Category Archives: Current Events

Active Insects in Jacksonville

Staying on top of the active insects, termites and lawn diseases is The Critter Gitter’s Specialty.

As a family owned and operated business since 1954, Peninsular Pest Control prides itself on the team of bonded service professionals who provide customers with treatment for the thousands of pests who make a home in your home or business. Four Generations of homeowners have trusted Peninsular Pest Control for their solution to their pest problems partly because they work around your schedule, providing regular service on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Peninsular also offers a one-time service for special problems.

Peninsular Pest Control offers a full range of residential and commercial services including pest control, lawn maintenance (fertilization and weed control) as well as termite treatment (Termidor® and Sentricon®).

Why is my grass dying?

Grass dying this time of year needs immediate attention.

Spraying yard
Is your Grass Dying?

Dying Grass could be caused by a few different reasons. Rich Jones, News Director for WOKV radio in Jacksonville, FL reaches out to George Richardson, Technical Director at Peninsular Pest Control, for answers

Mole Cricket can cause Dying Grass

Mole Crickets do the most damage from late August to early October. There is one generation of crickets per year, with eggs typically being laid in April and May. These creatures are nocturnal, which means they do their dirty work at night. If you have a street light anywhere near your front yard, mole crickets fly at night and they’re attracted to that light.

Soap Flush Test Instructions

An easy way to determine whether there are mole crickets in your yard is to mix 1.5 ounces of liquid dishwashing soap. like Dawn, into 2 gallons of water and sprinkle the mixture over 4 square feet of turf. If two to four crickets appear within three minutes of application, corrective action is justified.

Chinch Bugs can cause Dying Grass

According to the University of Florida IFAS/Extension:

Early damage appears as patchy areas of yellowing grass that rapidly browns and dies if the pest is left uncontrolled. The turf may initially appear to be drought stressed, which is a common misdiagnosis and allows damage to progress, often beyond repair. These patchily damaged areas are generally circular in shape and expand outward as the insects move from dying grass into healthier grass.

Turf in open sunny areas or under drought stress is often the first attacked and most severely damaged by southern chinch bug. This pest also prefers areas that have thick thatch layers because the thatch provides the insect with a place to feed and seek refuge from natural enemies and environmental conditions.

Peninsular Pest Control has been treating Jacksonville area lawns since 1954.

Angi Super Service Award

Peninsular Pest Control Earns 2021 Angi Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistent level of customer service

Angi Super Service Award 2021

Peninsular Pest Control is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angi Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained high service ratings and reviews on Angi in 2021.

“These outstanding businesses have helped homeowners not only maintain their homes, but also evolve them into spaces that can handle life, work, school and entertainment under one roof,” said Bryan Ellis, senior executive at Angi. “Our homeowners’ consistent positive reviews make it clear: these are the top pros in our network. Congratulations to this year’s Super Service Award winners.”

Angi Super Service Award 2021 winners have met eligibility requirements. Pros on Angi qualify for the award by obtaining 3 or more services-performed reviews in the previous year, maintaining a current and lifetime GPA of at least 4+ stars. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angi and have undergone our verification/screening.

“My parents, Earl and Louise Dixon, started the company in 1954 and our foundation was built on providing excellent customer service.”  said, Carolyn Richardson, President of Peninsular Pest Control.  “It’s nice to be recognized by Angi each year and we appreciate the loyalty of our customers who take time to submit the reviews.”

Peninsular Pest Control has been on Angi since 2010. This is the 11th   year that Peninsular Pest Control has received this honor.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angi as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are rated in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angi has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angi provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Problems with Sandy Soil

Newly Built Homes with Lawn Issues

Have you just moved into a newly built home and your grass is not looking as good as it should?   There is a reason.

New subdivisions are often created on top of existing sandy soil.  If no topsoil is added to the ground before the sod is installed, the grass will not thrive.  We all know grass needs nutrients to grow …but a healthy soil profile containing rich, organic matter is equally important. Just adding fertilizer to the lawn will not help… unless there is healthy soil below.

Soils that are gray or sandy colored generally contain less organic matter and you need to add topsoil. 

Top Dressing
Top Dressing will add nutrients to the sandy soil.

