Malaria in America: How Wary of Mosquitoes Should Floridians Be?

Man with headache in florida

Florida’s enchanting landscapes, warm climate, and abundant water sources are what many residents and visitors cherish. However, amidst the beauty, a hidden threat looms the risk of malaria transmission by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are one of the most serious pest issues for home and business owners in Florida, and for the first time in 20 years locally transmitted cases of Malaria have been confirmed in Florida and Texas. With the advent of these cases, the importance of mosquito prevention is at an all-time high. 

Malaria Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Malaria

Also known as a plasmodium infection, malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. There are many types of malaria parasites, some more harmful than others. The US cases have been identified as the P. Vivax malaria parasite, a strain that typically causes milder symptoms but can be fatal for pregnant individuals and children. 

What Are the Symptoms? 

Symptoms of Malaria are very similar to the flu: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • General feeling of discomfort 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Muscle or joint pain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Cough 

Some people experience malaria “attacks” of chills, followed by high fever and sweating, then a return to normal temperature. Symptoms typically begin within a few weeks of infection, but some malaria parasites can lie dormant for up to a year. Any malaria case should be considered a medical emergency, so if you suspect you may be suffering from malaria, please seek medical treatment. 

How Can I Prevent Infection?

While there’s no way to ensure prevention of an infected mosquito bite, there are ways you can mitigate the risk:

  • Barriers such as doors and window screens at every entry point 
  • Repellants including DEET or picaridin 
  • Treatment and removal of standing water

Understanding Mosquitoes’ Role and the Need for Prevention  

Mosquitoes serve as carriers for malaria parasites, transferring the disease from infected individuals to healthy ones through their bites. In Florida, species like Anopheles quadrimaculatus and Aedes aegypti are known transmitters of this parasite. Aedes mosquitoes are particularly concerning, given their adaptability to urban environments and their involvement in the spread of other diseases like dengue and Zika.  

Malaria can lead to severe illness and even death, especially in vulnerable populations. Preventing mosquito bites reduces the risk of transmission and safeguards community well-being. To counter the threat of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases, comprehensive prevention strategies are imperative. That’s where the experts at Florida Pest Control come in. 

Expert Care You Can Trust 

The highly trained professionals at Florida Pest Control have over 70 years of experience serving the residents of Florida. With a passion for providing quality service, and innovative solutions, our team is dedicated to keeping you safe and your home free from pests. For a free quote, call us today! 

What You Need to Know About the Malaria Outbreak in Florida

Person scratching mosquito bites

On June 26, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory for residents of Florida and Texas. Within the last two months, they have identified multiple locally acquired malaria cases in those states. So, what does that mean, and what should you do to protect yourself? The experts at Florida Pest Control explain what you need to know about malaria, how it spreads, and how you can keep the disease at bay.

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease that spreads to humans through mosquito bites. It typically begins with flu-like symptoms such as chills, muscle aches, vomiting, and fatigue. However, if it is left untreated it can lead to death by causing kidney failure, seizures, and other serious conditions. 

Most people experience symptoms within four weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito, though some can develop the illness much later – even up to a year after the initial infection. If you think that you may have malaria, you should seek immediate medical attention for a diagnosis and treatment.

Why Are the Recent Malaria Cases Significant?

Malaria is a widespread disease that affects many parts of the world, though it is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions. But, if it’s a global problem, why has the CDC put out a health advisory for these cases in particular? 

The reason why these malaria cases are so significant is that they are the first locally transmitted cases in the United States since 2003. Over the last 20 years, nearly all instances of malaria in the US have occurred shortly after a person traveled to a place where malaria is more common. Even though the current outbreak is not large, it’s crucial to contain the disease before it can become a more widespread problem in the US.

Is Malaria Contagious?

Contrary to what many people believe, malaria cannot spread from person to person. It only spreads through infected mosquitoes. That is why one of the best ways to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites.

How Can I Prevent Mosquito Bites?

It may seem impossible to avoid mosquitoes, especially during summertime here in Florida. However, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from mosquitoes:

  • Limit mosquito populations on your property: The fewer mosquitoes on your property, the less likely you are to be bitten. Since these pests need stagnant water to breed, start by eliminating even the smallest puddles that accumulate in your yard. Check your gutters, playground equipment, landscaping features, upturned buckets, and other spots that water could gather.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants: Though some mosquitoes can bite through clothing, they are less likely to access your skin if you are wearing protective clothing. 
  • Avoid going out at dawn and dusk: Mosquitoes are crepuscular creatures, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Staying indoors during these times can help you avoid massive swarms and reduce your likelihood of being bitten. 
  • Use mosquito netting and check your screens: The last thing you want is to have mosquitoes buzzing around your home. Repair any holes in your door and window screens, and consider sleeping under a mosquito net. You can also use mosquito netting to protect your porch so you can enjoy sitting outside without worrying about bites. 
  • Apply an EPA-registered repellent: The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of registered products that can help deter mosquitoes and other pests. To find the right option for your needs and to learn about safely applying repellents, visit their site here.
  • Avoid wasting your time with ineffective DIY methods: There are endless tips and tricks on the Internet that promise to keep mosquitoes away. Unfortunately, many of these tips are not worth the effort and money – and some can even backfire. Read through our other blog to learn which mosquito prevention tips aren’t effective

