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Termites: Eating Through Your Home and Body

florida-homeYou probably already know that termites can eat through your home and cause a lot of damage. Surprisingly, these pests can be harmful to your health, too. The Tampa termite removal experts at Apex are well-are of the health issues associated with termites. How can termites hurt you? Here’s what you need to know.

Termites Can Stir Up Mold

Some types of termites live in wood with high moisture content. This type of wood is also prone to mold issues. When termites chew through moldy, wet wood, the mold spores can be released into the air. It’s possible for you to inhale these spores. They could also land on your skin. This is the root of the health issues caused by termites.

Asthma and Allergies

Some people are allergic to mold spores or other fungi. People with these allergies tend to have hay fever symptoms when they’re exposed to mold. Mold spores can also trigger asthma flare-ups if they get inside your lungs. This is known as mold-induced asthma.

Skin Diseases

Mold spores can also aggravate some skin diseases. For example, atopic dermatitis can be made worse by allergens. This can leave you with itchy, red, or crusty skin.

Fungal Infections

Mold can cause some types of fungal infections. An example is allergic fungal sinusitis. This is a sinus infection that can be caused by mold. People who get this infection may have allergies or asthma.

Body Infections

Mold can cause even more serious health problems in some people. For people who have impaired immune systems, mold can lead to infections. These infections could include infections of the skin or the mucous membranes.

Preventative Measures

To keep yourself safe and healthy, clean your home to keep mold at bay. Mopping, vacuuming, and ventilating your home can help. If wood gets water damaged, have it replaced with dry wood before mold can grow. Another preventative measure is having your home inspected for termites.

Termites are dangerous for both you and your home. If you’re worried you may have termites in your home, have an Tampa termite removal expert like Apex investigate. Contact us or read our blog for more info on how to protect you and your home!

Termite Damage 101

homeAre you wondering if you need termite protection? Termites should be a concern for anyone living in Florida. Many of the most termite-infested cities in the United States are in Florida. The hot, humid weather in the state provides the perfect environment for termite colonies. Tampa termite removal professionals have some information to share with Floridians about termite damage.

Cost of Termite Damage

Termite damage is very expensive. Every year, homeowners in the United States suffer five billion dollars in damages from termites. The average homeowner spends $3,300 to repair the damages to their home. Homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover termite damage.

Why Termites are So Destructive

Termites eat cellulose, which is the fibrous material in wood and plants. Any wood parts of your home could become a tasty snack for termites. They could also damage paper or books. Termites can bore through hard materials like drywall or plaster to reach food, which means even more damage.

Termite infestations can go undetected for years. That’s because the pests usually leave the outer surfaces of wood intact. The inner surfaces could be very damaged before anyone notices.

Another reason termites are so destructive is the size of their colonies. Termite colonies can contain anywhere between a few thousand individuals and several million. There can be several colonies per acre, so plenty of termites could be near your home. Each termite eats two to three percent of its weight daily. With so many hungry termites working together, you can see how your home could be in trouble.

Keeping Termites Away

No one wants termites to invade their home. There are many things you can do to prevent termites from moving in. Termites need moisture to thrive, so try to eliminate or reduce moisture in and around your home. If you have any leaky faucets or water pipes, get them fixed.

Inspect your home regularly for signs of termite damage. Wood that sounds hollow when tapped is a sign that termites could be present. Uneven or bubbling paint on your walls is another warning sign.

Since termites are so sneaky, it’s a good idea to have your home professionally inspected. This can be done once a year. Regular inspections let you handle termite infestations quickly, before they’ve done too much damage.

If you’re worried about termites in your home, the Tampa termite removal specialists at Apex can help. Contact us and we can corner the termites and help you take back your home starting with a free, no-obligation quote.

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.

Ticking Time Bomb: How Ticks Deteriorate Your Health and Home

tickTicks are one of the scariest bugs you can encounter in Florida. They can live in your grass, bushes, or in animal’s fur. They latch onto your skin and feed on your blood, and as they feed, they can transfer all kinds of diseases. Tampa pest control professionals recommend being wary of these tick-borne diseases.

Colorado Tick Fever

Colorado tick fever is a viral infection you can get from tick bites. As the name suggests, it’s most often seen in Colorado. It can still occur in other parts of the United States, including Florida. It usually starts three to six days after the tick bite occurs. The viral infection causes a sudden fever that goes away and then comes back. It can also cause a headache, muscle aches, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms.

Relapsing Fever

Relapsing fever is an infectious disease you can get from ticks. Symptoms start three to 11 days after the tick bite. The symptoms can go away, and then return several days later. Symptoms can include a high fever, headache, rapid heart rate, and rash.

