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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Chinch Bug Video

Rich Jones from Jacksonville, FL, and The WOKV Morning Show will explain more in the Chinch Bug Video.

Chinch Bug Video
Rich Jones on Chinch Bugs

Early Chinch bug treatment in Jacksonville FL is important because these destructive insects affect all types of turf grasses and are extremely devastating. They can take out an entire lawn in a week.

Test for Chinch Bug

To test your lawn for chinch bugs, simply rake your fingers across the dead grass onto a white paper (or your driveway) and you will see them, if they are present.

These bugs naturally exist in our environment and there are some natural diseases that will keep them at bay. They prefer the moist grass but when the grass dries out, these natural diseases go away and the chinch bug population spikes.

Homeowners sometimes mistake Chinch Bugs for Mole Crickets so visit our Mole Cricket page to see the difference in our Chinch Bug Video. Treatment for Chinch bugs is described in this Chinch Bug video below:

To you, it looks like your lawn is drying out but, watering it won’t help at this point. When it’s hot, mowing your grass too short and improper irrigation will dry your lawn out, creating the perfect environment for chinch bugs to begin their damage.

There are products that will keep the bugs from spreading but it’s important that you begin Chinch Bug Treatment just as soon as you discover them in your lawn as shown in our Chinch Bug Video.

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 is the Largest, Family and Locally owned Pest Control and Lawn Service company in the Jacksonville area.

Spittlebugs in Florida

The adult population of Spittlebugs are beginning to appear in the Jacksonville FL area.  These colorful bugs love to munch on centipede grass and the damage is usually what causes a homeowner to notice them.

Les Harrison is the County Extension Director at the UF/IFAS Extension Wakulla County Office and he has compiled some helpful information for North Florida residents:

Spittlebugs hide themselves, deceiving the casual observer, by excreting a frothy substance from their abdomen. This insect usually passes unobserved until the damage is noticed and they are sought to account.

Spittlebugs are present throughout the entire state and are most abundant in northern and northwestern Florida. 

Their propensity to attack turfgrass species is what commonly calls attention to their presence. Centipede grass is most susceptible to their damage, and this turf is commonly under stress due to soil conditions in coastal Florida not being favorable to this popular species of grass.

Adult two-lined spittlebugs are easy to identify if seen. They are about 1/4 inch long with black bodies, red eyes and legs, and have two orange stripes across their wings.

Spittlebug insect

The mature spittlebugs are commonly active during early morning, but hide near the soil surface during the heat of the day. They are capable of a split second hop when a threatening situation is perceived.

The nymphs are yellow or creamy-white in color with a distinct brown head, but are rarely seen. They are cloaked by a mass of white frothy foam which they excrete for protection.

The foam has the appearance, at least to humans, of a projected expectoration or spittle from some uncouth trespasser. The opaque mass is not inviting and covers this insects hidden agenda.

During the nymph stage, this native pest is feeding on its plant host. Most spittle masses occur near the soil surface or in thatch making them observable, but only to those who are looking.

Some dried spittle masses may appear high on the host plant during adult’s emergence. High moisture and humid conditions favor their development and flourishing populations.

Spittlebug foam
Spittlebug foam used for protection

There are usually two to three generations per year, depending on weather conditions. The life cycle requires about two and a half months. Eggs are laid in hollow grass stems or behind the leaf sheaths. The late season eggs overwinter and hatch the following spring, typically from late March to late April.

First generation adults are most abundant in June, with the adult population peaking again in August or September.

Bed Bug Infestation

Bed Bug Infestation

Beware of bed bugs when you travel

Bed bugs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Just looking at bed bugs is enough to get your skin crawling, but these creepy bugs can hitch a ride to your home faster than you can imagine.

George Richardson, Technical Director for Peninsular Pest Control, suggests that travelers keep all of their items in their luggage. Keep the luggage off the floor and in the bathroom, if at all reasonable.

He suggest that you check sheets and mattresses for small brown spots because that’s the trail bed bugs tend to leave.

“Any crack that the bed bugs can get in, they will do so in your home.” Richardson says. “One female can lay up to 12 eggs a day.” Richardson says that “bed bugs aren’t just attracted to furniture or other belongings, they’re also attracted to people. In fact, bed bugs like to be within eight feet of people.”

So if you come across a bed bug infestation, Richardson suggests putting all of your items in a clear plastic bag like so you can see the bugs.

He recommends that you wash clothes in hot water and place them in the dryer. It takes temperatures over 110 degrees to kill the bed bugs. And if you’re bitten, use an anti-itch cream If you have any questions about bed bugs and how to dispose of them, contact a professional.

Bed Bugs and Insects and Weeds, well they aren’t nice… but WE ARE!

At Peninsular our well trained Critter 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 and the Jacksonville FL area since 1954.

