Pests are more than a nuisances, they can cause serious damage to your home and in some cases your health. We offer One Time Treatments or a One year Maintenance Plan. See our Services page for more information. Below is a list of the common pests that we treat.
These bicolored arboreal ants are among the largest ants found in Florida, making them apparent as they forage or fly indoors and out.Complaints are numerous during the spring swarm season, usually between April and June, when winged reproductives are often found in homes in such places as along window ledges and near sliding glass doors. It is common to mistake winged ants for winged termites. Florida carpenter ants tend to forage at night. The peak foraging hours are just before sunset until two hours after sunset, then again around dawn. Carpenter ants foraging in homes can be in search of sweets or moisture, or even new nesting sites, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, or other rooms that have water leaks from plumbing or leaks around doors and windows.
In Florida, the ghost ant is mostly found from Sarasota to Orlando and south, although it does occur as far north as Alachua County and Duval County. The ghost ant is highly adaptable in its nesting habits both indoors and out. Outdoors, these sites include tufts of dead but temporarily moist grass, plant stems, and cavities beneath detritus in open, rapidly changing habitats. Indoors, the ant colonizes wall void or spaces between cabinetry and baseboards. It will also nest in potted plants. The ant is easily recognized due to its peculiar color markings and small size. Foragers are seen in kitchens and bathrooms on sinks, counters, and floors. When crushed, the workers emit an odor similar to that of rotten coconuts.
This common household ant is distributed worldwide and carries the dubious distinction of being the most difficult household ant to control. Pharaoh ants will nest in the oddest places, such as between sheets of stationary, layers of bed linen and clothes, in appliances, or even piles of trash. This ant infests almost all areas of a building where food is available and infests many areas where food is not commonly found. Control of Pharaoh ants is difficult, due to their nesting in inaccessible areas. Treatment must be thorough and complete at all nesting sites, as well as the foraging area.
White Footed Ants
The WFA does not bite or sting, nor has it been reported to cause any structural damage. WFAs are considered by homeowners to be a nuisance pest because they are frequently observed foraging in above ground level in numerous locations within the landscape and home. Nests are frequently found in trees and bushes, tree holes, under palm fronds and old leaf boots, under leaves on trees, in loose mulch, under debris, in leaf-litter (both on the ground as well as in rain gutters), wall voids, and attics. Vegetation favored by WFA in south Florida includes: nearly all palms, especially coconut, sable, or queen, most fruit trees, large ficus trees, gardenia, hibiscus, ixora, many plants having showy flowers with sweet nectars and most plants which are infested with aphids, scales, mealybugs or other sap-sucking insects.
The three species of Florida yellowjackets are readily separated by differences in body color and pattern. Identification is possible without a hand lens or microscope, and, for this reason, a simple pictorial key is all that is necessary. In general, the term “hornet” is used for species which nest above ground and the term “yellowjacket” for those which make subterranean nests. All species are social, living in colonies of hundreds to thousands of individuals. Nests near homes may prove a source of irritation. If the nests are large or difficult to approach, for example within the walls of a house, the safest procedure would be to hire a pest control operator to eliminate the colony.
The various species of wasps fall into one of two main categories: solitary wasps and social wasps. Adult solitary wasps live and operate alone, and most do not construct nests (below); all adult solitary wasps are fertile. By contrast, social wasps exist in colonies numbering up to several thousand individuals and build nests—but in some cases not all of the colony can reproduce. In some species, just the wasp queen and male wasps can mate, whilst the majority of the colony is made up of sterile female workers. Wasps build their nests in a variety of places, often choosing sunny spots. Nests are commonly located in holes underground, along riverbanks or small hillocks, attached to the side of walls, trees or plants, or underneath floors or eaves of houses. Wasp nests found in public places (such as in latrines or other commonly used public spaces) should be reported to the local council or pest control service for removal.
