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An Overview of Bites, Stings, and Symptoms

woman scratching arm from insect bite

Living anywhere means putting up with a variety of insects and pests. They sometimes bite or sting when they enter our homes, and treating the symptoms becomes necessary. Different pests cause different symptoms that require varied methods of treatment. Below, we’ll guide you through the symptoms of each common insect type, how soon you should treat an insect bite, when you should worry about an insect bite, how to prevent dangerous insect bites and why certain insect bites can be dangerous.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

Many of us have heard the adage “don’t let the bed bugs bite,” and while it was something our parents said when putting us to sleep, it’s also a helpful bit of advice. Bed bugs sometimes find their way into our mattresses, sheets, blankets and couch cushions. These insects are relatively small and grow to be around the size of an apple seed. They feed on human blood, and one in five people have experienced an infestation in their home or known someone who has encountered bed bug activity.

Bed bugs are most active while people sleep, so you usually won’t feel the bite when it happens. You’ll only know you’re experiencing a bed bug infestation once you start showing symptoms. 

Minor Reactions

These insects usually only bite on exposed areas while you’re sleeping, such as the neck, hands, arms or legs. The majority of people only experience minor symptoms, such as:

  • Red dots where the bites occurred
  • Itchiness, discomfort and irritation
  • Bumps in a zigzag or straight pattern

Moderate Reactions

Some people are more sensitive to bed bugs than others, which increases the number of symptoms. Moderate cases present symptoms such as:

  • Red bumps with a dark or clear center
  • Red spots surrounded by blisters or hives
  • Burning sensation in the affected area

Severe Reactions

It’s rare for people to have severe reactions to bed bugs, but they can occur. Symptoms of a severe case of bed bug bites are:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen tongue
  • Irregular heartbeat

Severe reactions usually indicate an allergy, and in these situations, contact emergency medical services and use an epinephrine shot if you have one.


Since most bed bug bite reactions are mild, treatment is simple. These steps can help you treat the symptoms associated with these types of insect bites:

  1. Clean the area with soap and water and pat dry.
  2. Use hydrocortisone products to reduce itching and burning.
  3. Try not to scratch the area to prevent an infection from developing.
  4. If an infection does occur, see your doctor and get an antibiotic prescription.

Bed bug bites are often nothing to worry about, but living with bed bugs can impact your health long-term. Consistently compromising the skin increases the chance of infection, and sleep deprivation can lead to depression, anxiety and a suppressed immune system. If you suspect bed bugs have infested your home, contact a professional exterminator to remove these insects so you can get sleep in peace. 

Symptoms of Spider Bites

One of the most common phobias involves spiders, but these arachnids play a big part in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem. Some people even keep spiders as exotic pets. Spiders won’t usually bite you unless you’ve threatened them, as you’re far too big to be a part of their diet. However, infestations are still something to be cautious of as it becomes more difficult to avoid these home invaders. 

Being aware of the symptoms of spider bites can help you treat these bites should they occur.

Mild Reactions

Most cases of spider bites only result in minor reactions. The common symptoms of a spider bite include:

  • Damaged skin
  • Redness around the affected area
  • Swelling around the bite
  • Itching or irritation

Moderate Reactions

Some people are more sensitive to spider bites than others. Additional symptoms of a moderate reaction include:

  • Formation of a rash
  • Increased redness or blistering
  • Pain around the bite

Severe Reactions

A severe reaction usually only happens when a venomous spider bites you or if you’re allergic. These spider bites are rare, but when they do occur, the symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever and chills
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you suspect that a venomous spider has bitten you, such as a brown recluse, black widow or tarantula, seek immediate medical attention.


Spider bites are reasonably easy to treat at home. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of a mild or moderate reaction, you can follow these steps to find some relief:

  1. Clean the area with soap and water to prevent infection.
  2. Use ice and elevate the area to reduce swelling.
  3. Take an antihistamine to treat the itching.
  4. Apply antibiotic ointment if a blister develops.

Spiders are great for the environment, but they don’t make the best house guests. When they become a problem, it’s essential to take action as soon as possible. A pest control expert can help you reduce the chances of encountering these arachnids in your home. 

Symptoms of Mosquito Bites

Mosquitos are a nuisance, and when the weather gets humid, they come out in full force. If you spend time outdoors during the warm months, you’ve likely experienced a mosquito bite or two. These insects feed on the blood of their host to facilitate reproduction. While many methods exist to prevent mosquitos from swarming, bites can still happen, and the symptoms can be irritating at worst or severe and require medical attention. 

mosquito landing on human skin

Mild Reactions

Mosquito bites are prevalent in the United States, and most reactions are minor. At worst, they can be irritating and uncomfortable. The common symptoms of a mosquito bite include:

  • Puffy skin
  • Redness around the bite
  • Itchiness

Moderate Reactions

Some people are more sensitive to mosquito bites than others. Multiple bites can also transition a reaction from mild to moderate. The moderate symptoms of a mosquito bite look like:

  • Formation of blisters
  • Spots that appear like bruises
  • Infection

Severe Reactions

Allergic reactions to mosquito bites are rare, but some individuals can experience anaphylaxis when bitten. A severe reaction can occur in children, immunocompromised individuals and adults exposed to a new species of mosquito that they haven’t been bitten by before. When they do occur, symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Excessive swelling and redness

If someone is experiencing anaphylactic shock from a mosquito bite, call emergency services as soon as possible to get immediate assistance.


Bites from these insects are uncomfortable, and the itching can be a nuisance throughout the healing process. There are some at-home treatments you can use to make your symptoms more bearable:

  1. Clean the area with soap and water.
  2. Use ice to reduce swelling and help with itching.
  3. Apply an antihistamine to minimize itchiness throughout the day.
  4. Keep yourself from itching the bite to prevent infection. 

