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Category Archive: Orlando

Silverfish: A Common Indoor Pest

silverfishSilverfish are as common as they are misunderstood. This strange creature is a Central Florida mainstay, and summer is their peak season. When it comes to preventing and extracting silverfish from your home, experience goes a long way. Few have the experience in Orlando pest control quite on the level of Apex. Our decades in the local area give us a knowledge base on the particular habits of bugs like the eerie silverfish, and we can share that understanding with you.

Here are some basics on the critter you’ve no doubt seen, but probably haven’t studied:

  • We should note right off the bat that although they appear kind of creepy to most people, silverfish are harmless. That’s not to say you want them running around your home, but there’s no reason to book that hotel room quite yet.
  • They aren’t silver, and they aren’t fish.
  • They prefer damp spaces and low lighting; odds are you will spot the whiskered creature at night and around your bathroom or kitchen.
  • They are attracted to many types of starchy food, but can eat anything from books to carpet to paint.

Silverfish have a preference for humidity and high temperatures, so you can see why this is a pest well-suited for Central Florida. What can you really do to keep them out of your home?

  • Limit Easy Food: Like every pest that can cause trouble in your home, silverfish are there for three reasons: food, water, and shelter. By sealing up everything in your kitchen and keeping countertops constantly clean, you are taking a big step.
  • Traps: Traps (like sticky fly paper) work with silverfish on a very limited basis. Silverfish are hearty and rarely attracted to one particular substance.
  • Professionals: DIY approaches can take out one silverfish at a time, but there is an underlying reason why they are coming into your home and staying there. That reason is something that only a pest care professional can properly diagnose and address. Why settle for frustration when the answer to silverfish is but a phone call away?

And when it comes to Orlando pest control, the answer and the experience is at Apex. We offer not just techniques for ridding your home or business of these odd creatures, but we can help prevent them in the first place. Contact us anytime for a free, no-obligation inspection and quote; we will always respond to any call within 24 hours. Silverfish, in addition to potentially eating clothing and other fabrics, are also harbingers of some potentially larger pest problems on your property. Don’t take the chance; contact the experienced professionals at Apex.

Pests Could Infiltrate the Party This Independence Day

sparklers-828570_1280Memorial Day weekend may be the kickoff to summer, but the Fourth of July is another reason to celebrate! It’s a great holiday for outdoor barbeques, trips to the beach, and, hopefully, a nice fireworks display. But all that outdoor action in the Florida summer has a consequence: pests. As the leaders in Orlando pest control, we thought we’d provide some tips for having a pest-free 4th of July celebration.

Although not all Fourth of Julys are celebrated the same way across Central Florida, there are some baseline ideas that can be incorporated into all types of parties:

  • Food inside: Even if you are having an outdoor party, trying to keep the majority of the food inside is a good idea. Pests of all types are primarily attracted to food sources, so keeping the attractant indoor is a great step.
  • Clear cups: In Florida, particularly, you never quite know what may have buzzed into your drink while you weren’t paying attention (or while you were preoccupied with the grill). And you may not know until it’s too late with cans and plastic solo cups. Drinking out of a clear cup might be a wise choice this Independence Day.
  • Seal garbage: Food becomes garbage, and both attract pests in droves. Sealing up your garbage as quickly as possible, and moving it far away from where you may have a party going, helps to keep pests to a minimum.
  • Clean up: It also helps with the ease of cleanup at the end of the party if you have some things taken care of during it. A thorough cleanup of a house or backyard party will prevent future pest problems in the weeks afterward. Try to think of everything: trash, counter surfaces, and debris left in the backyard.
  • Citronella: One thing you’re almost certain to encounter in a Fourth of July party in Florida is mosquitoes. Sprays help, and long clothing is recommended… but neither may be the best choice for a pool party. Try natural citronella, either the candles or the plants themselves, for an added layer of protection.

A pest-free Fourth of July party is the best kind, and following a few simple steps can get you there. But, for a more complete evaluation, always keep in mind that the Orlando pest control experts at Apex are just a phone call away. We offer a free, no-obligation inspection, and we will always get back to you within 24 hours.

Bug Barometer Forecast: Mosquitoes & Termites Early This Year

dance-schools-1837658_1920Pests are a year-round Central Florida issue, one that any local homeowner will become well aware of. But even in Florida, we have seasons and certain times of the year when pest concentrations are highest. Some years have a higher or lower count of overall pests, particularly with mosquitoes and termites. In any season, and in any year, having world-class professional Orlando pest control is vital to keeping your home and family safe.

