Category Archives: Pest Control News

Pest Control News

Here are some of the topics we will be discovering and reporting on in our Pest Control News Section during the year.

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Peninsular Pest Control is the Largest Family and Locally owned pest control company in this area and reporting on the latest Pest Control News is important to them.  Serving four generations of families in Jacksonville, Jax Beach, St Augustine, Fleming Island, Orange Park and Amelia Island.

At Peninsular our well trained Citter Gitters kill ‘em with kindness, meaning we take care of your unwelcomed guests and lawn troubles, and always do it with a smile and with pride. If we can help with the extras, we will. If we get the chance to say hello, we will. We guarantee our services and we’ve been doing it this way in Northeast Florida since 1954.

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®).  Stay tuned for more Pest Control News.

We are YOUR CRITTTER GITTER!

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Flying Ants

Flying Ants

Flying Ants are often confused with Termite Swarmers. Although both can be annoying, it’s most important to monitor and treat your home for termites if the winged insect is a swarmer. There are several distinct differences between the Ants and Termites.

Flying Ants

Flying Ants have a pinched waist and Termite Swarmers have a straight waist. Flying Ants have bent antenna and Termite Swarmers have straight antenna. Ants have larger front wings while Termites have wings of the same size. A diagram of the difference between the two insects is visible on the YouTube video below.

Video

Here is a VIDEO below that will show you the distinct difference between the flying ant and a swarming termite. If there is any way to capture one of the insects and preserve them for Peninsular, that would be the best approach.

If you cannot tell the difference between the flying ant and termite, Peninsular will gladly come out to your home and inspect for you and give you a free estimate on treatment. There are two types of termite treatments to choose from: Termidor® and Sentricon®. The DIFFERENCE between the two will be explained by the service technician. It’s important to know if you are seeing a flying ant or termite. Immediately protect your home if what you are seeing are Termite Swarmers. Swarmers in the air usually indicate that a Termite Colony is nearby. The Swarmers don’t do the actual damage, that is the job of the subterranean termites. The other member of the termite colony is the soldier who is defending the colony and the Queen.

Sentricon®

The Sentricon® Termite Elimination System can be installed by Peninsular, a Certified Sentricon® Specialist, within one day. The installation does not interrupt any existing landscaping, actually you will probably not even notice the Always Active® Bait stations unless you look closely.

Flying Ants are annoying but Termites are invasive. Peninsular Pest Control is the largest locally and family owned Pest Control company in the Jacksonville, FL area. They serve four generations of families in this area and have been in business since 1954.

Ticks in Florida love warm weather

Florida Ticks

With the weather warming up in Florida, residents are seeing an increase in fleas, ticks and lice. It’s important to know what to do if your pet is bitten and also different ways to protect yourself when walking in wooded areas. Use tick repellant on your pants and socks as well as any exposed areas of your skin before you begin your hike. Try to avoid allowing your dog to brush up against bushes during the walk where the ticks are hiding. Staying on the path is the best way to avoid tick bites.

If you do find a tick on your pet, remove it as quickly as you can. Ticks need to stay attached to an animal for several hours in order to transmit disease. To remove a tick, grab it as close to the mouth as possible with a pair of tweezers or a tick removal tool. Pull the tick straight out with firm pressure. Try not to twist the tick as you remove it or you may leave part of it’s mouth behind. Dispose of it without touching the tick with your hands. Try not to handle the tick infested area of the animal until you have sanitized it. See veterinary care if for any further questions or concerns.

Fleas are also a growing concern in the summer months in Florida. Treating your dog AND your home are important. Contact Peninsular to learn more about out flea program treats the interior of your home as well as the exterior. Watch this video to learn how to test for fleas inside your home.

According to the UF/IFAS Extension these are the Tick Disease in Florida:

  • Brown Dog Tick
  • American Dog Tick
  • Lone Star Tick
  • Black-Legged Tick
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Brown dog ticks common in Florida
Brown Dog Tick

The areas in which your dog inhabits is usually where the brown ticks are found .

Ghost Ants

These small, almost invisible ghost ants, are usually seen in the kitchen.