Exterminator

Exterminators in Jacksonville

Like beach crowds and overgrown lawns, new crops of termites have been coming out for Jacksonville’s warm spring and spreading through neighborhoods across Northeast Florida. Spring and early summer are swarming seasons, when colonies of the wood-eating insects send out breeding specimens called “reproductives” to launch new colonies.

Clouds of tiny flying insects can fill a room within minutes, usually appearing when midday day heat settles in, especially after it rains. Piles of dead insects and discarded wings left from those swarms are how a lot of people learn they have termites in their homes. But that doesn’t tell homeowners how much wood the established colonies have already eaten, or where they’re camped inside the walls.

Exterminator near me
George Richardson, Technical Director

“The ones they find are not doing the damage… It’s the ones they can’t see,” said George Richardson, technical director at Peninsular Pest Control and one of the top exterminators in Jacksonville.

Shutting down those colonies has meant new business to pest-control companies for the past few weeks. A bitter winter that stalled the first swarms was followed by weeks of warm spring days that triggered a burst of activity among a common kind of subterranean termite. A second subterranean variety has been coming out lately. And yet another variety, a drywood termite that doesn’t need underground homes, will probably swarm through June, said Richardson, Technical Director for Peninsular Pest Control in Jacksonville.

People shipping lumber around the world have helped widen the territory of some species. “People move around and they move around. And we have more than one kind of termite now,” he said.

Near the end of a cul-de-sac of small homes in Arlington, Richardson pulls back bushes next to a wall with fresh vinyl siding and runs his fingers over the residue of an old termite infestation.

Exterminators in Jacksonville agree: Subterraneans headed for the home’s framing had built – and later abandoned – mud tubes that climbed up the edge of the concrete slab and beneath the siding. Pines are a favorite termite food, so lumber that wasn’t pressure-treated is inviting. So is pine bark mulch in some yards, but termites will eat wood furniture, picture frames, and even books, given the right circumstances.

The tubes shield the insects from sunlight and from predators like lizards and birds as they shuttle between their food source and the colony underground. Drifts of leaves and shade from overhead trees that hold in moisture help mark some areas as prime tube-building spots. He’ll use 60 gallons of Termidor, a long-lasting termiticide, on a 150-foot perimeter.

That substance, now in use more than a decade, has filled a gap in termite-protection created when older, more toxic substances were retired for safety reasons.
“It has revolutionized the pest control industry,” Richardson said. “Once a home is treated, we have very few reoccurrences. … The success with Termidor is in the upper 90th percentile.”

Customers sometimes choose other treatments suited to their own concerns. For a smaller chemical footprint, for example, people often use Sentricon’s Always Active bait system, which spreads termite-destroying chemicals trough a series of stations baited with wood to attract the critters. Like the service, costs will vary by home and by the agreement with the pest company.

Fleas in the Home

Flea Treatment for Homes

Flea treatment for homes is just as important as the treatments used to protect our pets. Creating a safe and comfortable home for your pet. Although the pet may be shielded from fleas, you could be living in a house that is flea infested. These biting insects are very creative! They can enter a home on your shoes or pants. Treating both the home and yard is important.

Flea treatment for Homes
Flea Treatment Outside in the Yard

If you think you have a flea problem inside of your home. Do this simple test: Place a white cloth on the area of the floor that is most likely to have the fleas. Whether it’s where your pet lies during the day or it’s simply near a chair that YOU sit in and are continually bitten. Fleas are attracted to white, and they will appear on the cloth.  This would obviously be an area that needs to be treated.

Flea Treatment by Peninsular

Once the home is treated, you need to treat your yard as well. While it’s important to treat the grassy areas of the lawn, Peninsular also focuses on any shady areas where the pets rest during the day.

Immediately after flea treatment, pets and people need to stay out of the area until the product is dry.  Insect growth regulators can be added to the treatment, eliminating the need for any follow up applications. The yard will need a second flea treatment though, two weeks after the initial one.  This will help break the life cycle of the fleas.

In the house, it’s the same principle… concentrate on the areas that are most used by the pet. 

Peninsular Pest Control not only provides flea treatment, they also offer these services: Ant Control, Bed Bug Extermination, Ghost Ant treatment, Silverfish extermination and Yard Services. The Critter Gitter is the BEST local pest control company in Jacksonville according to their Bold City Best Award and Angie’s List Super Service Awards, year after year.

See more about our treatment on PORCH!

Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Extermination

Bed Bug Extermination begins by identifying the rooms that have bed bug activity.  Once that is determined the homeowner is asked to remove all clothing and anything washable from the closet and drawers, in addition to the bed linen.  Those items then need to be laundered and dried.  It’s actually the heat from the dryer that will promote the bed bug extermination from the clothing and linens.

Bed Bug

How Peninsular Treats Bed Bugs?

The next step for the Peninsular Pest Control Technician is to completely disassemble the bed.  That requires removing the mattress and box springs from the frame and completely disassembling the bed frame itself.  Bed bug are creative in their hiding spots and they are sometimes found in the joints of the bed frame, behind pictures on the wall and the tufts of a pillowtop mattress.

