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Water Bug Vs. Cockroach: Identification Tips

A cockroach crawling up a wall

When you see a large bug darting across the floor or—far worse—your kitchen counter, your initial response might be simply to shriek, leap around in fright or maybe take a few wild swings at it with a shoe. But later, when you’re able to think more calmly, you might start wondering exactly what kind of bug it was. Was it a cockroach or a water bug, or something else altogether? There’s plenty of confusion in the great water bug vs. cockroach debate, and for good reason: While these two bugs are distinct from one another, it can be hard to tell the difference between them—especially when you’re in the midst of an unwelcome encounter with one of these creatures.

Fortunately, there are several ways to determine whether you have cockroaches or water bugs on your property. Once you know which type of pest has invaded your personal territory, you can figure … Read Full Post »

Bed Bugs In My Couch: What Should I Do?

bed bugs in a couch in a brown living room

If you’ve had an experience that led you to suspect the presence of bed bugs in your couch, you might wonder if that’s even possible. The name “bed bugs,” after all, suggests these pests are found in people’s sleeping areas, not their living room furniture. But anyone who’s ever dozed off on the couch while watching their favorite TV show and then later found lines of itchy red bumps on their skin knows that isn’t true.

Bed bugs definitely don’t restrict themselves to beds, although they are most often found in places where people sleep. That’s because they are safest when they feed on the blood of their victims while they are still, often when a person is fast asleep. Bed bugs have been known to infest many types of furniture and spaces where people spend lots of time, including couches, sectionals and easy chairs. So, if you suspect there are … Read Full Post »

What Eats Termites? Controlling An Infestation

Subterranean termites burrowing in dirt

Many homeowners, especially those who spot signs of termite activity in their homes or elsewhere around their property, may wonder if there are any animals that eat termites. Do these pests have natural predators that can help keep termite populations low and protect homes from damage? Termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage to American homes and other structures each and every year, and once they have infested a home, they are notoriously difficult to get rid of.

Worse, termite colonies are typically hidden to the untrained eye, which means these insects can go about their destructive business for quite a long time before they’re detected. The varieties responsible for the vast majority of serious damage to our homes, subterranean termites, largely live out their lives in the dark, and their queens can lay many eggs in a single day. This means that termites’ natural reproductive and feeding habits can … Read Full Post »

Florida Carpenter Ants: Controlling An Infestation

Florida carpenter ant on damaged wood

You’ve found what looks like tiny sawdust piles along your baseboards or in your attic crawl space. Then, you spot an ant. After hearing horror stories about the damage these ants can do, you begin to worry that you may have a carpenter ant problem. First, you’ll need to confirm that what you have is actually a Florida carpenter ant and not something else.

Florida carpenter ants have a brown to rusty orange-colored head and thorax with the bottom half of their bodies being black. This ant grows a circular ring of golden hairs around its abdomen. Antennae are bullet-shaped and segmented into 12 parts. Workers measure in at about a quarter of an inch to a half of an inch in length, while winged swarmers and the queen can reach up to three-quarters of an inch long.

If the ants you have seen on your property fit this description, you’ll need … Read Full Post »

Are Termites Harmful To Humans? Your Questions Answered

Are termites harmful to humans

Yes, termites are harmful to humans, but perhaps not in the way you might immediately think. These creatures aren’t often responsible for serious physical harm, as they do not pose the same health risks as many other insect and animal pests that can bite or sting you or transmit disease. However, the destructive impact of termites on the structure of a home makes these pests extremely dangerous.

Only in rare cases have soldier termites bitten people while defending their colonies. While in the most severe infestation scenarios, occupants can experience contact dermatitis, asthma attacks and lung irritation, these instances of direct ill effects are relatively rare. However, left untreated, this insect can completely break down all the wooden structures in a wood-built house (including the furniture) within three years. Within five years, termites can render a home unfit for human habitation and cause it to be condemned. In short, termites are … Read Full Post »

Do Possums Eat Cats? Your Questions Answered

Do possums eat cats

You’re a bit concerned when you hear your cat hiss loudly at something. You assume it’s just your neighbor’s cat that’s causing that kind of reaction, but when you look outside, you see a possum wandering around your property. Now, your feelings of apprehension suddenly escalate. You know these animals can become a nuisance as they overturn trash cans and get into birdseed containers in search of food. However, you don’t know what exactly possums consider tasty. Do possums eat cats? Most importantly, should you keep your fur baby locked inside until the possum is gone?

