Venice Pest Blog

The Official Blog of Venice Pest Control
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Year Round Mosquito Control: Why It's So Important

Your mosquito control treatments can't be applied just once a year to be effective. In fact, they can't even be applied just in the spring and summer months: for maximum effectiveness, nearly year-around mosquito control may be essential for keeping your yard free of these pests. Winter probably seems like the least season to start with mosquito control, but it isn't. In fact, certain species of mosquitoes can actually survive through the winter, either by sheer hardiness, hiding out in warm areas, or even hibernating. Spraying suspected breeding grounds in the winter eliminates that risk. Naturally, you are also going to have to expand those control techniques into the spring. During this time, mosquitoes will be hatching and looking for blood to grow. Early pesticide application can help kill these buggers before they hatch and keep your yard relatively free of mosquitoes. Summer is usually the prime time for mosquito activity:...
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One New Florida Lawn Care Concern and How to Handle It

If you're a Floridian, then the recent invasion of non-native Bufo toads is no doubt already on your radar. As they have swept in from Central and South America over the past few years, these lawn pests have already managed to make quite a nuisance of themselves. Clocking in between four and six inches in length and tipping the scales at up to two pounds, these massive toads have a claim to fame far more troubling than their ability to frighten unwitting homeowners.  Of top concern to Florida residents is fact that Bufo toads bring danger and the possibility of death to area pets. According to the University of Florida's Wildlife Extension, these amphibians secrete a "highly toxic milky substance from its large parotoid glands at the back of its head." Although only a mild irritant to humans, this substance is toxic to other animals. Because Bufo toads are non-native, they upset the delicate ecosystem and do not have many natural predators. Normally Florida's snake...
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Nematodes: Disease or Lawn Pest?

Although often profiled along with other lawn and garden diseases, nematodes are actually very small worms. Apparently they are not very well understood, but that is not because they are rare. They are actually everywhere. Nematodes are the most numerous multi-cellular animals on earth. A handful of soil will contain thousands of the microscopic worms, many of them parasites of insects, plants or animals. Free-living species are abundant, including nematodes that feed on bacteria, fungi, and other nematodes, yet the vast majority of species encountered are poorly understood biologically (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). Although organic gardeners may occasionally try to use nematodes as a sort of non-toxic DIY pest-control system, there are several distinct problems with this approach. First, many varieties of nematodes feed on plant roots, making them dangerous to introduce into a healthy lawn and garden environment. One example is the root knot nematode, which feeds on many common fruit and vegetable types. Second, nematodes are...
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Roach Control Company Can Keep Unwanted, Holiday Guests at Bay

It is great to see relatives show up over the holidays but unfortunately, they don’t always arrive alone. Sometimes they have freeloaders with them and we’re not talking about the two-legged kind. The extra guests we’re thinking of are roaches. They have an uncanny way of laying their eggs on, and inside of, travel bags. Plus, the babies and adults are known to scurry inside of open suitcases too. So which roach control measures will keep unwanted hitchhikers at bay? First off, it can be hard to have a conversation with family members about roaches. As such, there are generally not a lot of preventive measures that can be taken without having “the talk.” However, if you are the one doing the visiting, there are ways to keep bugs out of your bags. For example, you could keep the bags closed when they’re not in use and put them in quarantine...
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Lone Star Ticks a Focus for Florida Lawn Care Providers

According to the CDC, a disease called the Heartland Virus, known to be spreading through South Florida since 2009, continues to be a growing concern among Florida residents. Heartland Virus is spread by the Lone Star Tick, easily-recognizable by the light-colored dot on the backs of the females. The Heartland Virus carried by Lone Star ticks joins a growing list of diseases passed along by ticks in general, including ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Lyme's Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other fever illnesses.  Because symptoms of tick-related illnesses usually do not strike until approximately two weeks after the original bite, some people do not associate their symptoms with ticks, which is unfortunate, considering how important immediate treatment is in staving off long-term symptoms associated with some of the diseases spread by ticks (particularly Lyme's Disease).  According to experts, the best tactic to avoid tick bites is to prevent contact with ticks. This would include wearing long sleeves and pant legs...
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Gators Not the #1 Killers in Florida Yet? Bee and Wasp Control Could Change That

