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Cockroach Versus Beetle: What Pest Do I Have?

a cockroach

When you spot a bug running across the floor, you may wonder what exactly you just saw. Yes, it’s the old cockroach vs. beetle debate: Was that some type of beetle? Most of us don’t want beetles in our houses, but at least they don’t have quite the ick factor that cockroaches have. Or was it—shudder—an actual cockroach? Fortunately, there are several distinct characteristics that can tell you which insect you just saw, even if you only spotted the pest for a second before it zoomed out of sight. (Hint: If it looked like the image above and it moved that fast, it was most likely a cockroach.)

Identifying the Differences Between American Cockroaches, Oriental Cockroaches and Beetles

There are several main types of cockroaches that people commonly find in their homes. Two of them look very similar to each other, namely American and Oriental cockroaches. Both of these types of roaches … Read Full Post »

What Do Bats Eat?

a bat hanging on a tree.

Bats have gotten a bad reputation from movies and urban legends for attacking humans and drinking their blood. In reality, people are not the food of choice for bats. However, not all bats are alike—there are hundreds of species of bats, and they feed on a wide variety of things.

For example, some types of bats eat plants and plant parts like pollen, seeds, nectar and fruit. These bats typically like bananas, figs and mangoes the most. As the bats move from plant to plant, they often help distribute seeds and pollinate plants along their path. These plant-eating bats may also target other sweet things, such as the sugary water used in hummingbird feeders.

There are also some bat species that eat meat and drink blood. While bats don’t typically attack humans, some kinds of bats will eat other kinds of animals, such as lizards, fish, birds, frogs and other bats. Additionally, … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Different Types of Wasps in Florida

a cicada killer wasp on a leaf

If you have noticed some six-legged creatures flying around your property, you are probably wondering what kind of insects you are dealing with. Since some insects look alike, it can be difficult for homeowners to figure out what kind of bug is well, bugging them. Wasps are one of the most common flying insects that homeowners encounter, but not all wasps will hurt you. Although some of these creatures are dangerous to humans, some other types might even be beneficial and help get rid of other pests.

Some of the kinds of wasps that you might find on your property include cicada killer wasps, mud dauber wasps, paper wasps and yellowjackets.

Cicada Killer Wasps

As you can see in the image above, the cicada killer wasp is about an inch and a half long, and it’s mostly black with orange wings and some yellow markings on its abdomen. They can look scary because … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Fleas on Your Mattress

dogs laying on a bed which led to fleas on the mattress

Waking up in the morning with itchy bites on your skin is no fun. Not only are you uncomfortable from all the itching, but you’re also now aware that you have a pest problem to deal with. Fortunately, it’s not hard to learn how to get rid of fleas on your mattress so you can sleep comfortably once again.

First, of course, it’s a good idea to determine whether you’re dealing with fleas or some other type of pest. After all, there are other types of pests that can cause itchy bites, like mosquitoes or bed bugs. Both flea bites and mosquito bites might happen at any time of day or night, and both leave itchy red welts that soon fade and get less itchy for most people. Bed bugs, on the other hand, typically venture out only in darkness to bite people while they sleep. Also, most people find bed … Read Full Post »

Flea Infestation in My Yard: What Can I Do?

a german shepherd mix in a flea infested yard

There’s not much that’s worse than spending time outdoors in your yard, only to be bothered by the tiny tickle of fleas jumping onto your feet and ankles. Then, there are those itchy bites they leave behind. If you suspect you have a flea infestation in your yard, it’s time to take action, because it will only get worse if left untreated. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and they can live a long time if conditions are right. A flea infestation in the yard can be tough to get rid of without the help of a pest professional.

