Do Insects Really Come Up Through Drains?

January 15th, 2019

Many people have experienced the horror of going into the bathroom and discovering roaches crawling up from the drain. It is easy to think that the roaches are coming into the house through the drain from the sewer. Yet this is actually very rarely the case.

How Roaches Get In

Roaches usually come into the home through the most common expedient—the doorway. The first thing roaches will do when they enter your home is search for a water source. That water source is probably your bathroom sink, toilet, or kitchen faucet.

The roach will go down into the drain to take advantage of the little bit of water that remains there. When the drain is disturbed or lights suddenly come on, it disturbs the roach and it comes out of the drain in a hurry. This is why it appears that they are coming out of the drains.

When Drains Are a Problem

The reason roaches can’t get into your home through the drain is because every drain has a P-trap that keeps water and sewer smells from coming back up into the home. As long as the P-trap is functioning properly, roaches can’t come up through the drain either. While it is technically possible, it is highly unlikely.

If the P-trap is compromised, this could cause a problem. You will notice right away if the P-trap is no longer functional on a drain, because you will start to notice a smell coming from it. When this happens, it is more likely for roaches and other insects to come up through the drain.

An Ounce of Prevention

Making sure your P-traps are in good working order is the best way to protect yourself against insect infestation from that avenue. P-traps can become dry and stop working if a drain is not used frequently. One way to make sure that your P-traps remain moist and functional is to use the drain periodically, such as to dispose of mop water.

How to Identify a Weevil Infestation

December 20th, 2018

There are many different household pests that have the potential to invade your home at any given moment. If you don’t respond quickly to the signs of an infestation, it could become an out-of-control situation. This is especially true with weevils. This small and stubborn pests can take over your home if you ignore them or fail to call a pest control company immediately.

What Are Weevils?
Weevils are types of beetles found in many shapes and colors. However, their most distinctive feature is the shape of their heads. As an adult, every weevil has an elongated head with a snout. The rice weevil is one type of weevil that commonly appears in homes. They are small black bugs that sneak into the home in grains and pasta.

How to Recognize Rice Weevils

At just two to three millimeters long, the rice weevil is very small and stout in appearance. It ranges from reddish-brown to black in color, usually with four light yellow or red spots on the corners of the forewings. Its snout measures an entire millimeter, which accounts for a third of its size.

It’s important to note that the rice weevil is one of the most widespread stored grain pest worldwide. Rice weevils originated in India but spread across the globe through trade. The southern United States, with its warm climate, deals with infestations of rice weevils more than any other area of the country. Mature adult rice weevils feed on whole grains like wheat, oats, corn, barley, rye, and even other items like cashew nuts, cereal, and macaroni. Read more

What Pest Control Is Safe For Pets?

December 10th, 2018

Finding pests lurking through your home is frustrating and disturbing. Your first reaction might be to use powerful pest control chemicals that knock the bugs or bees right out. However, you have your family pet to think of. Whether you have dogs or cats, many standard pest control methods make them vulnerable to harm.  It’s all too easy or your dog to lick a pesticide that makes him sick, so try these safe and natural pest control methods first.

Diatomaceous Earth

The name may be hard to spell, but diatomaceous earth is one of the safest pest control products out there. It is an off-white talc-like powder that is actually made from the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. Bugs with exoskeletons like bed bugs, ants, and fleas are vulnerable to diatomaceous earth because it compromises their waxy coating, but it is completely safe—and even edible!—for pets and humans alike.

Essential Oils

Many different essential oils can also repel bugs, but you need to know which insects you’re dealing with in order to select the right oils. Ants and roaches, for example, hate peppermint and lemongrass, so you can blend 20 drops of those oils into a spray bottle with water and apply around windows, cracks, and doors. Fleas and ticks, meanwhile, will steer clear of eucalyptus, citronella, cedar, and pennyroyal. Read more

Ants Trailing Into Your Soffits? Here’s What You Need To Know

November 20th, 2018

Soffit is an important part of the exterior design of your home. This part of your building’s roofing system serves an aesthetic and functional purpose by covering your eaves and preventing rafter beams from being fully exposed.

Since soffit is available in such a diverse range of styles and colors, you can use it to instantly add character to your home while still protecting rafters from weather elements and letting your home breathe.

However, soffit can have its downfalls. White footed ants are known to sneak into homes to forage for food by crawling through soffit. Here’s what you should know about this problem in order to protect your home from an unwanted ant infestation.

All About White Footed Ants

Multiple varieties of ants exist, but there are many species found predominantly in Florida, including the white footed ant. Officially known as Technomyrmex difficilis, the white footed ants are not dangerous - they don’t bite, sting, or cause structural damage - but they are a nuisance nonetheless.

White footed ants create super colonies. They reproduce in large numbers since half their entire colony is composed of fertile, reproductive females. You are most likely to find these ants foraging for food in your kitchen to bring back to their nestmates.

They prefer to nest at ground level, which is why your soffit offers such a convenient way for ants to sneak into your home. The foraging ants create trails as they travel, and you may find signs of these trails if you inspect your soffit or surrounding roof. Read more

Help! Insects Are Coming In Through the Drain!

November 10th, 2018

Most of us don’t pay attention to the drains in our home until a clog develops. We pour some Drain-O down pipes and hope for the best. You might make the mistake of thinking you can ignore the unused drains in your guest bathroom or garage, but think again. It’s actually possible for bugs to enter your home through your unused drains.