Babesiosis

Ticks can spread parasitic diseases, too. Babesiosis is one of these diseases. It’s spread by deer ticks. The disease doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when symptoms occur, they appear one to four weeks after a tick bite. People with this disease can feel malaise, tiredness, decreased appetite, or muscle aches.

Tularemia

Tularemia is a disease that usually occurs in animals, but people can get it if they’re bitten by an infected tick. Mosquitoes and deer fly can also spread the disease. Within 21 days of getting bitten by a tick, symptoms can start. These symptoms can be severe. People with the disease could have an open sore at the bite site, a severe headache, or a sudden, high fever.

Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis is often found in the southern United States, so it’s a concern for Floridians. It’s an infectious disease that people can get from ticks. Symptoms can start one to 21 days after being bitten by a tick. The symptoms are flu-like and can include a fever, headache, and general ill feeling. A purple or red rash can also occur.

Protecting Yourself

These diseases can be treated, but it’s best to avoid getting bitten by ticks in the first place. When you’re outdoors, take precautions like tucking your pants into your socks and wearing insect repellent. Indoors, check your pet’s living spaces for signs of ticks.

Ticks are scary, but you don’t have to let them hurt your health. The Tampa pest control experts at Apex can help you stay healthy by keeping ticks at bay. Read our blog for tips on how to rid your home and your animal from unwanted ticks and more!

Alleviate Pest Issues with These Home Improvements

florida-home-1744737_1920Summer is a great time to tackle home improvement projects. You might be making a list of all the projects you want to get finished this summer. Whether you’re doing improvements for yourself or to get your house ready for sale, you can alleviate pest issues. The Tampa pest control experts at Apex recommend adding these three tasks to your list to help control pests around the house.

Seal Water Leaks

Water leaks are a big problem. You probably already know that leaks can cause expensive water damage, but you may not know they can attract bugs, too. Pests like cockroaches are drawn to water sources. If you’ve already planned to do some work in your kitchen or bathrooms, fixing water leaks is an easy addition to your to-do list. Water can leak through areas like the frame of your shower door, through your tiles, or through the rims of your sinks. If you find any leaks during your home improvement projects, use caulk to seal them.

Seal or Upgrade Windows

If your windows are old, they may leak air or water. When windows leak air, your conditioned air will leak out of the house. That drives up your energy costs during hot Florida summers. If windows leak water, water will come in when it rains. When your windows are leaking, pests may be able to sneak inside. To keep bugs outdoors where they belong, seal your windows. To do this, all you need to do is caulk the windows and replace weatherstripping. Another option is to replace your windows. The latter option can help bump up the value of your home, so it’s a good choice if you’re getting ready to sell.

Clean the Gutters

When was the last time you cleaned out your gutters? This isn’t a fun job, so it’s easy to put it off in favor of more enjoyable home improvement projects. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, and more often if you have a lot of trees on your property. When gutters get clogged, mosquitoes can use the standing water to breed. Water can overflow around your home’s foundation, and termites can be drawn to this moisture. Excess water can also lead to problems like rotten wood.

When you’re working on home improvement projects this summer, don’t forget about these three tasks. The Tampa pest control experts at Apex know that your home and family will thank you if you add these tasks to your to-do list. If these improvements don’t take care of your pest issues, contact Apex Pest Control today.

4 Unwanted Outdoor Pests

people-1560569_1920It’s summer, and that means everyone is spending more time outdoors. Now that the kids are out of school, they’re ready to get outside and enjoy summer activities. While many of Florida’s insects are harmless, there are a few that you don’t want your kids making friends with. Before your kids head outdoors for summer fun, make them aware of pests to avoid. Tampa pest control experts recommend steering clear of these four unfriendly insects.

  • Mosquitoes

Mosquito bites are annoying and itchy, but that’s not the worst part. These insects can spread a lot of dangerous diseases, like West Nile virus or Zika virus. To control mosquitoes on your property, drain any standing water to keep mosquitoes from breeding. Make sure your kids cover their skin with clothing before they head outdoors. Teach them to put on insect repellant before they go out to play.

  • Fire Ants

If you’ve ever had a run in with fire ants, you know they’re bad news. These aggressive ants are well-known for their painful, burning stings. The pain can last for a while, which can put quite a damper on your kids’ summer fun. Before your kids head out to play, teach them how to avoid fire ants. Usually, fire ant nests look like visible mounds of dirt, so tell your kids not to play near mounds of dirt in the lawn.

  • Stinging Pests

Stinging pests like bees and wasps can ruin a fun summer day in a hurry. Kids who try to make friends with a bee or wasp could end up with a painful sting. For kids who are allergic, stings can be very dangerous. Bees and wasps sting when they’re provoked. Getting too close to a nest or swatting at stinging pests can make them feel like they need to defend themselves. Teach your kids to keep their distance from stinging pests.

