regulations. 
  • You are confident in your ability to safely handle the chemicals: If you have any questions about pesticides or have any doubts about your ability to safely apply a treatment, then you should always reach out to a professional. Paying a small amount for an expert’s help is worth preventing a serious accident.

How to Safely Apply Pesticides

When it comes to pesticide application, it is crucial that you take every safety precaution. Mistakes could expose your family or pets to potentially deadly chemicals, which is why you should always handle these chemicals with care. To safely apply a pesticide, remember these guidelines:

  • Always carefully read and follow manufacturer instructions
  • Wear all safety protection gear, such as gloves and glasses
  • Be meticulous and accurate with your measurements
  • Keep all pets and children away from application areas
  • Leave a warning sign indicating that pesticides are on the lawn
  • Have a safety plan in case of accidental chemical exposure

Professional Lawn Pest Control At Your Service

Lawn pest control can be a tricky process, especially if you are dealing with a severe infestation. That’s where the team at Florida Pest Control can help! For over 70 years, our skilled experts have gone the extra mile to ensure peace of mind for you and your family by protecting your property from unwanted pests. Whether you are facing an active infestation or want to set up preventative measures, we’ve got you covered! Just contact us today to get your free inspection.

A Beginner’s Guide to Florida Lawn Care

Feel lost when it comes to Florida lawn care? No need to worry! Even in Florida’s hot and humid climate, it doesn’t need to be confusing or difficult to keep your grass green and healthy. You just need to keep a few tips in mind to ensure your lawn has everything it needs to thrive.

In this beginner’s guide to lawn care, the experts at Florida Pest Control break down exactly what you need to know to grow lush, healthy grass:

How to Water Your Lawn

With how much sun our area gets, proper watering is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lawn. Without enough water, your grass will turn brown or die off. On the flip side, too much water can cause rot, fungus growth, and mold. 

Watching for wilt is one of the best ways to determine how much you should be watering your lawn. If you start to notice long-lasting footprints or blades that are folding lengthwise, your lawn likely needs more water. Meanwhile, excess runoff or a spongy texture are both signs that you’re overwatering.

It’s also crucial to keep these watering tips in mind as you devise your irrigation plan:

  • Avoid fungus, evaporation, and other issues by watering between 3-9 AM.
  • Change your watering frequency based on the season and weather conditions.
  • If there is a water restriction, always comply with local ordinances.

Tips for Mowing Properly

If you want to keep your lawn looking tidy and uniform, it’s important to know how to properly mow your grass. Mistakes during mowing could damage your lawn and prevent the grass from growing healthily. To get great results when mowing your lawn, follow these three tips:

  • Regularly sharpen your blades: If your grass is dented, bent, or torn after mowing, your mower blades are likely dull. Sharp blades will create a neat, clean cut that is easier for the grass to heal. For most lawn mowers, it’s recommended to have the blades sharpened after roughly 20-25 hours of use. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or get professional help when sharpening the blades. 
  • Don’t cut the grass too short: Short grass blades may not be able to photosynthesize properly, which could inhibit growth and even lead to death. Generally speaking, taller grass grows faster and has a healthier root system. While each type of grass in Florida has different needs in terms of height, most need to be at least 2 ½” tall to stay healthy.
  • Find the right mowing frequency: Mowing too frequently will not only waste your time, but it could even damage your lawn by keeping your grass too short. Most fast-growing lawns only need to be mowed once per week, but you should keep track of your lawn’s growth rate to find the right frequency. 

