Miami Pest Control: How To Get Rid of Fire Ants
Did you know that fire ants are not native to Miami nor South Florida? Their range has spread to more than 13 southern and western states and continues to grow. They might not seem like a big deal, but over time they can cause medical, agricultural, and property damage. Let’s break down the ways you can prevent fire ants from taking over your lawn and property, so you can get back to enjoying the outdoors.
Start at the Source
The first step in preventing something is to know where it originates. Fire ants build large nests, usually in the form of visible dirt mounds. They can also be found in rotting logs, around tree stumps, under pavement and buildings, and inside electrical equipment. When their nests are disturbed, they can become aggressive and incite an attack on the intruder.
The Search for Food
Being omnivorous feeders, fire ants search for carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. These can come in the form of fruits, insects, and oils from seeds. Try to avoid these foods outdoors so fire ants aren’t attracted to your lawn or property. If they cannot find a food source, these pests won’t waste time sticking around and will leave.
Different Treatment Options
One of the best ways to prevent fire ants is to have a pest control plan in place. Fire ants have been the target of several methods of control. There have not been permanent control methods found yet to fully eliminate them but having a recurring pest plan helps. There are four strategies that are used for fire ant control:
- Bait applications
- Individual mound treatments
- A combination of the two above
- Barrier and spot treatments
Since fire ants are extremely resilient, it can be difficult to fully eliminate these pests. They typically reinfest within a month of treatment and return more rapidly than any other ant species. If you suspect you have a fire ant problem, reach out to your local South Florida pest control company to set up a prevention plan that’s right for you and your property.
South Florida Termite Control: Drywood Termites
Drywood termites seek dry wood as a food source and will destroy your home in the process. These termites differ from other species, such as subterranean termites, since they tend to create their colonies in wood, instead of in the ground, and need little moisture to survive. Unlike other species, these termites can create devasting damage to homes, excavating wood and ruining it. To prevent them, it’s best to place preventative measures throughout your property.
Inspect Your Home
The first step in preventing drywood termites is inspecting your home. By examining your home, you can get a good idea of what repairs are needed or discover that a termite infestation has established. When inspecting, write down everything you see that’s a concern; this will help overall when relaying to a pest professional. When checking the home’s interior, don’t forget to check in darker areas such as your crawl space, attic, and basements. Check around your baseboards, beams, or other wood materials. Likewise, look at any furniture or firewood inside the home too. As you are investigating the exterior of your home, be extra thorough, as these termites haven’t entered the home yet. Check your foundation, old trees, wooden sheds, and firewood.
Seal & Vent
Drywood termites are very small, ranging from 3/8 to ½ inch in length, allowing them to fit in the smallest hole or gap. If you find any openings leading into your home, it’s best to repair them immediately. Likewise, keeping your home’s attic and crawlspace well ventilated will help reduce moisture and the risk of a termite infestation. Consider encapsulating your crawlspace or insulating your attic.
Keep Your Yard Maintained
Drywood termites are looking for any wood materials to inhabit. Make sure you place firewood at least 20 feet away from the home and raise it off the ground. Additionally, trim all shrubs, bushes, or other dense greenery so that it doesn’t touch the side of your home. If you have old trees, lumber, or tree stumps, consider removing them so these pests don’t infest and make their way inside your home.
Call a Professional
Sometimes all the prevention in the world can’t stop termites from infesting homes. If a termite infestation has occurred, it’s best to call your local South Florida pest control company for extra help. A termite professional will provide you with a thorough termite inspection, a termite control plan based on your home’s needs, and recommendations on preventing them in the future.
South Florida Fleas and Ticks: What’s the Difference?
Fleas and ticks can harm our family and pets, latching onto us for a blood meal. While these pests are small, they come with big health risks by transmitting diseases. As warmer weather continues outside, these pests will do the same, thriving in South Florida’s climate. Fleas and ticks often get confused with one another, so it’s helpful to understand the difference between the two so you can keep your family protected.
Fleas are wingless with a reddish-brown, flattened body. Adult fleas will range up to 1/6 of an inch in length. These creatures have mouthparts that are adapted for sucking blood from a host. What is unique about fleas is that they have long, strong back legs that allow them to jump repeatedly from one host to another. A common indication that your pet has fleas is noticing them repeatedly scratching and grooming themselves. Likewise, for humans, fleas will leave behind itchy bite marks on the skin. Another sign is spotting flea feces, or flea dirt, throughout your home. Flea dirt looks like coarse ground black pepper and is typically found in areas where a pet rests.
