It’s inevitable to come across certain pests, especially during the warmer months of the year. Though, with Florida’s tropical weather year-round, it can seem like dealing with pests is nonstop. Roaches, mice, mosquitoes, and ants are just a few pests that can take over a household, become an annoyance, spreading disease, and causing damage to your home. One of the best ways to avoid a pest infestation is preventing them in the first place by placing do-it-yourself pest proofing measures throughout your home. Check out our list of DIY pest control tips you can utilize:
Make Your Home Less Pest-Attractive
Pests are attracted to three things: food, shelter, and water. The best way to keep pests from entering your home is to get rid of what they’re attracted to. Try to keep your home as clean as possible, vacuuming and sweeping on a regular basis. Likewise, repair any leaky pipes and faucets both inside and outside of your home. Avoid leaving your pet’s food and water bowls overnight, taking them in and storing their leftover food in plastic containers with lids. Declutter your home, removing any old magazines, newspapers, and cardboard boxes you don’t need.
Seal Them Out
Mice, ants, and roaches can enter through the smallest hole or gap they find. It’s important to take the time to inspect the outside of your home for any potential entry points, sealing them up with either caulk or steel wool, depending on how large it is. Don’t forget to check foundations, food frames, windows, utility pipes, cables and wires, and the roof for any potential opening pests could enter in from. Repair any broken windows or screens and fil openings in pipes and vents.
Don’t Forget Outside
To get to your home, pests must enter your yard first, so it’s important to keep it less attractive to them as it is your home. Regularly mow your grass, keeping it short and eliminating any weeds. Remove piles of leaves, debris, and fallen branches from your yard. Look to eliminate any clutter or items you don’t need, such as old automobiles, trashcans, tires, and dumpsters. If you store wood, keep it elevated from the ground and at least 20 feet from your home.
Pests need water to survive, and the smallest amount of standing water will attract pests like termites and mosquitoes. Keeping your home as dry as possible is key to avoiding their infestation. Check around your home for any water leaks and look for loose fixtures or dripping faucets too. If you have a crawlspace, consider utilizing a dehumidifier to decrease excess moisture. Make sure you clear any debris and leaves from your gutters, especially after a hurricane or thunderstorm.
Consider the Pros
Sometimes, a pest infestation needs more attention than DIY pest control methods can provide. If you’re still seeing an influx of pests or would like to get ahead of pest prevention, consider reaching out to a local pest control company for some help. These professionals will identify the pest at hand, provide proper treatment, and recommend the best prevention techniques you can use at home to avoid a future pest infestation.
Did you know that most spiders are venomous? It’s true! Luckily (if you can look at it that way), only a few types of spiders have venom powerful enough to harm humans. These include the widows and the recluses. Check out our list of venomous spiders in Florida and their characteristics to easily identify them.
Common Venomous Spiders in Florida
- Black Widow: The black widow spider female has a shiny black body and a red hourglass-shaped figure on her abdomen. These are the easiest of the venomous spiders to identify.
- Red Widow: These spiders have the same shape as the black widow but have a red-orange head and thorax. They are often found in palmettos and sand-pine scrub.
- Brown Widow: These widows have an hourglass figure on their abdomen. They have striped patterns of varying shades of brown across their legs and their bodies and are more likely to build webs on man-made structures.
- Brown Recluse: These spiders do not have an active population in Florida, but they can travel to the state through hitchhiking onto our items, especially while in the process of moving. This spider is considered the most venomous spider outside the widow family. You can easily identify them by their violin-shaped marking on their back, small size, and pale brown colorations.
Spiders will bite as a defensive mechanism and these bites usually arise when we place our hands or feet in areas where we don’t see these spiders. A bite from any of these venomous spiders can lead to swelling, severe pain, nausea, sweating, and intense muscle cramps. If you think you’ve been bitten by a venomous spider, seek medical attention immediately.
How to Avoid Venomous Spiders
Spiders will hide out where they know high populations of pests reside. This means they can find a safe space inside your home. Here are some easy tips to follow to ensure they don’t take up residence in your home:
- Declutter the inside of your home, including attic or other storage areas
- Trim trees away from home to lessen access points
- Assess moisture problems to prevent insect breeding grounds
- Call your local Copeland spider removal company for a free property inspection!
Centipedes are arthropods that will often make their way into your home. Although centipede means “100 legs,” not every centipede actually has that many. Most centipedes prefer dark, damp spaces and are commonly found outdoors under rocks, logs, or piles of leaves. Other species can be found in your home. Here are 5 of the most common type of centipedes you may come across in our area.
Types of Centipedes
House centipedes are found throughout North America and even in Hawaii. They can grow to be 1-1/2″ long and have 15 pairs of legs. Their bodies are yellowish-gray in color with 3 stripes on their backs. They have long antennae. House centipedes are usually found in dark areas of your home, like the basement. They are usually harmless, but will bite you if they are handled. They are quite beneficial to have around as they will eat roaches, moths, termites, and other household pests.
Eastern Red Centipede
The Eastern Red centipede is found across the East Coast. These centipedes grow to about 2-1/2″ long. Their bodies are red or orange in color with lighter orange legs. They like moisture and will burrow under wet leaves, logs, compost piles, and woodpiles. They are venomous with a very painful bite.
Eastern Bark Centipede
The Eastern Bark centipede can be found in the Eastern United States and Canada westward to the Rocky Mountains. They can grow up to 3″ long. These centipedes vary in color, ranging from solid orange-brown to dark brown. Some species also have an olive colored stripe on their back. Their heads are brownish-red and their antennae and legs are yellow. These centipedes are nocturnal and live under rocks and logs. They are venomous and will bite.
