It’s lovely living in Florida this time of year when everything is warming up and coming into bloom. Many homeowners are choosing to spend more and more time outside, soaking in the sunshine and gathering with friends and loved ones. But when the temperature rises, we aren’t the only ones coming out of hibernation. And while a barbeque or pool party is fun in theory, it’s something that can be easily ruined by swarms of mosquitoes. What can we do about these blood-hungry pests? You may have heard of homemade mosquito repellents that you can execute on your own - but do they all work as advertised? Can you really fix a mosquito infestation without an exterminator? Let’s talk about it below.
There is much to love about Florida. Sunny days, gorgeous beaches, and blue water are all conducive to outdoor gatherings with family and friends. Unfortunately, this also exposes you to one of nature's most annoying pests, the mosquito. Due to the warm, wet weather, mosquitoes can be found nearly year-round in . However, the “Official Mosquito Season” is also the rainy season running from June to October. They thrive during this time of year and are most active during dusk and dawn when out searching for food. Females need the protein from blood to produce eggs and they’re relentless in the search for a source. These bites can cause more than just itchy welts. Mosquitoes can pass on dangerous diseases to humans and pets. Such as the Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, and West Nile Virus, as well as heartworms in dogs and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in horses.
- They have been around for over 100 million years.
- There are over 2700 species of which 176 species live in the US.
- Only females bite, they need protein from blood to produce eggs.
- Females lay 100 - 300 eggs at a time which over a lifetime equals 1,000 to 3,000.
- Mosquitoes go from egg to biting adults in 4-7 days.
- They are attracted by infrared radiation (warm bodies) and by chemical signals we give off such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
- Mosquitoes find you by sight and are attracted by your movements.
- A few types of mosquitoes will only fly a few yards from where they hatched to feed. More typically adults will fly a mile or two.
Protecting Your Home and FamilyMosquitoes are attracted to standing, stagnant water as these are prime nursery locations. Non-circulating water acts as an incubator for their eggs. It only takes a small amount of water to host their eggs. If you have ponds, aerate the water. Change the water in horse troughs often. Fill in any low-lying areas in your yard so water doesn’t pool. Turn buckets and other containers upside down. Change bird bath water weekly. Keep your swimming pool clean. Repair any leaking faucets. Clean debris from rain gutters. Drill holes in tire swings. Check window screens for holes and repair them if needed. Put a cover on your boats. Check tarps for folds or low spots where water can accumulate. Remove old tires or drill holes in them. Cover trash cans, or drill holes in bottoms for water to drain. Keep your yard and landscaping maintained. Mosquitoes not only love water, but they too enjoy the shade on a hot day. Keep your lawn mowed and bushes trimmed. Be sure to remove any piles of dead plant material and eliminate overgrown weedy areas. This removes any shady spots adult mosquitoes love to hide in. Check around your property up to 100 yards out for the above issues. Remember it only takes a small amount of standing water to incubate eggs. Hiding away indoors is impractical, so when outdoors, you could try wearing loose-fitting long-sleeve shirts and pants. Some studies have shown mosquitoes are attracted by dark colors such as black, red, aqua, and orange.
Mosquito Control ExpertsAt , our comprehensive pest control services help keep insects away from your home in the spring and all year round. If you’re not able to enjoy your outdoor space because of mosquitoes, we can help. With over 65 years of experience, has the experience to provide quality pest control. Want to know more? Contact us today for a free quote!
When the weather warms up in springtime in Florida, it's glorious. Unfortunately, many insect pests start to emerge from their hiding places to take advantage of the favorable conditions. Here are some of the insect pests that tend to swarm in the spring and how you can avoid them:
BeesBees are essential pollinators and play a critical role in our ecosystem. However, they can be a nuisance if they start to swarm around your home or garden. Bees typically swarm in the spring to find a new home and establish a new colony. To avoid bee swarms, make sure you keep your trash cans tightly sealed and clean up any food or drink spills immediately. Bees are attracted to sweet smells and flavors, so avoid wearing perfume or scented lotions if you are going to spend time outdoors. If you do encounter a swarm of bees, stay calm and avoid swatting at them, as this will only make them more agitated. Instead, slowly back away and seek shelter indoors.