Fortunately, possums are not out looking for your cat when they scrounge for food. While possums (technically opossums, but more commonly referred to by their shortened name) are omnivores and could theoretically kill and eat a housecat or dog, these common backyard visitors are more focused on easier prey. In fact, the scent of cats … Read Full Post »

What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like

The emotional toll of a bed bug infestation can be significant, in part because these tiny pests are so difficult to eradicate. For one thing, they hide in discreet locations, making them almost impossible to find. If you are currently dealing with bed bugs in your home, you’re probably wondering, what do baby bed bugs look like? Do they bite? And, perhaps most importantly, how can I get rid of these pests?

Baby bed bugs, which are also called nymphs, are actually similar in appearance to their adult counterparts, except for some key differences—mainly their size and their color. After hatching from tiny white eggs that are so small that they are difficult to see with the naked eye, bed bugs go through five stages before reaching adulthood.

First-stage nymphs are tiny (less than 1/16″)  and a pale, yellowish-white color. After feeding, baby bed bugs’ abdomens turn red due to the blood … Read Full Post »

Florida Centipedes: How To Control And Prevent An Infestation

Florida centipedes

If you had to make a list of the creepiest of creepy-crawlies you’d rather not have in your home, Florida centipedes would probably be near the top. Who wants a pest with all those legs showing up inside?

Centipedes do more than freak Floridians out in the middle of the night. These creatures bite, which can be pretty painful, due to the toxins they release. You won’t get sick from a centipede bite, and they are certainly not fatal, but victims will tell you a close encounter is still quite unpleasant.

To make matters worse, these arthropods lay dozens of eggs at a time, which can easily turn into a horrifying centipede infestation in your home. To add insult to injury, a pest control expert will tell you that when centipedes show up inside your house, it’s likely that other pests are also present.

Why is that?

Centipedes are situated right in the middle … Read Full Post »

Are Palmetto Bugs Florida’s Most Hated Pest?

palmetto bug

What’s dark brown, winged and lives in even the cleanest of homes in Florida? If you said a palmetto bug, you are correct! If you didn’t (or even if you did), you can learn more about Florida’s most hated pest below.

Difference Between Palmetto Bugs and Cockroaches?

Quite simply, a palmetto bug is another name for the American cockroach. This species is the largest of the domestic cockroaches, averaging around four centimeters long. While German roaches are the most common roaches found across the country, American roaches are the second most prevalent. You can find palmetto bugs indoors in Florida, especially in commercial settings. In the northern states, palmetto bugs are found more often in steam heat tunnels or inside of large buildings.

Believe it or not, the American cockroach arrived in this country in 1625 from Africa. As with many other pests, cockroaches have mostly been spread through commerce. Although you are more likely … Read Full Post »

Most Common Florida Spiders In Homes And Yards

Florida Spiders

Arachnophobia is widespread among people all over the world, including in Florida. As a matter of fact, some of the most common Florida spiders seem to be extra terrifying. Despite their sometimes frightening appearance, many of these arachnids are not dangerous—at least not to homeowners. However, the ability to identify those which can hurt you and those which can’t will give you peace of mind and help avoid any medical emergencies.

Here’s a list of the most common species found throughout the Sunshine State. Thankfully, these varieties aren’t dangerous to humans:

Crab Spiders

Don’t confuse this arachnid with the spiny-backed orb weaver, which is shaped like a crab. This type of spider gets its name from the way it holds its front two pairs of legs to the side, like crab pincers.

Crab spiders also tend to scuttle sideways and backward, similar to the beach-dwelling crustaceans. This arachnid does not spin webs. Instead, a … Read Full Post »