The treatment process involves an intense 4-6 hour treatment per room. Most treatments will require a follow-up treatment if it is determined that there is still bed bug present in the room.

Bed Bug Extermination Follow-up

Bed Bug Extermination Equipment

The room is then treated for the bed bugs and a bed bug monitor is placed in the room to check for them. 

Tips to Keep them Out

Peninsular offers several tips to travelers that will minimize your risk of bringing these annoying critters home, hopefully avoiding this entire Bed Bug Extermination process. You can see a VIDEO and LEARN more on our Bed Bug Control page. We even show you what a bed bug bite looks like.

Peninsular Pest Control offers all types of insect treatment for both interior and exterior pests like: Silverfish, Cockroaches, Spiders, Ants (Including Carpenter Ants), Fleas and even Mosquitoes. Check out any of these topics on our PEST CONTROL or LAWN SERVICE pages. Peninsular Pest Control is the Largest Family owned Pest Control Company on the First Coast of Florida.

Many people want to know what a Bed Bug Bite looks like. Watch this video to find out:

Silverfish Treatment

Silverfish Treatment

Silverfish Infestation as Temps Rise

Silverfish Treatment
Silverfish feeding on paper with glue

When it comes to Florida pests, they are one of our most intimidating insects. These insects are not considered a threat to humans, as they do not sting or spread disease. However, without Silverfish Treatment you can have damage to your personal belongings, especially paper ones. They are typically found in high humidity environments with temperatures between 72°F–81°F.

This is the time of year the you may start seeing them in a dark moist area of your home. Most likely, the bathroom or closets with cardboard boxes stored in them. Pay attention to old books you may have stored, they love to feed on them and could ruin a favorite collectible.

Silverfish Treatment Reasons

These pests are not dangerous to humans but, they can attract more dangerous insects to your home, cause damage to your belongings, and even cause allergies in some people. For these reasons, silverfish infestations should be taken seriously.

Like other insects, these critters go where the food source is. Sometimes they are found in unopened food packages, or in bathtubs, where they have fallen and cannot get out. A homeowner who sees them in one or two areas in the house, does not necessarily have an infestation but, silverfish treatment is needed.

Silverfish prefer places that have little airflow, which is why cardboard boxes are perfect hiding places. You might also find them in your bathroom. This particular insect thrives in high humidity areas so, when you steam up the bathroom after a hot shower, you provide the perfect environment. They typically feed on items high in protein like: sugar, starch, or paper with glue… or clothing with starch.

Silverfish Treatment Plans

Peninsular rids your home or office of roaches, silverfish, spiders, ants (including carpenter ants) earwigs, centipedes, scorpions as well as rats and mice. Our highly trained service technicians carefully treat both the structure’s interior and exterior to keep pests out. Includes Peninsular’s unbeatable 100% guarantee for 365 days from the date of the initial service. We will service as many times as necessary until the problem is solved.

Termite Infestation

Termite Infestation

Termite infestations can be terrifying. See what a swarm of termites looks like in the video below. If you see this type of flying insect activity, you are either seeing flying ants or swarming termites. There are some visible differences between the two insects and you can learn about the differences another VIDEO about Flying Ants. For now, watch this video below to see actual termites as they fly out of an azalea bush. You will see the damage they have done to the inside of this branch. Imagine what they can do to the wood foundation of your home!

Termite swarmers or flying ants?

Many homeowners will see the beginning of a termite infestation by spotting termite swarmers during the spring. Some homeowners think they are seeing flying ants; it’s important to know the difference. Termite Swarmers have a straight waist, straight antennae and their wings are equal in size. Flying ants, have a pinched waist, bent antennae and two sets of wings of different sizes. The upper set of wings are larger than the lower set. Termites are also most likely to swarm in the spring, while flying ants may swarm at various times of the year.

Termite
Damage from Termites

Signs of a Termite Infestation

Mud tubes — Subterranean termites, the most destructive termite species, build mud tubes to provide moisture while they travel between their colony and food source. Mud tubes are most often found near the home’s foundation.

Wood damage — Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, so wood that has a hollow sound when thumped usually indicates a termite infestation.

Annual Inspections

It’s best to have your home inspected for termites once a year. If any are found, Peninsular will help eliminate the problem and set you up with a Termite Prevention Plan.

Peninsular Pest Control has be serving Jacksonville and the surrounding areas like Amelia Island, since 1954. They are the Largest Locally and Family owned Pest Control Company in Northeast Florida. Winning awards year after year for their outstanding customer service. Remember Call the Critter Gitter for any of your Pest Control or Lawn Service needs. Our Estimates are always Free of Charge!

Flying Ants with Wings

Flying Ants with Wings

Ants with Wings

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 with Wings and Termite Swarmers.

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 with wings 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 termites or ants with wings 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
Florida Ticks
Brown Dog Tick

The area of the yard where your dog rests is usually where the brown ticks are found .