  • Ticks

The warm weather of the Southeast is a prime habitat for a number of different kinds of ticks. Ticks hang out in long grass or other foliage and wait for people or animals to brush up against them. Then, they latch on and feed on our blood. Since ticks can carry diseases, their bites are a big concern. Long-sleeved shirts and pants can help protect your kids from tick bites. Light colored clothing is best since it makes spotting ticks easier. Once your kids come inside for the night, check their skin for ticks.

This summer, your kids are bound to make some new friends. Hopefully, none of these potentially dangerous pests are included. To learn more ways to protect your whole family from pests, contact the Tampa pest control experts at Apex today.

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Tent Fumigation 101: What You Need to Know

real-estate-1686347_1280Central Florida can have some serious pest problems. A year-round temperate climate combined with plenty of water sources makes those problems varied and constant. One of the most serious responses to a pest issue in your home is the use of tent fumigation. It’s a type of Tampa termite control that is only to be done by absolute professionals.

Tent fumigations can be an important tool, particularly if a pest such as a termite is deeply ingrained into every portion of a structure. As a home or business owner that gets put in the position of needing tent fumigation, there are some critical things for you to know going in. Preparation is vital, and a sense of commitment to the treatment technique is a must. At Apex, pest control leaders in the Tampa area with decades of experience, we would offer these tips.

Prepare

It looks like simply a big circus tent thrown over a home, but the amount of prep work that goes into getting a house ready is high. There are a myriad of little things that you may not even think of:

  • Every houseplant needs to be removed.
  • Open every door in the home. This helps create an even flow of air.
  • Remove every piece of food that you are looking to keep.
  • Take out bed linens and curtains.
  • Turn off any gas sources such as stoves.

Ask Questions

Most people will have their home tented perhaps once in the life of the structure, at most. So this will be a new and odd process. Know everything you need to about the procedure, and don’t be afraid to ask about what steps are being taken and why they are being taken.

Take the Proper Time

Fumigation times vary greatly for a lot of different reasons. Size and design of the structure, type of pest being targeted, and the need for additional treatments all may factor in. But you should be able to get a pretty good estimate from your fumigation provider. This can range from a few hours to a week, but with tent fumigation, playing it safe is always best. Never rush back into a home, and always make sure the job has been done thoroughly.

Trust Professionals

Tent fumigations are calculated and complex, so they are truly one of the pest management techniques that absolutely cannot be performed on a DIY basis. Go with those who have experience.

Few Tampa termite control companies have quite the experience as Apex. We recommend tent fumigations as a last resort and will always look into management and preventative measures well before this step, but we are ready when necessary. For more information on our tools and methods, contact us anytime at (866) 675-4070.

Mole Crickets: Destroyer of Lawns

mole-cricket-1260755_1920The work of keeping your Florida lawn in pristine shape is never ending. We live in the subtropics, and because of that fact, our nicely manicured green spaces are under constant attack. The most common type of Central Florida turf, St. Augustine grass, is very tough and durable. Between extreme heat and rabid pests, a lesser type of grass would not last long on Tampa lawns. One creature that consistently comes to the attention of the Tampa lawn care experts at Apex is the relentless mole cricket.

What They Are & How They Operate

These powerfully built insects are generally about two inches long, and they can eat grass at a voracious rate. Mole crickets lay eggs in May, hatch by June ,and are full-grown, lawn-destroying adults by the fall. So, in Florida, the time to get them under control is clearly now. Even if you’ve never seen a mole cricket (and you may have, but simply not identified it), the damage to your lawn can make their presence well known.

Here is how they operate:

  • Mole crickets dig underground tunnels, making them difficult to spot and equally difficult to get rid of.
  • The tunnels they live in destroy roots, killing grass from the ground up. These tunnels can also create knots of soil in your backyard.
  • They are well named; mole crickets have a behavior very similar to moles, but can operate in giant numbers.

A Deeper Problem

If mole crickets take residence on your Central Florida lawn, that becomes only part of the problem. Mole crickets are delicious for a myriad of other animals. The list of Florida wildlife that finds them as a main course is long and potentially dire for the well-being of your front yard.

Raccoons and armadillos both love the taste of mole crickets, and they are willing to go to some lengths to get hold of them. That includes digging up your yard to gain access to those troublesome tunnels the mole crickets run through, causing obvious damage of its own. Once exposed from their tunnels via a larger animal like an armadillo, the mole crickets attract all manner of creatures to your front lawn for a buffet: from birds to bats and even other pests.

Prevention is Key

From the brown patches they create from simply burrowing their tunnels and killing grass at the root, to the damage that can be inflicted if they are discovered by an ingenious omnivore, the threat to your Florida lawn is clear. Once you see dead grass or dug up holes, the problem has probably already begun. At Apex, the leaders in Tampa lawn care, we preach prevention when dealing with the relatively common mole cricket. Call us today for a simple, no-obligation lawn inspection and quote.

