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:

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 .

Spring lawn care

Spring Lawn Care Steps

Spring lawn tips for homeowners 

Spring lawn care tips are important and here are several things you can do to help your lawn recover this spring. 

Thatch

The first spring lawn care 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 allow for more sun. Your new spring lawn will apreciate your extra effort.

Bare spots

Next, add a layer of topsoil to help promote new growth therefore, 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 first.

Lawn Fertilizer

Suitable for spring lawns

The next spring lawn tip is to add fertilizer to the lawn to prepare for the green-up that is about to occur. Peninsular is currently providing Quantum Growth®, a fertilizer application which includes nitrogen and potassium which stimulates 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. 

Check mower blades

Next, 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.

pH levels

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.

Handheld pH soil tester
Use a handheld pH meter to check the pH level in your soil.

Sentricon®

How does the Sentricon® Termite System work?

After a Peninsular Pest Contol technician, who is a Sentricon® certified specialist, inspects your property, the Sentricon® Termite System stations are set up around your home. Thanks to Always Active ™ technology, Recruit® HD bait is available immediately. In-ground stations have a visible service cover which can only be opened with a special key.

About the Sentricon® Termite System

By preferring the bait almost 10 times more than wood, worker termites quickly discover and share their find within the colony. When ingested, the active ingredient in the Sentricon® Termite System prevents termites from molting maturity. Unable to molt, termites die. And when the colony dies, the queen is not far behind. Like a captain who sinks with the ship, despite the determination to survive, there is simply no hope.Sentricon® Termite SystemBy preferring the bait almost 10 times more than wood, worker termites quickly discover and share their find within the colony. When ingested, the active ingredient in the Sentricon® Termite System prevents termites from molting maturity. Unable to molt, termites die. And when the colony dies, the queen is not far behind. Like a captain who sinks with the ship, despite the determination to survive, there is simply no hope.

Imagine worry-free protection 24/7 now and in the future. All you need are your original bait stations and ongoing service from a certified Sentricon® specialist. For what it’s worth, termites prefer you to exclude yourself from this offer!

Swarming

Termites often swarm in warmer weather and after a rain shower to start new colonies. The swarming event can be brief, so even if you do not see flying termites, you are likely to see the discarded wings around window sills, doors, heating vents, bathtubs and sinks after a swarm takes place. Termite swarmers use their wings to move away from their original colony. Their wings break off and they pair up and find locations with a wood source where the male and female can begin a new colony. Whether you see the swarm or think there might have been one, call Sentricon® Termite System professional immediately.

Mud Tubes

Foraging worker termites, the ones that eat wood to feed the rest of the colony, must stay in moist conditions and away from natural enemies like ants. To get across barriers between the soil and the wood above, termites construct small, meandering mud tubes from moist soil and excrement. The tubes are about the diameter of a pencil, though they can become wider. Tubes can be seen on foundation walls or inside walls, on plumbing pipes and spanning crawl spaces between the ground and the subfloor. These termite highways are a sure sign termites are or have been in the home. Another reason to install the Sentricon® Termite System

Sentricon Termite installation
Installation does not disrupt existing landscaping.

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.

Ghost Ants
Ghost Ants in a Kitchen

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 Webworm 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.

We have received many more calls about Sod Webworms 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 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

To check your lawn for sod webworms, simply 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,

Peninsular Pest Control treats Florida homes and lawns for: Termite Service/Guarantees, Sentricon®, Termidor®, Interior Pest Treatment for: bed bug control, spider extermination, carpet beetle pest control, cockroach extermination, silverfish extermination, cicada control, ants, ghost ants, fleas. Lawn and Turf Insect Treatment, Lawn aeration, weed Control, Pre-Emerging weed treatment, Mosquito Control, Wasp Control, Flea treatment in lawn and home, Grub worms, sod webworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets, fungus, Shrub Treatment, Carpenter Ant control, Rodent removal.

Springtime Lawn Care

Springtime Lawn Care Steps

Homeowner Tips:

Spring Lawn Preparation

1. Use a leaf rake to remove any dead grass or thatch

2. Add a layer of topsoil to help promote new growth

3. If needed transplant healthy grass from other areas of your lawn to the areas that are bare

4. Add fertilizer to the lawn to prepare for the green-up that is about to occur

5.  The fertilizer application should include nitrogen and potassium to stimulate root growth

6. Water it in properly so the roots can absorb the nutrients but don’t overwater.  It causes disease and encourages weeds

7. Check your mower blade to make sure it’s sharp.  Dull blades cause an uneven cut which can lead to disease issues.  An even cut allows the grass to heal more easily

8.  Call us if you need help testing the pH level of your lawn.  This will tell you which nutrients are lacking

As always, we offer free estimates and a $30 discount on new services.

Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2020

Angie’s List Super Service Award
10 Years in A Row


Another year with the Angie’s List Super Service Award! That makes the 10th year in a row for The Critter Gitter’s at Peninsular Pest Control.

We are proud to announce that Peninsular Pest Control has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award® (SSA)! This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2020.

For 21 years, the Angie’s List Super Service Award® has honored excellence among top reviewed companies. Pros who have earned the Super Service Award can mark this distinction with a special icon on their profiles and in their advertising.

Both Angie’s List Certified Service Providers and non-participating service providers can win this coveted award. For service providers who win the Super Service Award, a badge displays next to their company name on their profile page. For Angie’s List Certified Providers who win the Super Service Award, the badge will also appear on the search results page.

Angie’s List Super Service Award® Criteria

A service provider must meet the below minimum criteria to be considered for this award. In the past, many eligible service providers exceeded the minimum criteria.

Minimum eligibility requirements for the Award:

    • Maintain an “A” rating in each of the following areas:

         › Overall grade, an average of all reviews.

         › Recent grade, an average of category reviews from last 3 years

         › Review period grade, an average of category reviews from Nov.1st of the previous year – Oct. 31 of the current year

    • Good business standing with Angie’s List

    • Have at least 3 reviews where the member has indicated that services were performed

Award Requirement:

Additionally, to claim the award, eligible service providers must meet the minimum credential requirements.

    • Passing a criminal background check of the owner or relevant manager;

    • Attesting that they have the proper licenses to perform listed work; and

    • Remaining in good business standing with Angie’s List.

Our Service Professionals are bonded professionals trained to provide you with the best Cicada Treatment for your Cicada Infestation Problem. Offering Cicada Inspection and Removal for both inside and outside, we will keep your home or office Cicada free, and your lawn healthy and green. Our Commercial and Residential Services are perfect for anyone searching for: Our lawn service includes, weed control, lawn aeration, lawn and weed treatment, and fertilization.

Bold City Best Award

Bold City Best Award

Two Categories

Bold City Best Award

Thanks again to our wonderful customers for voting us #1 in the BOLD CITY BEST AWARD contest in both BEST PEST CONTROL and BEST LAWN SERVICE in the recent Bold City Best Contest! This makes it 8 consecutive years in a row this local, family owned company has been awarded for outstanding customer service.

Jacksonville.com holds an annual Bold City Best Award competition which gives the community the opportunity to nominate their favorite people, places and businesses in 135 categories, including auto services, cuisine and cocktails, homes and finance, health and well-being, home and professional services, things to do, and shopping. There are two phases: nominations and voting.

Congratulations Bold City Best Award Winners of 2020!

Here they are, the winners of this year’s program! Watch as they’re announced in the virtual awards show below or view the individual categories and winners underneath the video. These organizations represent the finest in our area. Winners and finalists are given a window decal and a plaque or certificate to identify them — look for them when you shop and visit. Thank you to our readers for the overwhelming response and congratulations to these award-winning businesses and organizations!

Peninsular Pest Control, this year’s Bold City Best Award winner, the “Critter Gitter”, has been providing pest control, termite & lawn fertilization services to North Florida homes, businesses and hospitals since 1954.

About the Bold City Best Award winner

Our service technicians are bonded professionals trained to provide you with the specific treatment that you need for your particular pest problems. Offering solutions for both inside and out, we will keep your home or office pest free and your lawn healthy and green.

Our Exterminating Services include: Termite Control, Spider, Roach, Ant & Bee Control and Bedbug Control. Our Lawn Services include: Weed control, Lawn Aeration, Lawn & Turf insect treatment & fertilization. We also offer a mosquito suppression program. Another reason our customers have voted us Bold City Best Award winner for 2020.

We will work around your schedule and treat your home or business on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. We can also schedule one-time services for special needs. Whether you are in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beaches, Mandarin, Green Cove Springs, St. Augustine or Macclenny, we invite you to call us for a free estimate to discuss your pest control needs, or visit us online at CritterGitter.com.

Thanks to all of our loyal customers for making us the Bold City Best Award Winner again in 2020!

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 Predators

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.