If an infection happens, talk to your doctor if the symptoms have not disappeared after a couple of days. Mosquitos can transfer diseases through bites, such as the West Nile virus or malaria. A mosquito’s saliva transmits the diseases, and while this doesn’t often happen, being knowledgeable of this can help you seek treatment as soon as new symptoms appear.


Symptoms of Wasp and Bee Stings

When springtime approaches, bees and wasps come out of hibernation and begin the vital process of pollinating our flowers and crops. They are an essential part of our ecosystem, but they can create a nest and establish a new colony when they enter our space at home. 

While it’s tempting to leave a bee or wasps nest alone, these insects can become territorial. As a result, a bee or wasp may sting you to protect their new home. Removing bee or wasp nests before they become a problem is the best way to prevent a sting from occurring.

You’ll know immediately when you’ve been stung, as the pain from the stinger is sharp. A wasp or bee sting usually looks like a raised red welt, with the stinger sometimes still embedded in the skin. The center may look white with wasp stings where the stinger punctured the skin. Reactions to a wasp or bee sting will vary, and some people are more susceptible to experiencing severe symptoms than others.

Mild Reactions

Most stings result in minor reactions that are uncomfortable or irritating at worst. The symptoms of a mild reaction are:

  • Redness in the sting area
  • Minor swelling in the affected area
  • Pain that dissipates after a few hours

Moderate Reactions

Moderate reactions are possible, especially if you’ve experienced moderate reactions to a bee or wasp sting before. These reactions typically present themselves as the following:

  • Excessive redness in the affected area
  • Swelling that increases over the first few days
  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area

Severe Reactions

Severe or allergic reactions aren’t as common but always require immediate medical attention. You are having an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting if you experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in the throat or tongue
  • A weak pulse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting

If these symptoms occur in your or someone you know, call 911 and use an epinephrine autoinjector if you have one available. 


Minor and moderate stings usually don’t require a doctor’s visit and can be treated at home. Follow these steps if you experience a bee or wasp sting:

  1. Remove the stinger as soon as possible.
  2. Wash the location of the sting with soap and water. Pat dry. 
  3. Use a hydrocortisone cream to help with any swelling and itching.
  4. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to relieve any discomfort or pain.
  5. Use ice as an additional method to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.

bee sting

While bees and wasps usually only sting once in self-defense, there are times where multiple stings may occur, especially if you’ve aggravated an entire colony. If you’ve been stung more than 12 times, the excessive venom can cause nausea, headaches, vertigo and a fever. If a child, older adult or individual with immune problems experiences multiple stings, seek medical attention. 

Symptoms of Rat Bites in Humans and Dogs

Rats have taken shelter in our homes for centuries, and the sight of them can often be distressing. They can damage the insides of your walls, eat your food and leave a mess everywhere they go. If you have a rat infestation, you may see them frequently, and you may end up getting bit. If you have a pet rat, the chances of being bitten increase. 

Wounds from a rat bite look like small cuts or punctures in the skin and often bleed and swell. A bite from these rodents can cause mild symptoms that disappear within a short amount of time or moderate to severe reactions that last longer and come with more severe symptoms.

Mild Reactions

Most rat bites don’t result in anything serious, especially if the bite is taken care of promptly. Apart from some swelling and a little bit of pain, most rat bites don’t have any other symptoms. 

In some cases, something called rat-bite fever (RBF) can occur, and there are two predominant types, the first being streptobacillary RBF. The list of symptoms includes:

  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Skin rash

The symptoms of streptobacillary RBF heal within a week or two when adequately cared for. 

Moderate Reactions

The second type of RBF is called spirillary RBF, which appears to heal quickly, but symptoms show up one to three weeks after a bite has happened. There is a lot of overlap between the two types, but spirillary RBF has a few additional symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Ulcer at the sight of the wound

Severe Reactions

Severe allergic reactions to a rat bite are incredibly rare. If one does occur, the symptoms of anaphylaxis will look like: 

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Increased heart rate

If you suspect an allergic reaction to a rat bite, call 911 right away.


Taking care of a rate bite as soon as it happens is the best way to stop an adverse reaction from occurring. When a rat bite happens, follow these steps to prevent infection and RBF:

  1. Clean the wound as soon as possible with soap and water.
  2. Apply antibiotic ointment to the area and bandage it.
  3. See a doctor shortly after to get checked.
  4. Get a tetanus shot if you’re not up to date or if it’s been longer than five years since your last shot.

If you have RBF, it’s essential to get treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, RBF can turn into pneumonia, hepatitis, meningitis and a variety of other conditions. If rats have invaded your home, it’s a good idea to call a professional to have them safely exterminated.

rat trap

Symptoms of Scorpion Stings

Scorpions are predominately found in the southwest United States, but they can be found in multiple locations across the country. These arachnids prefer warm climates and often hide in crevices, boots and under floors—exercise caution when reaching into these spaces to avoid stings. If a sting does occur, it’s a good rule of thumb to call your local poison control center or emergency medical services to rule out a severe reaction since immediate treatment is vital with certain venomous species of scorpion.

Mild Reactions

Most venomous scorpions are found in the southwest United States. If you’re stung by a scorpion in another area of the country, then your reaction will more than likely be mild. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Tingling or burning 
  • Mild pain 
  • Swelling 

Moderate Reactions

Some people are more sensitive to scorpion stings, even if they’re nonvenomous. Their reactions may not be severe, but they are stronger than someone who experiences a mild response. Some of the additional symptoms include:

  • Increased pain at the sting site
  • Increase redness and swelling
  • Severe pain that lasts for a few hours

Severe Reactions

A severe reaction to a scorpion sting affects the body in multiple ways as the venom travels through the bloodstream. Some symptoms of a severe reaction include:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy throat or nose
  • Convulsions
  • Paralysis
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting 


Treating a scorpion sting promptly is crucial to reduce symptoms and make a full recovery. When a scorpion sting occurs, follow these steps:

  1. Call 911 or your local poison control center to determine if the sting came from a very venomous scorpion. Try to describe the scorpion that stung you on hand if you can.
  2. If the sting was determined to be a medical nonemergency, you could treat the symptoms at home. Start by cleaning the area with soap and water.
  3. Use ice to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  4. Keep the area as still as possible to keep the venom from circulating through the body.
  5. Loosen clothing and tight jewelry.
  6. Take an antihistamine, if possible.

