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Meet the mosquito everyone’s talking about in Orlando

Aedes egypti

People are buzzing about mosquitoes here in Orlando, and there’s a good reason why. One species found in central Florida, Aedes aegypti, is the main vector that transmits the Zika virus to humans. Although the long-term implications of the spread of the virus are unknown, Zika causes serious neurological conditions such as microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Mosquitoes In Orlando

With our wet climate and wetlands, mosquitoes love Orlando. With the rising threat of mosquito-borne diseases in our area, it’s important to understand the problem we face in our region and take steps to control mosquitoes around our homes.

Below we’ll look at some of the types of mosquitoes we have in Orlando and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Types of Mosquitoes

Out of the approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes that exist, we’re fortunate to only have 171 of them here in the US. However, Florida is home to 80 of … Read Full Post »

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Where do bed bugs come from

Bed bugs are on the rise across the country. Although these small, reddish-brown parasites have always been a common pest, experts believe that the increased ease of air travel and the outlawing of strong insecticides have allowed their numbers to surge once again. Where do bed bugs come from, and what attracts them? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you get these pests out of your home – for good.

Where do bed bugs come from?

Bed bugs were once thought to have medicinal properties and were initially documented in the first century. Once confined to the tropics, these parasites moved with humans, and as a result, they can now be found across the globe. The spread of bed bugs is also linked to the fact that the animals are resilient since they are able to survive for long stretches of time without food. Not only are bed bugs prolific, … Read Full Post »

Cluster Flies vs House Flies

Cluster flies in house all of a sudden

In Orlando, Florida, flies are as common as freshly squeezed orange juice – especially during the hot months of summer.

They’re present at every backyard BBQ, and residents have grown accustomed to shooing them away from the potato and fruit salads. But, what many residents fail to realize is that they are often dealing with more than one type of fly.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many species of flies. In fact, there are more than 20,000 species in North America alone. And while we’d love to discuss the differences between all fly species, we wanted to focus on the housefly and the cluster fly, as the cluster fly is most present in the late summer and early autumn months of the year.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences together.

Cluster Flies

Though commonly know as cluster flies, many people often refer to these flying insects as attic flies.

Cluster flies emerge in … Read Full Post »

Keeping Pests Away from Your Outdoor Parties

Zika is spread by tiger mosquitoes

Orlando residents reluctantly face an annual event: The Battle of the Backyard.

The battle pits people against mosquitoes, wasps, bees and other outdoor creepy-crawlies in an epic confrontation for land usage. Despite exhaustive research, we have found nary a trace of evidence suggesting pests recognize white flags of truce; additionally, peaceful negotiation attempts with mosquitoes over backyard rights have never reached a satisfactory conclusion. Pest control measures keep the critters out of your house, but what can you do when you invade the bugs’ turf?

Mosquito Dangers

For years Florida residents have known the dangers of West Nile virus and Dengue. Other diseases, like malaria, are not so much of a threat but are still well-known to be spread by mosquitoes. Now, we have a new danger: Zika Virus.

As of July 13, 2016, there have been 293 reported cases of Zika in the whole state. Boward, Miami-dade, and Orange counties have the highest … Read Full Post »

How to Attract Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

butterfly garden

For many, the idea of attracting bugs is appalling. However, the reality is that there are many bugs that are beneficial for your garden. If you have an aphid problem, a well-placed mantis or a host of ladybugs can clean that right up for you. Butterflies add attractive whimsy to the garden. Spiders may give you the creepy-crawlies, but they can seek out and destroy other much dirtier bugs mucking up the place. Better yet, these bugs don’t chomp away at your hard-earned work — they leave you with a lush and beautiful garden to enjoy at the cost of a few tiny friends.

Know Your Friends

What makes a bug beneficial in the first place? Beneficial bugs are defined by their capacity to wreak havoc on other invasive bugs. Some, like spiders or parasitic cutworms, are predators to the bad insects. Your little army might be a one-time D-Day or they … Read Full Post »

The Mysterious Cow Killer Ant

cow killer ant

Cow killer ants suffer from an identity crisis.