WaspsWasps are another type of stinging insect that can swarm in the spring. They are attracted to sweet smells and are more aggressive than bees, so it's important to be cautious around them. Wasps build nests in protected areas such as under eaves, in trees, or in shrubs. If you spot a wasp nest on your property, it's best to call a professional to remove it, as attempting to do so yourself can be dangerous. To avoid attracting wasps, keep your garbage cans sealed and pick up any fallen fruit from trees. Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing, as wasps are attracted to bright colors. If you do encounter a wasp swarm, avoid flailing your arms or running away, as this will only provoke them. Instead, calmly walk away and seek shelter indoors.
MosquitoesMosquitoes are perhaps the most annoying insect pests that swarm in the spring. They are attracted to standing water, so make sure you don't have any puddles or containers of stagnant water on your property. Easier said than done in Florida's tropical climate. Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and Zika virus, so it's important to take steps to avoid being bitten. To avoid mosquito swarms, wear long sleeves and pants when spending time outdoors, and use insect repellent containing DEET. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so avoid spending time outside during these times if possible. Keep your windows and doors screened to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
TermitesTermite swarming occurs when a group of reproductive termites leave their existing colony to start a new one. This usually happens when the weather is warm and humid, which is why it typically occurs in the spring or early summer. During a swarm, hundreds or even thousands of winged termites take flight, looking for a suitable mate and a location to start a new colony. Insect pests that swarm in the spring can be a nuisance and even a danger in some cases. By taking the necessary precautions, you can avoid attracting these pests to your home and garden, and protect yourself from their bites and stings. If you do experience insects swarming on your property, we can help.
Trusted Florida ExterminatorsIf you're experiencing swarms of insects on your property this spring, it can keep you from using your outdoor space or even be a threat to your health. We've been exterminating pests in Central, West Central, and Southwest Florida since 1958. Contact us today for a free quote.
If you've been looking into pest control techniques, you may have heard of TAP® Pest Control Insulation. It's a specialized service offered by only a select group of exterminators across the country, but hearing that may come with some degree of confusion. What is TAP insulation? Whatever questions you may have about the product or the process, we can answer them!
What's TAP Pest Control Insulation?TAP, or T·A·P as it's sometimes spelled, stands for Thermal, Acoustical, Pest Control Insulation. Unlike sheets of fiberglass batting or globs of foam insulation, TAP is made up of loose cellulose that is blown into your attic or the voids in your walls. It settles, and once it does it can kill a variety of pests while also functioning as an excellent insulation.
How Does TAP Kill Bugs?Unlike other forms of insulation, TAP is specially treated with a borate solution that, to humans, is about as toxic as table salt. But as insects come into contact with it, the material sticks to their bodies and is then ingested when they groom themselves. Since they are unable to pass the substance, it gathers in their guts and eventually causes them to die of dehydration or malnutrition.
What Pests Can It Kill?You can see the complete list of pests that TAP insulation is effective against on the product's EPA label. TAP is effective on smaller insects like ants and termites, as well as bigger bugs like beetles, roaches, and slugs. TAP is not effective on rats, mice or squirrels.
How Eco-Friendly is It?Yes! Cellulose is already viewed as one of the greenest building products in the world, and the cellulose we work with is over 80% recycled materials. If that wasn't enough, TAP is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which has devoted entire studies to knowing exactly how this product can control bugs and protect your home in a way that is sustainable as well as effective.
How Long Does TAP® Pest Control Insulation Last?Since insects cannot build up a tolerance to the borate inside the cellulose, TAP insulation has the benefit of maintaining its pest-killing properties for decades at a time. Unless the material is damaged by moisture or rodents, it can insulate and kill pests for up to 100 years!
Do I Need to Get Rid of My Existing Insulation?If your existing insulation is damaged by rodents or excess moisture, you may want to consider getting it removed before installing a new material. If that isn't the case, since TAP is loose fill, it can be easily blown in over any existing insulation.
