Pest Control News

Pest Control News
Pest Control News
George Richardson, Technical Director

Here is the latest Pest Control News from Peninsular Pest Control for Jacksonville, FL and the surrounding area:

Chinch Bugs or Mole Crickets?

How do you know whether your lawn is being damaged by mole crickets or chinch bugs? It’s actually easy to test for both.

Chinch Bug test

Chinch Bug Treatment

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.

If you don’t see any chinch bugs, it’s easy to do a soap flush test for Mole Crickets.

Mole Cricket test

Just 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.

Here’s a quick video to show you how to do it:

Once you have determined what type of insect has invaded your lawn, it’s important to begin treatment immediately. Both insects require a liquid application of insecticide which is applied evenly and thoroughly across the lawn. Mole Crickets require a larger volume of material than the chinch bug but both are treated virtually the same.

Hiring a professional pest control company like Peninsular is usually preferred due to the large amount of product needed, not to mention the time it takes to thoroughly treat the lawn.

Treating for mole crickets
Treating a lawn for mole crickets

Different Ant Treatments

Different Ant Treatments

It’s important to control ants with a treatment that works specfically for each type. Some ants respond to baiting, other are controlled with liquid insecticide. Many ants come into the home by way of pheromone trails. Locating that trail from outside, into the home, is often difficult to do and may require the help of a professional pest control company like Peninsular.

Learn how you can treat Carpenter Ants, Fire Ants and Ghost Ants effectively.

Different types of Ant Treatment
How to treat for all types of ants

Carpenter Ants respond best to liquid insecticide while fire ants are best controlled with a granular product. Ghost Ants are most often seen in the kitchen or bathroom area of the home. Locating their nest and baiting it requires patience. These ants follow a pheromone trail from outside into the home. Treating that trail is equally important.

Learn more from George Richardson, Technical Director for Peninsular Pest Control:

Treatment for all types of ants

According to The University of Florida IFAS/Extension, ants in northeast Florida:

Ants are nuisance pests around the home because they feed on and contaminate human foods, infest structures by nesting in wall voids and/or underneath kitchen sinks and other places, and build unsightly mounds in lawns and other landscapes. In some cases, ants are able to inflict painful bites or can have venomous stings. Ants do not attack or eat fabrics, leather or wood in houses. However, some species can establish nests in decaying wood, including wood in human structures.

Several species of ants are found in or around houses in Florida. In general, the most common ants can be grouped as house-infesting ants, yard-infesting ants, and carpenter ants. The most commonly encountered pest ants are pharaoh, white footed, Argentine, ghost, pyramid, carpenter, rover, native fire, imported fire, crazy, thief, Caribbean, acrobat, and big-headed ants.

Sod Webworm Damage

Lawn damaging caterpillars have already been spotted this year in large numbers.  We have received many more calls about Sod Webworm Damage this year than in seasons past. You may notice small moths, which are uncontrollable, flying in your lawn. These Migratory Moths randomly lay eggs, producing caterpillars. The sod webworm damage from these caterpillars make the lawn appear like it was mowed too short. It is important to note that damage from these insects will generally recover within 2 -3 weeks during the growing season. Also, please understand the adult moths itself does not eat the grass, and when in numbers are just a simple nuisance.

Sod webworm larvae or caterpillars are grayish tan with brown heads. They have tiny dark spots on their body. They reach 3/4 to 1 inch when fully grown. Sod webworms hibernate in the thatch and soil as partially developed larvae.  According to The University of Florida IFAS/Extension, these worms reside in silk lined tunnels in the thatch and soil.  Larval activity usually resumes in April or early May.

Tropical sod webworm larvae are destructive pests of warm season turfgrasses in our area.  The first sign of sod webworm damage is often caused by differences in grass height in areas where larvae are feeding.

The sod webworm damage usually occurs at night when the worms feed, their counterpart, the army worm feeds during the day and are a little larger than the sod webworm.

