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After a Hurricane, Watch Out for Unwanted Pests

In the aftermath of a hurricane, it’s natural to be concerned about flooding or structural damage, not bugs. However, plenty of unwanted pests can cause problems for Floridians after a storm. Just like people, insects and pests want to get out of the rain and moisture and in some cases, the destruction of their habitats.

The Orlando pest control experts at Apex recommends watching out for these pests in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. It’s important to add pest prevention to your hurricane-prep list to ensure you won’t be coming home to wildlife, ants, mosquitoes, and more taking over your home, in addition to other hurricane-related issues.

Ants
Ants are always a concern in Florida, but they can become a big hazard in flooded conditions. To survive flooding, ants cling together and form floating rafts. They can float for weeks on flood waters. Ants looking to escape the higher levels of water and wet soil are also likely to seek refuge in your home.

Mosquitoes
At first, floodwaters reduce mosquito populations. Unfortunately, this effect doesn’t last. Once the floodwaters become stagnant, they become the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. This lets the mosquito population rebound. More mosquitoes mean more potential for viruses like West Nile or Zika.

During post-storm cleanup, take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and insect repellant. To reduce mosquitoes, eliminate as much standing water as possible, like the water that collects in clogged gutters or containers.

Palmetto BugsPalmetto bugs (cockroaches) love damp environments. After a hurricane, damaged roof tiles or siding could allow water into normally dry areas of your home. This creates ideal areas for roaches to live, so they can invade new areas. Nearby flooding could also drive outdoor roaches into your home.

If you find yourself with a roach problem after a storm, clean up water damage to make your home less attractive to them. Insecticides are often necessary when you’re dealing with cockroaches, too.

Rodents
Rodents are great swimmers. That means they’re well-equipped to seek dry shelter during hurricane conditions. Even minor storm damage can give rodents easy access to buildings. A rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a half dollar, while a mouse can get through a hole the size of a nickel!

After the storm passes, repair the damage to your home right away, even if it’s minor. Watch out for rodents. If you suspect you have a rodent problem, don’t hesitate to seek professional help since these pests can spread many diseases.

Unwanted pests can become a problem in the aftermath of a hurricane. If you discover any pest problems in your home during post-hurricane clean up, don’t hesitate to contact the Orlando pest control professionals at Apex.

 

Tracking Down Hornets and Wasps

waspThe summer months are winding down, and cooler weather is on the way. That means Floridians will start encountering wasps and hornets. Orlando pest removal experts are well-acquainted with both types of flying pests.

The Difference Between Wasps and Hornets

Many people use the words wasp and hornet interchangeably, but they’re actually different pests. Wasps are small—under an inch long—and can be a wide variety of colors. Yellow jackets and paper wasps are common types of wasps. They can build their nests in the air or underground, and some types are aggressive.

Hornets are larger than wasps. They can be up to 1.5 inches long, and are usually either black and white or brownish red. They build large, aerial nests. The nests are round and look like they’re made of paper. Since hornets are aggressive if their nests are disturbed, keep your distance.

Locations for Outdoor Nests

There are many areas outdoors where you could find wasps or hornets. Carefully check around the exterior of your home to see if nests are built nearby. Nests could be built near your doors and windows. This is a concern because you’ll be in close contact with the pests.

Nests could also be found in damaged areas of your home’s exterior. For example, if you have broken panels or siding, flying insects could enter and build a cozy nest.

Holes or burrows near your home are another prime location for nests. Yellow jackets may use these holes for opportunistic nests. Before they move in, fill in the holes with dirt.

Locations for Indoor Nests

It’s scary enough to find hornets or wasps outside your home, but it’s worse when they invite themselves inside. If you see a lot of these pests flying around inside your home, they may have a nest nearby. They could be living in your attic, wall voids, or even inside a cupboard.

It’s a good idea to have your house professionally inspected for wasps and hornets. The inspection could find an indoor nest that you couldn’t locate on your own. It could also reveal damage that could allow these pests to slip inside. For example, your roof could be damaged from recent severe weather.

Wasps and hornets can be useful. They feed on smaller, more annoying pests. However, they can be dangerous if they move in too close to your home. If wasps or hornets are living too close for comfort, the Orlando pest removal experts at Apex can help you eliminate them. Contact us for a consultation today, or read our blog to know more about what bugs you need to worry about!