Control Weeds

Weeds are more than just an unsightly problem. They can also prevent your lawn from getting enough water or nutrition, which will make the grass more susceptible to death or disease. Though at-home weed control can be time-consuming and ineffective if you’re not experienced, identifying a weed problem early on can help you get timely treatment. Watch out for these common Florida weeds:

  • Crabgrass
  • Burnweed
  • Spurge
  • Chickweed
  • Bull thistle
  • Dollarweed

Watch for Pest Infestations

A pest problem can cause serious and long-lasting damage to your lawn. By feeding on grass roots and blades, they can ruin existing grass while inhibiting new growth. Additionally, lawn pests can be incredibly difficult to eradicate once they’re fully established. Here are some common signs of lawn pest infestations to look for:

  • Dirt mounds or burrows
  • Dead patches or strips
  • Damaged grass blades
  • Eggs or live insects

If you notice an infestation in your lawn, don’t hesitate to get professional help. Attempting outdoor insect control on your own can be time-consuming, expensive, and ineffective. A pest control expert will be able to provide customized solutions to get rid of the pests quickly while preventing future infestations from targeting your lawn. 

Aerating for Stronger Grass

Aerating is a great way to promote healthier growth throughout your lawn. By using special equipment to poke small holes in the surface of the grass, you will reduce soil compaction while exposing the roots to oxygen and other nutrients. While it’s typically best to aerate in the fall or spring, each yard has different needs. A professional can help you determine the best timing for aeration.

Lawn Care Tips for Each Season

Florida lawn care means adjusting to the changing weather throughout the seasons. When you take the right steps to adjust for more sunshine or rain, your grass will continue to look green and healthy. Try implementing these seasonal tips:

Spring

Spring marks the start of the growing season, so you will want to make sure your grass has everything it needs to flourish. Now is a good time to:

  • Aerate and fertilize
  • Sharpen your mower blades
  • Adjust your watering schedule as needed

Summer

Florida summers are hot and humid, which can stress your lawn if you don’t take the right steps. To keep your lawn healthy through the heat, keep these tips in mind:

  • Increase your watering frequency as needed.
  • Keep an eye out for pest infestations.
  • Stick to a regular mowing routine.
  • DO NOT fertilize during the heat.

It’s also important to note that June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. Should a storm hit, your lawn will likely sustain a little bit of damage. To increase the safety of your yard and limit damage, be sure to prune nearby trees and store your tools indoors. 

Fall

As fall approaches and temperatures drop, your lawn’s growth will begin to slow down. Now’s the time to prepare your grass for winter. Try following these steps to keep your lawn healthy during fall:

  • Cut down on your mowing and watering as needed.
  • Regularly rake away leaves or debris.
  • Aerate and apply a layer of topseed.

Winter

Most Florida lawns do not become fully dormant in the winter, because the weather is still warm and sunny. However, their growth rate will slow significantly. For this reason, you won’t need to water or mow as frequently – if at all, depending on the weather. In order to protect your lawn at this time of year, prevent trampling by reducing foot traffic. 

Benefits of Professional Lawn Care

Taking care of your lawn can become a pretty time-consuming task, especially if your yard is large, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Lawn care professionals have the tools and expertise needed to keep your grass looking green and healthy all year long. That way, you can enjoy a gorgeous lawn without having to spend hours toiling outside. 

If you want to see how professional lawn care can transform your yard, turn to the experts at Florida Pest Control! From insect and weed control to pH balancing and fertilizing, our Lawn Care Program is designed to keep your grass healthy and beautiful through each season. Our experienced technicians are committed to providing you with exceptional services and outstanding results. Just contact us today to get your free quote!

Fall Pests That May End Up in Your Home

Wasp nest hanging in eaves

If you’ve noticed an increase in insects in and around your home in the fall, it’s not your imagination and it’s not just you. It’s the result of pests trying to get out of the cooler weather. Some pests migrate even further south than Florida, some burrow in or under debris, while others just try to get into our homes. The scientific term for this phenomenon is overwintering. 

The form of overwintering that most directly affects you is when pests enter your home. There are several types of pests known to try to get in, from insects to rodents. The most difficult fall pests to get rid of are the ones you can’t see because they’re now in the attic or behind your walls. Some of the pests most likely to end up in your home this fall include: Asian lady beetles, rodents, termites, stink bugs and wasps. Read on to learn more about these common pests that may try to get into your home this fall and winter.

