What You Need To Know About Pests In Lee County, FL
Insects and rodents have their place out in nature, but they have no place in our Florida yards or homes. The best way to keep your property free of nuisance and dangerous pests is to learn what they look like, why they want to be on your property, and how to avoid them. Use the following pest guide to help prevent bugs, rodents, and more from taking over your Florida property.
Ants are common household pests that live together in large numbers and have learned that our yards and homes provide them with nesting spots, food sources, and access to water. When you first spot these opportunistic pests on your property, you should take action to eliminate them. Ants are not only a nuisance; they cause many problems, including biting, stinging, spreading bacteria and pathogens, contaminating food, and causing structural damage.
Ants are social insects and work together in groups of thousands or hundreds of thousands, with a single colony sometimes maintaining multiple nests. Ants divide the members of the colony into three different groups — queens, males, and workers. We come into contact with worker ants regularly; they are the ants we find wandering through our kitchens, basements, and bathrooms. Many different species of ants live across the country and throughout Florida, including fire ants, white-footed ants, ghost ants, and big-headed ants. The best way to identify which ants have made your home into their nesting and foraging grounds is to partner with a professional. At A Bug's Life Pest Management, we can accurately identify the species and provide the services necessary to eliminate ants and stop them from returning.
If you would like to avoid problems with ants, use the following helpful prevention tips to make your property less attractive to these pests.
- Repair cracks and crevices in your home's exterior ants can use to move in and out of your house.
- Fix leaking faucets and pipes and use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture in your home that attracts ants.
- Create a barrier between the foundation of your home and any soil or mulch.
- Keep lids that fit tightly on outdoor trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins.
- Inside, reduce food sources by regularly vacuuming and wiping down counters and tables.
Cockroaches are pests that thrive living with people; they have learned to benefit from the food, shelter, and water our homes and businesses provide. Cockroaches thrive in Florida, and we have to protect our properties from the many different species of roaches living in our area. American cockroaches, Australian cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, Florida wood cockroaches, and German cockroaches all call Florida home. Water and food are the two biggest attractants for cockroaches; unfortunately, our yards and homes have both because we also need water and food to survive! Cockroaches are difficult to prevent because they don't only find their way onto our properties independently, but they also hitchhike their way in inside of boxes, deliveries, furniture, and appliances. In multi-unit buildings, roaches move from unit to unit and floor to floor through walls, floors, drains, and vents! Cockroaches are persistent pests that are very difficult to prevent.
Though difficult to contend with, they are not pests that you can ignore, hoping they will go away on their own. Cockroaches should never feel comfortable in our homes because they won't leave once they do. Cockroaches are dangerous because they spread diseases and bacteria, contaminate food, and in young children, trigger asthma attacks. Having large numbers of cockroaches in a home can also cause allergy symptoms and breathing problems, and an unpleasant musty odor to develop. When cockroaches do find a way inside, they usually hide out in kitchens, bathrooms, and crawl spaces, emerging from their hide spots at night to forage for food. Once cockroaches move inside, evicting them isn't easy. To find and get rid of all the cockroaches in your house, it is always best to partner with a professional. To learn how we eliminate cockroaches through our effective pest control solutions, reach out to us today!
Keep cockroaches out of your home with the help of A Bug's Life Pest Management and our helpful prevention tips.
- Place all garbage in cans with tight-fitting lids.
- Never leave food or drink containers outside.
- Keep your kitchen clean and free of as many crumbs as possible by wiping down counters and cleaning the floor.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Limit eating to the kitchen and dining areas of your home.
- Eliminate areas of excess moisture that attract cockroaches, such as leaking pipes, wet, low-lying areas in your yard, roof damage, areas of decaying vegetation, and debris.
Fleas & Ticks
Whether you do or don't own a dog or cat isn't what determines if fleas and ticks will find a way onto your Florida property. Fleas and ticks are outdoor pests that move to and from properties with ease on the backs of rodents and other wild animals. Fleas and ticks live all around us in outdoor spaces, including lawns, shrubbery, parks, fields, and sandy beach areas. When living in Florida, you or your pets will inevitably run into these biting, blooding-feeding pests at one time or another. After you or your pets come into contact with fleas or ticks, you can bring them into your home. Fleas also find their way into homes on secondhand furniture or rugs or the backs of rodents, making these pests difficult to avoid!
Having fleas and ticks in your yard or home isn't just annoying; it is dangerous. Both fleas and ticks spread diseases and parasites to people and pets, and their bites leave their hosts open to secondary infections. Though fleas and ticks are both blood-feeding pests, they are two completely different species. The tick is a type of arachnid, while the flea is a type of wingless insect. The best way to accurately identify and eliminate these unwanted pests from your property is to partner with A Bug's Life Pest Management so we can find, treat, and eliminate fleas and ticks from your indoor and outdoor spaces.
Fleas and ticks are difficult to keep off our properties and out of our homes. In addition to our professional services, the following tips will help prevent them from taking over your property.
- Keep your grass cut short.
- Remove grass or leaf piles from your yard.
- Make changes around your yard to make it less attractive to wild animals. Place locking lids on trash cans, pick up outdoor eating areas, and remove bird feeders.
- If you own pets, place them on a year-round flea and tick control program.
- Inspect yourself and your kids for fleas and ticks before returning to your house.
