Popular Alabama Pests to Lookout for this Spring

Popular Alabama Pests to Lookout for this Spring

As we gear up for spring, most homeowners are looking forward to spending time with family in their yards. Unfortunately, spring pests will also emerge as the weather warms up. While spotting one near your home is not a big deal, if they’ve infested in large numbers, they can quickly become a nuisance and cause property damage. Check out our list of common spring pests and how you can avoid them.

Termites

In Alabama, termite activity increases in early spring. These pests can cause severe property damage by destroying the structural integrity of your home. Once termites infest your home, it can be extremely difficult to eliminate them, and their repair often costs billions of dollars. Common termite types include subterranean and drywood termites. Drywood termites will inhabit sound wood and will infest wood furniture. Subterranean termites need soil to live, creating mud tubes for a food source above the surface and invading the foundations of homes.

Ants

Ants thrive in humid, hot weather. During the spring, ants are looking for any food source for their nests, often invading our homes to find it. These pests can be extremely persistent and take over our yards. Common ant species found in the Alabama area include fire ants, pavement ants, crazy ants, and more. You can often find these ants near their food sources, behind window frames, under appliances, in the bathroom, and the kitchen.

Wasps

Wasps are common during the springtime and can become a problem when they have nested on your property. There are several wasp types common to the Alabama area, including the blue-winged wasp, cuckoo wasp, spider wasp, paper wasp, and more. Depending on the type of wasp, you can find their nests underground or hanging from branches, eaves, door frames, railings, and more. While not always aggressive towards humans, wasps will attack if their nest is disturbed. If stung, it can be extremely painful and will sometimes need medical attention, depending on the severity.

Mosquitoes

Alabama’s weather during the spring months is hot and humid, making it the ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to lay their eggs, and if found on your property, you will soon have a full-blown blown mosquito infestation. Mosquitoes can not only be a major nuisance if they invade your yard, but they also pose a health risk to humans, dogs, cats, and horses by transmitting diseases. Mosquitoes need a blood meal to survive, often looking at us and our pets to get it. If they feed off a diseased host, they can spread pathogens that can infest other hosts they bite later.

Preventing Spring Pests from your Alabama Home

Being on top of pest prevention is one of the best ways to keep spring pests from invading your yard. Consider the following do-it-yourself preventative measures for keeping pests away:

  • Keep your trees and shrubs trimmed away from your home
  • Seal any cracks and holes in your home’s exterior
  • Bring in your pet food and water bowls overnight
  • Fix any leaks and eliminate any other sources of excess moisture
  • Take the trash out regularly and place them in trashcans that have a tightly sealed lid
  • Eliminate wood-to-soil contact around foundations; consider creating a 4-inch barrier between wood mulch and your home
  • Remove standing water around your property, including items that can hold water, such as buckets, old tires, tarps, etc.

Don’t let these common spring pests invade your home! If you notice an increase in pest activity or want to get ahead of prevention, consider contacting your local pest control company which can help identify entry points and pests, recommend a treatment plan, and prevent them in the future.

Stinging Pests and How to Prevent Them in Ft. Lauderdale

Stinging Pests and How to Prevent Them in Ft. Lauderdale

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!

Hornets

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

Wasps

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

Yellow Jackets

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.

3 Stinging Pests to Avoid in South Florida

3 Stinging Pests to Avoid in South Florida

South Florida Pest Control

The summertime should bring activities such as lounging by the pool, having picnics, or enjoying our yards, not dealing with summer pests! Most active during warmer months, stinging pests can pose a health threat to your family. Check out our list of common South Florida stinging pests to lookout for this summer.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are semi social insects, meaning they live in colonies containing workers, queens, and males. These pests are reddish-orange to dark black with a long and slender body. Paper hornets tend to nest in round, upside-down paper combs, attached by a single stalk to a horizontal surface, often resembling an umbrella. These pests will typically build their nests underneath objects such as porches, decks, or soffits. Paper wasp nests house egg-laying females, the queen, and subordinate females who function as workers. Paper wasps will sting, with some people allergic to their venom.

Yellow Jackets

Also, a social insect, yellow jacket nests contain female workers, males, and reproductive queens. Yellow jackets are black and yellow, often getting mistaken for bees. These pests will construct their nests into several layers made of tiny bits of wood fiber chewed into a paper-like structure. Yellow jacket nests will only produce males when it’s time for them to breed, then they die off. Their nests are large, often built underground or in hollow logs, tree stumps, between walls, and inside recycling bins where a food source is found. If threatened, yellow jackets will alert their nest to attack the nearby offender, painfully stinging them.