Asian lady beetles

While Asian lady beetles resemble ladybugs, they’re a bit larger in size. Also, their coloration ranges from red to orange and not all of them have spots like the ladybug. So, what’s the problem with these small ladybug look-alikes? They stick together in groups, using pheromones to communicate their location. When they want to enter your home, the result can be a large infestation that ends up in your attic or walls. While they won’t eat your home or sting you, if you have an infestation, their waste can stain and can trigger allergic reactions or breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals. The best way to prevent these, or any, bugs from getting into your home is to seal cracks and crevices on the exterior of your home. They’re small, so you will need to be diligent. Having a preventative pest control service in place can also help to prevent a pest infestation from taking place in your home.

Rodents

You probably know that squirrels are excellent climbers but so are roof rats and mice. Most rodents can climb up trees and get onto your roof via nearby branches, fences, and or even by climbing a drainpipe!  From there, it’s easy to get into your attic and make a nest to stay warm for the fall and winter. If you hear scratching or gnawing noises from up above or inside the walls, you likely have rodents inside your attic or wall voids starting to make themselves at home. If this happens, it’s time to call an experienced rodent exterminator like Florida Pest Control.

Stink bugs

While there are several types of stink bugs, the brown marmorated stink bug is the one you’re most likely to see in your home. It’s an invasive species originally from Asia. They’re shaped like a shield and their color is a mottled combination of brown and gray. They range in size from ¼” to ⅜”. As their name suggests, when stink bugs feel threatened or get squashed, they release an unpleasant odor. Stink bugs tend to spend the winter in quiet parts of a home where they’re unlikely to be disturbed like an attic, crawlspace or inside the walls. You will first start to notice these pests as the temperature starts to fall at night but the days are still warm and sunny. Stink bugs will land on the sunnier sides of your home, in an effort to warm up. They are also attracted to lighter color homes, which sometimes can be the reason you are seeing them but your neighbor isn’t.

Termites

Termites are considered to be the most destructive pest in America. The estimated annual cost of termite damage and termite control efforts in the US is up to $30 billion. Termites are always looking to enter your house as a food source. So, what’s different about fall and winter? First, subterranean termites, the most destructive species, tend to burrow deeper into the ground to stay warm in the winter. This means you’re less likely to discover a subterranean termite infestation until the spring. During that time termites can do a great deal of damage. Once termites can get into your home they will consume wood and anything else that contains cellulose. Signs you may have termites in your home include blisters on painted falls, hollow-sounding wood, mud tunnels in your crawlspace, chewing sounds, and unexplained pinhole-sized holes. 

Wasps

Wasp colonies as a whole don’t overwinter; the regular workers do not survive and the colony is rebuilt annually. However, fertilized queens overwinter outdoors in hollow logs, stumps or under leaves. However, they can also overwinter on or in structures, including the attics or siding of homes. The most common way for wasps to get in is through attic vents that aren’t screened. It is always best to ensure that your attic is as sealed as possible, to prevent wasps and other pests from entering. It is possible for the queen to start her new colony in your attic next year, which can mean a large nest of stinging insects to remove. Best to prevent that from happening right from the start this fall! 

Experienced Local Exterminators

Florida Pest Control has been providing Florida with trusted pest control services since 1949. If you have any of these fall pests in your home, Florida Pest Control can help get them out and keep them out. We also offer services to help prevent these pests from entering your home.

Contact us for a free quote!

Watch Out for Florida Chinch Bugs

Chinch bug damage in grass

Here in the Florida summer, chinch bug infestations are a commonly occurring problem. These insects tear through our lush turf grasses and leave them a patchy, brown mess. If you are a long-term Florida resident, you surely know that these pests are no fun to deal with.

Since these bugs are so good at hiding, it can be hard to tell if you’re hosting them on your property until they’ve already worsened the condition of your lawn significantly. So, what can we do to prevent chinch bugs in our yards? Read on for advice from the lawn pest experts at Florida Pest Control!

How Do I Know I Have Chinch Bugs?