Diamondback Soil Centipede
The diamondback soil centipede will grow up to 2″ in length. They have light brown bodies with dark brown diamonds on their backs. They are found throughout North America, typically in gardens rather than inside the home. They live under debris and will burrow into the soil. They don’t have eyes and don’t bite. They secrete a poisonous substance from the underside of their bodies in an attempt to ward off predators but they are not considered a threat to humans.
Brown centipedes originated in Europe (where they are quite common) but can now be found on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. They grow to about 1″ in length. They have brown bodies, long antennae, and long tails. They hunt at night and can often be found in dark areas of the home, such as the basement. They do have venomous fangs but they are so small that they do not pose any threat to humans. In fact, they are beneficial to have around because they eat other household pests.
- Reduce moisture. Centipedes prefer moist, high humidity environments. Repair any leaks you may have in and around your home. Use dehumidifiers in areas with humidity (e.g. basements and crawlspaces). Run exhaust fans in bathrooms and attics to also help reduce moisture.
- Declutter. Clutter provides shelter and protection for centipedes. Reduce clutter around your home, especially in areas where centipedes are commonly found (basements, crawlspaces, attics). Move any leaf piles, grass clippings, and firewood away from your home.
- Get rid of food sources. Centipedes will eat other pests that come into or around your home. Practice routine pest control to help keep other pest populations at bay to keep centipedes away, as well.
- Seal them out. Seal any cracks, gaps, and holes on the outside of your home to eliminate ways for them to get in. Repair tears in screens and install weatherstripping to doors and windows.
- Call the pros. Establishing routine pest control services with a local pest control company can help to not only keep centipedes from invading your home, but other household pests, as well. The technicians can also give your home a thorough inspection, helping to identify any pest problems before they get out of hand.
Centipedes and millipedes are two common household pests that are often mistaken for each other. How can you tell them apart? How can you tell if they’ve infested your home? Learn the difference between centipedes and millipedes, along with tips to prevent both of them from taking over your home.
Centipedes have elongated, flat, segmented bodies with 1 pair of legs per segment. They can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. They have long antennae on their heads, as well. They can come in a variety of colors but the most common species are either brown or reddish-orange. These pests are attracted to damp, dark areas like basements, bathrooms, and closets.
Centipedes are nocturnal and can move very fast, making them hard to spot by homeowners. In fact, the only real sign of centipedes in your home is spotting live pests.
- Eliminating moisture. Repair leaks and use dehumidifiers to keep moisture levels down.
- Eliminating clutter. Keeping your home free of clutter gets rid of potential hiding places centipedes can use.
- Eliminating openings. Centipedes will get in through cracks, gaps, and holes in the exterior of your home. Sealing these up will help keep them out.
- Vacuuming them up. An easy way to get rid of centipedes you come across is to vacuum them up and dispose of them immediately.
Millipedes have long, cylindrical bodies with 2 rows of legs on their bodies and 1 row of legs on the front of their bodies. They grow to about 1 to 2 inches in length. These pests will curl into a ball when touched or threatened. They prefer dark, damp spaces and are often found under wood piles, under rocks, and under trashcans. When they come indoors, they can often be found in attics, basements, sheds, and crawlspaces. These pests eat damp and decaying wood particles and plants.
Millipedes are also nocturnal so spotting them can be difficult. Signs of millipedes include seeing live pests in your home and signs of structural damage. These pests will eat damp or decaying wood so look out for damage to firewood, cardboard boxes, etc.
- Eliminating water. They are attracted to moisture so repair leaks and get rid of standing water. Use dehumidifiers when necessary.
- Eliminating food sources. Store firewood away from your home. Replace or repair water damaged wood as soon as possible.
- Clean up outdoors. Keep mulch, pine straw, leaves, etc. away from your foundations.
- Seal them out. Caulk any cracks, crevices, gaps, and holes to keep them from coming in.
Although centipedes and millipedes don’t pose a significant threat to humans or homes, they can be a nuisance to have around. Routine pest control can help keep these, and other common household pests, from taking over your home. Contact your local pest control company for an inspection.
You May Also Be Interested In:
How to Identify Stinging Pests in the Southeast
How To Avoid Mosquito Bites this Summer
Summer Wildlife: Raccoons
Insect Repellent: DEET vs Picaridin
Common Summer Pests In Georgia
There are over 5000 species of ladybugs worldwide. These insects, also known as ladybird beetles or lady beetles, are common throughout North America. Their appearance varies depending on the species; colors can range from red to orange and they can have spots, stripes, or even no pattern on their dome shaped bodies.
Ladybugs are harmless to humans and are even considered to be good luck in some cultures. They are beneficial to have around as they eat aphids and other plant-eating pests. While they are harmless to us, they can stain walls and furniture in your home and give off an odor.
Ladybugs are most active from spring to fall. Once the weather cools off, they will search for warm, isolated places to overwinter, such as rotting logs, under rocks, or inside our homes. When the weather warms up again, they will emerge from their hiding spots, seemingly taking over the homes they infested.
You can get rid of ladybugs by:
- Sealing them out. Plug any holes in exterior walls, seal doors and caulk around windows.
- Plant flowers. Ladybugs are attracted to flowers and gardens. By providing them with a food source outdoors, they will be less likely to make their way indoors. They do not like mums. Consider planting or placing potted mums near or around the doors and windows of your home.
- Vacuuming. Vacuuming won’t kill them but it will make it easier to get them out of your home. Make sure you vacuum them into a sealed container and then either release them outside or dispose of them.
- Use diatomaceous earth. DE is a powder that dehydrates insects. It is nontoxic to both humans and pets.
- Repel them. Ladybugs dislike certain scents including citronella, citrus oil, cloves, and bay leaves. Spray or place these near windows or other infested areas.
If you have an issue with ladybugs or other household pests, contact your local pest control company for a free evaluation.