If you're looking for ways to die at the hands of the animal kingdom, South Florida is happy to oblige you with plenty of options. Gator attacks, bear attacks, spider attacks, scorpion attacks, python attacks, shark attacks, and face-chewing bath-salt zombie attacks are just the tip of the iceberg. The deadliest things in Florida, however, are not mammals or reptiles. They're bees. According to experts, bees and wasps cause more human deaths each year than any other member of the animal kingdom; and although many Floridians cheered earlier in 2015 when the government officially legalized the killing of bears, they might want to turn their concerns a bit closer to home. ...this [is] the perfect time to point out that in a study done on animal-caused fatalities in the U.S. from 2001-2013, buzzing little bees, wasps and hornets proved to be the deadliest animals, killing on average 58 people per year, according to The Washington Post. The anaphylactic...
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Florida Lawn Care: Special Focus on Turfgrass Issues

For residents of Florida, lawn care issues are slightly different from those who live in other states. This isn't just because of exotic wildlife or interesting pests, but because most Florida lawns are one of the many varieties of turfgrass. Used on sports fields and golf courses around the nation, turfgrassea are uniquely suited to Florida's semi-tropical environment and therefore are the most common variety of lawn grass in the state.  Turfgrasses are so common to Florida that the University of Florida even offers a special program of study based on turfgrass. The produce the Florida Lawn Handbook, along with dozens of classes focusing on the special needs of turfgrass lawns. Although there are 20+ types of turfgrasses, the most common ones in Florida are Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, Carpetgrass, Centipedegrass, Seashore Paspalum, St. Augustinegrass, and Zoysiagrass. These grasses vary in turf density and maintenance levels, and those considering what type to put in their lawn would do well to consider all...
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Take Care of Lawn Pests like Chinch Bugs with Professional Help
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Take Care of Lawn Pests like Chinch Bugs with Professional Help

As a homeowner, one of your top priorities should be maintaining your home. While maintenance and most repairs come fairly simple, landscaping problems are not always the easiest to resolve. If you had a beautiful lawn, but recently started to see your lawn suffer, you might have an issue with lawn pests. While these pests come in many shapes, sizes, and species, you should be able to detect certain pests by the difficulties that they cause, such as chinch bugs and the problems listed below. Drought Suffering If you have been watering your lawn on a regular basis, but your lawn is suffering from drought-related symptoms, chinch bugs could be the cause. It is not a pretty sight to see, and by the time you realize that the problem is not related to an actual starvation of water, patches of grass could already be dead. Tough to See When you think...
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Lawn Care Hazards that Only Florida Natives Understand
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Lawn Care Hazards that Only Florida Natives Understand

No matter what state you live in, you are going to have your own set of lawn care woes. Only Florida residents, however, have a special understanding of the following lawn-care dangers. Lawn Care Hazards that Only Florida Natives Understand Snakes A total of six venomous snakes call Florida home: the Southern Copperhead, the Florida Cottonmouth, the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, the Canebrake Rattlesnake, the Pygmy Rattler, and the Eastern Coral Snake. While mowing the grass, trimming your hedges, cleaning gutters, and mulching the garden, be careful to learn to distinguish these six from the other 50+ species of Florida snakes. The life you save might be your own. Falling Hazards Living in Florida, it's important that you keep your trees trimmed back in order to prepare your yard for Hurricane Season. But according to OSHA, tree-trimming and other tree-care work can lead to dangerous falling hazards. Those trimming the trees might fall, and those working beneath could be...
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Count on Florida Lawn Care Pros to Triumph Over Tropical Sod Webworms

It’s summer in the Sunshine State and that means tropical sod webworms are at the top of our Florida lawn care list. Unlike traditional earthworms, they cause a lot of property damage and eventually turn into moths. As such, they are more closely related to caterpillars than the worms often found in gardens and compost bins. These hungry Crambidae start their lives as tiny, flat piles of eggs. The inconspicuous piles are often found on blades of grass and underneath of healthy leaves that are low to the ground. In general, the eggs will change color and eventually reveal little larvae within one to two weeks. This most often occurs during the height of summer, when healthy turf grass is plentiful. Once free of their egg casings, they’ll generally eat all of the vegetation that they can find until fall. Afterward, Florida lawn care professionals expect to see them pupate and...
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Aggressive Ant Colonies Pose Threat to Human Health
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Aggressive Ant Colonies Pose Threat to Human Health