Even with mild and moderate reactions, symptoms can last for several days. If you take proper care of the sting, you should feel your symptoms start to subside after a few days before you make a full recovery. 

Fight Off Insects and Pests With Apex Pest Control

Pests can be a menace when they enter your home and throw off the balance of your living space. Let the professionals at Apex Pest Control handle the infestation rather than spending your precious time trying to kick out these uninvited house guests. Our trained staff and advanced methods will keep those pests in check so you can reclaim your space.

We offer a variety of services and service plans for your convenience so you can choose the proper method for you. Get in touch today and let us help you with all your pest control needs.

Apex Pest Control technician

How Often Should You Get Your Home Treated for Pests?

Apex Pest Control technician greeting family in driveway

If you own a home or commercial building, you need to know how often to call the exterminator. Whether you just moved into a home and want to prevent infestations or you’re experiencing a repeat issue that doesn’t go away, you may need treatments every month or a few times per year.

Benefits of Having Your Home Treated

Regular pest control will ensure you keep pests out of your home or office. Whether you have warning signs of an infestation, regular check-ins with your exterminator will help prevent issues later on. Instead of treating problems as they come, you can avoid them from the beginning.

One of the greatest benefits of having your home treated is having detailed knowledge of any changes to your pest situation. If new developments arise and you become at risk for an infestation, you will be more likely to catch the problem in its tracks. Regular treatment, whether it be every month or once a year, will help keep your home and family safe.

The Ideal Pest Control Schedule

Your ideal pest schedule will depend on various factors, including:

  • Your location: If you live in a climate with hot summers and mild winters, as we do here in Florida, you are more likely to need year-round pest control. Some species are reduced in the winter, while others thrive in the cold months. In Northern Florida quarterly treatments may be adequate, where in South Florida, where even winter months or in the eighties, monthly treatments are recommended.
  • The type of pests: Bedbugs require continuous treatment until the technician deems the problem eradicated. Rodent problem might point to an outdoor entry that needs to be repaired. Cockroaches can be inadvertently brought in with groceries or other packaged goods. Ants of all kinds will enter from the outside. The types of pests you deal with will dictate how often to get pest control.
  • Property type: Multi-housing or apartments dwellers may have pest control supplied by the association, but higher quality service may be desired. Single family home owners will always deal with pest issues of one kind or another.
  • Infestation severity: A regular pest serve will recognize the most severe pests before they do extreme damage – termites! Termites can not only destroy your home but also stored valuables such as furniture, photo albums, scrapbooks and antiques.

Get Quality Pest Services With Apex Pest Control

Apex Pest Control can keep your home pest-free. Our pest control service plans range from one-time service to quarterly, every other month, and monthly service. If you are looking for preventative treatment, this option covers every base and regularly monitors structural problems that could lead to an infestation.

Contact us to find out more information or get a free estimate. Our Safe and Trusted Pest Solutions are here to help you keep your property clean and safe.

What to Look for in a Pest Control Service

Apex Pest technician reviewing garage door seal

When finding a quality pest service, knowing what to look for is crucial to saving you time and money. An effective pest control service will prevent infestations and become part of your home maintenance routine. If you need help figuring out where to start, we have a few tips to determine the right fit for your needs and budget.

Tips for Finding Quality Pest Service

What should you ask a pest technician? How do you assess a company’s quality? If you do not know how to begin the search, follow our tips for finding a good pest service for your home or business:

1. Do Your Research

Before making contact with a new pest control company, you should:

  1. Find out as much information as you can about the company.
  2. Visit their website and find out if their technicians are licensed.
  3. Learn about their values.
  4. Gauge if they are coming from a place of knowledge.

Read up on the company reviews and get an idea of how others perceive their work. You can also ask your technician to provide references for their work. If they have a lot of good references, they are likely the right candidate for pest service.

2. Get Rates in Writing

If your chosen company supplies an estimate or guarantee, get that information in writing to reference later on. Ask for a cost breakdown so you know what you are paying for. Written communication is professional and holds both parties accountable. If you have questions about pricing, you can review your estimate and talk to your technician.

3. Ask Questions

Ask your technician about information regarding policies, procedures and treatment methods. They should be knowledgeable enough to answer pest control questions, such as:

  • Are your treatments safe for people and pets?
  • How much training do your technicians undergo?
  • How many years have you been in business?
  • Do you guarantee your work?

If your technicians cannot answer these questions, they should be upfront and tell you they do not have an answer. Judge how they respond to not knowing the answer. Ideally, they will get back to you promptly with a response and follow up with any other questions you have.

4. Avoid Questionable Operators

Beware of companies with dilapidated trucks and employees without uniforms, or those that leave a quote on the back of a card or generic invoice. Always be sure to understand their credentials before signing, unfortunately there are illegal operators out there. A quality pest control service will present itself professionally with no pressure, have a detailed service agreement, and should gladly answer all questions.

Choose Effective Pest Control Services

When you need effective pest services, Apex Pest Control Inc™ can answer every question you have and remedy your pest problems. With decades of experience and a team of licensed professionals, we are confident in our ability to help with infestations and pest problems. Contact us to learn more or get a free estimate for our Safe and Trusted Pest Solutions.