Professional Mosquito Extermination Services

Struggling with mosquitoes on your property? Overwhelmed with mosquito prevention and want help getting started? The experts at Florida Pest Control have you covered! Our state-licensed technicians have proudly served homes and businesses throughout Florida since 1949, and we offer comprehensive mosquito control that is rooted in Integrated Pest Management techniques. We will create a custom treatment plan that is tailored to your space and lifestyle needs. To get help removing mosquitoes from your property, give us a call today!

Mosquito Control: What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

A child itching their leg with mosquitos swarming around them.

Mosquitoes are a problem every Floridian knows about due to the year-round warm and humid climate. While professional exterminators are the best solution to your pest problem, there are things you can do for at-home mosquito control. However, it’s important to know which mosquito control methods work and which ones don’t. . 

Dangers of Mosquitoes

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquito bites account for the deaths of more than 700,000 people every year, with a majority of these deaths due to malaria. Diseases from mosquito bites fall into Vector-borne diseases, which also include malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, and yellow fever. Along with diseases, mosquitoes also cause itchy bites that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. It can vary from redness and swelling to, in rare cases, severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. 

With these dangers, it’s no wonder that you would want to find a way to control mosquitoes around your home and yard.

What You Shouldn’t Do

There are dozens of DIY mosquito control methods on the Internet, but many of them are ineffective – and some could even attract more pests to your property. While some methods work, here is a list of the ones that you shouldn’t waste your time or money on:

  • Citronella Candles: These candles work in a small area, lose their potency quickly, and have to be replaced often. 
  • Bug Zappers: Bug zappers use an ultraviolet light to attract insects. Mosquitoes are not attracted to this light and it will kill more beneficial insects.
  • Coffee Grounds: Mosquitoes are not attracted to the smell of coffee and there are not enough insecticidal properties, such as caffeine, for coffee gounds to be a proven and effective repellant. 

What You Should Do

While EPA-approved DEET-based insect repellents work well, there are other natural ways that you can prevent mosquitoes from making you their next meal. 

  • Add Mosquito Netting: Outdoor seating areas are a buffet line for mosquitoes. By adding mosquito netting around your seating area and your doors provides a barrier from mosquitoes and other insects. 
  • Remove Standing Water: Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To avoid an infestation directly in your yard, make sure to drain any standing water. This water can accumulate in buckets, wheelbarrows, or debris in your yard. 
  • Outdoor Fans: Mosquitoes are weak fliers and their plans are thwarted easily with a swift breeze. By using multiple outdoor fans that oscillate, you can help prevent mosquitoes from easily landing on you and your family. 

Licensed Mosquito Exterminators

If you’ve tried some natural methods to eliminate mosquitoes but they keep coming back, it may be time to call a professional. Florida Pest Control are the mosquito experts. They have been protecting homes and businesses across Florida since 1949. We offer mosquito prevention services and long-term mosquito control to provide home and business owners with the peace of mind that these pests are taken care of. Call today to get a free quote! 

Mosquito Season is Here: How to Get Ready

a mosquito on the rim of a pot outdoors

Temperatures in Florida stay warm enough, especially in central and southern Florida, that mosquitoes always have the ideal conditions to thrive. It is always a good time to take inventory of where standing water is, and what can be done to eliminate it. Just as you have taken the time to keep your yard beautiful to the eye, now it’s also time to get ahead of those mosquitoes. While we will never be able to live without mosquitoes, there are ways we can learn to deal with them. Let’s take a closer look at some facts you may not know.

Mosquitos in Florida

  • GROWING UP: Some mosquitoes’ life cycle can be egg to adult in 4 days, but most require about 2 weeks.
  • TIME TO BITE: A female mosquito is able to bite after only 2 days as an adult.
  • LIFESPAN: Female mosquitoes often live up to a month, but they can certainly cause a lot of problems during that short time! Most male mosquitoes live for 2 weeks.
  • FEMALE MOSQUITOES: Only the female mosquito bites people and animals to draw blood and obtain protein to properly develop her eggs. Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at one time.
  • DISEASES: Pathogens mosquitoes may transmit, including endemic viruses (i.e., West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis) and exotic viruses (i.e., Zika, dengue and chikungunya) are a real danger. In addition, many of these mosquitoes are considered pestiferous to communities all over Florida. 
  • WATER WORLD: A mosquitoes’ life will always revolve around a water source. All mosquitoes require water during their egg, larval, and pupal stage for maturation. Adult female mosquitoes lay their eggs in the water.
  • SPECIES: There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Two of Florida’s most common mosquito species are Aedes albopictus, more commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito (or simply tiger mosquito) due to its black-and-white-striped body and legs. And the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, better known and the yellow fever mosquito.