Depending on their species, ticks come in a variety of sizes and colors. There are two groups of ticks to look out for: hard ticks and soft ticks. The most common tick species in North America include the deer tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick, and American dog tick. While these ticks may look different, they are all seeking a blood meal and a humid place to habitat. They are often found in wooded or vegetated areas. When they find a host, they will typically latch onto the face, legs, armpits, belly, and even in-between toes!
Preventing Fleas & Ticks
Taking precautions before you leave home with your family or pet can help reduce the chances of a flea or tick infestation. Here are a couple of preventative measures you can take to prevent fleas and ticks from biting you, your family, and your pets:
- Wear light-colored clothing and long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toed shoes before exploring wooded or grassy areas
- Utilize insect repellent containing DEET before you leave the house
- Utilize flea repellent treatment for your pets, making sure to consult your veterinarian on the right product for your pet
- After returning from the outdoors, check yourself, your family, and your pets for any ticks and fleas
- Vacuum your home frequently, especially in hard-to-reach spots such as baseboards, under furniture, under cushions, and where your pets sleep or rest
- Keep your lawn grass cut short to help reduce tick and flea populations on your property
- Contact your local South Florida pest control company to inspect, provide a treatment plan, and recommend prevention for the future.
Ft. Lauderdale Stinging Pests: ID and Prevention
Summer is in full swing in Ft. Lauderdale and that should bring fun activities your way, such as relaxing outside on your patio or spending time with your kids in the backyard. Unfortunately, it can also bring summer pests! Most active in the summer are stinging pests, including yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets. There are several ways to prevent these pests from messing with your summer fun, so let’s break each one down!
On the larger side of the stinging pests, hornets have brown and yellow abdominal stripes on their bodies. Their nests are often built-in hollow trees, and the walls of houses and attics. They are attracted to light and can fly to your windows at night if they see a light on. They are relatively non-aggressive near the nest, but there is potential for a stinging hazard if threatened.
Prevent hornets by:
- Keeping garbage cans covered, as leftover food can attract hornets
- Maintaining the outside of your home, ensuring screens, window, and doors are all in good condition
- Avoiding the use of strong fragrances when outdoors
These pests will become aggressive if they feel threatened enough and are known to sting multiple times. Wasps are highly attracted to backyard events, resulting in an increase in your chances of being stung. Their nests are typically built in branches, porch ceilings, eaves, and attic rafters.
Prevent wasps by:
- Keeping doors and windows shut
- Covering any openings in your home’s exterior
- Keeping outdoor waste containers completely covered
These social insects are usually anywhere humans are found. They have a non-fuzzy, black and yellow striped body. Attracted to sweets and proteins, they commonly invade outdoor events. Their nests can be found either high up or in the ground. Yellow jackets will sting multiple times if they feel threatened and can sometimes cause allergic reactions.
Prevent yellow jackets by:
- Avoiding sweet smelling perfume or cologne when outdoors as this will attract them
- Using plants that help deter yellow jackets, including spearmint, thyme, and lemon grass
If you have a stinging pest problem, reach out to your local Ft. Lauderdale pest control company for professional help in removing these pests from your property.
Fort Myers Pest Control: Frequently Asked Questions
The hot, humid weather of South Florida, specifically Fort Myers, is a major attraction for unwanted pests in your home. Discovering pests isn’t uncommon, but no one wants them in their house for very long. The first step in removal is to contact your local pest control company to perform an inspection and initial service; but how long does it take to see results that lead to a pest-free home?
How Long is the Pest Control Service?
The time it takes to complete your service is on a case-by-case basis. The pest control service chosen and the level of severity will determine how long the initial or future services will take. The sizes of the house and yard will also determine the time frame in which the service will take.
How Long Does It Take to See Pest Control Results?
In most cases, you will see results in one to two days time. The exact timeframe depends on the type of pest being dealt with and the choice of materials that were used for the removal process. You might even see an increase in pest activity right after the initial service, but this is a good sign! Seeing pests means the pesticides are working and we have disrupted their normal breeding and feeding habits. Give it about a week to see the activity die down. If you still see active pests after this timeframe, it might mean another round is needed.
If you have tried everything to remove pests on your own but can’t seem to rid your home of them, give your local Fort Myers pest control company a call! These professionals will provide a free inspection and recommend the right plan for you and your Fort Myers property.