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Category Archive: Pest Control

How to Keep Rodents out of Your House

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

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

Apex Pest technician reviewing garage door seal

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

1. Seal Any Cracks in Your Home’s Foundation

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

2. Eliminate Points of Entry

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

3. Inspect Your Roof

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

4. Eliminate Food Sources

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

5. Regularly Take the Trash Out

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

6. Tidy-Up Your Home’s Perimeter

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

7. Clean Inside Your Home

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

8. Check Wires and Pipes

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

9. Fix Any Leaks Inside

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

Need Pest Help?

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

Why DIY Pest Control Is a Bad Idea

When you’re experiencing a pest issue at your home, we understand it’s tempting to search for a do-it-yourself (DIY) solution. There are certain problems with DIY pest control that makes it a bad idea. What you really need is an expert on your premises to evaluate the situation, make recommendations for treatment options and professionally monitor and apply the treatment.

man holding flashlight while looking for pests in attic

Here’s a look at some reasons why you should avoid DIY pest control at all costs:

  • Surface applications are ineffective: Most DIY treatments require you to apply a pest control product to floors or countertops. In most cases, bugs and rodents either fail to pick up an effective does of the product as they walk across it or the product becomes ineffective before the encounter. In either case, the over-the-counter solution proves wholly ineffective.
  • Killing on contact is a short-term solution: If and when a DIY product does work, it typically kills on contact. This is a short-term fix, but it does nothing to help your situation over time. When you kill on contact, the pests remaining have a chance to regroup and relocate. You need a pest control solution that kills at the source rather than just some on contact.
  • Bugs are becoming more resistant: Over time, bugs and other pests are becoming more resistant to over-the-counter solutions. When you choose professional pest control, you’re choosing an expert who uses effective products known to zap pests and provide long-term solutions.
  • Choosing and applying the right product is an art form: Different pest issues require different types of pest control products. On top of that, applying the right amount of product to the right space in your home can be tricky. In many cases, homeowners trying DIY solutions either choose the wrong product or apply it incorrectly — which does nothing to fix the root problem.
  • Bug bombs are more popular than effective: One of the most common and popular DIY solutions is the bug bomb. Unfortunately, bug bombs are not effective at killing pests at the source. In fact, you’re more likely to spread bugs around your home after setting off a bomb than you are to kill them.
  • Pest control chemicals need expert handling: Many over-the-counter pest control solutions contain chemicals that can contaminate your water supply, plants and even the air inside your home. When you opt for professional pest control vs. DIY, you get experts who know how to handle these chemicals in a non-threatening way.

Given the climate, bugs and pests never take a break in Florida. If you’re a Florida homeowner wondering why not to DIY pest control, consider the points made above — and then call the leading provider of pest control services in the Sunshine State. At Apex Pest Control, we offer a friendly, knowledgeable team that knows how to get results.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free quote and avoid the problems with DIY pest control.

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, calling 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. And disruption of breeding cycles is one of the main benefits of ongoing pest control. If you choose the reactive approach, calling 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 start laying eggs and spreading. If you choose ongoing pest control treatment, each visit strengthens the protective barrier, ensuring that bugs are never able to 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 and the bugs and activity prevalent during that season.
  4. 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.

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 that 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.

Allergies and Household Pests

vacuum cleanerAllergies are often associated with the outdoors, but allergens can be a problem indoors, too. Indoors, pests like cockroaches, rodents, and dust mites can lead to allergic reactions. The symptoms of pest allergies—including itchy eyes, runny nose, and coughing—are similar to the symptoms of seasonal allergies. The Orlando pest control professionals at Apex have some tips for allergy-proofing your home.

Keep Pests Outdoors

To control indoor allergens, keep pests outdoors. Pests, like cockroaches, can enter your home through cracks or gaps. Gaps can be found around doors, windows, plumbing, and electrical. These gaps can be sealed with caulk.

Pests can also slip underneath your doors. Use weather stripping to leave less room for pests beneath doors. Torn window screens can also let bugs come inside, so make sure your screens are in good working order.

Maintain Proper Humidity Indoors

Some pests are drawn to moist, humid environments. To keep pests away, it’s important to control the humidity level inside your house. Indoor humidity should be about 50 percent. To lower your home’s humidity level, you can properly ventilate basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, and other humid areas. You could also use dehumidifiers.

Vacuum Regularly

Small crumbs of food may not be very noticeable to you, but to pests, they’re a tasty snack. To avoid attracting pests, vacuum your carpets regularly to get rid of crumbs. Try to vacuum at least once a week. After you vacuum, dust hard surfaces with a damp cloth or a dust rag.