Why Summer Bugs Are on the Rise in Central Florida

antsIf you’ve lived in Central Florida for a while, you’ve encountered a lot of bugs. Central Florida’s hot and humid climate is the perfect environment for all kinds of bugs, as you’ve learned firsthand. Bugs have always been a problem in the summer months, but during recent summers, their populations have grown. Orlando pest control experts warn that these bugs can colonize your home and hibernate.

Why are there more summer bugs than there used to be? Environmental changes are to blame for the rise in summer insect populations.

Rising Temperatures

When it’s cold outside, Floridians stay indoors, and summer bugs do the same thing. During the colder months of the year, these bugs hibernate. When warm weather arrives, they head out and enjoy the heat.

You’ve probably heard that the Earth is getting warmer. 2016 was the warmest year on record, and 2017 is on track for record-breaking heat, too. The rising temperatures let summer bugs stay active all year long. Bugs that would normally die off in the colder winter months are able to survive through the unusually warm winters, too.

Droughts

Not too long ago, Florida was in the middle of a severe drought. Florida saw drier than normal conditions for several months. These dry conditions aren’t ideal for bugs. Many bugs like a damp climate, so they try to avoid areas of drought. Now that the drought is over, the bugs are back.

Rainfall

Central Florida is notorious for daily showers. The constant rain isn’t fun for people, but some bugs love it. The water brings mosquitoes since they use standing water to breed. Immediately after a rainfall, plenty of other summer bugs come out to find food. That’s why you see so many bugs during the summer.

Bug Breeding Grounds

Planting areas and gardens are a great habitat for summer bugs of all kinds. That’s because these areas are moist and substantially cool at times. Plus, they can find plenty to eat in planting areas and gardens.

Fruit flies are one of the bugs that increase during harvest seasons. During the warmer months, larvae close to the plants and crops hatch. Then, they start feeding on the plants. Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetimes, which is why your garden quickly becomes infested with these bugs.

These environmental factors give summer bugs the perfect formula to continue breeding. While summer is already underway, it’s not too late to take preventative measures against the bugs. The Orlando pest control experts at Apex can help you enjoy the rest of your summer without being eaten alive by bugs. Contact us today to learn more about how bugs can affect your home!

2 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Overwatering Your Lawn

dogDo you water your lawn every day? If this is your routine, you’re probably caring for your lawn incorrectly. Your intentions are good, but more isn’t always better when its comes to water.

Overwatering can suffocate the grass. This is very stressful for your grass, and it can become more susceptible to damage. Orlando lawn care experts warn that overwatering is a mistake for two reasons.

1. Over Watering Attracts Pests and Disease

If you overwater your lawn, it’s possible for something called thatch to develop. Thatch is a spongy mat made of dead and living grass. It builds up between your lawn and the soil. Thatch is a concern because it provides a great habitat for lawn pests. Here are some of the pests that could make a cozy home in thatch:

  • Grubs: Beetle larvae that feed on the grass roots and create wilted, brown patches on lawns.
  • Spittlebugs: They feed on plant juices, distorting the shape of the grass and slowing its growth.
  • Mole crickets: These pests eat the roots of grass plants and can instantly stop growth.
  • Springtails: They’re found in excessively moist soil, and they feast on grass seedlings.

2. Fungal Growth Promotes Diseases

Overwatering can also lead to fungal growth. That’s because fungi love living in a moist environment. You may not be as concerned about fungal growth as you are with lawn bugs, but fungi can cause big problems for your lawn. Fungal diseases can compromise your lawn and harm its appearance. Here are some fungal diseases to watch out for:

  • Superficial fairy ring: It causes dark green rings to form on your lawn. A hardened layer of soil forms and keeps water from penetrating the soil, which can kill the grass.
  • Gray leaf spot: It slows the growth of St. Augustine grass, and can even kill large areas of the lawn.
  • Dollar spot: This fungal disease kills turf at the rights. This leads to unsightly scars on your lawn.
  • Red thread: It causes dead patches of grass with a red or pink tinge.

Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Healthy

No one wants their lush, green lawn to be taken over by bugs or fungal diseases. To keep your lawn looking its best, be careful not to overwater it. Lawns only need about one to two inches of water per week, so adjust your automatic sprinklers accordingly. To keep fungi at bay, water in the morning, not at night. Of course, it’s also important to properly fertilize and mow your lawn.

Overwatering can take a big toll on your lawn, so be careful with your sprinklers. The Orlando lawn care professionals at Apex can help you keep your lawn healthy and properly watered, contact us today to learn more!

