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6 Diseases Carried by Pests

raccoonPests aren’t just creepy looking. Some of them can spread serious diseases to people, which is why pest control services are necessary. Watch out for these six scary diseases that pests can carry.

  1. Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that’s almost always fatal once symptoms appear. It’s spread through the saliva of infected animals. In the eastern United States, raccoons are the primary carriers, though skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes can also be infected. If you’re exposed to a potentially infected animal’s saliva, you need treatment immediately. Thanks to the availability of post-exposure treatment, human fatalities are rare.

  1. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma is a parasite that can infect small animals such as rodents and birds. Cats eat these infected animals and then spread the parasite to humans through their feces. The infection may not cause symptoms, though it’s still a concern. If pregnant women get toxoplasmosis, their babies could have brain or eye damage among other problems.

  1. Chagas Disease

Chagas disease is caused by a parasite. It can be transmitted by kissing bugs. These blood-sucking bugs usually feed on people’s faces, which is how they got their name. The disease can be symptom-free initially. Years later, however, complications such as heart disease can develop. Kissing bugs are native to Central and South America, but in recent years, they’ve spread to Florida.  

  1. E. coli O:157

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common bacterium that can cause food poisoning and E. coli O:157 is a particularly nasty strain. It grows in the digestive systems of animals such as cows and horses, but pests such as gophers are also affected. Contact with gopher feces can make you sick with severe diarrhea or even kidney failure.  

  1. Typhus

Typhus fevers are bacterial diseases spread by fleas or lice. These tiny pests typically pick up the disease from infected rats, and then they pass it on to humans. Symptoms are usually flu-like, though damage to major organs like the liver or kidneys can sometimes occur.

  1. Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterium that’s often associated with undercooked chicken. In your garbage cans, minor amounts of salmonella can multiply. When raccoons or other scavengers feed on your trash, they can then spread the dangerous germs through their droppings. Contact with these droppings can cause food poisoning symptoms, like bloody diarrhea.

To keep yourself and your family healthy, Tampa pest control is essential. By controlling potentially harmful pests both indoors and outdoors, you can reduce your risk of getting pest-borne diseases.

6 Opossum Facts You Didn’t Know

possumOpossums are Florida’s only marsupial, and they’re common in urban areas. While people encounter opossums frequently, they may not know very much about them. As pest professionals know, these wild animals are fascinating. Here are six interesting facts about opossums.

  1. They’re Surprisingly Hardy

Opossums have a natural immunity to some types of snake venoms. They owe this ability to a special molecule in their blood. In the future, this molecule may be used to create a universal antivenom to help human snakebite victims.

A resistance to snake venom is impressive enough, but opossums are also rarely affected by rabies. Opossums have a lower body temperature than other mammals, which may make them more resistant to the virus.

  1. They’re Not Picky Eaters

Opossums are omnivores, and they’ll eat pretty much anything they can find. This includes dead animals and human garbage. You may see opossums digging through your garbage cans looking for something tasty to eat. Fruit, eggs, table scraps, and discarded pet food are just a few of the things dine on.

  1. They’re Smart

While opossums may not look very intelligent, looks can be deceiving. In fact, some learning tests have shown that opossums are smarter than dogs and about as smart as pigs. This intelligence serves them well when it comes to food since they’re able to remember where food is.

  1. They Help Control Pests

Since opossums aren’t picky about what they eat, they can help you control pests. They snack on unwanted garden residents like snails, slugs, and beetles. Rodents are also on the menu for opossums.

  1. They Have Unique Toes

Unlike most mammals, opossums have opposable first toes. This means their big toes function more like thumbs. Thanks to these toes, they’re strong climbers, but they prefer to stay on the ground.

  1. They Have Many Natural Defenses

When opossums feel threatened, they have many natural defenses to rely on. To scare away potential predators, they may growl, hiss, or bare their teeth. If all else fails, they’ll even play dead. Their acting is very convincing. They drool and excrete droppings to appear dead and can remain “dead” for as long as several hours.