The ghost ant is very adaptable in its nesting habits. They nest easily outdoors or indoors. Colonies can be medium to large in size and contain many breeding females. Ghost Ant sites include tufts of dead but temporarily wet grasses, plant stems, and cavities under debris in rapidly changing open habitats. Indoors, the ants colonize the void in the wall or the spaces between cabinets and baseboards. It will also nest in potted plants. Therefore, colonies divide into subunits that occupy different nesting sites and exchange individuals along the scent trails. Ghost ants opportunistically nest in places that sometimes only remain habitable for a few days or weeks.

Several queens can be dispersed in several sub-colonies. Nesting usually occurs in disturbed areas, in pots, underground objects, under loose bark, and at the base of palm fronds. Indoors, the ant nests in small spaces such as crevices, spaces between books, or holes in walls. Food collectors inside often come from outside. It is a very common indoor pest.

New ghost ant colonies are likely to form by budding. This occurs when one or more breeding females, accompanied by several workers and possibly a young, leave an established colony for a new nesting site. There does not appear to be any infighting between members of different colonies or nests.

Workers have a habit of running quickly and erratically when disturbed. They love molasses and take care of molasses excreting insects. They also feed on living and dead insects. When workers are lagging behind, their movement is slower and more deliberate. After close inspection, some workers can be seen dragged along with cubs. They will enter structures from nests close to foundations or from plants in contact with the building.

Tracking down their source is important and a Professional Pest Control Company can assist.

Sod Webworms – Video

Sod Webworms or Army Worms

Sod Webworms damage is often noticed by homeowners when they see damage to their lawn. The grassblades in the lawn will appear shorter than the rest of the lawn. It almost looks like someone has taken a weed eater to areas of the lawn.

To check your lawn, simple go to that damaged area of the lawn and part the grass. What you will find is tiny worms, which are the larval stage. What most likely drew your attention to the problem originally, are the next stage of the larvae. The worm is gray to tan with small dark spots on the body and brown heads. They reach 3/4 to 1 inch when fully grown.

Accordng to IFAS/Extension at the University of Florida, the sod webworm larvae are destructive pests of warm season turfgrasses in the southeastern US, especially on newly established sod, lawns, athletic fields, and golf courses. Tropical sod webworms are part of a pest complex of warm season turf caterpillars in Florida that include fall armyworm,

Lubber Grasshoppers

Lubber Grasshopper are coming

Grasshopper Infestation in Jacksonville FL

Lubber Grasshopper
Lubber Grasshopper in Jacksonville FL

The Lubber Grasshoppers can grow relatively large in size but, they are of no real harm to humans. Most of the damage they do is to the plants and landscape. If you find them in your lawn, you can either pick them out by hand. Another options is to mow the lawn while they are present. In more serious cases, a professional exterminator, like Peninsular Pest Control, will need to be called.

George Richardson, Technical Director, of Peninsular Pest Control said the insects, known as lubber grasshoppers, can be a real nuisance. “They can be kind of menacing because they can be up to three inches long they’re quite ugly and look like little monsters,” Richardson said. Richardson said they’ve been busy lately because of the bugs. “We’re receiving three to five phone calls a day about them,” he said. “They like the succulent type of lilies.” A better way to get rid of them is to treat them soon as they hatch, which is usually in March and April; otherwise they have to be grabbed one by one.

Disposal of Lubber Grasshoppers

“Take them off the leaf put them in a bucket and in the bucket we recommend to either have rubbing alcohol or soapy water,” Richardson said. The liquid will asphyxiate the bugs.

Natural Preditors

There is one cute little bird called a Loggerhead Shrike which love to eat them. Some birds are wise enough to bite off the head of the grasshopper, place the body on a stake, like the barb of a fence. The sun actually bakes out the poisonous toxins allowing the Lubber to have a delicious meal. If you don’t happen to have any Loggerhead Shrike’s available… it’s best to get those lubbers out of your lawn when they are still young. Waiting until they grow larger will put your landscaping at risk, especially if you have any fruit or citrus trees on your property.