But it is also a good idea to keep an eye on the indications for the coming year. The National Pest Management Association produces a yearly forecast of its expectations in regards to both pest levels and the schedule they are expected to run on. This type of “bug barometer” is especially critical when thinking about termites and mosquitoes: two pests which you can certainly prepare for in advance.

For 2017, there were some interesting notes from the NPMA survey. Included below are some of the main points you may want to keep in mind as we transition from spring to summer.

  • Early Pest Season: With an extremely mild winter that barely saw temperatures dip near freezing more than once or twice, expect an early start to the summer pest season. Cold winters act as checkpoints for mosquito populations, and with the lack of one, the NPMA anticipates a quick start to the season. This is mainly true of all east coast states in 2017.
  • Increased Mosquito Populations: Although we’ve had a dry beginning to 2017, the warm nature of the 2016-2017 winter means the pump is primed for a high-level mosquito summer. As soon as meaningful rainfall begins of any type, we should expect an immediate mosquito response.
    • 2016 brought the first wave of the Zika virus, and there are indications that we may see this again. It is important to protect yourself in the usual fashion: sprays, long-sleeved clothing, and a restriction on being outdoors during dusk and dawn in the peak summer months
  • High Termite counts: Termites are active year round in Florida, so there is less of a spring swarm that other areas of the country concentrate on; instead, there is steady pressure. The termite population of 2017 will be entirely undeterred by a warm winter and are expected to continue flourishing.

The National Pest Management Association’s bug barometer made the evidence for a strong mosquito season rather clear. At this time in the season, you should already be seeing more frequent activity than usual (if you haven’t yet, odds are you will). For these reasons and more, having the best in Orlando pest control with Apex will be important all year long. Contact us anytime for more information and a free, no-risk inspection.

 

Oothecae: Cockroach Egg Cases

the-cockroaches-834021_1920Cockroaches are, without a doubt, one of the biggest pest concerns for any Central Florida resident. Tough, resilient, and very well-adapted to our local climate, they can be a difficult foe to extricate from your business or home. Making certain you are cockroach free is important; for businesses there can be a direct economic effect to being a locally-known roach hut, and for homeowners, this common pest can bring disease and a general lack of well-being. The presence of cockroaches may also indicate a larger pest management issue lurking under the surface. To properly vet your properties for roach infestations, contacting Orlando pest control experts, such as those at Apex, can be your best bet. With experience, they can spot one of the least talked about signals of roaches: oothecae.

Although professionals can be vital when it comes to oothecae, you can become more informed and better prepared. In short, an ootheca is the egg casing that roaches spread around, and they can hatch new pests by the hundreds. Spotting many of these cylinders in the same place often indicates a big problem with roaches. Keep in mind that the eggs are carried in a variety of ways; some species drop unhatched eggs while others continue carrying them until their brood is free to roam. The finding of an ootheca in your home is not an exact count of the roach problem you may have; it’s likely many more are hidden (or still being carried).

Here are some common ootheca identification tips based on species:

  • American Cockroach: Dark brown in color and approximately eight millimeters in length, these pods will contain on average 15 embryonic roaches.
  • Brown-Banded Cockroach: A common type of Florida roach, the brown-banded  carries very small oothecae (about five millimeters in length) that have a reddish-brown tint.
  • Oriental Cockroach: Rarer to the area, and unable to fly, this roach species can produce up to eight oothecae cases in just a half year. Each of these cases will hold up to 16 embryos.
  • German Cockroach: One of our most common types of roaches, the ootheca of the German cockroach is brown and can hold an astonishing 50 embryos per egg casing.

There’s no need to be more involved with the details of cockroaches and the ootheca they carry than you need to be. Adding to the intricacies of roach management, common techniques for dealing with adult roaches will have little impact on oothecae. So, instead of frustration, contact the experts in roach management and Orlando pest control at Apex any time. We offer a free inspection and quote with absolutely no obligations and will always get back to you within 24 hours. Feel secure and remain roach free with Apex.

4 Surefire Ways to Prevent Pests of All Kinds

cleaning-268126_1920(1)Bugs vary an awful lot. From sophisticated colony makers like termites and ants to solitary garden devourers like the stink bug, the range of threats and issues they can cause to both the inside and outside of your home is immense. The ways to deal with these pests is just as varied as the creatures themselves; this is especially true in Florida. Our climate allows for a thriving culture of critters year-round; through drought, wet-seasons, tropical storms, and unrelenting heat, they flourish. To deal with pests locally, it’s smart to be in contact with those who have years of experience: the Orlando pest control specialists at Apex.

