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Pest Library

What You Need To Know About Pests In Estero, Florida

Encountering pests on a regular basis is just part of living in Florida. Our humid tropical climate allows spiders, insects, and rodents to live in large populations and stay active throughout the year. The best way to guard your home and family against these pests is to know a bit about our state's most common household invaders and implement regular pest control services in the Estero area. At Quest Termite & Pest Services, we can help you with both! To learn more about our area's most problematic pests and how to keep them away from your property, refer to our helpful pest guide provided below!

Ants

Ants are small insects that are a big problem throughout Florida. Ants live in large numbers throughout our state, are active year-round, and depending on the species, they cause many problems for people and our properties. In our area, we have to protect our properties from a wide variety of species; some of the most common are fire ants, ghost ants, Florida carpenter ants, acrobat ants, Florida harvester ants, rover ants, and tawny crazy ants. Any of these ant species are more ready to move onto your property if it meets their needs!

Ants are well-known for living together in large groups; these insects are social and work together as a team to care for the nest and all of its colony members. Their ability to communicate, problem-solve, and small size makes it difficult to keep ants out of our yards and homes. The reason ants are so problematic around our Florida homes is because our properties offer them necessities such as trash cans to forage for food from, leaky pipes to have their moisture needs met, and sheltered areas to create their nests. Dealing with ants is more than just an annoyance; they spread bacteria, contaminate food sources, some bite or sting, and others cause structural damage.

When you spot ants on your property, don't just hope that they will go away. Be proactive when first seeing these pests and contact Quest Termite & Pest Services for help. In addition to implementing our professional pest control services, utilize the following prevention tips to make your property less attractive to ants.

  • Reduce food odors that attract ants by picking up uneaten pet food, keeping lids on trash cans, and picking up fruits or vegetables that fall to the ground in garden areas.
  • Maintain a clean kitchen and stay on top of proper food storage. 
  • Eliminate things like fallen trees, leaf piles, and other yards debris that ants could use as a source of shelter.
  • Seal cracks in your foundation, install door sweeps and caulk gaps around windows and doors.
  • Keep gutters clear, repair leaky pipes, use dehumidifiers, and ensure your home is properly ventilated to reduce moisture that attracts ant activity.

Cockroaches

In Florida, cockroaches feel very much at home; whether they live in our yards or inside our homes, we must regularly deal with these pests. In some areas of the country, people only need to worry about one or two species of roaches, but in Florida, we have many species that have made themselves at home, such as American cockroaches, Asian cockroaches, Australian cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, Florida wood roaches, German cockroaches, and smoky brown cockroaches. No matter the species, one thing is for certain; they do not belong in our homes. Cockroaches live in less than sanitary areas and spread harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and allergens wherever they go.

You can easily identify cockroaches by their oval body shape, dark color, long antennae, and six legs that allow them to scurry quickly out of sight. Nocturnal by nature, cockroaches hide during the day in dark, tight spaces and come out at night to forage for food. Cockroaches are scavengers, and unluckily for us, our yards and homes provide them with reliable food sources. Any property in Florida can become a home to cockroaches. Cockroaches can enter indoors on their own while searching for food or water, or they get from place to place by hitchhiking. These insects often crawl into appliances, boxes, and onto furniture and move wherever we take them!

Just because cockroaches are common in Florida doesn't mean you should allow them to live with your family. Trust our professionals to provide you with the reliable pest control services necessary to eliminate and prevent problems with cockroaches and other household pests. We also want to assist you in your quest to maintain a cockroach-free home by providing the following prevention tips. 

  • Eliminate your home's exterior entry points by caulking any cracks or gaps you discover, make sure weatherstripping is intact around windows and doors, and place mesh covers over drains.
  • Cockroaches are attracted to moisture. Repair leaky pipes and fixtures, use dehumidifiers, and keep your kitchens and bathrooms are well-ventilated. 
  • Take away their easy access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, maintaining a clean kitchen, and storing food out of their reach (in the fridge or containers with airtight lids).

Flies

Many different types of flies thrive in Florida. Our warm, humid climate provides flies with the moisture and decaying debris they use as food and breeding sites. Flies are not only annoying to deal with as they swarm around your head, food, and home, but they pose significant health risks. Flies are unsanitary pests that spread bacteria, parasites, and viruses to food and surfaces they land on. They are prolific breeders and develop large, difficult-to-manage populations in the blink of an eye! Flies common in our area include:

  • Drain flies
  • Fruit flies
  • Fungus gnats
  • House flies
  • Phorid flies
  • Midges (no-see-ums)

Wherever food is prepared or stored, flies can become a problem. These pests often plague restaurants, grocery stores, farmer's markets, and our homes. Controlling flies is difficult because there are so many species to deal with and many things that attract them. Flies are most problematic on properties with open trash containers, compost, leaf piles, pet excrement, gardens, clogged drains, dripping air conditioners, and areas of standing water. When living in our yards in large numbers, it is only a matter of time before they find their way inside.

Fly prevention tips: Controlling midges and other flies that complete some of their life cycles in water is best done by removing as much standing water from your property as possible. Also, if you have water features on your property, make sure the water is being treated properly and is constantly moving. Stock ponds on your property with fish that eat insects and partner with a professional to apply biological larvicides and adulticides. Below are some other ways to control fly numbers on your property.

