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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

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

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

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.

Formosan

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 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 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

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:

Prevention

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.


Fumigation

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.

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.

Why Ongoing Pest Control Is Necessary

A home should be a place of peace and calm and a refuge for homeowners and their families. But it’s hard to enjoy your home if you regularly see roaches, mosquitoes or other pests. While many homeowners might take a reactive approach to pest control and call for service only when they see bugs, it’s far better to schedule ongoing pest control treatment.

looking inside kitchen cabinet for pests

This especially holds true in Florida, where it’s highly necessary to use ongoing pest control. Why do you need regular pest control from a local expert? Here’s a look at four primary reasons:

  1. Disrupt breeding cycles: One of the best ways to keep unwanted bugs from invading your home is to disrupt their breeding cycles. Disruption of breeding cycles is one of the main benefits of ongoing pest control. If you choose the reactive approach and call for treatment only when you see pests, you’re allowing bugs to lay eggs and other pests to breed. This allows your pest problem to worsen over time.
  2. Establish and maintain a protective barrier: With a single pest control treatment, a protective barrier is established around your home using proven pest control products. But this barrier breaks down over time, allowing pests to start wandering inside your home, where they begin laying eggs and spreading. If you choose ongoing pest control treatment, each visit strengthens the protective barrier, ensuring bugs can never find their way into your home.
  3. Customize treatment to the season: Given the climate in Florida, bugs never take a season off. But it’s still important to customize pest control treatments according to a given season and the bugs and conditions that season might bring. When you choose the benefits of ongoing pest control, customized treatment will meet the unique conditions of the season, the bugs and the activity prevalent during that season.
  4. Receive peace of mind: You should never have to worry about bugs or other pests inside your home. When you select monthly, quarterly or bi-monthly best control service, you get peace of mind. You also get results. It’s necessary to use ongoing pest control because there’s nothing better than a professional regularly and proactively looking for signs of new pests — and taking care of pest issues before they become crises.

Why to Get Your Pests Taken Care of Professionally

Pest professionals are trained to handle various infestations. Though it can be tempting to do the work yourself, a professional team can offer solutions and quality service. You have many reasons to trust a qualified exterminator to aid any infestation problems.

Safety

Both the pests and at-home solutions can be dangerous to your health. You may use the incorrect amount of solution and have ineffective results. The fumes from products can be harmful when used incorrectly, especially if you are not familiar with pest removal.

An exterminator is professionally trained to handle these substances and regulate the amount used. They know how much to use and when to apply a solution for maximum results depending on the type of pest.

Simplicity

If you hire a pest control service, you do not have to come into contact with the pests. Instead of handling the problem yourself, you can trust professionals, avoid pests and maintain your routine. Professional pest services are worth it to make pest control simple and convenient.

Time

For at-home options, you will spend a lot of time researching the pests and which methods effectively work for exterminating them. From there, you have to purchase all the supplies and create the solution, which also comes with cleaning and moving furniture in some cases. With a professional, the results will be quicker and the prep time will be cut in half.

Once you have an infestation, you want it gone as quickly as possible. Hiring a professional will solve the problem more efficiently than doing it on your own. Save yourself the time of researching, prepping, shopping and treating the area — and then repeating the process later.

Knowledge

Professionals have experience and certifications in pest removal. With their experience and job expertise, they are constantly learning new information about different pests, which can benefit homeowners. When doing the job yourself, you could miss signs of a deeper infestation that will most likely cause you to hire a professional later on.

No matter the severity of your infestation, a professional view goes beyond removing the pests. Professionals offer follow-up consultations to ensure their treatment worked. While you may remove the immediate problem, keeping the pests away is a different issue that requires further learning.

When to Hire a Pest Professional

You should hire a professional pest service as soon as you notice signs of an infestation. If you take preventative measures and regularly check for pests, you can recognize and solve issues more quickly. Regular upkeep may not totally prevent pests, but it will help you find the problem promptly. Contact your local professional as soon as you see a problem so they can help you.

Don’t let bugs and other pests get a foothold in your home. At Apex Pest Control, we offer a series of proactive pest control plans that allow you to seize the benefits of ongoing pest control and achieve the peace of mind you want and need. We proudly serve homeowners throughout Florida with fast, effective service that keeps your home free from pests.

Choose from our ongoing pest control plans today.