Grass Looking a Little Brown? The Sod Webworm Could Be Your Culprit

lawnHave you heard of tropical sod webworms before? These pests aren’t well-known, but they’re actually quite common in lawns in the Southeast. They’re responsible for the ugly browning Floridians see on their lawns in the middle of summer. The Orlando lawn care professionals at Apex want to help you protect your lawn from these pests.

Identifying Sod Webworm Problems

If you see moths scattering as you walk across your grass, sod webworms could be present. The larvae and caterpillars of the species are bad news for your lawn. They feast on the tops of your grass blades. This makes your grass look like it’s been cut unevenly. The lighter, shorter patches of grass will stand out when you look at your lawn.

As the larvae grow, they start eating more and more grass. This makes the damage more noticeable. Severe infestations can result in unsightly yellow and brown patches on your lawn. This also gives weeds the opportunity to move into your lawn.

Causes of Sod Webworm Problems

The main cause of sod webworm infestations is using too much fertilizer on your lawn. While you might think more is better when it comes to fertilizer, you can have too much of a good thing. Proper fertilization can make your lawn healthier and less susceptible to sod webworms.

To discourage sod webworms from thriving, follow proper lawncare practices. Water your lawn infrequently and deeply, and mow your lawn regularly. These habits help keep your lawn healthy and strong.

Managing Sod Webworms

Prevention tips don’t do much good if you already have a sod webworm problem. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to get rid of these pests. Lawn care professionals can apply chemical insecticides to the lawn to control the larval stages of the sod webworms.

With good lawn care practices, damaged lawns usually recover quickly. Keep your grass watered, and mow it regularly, and your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood in no time.

Sod webworms can cause big problems for Florida lawns. If you need help preventing or treating them, the Orlando lawn care professionals at Apex can help. Contact us today to learn how we can help you keep your lawn in tip-top shape!

Creating a Pest-Free Picnic

aesthetic-2093136_1920(1)Summer is finally here, which means it’s time for summertime picnics. When you throw a picnic, you don’t want any uninvited guests to show up and ruin your fun. Pests like ants, bees, mosquitoes, or ticks can crash your picnic and ruin everyone’s good time. To make sure only your invited guests can come to your picnic, follow these tips from the Orlando pest control technicians at Apex.

Choose a Logical Location

No location is 100 percent pest-free, but some locations are more suited for picnics than others. Before you set up your picnic, check the area to make sure there’s nothing nearby that could attract pests. Steer clear of stagnant water, as that can attract mosquitoes. Areas with lots of flowers are pretty, but they’re not the best spots for picnics either. Flowering plants attract stinging insects like bees and wasps. You should also stay away from areas with visible ant colonies.

Take Precautions to Avoid Stinging Insects

Nothing ruins a fun picnic as fast as uninvited stinging insects. Stinging insects are attracted to sweet things, so it’s a good idea to avoid wearing perfume. If one of your guests is allergic to stinging insects, you could avoid bringing any sweet foods, too. Stinging pests can sneak into cans or bottles, so to stay safe, drink out of clear cups. Once stinging insects find a good food source, they’ll keep coming back for more. After your picnic is over, clean up thoroughly. If you leave food or drink residue behind, your great picnic spot could be taken over by stinging insects.

Wear Bug Spray

Do you forget to apply bug spray before your picnics? You’re not alone. Many people forget this step, but it can go a long way towards making your picnics more fun. Bug spray makes you less attractive to pests, so you can enjoy your picnic in peace. To avoid contaminating your tasty food, remember to apply bug spray before you open any food containers. If you’re planning to be outside for a while, you may need to reapply the bug spray.

Be Aware

While some types of pests will sneak up on your picnic, others are fairly easy to see. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for bugs. To make bugs easier to spot, try using a light-colored picnic blanket. For example, ants can easily be seen crawling towards your food. Ticks can be seen on your blanket, or you may notice them after they bite you.

Pests don’t have to ruin your summertime picnics. By following these tips from the Orlando pest control experts at Apex, you can throw great picnics all summer long. Interested in preventing even more pests from invading? Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation inspection.

Don’t Let Moths Eat Your Favorite Shirt

dresses-53319_1920Imagine your disappointment when you pull your favorite shirt out of your closet, only to discover that it’s covered in holes. If you have clothes moths, this situation is sadly common. Moth larvae love to nibble on our favorite clothes and ruin our wardrobes. Orlando pest removal experts are well acquainted with these wardrobe nuisances.