The Anatomy Of Your Drain

Take a glance below your kitchen or bathroom sink, and you will see a U- or S-shaped curved pipe that comes down from the drain opening. This portion of the piping is called the drain trap or P trap.

Every time you use a faucet, the drain trap maintains a small amount of water in the trap. This standing water helps to seal the drain and prevent sewer gasses from entering the home. Read more

Brown Recluse Spiders

September 20th, 2018

The name of the brown recluse spider is enough to scare most people, let alone the appearance of this unpopular arachnid. Though you hope to never see a brown recluse spider in or around your home, it’s important to recognize them and implement proper pest control measures, just in case.

What Are Brown Recluse Spiders?

The brown recluse spider lives mainly in the Midwest and Southwest United States. As the name suggests, these spiders are secretive and lurk in hidden places like wood piles, basements, and closets. Anywhere warm, dry, and dark is the perfect home for a brown recluse.

You might be able to recognize a brown recluse by a distinct dark brown violin shape on its back. These spiders are only ¼ to ½ inch long, but they do bite, especially when they feel trapped. If you put your foot into a shoe hosting a brown recluse spider, or reach your hand into a box where a brown recluse is hiding, you will most likely get bitten. Read more

Are Carpenter Ants Living In Your Home?

September 10th, 2018

Carpenter ants are widely misunderstood creatures that are often blamed for causing the same structural damage as termites. However, carpenter ants are actually only attracted to wood with existing damage. Are carpenter ants living in your home? Here are the signs and possible methods of control you should know.

What Are Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are one of multiple varieties of ants found in Florida. The specific types of carpenter ant found in the southwest are the Buckley and the Emery. As the largest ants found in Florida, carpenter ants are hard to miss as they forage or fly indoors and outdoors.

Unlike the wood-damaging black carpenter ant found in Florida’s panhandle, the Buckley and Emery carpenter ants simply seek out existing rotten wood for their nests. They also love sweets and will forage at night for any signs of remaining sugar and moisture in a household. Since carpenter ants forage in large numbers, this can be incredible unsettling for homeowners. Contrary to popular belief, these ants cannot sting. The most they will do is pinch slightly with their mandibles, but even that isn’t likely. Read more

Webworm Impact on Lawns

August 20th, 2018

When you invest your money, time, and effort into cultivating a lush, green sod yard, the last thing that you want is for that lawn to be ruined by pests.

Unfortunately, small bugs and insects love to make themselves at home in your yard. This is why it’s so important for you to understand the prevention, symptoms, and treatments associated with sod pests like the webworm.

What Are Sod Webworms?

Webworms are small, tan moths with a one-inch wingspan. They easy to distinguish by their zigzagging motions over sod, usually around dusk each day.

Webworm eggs take two weeks to develop into worms that damage sod lawns. If you find those eggs anywhere in your yard, chances are you have two weeks to seek professional lawn care help before worms begin causing damage to your lawn. The moths and eggs themselves actually can’t be killed, so action can only be taken once the worms have developed and are ready to cause trouble.

How to Identify Webworm Damage
The webworms that hatch from moth eggs thrive on grass blades. They begin with nibbles and quickly progress to eating large patches of grass.

If a lawn was very healthy before the presence of webworms, it’s much easier for the grass to recover and grow back to normal. However, grass that was already suffering tends to show more signs of damage by looking spotty and too short. It’s easy to misinterpret webworm damage for grass that has been damaged by heat and drought, especially as the end of summer approaches. Read more

Identifying Lawn Disease

August 10th, 2018

A vibrant green lawn plays an important role in defining your home’s curb appeal, but unfortunately there are many lawn diseases that can threaten the integrity of your grass and diminish your curb appeal.

Take-all Root Rot is one such disease that targets warm-season turfgrasses, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms and take action immediately to protect your Florida lawn.

What Is Take-all Root Rot?

Also known as Bermudagrass decline, Take-all Root Rot occurs as a result of frequent and heavy rainfall that puts turfgrass under stress. Florida homeowners can expect to see this disease most frequently in the summer and early fall when the state receives most of its rainfall.

The damage caused by Take-all Root Rot prevents turfgrass roots from absorbing a sufficient amount of water or nutrients from the soil. This also makes it harder for the plant to store the products of photosynthesis.

How to Recognize Take-all Root Rot

Since this is inherently a disease of the roots, it can be difficult to identify at first. You need to look directly at the turf roots to identify Take-all Root Rot in its early stages. However, as soon as the grass endures additional stress, symptoms appear on the leaves:

  • Irregular and yellow patches on the lawn
  • Roots become very short, black, and rotted
  • Irregular patches of thinning grass

Read more

Low-Maintenance Landscaping Ideas To Transform Your Yard

July 20th, 2018

Your yard is meant to be enjoyed, but without attractive landscaping it is nothing more than an unusable space. You don’t need to commit to a lifetime of ongoing maintenance in order to enhance the appearance of your yard. Thanks to the following simple ideas, you can transform the aesthetic appeal and function of your yard with ease.

Create an Outdoor Living Space

There are so many benefits to creating an outdoor living space, one of which is the fact that the living space will limit the amount of landscaping you need to do. Whether you opt for a patio with a portico cover, a screen room that shields you from the sun and rain, or an outdoor kitchen that sparks up your cooking options, your outdoor living space can serve an important purpose while also making your life a bit easier. Read more