The Difference Between Yellow Jackets and Hornets

yellow jacketCan you tell the difference between yellow jackets and hornets? If not, you’re not alone. Many people have trouble distinguishing between these two pests. While they look similar, they’re two different creatures and have different behaviors. Apex, the Orlando pest control experts, have prepared a guide to help you tell these pests apart.

Appearance

At around 1/2 inch in length, yellow jackets are fairly small. Their bodies are black with yellow bands. Some types of hornets, like European hornets, have a similar coloring but are much larger. European hornets are generally between 3/4 and 1 1/2 inches in length.

Bald-faced hornets are another type that can sometimes be confused with yellow jackets. These hornets are about the same size as yellow jackets, but they’re black with white markings.

Behavior

While yellow jackets and hornets may look similar, their behavior is very different. Unlike most stinging insects, European hornets can remain active at night; you might notice them repeatedly flying into your lighted windows in the evenings. Yellow jackets, on the other hand, spend the evenings inside their nests.

Aggression is another way to tell these stinging pests apart. Yellow jackets are not particularly aggressive and will only sting if they feel like their nest is in danger, whereas bald-faced hornets are more aggressive and attack anyone who invades their territory.

Nests

Yellow jackets usually live in underground nests, though they can sometimes live in walls voids. Outdoors, they can be found living in abandoned rodent burrows, old stumps, wood piles, or other hiding spots near the ground.

Hornets make their nests above ground. European hornets tend to live in sheltered places like hollow trees, attics, and hollow walls of houses, but they may also build unprotected paper nests above ground. Bald-faced hornets build unprotected paper nests which can be seen hanging from tree branches, utility poles, overhangs, and other structures.

Stings

Yellow jackets and hornets are both able to sting people multiple times. For people who aren’t allergic, these stings can be painful, swollen, or itchy, and the effects can last for up to 24 hours. People who are allergic to these stings can experience much more serious symptoms including wheezing, trouble breathing, hives, or dizziness. People with these symptoms require immediate medical attention.

If yellow jackets or hornets are living on your property or inside your house, they need to be controlled. For help controlling these stinging pests safely, turn to the Orlando pest control professionals at Apex.

 

Fun Facts About Fleas

dogFleas are blood-sucking parasites that are found throughout the United States. While you probably don’t want to share your home with fleas, these pests are much more interesting than you might think! Apex, the Tampa pest removal experts, are here to share eight fun facts about these common pests.

  1. There Are Many Kinds

Throughout the world, there are more than 2,000 known species of fleas. North America is home to more than 300 of those species.

  1. They Have a Long History

Like many insects, fleas have been on the planet for a long time. Fossil evidence shows that they lived in China between 125 and 165 million years ago, but at nearly an inch long, these ancient fleas were much larger than their modern counterparts. Their mouthparts were also much larger, which let them feed on dinosaurs.

  1. Their Lives Are Short

Fleas have very short lifespans. Depending on the species, they can expect to live anywhere between two weeks and two years.

  1. They Have Large Appetites

Fleas feed on blood and they have large appetites. In a single day, a flea can drink 15 times its weight in blood! Their appetites can sometimes harm their hosts. When a small animal, like a kitten, is heavily infested with fleas, it could develop anemia from blood loss.

  1. They Can Skip Meals

While fleas have huge appetites, they can go a long time without eating if necessary. After having a single meal, some fleas can survive for up to two years without more food. To reproduce, fleas need to feed on blood, so these hungry fleas won’t lay eggs.

  1. They’re Talented Athletes

Fleas have long, strong legs that are designed for jumping. They can jump as high as eight feet vertically, which is 150 times their height. If people were as athletic as fleas, a 6-foot-tall person could jump 900 feet in the air!

  1. They Multiply Quickly

During their short lives, fleas produce many offspring. A flea with a 100-day lifespan can lay as many as 400 to 500 eggs. When those eggs hatch, they’ll go on to produce their own offspring. Large numbers of fleas can infest an area in a short time.

  1. Humans Can Get Fleas

Fleas are often thought of as a problem for dogs and cats. However, fleas can feed on any warm-blooded animals, including people, and can spread diseases like plague and typhus. Some people can even have allergic reactions to the bites.

Fleas are fascinating, but they don’t make good housemates. If you’re concerned about fleas, call the Tampa pest removal experts at Apex at (813) 221-2847 or (877) 459-2847.