Preparing for Mosquitoes

What can you do to keep mosquitos out of your yard in Florida? There are a few precautions you can take. 

Adult mosquitoes gather to rest in shady, cool areas. So by keeping your grass and shrubs trimmed short, as well as avoiding overgrown vegetation around your home, your eliminating potential hiding places. 

Grown mosquitoes also look for bodies of still water that they can breed in. This could apply to swimming pools and backyard ponds, but they can easily use still water in bird baths, buckets – even a leaky sprinkler system. Checking all of these sources is key in deterring mosquitos. 

Precautions should be taken to avoid these pests. Not only for your family’s comfort, but to help eliminate the transmission of disease-causing pathogens. Lastly, residents should make sure all screens are in place and in good condition to prevent mosquitoes from getting into your homes. Prevention can go a long way in avoiding mosquitoes around our homes and neighborhoods.

Florida Pest Control is an expert in Mosquito Pest Control for Florida

At Floridal we provide comprehensive pest control services to help reclaim the outdoors for family fun again! Effective insect control depends upon a multi-pronged approach. Do all you can to make your home and property less inviting to these pests that feed on your family and pets. Take precautions to prevent getting bitten. It’s important to work with a professional exterminator with experience in our region. Our team of technicians at Florida 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!

Avoiding Spring Insect Swarms

A swarm of termites in Florida

The warmth and humidity of spring in Florida draws many species of insects out of their winter habitats to feed and reproduce. Some of these insects are merely a nuisance but some of them can harm people or property. Learn which insects to watch for and what you can do to protect yourself and your home.

Insects That Swarm in Spring

Lovebugs: These small black flies with a red thorax and head are common in Florida during the spring and fall. They are known for their mating swarms, during which large groups of lovebugs can be seen flying together. While they are harmless to humans, their swarms can be a nuisance for drivers and can cause damage to cars if not cleaned off quickly.

Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are a year-round problem in Florida, but their populations tend to peak in the spring and summer. Female mosquitoes swarm to find a mate and a blood meal, which they need to lay their eggs. Mosquito swarms can be a nuisance for people spending time outdoors, and they can also spread pathogens like West Nile virus and Zika virus.

Termites: Termites are known for their swarming behavior in the spring. In Florida, where the climate is warm and humid, termite swarms can occur as early as February or March. Homeowners should be vigilant for signs of termite activity, as they can cause serious damage to wooden structures.

Ants: Several species of ants are common in Florida, including fire ants, carpenter ants, and Argentine ants. In the spring, these ants may swarm to start new colonies. While they are not usually harmful to humans if not provoked, they can be a nuisance.

Bees: Several species of bees are active in the spring, including honeybees and carpenter bees. Swarms of bees can be dangerous for people who are allergic to bee stings, and homeowners should take care to remove any bee nests or hives near their homes. Particularly carpenter bees, which bore into wood to nest and can do significant damage to wooden structures.

Ways to Thwart Swarming Insects

There are several steps you can take to keep swarming insects away. Here are a few tips:

Eliminate sources of standing water: Mosquitoes and other insects are attracted to standing water, which they use for breeding. Remove any standing water from your property, including in bird baths, flower pots, and other containers.

Be cautious when eating or drinking outside:: Numerous insects, especially wasps, are attracted to food and sugar. If you have a barbecue or picnic, clean up promptly. Put leftovers in sealed containers. Ensure that sugary drinks are covered or sealed.

Maintain your lawn and landscaping: Keep your lawn and landscaping well-maintained to reduce the likelihood of insect infestations. Remove any dead or decaying plant material, and keep bushes and trees trimmed away from your home.

Consult a professional pest control company: If you’re dealing with an insect infestation, contact a professional pest control company, like Florida Pest Control. We can identify the type of insect and recommend the most effective treatment options so you can get back to enjoying your yard or outdoor space this spring.

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!

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!

Pests on the Rise in Florida This Winter

Norway rat in Florida - Florida Pest Control

Pests can run rampant year-round here in Florida. Unlike regions with seasonal weather that renders many pest infestations nonexistent in the wintertime, we are accustomed to dealing with certain pests even throughout the colder months. In partnership with PestWorld, the NPMA recently released their 2021 Fall & Winter Bug Barometer® predicting the pest trends we’re to expect in our region this winter. Unsurprisingly, rodents have been named the number one concern pest for Florida residents this winter. To keep your home or business safe from rats and mice this winter, the experts are here to share everything you need to know about preventing increased rodent activity—read on to learn more!