Ants are one of the most prevalent insects on the planet, outnumbering all other individual animals combined. Ants live in underground colonies (formacaries) and are extremely social, working in teams to forage for food to feed the colony queen and her immature offspring. Many species create single nests with one or more queens. Other species create multiple nests connected by underground passages. “Supercolonies” of millions of nests and billions of ants have been discovered in Japan, southern Europe and Australia. Florida is home to billions of ants, nests of which occur in all areas of the state. Ant colonies bring environmental benefits to their neighborhoods. Their colonies are a puzzle of underground tunnels and voids that allow air and water to infiltrate beneath the soil surface. The vegetation brought into the nest for food decomposes into plant nutrients. Ants prey on insects that invade lawn and plant systems, and their activities above and below...
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Spotting a Termite Queen
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Spotting a Termite Queen

Termites are destructive little creatures that have one major fatal weakness: they are entirely dependent on their queen for survival. After all, the queen produces the eggs that gives their colony life. While you should never try to deal with a termite infestation on your own, spotting the queen can help you streamline your exterminator's job. First of all, you need to know what the termite queen looks like. They are very hard to miss: they are easily the largest termite in a colony. While most termites are less than an inch long, the queen can be up to six inches long and two to three inches in diameter. They look a little like a sock filled with sand and range in color from pale yellow to black. Unfortunately, the queen will likely be hidden somewhere deep within the colony. The easiest way to find her is look for her reproductives:...
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Spider Control: Get a Jump on Trapdoor Arachnids Before They Get One on You
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Spider Control: Get a Jump on Trapdoor Arachnids Before They Get One on You

Imaging walking around your home and having something that looks like a tarantula jump out of a hidden hole in the ground and attach itself to your pants leg. Scary thought isn’t it? Well, that is exactly what may happen if North America’s trapdoor spiders decide to share your outdoor living space.  And unfortunately, they’re so good at subterfuge; you may not know that they’re around it is too late. Once they’ve revealed themselves though, you’ll be able to count on trapdoor spider control pros to make them permanently disappear. Until then, it is important to know that trapdoor spiders love to nest near permanent structures. This is especially true in areas where the soil has recently been disturbed. They tend to gravitate towards those areas of a property because the loose dirt makes the job of excavating their trapdoor-enabled homes less strenuous. Plus, living so close to humans is their...
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Florida's Red Rump Tarantula Demonstrates Need for Professional Spider Control
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Florida's Red Rump Tarantula Demonstrates Need for Professional Spider Control

Between 2005 and 2006, Mexico's Red Rump Tarantula began slowly taking over South Florida. It's not that the spider was totally new to the state at that time. After all, the first Red Rump Tarantula to be found in South Florida citrus groves was discovered in 1996, and within weeks, it became apparent that the spiders had already been breeding there. Nearly two decades later, the situation has become acute. Red Rump Tarantulas can be found all over South Florida, particularly in citrus groves and overgrown areas near swamps and canals.  Learning to recognize these spiders is important, because although their effect on humans is not life-threatening, contact with their venom is still painful, and their effect on pets and small mammals can be serious.  How to Recognize a Red Rump Tarantula: (Information courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo.) Size: Large, measuring form 5-7cm, with a legspan of 13cm. Females are larger than males in both body and legspan. ...
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Are You Prepared to Control the New "Super Termite"?

