Today, we at Meryl's Termite and Pest Control are going to list the top ten most common pests that we get calls for. Are you ready? Here we go....
1 - German cockroaches: The German cockroach keep us very busy here at Meryl's Termite and Pest Control year after year and rank number one on our top ten most common pests. It would appear that these nuisance pests are ever on the rise. They also continue to evolve and grow immune to the pesticides that are used most often to control them. It's no wonder they come up as number one on our list. Just remember not to spray any kind of insecticide or store-bought product. These are repellent sprays and will cause the roaches to bud (spread) throughout the house making our treatment much less effective. This is especially important and vital once our treatment to eradicate them has begun.
2 - Rover ants: Rover ants are next up on our top ten most common pests. They are still newcomers to our are of Central Florida. Rover ants that occur in our area are tiny little dark-colored ants, about the same size as ghost ants. As small as the rover ants are, the female winged reproductive rover ants are quite large in contrast to the males and worker being three times the size. When these ants are encountered during swarming season they are often mistaken for another ant due to the vast size difference. This is another one that can bud (spread out) if sprayed with store-bought repellents.
3 - Termites: Termites tend to be seasonal since winter is when swarming occurs which makes their presence most evident. Still, we get termite calls all year long since technically subterranean termites can swarm any time of the year. We also come across them on their off season when new construction is added to a house. Mud tunnels are often discovered when people had no idea their home was under attack in the first place.
4 - Palmetto bug: A really (really) big bug that's active at night. They leave fecal pellets which are a clue of their presence. For those who may have moved to Florida from up north, do you remember the first time you saw one of our palmetto bugs? Were you shocked by the size these insects can reach? Indeed, the first encounter with a palmetto bug can be a memorable experience. You will have an encounter with this large insect, usually when you get up to go to the bathroom at night. You turn the light on and there’s this huge bug quickly running for shelter from an open area.
5 - Squirrel trapping: When it comes to small animal trapping, squirrels are our number one call. The number of squirrel calls we receive keeps us at Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control busy, pretty much all year long with the height of the activity being during the cool winter months. Out of all the nuisance small animal control pests we deal with, the squirrel is the most responsible for fires that start in the attic with rats following in at a close second. This is why if you have squirrels (or rats or any other small animals that you may hear, find droppings, or anything else that would lead you to believe you have such activity) in your attic you must act now, do not delay. As a reminder, rodents and other small animals can do more than just damage your property. They can compromise and threaten your health and well being with the diseases they carry and if that were not enough, they also can bring fleas and ticks into your home or office as well.
German cockroach nymphs feeding on bait.
Termite mud tunnels. A problem that cannot be ignored. This is what the inside of walls in an infected house look like.
The palmetto bug reaches impressive sizes, almost unbelievable.
6 - Wolf spiders: I think the reason we get so many wolf spider calls and why they are so common on the inside of homes is because they are solitary predators always on the move for food. They're often confused with the brown recluse which do not naturally occur in our area. Basically, they will feed on anything they can catch and overcome, mostly other insects and other spiders. Sometimes, they will feed on very small reptiles or amphibians.
Wolf spiders are usually nocturnal and do most of their hunting at night but they can also be seen during the day at times, especially if one is loose inside your home. The wolf spider usually does not infest homes in a way that they build up their colonies like ants for comparison, so we usually consider the wolf spider to be an occasional invader.
7 - Rodent control: Rats or mice, take your pick. We get calls for both of them equally. Rodents and other animal pests have also been know to tear into the air-conditioning ducts in crawlspaces. This can not only cost money to fix the ducts, but you’re also losing air which is going to raise your electric bill.
Another problem which can often arise from having Rodents and small animals enter your home is the introduction of other pest species such as fleas and ticks. As if that were not enough, rodents can be carriers of bacterial and viral infections and diseases such as hantavirus, salmonella, tularemia, rabies, and more. They can also have a negative impact on the health of asthma patients. This is why rodent control is so important.
8: Australian cockroach: A pest from down under? The Australian cockroach is a fairly common species of cockroach that we deal with quite often at Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control. Although I’m tempted to call the Australian cockroach an occasional invader, this species of cockroach has been known to take up residency inside our homes for the long term. The Australian cockroach looks very similar to the American cockroach, and the two are often confused. You can tell these two roaches apart by the color of the thorax. The Australian cockroach has what appears to be large yellow sun glasses, while the American cockroach has a darker area on the thorax.
The Australian cockroach is an invasive species. Despite the name which would imply that these roaches are originally from Australia, the Australian cockroach is believed to originate from Africa. It is a common belief that they were accidentally transported here long ago as stowaways on the cargo of trade ships. The Australian cockroach is tropical in nature, so they are most common in the southeastern part of the United States, California, and other countries with warm, tropical climates.
9 - Red imported fire ants: The red imported fire ant is native to South America. It has become a major pest in the southern United States. The red imported fire ant is known for it’s painful and irritating sting that will often leave a pustule on the skin. They are also known for their highly aggressive nature which one will soon discover if they happen to step on a mound. Such a victim can find themselves engulfed by hundreds of these ants within less than a minute. The stings will leaving scarring, especially if the victim is stung by great numbers.
Imported fire ants are not only considered to be a pest because of the physical pain they inflict and danger to our health, they also can damage plant roots, lead to loss of crops, and interfere with mechanical cultivation due to the mounds they create which can pop up very quickly. They are one of our worst invasive invaders that we deal with living in Florida. This is why fire ant control is so important.
10 - Pantry pests: Ending our list of the top ten most common pests are pantry pests. Pantry pests are a common problem that just about everyone deals with at one time or another. There are many different species of pantry pests.
What exactly are pantry pests? Pantry pests are bugs that are usually introduced to your stored food pantry from another place through infested products. All items can be susceptible to pantry pests including spices, flour, sugar, hot pepper, ice cream cones, cereals, grits, and cake mixes. Even dried flower arrangements and stuffed furniture and toys, often can harbor infestations of pantry pests. Many times pantry pests are encountered in their larvae stage where they appear worm like. They do however, usually make it to adulthood transforming into moths or beetles.
When cornered, the wolf spider can be aggressive when defending itself. They do bite.
A wolf spider bite is not a pleasant experience. There is pain and itchiness associated with the location of the bite.
The Australian cockroach are one of the most common species of roach we deal with.
Fire ants are never fun. They bite, they sting, they make large nests in inconvenient locations where human activity is common.