Opossums are much more interesting than they appear. However, it’s hard to be fascinated by a creature that’s invited itself into your attic or shed! If opossums are causing problems for you, call the Orlando pest removal experts at Apex for help.

What is Citronella?


Many people are looking for natural pest control remedies, and oil of citronella is one of them. Oil of citronella comes from two types of grasses. This oil is a common flavoring agent in food and drinks. It’s also used as a naturally occurring insect repellent, especially for mosquitoes. Since this oil is considered safe to add to foods, it’s no surprise that it’s also considered a minimum risk pesticide.

How Citronella Affects Pests

Citronella doesn’t kill pests, but it can repel them. It may work by covering up scents that attract insects. This repellent effect doesn’t last forever. One study determined that undiluted citronella oil repels mosquitoes for two hours.

How Citronella Affects Wildlife

Some types of pesticides are toxic to wildlife, not just unwanted insects. Fortunately, that’s not the case with citronella oil. This oil is unlikely to harm wildlife. It’s only slightly toxic to fish, and nearly non-toxic to birds. Since it repels insects rather than killing them, it’s not likely to harm valuable insects such as bees.

Products That Contain Citronella

Citronella is found in many different pesticide products. Some of these products are meant to be applied to the skin, while others are meant to be used in outdoor areas. Common examples of citronella-containing products include candles, sprays, lotions, and pouches.

Some types of products are more effective than others, so it’s important to be a careful shopper. Citronella-containing products that you apply to your skin can offer mild protection from mosquitoes. On the other hand, repellant candles have little effectiveness.

Other Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Citronella isn’t the only natural way to keep mosquitoes away from your backyard. Removing mosquito breeding sites is another great strategy. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Once a week, empty water from your bird baths, buckets, and other items that hold water. Make sure water storage containers such as rain barrels have tight lids to keep mosquitoes out.Mosquitoes and other flying pests can ruin your outdoor fun, so Orlando pest control remedies are essential. If you’re interested in natural remedies, try oil of citronella products. For help controlling mosquitoes, you can always call the experts at Apex.

What Brings Silverfish to Your Home?

silverfishNobody wants to find a silverfish infestation in their home. These insects are creepy looking, and their presence can be alarming. Not only can they damage paper goods like books, but they can contaminate food, too. By understanding what attracts silverfish, homeowners can keep them away!

What Attracts Silverfish

Silverfish are drawn to cool, moist, dark places. They need a high humidity environment to live and prefer a relative humidity between 75 and 95%. These conditions can be found in poorly ventilated bathrooms. Leaking roofs, leaking pipes, or other moisture sources could also attract silverfish.

These pests can live for up to a year without eating. When they feed, they like vegetable foods like flour or cereal. They’ll also eat fabrics, paper, and glue. Closets, bookcases, and other storage areas could attract hungry silverfish.

How to Keep Silverfish Away

To keep silverfish away, focus on controlling indoor moisture levels. If your bathroom tends to be humid, repair or replace your fans (and remember to use them after showers). You can also use a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels and make your home less appealing to silverfish.

Eliminating food sources is another great prevention strategy. Get rid of any piles of newspapers, mail, or cardboard in your home. Vacuum your home regularly to remove food crumbs. In the kitchen, store dry foods in containers with tight-fitting lids to deter silverfish.

Natural Control Approaches

The occasional lone silverfish isn’t much cause for concern, but large numbers of these pests must be managed. If silverfish move into your home, rest assured that insecticides aren’t usually necessary to get rid of them. Reducing moisture and eliminating food sources may be all that’s required to control the pests.

Other methods are available if that’s not enough. Silverfish don’t like the smell of cedar, so cedar essential oil can be used as a repellent. You can also use sticky traps to catch these pests.

If necessary, baits are available for silverfish control. Remember, baits can be dangerous when children or pets are involved and must be used carefully.

Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Tampa pest control companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance with the ecosystem as a whole. Check out our blog or contact us today to learn more!

Pet-Friendly Pest Control Tips

catFor pet owners, pest control can be challenging. While you want to get rid of the insects or rodents in your home, you don’t want to harm your furry friends. To control pests while keeping your pets safe, try these pest-friendly Orlando pest control tips from Apex.

