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Preventing Versus Controlling Termites

banner1Florida pests come in many shapes, sizes, and species types, but none are quite as feared as our local termites. No pest has the ability to cause more damage before they can even be detected. Because of this, when it comes to this voracious wood-eating creature, the experts in Orlando termite prevention at Apex always push for prevention methods instead of control methods. Although prevention and control seem similar on the surface (if the bugs are gone, does it matter how or why?), they are in fact radically different approaches with dissimilar goals in mind.

The benefits of prevention as opposed to controlling, removing, and isolating termites, particularly in Florida, are pretty self-evident. Peace of mind is an obvious place to start; when going with a fully-integrated and thought out termite prevention system, you can rest assured that the creatures will never have an impact on your home or business. But, there are other reasons, and the we’ve served up a few of our most common below.

Cost

First and foremost, with many pest control techniques, cost must be taken into account. Termites are a creature where the benefits of paying to be secure from them far outweigh the short-term goal of being stingy. Once colonized within your walls, species of the bug like the Eastern Subterranean termite can decimate many thousands of dollars worth of materials before they are discovered. Not only that, but the cost of removal (complicated and thorough) is usually higher than the simple cost of prevention in the first place.

Regular Visits

When attempting to control termites, this may mean that technicians must be on your property consistently. In a busy world with a busy life, this isn’t always ideal. Well-thought-out termite prevention measures, whether pre-home construction or post, on the other hand, can stop the problem without repeat visits to a home or business.

Variety of Methods

Our options for termite prevention at Apex are varied, from treated wood to intricate systems like Bora-Care® and Termidor®. When it comes to the unfortunate step of termite removal, however, the methods can be more limited, and none of them are particularly fun for the homeowner.

Home Care

Finally, if you have a termite prevention system in place, you needn’t worry as much about your own behavior attracting these fearsome pests. Our systems are not fool-proof, but they go a long way towards total denial.

So, before termites have a chance to pay your property a visit, secure it with innovative techniques from the leader in Orlando termite prevention at Apex. We offer free, no-obligation inspections and always respond to any inquiries promptly. In a state where pests are part of the everyday fabric of life, enjoy your time more comfortably knowing you have the best on your side. Contact Apex anytime at (866) 675-4070 for more information.

Prepping Your Outdoor Space for the Return of Mosquitoes

pavilion-1031379_1920One of the best parts of a Florida winter is not just the blue skies and perfect temperatures, but the lack of mosquitoes. It can be easy sometimes, over these peaceful winter months, to forget how difficult it is to be able to read a book outdoors during the evenings in July. Mosquitoes require preparation before outdoor activities can be safely tried, and the Tampa pest control professionals at Apex can help in many aspects of this groundwork.

However, there is plenty you can do as an individual homeowner as well. Mosquitoes are a fact of life in Central Florida; one that can be better managed with knowledge. To prepare your backyard for the oncoming summer months, keep these tips in mind.

Stagnant Water

Stagnant water is the ultimate issue with mosquitoes, and with our summer wet season, it’s one that never ends. After every rainfall, it’s important to clear out any pockets of standing water. This even goes for outdoor cushions which can pool up water within fabric in larger amounts than is usually recognized.

It’s important to remember that the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti, easily reproduce by the thousands in a piece of standing water can fit into a bottle cap.

Unused Tires

Eliminate any unused tires from your yard or the surrounding area. Old tires are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos because they can become filled with stagnant water. Additionally, they can also hold leaves which serve as a nutritious snack. It’s actually only females that suck blood; Plant matter is often a source of nutrients for mosquitos. Lastly, the durable rubber of a tire can be used to protect mosquito eggs. Eliminating unused tires can eliminate many mosquito-related issues.

Pets

Nature has an abundance of animals that make it their mission in life to consume mosquitoes, so why not have a few more around your home? Here’s a quick list of natural predators to mosquitoes that can quite easily be kept around a moderate sized piece of property:

 

  • Frogs: You could let a few loose.
  • Chickens and ducks: Yes, this indeed true, and although not practical for everyone, good for rural areas.
  • Fish: Having something like a coy pond can help a mosquito issue quite a bit.

Patio Tips

Finally, general maintenance of your patio area, usually the closest area to your home, is critical. What you put forward can help thwart mosquitoes, even if in many cases these ideas won’t eliminate them.

  • Citronella candles and plants: Both are great for mosquito protection. The citronella plant itself has a long history in Florida as a mosquito defender and are easy to grow and maintain (especially in the summer).
  • Bug spray: Tried and true, it’s effective and necessary. Always be certain to apply mosquito spray before venturing out in the early mornings or evenings of summer.
  • Screens: Without them, there probably would not be as many people living in the Sunshine State as there are. Spring is a good time to check all of your screens for holes and tears.

