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.

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!

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!

Do Hurricanes Cause More Termites?

Hurricane season in Florida - Florida Pest Control

Termites are a big threat for Florida homeowners year-round. Another big threat for homeowners? Hurricane season! Every summer, storms seem to get worse and worse. Unfortunately, 2021 is predicted to be another above-normal hurricane season. While you may not think termites and hurricanes are relevant to each other, they go hand in hand in causing massive damage to homes and businesses. With termites’ love for damp, damaged wood, hurricanes can encourage their activity this time of year.

At Florida Pest Control, we know that termites and hurricanes are both major stressors for residents throughout the state. Our termite control experts are here to share all you need to know about termites during hurricane season.

Are Termites Dangerous During Hurricane Season?

Both subterranean termites and Formosan termites are infamous for infesting damp wood that is typically in contact with soil. A stormy summer, then, can encourage termite activity even more. The main dangers of termites during hurricane season are as follows:

  1. Storms will put more wood in contact with wet surfaces and soil, even to the point of causing water damage in a property. Water damage in wood above ground can bring subterranean termites up out of their nests and into higher levels of a building.
  2. Termites weaken wood not only in buildings but in trees as well. This puts structures at an even higher risk of damage during a storm or hurricane. Trees weakened by termites will be more likely to fall during a storm, and homes weakened by termites won’t have quite the stronghold they need to withstand high winds and water.

What Happens to Termites During a Storm?

Similar to other insects and animals, a hurricane or storm will likely displace termites. In the case there is serious flooding from a hurricane, it is likely that subterranean termites will drown. In fact, research conducted in 1995 by entomologists at the University of Georgia at Athens found that inundation, or flooding, was the single-greatest natural factor that led to mortality of subterranean termite populations. Before you get your hopes up, this usually will not kill off an entire colony. While there may be a decrease in termite populations immediately after flooding or storms, they will come back quickly—especially with the abundance of moistened, damaged wood at their disposal after a storm event.

How to Stay Safe From Termites During Hurricane Season

The last thing you want to think about during a hurricane is about the threat of termites. Unfortunately, these two threats go hand in hand. To ensure your property is not weakened by termites and made more vulnerable to storm damage, it’s important to team up with a local termite control company. At Florida Pest Control, we are proud to provide Florida property owners with industry-leading termite treatments and monitoring. Contact us today to learn how we can help prepare you for termite and hurricane season.