Make Your Home Less Attractive to Pests

To safely control pests, take steps to make your home less appealing to them. Pests are always looking for food, water, and shelter, and you don’t want them to find what they need in your home.

Remove any sources of food that could attract insects or rodents. Clean your kitchen regularly to get rid of crumbs. Store your food out of reach of pests, like in containers with tight-fitting lids. Don’t forget to clean up any of your pet’s uneaten food, too.

Leaking faucets or slow-draining sinks could give pests the water sources they need, so fix plumbing problems right away. Outside of your home, get rid of standing water to reduce mosquito breeding areas.

Find and seal any cracks or holes in the exterior of your home to keep pests outside. Ensure your window screens aren’t torn or missing and install door sweeps under exterior doors. Get rid of clutter to reduce hiding places for any pests that manage to sneak inside.

Use Pesticides Carefully

Despite your best efforts to keep pests out, you might sometimes need to use pesticides. To keep your pets safe, always apply pesticides carefully. Before you start, read the label and follow all the directions. Pesticide labels often provide information about protecting your pets, so read carefully.

Before you apply a pesticide, ensure your pets are out of the area. Toys, food bowls, bedding, and other pet items should be removed, too. Keep pets away for the length of time noted on the product label.

If you’re using baits, make sure they’re placed in areas your pets can’t access. Pets are curious and can dig up baits.

It’s important to note that natural pest control methods aren’t always safer for pets. For example, some people use garlic as a natural insect repellent, but garlic is toxic to cats and dogs.

Get Help from the Professionals

Safely applying pesticides can be complicated, especially when pets are involved. If you’re worried, don’t hesitate to get help from the professionals. At Apex, our highly trained technicians have the skills and experience to use pesticides safely. Be sure to mention what pets you have and where they’ll be during the pest control visit.  

Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Orlando pest control companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance with the ecosystem as a whole. Check out our blog or contact us today to learn more!

15 Most Common Household Pests in 2017

brown ratMany pests invade homes in Florida. Some of these pests spread diseases, while others contaminate food. Other types of pests are just creepy. No matter what type of pest problem is present, the team at Apex can help. Here are the pests that won the award for “Most Common Pests” in 2017.

  1. Rodents

Rats and mice are major pests in Florida. They’ll eat any of the food in your kitchen, and worse, they contaminate 10 times as much food as they actually eat.

  1. Ants

Ants infest homes and yards, and they eat—and contaminate—people’s food. Some types of ants, like fire ants, can even inflict painful stings.

  1. Bed Bugs

These pests feed on blood and leave their human hosts with itchy bites. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers and can enter your home on furniture, luggage, or clothing.

  1. Cockroaches

Whether you call them cockroaches or palmetto bugs, one thing’s for sure: they’re disgusting. They’re reported to spread 33 different kinds of bacteria.

  1. Beetles

Many beetles are found in Florida. Some species are destructive pests in gardens. Others, like flour beetles, are pantry pests.  

  1. Centipedes

Centipedes lurk in high-moisture areas, and indoors, can be found in crawlspaces and bathrooms. Some larger species can give you a painful bite if they’re disturbed.

  1. Earwigs

While earwigs don’t actually live in people’s ears, they’re still unwelcome visitors to homes. Like centipedes, they’re drawn to high moisture areas.

  1. Crickets

House crickets are known for their loud chirping. They can eat fabric and are especially attracted to dirty, sweaty clothes.

  1. Flies

House flies and fruit flies are both major nuisances indoors. Not only is their presence annoying, but they can contaminate food.

  1. Moths

The larvae of some moths feed on natural fibers like wool and silk. If they get into your closet, they can cause significant damage to clothing.

  1. Lice

Booklice are tiny bugs that can damage food or fabric. They can also attack wallpaper or books.

  1. Spiders

Spiders eat other types of pests, and most aren’t dangerous to people. Widow spiders and recluse spiders are the exceptions.