Winter Pests in Florida

Although many types of pests go away in the fall and winter, there are a few that stick around. With above-normal rainfall predicted, mosquitoes have lingered well into the fall months—which is much longer than usual. The most pressing pest pressures we face this time of year are those pests that look to get inside our homes to escape dropping temperatures outdoors.

In November, you may still be seeing some infamous fall pests inside your home. These include ants, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, and boxelder bugs, all of which look to overwinter until springtime right in the comfort of your property. The most concerning winter pest problem Florida residents face in 2021, however, is a rodent infestation.

NPMA Bug Barometer 2021

Why Rodent Infestations Are Dangerous

Rodents are an increasingly common pest problem for homeowners, especially this time of year. Both rats and mice can squeeze their way inside impossibly small holes to gain access to your basement, attic, or another area. Once indoors, they can wreak havoc. Some of the major dangers of mouse or rat infestations are:

  1. With their ever-growing incisor teeth, rodents are constantly chewing on a number of things in your home, electrical wires included.
  2. To build nests, rodents will tear through materials in your home, including your insulation and cardboard boxes.
  3. Rodents can directly or indirectly transmit some of the most dangerous diseases, from rat-bite fever to hantavirus.
  4. Rodent droppings can contaminate food and create a hazardous environment in your property.

How to Prevent a Rodent Infestation this Winter

With NPMA’s prediction of increased rodent activity this time of year, it’s more important than ever to team up with your local rodent control exterminators. At Florida Pest Control, our experts will work hard to implement the best rodent exclusion tactics to keep rats and mice away for good. Contact us today!

Ouch! Something’s Biting Me!

What mites look like in Florida - Florida Pest Control

One of the most universally loathed feelings is the sensation of a bug crawling up your leg or your back, out of sight. You quickly jump to swat it away, and sometimes you make contact with a critter, but sometimes there’s nothing there at all. This leaves you wondering whether there’s a pest lurking somewhere close by or your imagination is making you believe that there is.

Florida residents know that there are a lot of different bugs that could be biting during the summer. Read on for Florida Pest Control’s expert advice on bug bite identification and our regional conditions that could trick you into thinking you have bug bites.

Bugs that Bite in Florida

Florida is home to more pests than almost any other state in the country. Our wet, subtropical climate creates the perfect environment for insects and arachnids of all kinds to thrive. Because of this, Floridians are subject to all kinds of bug bites each year. Here are five of the most common types of bites that we experience here:

  • Bed Bugs: Bed bugs come out of hiding during the night to bite us while we sleep. They bite us in zig-zag patterns across our exposed skin, leaving tiny, bright red bumps.
  • Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are so light that you often won’t feel them on your skin until the bite mark appears. They start as a raised white welt and recede into an itchy, pinkish-red bump over the next few days.
  • Ticks & Fleas: People often pick up tick and flea bites in heavily wooded or vegetated areas. Flea bites are tiny and of a light red color, but ticks lodge into your skin and stay there for up to two days sometimes.
  • Midges: Also known as “no-see-ums,” biting midges are only about 1-3 mm long. They leave tiny bite marks that are very itchy.
  • Mites: Mite bites have raised white centers with a bright red ring around them. Sometimes they are harmless, but they are also able to cause swelling, itchiness, and sharp pain.

Conditions that Cause Itchiness

Certain conditions of the environment around you and your body’s reaction to them can cause skin symptoms that resemble bug bites. Redness, itchiness, and pain are all related to pest-related and unrelated skin issues. These are a few other reasons why your skin could feel worse than usual:

  1. Low humidity: A stark drop in humidity can cause your skin to become dry. It will also increase static electricity, so part of your skin or hair can be made to move in a way that feels like a bug crawling.
  2. Skin allergies: Changing your detergent, soap, perfume, deodorant, or any other topical product can result in a skin allergy. Red bumps and rashes that result from these changes can feel and look like bug bites.
  3. Clogged air conditioning filter: A clogged air conditioning filter can actually result in more particles in the air due to an excess expulsion of trapped dust and debris. This can lead to irritated skin and rashes that might look like bug bites.

How Florida Pest Control Handles Biting Bugs

If you’re sure that you have an infestation of biting pests in your home, the best way to get rid of them is to have them handled by a professional pest control company. At Florida Pest Control, we train our technicians with an emphasis on IPM principles, meaning that we integrate eco-friendly solutions and preemptive pest control strategies into our priorities. No matter what kind of pest you’re dealing with, contact us today for a free quote!