The Common Pests Of Crestview & The Florida Panhandle
Listed below are some common pests found in the Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties and the surrounding areas of the Florida Panhandle. This quick reference page will provide you with helpful information about the nuisance, dangerous, and damaging pests that frequently invade residential and commercial properties here in Florida.
Asian cockroaches have a similar appearance to German cockroaches. In fact, when Asian cockroaches were first introduced into the United States in the 1980s, they were initially misidentified as "German" cockroaches. Asian cockroaches are light brown in color and have two dark-colored, parallel lines running down behind their heads. They have long, narrow wings that extend beyond the end of their abdomens. Their most distinctive feature is a groove on the segment of their abdomens - this groove helps to tell them apart from German cockroaches. Asian cockroaches are most active at night and they are strong fliers.
Asian cockroaches prefer to live outside. Indoor infestations are a rare occurrence. Outside, these cockroaches take up residence in shaded areas. They are often found in mulch, compost, gardens, or where fresh plant litter accumulates. Asian cockroaches are attracted to light, so they sometimes find their way indoors through spaces around windows and doors or through torn screens. Inside, they can be found flying around televisions, computer screens, and light fixtures. Like other species of cockroaches, Asian cockroaches carry disease, bacteria, and human pathogens on their bodies that can make people ill. Their shed skins and excrement can also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. If Asian cockroaches are living around or in your home, professional help should be sought to eliminate them.
To help prevent problems with Asian cockroaches on your property or in your home we want to suggest home helpful prevention tips. Inspect your home’s exterior and seal any spaces found in the foundation and make sure that door sweeps are installed on all exterior doors, especially basement doors. Caulk gaps found around windows and doors and make sure that screens are completely intact. Switch out white outdoor lighting for yellow or LED bulbs which are much less attractive to insects. Eliminate water sources on your property by keeping tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins, keeping garden areas cleaned up, and maintaining outdoor eating areas.
German cockroaches are a common species of cockroach and are widely distributed in urban environments. These cockroaches prefer living indoors and are problematic inside homes, restaurants, and other facilities where food is present. German cockroaches have flat, oval-shaped bodies and are light brown or tan in color. They have two distinct black stripes running horizontally down behind their heads. Adults grow to between 1/2 and 5/8th of an inch in length. German cockroaches have wings but rarely use them. Despite not being able to fly, German cockroaches are difficult to catch because they can run quickly.
German cockroaches nest in warm, humid, secluded places located near food sources. Common nesting sites include behind appliances, underneath cabinets in kitchens, in laundry rooms, and in pantry areas. They carry a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, human pathogens, and parasites on their legs and bodies that can make people ill. Their feces and shed skins are known to trigger allergies and severe asthma attacks, especially in children.
To make your home less attractive to German roaches we want to suggest some helpful prevention tips. Repair leaky pipes and fixtures, make sure crawlspaces are properly ventilated, and use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels. Seal gaps in your home’s foundation, exterior walls, and around utilities. Make sure window and door screens are intact. Reduce their access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, keeping all food in the refrigerator or in containers with air-tight lids, and vacuuming regularly.
Dealing with German cockroaches in your home or on your property? If so, then request your free quote and get started with our professional pest control solutions today!
Eastern Subterranean Termites
Eastern subterranean termites are social insects. They have a complex social structure and live together in large colonies underneath the ground. What exactly a termite looks like depends on what "caste", or group, they are a part of. Workers make up the majority of the colony. They have soft, creamy-white bodies, are wingless and blind, and grow to be about 1/4 of an inch in length. They are responsible for gathering food to feed the entire colony. Soldiers are slightly larger in size than workers. They have short legs and elongated and yellow-colored heads. Soldiers use their powerful jaws to defend the colony. The reproductive members (queens and kings) are the largest (size) members of the colony, are dark-brown to black in color, and are winged.
Termites nesting and feeding outside are beneficial, feeding on and breaking down water-damaged or decaying pieces of wood and other debris made of cellulose. These termites nest and travel under the ground and easily infest wood that comes into contact with soil. Eastern subterranean termites also build mud tubes, which they use to travel back and forth from their nest to food sources. Mud tubes keep them out of view of predators and help maintain their moisture needs. Mud tubes also provide them with access to untreated walls, doors, or wooden trim. When termites find their way inside homes, they are initially attracted to, and feed on structural wood that is decaying or has been damaged by water (structural wood found behind walls, window and door frames, ceilings, and floors). As the infestation grows, they will begin attacking and feeding on sound wood and even non-wooden items.