You can find sod webworms by parting the grass and looking for a small C-shaped worm curled up in a green pile of their excrement at the thatch level.  What you will have found is the larval stage of the sod webworm moth.  It’s the larval stage that will crawl through the grass and chew the blades down to the root zone.

Treatment requires two treatments in order to break the life cycle of the insect.  As the eggs hatch out, that next cycle of worms will need to be treated.  The reason it’s best to call a professional exterminator is due to the volume of material that is needed to control the sod webworms.

Sod webworm Treatment

The Peninsular technician will inspect the lawn to determine where the sod webworm has started to eat the lawn.  This is usually a brown color that is shorter than the rest of the lawn, almost as if a weed eater has attacked that area of the lawn.

During the application we start at the far corner of the lawn and treat in a back and forth pattern almost as if we are mowing. This will thoroughly treat the entire lawn with insecticide.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Termite Treatment Jacksonville FL

Termite Treatment Jacksonville FL

“When it comes to Termite Treatment, most people don’t realize they’re even looking at a termites swarm when they see one.  Generally speaking the termites swarm on top of the ground and often come out of a root, a stump or other rotted wood and materials in the yard.” said, George Richardson, Technical Director for Peninsular Pest Control.

“People often ask me what they can do to keep termites out of their home.  I’m going to show you some simple inexpensive ways to help keep subterranean termites out of your home. If you can’t… termite treatment may be needed.” responded Richardson.

Termite Treatment
Termite Inspection

People often pile unused bricks up against the side of their home.  This is one of the worst places to store them.  This will actually allow the termites to come up behind bricks and enter the home unnoticed and start damage inside the walls.  Another conducive condition for termites is wood piled up against the home.  You’ll also notice that the siding of this structure goes all the way to the ground and this tree is growing very close to the structure. The termites will actually follow the roots of the tree as they would a major highway and come up into the siding. Termite Treatment will help with some of these issues.

One simple way to rectify the situation is to install rock around the edge of the home.  Also, make sure that the siding does not come in contact with the ground in any way. In this example you’ll see the siding is actually above the ground allowing us to see a termite tube if there is one.  Although this is paint, it’s a great example of what termite tubes would look like as they enter your home.

“Now you know what a termite swarm looks like and several ways to protect your home.  If you still think you have a problem and need us to come out and inspect your home for you, we’ll do it for Free, just give us a call.”

What do Termites Look Like

Many people have never seen termites and when they do, they often mistake them for flying ants. Another thing homeowners are not usually aware of is the fact that there are four different types of termites in the termite colony: Soldiers, Workers, Reproductives (or Swarmers) and of course the Queen. Each member has a specific duty:

what do termites look like

The Reproductives or Swarmers, have one job only and that is to seek out a mate, reproduce and create a new colony. The Reproductives don’t actually do any damage to the structure of a home but, they do indicate that a colony is most likely nearby. If you see them swarming in the home or find the wings they drop, simply vacuum them up. BUT, seek immediate help from a Professional Pest Control Company to begin treatment.

The Soldier’s primary job is to protect the colony, mostly from ants. If you look closely at the Soldier termite, you will see the mandible or horns they use to defend the colony. The Workers of the Subterranean Termite Colony are the real concern for homeowners. These termites will build mud tubes up into the home and do some serious structural damage. They can also enter the home virtually undetected. For this reason, it’s important to do several things to minimize this situation, as you’ll see in the video below. Finally, the Queen; She is the most important member of the subterranean colony, capable of laying 6 or 7 thousand eggs a day.

So, when you ask the question: What Do Termites Look Like? You now have the knowledge to identify which member of the colony you are seeing and peace of mind knowing there is termite protection available to you.

Peninsular Pest Control is a Certified Sentricon® Specialist and one of our highly trained Pest Control Professionals will be glad to provide a free estimate for your home. Sentricon® Always Active Bait Stations do not disrupt the existing landscaping. The original Sentricon® system is the only termite product awarded the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for superior environmentally responsible chemistry.