ABC Blog

Florida Rats: What Homeowners Need To Know

Florida rats

There are many types of rats in Florida, but there are three common types of rodent pests that Florida homeowners are most likely to encounter living in their homes or garages, or elsewhere on their property. While there are similarities and differences among these three main types of Florida rats, what homeowners need to know about all of them is that rats and other wild rodents pose a very real threat to our homes, as well as to our health.

Rats can cause extensive property damage as they build nests and chew their way through wood, electrical wires, drywall and more. Rats and other wild rodents are also known for spreading serious diseases to humans and other animals, including bubonic plague—yes, the very same sickness that spread like wildfire during the Middle Ages, killing off over half the entire population of Europe.

Even if you never come into direct contact with … Read Full Post »

Do Raccoons Eat Cats? Protecting Pets From Wildlife

Do raccoons eat cats

Do raccoons eat cats? It’s a question many cat-loving homeowners have pondered. If you have a furry companion that spends time outdoors, especially at night, you may worry about your cat’s safety, and with good reason. While raccoons tend not to be aggressive, cats sometimes can be, and backyard standoffs may result when there is a dispute over territory or, especially, food.

Fights between felines and raccoons are not unheard of, and raccoons can carry rabies, roundworm and other infectious diseases, so any clash between a cat and a raccoon poses a potential threat to the cat’s health, not to mention your own. So yes, under some circumstances, raccoons can and will kill a cat, and if they do, they may go as far as to eat your beloved pet. For all of these reasons, it’s important to learn about raccoons and their behavior around household pets, so you’ll know how … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Rats Live?

How long do rats live

How long do rats live? It’s a common question, and an important one if you have rats living and breeding in or near your home. Rats are known to be unsanitary and carry diseases (bubonic plague, anyone?), and they can cause extensive property damage if they’re allowed to build nests and breed in places they shouldn’t. Rats in the wild are prey to snakes, coyotes, owls and other animals, so they often live for less than a year, but rats living in more protected indoor areas can live for two to three years. If their breeding is unchecked, they can produce thousands of babies over the course of their lifetimes.

Homeowners across the southern states have reported a recent uptick in rat activity in many residential neighborhoods, which makes it all the more important to understand rats and their habits, so you can protect your home from these dangerous pests. Read … Read Full Post »

Do Termites Bite? Risks Posed By These Dangerous Pests

Do termites bite

Do termites bite? This is a common question among individuals who encounter these destructive insects around their home or yard. For one thing, when you spot termites in or around your home, you’re probably seeing adult termites, which can look quite a bit like ants—and we all know that ants bite. Plus, it’s well-known that termites feed on wood. A typical termite colony can number in the many thousands, and these critters are capable of destroying entire structures by weakening the frame as they feed on and tunnel through it. If a termite can chew through wood, then it stands to reason that it could bite a human or a dog, right?

Well, not necessarily. The answer to whether termites bite people is a bit complicated, but the simple answer is that it’s unlikely you’ll ever be bitten by a termite. Here’s why.

To understand why you’ll probably never be the victim of … Read Full Post »

The Difference Between Bed Bug Bites And Mosquito Bites

Difference between bed bug bites and mosquito bites

Unless you live inside an air-conditioned bubble, you’re likely to find yourself scratching your skin at some point throughout the year as you come into contact with different varieties of biting insects. Both indoors and outdoors, and especially during the summer, you might have run-ins with fleas, mosquitoes, horse flies, black flies or even—shudder—bed bugs. Bed bugs can be very difficult to get rid of, so finding suspicious, itchy welts on your skin can cause momentary panic as you try to figure out the culprit. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to tell the difference between bed bug bites and mosquito bites or the bites of other insects, as long as you know what to look for. Read on to learn about various insect bites and the signs and symptoms that will indicate which pesky pest has taken a chomp out of you.

Mosquito Bites Vs. Flea Bites

Here’s the good news: Most common … Read Full Post »

Muscovy Ducks: Invasive Nuisance Or The Perfect Pet?