Welcome to Mosquito Season

mosquitoSpring has arrived in Orlando, and that means the weather is warming up and rains are becoming more frequent. This creates ideal conditions for mosquitoes. These biting pests will remain active until cooler weather arrives in the fall. Until then, homeowners will need to rely on Orlando pest control methods to control mosquitoes.

Mosquito Habitats

Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, properties that collect water are a favorite habitat of mosquitoes. If your backyard has a pond, depressions that collect rainwater, or other sources of standing water, mosquitoes could be drawn to the area.

Some types of mosquitoes rest in thick vegetation, like shrubs. They hide and wait for suitable hosts to pass by. If you have a lot of thick foliage in your yard, these mosquitoes may be attracted to your property.

Sometimes, mosquitoes can even live indoors. Mosquitoes can fly through open doors or open windows, and rest in moist, sheltered areas. You might find them hiding under your sinks or in your laundry room.

Dangers of Mosquitoes

Mosquito bites are very itchy, but that’s not the worst part. Through their bites, they can spread dangerous diseases to people. In Florida, these diseases include West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, and Eastern equine encephalitis. Diseases from other parts of the world, like dengue fever or malaria, can be brought to Florida if infected people are bitten by Florida mosquitoes.  

How to Control Mosquitoes

Draining standing water from your property is a key way to control mosquitoes. Empty standing water from flower pots, birdbaths, and pet water dishes regularly. Clean your gutters to ensure water doesn’t get trapped by debris. Fill any depressions in your soil to prevent puddles from forming.

To keep mosquitoes out of your house, keep your doors and windows covered with screens. Screens should be tight-fitting to keep mosquitoes from slipping inside. They also must be free of tears and other damage.

Controlling mosquitoes on your own can be challenging. A pest control professional can help you by performing a property inspection and identifying where the mosquitoes are coming from, and what type of mosquitoes they are. With this information, they can create a personalized mosquito treatment plan for your property. This can help keep mosquito populations under control.

Mosquito season is here, and it’s not going away any time soon. For help keeping mosquitoes under control in your home and garden, contact the Orlando pest control professionals at Apex.

Florida’s Dangerous Arachnids: Recluse Spiders

spiderFlorida is crawling with spiders, but only a few are venomous. One of these venomous spiders to look out for is the recluse spider. You can find three different recluse spider species in Florida, though none of them are native. Tampa pest control experts recommend keeping an eye out for these non-native pests.

Identifying Recluse Spiders

Recluse spiders are medium-sized brown or yellowish-brown. Their bodies are usually between 6 and 12 mm long. The three varieties of recluse spiders all have violin-shaped markings on their backs, though the coloring can vary. Brown recluses have a dark mark, while Mediterranean recluses have a lighter mark with parallel sides. Chilean recluses have a dark violin marking that’s wider in the front than in the back.

Many brown spiders can be mistaken for recluse spiders. The easiest way to identify a recluse spider (if you’re close enough) is to count its eyes. Most types of spiders have eight eyes, while recluse spiders only have six. Their six eyes are arranged in three pairs.

Recluse Spider Hiding Spots

These spiders tend to be found in out-of-the-way places, like in or under objects. They could be found lurking inside boxes, underneath furniture, or underneath clutter. Recluse spiders aren’t aggressive, but they may bite someone who inadvertently disturbs their hiding place. It’s a good idea to look before you reach your hand into any dark, undisturbed areas. If that’s not possible, make sure to wear gloves to protect yourself from spider bites.

Bites from Recluse Spiders

If you’re bitten by a recluse spider, you may not notice right away. These spiders have small fangs, and the initial bite is usually painless. Three to eight hours later, the bite site can become swollen and red. Most of the time, the bite heals within three weeks and doesn’t cause any serious complications. In rare cases, people can experience systemic reactions, with symptoms like chills, dizziness, and vomiting.

Other people are less lucky. Sometimes, a necrotic lesion can appear at the site of the bite. This lesion can grow up to several inches and persist for months. When the lesion finally heals, it can leave a deep scar.

Chilean recluse spiders are more dangerous than the other types, and in rare cases, their bites can be fatal. According to one study, these bites are fatal in about three to four percent of cases.

Recluse spiders aren’t native to Florida, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be found in the state. These sneaky spiders can easily hitch a ride to Florida with a traveler or shipment from out of state. If you’re worried about recluse spiders in your home, contact the Tampa pest control experts at Apex for help.

Service beyond
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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