Add to all of this the help Tampa pest control experts, such as those at Apex, can provide, and you’ll be ahead of the game this summer on the mosquito front. Contact us today to learn how we can help you prepare.

 

When House Hunting, Keep Your Eyes Peeled

new-home-1633878_1920Buying a home is one of the most important and complicated decisions you will make in your life. From things as varied the loan for the house to the location you want to live in, the hope is that everything comes together at some point into a place you can call your dream home. People shopping for a home are regularly reminded to get inspections for home structure reasons and to thoroughly vet roofs and air conditioners. One thing that does not come up as often is pests. Though they may seem like a trivial home buying complication on the surface, as experts in Orlando pest control know, nothing to do with indoor insects in Florida is inconsequential.

When looking for that new home, there are some steps you can take to try and detect a possible pest problem early. These vary by location, and to some degree, house type, but we thought these six tips could go a long way to feeling secure in the house you are thinking of purchasing.

 

  • Bugs: If you see them when just looking at a house, one the seller has theoretically made to appear as nice as possible, warning bells should be going off. This holds true for live and dead bugs alike.
  • Droppings: Along with the above, bug droppings are obviously a bad sign, but a little more difficult to detect for the novice. Roach egg casings are pretty distinct though, and a little research online may go a long way.
  • Damage: We would suggest that identifying pest-caused damage be taken up by professionals, as something like termite damage can be very difficult to identify if ingrained in walls. However, simple damage is observable (like destroyed carpets and wires that have been eaten), so it’s wise to stay alert for any signs of issues.
  • Nests: Easy to see, and easy to see as a problem. Yet, some nests may be easier to remove than others, and in Florida especially, a certain degree of wasp nests and the like should be expected on a home that is not being maintained consistently.
  • Location: Be aware if a home backs up to the woods, nearby swamps, etc. All can bring individual pest problems to your future, and all should be factored into the desirability of the location.
  • Lawn trouble: Consider it the red carpet for pests: a damaged and pockmarked lawn can often mean trouble indoors. Look for ant hills, brown patches, and poorly maintained areas.

Always, before buying a home, take the time to let an Orlando pest control professional have a look at the place. For as much as you can do, the friendly technicians at Apex can go the extra mile and see the issues that may be hidden. Contact us anytime at 866-675-4070 anytime for more information.

Why You Should Consider an Inspection This Spring

special3April is National Pest Management Month, and this spring, there’s a lot you can do as an individual homeowner to better secure your home from pests. From simple preventative measures to DIY pest control, there are some ways to put yourself ahead of the game in terms of pest management. But, there are many reasons why help from professionals, particularly Tampa pest control experts with decades of experience, may be the best route to take. We could fill a book with the reasons, but here are five often cited causes of bringing in a professional inspection during this important month.

  • Professionals are professionals: Although some pest management issues can seem to be solved on the surface, there can be layers to the damage and troubles insects can cause. Professionals understand this and can guarantee you the most thorough job when inspecting and securing your house. They are professionals for a reason, and the proactive approach they can take (not to mention the years of experience) will help to avoid future issues that the novice will rarely think of.
  • Chemicals: This is always a major reason to call in the experts; the use of chemicals and treatments to deal with pest control should only be done by those with high-level management knowledge. This is not only a personal safety concern, but important for the natural environment around your home. Professional pest management uses chemicals rarely and wisely.
  • Cost effectiveness: DIY pest control is a long-term versus short term proposition in terms of cost effectiveness. By treating problems yourself, you may be saving right now, but the issues you miss will cost you more down the road when a problem (like termites) is more ingrained. Damage can also accumulate quickly if not treated effectively the first time.
  • Piece of mind: It’s a simple reason to get a professional pest inspection this month, but a worthy one. You’re busy, you’re overworked, you have to take the kids to their soccer practice… Why add pest control to your list of responsibilities? Take this Sunday off and relax. When your home is cared for by pest control professionals, the piece of mind that comes with this knowledge is virtually priceless.
  • Schedule: If you go the DIY approach, you’ll have the set up a pest management schedule and maintain your home on your own time. Or, simply put in a call to professional pest experts and let them do the jobs that need to be done without ever having to worry about it. Good pest management is scheduled around you.

These are but a few reasons to consider getting a Tampa pest control inspection during April. As we head into the bug-filled summer months, there’s never really a better time to do it. At Apex, we offer no-obligation quotes and inspections, and we always get back to you within 24 hours. Give us a call today at 866-675-4070, and see what we can do for you.