Is TAP Insulation Good Insulation?That's ultimately what it comes down to. It's nice in theory to have insulation that can combat pests, but that won't be worth it if that same material can't regulate temperature or block out sound. Luckily, TAP insulation does more than kill a majority of pests that come into contact with it. Since cellulose is thicker than other forms of traditional insulation, it slows the flow of air through it. That means that it keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Your HVAC equipment will have less wear and tear and use less energy, ultimately saving money on your annual heating and cooling bills. If that wasn't enough, TAP is also very effective at reducing sounds from outside. For more information, or to get an estimate for installing TAP Insulation, contact us today!
Most homeowners in Southwest Florida know the signs of rodent infestations. Piles of droppings and patches of urine, bite and scratch marks all point to a rat or mouse in the house. You can call a pest control company like Arrow Environmental Services to remove the rodents - but is that the end of your problem? If the mouse or rat infestation nested in your insulation, they could cause the kind of damage that exterminating companies can't handle. What do you do then? Why do rats and mice end up in your insulation, and how can Arrow Environmental Services help? Let's answer all of that and more below.
Rats In My Insulation?Why would rats or mice want to get into your insulation? It's surprisingly simple. Rodents come into a home or business looking for shelter and food to survive on. They're usually drawn to areas that are quiet and undisturbed, like your attic or the void inside your walls. The insulation there is only an added benefit. Fiberglass insulation, the most common for homes in the area, is also the favorite of rodents and other pests. Rats and mice tunnel through the batting, tearing at the material to eat or nest with. And while they do all of that, they'll also be defecating in the same place where they eat and sleep. So even after you remove the rodents from your home, the mess they made is still left behind them. You can't fix damaged insulation. You also can't change it on your own, since rodent droppings may contain Hantavirus that can spread into the air if improperly handled. You need a home service expert that can safely remove and replace the material. Or, even better, you need Arrow Environmental Services to make sure rodents don't have a chance to get inside your property.
Keeping Rats Out with ArrowYou can say a lot about rodents, but they can't go through walls. They get in through cracks, gaps and other openings on the outside of a property. If you remove rats or mice without taking care of these entry points, it's only a matter of time before more rodents take their place. That's where Arrow Environmental Services makes a real difference. Part of our rodent control strategy involves finding and remedying all major vulnerabilities in a property. This not only protects your home from rat and mice infestation, but it can also actually deter other kinds of pests as well. There is no material of insulation that is completely rodent proof. That's why it's so important to prevent these invading rodents from gaining access to this vital part of your home's structure. With Arrow Environmental Services we can ensure your insulation is kept intact. Your heating and cooling systems will run better, and you'll live more comfortably. Ready to learn more? Contact Arrow Environmental Services today!
If you live in or near Polk County, you know that the area is currently under a local state of emergency because of the ongoing missed residential waste collection. Needless to say, this has been extremely frustrating for residents. These missed collections have caused solid waste to accumulate not just near homes but also on roadways. Unfortunately, there are even more unforeseen consequences to this fiasco. Uncollected trash is one of the top attractants for pests, especially nuisance wildlife. The experts at Arrow Environmental Services are here to share everything you need to know about keeping pests away from your home during this local state of emergency.
Wildlife Infestations in FloridaIn our area, wildlife is abundant. From squirrels to raccoons, wild animals typically have no intent to enter our homes. However, with the current residential waste collection issues, the trash pileup could quickly attract nuisance wildlife to your home. And unfortunately, these animals could stick around long after the waste collection problem is solved. With their initial resources now gone, some wild animals may try to get inside your property to look for more sources of food. If they make their way indoors, you can be sure they’re bound to cause some problems. Wildlife can quickly cause structural damage and even create a hazardous environment with their droppings and nests. The key to avoiding these problems is to learn how to seal off your home to wildlife in the first place.
How to Prevent Wildlife Getting in Your HomeWildlife exclusion is the process of sealing entry points to keep wild animals from easily accessing your home. Here are the top areas around your property to focus on:
- Chimneys. Covering chimneys with a cap or screen keeps pests like squirrels out.
- Vent openings. Similarly to chimneys, placing screens over vent openings can keep animals out
- Soffits & siding. Covering overhangs can take away an animal’s shelter.
- Cracks & holes. It’s important to make sure there are no openings into your home for animals to enter.
- Porches & decks. Closing off your deck or porch will keep animals from nesting beneath them.
- Roof. Sealing any entry points and fixing broken roofing will stop animals from getting in.