The American cockroach is the largest of the common cockroaches measuring on average 4 cm in length. It occurs in buildings throughout Florida, especially in commercial buildings. It consumes decaying organic matter but is a scavenger and will eat almost anything. It prefers sweets, but has also been observed eating paper, boots, hair, bread, fruit, book bindings, fish, peanuts, old rice, putrid sake, the soft part on the inside of animal hides, cloth and dead insects. Caulking of penetrations through ground level walls, removal of rotting leaves, and limiting the moist areas in and around a structure can help in reducing areas that are attractive to these cockroaches.
Brown Banded Roach
Brownbanded cockroaches prefer warm and dry locations, such as near refrigerator motor housings, on the upper walls of cabinets, and inside pantries, closets, dressers, and furniture in general. They can also be found behind picture frames and beneath tables and chairs, and inside clocks, radios, light switch plates, doorframes, and dressers. It is common to find them hiding nearer the ceiling than the floor and away from water sources. Accurate identification is paramount to controlling brownbanded cockroaches. Control strategies for other cockroaches will not be efficacious for brownbanded cockroaches.
The German cockroach is the cockroach of concern, the species that gives all other cockroaches a bad name. It occurs in structures throughout Florida, and is the species that typically plagues multifamily dwellings. The availability of water, food, and harborage govern the ability of German cockroaches to establish populations, and limit growth. Non toxic and low toxic alternatives for German cockroach control are available. Sticky traps can be used to monitor or reduce population size. Improving sanitation by eliminating food and water sources and clutter can have a significant impact on reducing the chances of infestation population size. Exclusion practices such as sealing cracks and crevices will reduce harborage space and also negatively impact population size.
The Oriental Cockroach is sometimes referred to as the “black beetle” or a “water bug” because of its dark black appearance and tendency to harbor in damp locations. It is common outdoors and lives in warm, damp, shady areas near the ground or any area containing natural debris. It will often seek refuge indoors when a drop in temperature occurs, but is still quite tolerable of cooler weather. The oriental cockroach is often found feeding on garbage, sewage, or decaying organic matter and will eat almost anything. A diet high in starch is preferred. New methods are being developed to manage the roach in combination with regular sprays and dusts.
Smoky Brown Roach
Although closely related to the American cockroach, the smokybrown cockroach is readily distinguishable from it by its uniformly dark brown–mahogany coloration. Furthermore, unlike the American cockroach, which possess a light-rimmed pattern on its thorax, the smokybrown cockroach’s thorax is dark and shiny. This cockroach may come indoors to look for food and even to live; generally, however, in warm weather, it will move outdoors. The smokybrown cockroach prefers warmer climates and is not cold-tolerant. It may, however, be able to survive colder climates by going indoors. In addition to this, it fares well in moist conditions and appears to be particularly prevalent in moist concealed areas. It often lives around the perimeter of buildings.
Silverfish are completely wingless. They have long antennae, and move in a wiggling motion that resembles the movement of a fish. This, coupled with their appearance, influences their common name.
Silverfish are considered household pests, due to their consumption and destruction of property. However, although they are responsible for the contamination of food and other types of damage, they do not transmit disease. Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include book bindings, carpet, clothing, coffee, dandruff, glue, hair, some paints, paper, photos, plaster, and sugar. Silverfish can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances they may eat include cotton, dead insects, linen, silk, or even its own exuvia (moulted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even attack leatherware and synthetic fabrics.
The female Southern black widow is a shiny black spider with a distinctive red hourglass on the abdomen. The Southern black widow has a complete hourglass, while the Western species’ hourglass can vary from two connected triangles to separated triangles to a minimum of barely visible red blotches. Typical outdoor habitats in which spiders are often found include wood and rock piles, rodent burrows, and hollow tree stumps. Indoor habitats include outhouses, garages, sheds, and basements. In nature, most bites occur while reaching under an object that the spider inhabits such as a woodpile or stones. While working in or around areas of suitable habitat for these spiders, wearing gardening gloves can help prevent envenomation. Additionally, use caution when working in sheds and barns where spiders can be found.