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How to Deal with an Ant Problem

nature-2028276_1920Ants are one of the most successful species of insect to ever walk the Earth. From carpenter ants to fire ants, sugar ants to grasscutter ants, and everything in between, they have conquered nearly every corner of the globe. They are relentless, tough, adaptable creatures who work well together and do not need much to thrive. For us here in Central Florida, our environment is well-suited for them to move easily between the outdoors and the indoors, creating conflict. As Orlando pest control professionals, we encounter ant issues quite often, but there are some things you can do to handle the problems they create on your own.

Understand the Type of Ant

This is key both in species and behavior. For instance, a colony of carpenter ants in an outdoor deck will have a vastly different set of measures you can take compared to some sugar ants in your kitchen. Also, there will be differences between what you can easily handle yourself and what may require the work of professionals. Often, it may even take a professional inspection to help clear this up.

Determine a Cause

Ants will come into your home for a variety of reasons, but the most common are food and shelter. In the dry months of the spring, ants may come inside to look for water through leaking pipes and pooled water. In the wet season, they may come inside looking for dry land. Either way, they are always looking for food. If you are seeing ants around your kitchen, this may just be an obvious case of needing to store food a little better. Ants are also attracted to a cluttered lawn, and fire ants, in particular, seek to make colonies and nests in overgrown grassy areas. Solve the reason the ants are near your home, and solve ant problem.

Try Preventative Measures

Once you’ve determined the type of ant and the reason it may be around, you can work on preventative measures. For the indoors, put food away (including pet food), and store it securely. Be sure to wipe down any areas that even come into contact with sweets. Look to shore up window screens and doorways as we approach the summer. As for your lawn, regular lawn maintenance and lack of clutter will go a long way; so will keeping trash far from your home.

These measures may indeed be all you need to solve minor Florida ant problems, and we have many. But there are also times when there is only so much you can do as a homeowner, and Orlando pest control specialists should be on call. At Apex, we offer no-obligation inspection and quotes. For more information, contact us anytime at 866-675-4070.

Frequently Asked Questions about Termites

queen of termite  it's very rare

queen of termite it’s very rare

Termites are one of the most feared Florida pests, but also a creature with many mythologies and urban legends attached to it. To understand how to combat termites, it’s critical to know their habits, feeding capabilities, and risk areas. In short, it’s good to have a FAQ area for guidance regarding general termite behavior. The experts in Tampa termite control, Apex, compiled just that. Below we’ll cover some of the most common questions regarding termites.

What does a termite look like?

Termites come in a variety of species, and each will have its own look. These include the Eastern Subterranean, Dampwood, Formosan, and Powderpost. But essentially, what a termite will look like depends on where it is in its lifecycle. Clear and honey colored, about the size of a large ant, worker and soldier termites have a prodigious head with a claw. They can also be seen, generally on first contact, with wings, as they are flying pests before settling down in a location to nest. Any sign of termites in these stages (worker, soldier, or reproductive) is cause for concern.

How do they behave in your house?

It’s important first to put this in context; termites cause five billion dollars worth of damage each year. They are dangerous not only to your bank account when within your home, but to the very structural integrity of your home.

Termites in nature have one goal: to consume wood. This process in the wild makes them valuable contributors to the ecosystem, as they breakdown fallen trees and decaying wood. But, they carry this same behavior into the walls of your home, creating the potential for disaster. Termites establish colonies and can go about their business in relative anonymity. Often, the true extent of the damage is unknown until it’s too late.

How can I tell if I have a problem?

First of all, you’ll be able to see the termites. There will seem to be wood damage to your home, and/or you see vulnerable areas that have been compromised by water damage. Hollow wood is another obvious sign. You may see mud tubes, which basically are a unique roadway for termites, particularly subterranean. If you see these around you home, you almost certainly have an issue.

What can be done for prevention?

Keep an eye out for vulnerable areas of your home, and secure access points to the inner walls as well as you can. But, most importantly, get preventive work by pest control professionals.

Tampa termite control is best practiced by experts such as those at Apex. We can conduct a thorough inspection of your home, and help with any FAQs you may have. Contact us today at 866-675-4070.

7 Common Myths About Bed Bugs

bed-2167288_1920Bed bugs are, in many ways, legendary creatures, and the myths that have grown around them over the decades can rival similar fables about sharks and pirates. As we stand on the very edge of a Florida summer, awareness of bed bugs is key. This awareness can take many forms, from knowing the best Orlando pest control company to call if you suspect any bed bug issues, to simply having a solid knowledge base regarding what is indeed a very destructive creature.