  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
  • Regularly pick up pet waste.
  • Remove leaf piles and other piles of decaying vegetation from your property. 
  • Keep sneaky flies out of your home by never leaving doors or windows open, sealing cracks in your home's exterior walls and foundation, and placing mesh screens over vents and drains entering your house.

Rodents

Rats are rodents that have learned to make themselves at home in our Florida homes and businesses. These curious, opportunistic pests know that people and our properties provide them with ample sources of food and shelter. Although rodents benefit greatly from living with people, we can't say the same about them. Rats and other rodents are destructive, disease-spreading, food-contaminating pests that we don't want as roommates.

The two most common rats that find their way into our Florida homes and businesses are the Norway rat and the roof rat. The Norway rat is a large, heavy breed of rat that prefers to stay at ground level. Outside they burrow and cause damage to foundations, gardens, and lawns. Inside they like to live in crawl spaces and behind the walls on ground floors. On the other hand, the roof rat is a thin, light, agile rat that prefers to live up off the ground. Inside they enter through openings they discover in or around the roof area and nest in attics, chimneys, and behind walls voids. Outside, trees, vines, and tall shrubs are where these rats prefer to nest. 

Be proactive at first sight of rodents like rats on your property; contact Quest Termite & Pest Services for help. In addition to implementing our professional rodent control services, utilize the following prevention tips to make your property less attractive to rodents.

  • Place caps on chimneys and repair roof damage.
  • Declutter your home and yard to avoid providing rodents with hiding spots and nesting areas. 
  • Seal cracks in your foundation.
  • Cut back trees and overgrown shrubbery from your home's exterior.
  • Prevent food from attracting rodents by keeping lids on trash cans, picking up uneaten pet food, and making certain eating and food prep areas are free of food debris and cleaned regularly.

Spiders

Spiders and the insects they feed on are most active in warm weather, making them a year-round threat in Florida. Florida is also rich in dense vegetation that offers both spiders and the insects they feed on a place to hide and forage for food. Our area of the state is home to many species of spiders; some, like brown and black widow spiders, pose a danger to people because their venom is powerful enough to cause us harm. But, for the most part, the spiders we encounter are harmless and include cellar spiders, crab spiders, daddy longlegs (harvestmen spiders), jumping spiders, orb weaver spiders, sac spiders, and wolf spiders.

As spiders are out and about searching for their insect prey, they often wind up in our yards. Our property's grass, trees, and gardens provide plenty of living and hunting spaces for spiders. Spiders provide a free, natural source of pest control and are considered helpful, but when they move onto our properties in large numbers, they turn from beneficial to problematic. The biggest cause of a spider infestation is that insects are present for them to hunt. Spiders live where their prey lives, meaning insect and spider infestations go hand in hand. Solving your property's insects problem will likely take care of your spider problem.

Trust our professionals to provide you with the reliable home pest control services necessary to eliminate and prevent problems with spiders, insects, and other household pests. To help you further, we want to provide you with the following prevention tips.

  • Maintain your yard, landscaping, and gardens.
  • Inspect your home for possible entry points; replace damaged screens, caulk gaps around windows, doors, and light fixtures, and repair holes in the foundation or roofline. 
  • Eliminate as much standing water from your property as possible that attracts insect activity.
  • Always keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins to keep the insects that spiders like to hunt out of them. 

Termites

The subterranean termite, the drywood termite, and the Formosan termite all call Florida home. Our hot, humid weather allows them to remain active throughout the year. Termites are unique because they are among the few organisms able to convert cellulose from wood and other organic materials into a usable food source. Each of the above species has unique feeding, breeding, and nesting habits, but all three species are capable of causing significant structural damage to our homes.

  • Subterranean termites have high moisture needs and prefer to feed on water-damaged or decaying wood. These termites nest under the ground and move from their nest to a food source through the soil or mud tubes they create.
  • Formosan termites are a unique type of subterranean termite because they create nests in the ground and carton nests up off the ground, usually on roofs or between wall voids. Formosan termites live in extremely large colonies.
  • Drywood termites have low moisture needs and prefer to invade and feed on dry wood. They nest within the wood they use as a food source.

Termites are called "silent invaders" because, more often than not, they move into our homes without being noticed and work for months or years without detection. Many times discovering their damage is how an infestation is discovered. Another thing that makes termites such dangerous pests is that most homeowners' insurance doesn't cover termite repair costs. With termites being responsible for more than five billion dollars in damages each year, taking a proactive approach is the best way to guard your home against these damaging pests.

Trust our professionals to provide you with the reliable pest control services necessary to eliminate and prevent problems with wood-eating termites. To help you further, we want to provide you with some termite prevention tips.

  • Use dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from your home.
  • Properly ventilate crawl spaces, bathrooms, and kitchens.
  • Regularly inspect your home for leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures, quickly repairing any discovered.
  • Remove water-damaged wood from your home.
  • Inspect wood or wooden structures you bring into your house for signs of termites.
  • Inspect your home's exterior, paying close attention to the roofline and foundation and sealing any cracks or crevices you discover.

If you are experiencing pest problems, reach out to us at Quest Termite & Pest Services. With over 20 years of experience providing exceptional pest control services, you can count on us to solve your family's pest problems. Our green and environmentally friendly pest control services are effective and offer our customers safe and affordable pest control options. To learn more about our targeted pest control solutions, give us a call today and speak with one of our friendly and helpful professionals!

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