Everything About Termite Infestations

everything about termite infestations

As a Florida resident, you’re no stranger to critters and creatures of all kinds visiting your property. But some of those guests are more unwelcomed than others, like termites. These insects may be small, but the damage they cause as a colony is mighty.

With these insect infestations potentially wreaking havoc on your home, you probably have a lot of questions. What do termites look like? What do termite tunnels look like? How much does termite prevention treatment cost? Luckily, the experts at Apex Pest Control are here to tell you everything about termite infestations.


What Do Termites Look Like?

If you believe you have termites, your first question will probably be, “What do they look like?” But you might not know about the different families of termites that all look slightly different. Within those families, you’ll often find different categories of termites, as well. These different categories have various responsibilities in the colony and have varying appearances. The three common termite categories include:

  • Alates: This category of termite is also known as swarmers. Alates usually have wings, and their job is to leave the nest and start new colonies. They’re responsible for discovering your home and bringing termite colonies into it.
  • Soldiers: These termites defend the nest. They often have large heads and a set of mandibles, or jaws, to fight insects that try to invade their colony.
  • Workers: Worker termites build and maintain the colony’s nest. They also search for and collect food for other members of the colony. They’re usually smaller and lighter in color than soldiers and alates.

With those features in mind, it’s also essential to know the differences between termite families. In Florida, you could encounter these three common types of termites:


Subterranean termites are among the most common in Florida. The workers can have an opaque white body and no wings with a body that’s usually a quarter-inch long or shorter. The soldier subterranean termite has an orange-yellow body, a slightly darker head and large, dark brown mandibles. Subterranean soldiers are also recognizable by their rectangular heads and lack of wings. Instead, the subterranean alates have two pairs of wings that can be the same length as the body or a bit longer. Subterranean swarmers are a quarter- to half-inch long and have a dark-brown to black body.

These termites get their name from living underground. Subterranean termites sometimes create their nests above ground, but only during moist conditions. They typically enter your home through wood that contacts the soil, but sometimes subterranean termites build tubes to access the softwood they eat. Signs of subterranean termites may include damage to wood along the ground rather than in attics.

drywood termites


A drywood termite has a tan, dark brown and yellowish appearance. Swarmer drywood termites have long, slightly transparent wings, which are about twice the length of the body. Worker and soldier drywood termites have more of an off-white color, and they are most often the ones to cause damage.

The drywood termite is another primary termite family in the area. They live in dry wood, as their name implies, which they find above ground. These insects can be difficult to find in your home since they create many colonies within one structure at a time and hide inside the wood they feed on.


These subterranean termites are considered among the most aggressive. Formosan termites, especially the workers, look similar to ones from other termite families, so it’s best to let professionals help accurately identify the type of termite you have. They’ll recognize Formosan soldier termites by their oblong heads, which differ in appearance from subterranean soldier termites. Formosan alates have a yellow-brown color, a half-inch long body and wings with a thick covering of small hairs.

Formosan termites can create carton nests in your home, meaning they no longer need access to the soil to survive. And these insects pose quite a threat to Florida homes. One Formosan termite colony can have millions of insects, burrowing deep into the soil and spreading across a whole property.

signs of termite infestations

Signs of Termite Infestation

Many homeowners experiencing a termite infestation may not notice the insects right away. Instead, there are other termite infestation signs. If you notice any of these warning signs yourself, you should contact Apex Pest Control right away:

1. Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites need moisture from the soil to survive. To retain their moisture as they access their food — wood from your home — they create mud tubes. What do termite mud tubes look like? They’re often around a quarter-inch to 1 inch in diameter. Because subterranean termites make mud tubes with materials like dirt, saliva and their own waste, termite tunnels are often various shades of brown. You’ll often find them along your home’s foundation or exterior concrete walls. But they can also be in walls or crawlspaces or hidden behind baseboards or cracks in your foundation.

A termite uses a tube for different purposes, so termite mud tubes can look a few different ways.

  • Exploratory: Exploratory termite mud tunnels are thinner than others, but they branch out in different directions, making them easier to see. Termites use these mud tubes to search for food sources but don’t usually directly connect to wood. By the time you discover exploratory termite dirt tunnels, the insects have likely abandoned the tunnels and found food.
  • Working: Termites use working tubes the most to move between nests and food. These quarter- to 1-inch diameter tunnels are made to last longer with multiple lanes suiting different purposes. You may notice working mud tubes along foundations, basement walls, windowsills and frames, subfloors, joists and under porches.
  • Swarm: Swarm castles are made to house alates preparing to leave the colony. These shelter tubes can be as wide as 4 feet to accommodate however many swarmers a colony has. Swarm castles will have multiple exit holes to direct alates out.
  • Drop: Drop tubes can be more obvious than others. Termites construct drop tubes between the ground and wood, creating structures that look like stalactites hanging in a cave. These termite shelter tubes also have a lighter brown color than other tubes because they contain more wood, but they have a similar thin diameter to exploratory tubes.

Knowing how to remove termite mud tubes can help you see if termites are still actively using them. All you need is a stick or a glove to wear to push away some of the tunnels. Note where you removed a bit of the termite tube and check back later. If the colony is active, they’ll have rebuilt the broken tunnel to use again.

2. Sawdust or Wood Pellets

If you notice piles of what looks to be sawdust not caused by human construction, it probably came from termite destruction. Drywood termites, in particular, excrete digested wood in pellets known as frass. While subterranean termites use their droppings to construct tunnels, drywood ones discard their frass in small piles.

Drywood termite tunnels are usually closed as they can survive without leaving. But they don’t have enough space for piles of frass inside. They create kick out holes to push out piles of droppings, which you may then notice as infestation signs. The individual pellets are only about 1 millimeter in size, creating what can look like fine sawdust. The pellets’ colors vary based on the type of wood the drywood termites have eaten.