Wipe Surfaces Regularly

Food spills are attractive to pests of all kinds. To help keep pests away, wipe your food-preparing surfaces at least once a day. If possible, wipe these surfaces after every meal you prepare. Dispose of garbage regularly, and store it in a sealed trash bin.

Use Allergen-Proof Covers

Dust mites can live in your mattress and pillows, even if you clean regularly. To reduce their effects, encase these objects in allergen-proof covers. These covers are made of plastic, vinyl, or fabric. The covers have small pores, so dust mites and their waste products can’t pass through. This helps protect you.

Pests can be to blame for indoor allergies. Try these tips to control pest allergens indoors. For more help controlling pests, don’t hesitate to contact the Orlando pest control professionals at Apex. Looking for more tips to help keep the pests out of your home? Check out our blog for more!

3 Ways to Kick Ants Out of Your House

antsAre you worried about ants in your home or on your property? Ants are widespread in Florida, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to keep them away. The Orlando pest control experts at Apex have three tips for kicking ants out of your home.

Pay Attention to Prevention

To keep ants out of your home, focus on prevention. Ants may enter your home for food, so sanitation is very important. Food debris and spills should be cleaned up as quickly as possible to avoid attracting ants.

Sealing ant-entry points can also help prevent an infestation. Entry points can be found around baseboards, sinks, outlets, and other areas with small cracks. Use caulk to fill these cracks to keep ants outdoors.

Preventative pest treatments can also help keep ants at bay. Indoors, residual pesticide sprays can be used for this. It’s important not to use bait stations when you don’t have an ant problem. That’s because the bait stations can attract ants into your house. Outdoors, you can pre-treat your property with a broad pesticide with a slower release. This helps keeps ants away.

Make Sure to Target the Queen

If ants move into your house despite your prevention efforts, it’s not enough to just squish or spray the ones you see crawling around. Other ants, including the egg-laying queen, are safely hidden away in a nearby colony. They could be hiding inside your walls, behind your appliances, or in other hard-to-reach areas. If you don’t target these hidden ants, the infestation will continue.

Bait stations can help you kill ants that you can’t reach otherwise. The foraging ants bring the bait back to the colony and feed it to the others, including the queen. Once the queen dies, the colony can be eliminated.

Be Persistent

Ants are hard to get rid of, so to kick them out for good, you need to be persistent. Bait stations are often effective, but for optimum results, a sustained period of feeding is usually needed. Wherever ants are seen, continue placing additional bait stations. Ants can be picky eaters, so you may need to try more than one bait before you get results.

Fire ants are the most difficult to control. Areas can be re-infested when nearby ant colonies expand or when newly mated queens arrive. Within 12 to 18 months of treatment, fire ant populations can fully recover. Ongoing control is necessary for these pests.

With these three tips, you can control the ants in and around your home. If you need assistance, contact the Orlando pest control professionals today or check out our blog today! We would be happy to help.

What Surprising Pests Hideout in Your Walls?

bedroomMany people think bed bugs are only found in beds, but sadly, that’s not the case. These sneaky pests can squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices, which makes getting rid of them difficult. The Tampa pest removal experts at Apex are well-acquainted with these bugs and their hiding places.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bed bugs can hide just about anywhere in your house. Their bodies are as thin as a piece of paper, so they can squeeze into impossibly small spaces. They can get inside cracks and crevices in your walls, electric outlets, and wiring. They can also hide inside electric appliances, behind pictures, and in books.

Bed Bug Control Mistakes

Sometimes, people with bed bug infestations will throw out their mattresses in the hopes that the infestation will be gone. Since bed bugs don’t just live in beds, that doesn’t work. If you throw out your mattress, the bugs will still be hiding in cracks and crevices.

Others will spray for bed bugs, but end up driving the bugs deeper into the home. Bed bugs can flee deep into the walls through small cracks. This can spread the bugs from one room to the next, or even from one apartment to the next. If your neighbor has bed bugs, the bugs could make their way to your apartment.

How to Seal Crevices

Since bed bugs can hide in crevices, it’s important to seal any cracks you can find. This can be done with caulk. Since you need to find and seal every tiny crevice, this is a very time-consuming project. However, it’s well worth it.

Check both the interior and the exterior of your home for cracks, and fill any that you find. Larger gaps can be filled with expanding spray foam. Caulk can shrink or crack over time, so inspect and touch up your handiwork every couple of months.

Get Professional Help

If you find bed bugs in your home, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Since these pests are so great at hiding, it’s hard for people to get rid of them alone. Professional pest control companies have a lot of experience finding bed bugs in their hiding places.