Don’t add too much at one time, make sure you can still see grass blades through the soil. This process is called top dressing and needs to be done every 3 to six months… until you see results.

Once your new turf is established, give us a call and we will gladly come out and recommend a lawn care program for you.

Erin Harlow, Horticulture Agent III at Columbia County Extension Office, wrote an article in the November/December 2021 issue of Pest Pro Magazine that addresses Florida soil and the amendments that can be made to improve the plant nutrition uptake.

Pest Pro Magazine image

Read the full article in Pest Pro Magazine.

Soils in Your Landscape

Soil is rarely uniform throughout a landscape. To understand the soil on your accounts, you should understand the common soil texture in your area, the amount of organic matter in the soil, the soil compaction or bulk density, and how all of these factors may influence the health of plants.

Soil is divided into three categories depending on the size of the particle: sand, silt or clay. The percentage of each in your soil will determine what type of soil is on your site. The composition of the soil also influences factors such as water retention and how it moves in your landscape.

Most Florida soil is sand, but the panhandle of Florida has more clay layers. The larger the particle size, the larger the pore space, which means that water can flow through these spaces faster. For your plants, this means that water may move out of the root zone quickly, requiring more supplemental irrigation.

Florida soils tend to have low organic matter — less than 4 percent. Organic matter plays a huge role in soil health. Improving the amount of organic matter in your soil can increase the potential for nutrient uptake by your plants (cation exchange capacity), increase the porosity of the soil, provide food for microbes, bind pollutants, and reduce compaction. Most labs that test for soil nutrients can test for organic matter, including the University of Florida Extension Soil Testing Laboratory Soil compaction is another factor that can influence plant health.

ASK THE CRITTER GITTER

081387104 computer keyboard q
Ask the Critter Gitter

David S.

Jacksonville Beach, FL

I have noticed areas of my lawn are turning brown and appear to be dying? What do you think the problem is?

Customers often call the office for help with their dying lawn. They complain that areas of the yard are brown and look dried out.

George Richardson, Technical Director for Peninsular Pest Control, will show you how to simply check your lawn for drought damage.

https://www.coj.net/welcome/news/time-for-duval-county-residents-to-change-lawn-irr

The City of Jacksonville Environmental Quality Division reminds Duval County residents that as they set their clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 13th for Daylight Savings Time, they may once again set lawn and landscape irrigation to no more than two days per week. Designed to conserve Jacksonville’s water supply and reduce the amount of nutrients flowing into the St. Johns River, Chapter 366 of the City’s Ordinance Code limits watering to two days a week during Daylight Savings Time

Residential properties with an address that ends in an odd number or places without an address may water on Wednesday and Saturday and those addresses which end in an even number may water on Thursday and Sunday.  Non-residential irrigation is only permitted on Tuesday and Friday.


 
Visit coj.net/fertilizer for more information including exceptions to the schedule, penalties and enforcement.

*An odd number address is a street address whereby the numeric part of the address is an odd number (103 John Doe Street) or the alpha-numeric part of the address ends with any of the letters N-Z (104-N John Doe Street).   

**An even number address is a street address whereby the numeric part of the address is an even number (108 John Doe Street) or the alpha-numeric part of the street address ends with any of the letters A-M (109A John Doe Street).
 

Caribbean Root Weevils

According the The University of Florida IFAS, this root weevil which is native to the Caribbean was first reported in Florida in 1964 from a nursery near Apopka. It was presumably introduced in an ornamental plant shipment from Puerto Rico. Since 1964, Diaprepes abbreviatus or Root Weevil, has spread over a large area of central and southern Florida where it is damaging to citrus, ornamental plants, and some other crops. It is estimated that Diaprepes abbreviatus causes about 70 million dollars in damage annually in Florida. Estimates show the weevil infests more than 100,000 acres of citrus.

Weevil
Jacksonville, FL Weevil, spotted on November 11, 2021

These adult Florida weevils vary in length from 0.95 to 1.90 cm (3/8 to 3/4 inch). They are black, and overlaid by minute white, red orange, and/or yellow scales on the elytra (wing covers). These scales are often rubbed off of the tops of ridges on the elytra giving the appearance of black stripes on a light colored background. Adults emerging from pupae in the soil are armed with a pair of deciduous mandibles which break off as they tunnel through the soil to get above ground. Scars at the site where the deciduous mandibles break off are visible under a microscope.

