Bees, Wasps, and Hornets, Oh My! – Preparing for Stinging Insect Season

a wasp pulling its stinger out of a human arm

Most people look forward to the return of summer each year. They cannot wait to spend time enjoying the outdoors and the many activities Florida has to offer. However, the return of summer also signals the return of stinging insects. Just the sight of these pesky insects can send many people running or cause them to freeze in fear of nasty, painful stings. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep these stinging insects out of your yard, allowing you and your family to safely enjoy your outdoor space all summer long!

Types of Stinging Insects

Stinging insects can be categorized into three species; Bees, Wasps, and Hornets.

  • Bees can often be identified by their fuzzy appearance. These hard-working pollinators are an essential part of our ecosystem; pollinating many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Honey Bees and Bumblebees are the most common type of bees and are fairly harmless unless threatened. Carpenter bees are known to cause extensive damage to homes, burrowing into wooden structures to build their individual nest. 
  • Wasps come in a variety of shapes and colors; Mud Daubers, for example, are mostly black and have extremely thin long waists. While Yellowjackets are bright yellow and black. They are one of the most common wasps you may see. Yellow jackets and Paper Wasps build easily identifiable papery nests from chewed-up wood fibers. Wood daubers, on the other hand, build distinct nests made up of many small mud tubes.
  • Hornets are extremely useful in keeping the insect population at bay. Hornets have a reputation for being extremely aggressive, like the Bald-Faced Hornet. These hornets have unique white and black markings and will attack anyone who gets too close to their nest.

Clearing Your Yard of Stinging Insects

Getting rid of stinging insects is a top priority for many homeowners. Below are a few tips to keep your yard free of these unwanted pests!

  • Use Traps: Traps are extremely effective at eliminating any stray wasps or hornets that may come to crash your barbecue but will not get rid of nests. 
  • Remove abandoned nests: Some stinging insects will return to abandoned nests in the spring. Most stinging insects will abandon their nests when it gets cold, making winter the perfect time to scout your property and remove any nests you may find. Call professional exterminators to remove any nests during any season to prevent stings!
  • Keep food covered: Wasps and hornets are often attracted to your food. Make sure to cover any food left outside to deter these pests from crashing your picnic.
  • Secure garbage cans: Stinging insects will often swarm dumpsters looking for leftover food or sugary snacks. Keep garbage can lids tightly closed to keep hornets and wasps away.
  • Landscape to keep pests away: Some stinging insects are attracted to bright flowers that produce nectar. To keep these pests away from your patio, plant peppermint, citronella, or lemongrass around your home instead!

Professional Extermination

Removing a bee, wasp, or hornet nest can be a risky endeavor. These nasty pests have painful stings that can send some to the hospital. Removing stinging insects from your yard should be left to the professionals. The experienced pest control technicians at Florida Pest Control have the expertise and equipment to remove any nests from your yard safely and effectively. At Florida Pest Control we want you to be able to enjoy your yard without worrying about being stung.

Don’t let stinging insects ruin your outdoor fun; contact us today for a free quote and let us handle the job!

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! 

TAP Out with Pest Control Insulation

ants on house floor

Pest control in Florida is an ongoing process. You might already know some of the helpful habits that can help deter any unwelcome guests from infesting your home. By clearing out clutter and keeping your food supply stored in airtight containers, you limit the appeal of your home to a variety of pests. These are the kinds of precautions you can take throughout the year – but what if there was an extra layer of defense you can take with no added effort? And what if this defense could actually make your home more comfortable and even more efficient? All of that is possible with TAP® Insulation, a service offered by the team at Florida Pest Control. Curious about why a pest control company would install insulation? Keep reading to learn more!

What is TAP® Insulation?

TAP stands for Thermal, Acoustical, Pest Control Insulation. Unlike batting or spray foam, TAP comes in the form of loose-fill cellulose that can easily be blown into the walls of new buildings or the attics of existing homes. Once it settles, it activates a very special superpower. Because TAP is treated with Boric acid, a naturally occurring mineral that cannot harm pets, children or adults unless ingested in large quantities. But when insect pests come into contact with it, they end up ingesting it through grooming themselves or other people. Insect pests are unable to pass Boric acid, and they eventually die of malnutrition or dehydration. And, with that, you’ve stopped a soon-to-be infestation without you having to do a thing.

While it is unable to kill rats or rodents, TAP can effectively control a wide range of pests. This covers ants and termites (especially Formosan termites), all the way up to snails, roaches, and many varieties of beetle. And that’s only the beginning of how TAP can make your home a more comfortable place to live.

Benefits of TAP® Pest Control Insulation

In addition to being a constant, effective pest fighter, TAP is a quality insulator. That’s because the cellulose that it’s made of slows the transfer of heat and leaves you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It can even do a passable job of absorbing noise from outside the home – not as well as spray foam, but better than fiberglass batting. Many of our clients love the reliability of TAP insulation, and how it remains effective nearly perpetually after the initial installation.

Of course, it isn’t a perfect insulator in all conditions. Cellulose is especially vulnerable to rot and moisture damage, so to care for it you need to make sure your attic isn’t experiencing moisture intrusion or a leaky roof. As long as that’s the case, you can enjoy an eco-forward insulator that’s made primarily out of recycled material.

TAP® Insulation From Florida Pest Control

There’s a lot to like about TAP insulation. Not only will it kill pests for as long as it’s kept intact, but it’ll also actually save you money. You’ll spend less on your monthly HVAC bills since your furnace and A/C will be able to function better and with less energy. And that’s not to mention the cost saved on pesticide treatments you won’t need. Don’t get us wrong, if you still need residential pest control we’re happy to help. But we’d rather have your house keep itself pest-free on an ongoing basis. Contact us to schedule an estimate for TAP Insulation.