3. Groups of Winged Insects or Discarded Wings

Remember that alates search for new locations for their colony. If you notice small, winged insects, often in groups, it could be a sign of an impending termite problem. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot swarmer termites before they find a location to create their colony. Alates don’t cause damage — instead, the workers and soldiers, the alates’ offspring, consume wood from your home. Noticing groups of winged insects and getting a professional exterminator could help stop the problem before it starts.

Another termite infestation sign courtesy of alates is discarded wings. When swarmers find a place for their new colony, they no longer need their wings to fly and search for somewhere to settle. They then discard their wings, which you might find in places like windowsills and spiderwebs, especially in lit areas as light attracts termites. If you notice discarded insect wings anywhere in your home, contact a professional exterminator immediately. Your home could already have termite damage that you’ll want to address before it worsens.

4. Hollow-Sounding, Cracked or Damaged Wood

Because termites eat wood, it’s no surprise that damaged materials are a sign of the pests. That damage can appear in different ways. Termite tunnels in wood can create wood that’s:

  • Hollow: Termites eat wood from the inside, creating hollow pieces. If you tap on areas you suspect termites have infested, you may notice a hollow sound rather than a solid knock.
  • Cracked or rotted: When these pests consume the wood of your home, they can cause damage, like cracks. If the wood is rotted, that’s a sign of moisture, which attracts termites. Have professionals inspect this damaged wood to see if you have termites or other issues you need to solve.
  • Blistering: Wood or paint blisters when there’s moisture under it. While this could mean you have water damage, it could also be a termite infestation sign.

damage caused by termites

Damage Termites Cause

Termites can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home, and you’re not alone. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites create at least $5 billion in damage annually. The longer they go unnoticed, the more damage they can cause. Many homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover termite damage, and repairs can rack up a bill higher than what it cost to build your home.

While you can check your coverage and see if your insurance covers termite damage, it can still be a hassle to organize repairs. And if you don’t notice termite infestation signs, the stress of repairs only increases. Noticing termite infestations can have a silver lining, though. Once you hire an exterminator to take care of your termite problem, you eliminate potential safety hazards. The damage and need for repairs build up with unsafe situations like termite damage to:

  • Window and door frames: If termites eat the wood surrounding your doors and windows, you might notice these features don’t open or close properly. They may stick when you try to use them, or there may not be a proper seal between the door or window and the wall. That damage creates issues with your home’s energy efficiency and safety.
  • Structural wood: Attic trusses and ceiling and floor joists are essential structural components. When termites hollow these wooden beams, they compromise your home’s structure. With that structural damage, the floors, ceilings and walls or your homes are unsupported and may show signs of buckling. That creates a structurally unsound and unsafe home.
  • Hardscaping: Fences, benches, gazebos and other wooden structures in your yard can invite termites in. While pest damage to these features may not be as costly to repair, they could serve as pit stops before termites enter your home.
  • Trees: Maybe the termites haven’t entered your home. But if they infest trees near your house, those trees could eventually fall. That poses a safety risk to you, your family and your neighbors, and if the tree falls on your home, it will cause indirect termite damage.

how to rid your home of termites

How to Rid Your Home of Termites

Most of the steps you can take to rid your home of termites involve help from a professional exterminator. You may be tempted to try DIY extermination solutions, but without proper knowledge or experience, you may not treat the problem correctly. You risk wasting time and money on ineffective methods. Save yourself the hassle by conducting termite prevention methods yourself and leaving the extermination to the professionals. To rid your home of termites, you could try the following methods:

pest control technician


Termites are an unfortunate reality for many homeowners. If you’re concerned about a potential infestation or want to care for your home after termite treatment, prevention is your best method. A lot of termite prevention methods are DIY, but you can also hire a professional. Take these steps to prevent termites from moving into your home or continuing to cause damage:

  • Check your home’s exterior: Work from the outside in when preventing termite infestations. Find vulnerable points to repair, like cracks in the walls and foundation or broken roof tiles. You should also maintain a protective chemical barrier around your home.
  • Check around your property: While you’re inspecting your home’s exterior, don’t forget about the rest of your property. Features like wooden fences and other hardscaping additions, along with trees and tree stumps, can become home for a termite colony. Once they’re finished with those features, they could move to your house.
  • Check inside your home: With everything looked at and repaired outside, it’s time to move inside. Check your attic and your home’s wooden components regularly. Look for signs of infestation and damage like cracks that could invite termites into your home. Inspect materials like paper, as well. Many people have sadly discovered boxes of irreplaceable photo albums and scrapbooks destroyed by termites.
  • Address moisture and water damage: Moisture attracts termites and other pests. Pay close attention to your air conditioner drain lines, gutter spouts, leaky windows, kitchen and bathrooms to make necessary repairs.
  • Maintain your garage: Other than the attic, the garage is a common spot for termites to enter your home through. Perhaps it isn’t sealed properly or you have scraps of old wood or boxes of papers lying around. Many homes often have an expansion joint between the concrete garage floor and the house floor, and this is the most common termite entry point.
  • Watch where you keep clothes: Termites are known for eating wood, but what they actually consume is the material’s cellulose. They can also find cellulose in clothing and fabric.

If you’re still concerned after those steps, you can do even more to protect your home and your property. These prevention methods, in particular, help keep subterranean termites away:

  • Do not spread mulch within 5 feet of your home.
  • Avoid storing firewood or lumber near your home.
  • Check that air conditioning drain lines and gutter spouts drain away from the foundation.
  • Ensure that wood surfaces, such as soffits, facia, window and door frames, are painted or sealed.

termite tenting


Fumigation is necessary to eradicate drywood termites. Because drywood termites don’t need contact with soil, they fly into and infest a structure and are difficult to find. With fumigation, professionals cover a home with tents or tarps and inject a gaseous pesticide. The termite treatment tent holds the gas in for the amount of time required to kill all the termites. The amount of gas used depends on the size of the structure, the temperature, the time of exposure and the type of wood-destroying organism or target pest.