When fleas infest a yard, they are probably first introduced by wild animals like squirrels, possums or raccoons that spend time in your yard. This can also happen if a wild animal with fleas dies in your yard. When fleas lose the animal host they were living and feeding … Read Full Post »

Types of Flying Cockroaches in Florida

an American cockroach which is one variety of flying cockroach in Florida

They are huge, they can spread disease, they run fast and they can even fly—what are we talking about? If you answered “palmetto bugs,” you’re not wrong. That’s the far nicer-sounding name for the crawling insects also known as American cockroaches or smokybrown cockroaches. Whatever you choose to call these common bugs, you know after some time in this state that it’s not uncommon to see a flying cockroach in Florida. If you’re like most people, the sight of one hurtling through the air or zooming across your floor will make you shriek or at least raise your heart rate a notch or two.

There are plenty of flying bugs that are common in Florida, including mosquitoes and wasps. But somehow, flying cockroaches are extra horrifying, even if they don’t bite or sting. They’re just so big and they run so fast when they’re on the ground. Cockroaches of many varieties … Read Full Post »

Can Flea Bites Make You Sick?

a woman itching at flea bites which is making her wonder if flea bites can make you sick

Can flea bites make you sick? This is a question many people ask when dealing with a flea infestation at home. After all, it’s tough to believe such a tiny creature could make you physically ill. But, unfortunately, flea bites actually can cause health problems for humans and their pets.

Fortunately, it’s pretty rare for people to get seriously ill from flea bites, but it’s not impossible. Flea bites typically leave little, pinkish-red spots or welts on the skin that may be incredibly itchy. Flea bites tend to be smaller in size than mosquito bites and often appear either in a straight line or in groups of three or four. Since fleas don’t have wings, they move around by crawling or jumping, but they can only jump about a foot high. This is why people often find flea bites clustered on their feet and ankles; the insects can’t jump much higher … Read Full Post »

Do Home Remedies for Termites Work?

cleaning products that some say can be used as home remedies for termites

If you spot termites in your home, what do you do? Across the internet, people have posted home remedies and do-it-yourself methods for tackling these pests. These techniques range from using vinegar to using the sun to using microscopic worms. However, not every method has been scientifically proven to work. Here’s a run-down of home remedies for termites to help separate fact from fiction.

Vinegar

One method you might have heard about is to spray pure vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice onto the termites or possible infestation areas. Similarly, some articles mention spraying window cleaners containing ammonia on termites or on your walls. Liquids like vinegar or window cleaners can help kill termites if you spray it directly on them. But, you’ll want to keep in mind that subterranean termites that do the most damage live the majority of their lives underground.

That means that you are unlikely to … Read Full Post »

Rodent Identification Guide: What Pest Do I Have?

a house mouse

When you suspect you have a rodent problem, the first step is to identify what type has invaded your home. This is because different forms of rodents require different control strategies. Unfortunately, most homeowners aren’t experienced in wildlife identification and control. So, it’s often difficult for them to figure out on their own what kind of creature they’re dealing with. Nonetheless, there are some initial steps you can take to try to identify what kind of pest is in your home or yard.

Although there are many different rodent species out there, ranging from mice to porcupines, not every type of rodent will seek out your property. The most common types of rodents that can live in residential areas are house mice, Norway rats and roof rats. With these rodents, each type has some distinctive characteristics that stick out.

House Mice

As you can see in the image above, house mice are small … Read Full Post »

What Are the Early Signs of Bed Bugs?

two bed bugs with a bed bug egg, which are some of the early signs of bed bugs

You go to bed one night feeling fine, but wake up the next morning with itchy bites on your skin and disturbing concerns about bed bugs running through your mind. Especially if you’ve recently traveled, you’re wise to wonder about the early signs of bed bugs. Bed bugs hitchhike from one home to another—and even one city to another—by stowing away in luggage, or hiding out in blankets and quilts or in the crevices of used furniture. Fortunately, if you know what bed bugs look like and what some common signs of a bed bug infestation are, you can make a treatment plan so you won’t have to worry about the significant emotional toll that a bed bug infestation can have on your household.

Bed bugs are small, six-legged insects about the size and color of an apple seed, except flatter. They are so flat, in fact, that they can hide … Read Full Post »