According to recent reports, there's a new pest on the loose: the Super Termite. This hybrid is bound to cause all kinds of damage if it's not stopped. Scientists in Florida have tracked the development of a new hybrid species of termite — one whose colonies grow twice as fast as the parent species. Researchers say the new "super-termite" is even more destructive than other species and may carry a significant economic cost (NPR). It's the phrase "even more destructive than other species" that really sends our eyebrows up. After all, regular termites are already destructive enough. According to some estimates, over two million American homes are damaged or destroyed by termites every year, as opposed to only 350,000 destroyed by fire. It's easy to get people worked up about the dangers of fire, of course. Children in school are taught to "Stop! Drop! and Roll!", and parents are encouraged to make Family Emergency...
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Don’t Let Coconut Mealybugs and Other Lawn Pests Destroy the Landscape
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Don’t Let Coconut Mealybugs and Other Lawn Pests Destroy the Landscape

It doesn’t snow in Florida but there are times when palm fronds look like they are covered with a thin dusting of powder. Of course it isn’t really powder at all. Such discoloration is typically a sign that one group of lawn pests has been hard at work, mealybugs. There are numerous mealybugs that cause Floridians problems but the one we wanted to talk about today is the coconut mealybug. It is a lawn pest that poses significant damage to palms. Thought to be natives of Asia, they sport oval-shaped, yellow or pink bodies that have been embellished with their own natural secretions. The secretions resemble powdery snow but are actually quite waxy. They use the secretions in reproduction and to foster symbiotic relationships with other insects, like ants. Unfortunately, those same secretions lead to a deadly palm disease known as sooty mold. Sparking the rapid development of sooty mold isn’t...
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Lawn Pests: The Lawn Killing White Grub
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Lawn Pests: The Lawn Killing White Grub

Have you been noticing persistent brown areas in your lawn? Perhaps you thought they were dry areas in need of water. If watering doesn't make the areas greener, then you could have an infestation of white grubs which are the larvae of beetles. The test for white grubs or lawn grubs is simple. Grab some grass in your hand and pull up. If the grass is infested, then a patch of grass and its sod will easily pull right out of the ground. If you turn the sod upside down, you will see the grubs on the underside curled into C shapes. The reason the grass and its sod pulls out so easily is because most of the roots have been eaten away by grubs. If you don't want to get on your knees to test for them, shovel three sides and lift up the patch of grass. White grubs thrive...
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Mosquito Control is No Job for Amateurs
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Mosquito Control is No Job for Amateurs

Mosquito Control is important because of the vector potential that exists in the transmission of diseases such as dengue, malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and other serious diseases.  While many home remedies for mosquito control can be found on the Internet, it is vitally important that their extermination be left up to professionals that understand mosquito's life cycles, their mating habits and the best ways to eliminate them and to help prevent their recurrence. In addition to carrying diseases, mosquitoes can also put a damper on outdoor activities.  It is difficult to enjoy a picnic or baseball game when annoying mosquitoes are flying about biting people and resulting in painful itching for hours at a time. Mosquitoes are a nuisance and can affect labor efficiency in outdoor workers, and can even cause depreciation of real estate values when houses are located near standing bodies of water such as lakes. The insects can...
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How to Find and Remove a Dead Mouse

If you suspect that there’s a dead mouse somewhere in your home, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get the problem cleaned up right. In addition to carrying dangerous bacteria that puts your family and pets at risk for infection, dead mice attract worms and produce an overwhelmingly unpleasant smell that can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Tackling the carcass removal quickly is the best way to reduce the risk of contamination and prevent odor from seeping into your living space.  How Can I Find a Dead Mouse? It’s not uncommon for poisoned mice to die in hidden crevices within walls, ceilings and floorboards. If you don’t come face to face with the carcass, the odor trail should lead you to the problem area. Once in the room where the smell is the strongest, check superficial hiding spots, like behind the refrigerator, inside cabinets and...
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Why Bugs Love the Bathroom

Your bathroom is the place you get clean, but the humid atmosphere in the room can also be a welcoming home for a variety of bugs. When left uncontrolled, infestations can quickly take over your bathroom and cause damage. Some of the most common culprits are drain flies, silverfish, book lice, moth flies and psocids. However, other household pests may be found in the bathroom. Ask a professional for help identifying the pest infesting your area so that you can find the best methods to control them.  Many homeowners would like to take simple, do-it-yourself measures to keep their bathrooms from becoming infested. However, pests attracted by water and dampness can be tough to control with such measures because they are incredibly resilient and can hide in places that you simply can't reach. Small pests such as psocids can even be hard to detect, making it difficult to eliminate them effectively. ...
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