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

Where Are All Those Bugs Coming From!?

July 10th, 2018

Are bugs crawling out when you reach into the cabinet for cleaning supplies or snacks? Do they swarm around crumbs as you prepare for dinner?

Living with insects is upsetting, especially when you don’t know how they are entering your home. You may be surprised to learn that the unused drains in your home can actually become breeding grounds for bugs.

If you have any tubs, showers, or sinks in your home that aren’t used on a daily basis, they could be the culprit to your insect infestation. Read more

How to Stop Fleas from Infesting Your Home

June 20th, 2018

If you have a pet, you understand how obnoxious and troublesome fleas can be. They come in waves after Florida’s rainy season, which means you are likely to find fleas on your pets and in your home right now. Unfortunately fleas cannot be entirely prevented, but strategic precautionary measures will minimize the potential damage that fleas can cause. Here are the main tips that you should know!

What Are Fleas?

Fleas are dark, tiny pests that jump from one place to another and feast on the blood of cats, dogs, and even humans. Though they are capable of spreading the Bubonic Plague, the most common effect of fleas is allergic reactions in pets and humans. Since flea saliva is an allergen, fleas cause painful, itchy red bumps. Unfortunately, fleas are difficult to eliminate once they have infiltrated their home. These tips will help you keep fleas out of your home as much as possible. Read more

3 Reasons Zoysia Sod is the Right Choice for Your Florida Lawn

June 10th, 2018

The quality of the grass in your yard plays a major role in the curb appeal of your property, a fact that might be stressful if your lawn is currently overtaken by weeds or brown spots. Installing the right kind of sod on your lawn can transform the appearance of your property, dramatically improve curb appeal, and give you a sense of pride in your home.

St. Augustine has long reigned as the favorite sod choice for homeowners in the Tampa Bay area, but Zoysia grass is now emerging as another popular favorite. This native Asian grass has been in the United States since the late 19th century. As a warm-season grass, its growth peaks during the hot summer weather that is so common in Florida. There are many reasons to consider installing Zoysia grass in your own yard, especially the three explained below.

Zoysia Is a Durable Sod

Zoysia is an excellent choice if you need a sod that can thrive in high-traffic areas. As Zoysia grows, it develops a dense carpet of grass that spreads above ground in stems called stolons and underground in stems called rhizomes. This thick, dense growth makes it possible to play lawn games and entertain on your Zoysia sod without causing lasting damage.   Read more

Which Mosquitoes are Most Common in Florida?

May 20th, 2018

The word “mosquito” conjures the same reaction as “root canal” or “jury duty.” It’s a virtually unavoidable part of life, but miserable to encounter nonetheless. This is especially true in Florida, where many different mosquito species thrive in the hot and humid climate. Every species can certainly bite and irritate your skin, but only 33 cause pest problems and just 13 have the potential to make you sick. Here is a quick rundown of the mosquitoes you are most likely to encounter in the Sunshine State.

The House Mosquito

House mosquitoes like Culex Pipiens like to breed and gather in polluted standing water like storm drains, pet dishes, and old tires. The female mosquito is capable of laying up to 400 eggs at one time! Once these mosquitoes infest themselves on your property, only professional pest control services can eliminate them.

Southern Mosquito

As the name suggests, southern mosquitoes are very common in tropical and subtropical regions like Florida. They share physical and behavioral aspects of the house mosquito but are especially prevalent in Florida. These nighttime feeders are the primary vector of encephalitis virus and can also transmit West Nile virus. Keeping them under control is essential for your family’s health. Read more