But even with Apex pest control on your side, there are some things you can do on your own to help prevent many pest issues. It is true that termites will require a different approach from, say, mosquitoes, but with these general tried and true methods, you can help yourself immensely in the Central Florida battle against pests. Try these four concepts to facilitate with a wide variety of pest issues.

  • Cleaning

Indeed, no matter the pest involved, bugs of any stripe will be looking for three things in your home: food, water, and shelter. You can do your part to make sure all three of these are in as short of supply as possible. For food, simply being consistently clean around any food areas is a great assistance (kitchens, dining rooms, etc). Most bugs will happily eat the exact same thing that you do. Pests also need water. Checking for leaky faucets and any type of standing water will help to cut off this supply. Finally, shelter is one of the more difficult parts of the bug paradigm, but just keeping any area as clear as possible will be key.

  • Home Damage

Pests can gain entrance through the weak points of your home. The dampwood termite, for instance, a local Central Florida mainstay, eats only damaged and waterlogged wood. Simply ensuring that you have no such wood to offer can cut them out of your equation. Beyond this, ripped screens, cracks in drywall, and weak roofing are all areas to fix and keep an eye on.

  • Pest Products

Simple products such as citronella candles, small baits boxes, and mosquito repellent can keep Florida pests off you. These should be a bit more targeted per pest type, and using any pesticide in excess is never recommended. However, they do help in spots, and living in a Central Florida summer will certainly give you ample opportunities for use.

  • Professional Help

Finally, pest control is complicated. We’ve got years of experience under our belt, and we are ready to be proactive in defending your home against pests. Be secure and safe, and always rely on the expertise of professionals.

If you do so, go with the best. Contact the Orlando pest control experts at Apex via 866-675-4070 for a no-obligation quote and inspection. Prevention can be much easier than a reactive pest management strategy, so contact us today.

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Initial Steps After Seeing a German Cockroach

cockroach-1491411_1920Live in Central Florida for any amount of time, and cockroaches will no doubt make more than a few appearances in your life. But what steps can you take after seeing these ubiquitous pests? With the help of the experts in Orlando pest control at Apex, you can defeat any cockroach problem, both large and small.

If you’ve seen a cockroach in your home, odds are it is the German cockroach, generally one of the most common species in the local area. They can thrive in our environment, as they are hardy in their ability to withstand heat or cold and perfectly adapted to marshland and swamps. How you react to seeing one goes a long way towards how many more you will see in the future. Try these four initial steps upon a German cockroach encounter:

Cut Off the Food Supply

Cockroaches are in your home for three reasons and three reasons only: food, water, and shelter. Shelter is more difficult to cut off without help from professionals (roaches can live in remarkable environments), but food and water can certainly be contained. Make certain any trash is cleared from around your home, and never leave food out longer than it needs to be. Also, secure any food storage bins or bags you may have in your pantry. Leaky pipes and faucets are an issue as well; it’s the reason cockroaches are so often seen in bathrooms and kitchens.

Seal Up Entry Ways

Try to determine how the cockroaches entered your home. This may not be easy because roaches don’t need much wiggle room. Simple things like patching up ripped screens and caulking cracked portions of your home structure can still help immensely.

Bait Traps

Bait traps can be useful, but only to a degree. Good for a minor roach problem, they can also be dangerous for pets and small children. So, in general, there are better ways, but if you have an issue with one or two roaches in your bedroom, this can work.

Contact Professionals

It’s often said that cockroaches outlived the dinosaurs, and that’s not a myth. They’ve been on this planet for eons because of their incredible adaptive abilities; being able to live for periods underwater, surviving without a head, going weeks without eating… all of these are skills they posses. So, don’t be let down if you can’t remove them from your home. It’s time to contact the pros.

Modern, cutting-edge cockroach removal and control methods have come a long way, but it’s good to go with the best. When it comes to Orlando pest control, Apex lives up to its company namesake; we are equipped with decades of local experience and all the pest tools for any issue. Contact us anytime at (866) 675-4070 for a free, no-obligation inspection and quote.