A chinch bug problem is hard to assess until its presence is obvious in many cases. Because these bugs are so small, it’s important to be able to tell both what they look like and how their damage appears:

  • Chinch bug appearance: Thes bugs are usually about ⅛” – ¼” in length. They are brownish-red to black in color with six legs and a pair of lighter wings that fold over each other across their backs.
  • Chinch bug damage: Although chinch bugs will also go after leafy debris, thatch, and agricultural crops sometimes, you’re most likely to find them attacking your lawn. When they eat away at our grass blades, they inject a toxin into the plant that inhibits future growth and leads to a yellowing or browning surface appearance. They prefer to eat grass that sees more sunlight.

What to Do to Control Chinch Bugs

If you suspect you have chinch bugs because of recent damage to your lawn, you can try something called the “floatation method” to substantiate your claim. Cut out the bottom of a metal can and press it down 3 inches into the soil of a damaged part of your lawn. If you consistently pour water into the can over 5 minutes, any chinch bugs below will float to the surface.

Whether or not this reveals a chinch bug infestation, we recommend taking these three steps to prevent lawn pest infestations:

  1. Install an irrigation system to make sure your lawn’s water intake is regulated in accordance with slope, sunlight, and species
  2. Fertilize your lawn with a slow-releasing nitrogen fertilizer (or a different type depending on what kind of grass you have)
  3. Team up with your local lawn pest exterminators to set up a prevention or removal plan

Get Rid of Chinch Bugs in Florida

If you want to get rid of chinch bugs and restore your lawn to its beautiful state today, reach out to your local pest control company. At Florida Pest Control, our technicians are trained to assess every lawn for a long list of factors to determine the best way to progress with an integrated pest management plan. We can make sure your lawn stays free of chinch bugs and all other lawn pests every summer. For a free quote, reach out today!

How to Get Rid of Ants Infesting Your Bathroom

All kinds of ant species run rampant in Florida. Our hot and humid climate allows for many varieties of ants to proliferate and thrive, building colonies in our yards and sneaking into our homes for food and water. Additionally, our climate allows ants to survive and thrive all year long. This makes it crucial to know how to get rid of ants when they get inside.

One of the most commonly-infested rooms in the home is the bathroom—you’re probably here because you have ants in your bathroom right now. If this is the case, read on for ant removal advice from our expert exterminators at Florida Pest Control!

Why Ants Infest Bathrooms

Ants commonly infest bathrooms because of the consistent water and moisture sources that they can find there. Small puddles of water pool in your sink, in your shower, and on your floor, inviting ants to gather for a drink and push onward to look for food. Carpenter ants commonly infest bathrooms for the damp wood they find to tunnel through, but you’re likely to find any of several species of common Florida ants in your bathroom. These are the ways they usually make it inside:

  • Ventilation systems
  • Holes around plumbing fixtures
  • Open windows and doors
  • Cracks in the foundation and walls

It is also possible that the ants in your bathroom have traveled there from another room in your home, so make sure you try to find the source of their trail before determining that your bathroom is the main issue at hand.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Bathroom

Finding the source of the ant trail is the most important part of ant control because the only way to ensure that ants don’t come back is to take out their colony. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult task when ants find their way into your home through walls, pipes, and vents. This makes ant prevention a helpful measure to take because it’s easier to keep ants out in the first place than to get rid of them. Here are some ant prevention strategies we recommend:

  • Check that your windows and doors can shut completely
  • Seal any cracks leading inside your home with a silicone-based caulk
  • Move mulch away from your siding and trim plants so they don’t touch your home
  • Make sure that your bathroom is well-ventilated
  • Look for and replace water-damaged wood

Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in Florida

Ants in Florida can attack your home from every angle and build inconspicuous colonies that take far too long to find. That’s where the help of a trained ant exterminator is necessary. At Florida Pest Control, our ant control team is trained to tackle any kind of ant infestation you might be dealing with. Using top-of-the-line products backed by tested strategies, we will have your home ant-free in no time. Contact us today for a free quote!

