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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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 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.
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.
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!
In the north Florida area, we deal with two different types of ants, large ants (or carpenter ants) and small ants. Both ants follow pheromone trails. These trails are where we place the bait so the ants will take the bait back to the colony to destroy the rest of the colony.
We use these trails to place our bait so the ants will eat the bait, return to the colony, feed it to other members of the colony and the colony will be destroyed.
Carpenter Ants will excavate soil in flower pots or in flower beds to make their nests.
Here we have carpenter ants that have nested in the base of this flower pot, they have excavated soil around this flower pot to build their nest.
Now I’m going to show you the difference between the larger carpenter ants and the smaller fire ants. The best way to treat carpenter ants is with a liquid insecticide it leaves a residue that continues to kill the ants over time.
Another thing to remember about carpenter ants is they will invade rotten wood, so it’s important to repair any rotten wood that you have around your home.
There are two ways to treat the small ants one is with granular bait that’s disbursed to the ants will take it back to the colony.
The other way is gel bait that we place along the trails where they feed. Another thing to remember about small ants is that they will gain entry to your home through cracks and crevices. But most homeowners have problems with the smaller ants.
In this example, these are called pavement ants. They are treated with a granular product that the ants actually pickup and carry back to the colony. This will eventually kill off the entire colony.