  1. Silverfish

These silvery bugs live in moist areas, like attics or bathrooms. They’re mostly nuisance pests, but they can damage books or other paper goods.

  1. Termites

Termites feed on wood and cause billions of dollars of damage every year. Since these bugs are secretive, infestations can remain undetected for years.

  1. Weevils

As pantry pests, weevils feed on stored products like rice and wheat. They contaminate any products they infest.

Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Orlando pest control companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance with the ecosystem as a whole. Check out our blog or contact us today to learn more!

What Types of Ants Are in My Kitchen?

fire antsAnts have been called the number one nuisance pest in the United States, and for good reason. There are more than 700 species of ants in this country, and some species can infest homes. Infestations aren’t just frustrating; they can also lead to serious problems like contaminated food or even property damage. If ants move into your kitchen, identifying the species is an important first step. We often encounter these common types of ants.

Argentine Ants

These dark brown ants range between 1/16 and 1/4-inch long. They like to build their colonies in wet areas that are near food, so kitchens are a prime location to find Argentine ants. When you crush one of these ants, you may notice a musty smell.

Carpenter Ants

At 5/8-inch long, these reddish-brown ants are one of the larger types of ants you’ll find in your kitchen. Since they build their nests in wood, they can cause severe property damage.

Sugar Ants

The term “sugar ant” is used to describe various species of sugar-loving ants. These ants are nuisances since they contaminate foods like honey and syrup.

Crazy Ants

If you see ants running in erratic patterns, they could be crazy ants. These ants don’t follow trails as often as other types of ants. These dark-colored, small ants will often nest away from their food sources, so finding the colony can be challenging.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants produce a memorable odor when they’re crushed. The smell has been compared to rotten coconuts. These dark-colored ants are 1/16 to 1/8-inch long and are bad news because they can contaminate food.

Pavement Ants

These ants get their name from their preferred nesting spot: under pavement cracks. Cracks in concrete can let them slip indoors, where they can contaminate food. Watch out for these 1/8-inch-long, dark-colored ants.

Red Imported Fire Ants

Fire ants are a well-known nuisance outdoors, but surprisingly, they can invade homes, too. Food and drink spills or uneaten pet food can lure these pests to your kitchen. Remember, they can give you a nasty sting if they’re disturbed.

Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Orlando pest control companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance with the ecosystem as a whole. Check out our blog or contact us today to learn more!

Bugs & Winter: Your Worst Nightmare

wolf spidersDuring the winter months, some types of pests die off, while others hibernate. For other pests, the winter is business as usual. This latter group of pests can cause problems for people during the cold weather. We recommend watching out for these three all-season pests this winter.


Termite activity in the southern United States is consistently higher than other parts of the country. Orlando has even been ranked one of the most-termite infested cities in the country. Unfortunately, Floridians don’t get a break from termite problems in the winter months. Some termites swarm in the fall and reproduce into February.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, your firewood could bring termites indoors this winter. As a precaution, store your firewood on a raised platform away from the house. Before bringing any wood inside, thoroughly inspect it for termites.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are indoor pests, so they don’t die out during the winter months. They can be found in hotels, retail stores, buses, and pretty much anywhere else that people gather. These pests are great hitchhikers, and they can latch onto your clothes or luggage and follow you at home.

If you stay at a hotel or at someone else’s house, carefully check the sheets and mattress for signs of bed bug activity. If you think you’ve brought bed bugs home with you, wash the clothes you’re wearing right away. Vacuuming your home frequently can help remove any bed bugs that have successfully hitchhiked into your home.


Spiders are all-season pests, so don’t be surprised if you some crawling around this winter. Some types of spiders live indoors all year long. Others spend their lives outdoors but could enter your home to look for food.

To control spiders, focus on controlling the bugs that they like to eat, like ants, flies, and roaches. Find and seal openings in your home’s exterior to make it harder for outdoor spiders to slip inside. Vacuum your entire house regularly to get rid of spider egg sacs and webs.

Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Orlando pest control companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance w

Pest Control Habits to Continue in 2018

kitchenThe New Year is a great time to make new habits, and to stay dedicated to the good habits you already have. At Apex, we recommend sticking to these good pest control habits in 2018 and beyond.

Seal Pest Entry Points

To keep pests outdoors where they belong, seal cracks and holes in your home’s exterior. Pests can slip through surprisingly small openings. Racoons and similarly sized animals can fit through 6-inch openings, while mice can fit through dime-sized holes. Of course, tiny pests like ants can fit through much smaller gaps.

Pay extra attention to the areas around doors, windows, vents, and incoming utilities. If you find any entry points, seal them before bugs can get inside. You can use caulk to close openings.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Kitchen messes make your home more inviting to pests. To keep away ants, cockroaches, rodents, and other hungry pests, focus on keeping your kitchen as clean as possible. After preparing a meal, wipe your counters and sweep the floor to get rid of crumbs. Wash dishes right away, instead of letting them sit in the sink.

Don’t forget to clean hard-to-see areas of your kitchen, too. Sweep underneath large appliances like your stove and refrigerator. Remove the crumbs from your toaster, and clean the inside of your microwave.

Fix Plumbing Issues Right Away

Plumbing issues like leaking faucets or slow-moving drains may seem minor, but fixing them right away is important. Pests can come inside looking for water, and you don’t want them to find any.

Schedule Regular Pest Inspections

Pests can be sneaky. Cockroaches, rodents, and other pests can hide in out-of-the-way parts of your home and remain undetected for a while. With regular pest inspections, these hidden populations of pests can be found and controlled before they spread. Continue having your home professionally inspected at least once a year to stay ahead of pests.

Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Tampa pest removal companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance with the ecosystem as a whole. Check out our blog or contact us today to learn more!

How to Prevent Fleas

English bulldogFleas are blood-sucking insects that can infest your pets. Since fleas prefer warm, humid conditions, they can be a year-round problem in Florida. Infestations even occur indoors. At Apex, we understand how important it is for pet owners to prevent fleas.

Problems Caused by Fleas

Flea bite dermatitis is the most common problem caused by fleas. It occurs when pets are allergic to flea saliva. They get intensely itchy due to the flea bites and can scratch so much that they break their skin. The damaged skin can even get infected.

Fleas can also spread tapeworms to pets. These tapeworms can grow as long as 12 inches, and affected pets can lose weight. For small animals, severe flea infestations can lead to anemia. That happens when the fleas feed on so much blood that the animal’s red blood cell count decreases.

How to Diagnose Fleas

Scratching is a sign that your pet could have fleas. Excessive grooming is another clue, especially in cats. Cats will over groom themselves to try to remove fleas. If you notice these signs, look more closely.

Adult fleas are tiny, so they’re hard to see. If you brush your pet’s fur with a flea comb, you may discover some adult fleas. Flea dirt is another sign that fleas are present. Flea dirt is flea feces, and it looks like small, dark specks. Wiping your pet’s fur with a white paper towel can help you find flea dirt.

Prevention Tips

Fleas are hard to get rid of, and affected pets might need to be treated repeatedly with flea control products. The house, yard, and other pets might also need treatment. Since flea control is so difficult, a focus on flea prevention is important.

To protect your pet, talk to your veterinarian. Flea prevention products are available and can be applied safely and easily. These products can be given in tablet form or applied directly to your pet’s fur.

When outdoors, keep your pet away from flea habitats. Fleas like shrubs, leaves, trees, and other shady, cool places. They aren’t as fond of open grass or sunny areas. Removing debris from your yard and keeping your grass mowed can help reduce flea habitat. Before your pet comes back indoors, inspect their fur closely. This can help prevent fleas from coming into your house.

Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Orlando pest removal companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance with the ecosystem as a whole. Check out our blog or contact us today to learn more!

Service beyond
the expected.

The technician was very professional, neat and on time. He inspected my house and found a trail of ants….NO MORE ANTS!! Thank you Apex.
Richard B, Orlando

Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators has recently acquired Apex Pest Control, Inc.. For more information regarding this merger, please visit this link.