10 Tips to Help You Pest-Proof Your Backyard

Servicing a yard in Florida - Florida Pest Control

Spring and summer are cherished seasons for the sunshine and warmth that they bring, but there’s no harder time to avoid pest problems than during post-rainfall warmth. Here in Florida, our climate accounts for pest infestations all through the year, making it hard to enjoy a nice day relaxing in your backyard. You have to take constant measures to ensure that pests don’t take over your property, and we’re here to help you direct your efforts. Read on for advice on pest-proofing your backyard with the exterminators at Florida Pest Control!

Top 10 Tips for Backyard Pest Prevention

Florida is home to so many different types of pests that it is crucial to have a wide-reaching pest prevention plan for your backyard. Here are our top 10 backyard pest control tips:

  1. Trim trees and bushes: Overgrowth of plants and trees can create shaded hiding places for many kinds of pests. Trim your trees, bushes, and shrubs often to prevent this.
  2. Mow your lawn often: Overgrowth can lead to bountiful opportunities for pest shelter and trap in excess moisture for bugs to hydrate with. Mowing once a week can prevent this.
  3. Prevent stagnant water: Mosquitoes breed in still water pools. Check for pooling rainwater in gutters, planters, tarps, and more, and get rid of it with a cover or by pouring it out.
  4. Get rid of yard waste: Piles of yard waste can serve as temporary shelters for pests of all sizes. Get rid of yard waste as often as you can.
  5. Dethatch your lawn: Thatch is helpful for lawn temperature regulation, but too much can create many kinds of common lawn pest problems. Dethatch to prevent pests and keep your lawn healthy.
  6. Use garden nets: Garden netting can prevent wild animals and insects from venturing into your yard to eat your plants.
  7. Store firewood carefully: Firewood can lead to termite problems that eventually seriously affect your home. Keep your firewood elevated and distanced from your home.
  8. Water your lawn properly: Using an irrigation or sprinkler system can help prevent the pest problems that come with both overwatering and underwatering.
  9. Seal and distance waste bins: Pests as small as wasps and large as raccoons will forage for food in your trash cans. Seal them if possible, but be sure to keep them far away from your yard.
  10. Hire an exterminator: An exterminator can figure out the reason for your backyard pest problems and put a stop to them.

Pest Control for Your Backyard in Florida

To ensure that your backyard stays pest-free all through the spring and summer, it’s important to work with a professional exterminator with experience in our region. Our team of technicians at Florida Pest Control is well-versed in the many strategies it takes to prevent and get rid of all kinds of common Florida pests. Get in touch today for a free quote!

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me So Much?

A mosquito in Florida - Florida Pest Control

Are you one of those people who can never catch a break from mosquito bites? Although many of us know a “mosquito magnet” or are one ourselves, it’s hard to say why one person would be more attractive to mosquitoes than another. While experts still haven’t worked out the specifics on which bodily qualities mosquitoes prefer, we do know a lot about the signals that mosquitoes look for and the activity that amplifies these signals. If you’re looking to be strategic about avoiding mosquito bites in Florida this year, read on for advice from the mosquito exterminators at Florida Pest Control!

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Certain People Over Others?

Although we still don’t know exactly how to predict who mosquitoes will prefer, we do know a lot about the signals that they use to find hosts to feed on and what we do to make ourselves more apparent as eligible. The more physically active we are around mosquito breeding grounds, the more likely we are to be discovered. Here’s why:

  1. Our breath: Carbon dioxide is the main indicator of potential hosts in the area that mosquitoes use. When we exhale, we release CO2 into the air, tipping off mosquitoes to our presence. Exercise or prolonged physical activity outdoors will cause you to breathe heavier, letting out more CO2.
  2. Our body odor: The more you perspire, the greater chance your scent will attract nearby mosquitoes. Strong perfumes and some dietary choices will also catch mosquitoes’ attention.
  3. Our temperature: Wearing dark clothing and getting exercise can both increase your internal body temperature and make you more likely to be detected by mosquitoes.

Wondering How to Avoid Mosquito Bites?