We felt it prudent to point out seven common myths and legends about bed bugs. Many of these still proliferate online and through the gossip tree of modern life, but by putting truth to rumor, you can have a safer and more secure home.

  • You can see them: This is generally not true, particular against the backdrop of multi-colored bed sheets and the like. Adult bed bugs are indeed visible, at about the size of a grain of rice, but can only really be seen in large infestations. Bed bug eggs and larvae are virtually invisible to the naked eye.
  • They can jump: This is a complete fallacy. Bed bugs are unable to jump.
  • Dirty living conditions: Many place a stereotype on the type of house susceptible to bed bugs as only being a dirty and cluttered place, but this is far from the truth. Bed bugs simply live where their food is, and their food is blood; This is something everyone has whether they live in a dirty house or not.
  • They are easily treated: This myth could have only been started by someone who has never had to deal with them. If they had, they would know how difficult it is to remove this pest. Bed bugs are making a comeback in many places around the world due to immunities they have developed over common chemicals used to treat them. Not only that, but they are naturally tough and adaptive.
  • Throw away your linens: To be fair, this practice doesn’t hurt. However, it is much more practical to simply treat any infected furniture or linens. Most items can be rid of a bed bug infestation with treatment.
  • You’ll know the bite: The problem with this is each bed bug bite looks different. And you won’t actually feel it when or if a bed bug bite happens. Not only that, but many people have no physical reaction to a bite, leaving no trace.
  • Vacuums can take care of them: Vacuum cleaners only move bed bugs. These cumbersome pests have no problem at all living for a good amount of time within the hoses of a vacuum. The only viable treatments are much more thorough than a simple vacuum.

These are seven common myths, but there are more. Add them all up, and it can be easy to see why contacting Orlando pest control experts at Apex is your best course of action if you think you have a bed bug issue. Contact us today for more information.

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How to Identify What’s Eating Your Lawn

background-1866870_1920(1)Like small children and antique cars, Florida lawns require constant attention. With our plentiful fresh water, vibrant sub-tropical climates, and growing human population, it is a true cornucopia of pests and diseases that can damage the green expanse in front of your home. And the damage can happen fast, especially in the blazing summer months. Tampa pest control experts can certainly help with remedying any situation, but the first step is identification of the problem.

Step one in this process is to understand what type of grass you have. Odds are, if you are in the Central Florida area, this will be the ultra-common St. Augustine variety. Tough and growing in tropical climates around the world, St. Augustine grass can nevertheless have some pretty powerful adversaries. Other grass types somewhat common to Florida homes and business are Zoysia, Bermuda, Centipede, and Buffalo, all with certain positive and negatives. No matter what type of grass you have, if you are living in Florida, it is almost relentless under attack. The below three culprits of lawn damage and destruction are widespread and often difficult to remove without the help of professionals.

  • Chinch bugs: Chinch bugs have only one very fortunate upside: they are remarkably easy to identify. The downside to that upside, identification is usually possible because of lawn damage. Chinch bugs leave very unique circular patches of dead lawn in their wake, and an abundance of these circles spells trouble. Chinch bugs themselves are nearly invisible, making eradication tricky for the novice. But if caught early in their lawn damaging process, most sod will recover just fine.
  • Sod webworms: Sod webworms are not, in fact, a worm, but a type of moth. In the larvae stage, which is likely to occur on your lawn, they feast and grow almost exclusively on grass and grass roots. Hence, sod webworms. They appear in Florida primarily in the summer and can be very difficult to treat. These creatures are similar to caterpillars and move through your lawn quickly, making early identification extra critical.
  • Mole crickets: Mole crickets are rarely found in St. Augustine grass, but are known to be active in Bermuda and Zoysia varieties. They feed on the root structure of your grass, making recovery rare for that patch of turf. Mole crickets themselves are very difficult to remove once established and in the adult phase of their lives, so most treatment plans (by top-class professionals) focus on removing eggs and future generations.

This is only three of the many, many threats to your lawn. We didn’t even have time here to go over some of the common lawn diseases and fungi that may affect you. But, in all cases, the proper response to lawn problems is good management with effective and knowledgeable professionals such as the Tampa pest control leaders at Apex. We provide both ongoing treatments for your lawn, as well as emergency work when a serious problem is identified. For more information, contact us today at (866) 675-4070.

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Say Bye to Pest Problems This Summer

family-1802228_1920Pests in a Florida summer are, in a word, legendary. With so many different threats, it can all become rather overwhelming. But, fear not; the Orlando pest control professionals at Apex have tips and guidance that can turn your summer of the bug into a summer of peace. We thought the best way to break down some simple responses to the summer swarms was to do so by highlighting four concepts: stinging, biting, flying, and climbing. But focusing on these specific parts of the creepy crawler’s daily behavior, you can get a better understanding of how to avoid and deter pests of all types.

