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Spring

Let’s face it, when you are looking for a pest control company, there’s a lot of options out there. Knowing whom to trust and whom not to trust can be a daunting task. People looking for a pest control company find many choices and a wide range of prices.

Dave’s Pest Control has always believed in upfront pricing with no hidden costs. We focus on continuous improvement and are now offering bundle pricing. This allows our customers to save money when using the multiple services that we offer.

We have been servicing all of Volusia and Flagler counties since 1980. Our technicians are meticulously chosen and are constantly trained to be the best. They are company certified, following all of Florida Department of Agriculture rules and regulations.

Spring has Sprung

Spring is upon us and the bugs are busier than ever this time of year. Roaches, ants, and termites ramp up their colonies as warmer weather approaches. Pollination of flowers and crops begins anew as budding flowers bloom.

Spring, and what many people call spring, is the period of time between the vernal (spring) equinox, about March 21, and the summer solstice, about June 21. As the Earth slowly tilts towards the sun, temperatures slowly rise.

Equinoxes are when the daylight and the nighttime are almost equal. There is one equinox in the spring and one in fall (autumnal). There are also two solstices, summer which is the longest day of the year, and winter, which is the shortest day of the year, about December 22.

Bugs can survive the colder temperatures brought on by winter in many ways. Some can even go dormant and lay in a state of hibernation until the warming rays of the sun heat the ground again.

Let’s discuss some of the bugs we are sure to find in the spring and summer months ahead.

Roaches

In Flagler and Volusia counties, roaches are prevalent and plentiful. Florida’s year-round warm climate provides a great environment for roaches to successfully breed in all sorts of different places. Florida has the dubious distinction of hosting the densest population of roaches in the entire United States.

We have found roaches in just about every household item you can think of. This is especially true of German cockroaches.

The most common areas that can breed German roaches are:
dishwashers
microwaves
stoves
refrigerators
coffee makers
garbage cans
mini refrigerators

Some of the craziest places where we have found German roaches are in thermostats, electric toothbrushes, headboards, Christmas stockings, and inside all sorts of lighting fixtures.

American roaches and the Florida woods roach are both quite common in our part of Florida. Both roaches find their way inside homes by way of water lines, sewer lines, and electrical lines.

American roaches can breed inside toilets that have been left unflushed for long periods of time. It is a most disturbing sight to be welcomed home from a trip to find that hundreds of roaches have taken up residence in your home.


Fleas

Fleas can be our worst nightmare. I cannot imagine living in close proximity to animals for thousands of years without any pest control or medication for flea bites and the diseases fleas can carry.

Fleas are not only bothersome, but they are also deadly. They multiply prolifically, feeding on the blood of mammals. Fleas can detect the carbon dioxide we exhale, then jump two feet in the air, land on our legs, and proceed to feed on our blood with their sucking mouthparts.

To lay eggs, female fleas need a blood meal. About 48 hours after feeding on blood, they lay their eggs on almost any available surface. After two to five days, the larvae hatch. The larvae feed on dried blood or what’s called “flea dirt.”

In a week, the larvae spin cocoons in which they pupate. A cocoon is a protective shell. The flea is fully formed in a week but won’t emerge from its cocoon until the conditions are right and it senses a blood meal. Cocoons can remain unhatched for up to six months. Most atmospheric conditions and insecticides will not harm the flea inside. Once the flea hatches, it will jump on to a host for blood, and the cycle begins again.

The flea’s piercing/sucking mouthparts extract blood from a host mammal. Their saliva irritates the skin causing rashes and itching. If you scratch a flea bite with dirty fingernails, you can transfer bacteria into the bite causing a secondary infection.

In Florida, fleas are a common problem from Palm Coast to Titusville and every County in between. Our technicians at Dave’s Pest Control are experts in dealing with fleas.

Spiders

Spiders usually fall into two distinct groups: hunting spiders and web spinning spiders. Hunting spiders do just that, hunt. These are the spiders most people see, prompting them to call for pest control.

In Florida, the wolf spider and the huntsman spider are the most common spiders found around homes and businesses. Hunting spiders have excellent sight, speed, and agility. They hide behind natural objects and pounce on their prey. Wolf spiders carry their babies on their backs; if you try to hit a wolf spider, all the babies quickly scatter away.

Web-spinning spiders are those many people think of when they think of spiders. They produce a sticky web to catch unsuspecting prey. The most common of these spiders are the funnel web spiders and the orb weaver spiders. We also find garden spiders and spiny orb weavers that make webs. Spider webbing is incredibly strong. In fact, the silk-like threads from orb weaver spiders were used as fishing line by Native Americans.

Many spiders can jump many times their body length. There are over 4000 species of jumping spiders in the world. Two such spiders call Florida home: the grey wall jumper and the pan tropical jumper. They both are usually found around homes and buildings near lights, feeding on insects. Since they do not spin webs, they are mostly considered a beneficial spider to have around.

Spiders usually have six to eight eyes. Despite having so many eyes, most spiders are not believed to have good eyesight. They can see in color and have good depth perception but cannot see beyond a few inches around themselves. Instead, they have sensors on their legs that feel and taste the world around them. Spiders have a strong sense of smell; not only can they smell prey, but they can also smell changes in the environment which helps them find shelter from the cold.