The best way to avoid mosquito bites is to stay inside with the windows and doors shut. But who wants to do that? Our beautiful Florida springs and summers are meant to be enjoyed out in the sunshine. Here are some ways you can protect yourself from mosquito bites outside:

  • Avoid stagnant water: Mosquitoes lay eggs in pools of standing water. They will make use of larger bodies of water like ponds and tiny pools of it that collect in your gutters. Inspect your yard to cover or pour out any standing water that you find.
  • Wear clothing accordingly: Wearing dark colors in the sun will trap heat around you and raise your body temperature, making you more likely to be found by mosquitoes. White and light-colored clothing (or, better yet, long sleeved shirts and pants) will decrease your chances of bites.
  • Use bug spray: EPA-approved bug sprays that use DEET or picaridin are your safest and most effective options for insect repellent. All-natural alternatives like citronella candles and lemon eucalyptus oil can also work well, albeit with less longevity.

How Can Mosquito Control Help?

If mosquitoes seem to be an inevitable problem for you every year, reach out to your local exterminators. At Florida Pest Control, we train our mosquito control team to conduct thorough barrier treatments that can protect the perimeter of your property for months at a time. To learn more about our mosquito abatement services and get a free quote, contact us today!

What to Know About Flying Termites

Flying termites in Florida - Florida Pest Control

With spring fast approaching, swarms of insects are likely to appear. There are many pests we have to deal with here in Florida, but termites are one of the most problematic. Despite being active throughout the year, spring is when they are known to swarm and infest new areas. This is why it’s crucial to be on the lookout for flying termites this time of year and to know what to do to prevent them from infesting.

We at Florida Pest Control know how distressing it can be to think about a termite infestation. From identifying flying termites to getting rid of them for good, our experts are here to help you.

How to Identify Termite Swarmers

The presence of flying termites in or near your house is an indication that you may have an infestation. Keeping a watchful eye on them is therefore essential. Flying termites, also called “swarmers” or “alates”, are black to brown in color and reach a length of 3/8 inches, including the wings. The wings are translucent in color or slightly milky or smoky. Their wings may overlap and are typically as long as or slightly longer than their bodies.

Swarmers typically fly in the spring and find their way into structures around basement windows, doorways, near porches, or any other area where wood comes into contact with soil. When you have an infestation, the termites can eat away at the very structure of your home before you ever even notice. For this reason, it’s important to have preventative measures in place to keep them away in the first place.

5 Tips to Prevent Flying Termites

Always look for signs of flying termites, especially in the spring. If you want your property to be less susceptible to wood-destroying insects, you can do several things. Try the following tips to prevent termites from invading your Florida home.

  1. Store all firewood away from the perimeter of your home.
  2. Repair issues with your plumbing to avoid any leaks or moisture that could attract termites.
  3. Clear your yard of any rotting wood, trees, etc. Ensure your porch or deck is maintained.
  4. Keep all mulch away from the foundation of your home.
  5. Work with a professional termite control expert to implement treatments that repel termites.

We Protect Your Property From Termites Year-Round

Whether you have a termite infestation or see flying termites near your home, you’ll need professional help! Getting annual pest control inspections from a company like Florida Pest Control is the best way to protect against wood-destroying insects. Learn more about preventing flying termites near your home year-round by contacting us today. 

When Do Termites Swarm in Florida?

Termite swarmers in Florida - Florida Pest Control

Certain pests specialize themselves to thrive in particular environments—most often we see insects gravitate to areas that provide a warm and humid climate for as much of the year as possible. Unfortunately for us Floridians, this means that all sorts of pests thrive around our homes, one of which being termites. Although termites are active year-round in Florida, it’s important to take action before they swarm to protect your home from the destruction that they can cause. Read on to learn all about termite habits from the termite exterminators at Florida Pest Control!

When Do Termites Swarm?

Termites swarm to seek out a new source of food and a new place to live when their colony becomes too expansive for their current situation. All over the country, termites swarm when the weather becomes hospitable enough for them to go out in the open for a temporary period of time. Here in Florida, this usually falls in early March or even late February.

