What’s Bugging You?
At Capelouto Termite & Pest Control, we handle a wide variety of pests. To help you understand what critters you may be dealing with and how our pest control service can manage them, we’ve put together this pest library.
Africanized bees, also known as “killer bees,” were introduced to the United States when they escaped from a testing facility in Brazil back in 1990. First spotted in Texas, these bees have spread across the country to colonize our area. While they are beneficial honey bees that pollinate and contribute to the environment, they also cause panic and anxiety for those who suffer from nesting activity or are allergic to wasp and bee stings.
Ants are the most abundant group of insects on earth. For this reason, ants are the most commonly reported pest in both the home and workplace. Not only are ants the most common type of pest encountered, but they are also one of the most persistent.
Although ants are frequently seen indoors, the majority of ant activity occurs outdoors where they forage on small insects and other small organisms. In the Tallahassee area, the most common ants homeowners and businesses encounter are Caribbean crazy ants, fire ants, big-headed ants, ghost ants, and Florida carpenter ants.
Bed bugs are small, starting as little as one millimeter during their early immature stages and reaching no more than ¼” as adults. These creepy insects feed exclusively on blood, requiring it for both development and reproduction. While they feed primarily on the blood of humans, they can feed on the blood from a wide variety of animals.
These bugs do not fly or hop quite like ticks or fleas, but instead, they crawl quickly across the ground and are capable of squeezing into the tightest places. Having even the smallest crack or opening in your mattress or headboard may result in bed bugs.
Cockroaches are common pests that infest both houses and commercial buildings where there is food, warmth, and moisture. Multiple species of cockroaches can be found in Florida, including Oriental cockroaches, German cockroaches, and American cockroaches. They are mainly active at night and are often found in homes and restaurants.
Unlike pests that primarily feed off outdoor vegetation, cockroaches are drawn to things that are commonly found in homes such as store-bought food, toothpaste, and kitchen sponges.
Fleas are small biting insects that usually feed on dogs and cats, but they may also bite humans. Fleas are only ⅛” long, but they can jump up to 8 inches vertically. They are flat on the sides and have backward-facing spines on their bodies.
Fleas can be spread through the house as their eggs fall off the pet as it moves through the home and the yard. In general, they spend the majority of their time on the host animal. They become an even larger issue when they begin breeding in your home. These tiny jumping pests are a true nuisance and plague homeowners that experience their activity.
A mouse is a small nocturnal rodent that is very well suited to living in houses and other human-made structures. Mice are often not seen by homeowners because they only come out at night, and they are usually identified through the damage they cause and the noises they make while out of sight. Mice tend to nibble on things, making frequent trips to food sources within 25 feet of their nests.
After mice enter your home, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of since they often live in hidden areas within garages, attics, lofts, and wall interiors.
Paper wasps are about 3/4″ long and are commonly a burnt orange-brown color. They can also have black and yellow stripes, making them easy to mistake for yellow jackets. Their nests are about 1-2″ thick and are often referred to as umbrella-shaped since they hang upside-down attached to surfaces by a thin pedestal.
Paper wasps scrape wood shavings off of decks, picnic tables, wooden furniture, and other wood around your property, turning it into a paste when mixed with their saliva. This is the building material they use to create their unique nests. Although most paper wasp nests are grey, their nest colors can vary based on the available materials in the area.
Rats are large rodents that live in the Tallahassee area and across the United States. These nocturnal pests are destructive and create unsanitary environments when they infest residential homes. Urine and feces are of serious concern because of the rodent’s tendency to get into food and share living space with humans.
Their strong teeth can chew through wires, causing electrical outages and other problems. Rat infestations are much more challenging when it comes to eliminating an active issue, which is why it’s imperative to address rat activity the moment it’s observed.
Termites fulfill an important role in our ecological system by speeding up the natural process of deterioration and helping turn dead wood into new soil. Unfortunately, termites don’t know the difference between a stump in your yard and the wood in your home.
Termites live in social colonies, typically found in the soil. While they are generally found foraging underground for fallen wood or plant debris, they can also enter homes, causing extensive damage if left untreated.
Ticks are parasites that will attach to a host (animal or human) for days at a time to feed on their blood. There are several types of ticks found in Florida, with the most abundant being deer ticks, American dog ticks, and lone star ticks. There are some variations between species and between developmental stages, but in general, ticks have 8 legs and can grow as large as ½”.
While not all ticks feed on blood as adults, it is necessary for them to do so in order to reach the adult stage of their life cycle. They are most commonly found in forests and other areas where the land is not maintained or manicured (though certain ticks can and will find their way into well-cared-for lawns). Almost all ticks in the Florida area are capable of spreading disease.
Whiteflies are tiny, winged insects you’ll likely see around your outdoor garden and plants. Their presence is problematic for homeowners or businesses that have trees and hedges on their property. Adults deposit eggs on the undersides of leaves. Once the eggs hatch, they begin feeding until they are adults.
There are over 75 species of whiteflies in Florida alone, with the most prevalent being the sweet potato whitefly, ficus whitefly, citrus whitefly, and spiraling whitefly. Contrary to their name, whiteflies are not flies or related to flies. They are more closely related to aphids and mealybugs that suck sap from ornamental plants and fruits, leaving behind harmful honeydew.
Yellow jackets are easily the most aggressive stinging insect in Tallahassee. You can identify them by their long narrow waist, covered in black and yellow stripes. They are very small wasps, measuring only ½” long.
Yellow jackets are social insects that live in nests or colonies with up to 4,000 workers. They feed on sweets and proteins, and therefore commonly invade outdoor events. Yellow jackets nest in wall voids, attics, and in the ground outdoors. Their nesting behavior can be startling if they start flying indoors with no warning.
Unfortunately, an infestation is not uncommon. Yellow jackets are able to come in from outdoors through wall voids, and fly around your house. They can also nest inside the ground of your business or residential property.