Educational uses for Lubber Grasshoppers

Some educational benefits to the these Grasshopper, if you’d like to do some donating, are available! The University of Florida’s commercial horticulture agent Erin Harlow has found another use for the critters. “We do use these grasshoppers for our bug camp every summer,” Harlow said. Kids will be dissecting the grasshoppers for a hands-on science lesson. “I thought maybe they’d be a little squeamish last year, but they did really really well I mean they’re just really cool bugs,” Harlow said. 

Learn more about the 4-H Youth Leadership Programs sponsored by ASIF/Extension at the University of Florida.

Winter Lawn Care

Winter Lawn Care


The cold temperatures have begun to slow down the growth of many lawns. In an effort to provide the proper nutrient level in your lawn and to help reduce the stress caused by low temperatures, we will be making an application of Liquid K (liquid potassium) on this final Turf Quality Management (TQM) treatment for 2014. This application will also include spot treating for weeds and disease as needed. The term “winterizer” means different things to different people. However, potassium is the nutrient needed by the lawn at this time of year and this is our “winterizer” fertilizer application.

Potassium fertilization at this time of year promotes root growth and thicker cell walls without promoting plant growth.  This strengthening of the root system will improve your lawn’s ability to handle the stress of cold temperatures during the winter and provide the proper foundation for a healthier lawn in the spring.  Please water in this application.

Shrub pest control
Pro Shrub Service

Winter shrub treatment

We have had many calls regarding scale insects on shrubs in the past few weeks.  Due to the amount of active scale we are now beginning our Winter Pro Shrub treatment.  This application contains Horticultural oil to help control many shrub damaging insects. If you are planning to do any landscaping at this time please consider the change in weather. Some of our commonly used ornamentals are not able to tolerate freezing temperatures. With colder temperatures the plants may require extra care such as protecting from frost with frost cloths or blankets.

Minimizing Winter Damage in Our Lawns

Most warm season grasses, such as St. Augustine Grass, have poor cold tolerance ratings. In North Florida lawns will go dormant or semi-dormant during the winter depending on the temperature. If we have several cold nights and cooler temperatures during the day followed by light frost, the lawn will be conditioned to survive. However, when sudden or extended periods of low temperatures and heavy frost occur, the damage to St. Augustine lawns can be severe.
Cultural conditions that favor cold injury to turf include: poor drainage, compacted soil, excessive thatch, excessive nitrogen fertilization, and mowing to closely.

Recommendations

To help in minimizing winter damage to your lawn we recommend the following:
1. Winter Watering – lawns require less water in the winter than during summer. DON’T STOP WATERING however because the root systems still need adequate moisture. One application of 3/4 inch every 7 to 14 days should be sufficient if we do not receive adequate rainfall. If the lawn receives more than this amount of water, diseases such as a Large Patch may develop.
2. Mowing – mow at a height of 3 to 4 inches to create longer leaf tissue and heavier canopy for a warmer microenvironment for the roots. This will encourage root growth.
3. Thatch – lightly rake out heavily thatched areas and add 1/4 to ½ inch of topsoil before winter cold arrives.  Doing so helps to prevent the roots/runners in this area from freezing.
4. Soil Compaction – Call and arrange for our Lawn Aeration Service.  To learn more go to our YouTube channel.
5. Fall Lawn Renovations – any sod or plugs that were put down in the last several months will require extra TLC as their root systems will be shallow and more susceptible to cold injury. If possible wait until Spring to repair any damaged areas as the money and time you spend now will be wasted by damage from the cold.
6. During a Freeze – Don’t water the lawn during a freeze this may do more damage and cause ice to form on sidewalks creating hazards. Keep off any turf that has Frost or is frozen, traffic from people, pets, or equipment like lawnmowers can cause severe damage.  Wait until the sun thaws out the grass.

Aeration and Lime Service

Peninsular is currently providing our annual lawn aeration service to help with nutrient uptake and compaction issues along with many other benefits. We will begin to provider annual lime application in January. This application helps to adjust the pH of the soil to maximize usage of nutrients within the grass plants.

Getting rid of mosquitoes

Mosquito Extermination

Removing any standing water in your yard is one way to control the mosquito population because, without water mosquitoes cannot reproduce.  Sometimes it is impossible to remove a water source so, it may be necessary to spray the area for the adult mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes rest during the day under the leaves of bushes and are therefore easy to find and eliminate.  Since we are often at work during these hours, asking for professional help with this service is a great idea.  Peninsular Pest Control has a mosquito suppression program that is designed to eliminate the adult mosquitoes while making recommendations regarding standing water sources that you can monitor yourself.