Once the pest control specialists confirm they’ve treated a structure for the adequate time, they remove the tents and clear the property for safe return with calibrated gas-sniffing devices. The gas leaves no residue, and it’s safe to leave most belongings inside, except for some food products and items covered in plastic, like baby mattresses. You can leave food items if you bag them properly with specialized bags that a pest control specialist can provide.

Termite tenting takes anywhere from one to three days. But as the only effective treatment for drywood termites, it’s worth the time. Fumigation also kills other pests, such as a severe infestation of Formosan termites, powder post beetles or bedbugs. Leave the job to the professionals at Apex to ensure your home is treated properly and cleared for safety before you return.

Soil Treatment

Soil treatments control and prevent subterranean termites, including Formosan termites. Professionals pump a long-lasting termiticide into the soil around the foundation of the home or structure. The pesticides either kill the termites on contact or provide a delayed mortality, allowing the termites to spread the chemical throughout the colony. Depending on the infestation, specialists may need to drill into the concrete or floors. They do this if termites are entering around plumbing or conduit that extends through the floor, such as in kitchen islands or bathrooms.

After soil treatment, you shouldn’t disturb the treated soil around the foundation by digging, planting shrubs or adding mulch. It’s also essential to ensure rainwater or drip lines don’t constantly drench the area as the water will dilute the chemical product over time.

At Apex Pest Control, our preferred product is Termidor Brand Insecticide, which studies have shown to be effective for over 10 years. Apex has used Termidor for 20 years with great success, so trust your termite treatments to Apex Pest Control and Termidor.

Termite Bond

Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termite damage. Instead, you should get a termite bond. What is a termite bond? It’s a contract or a warranty between you and a pest control specialist. For an annual fee, the company will offer different termite warranty services. That could help save you money on termite prevention treatment costs.

What your contract includes will depend on your situation and what a company offers. But, in general, a termite bond protects you from future infestations. Some termite bonds may include protections like:

  • Termite treatment and prevention when the bond begins
  • Yearly termite inspections
  • Termite treatment at no additional cost if any are found on inspection
  • Coverage for repair costs after termite damage

Contact Apex Pest Control to discuss your termite bond options to keep your home safe now and in the future.

Apex Pest Control technician

Schedule Termite Control Services With Apex Pest Control

Now that we’ve answered your pest questions — from what termite mud tubes look like to how to rid your home of termites — contact the experts at Apex. Since 1985, we’ve provided safe, trusted pest solutions for residents and business owners throughout Florida. We understand the stress and worry that comes with thinking you have termites in your home. We’ve built our reputation for excellence by keeping homes and businesses safe from and free of pests, including these harmful insects.

Contact Apex Pest Control today to learn more about our termite control services, and regain your home’s comfort and safety.

Fall and Wintertime Pests in Florida

Apex Pest Control technician working on electrical outlet

As the seasons change, so does the behavior of insects and animals. During the fall and winter, your Florida home is vulnerable to different pests than you may see in the spring and summer. While some pests, such as termites, are active in Florida all year long, fall and winter months may bring some new critters around your property.

Fall Pests in Florida

In autumn, rodents may have a harder time finding food and staying warm. As a result, rats, mice, and other rodents can become more aggressive in trying to get indoors.

Insects, too, may be seeking the shelter of your home. Ants, for example, will often look for a safe and warm spot for the winter, which can mean your house is susceptible.

Winter Pests in Florida

Winter pests in Florida often come from travel. Many Floridians travel throughout the year, especially around the holidays — and sunny Florida is also a popular vacation destination during the colder months. Bed bugs and other insects can easily hop onto luggage or clothing on a plane, in an airport, or in a hotel, and then come home with you. Any time you travel for the holidays, you may be bringing home unwanted houseguests.

Since cockroaches like dark and damp spots, they can move into basements in the winter months, too. Silverfish thrive in similar conditions and can become an issue in the winter.

Seasonal Pest Control for Winter and Fall

Seasonal pest control for fall and winter begins with prevention. Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Check your home. Look for any signs of pests. You should also take care to seal up any small cracks, gaps, and holes from the outside with steel wool. Repair torn screens on windows and doors.
  • Make your home less hospitable. Clean up crumbs quickly and do not leave food out. In your basement, you might want to run a dehumidifier to ensure bugs aren’t attracted to your home. Paper and cardboard boxes can provide areas for silverfish to hide, so be sure to toss out extra litter.
  • Travel safely. If you’re traveling for the holidays, promptly wash everything you bring back with you when you return, including your luggage.
  • Call in the experts at the first sign of trouble.  If you notice rodent droppings, chewed wires, individual ants or cockroaches or any signs of pests, contact the pest control professionals at Apex Pest Control immediately — before the infestation gets worse and there is serious damage to your home.

Safe Trusted Pest Solutions in Florida

Apex Pest Control is a family-owned business. Since 1985, we have been helping homeowners in Florida with sustainable and effective pest control solutions. If you see any signs of pests in your home this fall or winter, get a quote for our services today.

Nuisance Pests vs. Destructive Pests

Apex Pest Control technician speaking with homeowner outside of window

Any pest in your home is a nuisance, but some animal or insect intruders can be dangerous for your home or even your health. While both nuisance and destructive pests warrant a call to pest control services, you’ll want to be especially vigilant about destructive pests.

Nuisance Pests in Florida

Nuisance pests in Florida include annoying but generally harmless pests such as:

  • Argentine ants: These ants are attracted to water and sweets, which is why they enter your home. While it can be upsetting to find them in a sugar bowl, they do not cause serious damage or injury.
  • Bed bugs: Bed bugs bite you, often while you’re asleep, but these bites do not transmit disease.