Hornets

There are several species of hornets including the bald-faced hornet, European hornet, and the giant hornet. These pests can be beneficial to homeowners as they will control common household pests. Though, they will quickly become a nuisance if they build their nests throughout your property. Common areas where hornets build their nests are hollow trees, attics, porches, and inside of walls. These pests will sting to protect their colonies, repeatedly stinging during an attack.

If you’ve noticed these stinging pests around or inside your home, it’s best to reach out to your local South Florida pest control company to inspect and safely remove them.

 

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How to Avoid Stinging Insects at Home

How to Avoid Stinging Insects at Home

Stinging insects, such as yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets, send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. With the weather warming up, these pests are looking for a food source. While you’re enjoying your backyard barbecues and relaxing by the pool, remember these tips to help keep stinging pests from ruining your outdoor fun.

Wasps

These slim-bodied insects have six legs and two wings. They are busy at work scavenging for food during the summer months. They will typically build their nests in branches, porch ceilings, and attic rafters. They are highly attracted to picnics and backyard barbecues, increasing your chance of being stung.

Yellow Jackets

These social insects are found anywhere with human activity. They feed on sweets and proteins, often invading outdoor events. They have a non-fuzzy black and yellow striped body and measure less than an inch long. Sometimes they build their nests in high places, like the side of a building. Most of the time, yellow jackets’ nests are built in or near the ground, including shrubs, timber, and logs.

Hornets

These insects typically prefer a forested environment and are known to build nests in hollow trees or walls of houses and attics. They are attracted to light and will try to fly into your windows at night if a light is on. They are generally non-aggressive near their nests, but if they feel threatened, they will potentially sting.

Stinging Insect Prevention:

  • Avoid wearing strong fragrances and opt for an unscented sunscreen
  • Keep outside food covered and sealed tightly
  • Stick to darker colors since florals and bright-colored clothing tend to attract these pests
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to prevent these insects from building a nest inside
  • Remain calm if you find yourself near one of these pests to avoid an aggressive attack

If the stinging insect problem is bigger than you can handle, then calling your local pest control company might be the next step in prevention.

The Different Types of Stinging Insects

The Different Types of Stinging Insects

Spring is around the corner, and that means our favorite stinging insects are making a return! Some of these stinging pests are very beneficial for pollinating flowers, but some are not so nice for your home. Check out our list of popular stinging insects in the southeast and what you should know about them!

Bumblebees

Bumblebees are relatively harmless and can be greatly beneficial for pollinating flowers. These insects can be identified by their black and yellow markings and an overall fuzzy appearance. They build their nests out of pollen buildup and will usually build them in the ground or a dense grass clump. If they feel threatened, they can become aggressive and result in stinging, so if the nest is found near a structure, then control may be necessary.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are often confused with bumblebees, but the top of their abdomen is largely bare and shiny. They are a serious threat to your property, as they burrow deep into wood to make galleries for nurturing their young. Male carpenter bees are territorial, and you may find them hovering in front of your face aggressively, but they have no stinger and these actions are merely for show. Female carpenter bees have a powerful sting which is rarely used.

Honeybees

Honeybees are less than an inch in size and are orange-ish brown or black in color. They are considered social insects and live as colonies in hives, where they can reach sizes up to 80,000 inhabitants.  Three types of honeybees live in a beehive: worker, drone, and queen. Each has its important roles and performs specific duties within a bee colony. Honeybees are very beneficial and pollinate 85 percent of food crops intended for human consumption. They are critical to our environment and provide us with honey, which has many positive health benefits.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are less than an inch in size and are yellow and black in color. These pests reside in nests constructed of paper cartons, which can grow to be the size of a baseball. One nest can contain multiple rounded paper combs which are attached to one another and covered in many layers. Depending on the species, the nest can be near the ground, such as plant roots, logs, or timber; or aerial and attached to shrubs, houses, garages, or sheds. Yellow jackets are slow to sting unless they feel threatened. They are considered beneficial because they control many pest insect species, like flies and aphids.

Remember – it is not recommended to attempt to remove a stinging insect nest on your own and doing so can be extremely dangerous. Instead, work with a local pest control company to access your property and the nest, identify the type of stinging insect (like wasps or other dangerous stingers) and determine the best way to eliminate the threat to your family.

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