Major League Baseball hosts its spring training in Florida over February and March, but that’s also a good time of year to brush up on your pest skills. Because the real season in Florida is just around the corner, and you’ll need all of your ability, as well as help from your friendly neighbors at Apex, in order to get through it. Below are four concepts that will go a long way towards a successfully pest-free summer.

  • Things that sting: From ants to wasps, an awful lot of stinging pests are also nesting pests. Try to keep your outdoor areas as clutter-free and clear as possible, especially in the summer. Ants are also looking for food when inside your home, so securing sweets goes a long way.
  • Things that fly: A lot of creatures will come under this banner, but really only two that matter: mosquitoes and termites. Mosquitoes are a primary concern this summer. Citronella works when outdoors, but your most effective way to cut down on the swarm is by emptying out standing water. The species that carries the Zika virus has the capability of laying eggs in as little water as the amount that fits in a bottle cap.
  • Things that bite: In general, few insects actually bite. Those that do are usually attracted to food left both outdoors and, on the rare summer night the windows may be open, inside. Clearing trash from your property is always critical.
  • Things that climb: As a pest management company, we think non-venomous spiders are pretty useful; they consume other pests around your home at a voracious rate. Of course, you may not feel the same way, and one of the easiest little tricks to keeping them out of your home is to spray a small amount of vinegar in difficult-to-reach spots. It acts as a deterrent for most spiders.

Above all this summer, be prepared to contact the experts in Orlando pest control at Apex. We have years of experience and the most cutting-edge techniques on the market that can help your family prevent any pest issues all summer long. We offer a no-obligation inspection and quote. Call today at (866) 675-4070.

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Preparing Your Lawn for Spring

rush-348481_1920(1)There’s no better time in the Central Florida area to prepare your lawn for summer and spring then these last few cool weeks before they arrive. A properly done spring cleaning should always include your lawn; as the welcome mat to your home, and the nexus point for a wide variety of Florida pests, it’s a good thought to tidy it up. By incorporating some tips from your friendly Orlando lawn care specialists at Apex, you can go a long way to keep pests at a minimum this upcoming spring and summer.

Our tips are all simple ideas: things that can be done on a Sunday afternoon without much of a sweat broken. For the more complex pest solutions, always think of the local authority on all crawling creatures at Apex. But before giving us a call, prepare your lawn with these three tips.

  • Debris & Clutter

Over the winter months, even our completely mild ones, many areas of the lawn will go unused and unnoticed. This can lead to a buildup of debris and clutter which act as natural habitats for pests once we enter the active spring and summer months. It’s wise to clear out any type of clutter around your lawn, but particularly areas close to your home. A clear yard is a much less inviting one for everything from fleas to roaches, both of which require cover from predators.

  • Dethatch Lawns

Lawn thatch is simply a layer of non-decomposed plant matter that can get between your lawn and the soil/sand itself. This area can be a great habitat in the upcoming months for pests like subterranean termites and sod webworms. With our tough and sturdy St. Augustine grass, thatch will generally form on the edges of your lawn as compared to directly under it (as it can in the north latitudes). Simply lightly raking areas of dirt around your primary lawn can act as a dethatching mechanism.

  • Keeping the Grass Low

With the incoming heat of the summer in Orlando, there is a fine line at play here: cut low and you can damage and weaken your lawn, but leaving grass high can invite a wide-variety of common Florida lawn pests. Spring is a good time to get a handle on what length your individual lawn can handle with our climate; it offers a good combination of warm days and a fluid insect situation. One other factor to always consider is grass growing outside of your general lawn area (such as those on the other side of a fence).

For a more thorough inspection of your lawn, and to prepare it even further for the spring, contact the Orlando lawn care experts at Apex at (866) 675-4070.

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At Apex Pest Control, we pride ourselves on building trusting relationships with our clients--in fact, that's our greatest weapon against pests. Additionally, we provide a variety of services to suit any one of your pest needs.
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We treat your property with a custom blend of pest control and fertilizer products. Each blend is specially mixed for your lawn, depending on its needs. Contact our lawn care specialists today. more
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Our state-certified termite control specialists use the latest and greatest techniques and technology to fully eradicate your termite problem. more
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Apex Pest Prevention Insulation, which uses Thermal Acoustical Pest Control, offers energy efficient blown-in insulation that kills insects upon contact all while lowering your energy consumption. more
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Avoid cuddling up with bed bugs! Apex experts are committed to permanently freeing you and your family from these nasty, parasitic pests. more
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