Life Cycle of the Caribbean Root Weevil

A single Diaprepes abbreviatus female can lay up to 5,000 eggs in her three to four month long life. Eggs are laid in clusters of 30 to 265 and enclosed within leaves that have been folded and glued together, or within two leaves glued together. In seven to eight days the neonate larvae emerge from eggs, leave the cluster and fall off of the leaves onto the ground. The larvae then enter the soil and search for and feed on the roots. After feeding for several months, the mature larvae pupate in the soil. Adults emerge from the soil, seek a host and mate as conspecifics gather on the host. The complete life cycle varies in time depending on nutritional and environmental factors.

Although adults can emerge year round, their primary emergence period is May through October and November in central Florida. It is suspected that their seasonality in South Florida is quite different because of the similarity with the Caribbean, where it can be found throughout the year.

Adults do not fly far from the spot where they emerged from the soil (estimated to be less than 300 m). Therefore, long distance dispersal is through the movement of contaminated soil and containerized plants containing potentially all life stages of the weevil. In addition, soil residues on vehicles may be contaminated with larvae.

Adults do not fly far from the spot where they emerged from the soil (estimated to be less than 300 m). Therefore, long distance dispersal is through the movement of contaminated soil and containerized plants containing potentially all life stages of the weevil. In addition, soil residues on vehicles may be contaminated with larvae.

Damage Caused

Notching along the margins of young leaves is a telltale symptom of the presence of Diaprepes abbreviatus adults, or other related root weevils. However, other pests such as grasshoppers and caterpillars may produce similar damage. Therefore, it is best to look for a sign, such as the pest doing the damage. Look for Diaprepes abbreviatus adults during the day on the foliage. Shaking the plant may aid in detection as adults fall off of the plant onto the ground. A light colored piece of canvas placed beneath the plant before shaking is useful. Do not look immediately after a heavy rain, which usually knocks weevils off of the plant.

Learn more about insects that can damage your landscape under our LAWN CARE tab.

Thanks Neighbor!

The Critter Gitter is Loved by locals

The votes are in: neighbors voted you a 2021 Neighborhood Favorite. As the only local business awards voted on by neighbors, we’re happy to help your community officially recognize you as one of the best around.

Peninsular Pest Control is a NextDoor Favorite
Peninsular is recognized again!

Being a Neighborhood Favorite sets you up for success on Nextdoor by boosting neighbors’ trust in your business and the visibility you have on Nextdoor. 

https://nextdoor.com/pages/peninsular-pest-control-service-inc-jacksonville-fl/

Bold City Best Winner AGAIN in 2021

Peninsular Pest Control won FIRST PLACE in two categories of the 2021 Bold City Best Contest. This makes the 7th consecutive year in a row that Peninsular has placed first in these two categories: BEST PEST CONTROL and BEST LAWN SERVICE.

BOLD CITY BEST is “The Official Community Choice Awards” contest held in Jacksonville, Florida, each year. The 2021 contest consisted of two phases of voting. The winners had to be nominated to make it to the finals and only one company out of the three finalist is able to claim the title of BOLD CITY BEST.

2021 Bold City Best Logo Winner Color

There were an overall 132 winners in a wide range of categories:

  • BEAUTY & HEALTH
  • DINING
  • ENTERTAINMENT & LEISURE
  • HOME, HOME SERVICES & FINANCE
  • KIDS & EDUCATION
  • PEOPLE & PLACES
  • SERVICES
  • SHOPPING
  • SPIRITS
  • VEHICLES, DEALERS & SERVICES

Peninsular Pest Control won their two awards in the “Services” category.

Thanks to all of our loyal customers for taking time to vote!

Jadera Bugs

Jadera Bug Infestation

This is the season in which you will see Jadera Bugs if you have a Golden Rain Tree in your yard, or your neighbor happens to have one. This is a bug that many Florida residents have probably never seen, or even heard about.

Jadera Bug
Jadera Bugs appear in Spring

In early summer, during the midday hours are peak times for Jadera bug activity. These red and black insects can be found swarming in yards where golden rain trees are present. The insects don’t actually cause any damage to the tree or structures. They don’t bite or sting either. But, they will stain your clothes and carpet if you happen to squash them accidentally.