Bed bugs don’t just hide in beds. They can be found nearly anywhere inside homes thanks to their flat bodies excellent hiding skills. Still seeking more information? Check out our blog! If you’re concerned about bed bugs, don’t hesitate to contact the Tampa pest removal professionals at Apex.

What Infestation Signs to Look for When House Hunting

open house signThere are many things to consider when you’re house hunting, including pests. If you buy a home that’s infested with pests, you could get an unpleasant surprise down the line. When you’re house hunting, Orlando pest removal experts recommend watching out for these infestation signs.

Pest Droppings

Droppings are a clear sign of pest activity. Rodent droppings are 1/8-1/4” long and can be found in areas near food, like kitchen cupboards and pantries. Smaller droppings that look like coffee grains or black pepper could be left by cockroaches.

Holes and Gnaw Marks

Rodents need to gnaw constantly to wear down their constantly growing teeth. They also chew through materials to get to food or water. If you see any holes or gnaw marks around the house, rodents could be living inside.

Dead Bugs Indoors

As you look through your potential home, keep an eye out for dead bugs. If you see a lot of the same type of bug, you can assume more are living on the property. Window ledges and basements are key places to find dead bugs.

Nesting Materials

Rodents like to make warm, cozy nests in hard-to-find places. They use materials like shredded paper or fabric to build these nests. As you tour potential homes, peek in hidden nooks and crannies with a flashlight.

Signs of Termites

As you tour the home, watch for signs of termites. Blistering wood, uneven or bubbling paint, and discarded wings are some clues the home has a termite problem. Mud tubes are another warning sign; these are usually found around homes’ foundations.

Unusual Holes or Sawdust Piles

Wood-destroying pests can leave unusual holes around homes. Check around the woodwork, like window sills and molding. Also, watch for piles of sawdust that these pests leave behind.

Grease Marks or Tracks

Look out for dark smears on walls, floors, or around corners. Dark smears in these areas could be caused by rats. Rats have oily fur, and when their bodies brush against surfaces, they leave grease behind. You could also see their tracks around the home.

Odd Smells and Sounds

Unpleasant smells can be a sign that pests are lurking out of sight. A musty, urine smell can be a sign of a rodent problem, while an oily smell can mean cockroaches are nearby. Pest infestations can also have noticeable sounds, like squeaking or scratching noises.

Nearby Breeding Grounds

Don’t forget to check outside the house, too. Outdoor infestations can easily move inside and become a big problem.

If you’ve found your dream home, don’t make an offer until you’re sure it’s pest-free. Contact the Orlando pest removal experts at Apex to have the home professionally inspected. We’re here to be your number one resource for all things pests, check out our blog to learn more!

Places to Look for Cockroaches

cockroachCockroaches are the most prevalent species of insect in America. That’s partly because of their amazing hiding skills. They can squeeze into tiny crevices, and since they’re silent, you may not even notice them. So, where are cockroaches hiding? The Orlando pest control experts at Apex often find cockroaches in these hiding places:

On Ceilings

Cockroaches can easily walk upside down on smooth surfaces, like ceilings. They have tiny claws on the ends of their feet that make this possible. When you turn on the lights in a dark room, you may see cockroaches scurrying on the ceiling.

Around Water

Like other pests, cockroaches are attracted to water. In homes, they can be found hiding in damp areas. These damp areas include around the exposed pipes in cabinets, walls, or floors.

Around Furniture

Furniture provides a cozy place for cockroaches to hide. They hide in between cushions and beneath pillows. They can also be found hiding under wooden tables or on the backs of couches.

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes provide the perfect habitat for cockroaches. These pests will eat anything that’s organic, so they see cardboard boxes as a tasty snack. The boxes also let the roaches hide and breed. Food and beverage boxes are particularly attractive hiding places for roaches.

Appliances
Cockroaches can even take refuge in your appliances. Larger appliances, like stoves and refrigerators, have running motors that provide heat for roaches. Smaller appliances, like toasters, are full of delicious crumbs, and cockroaches may crawl inside for a meal. Roaches can also be found hiding behind your microwave, coffee maker, or other appliances.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms have a lot of moisture, and that attracts cockroaches. The gross thing is that cockroaches also find a lot of food in bathrooms. They snack on soap residue, hair, discarded tissues, and other non-food objects. You can find them hiding around your toilet or underneath your sink.

Cockroaches are sneaky pests, and they can be found hiding in unlikely places all around Florida homes. If you see cockroaches indoors, the experts at Apex can help you get rid of them by contacting us today! If you’re looking for more tips, check out our blog.

After a Hurricane, Watch Out for Unwanted Pests

cyclone

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!

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