While nuisance pests like these are not overtly dangerous, they can affect the quality of your life. Bed bugs, for example, can lead to increased stress and loss of sleep, which can impact your health. Having ants in your home can be deeply upsetting, even if they don’t cause damage.

Destructive Pests in Florida

Destructive pests, on the other hand, cause direct harm. In Florida, common destructive pests include:

  • Termites: Active all year long in Florida, termites eat wood and can cause enough damage to impact your home’s structural integrity.
  • Deer ticks: These ticks tend to be found in wooded areas, and they can easily hitch a ride home with you. They burrow under the skin and can cause Lyme disease, a chronic condition that can lead to serious fatigue and other life-changing symptoms.
  • Mosquitoes: Female mosquitoes are notorious for biting. When they do, they can transmit serious and potentially fatal illnesses, including the West Nile virus and malaria.

Pest Removal

When you want professional pest removal, turn to Apex Pest Control. We’re a family-owned business serving locations throughout Florida, and we have a range of pest prevention programs to help protect your home inside and out. We carefully inspect your property to find ways to discourage nuisance pests. Then, we create a solution catering to your specific situation.

If you’re looking for a destructive pest control service, we have specific termite control and mosquito control services to help you address the two most common destructive pests in Florida. Our destructive pest control service can target the specific harmful pests on your property to help keep you safe.

Safe Trusted Pest Solutions in Florida

At Apex Pest Control, we have offered our destructive and nuisance pest control service since 1985. We use safe solutions, working to protect the larger ecosystem as we remove unwanted guests from your property. Call us at 1-866-675-4070 or get a quote online today.

Pest Control Advice for New Home Buyers

Apex Pest Control technician

Whether you’re buying or building a new home or moving into an existing property, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any unexpected house guests along for the ride. This starts by looking for signs of infestation. If you need pest control services or pre-treatment, contact Apex Pest Control for experienced, honest help. We offer safe, trusted pest solutions for homeowners.

Do I Need a Pest Control Inspection in Florida?

In Florida, you are not required by law to get termite inspections for new homes. That said, lenders will require such inspections.

Pest Control When Buying a New Home

One of the best things you can do is to make sure the previous owners or the builders took care to prevent infestations before they happen. To do this, you should:

  • Check for cracks and holes. Look for any holes or gaps in storage spaces and floorboards, where small intruders can enter.
  • Look for pooling water. Splash blocks and down-spout extenders are great signs someone has taken care to get rid of still water near your home. The area around your home should also be slightly angled to cause water to flow away from walls. This feature prevents water damage, and it also ensures pests aren’t attracted to the water source near your home — and, by extent, the shelter of your property.
  • Make sure all exterior doors and windows close. They should seal completely when they are closed since even tiny gaps are small enough for insects and even mice to get through.
  • Check all screens. Any screened windows and doors should be free of holes or tears, and the screen should completely cover the open surface, leaving no gaps.

New Construction Pest Control

Don’t assume a new home or even a home you build yourself will automatically be free of pests. During construction, pests have access to the ground under your home as well as the building materials. New home pest control offers excellent protection.

During construction, soil pre-treatment, and a wood pre-treatment can help prevent termites. You can also choose to install Apex’s PIPELINE™ brand pesticide distribution system into your exterior walls during construction. This system allows you to inject safe treatment into the walls of your home.

Safe Trusted Pest Solutions for Homeowners

As a family-owned business since 1985, Apex Pest Control helps homeowners across Florida protect their homes from intrusive animals and insects. We believe in exceptional customer service and in preserving the local ecosystem, so we provide reliable, effective, sustainable, and safe solutions. Get a quote from us today or contact us if you have any questions.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Variant Transmission Precautions And Our Service

Updated July 28, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Our company is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our customers and team. As we continue monitoring the situation of COVID-19 and Variant spread in Florida, we want to keep you informed about what Apex Pest Control is doing to prevent the spread of the virus in our communities and how we can help.

First and foremost, the pest control industry is classified in the lowest risk of businesses per OSHA, as we do not encounter groups of people in our workplace. We stringently follow the OSHA and CDC COVID-19 guidelines to keep our customers and team safe.

Secondly, as an essential service, our industry is responsible for the protection of public health, food, and property. The EPA, Dept of Health and Human Services, and Dept of Agriculture have prepared a list of significant pests, most of which are controlled by the professional pest control industry. We play a vital role in protecting our nation’s public health and food supply, as well as protecting structures from demise due to wood destroying organisms.

Additionally, and by Florida rule, all of our field representatives are trained, tested, and certified in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Technicians routinely employ the use of respirators, eye protection, gloves, shoe coverings, and clothing that conform with safety requirements established by the EPA and OSHA.

We have implemented the following additional safeguards to further protect our employees and customers:

  • Our office workspaces, field equipment and vehicles are being sanitized as often as possible.
  • All technicians are asked to wear disposable gloves at each appointment and dispose of them after each appointment, as well as other PPE equipment. Masks will be used inside customer homes regardless of vaccination status.
  • All field and office staff are urged to continue washing their hands after each appointment.
  • All staff has been instructed to stop shaking hands or making contact and to keep a safe distance from customers and each other when humanly possible.
  • We have positioned all occupied clerical desks safe distances apart. Offices will not allow non-employees into their buildings. Limit the entry of field staff as well.
  • Any team member who is sick, and/or tests positive — stay home and contact your manager.
  • Provide exterior service if the customers do not want inside services at this time.
  • CDC recommends everyone is vaccinated to prevent further outbreaks and mutations. Please take their recommendations seriously.

