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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 »

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 »

Are Mosquitoes Attracted To Perfume?

Are mosquitoes attracted to perfume

Spending time outside during certain times of the year can put you in closer contact with a number of insects. You’ve noticed those days you’re outdoors and wearing perfume, you’re getting bitten by mosquitoes more often. Is it all in your head, or are the rumors true? Are mosquitoes attracted to perfume?

Unfortunately, these insects are more likely to sense your presence if they can smell you. Mosquitoes feed on nectar when they aren’t producing eggs, so when we put on that fragrance, it sends off even more signals for them to come to find us. However, it’s not just a flowery perfume that could be attracting them—mosquitoes can smell deodorant, cologne, scented lotions and even fragranced body wash with the olfactory receptors in their antennae. By switching to unscented products, you could provide yourself with some degree of protection from itchy mosquito bumps.

There are many other rumors that get spread … Read Full Post »

Bed Bug Or Tick: What’s In My Home?

bed bug or tick

After spotting a tiny bug in your house, you are understandably freaked out. Could it be a bed bug, or was it actually a tick? If you’re being honest with yourself, it could be any kind of pest, and you wouldn’t know the difference. Even if you did, these insects are so small it can be hard to tell them apart.

While bed bugs and ticks feed on blood and most types are flat and rounded, that is not always the case. If you are wondering if it’s a bed bug or tick that you have seen, you should know that bed bugs are usually found indoors, while ticks most often inhabit wooded or grassy areas outside. While a bed bug might bite you several times when you are asleep, a tick will latch onto you and feed for several days until it’s full.

It can be hard to tell a tick … Read Full Post »

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs: Identification Tips

The idea of a bug sharing the space where you sleep is not one to take lightly—especially if it’s one that bites! If you spotted a tiny bug wandering around your bedroom, your first instinct might have been to assume that it is a bed bug. However, there are more bugs that look like bed bugs than you might expect. While the complete list could be quite long, the short list is fleas, immature roaches, booklice, carpet beetles, bat bugs and ticks.

So, how can you know if that minuscule visitor was really a bed bug? Here are a few characteristics of bed bugs that can tip you off to the presence of these bloodsucking creatures:

  • Adults are reddish-brown to black in color.
  • A bed bug that hasn’t had a blood meal recently is usually oval-shaped and flat. After feeding, these parasites will swell up, become longer and change color to redder to … Read Full Post »

What Do Termites Look Like In Florida? Tips For Identification

what do termites look like in Florida

Most homeowners do their best to keep any and all bugs out of the house. Unfortunately, some bugs are arguably worse than others, and some are harder than others to detect. Termites fall into both categories: They are some of the most destructive insects around—the National Pest Management Association estimates they cause American homeowners five billion dollars’ worth of damage each year—and since they build their colonies out of sight, they can easily go undetected for long periods of time. If you’ve never seen a termite before, you might wonder, What do termites look like in Florida? Learning the answer to this question will help you identify these undesirable pests, hopefully before they cause costly structural damage to your home.

As do termites in any state, termites in Florida look a lot like large ants with wings. There are some subtle differences between termites and flying … Read Full Post »