They aren’t ants, and they generally don’t kill anything, although their sting is said to be painful enough to tip a cow. These are velvet ants. But their sting packs a punch, hence the “cow killer” stage name.

These insects aren’t ants at all, despite their nickname. They are actually a wingless species of wasp. Like other wasps, they pack a powerful sting when threatened. Orlando exterminators often get a call after area residents have found this out the hard way.

Fortunately, these insects are solitary and don’t form colonies like ants or paper wasps. Although their fearsome name suggests they regularly take on whole herds of cattle, the wasps are generally placid, living on nectar and water. However, they won’t hesitate to sting if disturbed. Because of their beautiful color and fuzzy, cuddly appearance, they often attract the attention of young would-be entomologists who … Read Full Post »

Mosquito Control in Orlando: Summer is Coming

mosquito control

Mosquito control must be a community effort.

Summer is upon us and for many people, especially in the South, this not only means pools and relaxing days but something more: mosquito season. With the spread of the Zika virus, this mosquito season could be highly impactful in Florida where officials have reported the largest number of the Zika Virus cases (96), 6 of which were reported in the Orange County area, and where the Aedes aegypti mosquito (Zika carrier) is abundant.

The fact that Florida has the largest number of recorded cases of Zika in the U.S. means that the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are prevalent here, are more likely to bite infected people and spread the virus to someone else.

How to tackle mosquito control at the local level.

Mosquito control is managed by local mosquito control districts. The areas that most need these districts are the ones that tend to lack funding … Read Full Post »

Termite Damage 101: What You Should Know

soldier termites devour wood structures

Termites do billions of dollars of damage each year.

Central Florida offers a perfect environment for termites. Because so many Orlando-area homes are near waterways and ponds, and we have frequent rain showers, moisture-loving termites have a welcoming habitat in which to make their homes.

Termite Basics

Termites are small social insects that live in large colonies and feed on organic matter. They are particularly attracted to wood and paper. They are dark in color, with 3/8 of an inch long torsos, and wings of equal length (as compared to ants, which have pinched torsos and unequal-length wings).

Some termites, including the native subterranean termites and Formosan termites, prefer to live in or close to the soil or near sources of moisture. This includes areas around home foundations as well as areas of buildings with moisture from dripping pipes, air conditioner drains or within gutters. Because so much of the Orlando area is damp, … Read Full Post »

Zika Virus in Orlando: What We Know

tiger mosquitoes carry zika virus in south america

By now, you have probably heard of Zika. Zika is a virus carried by a species of mosquitoes that bite during the daytime hours. We have known about Zika for many decades, but the virus has gained a lot of attention over the last 4 months. New reports have emerged linking birth defects to mothers infected with Zika while pregnant. And the virus has already made it’s way to Florida.

ABC Home & Commercial Services is dedicated to keeping our customers informed when a public health emergency occurs. Right now, Zika cases are isolated and rare in the United States. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn what we can now and work to eradicate mosquitoes in Orlando as a measure of safety. Florida mosquito exterminators across the state are working to understand mosquito diseases like West Nile, Dengue Fever, and Zika so that we can do our best to protect our … Read Full Post »

Where do Mosquitoes go in the Winter?

mosquito control

Where do mosquitoes go during the winter months?

Orlando has been ranked as one of the worst mosquito hotbeds in the country, and it’s no surprise that ABC Home and Commercial’s mosquito control is one of our most popular services. Mosquitoes in Orlando have always been a pesky problem during the summer months, but these persistent pests seem to all but disappear during the city’s winter months. Just where do mosquitoes go during Orlando’s colder months?

Some quick mosquito facts about Orlando’s most hated pest will provide some insight.

Q: Why do mosquitoes ‘bite’ us?

Mosquitoes don’t actually ‘bite’ humans. Mosquitoes pierce the skin and suck the victim’s blood, and in the process, the insect’s own saliva is deposited on the person’s skin. What most people describe as a mosquito bite, characterized by that distinctive raised and itchy red bump, is the human body’s immune reaction to a mosquito’s saliva.

Mosquitoes feed on our blood, … Read Full Post »