If you haven’t seen a termite swarm, watch out for small winged termites in your yard. If you find them inside your house, it could mean that a newly-visiting termite colony is looking to make your house their home, or worse. It could also mean that your home has already hosted a termite colony that grew so large undetected that they’re ready to swarm again.

How to Termite-Proof Your Home in Florida

There are a few ways to make your home less accessible to a termite infestation before the swarming season starts. Here are four steps we recommend you take to termite-proof your home:

  1. Keep moisture levels low: Termites are attracted to moisture and water-damaged wood, so make sure that your gutters are intact, your siding is in good condition, and your sprinklers aren’t spraying the walls of your home.
  2. Keep firewood at a distance: Storing your woodpile against your home might be convenient, but it will greatly increase your chances of a termite infestation in your home. Store it at least 20 feet away and off of the ground if possible.
  3. Consider an alternative mulch: As helpful as it might be for your plants, mulch attracts termites. If you decide to use mulch, keep it at a distance from your home’s siding and foundation.
  4. Fill cracks and holes: Termites will scope out any possible entry points to your home’s internal structures. Seal up cracks in plumbing, roofing, siding, foundation, and more with caulk.

Have Termite Exterminators Protect Your Home

If you want to ensure that your home is safe from termites before spring rolls around, reach out to your local pest control company. At Florida Pest Control, we understand how important it is to protect our customers’ homes from the most destructive pests in the state. We know termites to their core and conduct exhaustive WDI inspections to find any evidence of activity or vulnerabilities that could lead to an infestation. For a free quote, contact us today!

Fabric Damaging Pests

Fabric Damaging Pests - Florida Pest Control

It’s never fun to bring out your old winter sweaters from storage to find out that they’ve been torn through by bugs. We get the most calls about fabric-eating pests in the winter, but here in Florida where the insects run wild, we are liable to experience an infestation of these critters at any point during the year. If you’re noticing unprecedented holes in your clothing or seeing tiny bugs eating away at your carpet, read on. Our exterminators at Florida Pest Control can teach out all about fabric-consuming pests in Florida!

What Bugs Eat Clothing and Carpeting?

You might have noticed little beetles or tiny, caterpillar-like insects living in your closet or carpeting. What could they be? These are the two main culprits:

  1. Carpet beetles: Carpet beetles are small, winged beetles that have spotted backs featuring shades of brown, white, and black. They are similar in size to bed bugs, and given that they occasionally infest the same types of material, they are sometimes confused for each other. However, carpet beetles do not bite humans. They feed off of organic animal material like furs, feathers, skins, wool, hair, and the remains of other insects.
  2. Clothes moths: What you’re actually looking out for in this case is clothes moth larvae! At smaller than 1 cm in length and preferring to live in darkness, clothes moth larvae can be very difficult to find. They feed on the same things as carpet beetles, but as you can tell by their name, are more likely to be found in your closet where it’s dark.

Both of these insects leave jagged holes or scraped areas in fabrics or other items composed of natural fibers. Look around the area for skin casts, cocoons, or webbing—these tiny insects don’t travel far from their food source.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles and Clothes Moths

The best way to avoid a problem with carpet beetles and clothes moths is to be careful with your fabrics before they arrive. Before you store your sweaters away, launder them and seal them in plastic bags or tubs with lids. You should also vacuum regularly to reduce the amount of dust and hair that could attract them. Vacuuming could also help to get rid of infestations in their earlier stages! While you can apply common store-bought pest control products to get rid of clothes moths and carpet beetles, without finding the source of the infestation, you’ll never be able to get rid of them all. 

Pest Control for Fabric-Damaging Pests

If you can’t get rid of carpet beetles or clothes moth larvae on your own, reach out to your local pest control company. At Florida Pest Control, we train our technicians to find infestation sources in hard-to-reach areas and places that you wouldn’t think to look. With safe and environmentally-friendly solutions, we work hard to keep our customers happy and healthy in pest-free homes. Call today for a free quote!