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Your Bed Bug Problem Might Actually be Carpet Beetles

bed-1284666_1920Bed bugs are once again mainstream. For a long time, they had begun to be thought of as a relic of a distant less pest-conscious age. Now, they have staged a comeback with their tenacity and their ability to contort to their surroundings. The Orlando pest control experts at Apex have seen a significant spike in calls regarding this feared and difficult-to-remove bug over the past few years. Once on scene, we’ve found that some of these calls were indeed made for a different bug altogether; the homeowner didn’t have bed bugs, but the very similar carpet beetle.

Carpet beetles don’t have a hold on the public imagination quite like bed bugs do (maybe it’s the name), but the effect they can have is often comparable except for one major difference. Even pest control “specialists,” those perhaps without the experience and battle-tested nature of a unit like Apex, will often have a difficult time making the distinction. But carpet beetles act differently, and they need to be treated differently, which is a vital things to keep in mind if either find their way into your home.

Bed bugs and carpet beetles share some remarkable similarities, as we’ve mentioned:

    • Both are attracted to you, a human, because of the CO2 you emit when you sleep.
    • Both look to take cover quickly and are difficult to detect.
    • Both are primarily active at night or in the very early morning.
    • Both are relatively similar looking in shape, although bed bugs are quite a bit bigger.

Here, though, is the very important difference between the two: bed bugs bite and carpet beetles do not.

Carpet beetles eat fabrics and fibers, and they have no interest in blood, so a great measure of panic we often hear in bed bug calls ends up being somewhat unfounded. Carpet beetles are certainly not something you want in your home, but they are not dangerous on the level that bed bugs can be. Instead, they can cause some limited damage to household items and, occasionally, skin irritation to those prone to an allergic reaction to them. This minor allergic reaction is often confused for a “bite” when bed bugs spring to the mind of the homeowner.

The misunderstanding between identifying bed bugs and carpet beetles is without doubt very easy to make, especially for those with busy days and hectic lives. So, why not take one worry off your plate? If you have reason to be concerned about having bed bugs or carpet beetles, call the Orlando pest control professionals at Apex. They are masters at both identification and, of course, removal. Contact us anytime at (866) 675-4070, and we will get back to you within 24-hours.

Fire Season is Here: That’s Florida’s Voracious Fire Ant Season

fire-ant-1091301_1920Fire ants are a year-round pest, but their possible numbers on your lawn swell more so in the hot summer months, as they prefer temperatures in the range of 70-90 degrees whether night or day. Few pests are more feared in the Central Florida area than fire ants. They don’t generally cause destruction to property, and it’s difficult (although not impossible) to find a full colony within your home, so the usual markers of a Florida pest just aren’t there. But what they can do is bite. Fire ants are one of the more dangerous pests in the area, and they are best handled by professionals with decades of experience in Tampa pest control.

As an invasive species to Florida, fire ants have few natural predators and can grow their colonies very quickly. If you step into one in error, you’ll find that they can defend those colonies with extreme vigor. Some other facts on fire ants:

  • Fire ants have the ability to venture over 100 feet from their nests in search of food. Their voracious bite makes them unlikely to be stopped by any other creature.
  • A common fire ant colony is a dirt mound: large and quickly defended. These are found on lawns that are not maintained with hyper-consistency, but can also be common even in ones that are, as fire ants are highly adaptive. Other places they can nest include:
    • In cracks of pavement (generally underneath).
    • In any kind of foliage: rotting tree stumps, palm fronds stacked together, etc.
    • Occasionally in electrical outlets, although since they prefer ground based colonies, they are more likely to be found in something at that level.

Anyone who has lived in the Tampa area for any amount of time can recall the bite of a fire ant. The name “fire ant” is not scientific, and merely a local name for the burning sting they leave with venom that can last on human skin for up to 10 days (some with allergies encounter even worse symptoms). Life-long Florida residents often have true fire ant horror stories.

But, there are many ways to stop them when deployed by professionals. They include:

  • Barrier treatments
  • Bait (professional varieties are the best)
  • Direct mound treatments

Fire ants are one pest you definitely do not want around your home, especially if you have small animals and children. They are tough and versatile, so extricating them from your lawn can prove difficult. It’s for this reason that it is best to contact the experts in Tampa pest control at Apex. We have all the tools and decades of experience with this creature. Contact us anytime for a free, no-obligation inspection and quote.

 

Preventing Versus Controlling Termites

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

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

Cost

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

Regular Visits

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

Variety of Methods

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

Home Care

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

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

When House Hunting, Keep Your Eyes Peeled

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

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

 

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

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

Service beyond
the expected.

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

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