Muscovy ducks

In areas of the country where Muscovy duck populations have moved in and taken over, homeowners are polarized over these odd-looking fowl. Some people love them for what they consider their friendly personalities, their usefulness in controlling insect populations and their unique markings and appearance. Other people, however, can’t stand them. They consider Muscovies a serious nuisance and just want them gone from their properties and neighborhoods.

It’s undeniable that feral Muscovy ducks have become a real problem for homeowners living in certain urban areas, including some neighborhoods of Houston and other areas of Texas, as well as in many regions in Florida. Muscovies leave their waste droppings everywhere, including all over homeowners’ porches, front walks and cars and even in their pools. These ducks have been known to destroy flower beds and other landscaping features as they forage for food. They can also be a hazard to drivers, many of … Read Full Post »

Midges In Florida: A Nuisance Or A Larger Problem?

Midges in Florida

See if this sounds familiar.

You decide to fire up the grill for dinner. Everything is going great—until you feel the familiar bite of a bug. Then it happens again. Suddenly, you feel another twinge. Each time, you can’t see what could possibly be attacking you.

At first, you assume it must be mosquitoes, but none seem to be around. Then you see the swarm. Dozens of tiny, flying insects hovering nearby in a cloud. Sandflies. Biting midges, or as they are sometimes more commonly called, “no see ‘ums”.

Oh well, you think, they’re annoying, but at least they’re not dangerous. Or, are they? What can you do if you don’t want to have to deal with these pesky pests?

Lots of Florida residents wonder if there is anything they can do to deal with midges. Why? First off, they’re everywhere. Needless to say, they can be incredibly annoying if you’re trying to enjoy … Read Full Post »

What Eats Rats And Mice? What You Need To Know About Rodents

What eats rats

You were just walking around your property as you would on any normal day when you noticed something odd: a streak of dirt against a wall. Unsure what you were looking at, you went closer and found what looked like chew marks in the wood. Then, you spotted what looked like dark brown grains of rice about half an inch long. All signs of a very unwelcome visitor: rats.

Now, no one wants rats or mice invading their home. These rodents cause destruction. Worse, they bring disease. They can even attack if startled.

At the same time, you don’t want to resort to chemical solutions, unless you absolutely must. Your next thought might be whether there are any natural ways to deal with your rat problem. Which predators might take care of the rats? Stepping back, your bigger question is probably: what eats rats?

In this comprehensive post, we cover all of the … Read Full Post »

Are Centipedes Poisonous? Your Questions Answered

Are centipedes poisonous

You wake up in the middle of the night. Thirsty, you head to the restroom to get a drink of water.

Then it happens—you feel something skitter over your foot. Immediately you kick it off and flip on the light, only to see a creature out of your nightmares speed across the bathroom floor and disappear into a pile of clothing.

It was long and flat, but with long legs—almost like a spider. It had way more than just eight legs. There were dozens at least. They were everywhere.

A centipede, you guess, but not like any kind of centipede you’ve ever seen before. You want it out. But, is it dangerous? Poisonous? Will it bite you? Infect you with something? Is there a nest of hundreds of them somewhere in your home?

Unlike ants, spiders, roaches, mosquitoes and many other types of insects, most people don’t have run-ins with centipedes on a regular … Read Full Post »

Tiny Ants: Florida Homeowners Seek Solutions To Big Problem

Tiny ants Florida

As a homeowner in Florida, you realize that you share your property with a number of ant species. Ranging from the ghost ant to the carpenter ant to the red fire ant, there are more than 50 ant species living in the Sunshine State. Our subtropical climate provides a home to 65 exotic species as well, the largest exotic ant fauna, or wildlife, in the country.

Included in that list of species are many different types of tiny ants, with a list that includes the pharaoh ant, sugar ant, black ant, and, most recently, the little yellow ant. While their size might make them seem harmless, some tiny ant species can cause notable damage or even leave us with painful bites.

If you’re curious to learn more about a few species of tiny ants in Florida, including what attracts them and what impact it can have, keep reading—this blog post is for … Read Full Post »