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Pest Guide


American Roaches

What do American roaches look like?

American roaches are the largest house-infesting cockroach and grow to be 2-3 inches in length.  They have an oval body, long antennae, are a reddish-brown color, and have a distinctive yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of their head.  Adults have fully developed wings and are capable of flying.

Are American roaches dangerous?

American roaches do not bite or sting but they are considered to be a dangerous pest.  Before entering into your home they were living in disease ridden places like sewers, dumpsters, and garbage disposals.  American cockroaches carry bacteria on their legs and body and introduce it into your home and contaminate your food, counters, plates, and utensils.  American cockroaches can spread bacteria, parasitic worms, and other human pathogens that can cause fevers, diarrhea, and vomiting.  Their shed feces and skins can trigger asthma attack in people, particularly young children.

Why do I have American roaches?

American roaches are most active when the temperature is 70 degrees or above but can survive in lower temperatures if the living conditions are correct.  These  creatures can be found living on trees and are often referred to as “palmetto bugs”.  They will also live in warm damp areas like flowerbeds and mulch.

American roaches come into homes and other buildings (garages, grocery stores, hospitals, and food processing plants, etc) while searching for food.  They often get into homes beneath doors and through spaces around basement windows.  Once inside they can be found in kitchens, basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms searching for spills, crumbs, and other sources of food (pet food) to consume.

Signs of American roaches

If American cockroaches have invaded your home you will notice their droppings building up in the basement, pantry areas, and behind appliances.  Their droppings are similar in size to mouse droppings but are blunt at both ends and have ridges on the sides of them.  You may also notice piles of empty eggs casings under cabinets and behind appliances.  If there is a large infestation of American roaches in your home it may have a musty odor to it.  The odor comes from compounds that the roaches secrete.

How do I get rid of American roaches

The best way to get rid of a problem with American roaches is to call a professional pest control expert.  Here at Hoffer’s, our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge needed to find all the American roaches living in your home and quickly eliminate them.  If roaches have invaded your home contact the pros at Hoffer today for more information about how our residential pest control services can safely remove American roaches from your home! 

American roach prevention tips

Along with putting into place a year-round pest control plan to control American roaches there are some steps that you can take to help prevent them from choosing your home to invade.

  • Seal cracks in your home’s foundation and caulk gaps around windows and doors, especially in basement areas.
  • Install door sweeps beneath all exterior doors.
  • Don’t let garbage build up in your home.  Remove it regularly and store it outside in a container with a locking lid until garbage day.
  • Keep food stored in the refrigerator or sealed containers.  
  • Pick up uneaten pet food.
  • Immediately pick up crumbs and clean up spills.
  • Fix leaky pipes and install de-humidifiers in the high humidity areas of your home.

Bed Bugs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are a parasitic pest whose only food source is blood, with humans being their favorite host to feed off of. Bed bugs are found living throughout the entire United States.

What do bed bugs look like?

Adult bed bugs have a flat-oval shaped body that is perfectly designed to hide in small cracks and crevices.  They are a reddish-brown color, are wingless and grow to be about ¼ of an inch in length.  Directly after a blood meal they will swell slightly and become redder in color.  Nymphs that have just hatched are about the size of a pinhead and are a tannish-white color.  Bed bug eggs are whitish in color and are very difficult to see with an untrained eye.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bugs are not dangerous and are considered to be nuisance pests because they do not carry or transmit any known diseases.  If a person has a reaction to bed bug bites than itchy raised red bumps may occur on the skin at the bite spot.  If the bites are scratched open than they may require medical attention to prevent an infection.

Why do I have bed bugs?

Bed bugs do not fly or jump, but are excellent crawlers and will crawl easily onto a person or their personal belongings.  Bed bugs are found wherever large groups of people congregate and do not care how clean or messy a place is.  Common places that bed bugs are found include five-star hotels, motels, libraries, movie theaters, airports, and secondhand stores.  If coats, bags, luggage or other personal items are placed on the ground in those places bed bugs can crawl into or onto them and be introduced into your home.  Bed bugs are also commonly introduced into homes through used clothing and furniture purchases.