- Regularly vacuum your home to pick up stray fleas and ticks that have found a way inside.
Rodents are mammals and common home-invading pests. The two most common species to invade structures in Florida are the large rat and much smaller mouse. Though their size and appearances differ, they both have front incisors that continuously grow throughout their life; in fact, all rodents have those ever-growing front teeth. Their teeth get them into a lot of trouble and are part of why these pests are so unwanted on our properties. To stop their teeth from overgrowing, these animals are constantly chewing on the objects they come across. When in our yards and homes, their constant gnawing causes damage to things like trees, the exterior of homes, wires, pipes, drywall, flooring, and more. Their presence can even lead to more serious structural damage and cause fires and moisture issues.
While the structural damage rats and mice cause is serious, the bigger problem with these pests is the health risks they present. Rodents spread bacteria, disease-causing pathogens, and parasites that can make people quite ill. Salmonellosis, hantavirus, leptospirosis, and lymphocytic disease are examples of the diseases rodents spread. As rodents travel, they leave behind unsanitary trails of urine, feces, shed fur, and parasites, contaminating surfaces, food, utensils, and more. The presence of rodents in a home also triggers allergies. Over time, rodents like mice and rats have discovered that our properties offer them easy access to all the things they are looking for — food, water, and shelter. Preventing problems with rodents is difficult because they breed rapidly, and they can squeeze their bodies through the smallest of openings to infest homes and businesses.
The best way to prevent rodent problems in Lee County, FL is to partner with our professionals to quickly eliminate current problems with rodents and implement the pest control services necessary to keep them from returning. In addition, the following prevention tips will help make your property less attractive to these dangerous and damaging pests.
- Inspect your home looking for openings that rodents can squeeze through — where corners meet, along roof eaves, in the cracks of the foundation, and where utilities enter.
- Place covers over vents and on the ends of downspouts.
- Eliminate food odors in your yard by keeping lids on trash cans, keeping outdoor eating areas free of food debris, and regularly harvesting fruits and vegetables from gardens.
- Remove harborage spots from your yard like tall grass, ivy, overgrown vegetation, brush piles, woodpiles, or construction debris.
When people start to talk about stinging insects, bees and wasps are typically what first come to mind. Both are members of the order Hymenoptera, but they are two different species. One of the most significant differences between the two is that bees have plump bodies that are totally or at least somewhat covered in hair, while wasps have smooth, shiny bodies with defined waists. Another difference is that bees tend to live in much larger colonies than wasps. Bees create their nests from the wax they produce from specialized glands; wasps build their nests with a paper-like material they make from saliva, bark, and other plant materials.
Something that bees and wasps both have in common is that when they build their nests in the high traffic areas of our yards or on our homes, they are dangerous and unwelcome pests. Stinging insects like bees and wasps have a stinger that extends from their hind end they can use to defend themselves and that predatory wasps use to paralyze their prey. Bee and wasp stings are not only painful but may cause all or some of the following symptoms — redness, swelling, hives, itching, breathing difficulties, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis. If you begin to see bees or wasps flying around your yard in large numbers or discover a nest on your property, it is best to reach out for help so our professionals can safely remove them.
If you would like to avoid stinging insects, use our helpful prevention tips to make your property less attractive to these pests.
- Limit the number of flowers you have planted in your yard.
- Place garden areas a distance away from the outside of your home.
- Wasps feed on many of the same foods we do; keep them from foraging for food on your property by keeping lids on trash cans, maintaining gardens, and keeping outdoor eating areas free of leftover food.
- Cut back shrubs, bushes, and tree limbs away from your home's exterior.
- Remove water sources by keeping gutters clear, repairing leaking fixtures, and storing containers that collect water upside down.
Termites are insects whose primary food source is cellulose from trees, pieces of wood, plants, and other organic materials. Termites live in large populations in Florida; our humidity and warm weather allows these pests to thrive. In our area, we have not one but two termite species that regularly invade our properties — the subterranean termite and the drywood termite. The main differences between the two species are as follows:
- Subterranean termites nest in the ground, drywood termites nest inside the wood they are feeding on.
- Subterranean termites prefer to feed on decaying or water-damaged wood. Drywood termites prefer to feed on dry wood.
- Drywood termites do not need contact with the soil to live; subterranean termites require contact with damp soil to survive.
- Drywood termites are typically only found in coastal cities and the southwestern states.
- Subterranean termites are widespread across the country and are responsible for most of the damage to structures caused by termites each year.
No matter the species, termites are problematic to have anywhere near your house. Termites are not directly dangerous to people, but they are incredibly destructive and damaging to any structure they decide to invade. Termites are on a constant quest to gather enough food to feed their large colonies. Working 24/7 year-round, termites cause more and more damage to the structure they have invaded each day, feeding on its structural wood, antiques, wooden furniture, and more. Protecting your home from termites and the destruction they cause is important. To learn how we can work together to eliminate or prevent problems with termites in Lee County, FL, reach out to A Bug's Life Pest Management.
In addition to our professional services, the following steps will help keep your property from becoming a target for hungry, wood-damaging termites.
- Make sure your yard has good drainage.
- Repair any leaky pipes.
- If any wood in or around your home ever becomes water-damaged, immediately repair it.
- Repair cracks and openings in your foundation, exterior walls, and the roofline.
- Inspect any wood or furniture for termites before bringing the items into your home.