Mosquito prevention
Get rid of Standing Water in the yard

Fall Lawn Care Tips

Fall Lawn Care

Jacksonville FL Lawn Care

Winter Spraying for weeds
Fall lawn fertilization

Fall pre-emergent weed application

Can you feel that hint of fall in the air?

Preparing for the spring, we are currently making a liquid pre-emergent herbicide application to all areas of your lawn. We will also be spot treating any broadleaf weeds present at time of the application. This pre-emergent treatment provides a barrier to weed seeds germinating over the next six to eight weeks. When applied prior to weed emergence, it effectively controls approximately 30 different broadleaf and grassy weeds. Also it is important to note that the areas we are treating are only in the sodded portion of your lawn and outside the drip line area of any shrubs or small trees.

This lawn treatment we are applying Barricade®  pre-emergent herbicide to help prevent the germination of winter weeds. In addition, we are applying the microbial inoculant Quantum Growth® which enables the turf to better utilize nutrients and water. With cooler temperatures we are applying liquid herbicide for the control of broadleaf weeds. Herbicides alone will not control 100% of the weeds in any lawn therefore some may have to be pulled by hand.

Adequate soil moisture is necessary after this application; apply at least ½ inch of water within 10 days to maximize its effectiveness. When the weather warms your lawns water needs will increase. Now is a good time to check your sprinkler system for any broken or clogged heads and any broken pipes from freezing weather.

Spring lawn tips

Spring Lawn Care Steps

Spring lawn tips are important and here are several things you can do to help your lawn recover in spring.  The first spring lawn tip is to use a leaf rake to remove any dead grass or thatch.  Remember, your spring lawn has been dormant during the winter and it will welcome the help. New growth needs sunshine to flourish and removing old dead grass will help. Your new spring lawn will apreciate your extra effort.

Topsoil

Next, add a layer of topsoil to help promote new growth. And if needed transplant healthy grass from other areas of your lawn to the areas that are bare. This can easily be done with a post hole digger. Just punch out a small grass plug from any area of the lawn that is healthy and tranplant it over to the bare area of the lawn. Remember your initial spring lawn tip and make sure the dead grass or thatch has been removed.

Fertilizer

The next spring lawn tip is to add fertilizer to the lawn to prepare for the green-up that is about to occur. Quantum Growth® is a fertilizer application which includes nitrogen and potassium which stimulate root growth. Water it in properly so the roots can absorb the nutrients but, don’t overwater because too much moisture will cause disease and encourages weed growth. 

Mowers

Spring Lawn Preparation
Check Mower Blades

Be sure to check your mower blade to make sure they are sharp. Dull mower blades cause an uneven cut which can lead to disease issues like fungus.  An even cut allows the grass to heal more easily and your lawn will look better as a result.

Finally, test the pH level of your lawn because it will tell you which nutrients are lacking. Not everyone has a pH soil meter so, calling on Peninsular Pest Control for that test is not uncommon.

Congratulations

George Richardson

George Richardson Celebrates

It’s his 25th Anniversary with Peninsular

He is worth his weight in GOLD, so it’s appropriate that we celebrate the Golden 25th Anniversary of George Richardson, Technical Director for Peninsular Pest Control. George started with Peninsular in the Termite Service Department by assisting Peninsular as they field tested the Sentricon® Colony Elimination System for DowAgrosciences. He then moved into sales and management positions. Anyone who has ever worked with him or welcomed him into their home (or yard) knows that George has a natural talent for thorough examinations and for exploring all options! For years, George’s loyal “fan base” has grown and includes several local personalities and prominent community leaders. And, for the past several years we have all had the opportunity to see his acting ability in action with some of the near infamous YouTube videos he has starred in. A fan favorite seems to be the “Mosquito Elimination” video which has had over 20,000 hits! Thanks for your 25 years of Service, George… you really are The CritterGitter!

George Richardson
George Richardson, Technical Director