A significant number of unconfirmed brown recluse spider bites are reported in the state of Florida every year. Most are found in buildings and outbuildings, especially in boxes and among papers, in every room from basement to attic. They are found in almost any place which has remained undisturbed for lengthy periods of time, such as behind pictures, beneath or behind furniture, in boxes of toys, in clothing, among stored papers, in the corrugations of cardboard boxes, and in discarded articles, such as tires, inner tubes, and assorted other junk. They definitely seemed to prefer dry conditions. Brown recluse spiders usually bite only when they become trapped next to the victim’s skin. Bites occur either when sleeping humans roll onto the spider or put on clothes into which the spider has crawled. Persons who suspect they have been victimized by a brown recluse spider bite are strongly encouraged to consult with a physician as soon as possible.
The whitefly is usually innocuous, but under some situations can become a damaging pest. These situations usually occur when something has disrupted the parasite/predator complex. While it is known from Gainesville (north central Florida) to southern Florida, it is much more common in subtropical areas. Inspect the undersides of leaves for white fluffy wax trails, pupal cases, and adult whiteflies with a dark spot on each wing. This is only whitefly in Florida easily identified from the adult.
Fleas on your pet or flea bites around one’s ankles are both hallmark indications of flea presence in your home. Sanitation is critical in areas where the animal sleeps or rests. Indoors, carpet should be vacuumed and bedding should be washed. Outdoors, dog houses, bedding, and other materials should be washed and placed in the sun. If desired or if the adult flea infestation is significantly large, consult with a pest control professional for additional insecticide treatments. Once a flea infestation has become established, management efforts both on the host and in the environment must be made simultaneously.
The house mouse is one of the most troublesome and costly rodents in the United States. House mice thrive under a variety of conditions; they are found in and around homes and commercial structures as well as in open fields and on agricultural land. House mice consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, livestock, or other animals. In addition, they cause considerable damage to structures and property, and they can transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning. Droppings, fresh gnaw marks, and tracks indicate areas where mice are active. Mouse nests are made from finely shredded paper or other fibrous material, usually in sheltered locations. House mice have a characteristic musky odor that reveals their presence. Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours. Because house mice are so small, they can gain entry into homes and other buildings much more easily than rats. As a result, house mouse infestations are probably 10 to 20 times more common than rat infestations. Effective control involves sanitation, exclusion, and population reduction. Sanitation and exclusion are preventive measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population reduction such as trapping or baiting is almost always necessary.
Because rats are active throughout the year, periodically check for signs of their presence. Once rats have invaded your garden or landscaping, unless your house is truly rodent proof, it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them indoors. Experience has shown it is less time consuming to control rodents before their numbers get too high, and fewer traps and less bait will be required if control is started early. Rats eat and contaminate foodstuffs and animal feed. They also damage containers and packaging materials in which foods and feed are stored. Both rat species cause problems by gnawing on electrical wires and wooden structures such as doors, ledges, corners, and wall material, and they tear up insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting. A successful rat control strategy typically includes three elements: sanitation measures; building construction and rodent proofing; and, if necessary, population control.
An adult female will feed on the host for around one week, then drop off the host and find a secluded place for egg development. Cracks and crevices in houses, garages and dog runs are ideal locations. As adults, both males and females will attach to hosts and feed, although the males only feed for short periods. The overall cycle can be completed in just over two months, but frequently will take longer if there are few hosts available or in cold temperatures. Ticks are notoriously long-lived, and can live as long as three to five months in each stage without feeding. In Florida, the cycle can occur year-round both inside houses and in outside kennels and dog runs. The earlier the infestation is discovered and addressed, the easier it will be to control. Monitoring and grooming dogs, particularly upon return from kennels or locations where other dogs are present, is the best way to detect infestations early.
*All Information provided by the University of Florida.