Signs of Moth Issues

How do you know if you have clothes moths? An obvious sign is holes in your clothes. When moth larvae feed on fabric, they leave behind irregularly shaped holes. Damaged fabrics can also have silken cases, silken threads, or even fecal pellets on them. Gross! Another clue that you have a moth problem is a musty smell in your closet. You could also notice webbing in your closet. You could even see adult moths running over the surface of your clothes.

Tips for Prevention

This National Moth Week, July 20-30, we want to help you keep your clothes safe from destructive moths. There are a number of ways to keep your closet moth-free.

  1. Usually, moth eggs enter homes from outdoors. If you’ve worn a wool, fur, or feather garment outdoors, brush it off before you enter your house. This helps keep moth eggs outdoors where they belong.
  2. Moths are attracted to the smell of sweat, so make sure to wash your clothes before you store them. Delicate clothes can be dry cleaned, instead. When your clothes and closet are clean, moths have less reason to move in.
  3. Proper storage of your clothes is also essential. Keep your closet well ventilated and eliminate humidity. Since Florida is the most humid state in the country, you may need to get a dehumidifier.
  4. Hang your clothes on cedar hangers, since moths are repelled by cedar. If you have any clothing you don’t wear often, store it in airtight packages for even more protection.

Dealing with Moth Infestations

By following the simple steps above, you can keep your clothes safe from moths. However, once moths move in, mitigating them can be more difficult. Some people try to handle moths on their own with mothballs, but these aren’t a great idea. Aside from the terrible smell, mothballs are toxic. Even one mothball can seriously harm a small child or a pet, so it’s best to keep them out of your house. A moth infestation is a great reason to bring in pest control experts.

Have moths taken over your closet? It’s time to get rid of them before they have a chance to ruin all your clothes. The Orlando pest removal experts at Apex can help you evict the moths and take back your closet. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Summer is the Season of Crabgrass

rush-348481_1920(2)After spending hours making sure your lawn is green and beautiful, there’s nothing worse than seeing crabgrass take over. Crabgrass is an opportunistic lawn weed, and it’s a real eyesore. It grows very well in hot, dry conditions, which makes it a big problem for us in Florida. Orlando lawn care experts are well acquainted with this weed.

Crabgrass Basics

Crabgrass sprouts in the late spring. It only needs bare soil, water, and sunlight to grow. Once it sprouts, it spreads quickly, which is bad news for lawns. Each crabgrass plant can distribute thousands of seeds before the next spring, so in no time, our lawns can be taken over by weeds.

If your lawn is infested with crabgrass, you’ll know it. This unattractive weed sprawls low across the ground from a central root. It’s also a lighter shade of green than the rest of your lawn. When you look out at your lawn, you’ll see the patches of crabgrass. Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent or treat crabgrass.

Prevention

Keeping your lawn healthy is the best way to prevent a crabgrass infestation. To keep your lawn in tip-top shape, make sure to mow it at the proper height. Usually, this means mowing at one of the top two settings on your mower. When your grass is taller, the soil underneath gets more shade. The shade can help prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating.

Another part of keeping your lawn healthy is watering it carefully. To strengthen your lawn’s roots, it’s best to water deeply and less frequently. Thoroughly watering your lawn once a week is better than turning on your sprinklers for a short time every day. When you wet the soil to a depth of four to six inches, you encourage your lawn’s roots to go deeper into the soil. This makes your lawn hardier and more resistant to weeds. Shallow watering makes the grass roots weaker and more susceptible to weeds. Crabgrass needs bare soil to grow, so it’s important to keep your lawn thick and healthy. If you have any bare patches on your lawn, reseed them. The best time to do this is in the fall.

Treatment

By summer, it may be too late to prevent crabgrass from invading. That’s because it thrives in the hot, dry conditions. If you’ve already got crabgrass, don’t panic. Specially-formulated treatments can be used to manage the crabgrass. This helps maintain your lawn’s density and color.

If you’re worried about crabgrass, get help from an Orlando lawn care company. Take the guesswork out of lawncare and crabgrass management by hiring the experts at Apex Pest Control. Contact us today to take back control of your lawn.