What are the signs of bed bugs?

Bed bugs will leave several signs if they have invaded your home.  The most obvious clue is waking up to small red bites on your arms, legs and body.  Often times bed bug bites will appear in a line often called breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They also leave behind small dots of blood on mattresses, bed springs and linens from feeding, and they leave behind tiny brown droppings (feces) in the same places.  Since bed bugs are visible to the human eye the most obvious sign of bed bugs is actually seeing adults in the cracks and crevices of mattresses, box springs, in the cracks of walls, and behind picture frames.

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

Getting rid of bed bugs from your home should never be attempted on your own.  They are very difficult to eliminate and professional help is required to ensure that all adults, nymphs, and eggs are eliminated from your home.  If bed bugs have invaded your home contact Hoffer today for more information about how we can help through our effective bed bug control services.

Bed bug prevention tips

Preventing bed bugs from coming home with you can be a difficult task, but there are many things that you can do to lessen your chances of coming into contact with them.

  • Keep bags, luggage and purses up off of the ground when spending time in public places or traveling.
  • Inspect your hotel room thoroughly for signs of bed bugs before bringing your luggage into of it.
  • Keep your suitcases up off of the floor of your hotel room and keep items not in use in plastic bags.
  • Immediately wash clothing and your suitcases when returning home from a trip.
  • Avoid purchasing used items from second hand stores, if this is not possible make sure to thoroughly wash any items that you purchase.
  • Try not to bring used mattresses or furniture into your home. If you do, make sure to inspect and vacuum them first.

Bed bugs breed quickly so at the first sign of an infestation call the experts here at Hoffer to begin bed bug control services as quickly as possible!


Bigheaded Ants

What do bigheaded ants look like?

There are several species of bigheaded ants that live throughout the United States and depending on the species they can range in color from yellow to dark reddish brown. Their appearance depends mostly on what type of worker they are: a major worker or a minor worker. Minor workers are the smaller of the two, they are responsible for feeding the colony, taking care of immature ants, and helping to build the nest. Adult minor workers grow to be approximately 2mm in length. Major ants are about twice the size of minor ants and grow to be around 3-4mm long and their bodies are covered in sparse long hairs. This division of workers is responsibility for the disproportionately large head which is their namesake. Major ants have large jaws that they use to defend the colony, and to crack large seeds and other foods that they need access to.

Are bigheaded ants dangerous?

Bigheaded ants are not considered to be dangerous and they don’t cause structural damages. They generally do not bite people unless their nest is disturbed and even then their bite is not usually painful. Even though they are mostly considered to be a nuisance species they should be eliminated from your home as quickly as possible because some species of bigheaded ants are known to be hosts of tapeworms, and all species can contaminate your food.

Why do I have bigheaded ants?

Bigheaded ants usually nest outdoors under rocks, logs, or in the soil located next to the foundation of homes or other buildings. Bigheaded ants enter into homes through small openings as they forage for food, preferring to feed on foods that are high in protein. Once a food source has been located they create a trail from the nest to the source of food that other members of the colony can easily follow.

How do I get rid of bigheaded ants?

The best way to get rid of a problem with bigheaded ants is to call a professional pest control expert. Hoffer’s professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge needed to provide you with the necessary services to eliminate any and all bigheaded ants that have invaded your home or property. If bigheaded ants or other pests have invaded your home contact the pro’s here at Hoffer's today for more information about our year-round residential pest control services.

Bigheaded ant prevention tips

Along with implementing a year-round pest control service to protect your home and property from bigheaded ants, there are some easy steps you can take to help prevent them from choosing your home to invade.

  • Make sure that outdoor trash cans have tight fitting or locking lids on them and keep the trash cans a distance away from the exterior of your home.
  • Remove fallen trees, logs, and tree stumps from your property.
  • Trim back trees and bushes from the outside of your home because ants and other pests will use their branches as a “bridge” into your home.
  • Seal cracks in your home’s foundation and exterior walls.
  • Caulk any spaces around windows and doors and be sure that screens are intact, and install door sweeps.
  • Quickly clean up spills and crumbs and vacuum and mop on a regular basis.
  • Keep food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator, not out on countertops or tables.