Preventing problems with termites is very important. Termite damage has the potential to be extensive and very expensive to repair. Most homeowners insurance does not cover termite damage. To protect your home from wood-eating termites utilize dehumidifiers, and make sure crawlspaces and attics are properly ventilated to reduce moisture levels. Maintain your home's gutters, place weather stripping around all windows and doors, fix leaky pipes or fixtures, and remove wood from your home that has been damaged by water. Limit soil to wood contact on your property, seal cracks in the foundation, and leave a barrier between your home’s foundation and any soil or mulch.
Formosan termites are a type of subterranean, or ground-nesting, termite that lives throughout the southern part of the United States. These termites live in large colonies - a single colony may have several million termites in it. Due to their large colony size, they are able to cause more damage in a shorter period of time than other species of termites. Like other species of termites, Formosan termites divide themselves into different groups, or "castes" - workers, soldiers, and alates (reproductive swarmers) - to help maintain the colony.
Formosan termites have the potential to work without notice, and because of their large colony size, can cause a significant amount of damage in as little as six months. Formosan termites generally invade homes and buildings at the ground level as they are foraging for food sources. However, it is important to understand that these termites don’t only nest in the ground. This species also creates carton nests. Carton nests allow them to nest above the ground while maintaining the moisture levels they require. These carton nests are created from termite excrement, chewed wood, and soil. The nests are typically placed on the rooftops of buildings, especially buildings that have a flat roof.
To prevent problems with Formosan termites on your property we want to offer some helpful tips. Repair damaged or missing roof shingles on your home’s roof. Maintain gutters to stop water from pooling at your home’s roofline. Place weather stripping around all windows and doors, fix leaky pipes or fixtures, and remove any wood from your home that has been damaged by water. It is also important to limit wood-to-soil contact on your property, seal cracks in the foundation, and leave a barrier between your home’s foundation and any soil or mulch.
Dealing with Formosan termites in your home or on your property? If so, then request your free quote and get started with our professional pest control solutions today!
Mosquitoes are parasitic, fly-like insects that feed on the blood of people and animals. It is important to understand that only female mosquitoes feed on blood, as they need the protein in blood to create their eggs. Both male and female mosquitoes' main food source is plant nectar and pollen. The adult mosquito’s appearance will differ depending on its exact species. In general, mosquitoes have slender bodies, long, thin legs, and narrow, hairy wings. Mosquitoes feed using an extended, tube-like mouthpart (proboscis). Mosquitoes can be black, dark brown, or black and white in color.
Most female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of standing water. Standing water is also where their eggs hatch and their larvae develop into adults. Marshes, swamps, and clogged ditches make prolific breeding sites for mosquitoes. Other places that collect water and are suitable breeding areas include tree holes, old tires, buckets, and clogged gutters. The bites that mosquitoes deliver itch, due to an allergic reaction to their saliva. When mosquitoes bite and feed they have the potential to transmit a variety of diseases. Diseases that are common in the United States include the West Nile virus, encephalitis, and the Zika virus. They also can transmit parasitic heartworms to dogs, which can be fatal.
To help you reduce the amount of standing water on your property, and therefore, the amount of mosquitoes breeding on your property, we want to offer some helpful tips. Regularly clean out and maintain gutters. Make sure to store containers that collect water upside down when not in use. Regularly change out the water in wading pools, bird baths, and pet bowls. Fill in low-lying areas in your yard and driveway. Shake off the water that collects on trash can lids and tarps. Remove debris from your property.
Fire ants are a native species to South America. They are not native to North America and are a difficult and dangerous species of ant to eliminate and control. Fire ants are small in size and dark reddish-brown to black in color. Fire ants are known for being aggressive and easily agitated. Fire ants are also regularly identified by the unique nesting mounds that they create. Their large nests are flattened and irregular in shape.
Fire ants don’t seek out people, pets, wildlife, and livestock to sting, but they will not hesitate to attack anything that they view as a threat to themselves or their nest. Just simply walking by their nest can send these ants into a tizzy and cause them to attack. Fire ants use their strong mandibles to grab ahold of their victim’s skin, then their stinger to inject their venom. Their stings are painful and their venom is strong enough to cause a serious allergic reaction in some people, and even triggering anaphylaxis in the case of a group attack. Fire ants like to create their nests in open, sunny places like residential lawns, sports fields, golf courses, parks, pastures, fields, and along roadways. Other problems associated with fire ants are that the mounds of dirt at their nest openings are unsightly, and can make mowing your lawn a difficult task.
Fire ants are a difficult species of ant to safeguard against. If you notice a fire ant mound on your property, it is important to stay away from it and immediately call a professional. Fire ants are not a species of ant to try and control on your own. To keep fire ants from finding their way into your home, place weather stripping around windows and doors, install door sweeps, and seal spaces around air conditioning units.
Dealing with fire ants in your home or on your property? If so, then request your free quote and get started with our professional pest control solutions today!
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