With cool weather just starting to drive residents of the sunshine state indoors, we’re all thinking the same thing: “It’s that time of year again”. Thoughts of celebratory get-togethers, seasonal sports, and mouth-watering treats begin to flood our minds. It’s easy for home pest control to get lost in the excitement. Before you dive into all the fun, here are some Florida fall pest control tips from your friendly neighborhood pest professionals so your family can enjoy the holidays worry-free.

While you and I could simply snuggle up with a warm sweater and tasty bowl of soup, pests around your home are not given the same luxury. For these potential cold-blooded invaders, chilly weather means greater competition and less access to food, water, and heat.

Controlling the Pests You’re Up Against:

Spider Control

Where bugs go, spiders will follow. Attracted to food sources, eight-legged pests will stalk their prey inside to hunt. Some even make their way into storage areas such as sheds, garages, and attics. Be careful when moving anything from these areas, especially containers like long-undisturbed cardboard boxes. Use gloves when reaching anywhere you cannot see and open these containers outside first.

When controlling spiders, removing habitat by wiping webs and vacuuming is a must, but the best way to keep spiders out of your home is to make sure they have no reason to go inside. Our recommendation is a general home pest prevention service including perimeter treatment. This barrier will prevent major food sources including roaches and ants from nesting inside.

Cockroach Control

Actively seeking shelter as the temperature drops, cockroaches most often make entry through pipes, vents, drains, and other sources of humidity. Unsurprisingly, homeowners wind up encountering most roaches in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Cockroach control is critically important as roaches carry diseases (including, but not limited to, salmonella, typhoid fever, and E. coli) and are a significant trigger for both allergies and asthma.

A combination of hygiene, moisture management, and entry prevention is necessary to enjoy a pest-free interior all season long. Remove trash on a consistent basis and clean spills immediately. Don’t forget to wipe down counters and mop floors as frequently as life allows.

Outside, as well as in the garage, we recommend that you clear common cockroach harborage areas. These include decaying debris, wood piles, boxes, and other spaces that retain moisture. Keep an eye out for those aforementioned pipes, vent, and drains, and make sure they’re covered with proper screens.

Ant Control

Sugar ants are a constant frustration for Floridians no matter the weather. These pests have excellent senses, and they love the smell of your holiday cooking just as much as your loved ones. This ant variety is known for getting into and contaminating food, especially on countertops.

Others, such as carpenter ants, can damage the wooden structure of your home and even use their powerful mandibles to leave irritating bites that inject formic acid. Thankfully, these bites are irritating at worst and can be relieved with a quick wash followed by a cold compress.

Ants are most easily prevented with a general cleanliness regimen focused on the kitchen, bathrooms, and kids’ rooms. Regular sweeping and vacuuming goes a long way to mitigate ants of all types, but it might just be the time of year to give some attention to your pantry as well.

Stinging Insect Control

Much the same as spiders, stinging insects such as wasps and hornets also struggle with dwindling food sources. As a result, they tend to be more aggressive in colder months. Be sure to check small cracks and holes, oftentimes above eye-level, for wasp nests. If inactive and safely within reach, you can remove them with garden tools. Rinse the area thoroughly with a hose afterwards to discourage future nesting.

Rodent Control

Some pests are more desperate to shelter from the cold than even us Floridians. Nowhere is this more true than with rodents. We often find rodents having made entry through unsealed roofs on older homes. Attics offer safe nesting spaces as well as access to walls, and, most importantly, food. Once inside a home, they chew through wooden supports and wires, causing everything from electrical fire hazards to structural instability. The residue left by rodent saliva, excrements, skin, and fur is notorious for transmitting mites and disease. In order to survive, they must nest somewhere with warmth and food sources. Here’s how to make sure that’s not your home:

When controlling rodents, care must be taken to prevent entry entirely. Thoroughly inspect the exterior of your home for any potential access points. Seal these areas with rodent-proof screens, caps, grates, and expanding foams. We also recommend working with a pest professional to coordinate placing rodent bait stations along high-traffic walls, a practice that helps keep rodent populations low.

What You Should Keep in Mind:

When dealing with fall pests, the name of the game is SLAP (sanitation, liquids, and access points). To SLAP pests away this season, stick to our Greenhouse Pro checklist:

Sanitation (Keep Up with Cleanliness)

  • Make sure kitchen and bathrooms are free of food debris
    • Keep an eye on young kids with food
  • Take out trash regularly
  • Vacuum/sweep/mop often including spider webs
  • Clear clutter, especially in storage areas and garages
  • Keep food sealed; don’t forget pet food
  • Maintain yard health by cutting grass, trimming bushes, picking weeds, and collecting fallen leaves
  • Mix water, dish soap, and peppermint oil in a spray bottle to make an organic repellant

Liquids (Don’t Forget About Moisture)

  • Water your lawn less often and monitor for pooling/moisture retaining sections
    • Don’t forget nonfunctioning fountains and birdbaths
    • Clear piles of lawn debris including branches, cardboard, and construction scrap, particularly those leaning against the side of your home
  • Clean areas under/around appliances (clothes/dish washers, water heaters, and spaces under sinks)

Access Points (Examine the Exterior for Access Points, Debris, and Touching Foliage)

  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Inspect seals around windows and doors
  • Trim away any branches touching your home. Countless pests use branches as entry bridges, hopping right over pesticide barriers and other preventatives.
  • Relocate piles of lawn debris, branches, and other clutter away from your home
    • Keep firewood elevated and away from house
  • Pest-proof exterior-facing pipes/vents/drains
  • Ensure a well-maintained roof and gutters

Greenhouse Environmental is Here to Help

In order to maximize your fall pest control efforts, we recommend working together with regular service performed by a local pest professional. We are proud to say that Greenhouse Environmental is the top choice for kid and pet friendly pest control in Port Orange Florida. Call Greenhouse at (813)-991-0033 for a free inspection and quote for quarterly pest protection.

Evan at Greenhouse