Drywood Termites

What are drywood termites?

Drywood termites are a species of termite that nest and feed on wood that has a very low moisture content, has not been damaged by water, and has no decay.  They do not need soil to live, travel or nest in.  Drywood termites will infest and damage items that have wood in them.  These items commonly include furniture, picture frames, fences, support beams in buildings, flooring, walls, and utility posts.  They are less common then the subterranean termite, but are just as capable at causing large amounts of costly damage to homes and other buildings. 

What do drywood termites look like?

Winged drywood termite adults are light to dark brown in color.  They have a long narrow oval body shape and can grow to be 3/8th to 1 inch long.  Drywood termites are larger in size than the subterranean termite.  The young nymphs are whitish in color, soft-bodied and usually remain unseen in galleries inside of infested wood.

Are drywood termites dangerous?

Drywood termites are not dangerous to people because they do not bite or sting.  They are however, extremely dangerous to a building’s structure, furniture, and other wooden objects.  Help should be sought to eliminate drywood termites from your home at the first sign of their presence. 

Why do I have drywood termites?

Drywood termites are most often introduced into homes through furniture that is already infested, infested lumber, or in other wooden objects.  Also, since drywood termites do not need contact with soil they have the ability to fly right onto your home and introduce themselves into it through small cracks and crevices. 

Signs of drywood termites in my home

The most common sign that tips homeowners off to a drywood termite infestation is a termite swarm.  A drywood termite swarm occurs when winged reproductive members fly from the colony in order to find a mate and create a new colony of their own.  A swarm generally occurs after a heavy rain on a warm day.  If drywood termites have infested your home you may also notice piles of frass (feces).   The termites will remove the frass from their tunnels and leave piles of it on the floor throughout your home. 

How do I get rid of drywood termites?

In order to eliminate drywood termites from your home you need to get help from a professional termite control expert.  At Hoffer's we can eliminate drywood termites from your home through a variety of termite control services depending on your home and family’s needs.  Our treatment services include: spot treatments, liquid treatments, fumigation, as well as preventative treatments.  If drywood termites have invaded your home contact the pros here at Hoffer today for more information about how our termite control services can safely, quickly, and effectively remove drywood termites from your home! 

Drywood termites prevention tips

Preventing drywood termites from infesting your home can be difficult.  Inspecting used furniture for signs of drywood termites before introducing the pieces into your home can help.  It is also important to keep wood piles a distance away from the exterior of your home, and to make sure to seal all cracks and crevices in the exterior of your home, around windows and doors, and in the foundation to prevent them from gaining access to your home.


Earwigs

What are earwigs?

Earwigs are a pest that is commonly found outside in garden areas and, unfortunately, sometimes inside homes and other buildings. They are most known for being associated with a myth which states that earwigs will crawl into people’s ears as they are sleeping and burrow into their brain to lay their eggs. However, you can sleep easy tonight knowing that this truly is just a myth and is completely untrue.

What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs have a long narrow body with two distinctive “cerci” or pinchers that extend off their hind end.  The male’s cerci are curved and the female’s cerci are straight; they use these pinchers in order to defend themselves against each other.  Adult earwigs are dark brownish red and grow to be about 5/8th of an inch in length.

Are earwigs dangerous?

No, despite being equipped with pinchers, earwigs are not dangerous to people. They do not spread any known diseases, and their pinchers are not strong enough to cause any harm or pain to a person. They can, however, become quite a nuisance for people when they enter homes and other outbuildings in large numbers.

Why do I have earwigs?

Earwigs are typically found living outside in damp moist areas like underneath piles of grass, leaves, mulch, and other similar areas. They hide during the day and come out at night to feed on insects, mites, leaves, soft fruits, mold, and flowers. Earwigs enter homes through cracks and crevices found in the foundation, exterior walls, and underneath doors if the weather outside becomes too dry and/or too hot. Inside homes, they congregate in bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, crawl spaces, and under sink areas.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

The best way to get rid of a problem with earwigs is to call a professional pest control expert. Here at Hoffer Pest Solutions, our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge needed to find, identify, and provide safe, effective treatment to eliminate earwigs. If earwigs have invaded your home, contact the professionals at Hoffer today for more information about our earwig control services.

