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Category Archive: Pest Control

Allergies and Household Pests

Allergies 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

Are 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?

Many 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

There 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

Cockroaches 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

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!

A Lawn in Tip-Top Shape is Your Defense Against Summer Bugs

lawn-mowerWhen your body is healthy, it’s able to fight off diseases and illnesses. The same is true for lawns. When lawns are in tip-top shape, they can keep the bugs at bay. To keep your grass healthy and lush, follow these helpful tips from the Tampa lawn care experts at Apex.

Avoid Overwatering Your Lawn

Water is essential for a healthy, green lawn, but it’s possible to overdo it. If you water your lawn too frequently, you could end up drowning your lawn. It’s best to thoroughly water your lawn once or twice a week.

To make sure you’re not overwatering your lawn, use a rain gauge. Lawns need between one and two inches of water a week. That includes the water they get from the rain. During rainy periods, you may not need to do much watering.

If you have an irrigation system, check to make sure it’s functioning properly. The lawn should be watered evenly to stay healthy. If some areas are getting overwatered, your lawn could suffer.

Watch Out for Lawn Pests

Southern chinch bugs are one of the lawn pests we have here in Florida. They’re mainly found in St. Augustine grass. They feed on your grass by sucking out its juices. If your lawn is being taken over by these pests, the grass will look like it’s under stress.

Grubs are other lawn pests Floridians need to watch out for. Grubs are beetle larvae, and they feed on the roots of your grass. When this happens, large, irregular patches of your grass will turn brown. If you can easily pull up dead sections of your grass, you probably have grubs. If the populations of these lawn pests are getting out of control, insecticides can help.

Watch Out for Fungal Diseases

Excess moisture provides a great environment for fungi, and fungal diseases like brown patch can show up on your lawn. Circular areas of brown, dead grass are a sign of this disease. To stop the disease from spreading, you can apply fungicides to the lawn. Improved air flow and soil drainage will also help.

Fertilize and Aerate Your Lawn

Lawns need nutrients to stay healthy. Have your soil tested first, and then choose an appropriate fertilizer for your soil’s needs. Aerating the lawn also helps nutrients reach the roots of the grass. Healthy lawns are able to combat drought and survive hot, dry weather.

By following these tips, you can keep your lawn healthy and green. To learn more, contact the Tampa lawn care professionals at Apex.

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!

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