Black Widow Spiders

The black widow spider is a well-known and much-feared spider. Found mostly in the southern United States, they are easily recognized by their small black bodies and bright red hourglass marking on their abdomen. Although they can be deadly, humans usually get bit accidentally. You would have to press up against one—say, by laying down on one in bed, or putting on a shoe inhabited by one.
There are four kinds of widow spiders in Volusia county: the northern black widow, the southern black widow, the brown widow, and the red widow.

All widow spiders are venomous. Venomous and poisonous are not the same things. Venomous means able to inject toxic compounds into a body. Spiders, snakes, bees. and wasps are all venomous. Poisonous means that toxic compounds are secreted by a plant, insect, or reptile, such as the poisonous secretions of the South American dart frog.

Venom is made of proteins, enzymes, and other substances that destroy cells and disrupt nerve impulses. Spiders inject venom into their prey to disable it before consuming it.

Since the development of anti-venom in 1895, cases of deaths resulting from venomous insect bites have steadily decreased. Most people who are bit, live to tell their tale. We have had many sightings of black widow spiders in the cities of Deland and Deltona.

Golden Orb Weaver

Native to Florida, the golden orb weaver (sometimes called a banana spider), is a large, brightly colored spider that hangs in the middle of a beautifully spun web. They are not aggressive but can deliver a painful sting if provoked. Their venom is non-lethal to humans. Considered a beneficial spider, they eat mosquitos, flies, and gnats.

Daddy Long-leg Spiders

The daddy long-leg spiders are pholcid spiders. They are very thin and somewhat delicate. Also called cellar spiders, they vibrate when a nest is disturbed. They do not pose a threat to humans but are a major nuisance. They can be found collecting in large groups in dark corners such as in closets and attics. These spiders are known to hunt and kill widow spiders, giving the impression their venom is more potent than a widow spider. This is untrue. A daddy long-leg spider cannot harm a human with its bite.

Brown Recluse

This hermit likes dark, damp environments such as crawl spaces and stored firewood. Bites from a brown recluse are rare since these spiders hide in places humans seldom go. The venom from a brown recluse spider is extremely dangerous, though. It is a hemotoxin like a snake venom in pit vipers and rattlesnakes. It can cause necrosis, which happens when skin turns black and dies. A large open wound forms that requires immediate, intense medical care.

Beetles
Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are attracted to natural animal fibers like wool, cotton, silk, fur, and feathers. They also digest keratin and can be found in the same type of clothing, bedding, and furniture in which moths are found.

People will often see small bugs crawling across their pillows, blankets, and walls, prompting them to wonder what kind of bugs they are. At first, most will think they are bed bugs; upon a closer inspection, you would see these bugs are quite different from bed bugs.

When in their larvae stage, carpet beetles look like small hairy worms or caterpillars. Adult carpet beetles look like bed bugs in size and appearance. While both can be small and flat, carpet beetles look more striped or spotted and are white and brown in color.

Carpet beetles do not feed on blood as bed bugs do. They nest inside furniture and carpeting. Although these pests do not bite, allergic reactions can develop over time, which produce red itchy bumps on the skin. Some people can have an infestation and not notice it for months. Adult beetles feed on pollen outdoors and can fly inside your home through open doors or windows and lay eggs in carpeting and furniture.

Deathwatch Beetle

The deathwatch beetle is a small wood boring beetle that lives in dead wood. The larvae tunnel through wood causing great damage to wooden beams, trusses, and floors. In the spring, adult beetles emerge from small holes by chewing through the wood’s surface. These holes are about an inch in diameter and can be numerous.

The Deathwatch beetle gets its name from the tapping noise it makes. This tapping is often heard very early in the morning. A superstition arose that the tapping was the countdown to your death. Before electricity, laying in a dark, cold bedroom, listening to strange noises emanating from the walls must have been scary. Vivid imaginations created ghosts and superstition to explain unfamiliar sounds coming from within the walls.

Today, we know this tapping is a behavioral trait used by the male beetle to attract a mate. Deathwatch beetles are just one of many similar beetles that belong to the Anobiidae family of wood boring beetles. The frass from these pests is somewhat coarse like beach sand. Frass is the name given to describe the expelled digested wood from wood boring insects.

Bees

Just as Halloween wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins, spring wouldn’t be spring without bees. Calmly buzzing about, collecting nectar from flowers and plants, bees are an important part of our ecosystem.

European honeybees, apis mellifera, are known for their ability to pollinate thousands of wildflowers and crops. Humans have been cultivating wax and honey from bees from time immemorial.

Honeybees are fuzzy with yellow and black banding on their bodies. They are more docile than wasps and yellow jackets and will only sting if threatened.

They make hexagon shaped cells out of a wax that they produce in their glands. The cells are filled with honey, forming what is called a comb. The honey is made from nectar which bees collect from flowers and plants.

Honeybees communicate by using pheromones and can tell the difference between hive members and intruders.

Bees sometimes become a nuisance and a danger if they colonize within the walls of your home or business. In some situations, they can pose an imminent threat to the safety of people and pets.

Call us today for a fee estimate for ridding your home or business of any invasive insects or for any of our several pest control services.
Dan Coffey
Dcoffey@davespestcontrol.com

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