6 Reasons to Invest in Year-Round Pest Maintenance

special3When it comes to pest control, particularly in the subtropical confines of Florida, all-encompassing Tampa pest control is always best. There are many ways that residents attempt to do the bare minimum regarding pest control, a serious health and wellness component, but solid, consistent professional attention stands the test of time. We live in a state with a unique and always-changing variety of creatures, both harmful and not, and taking the time to protect your house and family should not fall on your shoulders alone.

Apex provides programs both thorough and flexible; we look for solutions based on your personal pest needs and tailor treatments on a home-by-home basis. The Apex Pest Prevention program takes the best of our work into a comprehensive and far-reaching program that builds pest protection in your house from the inside out.

Our technicians are knowledgeable, friendly, and, above all, relentless in their task. We are sometimes asked if year-round pest maintenance is really worth it. Can’t the Florida homeowner cut some corners over the course of the year? The answer is always no, and here are six blunt reasons to back that up.

  • Peace of Mind

You live in a state truly engulfed by the natural world, and it’s one of the reasons we Floridians love the place. But that natural beauty does come at a price for your home; pests are a constant and never-ending threat. By treating them yourself, the threat becomes an ongoing job; by leaving it to professionals, you can relax and enjoy the scenic Florida environment in peace.

  • Individual Treatments

As mentioned, our treatments are highly individualized. Few homes or businesses are managed the same way. By getting on a consistent year-round plan, we can focus on the specifics of your plan even more directly.

  • Safe Products

DIY pest control is often based on old legends, strange treatments, and products that may not be 100% safe. With our decades of experience, the safety of the products and sprays we use (when needed) is never in doubt.

  • Expertise 24/7

Pest issues can crop up at random times in the Florida sun. By having a trusted group of professionals on your side, help is always a mere phone call away. With a plan already in place, our technicians can arrive ready.

  • Cost

Simply put, the damage and destruction pests cause is always cheaper to prevent than it is to fix.

  • Time Savings for You

Why spend your weekends with pest control as your second job? Spend time with your family and relax knowing that Apex has you covered.

These are just six of the many ways year-round pest control is to your benefit. For more information, and a no-obligation inspection and quote, call us anytime at (866) 675-4070. Apex offers the best in Tampa pest control through our highly-trained technicians and effective services.

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6 Pests You Don’t Want in Your Garden

flower-110692_1920The creatures that live in your garden and lawn are a balancing act. Some are actually very beneficial; insects such as ladybugs and praying mantis are voracious eaters of bugs themselves. In Tampa, even invasive species like our ever-present lizards (brown anole are originally from Latin America, the rarer green anole is a native species) offer a benefit in the incredible amount of insects they consume around your home. But, some pests can be downright destructive to your garden and lawn. Identifying these species in your garden is key to quality Tampa lawn care.

By identifying these pests, you can get on with the process of treating them. Most often this will need to involve the help of professionals. Below is a list of 6 common unwanted pests the gurus at Apex see and deal with in the Tampa area.

  • Aphids: These tiny green insects are easier to spot in numbers than individually. And it’s the numbers you have to worry about; adult aphids feed on a wide variety of plants and grasses. They do so by slowly sucking the nutrients from the core of the plant, which weakens crops and causes consistent long-term damage.
  • Stink Bug: They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but commonly look like a small shield from above. They will be unmistakable if mashed (the name stinkbug is given for a reason). This pest damages crops in a similar way to aphids, but has a more vegetable-based taste.
  • Wireworms: These are often also called click beetles due to the distinctive clicking noise they create. They are brown in color and a voracious eater of veggies and soy plants.
  • Corn Earworms: Corn earworms are easiest to identify by the very distinctive spots and markings on their wings. They are light brown in color, and although they will not completely destroy the plants in your garden, they heavily damage everything from cucumbers to tomatoes, and of course, corn, making the vegetables unpleasant to eat.
  • Chinch Bugs: Chinch bugs are not a problem for your garden, but they are for your fantastic Florida lawn. A relentless eater of many types of local grass, they are identifiable by the unmistakable circular patches they leave in your backyard.
  • Leafhoppers: Tiny and peculiarly shaped, these can be best described visually as a colorful moth. They jump and fly in a similar fashion as well. What separates them from moths is their ability to damage plants. They leave an easily-identifiable yellow patch on the leaves of plants they are feasting on.

Each of these garden pests will require a different approach in Tampa lawn care. This is a job best left for the experts at Apex Pest Control. Contact us anytime for a no-obligation inspection and quote, and secure your garden and lawn year round.

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The tech was exactly on time and very friendly not to mention extremely knowledgeable! He answered all my questions and was very professional.
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