Apex Pest Control has liquid products that are labeled* to kill human coronavirus, as well as many other viruses. We will continue offering to all current customers as an addition to your regular scheduled service a FREE service, to apply this Virucide/Disinfectant to the high touch areas of the exterior of your home. Virologists believe that COVID-19 can live on plastic surfaces for one day and metal surfaces for three days. Until our supplies increase, we will apply NISUS DSV to your outdoor front door handles, doorbells, railings, auto door handles, fixed garage door operator, mailbox, and any other high touch surfaces we encounter as part of your recurring pest control service. Again, we will render this service for free if requested, as part of your regular scheduled service until the pandemic and recent variant outbreak is reduced. Please contact our office at 1-800-929-2847 if you would like to add the DSV application to your current service for your property at no charge.

*Apex Pest Control is performing this complimentary service as an assistive public health measure at its own cost. We make no representations verbal or written, that our application will prevent anyone from contracting sickness or disease.

Unexpected Places Bed Bugs Could Be Hiding

While a licensed pest control company knows all about bed bugs and how they travel, there is a misconception about where you can find them. Bed bugs are not just found on bed sheets and mattresses within your home or a hotel.

Apex Pest technician looking for bed bugs with a flashlight

They can be found just about anywhere because of their great traveling techniques.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed bugs typically look for places that are dark and relatively close to humans — or at least close to areas that humans frequent. Here are some of the places bed bugs might hide:

  • Stuffed animals: The soft, plushy surfaces of stuffed animals make it easy for bed bugs to hide undetected.
  • Outlets and lights: Bed bugs can fit underneath the plastic and metal outlet covers to hide in the dark.
  • Furniture: Once bed bugs have come into your home, they will find any place humans most often occupy, such as beds, couches, chairs and more.
  • Picture frames: These provide a dark place for bed bugs to hide whether they are on a table or hanging on the wall.
  • Dressers/closets: Bed bugs can stay on the clothing you wear.
  • Books: Bed bugs can squeeze into the pages of a book and use this to travel between rooms.
  • Carpet edges/baseboards: Bed bugs are able to get into the smallest cracks of your home, including underneath baseboards and the edges of the carpet.

How Do Bed Bugs Travel?

The most common means of travel for bed bugs are by clothing, which is how bed bugs can travel from a hotel to your home. Here are some other items bed bugs will use for transportation:

  • Purses: Bed bugs can crawl into purses to conceal themselves, while also maintaining close proximity to a human being.
  • Airplanes, trains, and buses: As people travel, bed bugs can be found in luggage and any piece of clothing a person is wearing.
  • Rental vehicles/campers: Bed bugs can crawl off of clothing and get into any crevice they can fit themselves.
  • Wheelchairs: If a person uses a wheelchair at a hospital or another facility, it’s possible for bed bugs to then get on that person’s clothes or other belongings.
  • Movie theaters: Movie theaters provide a dark place to hide and plenty of people.
  • School: Children and teachers can unknowingly be carrying bed bugs and transferring them to others.

Rid Your Home of Bed Bugs With Apex Pest Control

Bed bugs can turn into infestations very quickly because their typical hiding places are likely not often checked, but if they’ve made their way into your space, they don’t have to rule your life. Contact Apex Pest Control today to have your home professionally treated against these parasites.

How to Keep Rodents out of Your House

Rodents, such as mice and rats will look for any and every opportunity to invade your home. These pests are looking for a convenient shelter along with water and food supply, and a house provides an ideal spot.

However, it is possible to turn your home into an uninviting place for these creatures. Here is a look at how you can protect your home from rodents.

Apex Pest technician reviewing garage door seal

Rats and mice are destructive by nature, but following these tips for rodent prevention in your home can help to keep them away.

1. Seal Any Cracks in Your Home’s Foundation

One of the first things you can do for rodent prevention is to seal any cracks within your home’s foundation. They are one of the first places mice and rats tend to find. Patch up your foundation regardless of the size of the hole or gap.

2. Eliminate Points of Entry

Visually inspect all windows and doors, including the garage door, and eliminate any gaps that exist in the seals. Make sure all entry points close properly as well.

3. Inspect Your Roof

Some rodents will go to the top of a home to look for entry. Check your home’s roofing, vents and chimney for breakages and leaks. Fill in any gaps and ensure your chimney is capped to prevent any rodent from entering your home.

4. Eliminate Food Sources

Never leave any food out for extended periods of time and always clean dirty dishes. Rodents have a keen sense of smell and can go after leftover food on plates or in pots. Mice and rats can get into cabinets, too, so it is vital to keep foods such as boxed cereals and bagged sugar in sealed, airtight containers.

5. Regularly Take the Trash Out

Be sure to empty the trash inside your home regularly. If your trash cans are kept outside or in the garage, ensure the lids are tightly closed.

6. Tidy-Up Your Home’s Perimeter

Monitor the area surrounding your home. Regularly remove any garden debris and ensure you do not have any woodpiles against your home.

7. Clean Inside Your Home

Regularly clean inside your home to avoid attracting rodents. Any clutter or piles of objects provide hiding spots as well as potential nesting sites.

8. Check Wires and Pipes

Wires and pipes can be a point of entry to rodents from the outside. Inspect the openings that your pipes or wires enter into your home. Properly seal off any gaps if there is space between your home and wire or pipe.

9. Fix Any Leaks Inside

Carefully inspect your bathrooms, attic, basement and other areas for any leaks. Immediately fix any big or small leak because the moisture can attract rodents and other pests, such as ants, spiders, cockroaches, and termites.

Need Pest Help?

Don’t let pests ruin your home. If you are experiencing any pest issues, our expert team at Apex Pest Control provides one-time to monthly services that cover multiple types of pests. Contact Apex Pest Control today to receive help with your pest issue.

Service beyond
the expected.

I have used Apex for about five years and my lawn is beautiful.
Carolyn G, Orlando

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