Summertime Means More Stingers in Florida

animal-22872_1920Summer is the time of year we spend long afternoons outdoors and in our beautiful Florida environment. From barbeques to fireworks, trips to the beach and golf outings, Central Florida has an abundance of outdoor options. Of course, we have a temperate year-round climate as well, but it’s still one that tempers the amount of pests and bugs during the winter. During the summer, the gloves come off; pests of all varieties blossom annually and range from mosquitoes to wasps. Combine that with the sheer number of people enjoying the summer months outside, and you have an uptick in the amount of pest stings and bites. This is something that the experts in Orlando pest control are very familiar with.

As mentioned, the range of stinging pests in Central Florida is wide. Wasps, hornets, bees, fire ants, mosquitoes and many more can be a problem this time of year. Mosquitoes and wasps, in particular, are active in much greater numbers over the summer. So what can you and your family do to be better protected?

  • Avoid Aggressive Situations

Wasps sting in defense of their nest or for self-protection, and they can do so multiple times with precision. It’s important to also keep in mind that they give off a scent that essentially calls for reinforcements if injured. So, in short, stay calm and avoid any escalating an aggressive wasp situation.

  • Watch Out for Nests

Obviously, this is key and something children need to be made particularly aware of. Aggravating a pest nest, either on purpose or by accident, is the easiest route to a painful sting. Be aware that they can be in many places ranging from the ground to the high corners of a structure.

  • Keep Scents in Mind

Wasps use scents as a means of communication for defense. It is often advised to limit wearing scents that are similar to flowers or plants in smell. These can be confused for actual flowers and cause issues.

  • Stay in Screened Areas

This tip is simple, but useful. The easiest way to stay away from the many stinging insects of Florida is to stay in screened areas as much as possible in the summer months.

  • Avoid Wearing Yellow and White

Two colors that attract wasps, in particular, are yellow and white. They are similar to the colors of flowers they frequently feed on. If venturing into a high-pest area, it’s wise to consider some other clothing colors.

With a few simple precautions, such as the above, you and your family can enjoy a summer without painful stings. And with quality professional Orlando pest control from the specialists at Apex, you can go even a step further towards securing your home or business from insect nests. For a free, no-obligation inspection, as well as a quote, call anytime at   (866) 675-4070.

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4 Types of Cockroaches You May See in Central Florida

cockroaches-215544_1920Like peanut butter and jelly, Florida and cockroaches go hand-in-hand. It’s an inescapable fact of living in this naturally beautiful state; at some point, you’ll have to deal with them. But taking care of cockroaches is not a quest you have to tackle alone. Using the best in Orlando pest control by contacting Apex is key to having thought-out cockroach solutions and peace of mind.

It might surprise you to know that not all cockroaches found locally are the same. Although there are some very notable similarities, those with a mind for details will notice there are some equally notable differences between the types of cockroaches you see in your home over the years. That’s because we have, in fact, four different species of cockroaches that are common to the Central Florida area. Each presents its own unique issues and abilities:

German Cockroach

  • Very common and will look for the warmest area of your house.
  • These can be easily identified by two stripes directly behind their head.
  • Most are 13-16mm, have straight antennae, and look very typical of what a common cockroach of the imagination would appear.
  • Hardy and adaptive.

Asian Cockroach

  • A cockroach that seeks light; this is the common “turn on the kitchen light at night” bug.
  • Nearly identical in look as the German cockroach.
  • Standout characteristics of the Asian cockroach are its ability to fly (not all can), and it’s preference for the outdoors. This species of cockroach will not stay in your house as easily as others.
  • Attracted to screens of all types; again, they will be drawn to any bright light.

Palmetto Bug or American Cockroach

  • They can fly, and they are large.
  • These cockroaches have wings longer than their bodies, which often gives an appearance that they are even bigger than they actually are.
  • Found in warm and humid portions of your home: kitchen, bathroom, attic (if it is not secured properly), etc.

Smokybrown Cockroach

  • Notable for its namesake color and also quite common.
  • The smokybrown variety is renowned for their flying ability, which can get them confused with the Asian cockroach.
  • Shiny head, about 38-42 mm in length.
  • Voracious eaters: most cockroaches are certainly not picky, but the smokybrown stands out still; they will eat anything from decaying plants to animal feces and human food.

It gets all the more confusing when you consider that we Floridians have nicknames for roaches (like palmetto bug). Keeping your cockroach knowledge properly up to date shouldn’t be your responsibility. Trust the experts in Orlando pest control at Apex. Our decades of experience, especially with cockroaches, puts us in a rare position to treat any and all problems. For a free and no-obligation inspection and quote, contact us anytime at (866) 675-4070 or online.

 

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