They can also become a nuisance due to their population. It only takes one large golden rain tree to create a Jadera Bug Infestation.

Jadera bugs will crawl into houses, onto cars, through carports, across shoes, and pretty much every other place in the immediate vicinity of the golden rain tree – even further, if wind scatters the seed pods further.

We have had many calls recently from customers inquiring about this red and black bug because it often occurs in huge numbers in yards a golden rain tree is growing.  This bug is even referred to as “The Golden Raintree” bug because of their association with this particular tree.

The Jadera Bug doesn’t have a scent and there are no particular peak times from month to month but, in our area, they usually appear in spring with the Golden Rain Tree is dropping seeds.

These insects are more of a nuisance than a true pest problem. Controlling them is not always necessary unless the numbers are overwhelming.

As mentioned above, the Jadera bug does not sting or bite people or cause structural damage but it will stain your clothes and carpet. So, if you can…try to ignore them and simply enjoy this natural phenomenon that occurs once a year.

Cicada Bugs

Cicadas

The unique sound of the cicada bug will probably bring back childhood memories of playing outside with your neighborhood friends or a special camping trip as a kid, growing up in Florida. 

Cicada Bug

It’s not just the distinctive buzzing sound of the Cicada that makes them so unusual, it’s their interesting life-cycle that fascinates entomologists and nature loves alike.  The most popular species of the cicada bug is the “periodical cicada” which is found north of us in states like North Carolina or Connecticut.  This is the year that particular species emerges from the ground to find a mate and reproduce.

The Cicada Mating Call

Males make the loud buzzing sound which is what attracts the females to them. The reason for the loud volume is because the males with the strongest sounds attract the females.  Imagine the ruckus when you have that many males competing for the same thing… at the same time!

Cicadas are easily heard but not so easily seen or captured.  The distinctive sound can be deafening at times as thousands of males compete with one other for the attention of the females. 

Florida Cicadas occur annually, just as soon as the temperature is right. In much of the eastern United States, they are also known for their appearance in colossal numbers (as many as 1.5 million per acre).

The Periodical Cicadas only appear every 13-17 years so, our northern residents are preparing to see and hear the show this year!  Some people are so fascinated with Cicadas that they are making special plans to spend time outdoors or camping in those northern states from mid-May through June.

Don’t spend time worrying about your pets or kids because these bugs don’t bite or sting, they simply SING!  Enjoy the sounds this year because it may another decade and a half before you have the chance again.

Peninsular Pest Control is the largest, family owned pest control company in Northeast Florida.

Fleas

Flea Treatment for the Home and Yard

Here are some facts about fleas and flea treatment both inside and outside of your home. Understanding that most pet owners rely on the advice of their veterinarian when it comes to fleas on their pet, treatment of the home is just as critical. Fleas enjoy biting humans and pets equally and if you experience an infestation inside of your home, chances are you or your kids will be the target!

Kid and Cat
Fleas will bite animals and humans

Fleas pass from the Egg to Larvae and then to Pupae before becoming Adults.  We only notice them when they are in the adult stage, when they bite and then the cycle begins again.  Although you may be treating your pet for fleas, you need to control them inside your home and in your yard at the same time. That’s why Home Flea Treatment is so important.

It’s important to treat the grassy area of the lawn for fleas but, it’s also important to treat the areas where the pet likes to rest. 

Inside the home, check those areas most used by the pets. One way to determine if fleas are active is to place a white cloth on the floor in this area.  They are attracted to white and will appear on the cloth.

Once the home is treated, pets and people need to stay out until the product is dry.  Insect Growth Regulators can be added to the flea treatment eliminating the need for any indoor follow-up applications.  But the yard will need a second treatment two weeks after the initial one.  This will break the life cycle of these pesky insects.

The professional exterminators at Peninsular Pest Control are well equipped to provide Flea Treatment for your home and your yard. Dealing with all types of pests and insects in the North Florida area is The Critter Gitter’s speciality. Awarded annually for their exceptional customer service by Angi’s List, the Better Business Bureau and the Bold City Best.