Earwig prevention tips

Eliminating earwigs from your home is a tough task and should be left up to a professional, but there are steps that you can take around your home to help prevent an infestation.

  • Seal any cracks or crevices found in your home’s foundation; seal openings found around utility entrances.
  • Install door sweeps underneath all exterior doors.
  • Reduce humidity levels in your home by fixing leaky pipes and fixtures and by installing dehumidifiers.
  • Remove piles of organic debris like grass and leaves from your property.
  • Place woodpiles a good distance away from the outside of your home.
  • Make a barrier between mulch gardens and the exterior walls of your home.

Formosan Termites

What do Formosan termites look like?

Formosan termites or “introduced subterranean termites” as they are sometimes referred as are a species of ground nesting termite found living across the southern United States, including Florida. Like other termite species they work together to maintain their colony and are divided into three castes: reproductives, workers, and soldiers. These termites look very similar to other species, especially the workers. Formosan termites can usually be identified through the reproductives and soldiers. 

Reproductives: The wings of the reproductive members are almost transparent except for a large covering of small hairs.  They are yellowish-brown in color and grow to be about ½ of an inch in length. 

Soldiers: They have a slightly off-white colored body and a large orangish-brown oval head.  Soldiers have curved mandibles that they use to very aggressively defend their colony.

Are Formosan termites dangerous?

Formosan termites are not a danger to people, however, they pose a significant danger to the structures of homes and other buildings. Like other species of termites, Formosan termites feed on cellulose and once inside a home will begin to feed on its structural wood. Formosan termites don’t individually cause any more damage than other termites, but because their colonies tend to be larger, they do tend to cause more damages than other species.

Why do I have Formosan termites?

Formosan termites generally invade homes and buildings at the ground level as they are foraging for food sources.  They will enter into properties through cracks and crevices found in the foundation and exterior walls.  These termites don’t only nest in the ground; they create carton nests which allows them to nest in other areas while still being able to maintain the moisture levels they require.  The carton nests are created from termite excrement, chewed wood, and soil.  Carton nests allow Formosan termites to create aerial nests, these types of nests are often found on the rooftops of buildings with a flat roof that collects water.

Signs of Formosan termites

Like other species of termites signs of their presence and damages aren’t usually noticeable right away. It can often take homeowners several weeks or months to notice a termite infestation. Common signs of Formosan termites include:

  • Finding carton nests behind walls, in crawl spaces, and underneath of sinks.
  • Noticing mud tubes that they use to connect their nests and travel through running on the ground towards your home and/or running along your home’s foundation or exterior walls.
  • Wood that sounds hollow when it is tapped on.
  • Splintered or blistered appearing walls.
  • Seeing winged reproductive swarm from the colony in late spring or early summer.

How do I get rid of Formosan termites?

The best way to get rid of a problem with Formosan termites is to call a professional pest control expert. Here at Hoffer Pest Solutions, our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge needed to correctly identify Formosan termites and then provide treatment services.  If Formosan termites have invaded your home, or you are concerned about an infestation, contact the pros at Hoffer today for more information about our termite control services. Our termite control services include a thorough inspection, treatment, and follow-up services which all help to safely, quickly, and effectively remove Formosan termites from your home!

Formosan termite prevention tips

Stopping subterranean termites from invading your property is a very difficult task, but there are some preventative measures that you can take in addition to acquiring professional termite control services.

  • Limit soil to wood contact for buildings and other structures that are found on your property or near your home.
  • Make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from your home.
  • Use dehumidifiers and/or air-conditioners to reduce moisture levels in your home.
  • Remove wood found in your home that has been damaged by water.
  • Seal cracks and crevices found in your home’s foundation.
  • Repair damage siding and/or roof shingles.

German Roaches

What do German roaches look like?

German roaches are the most common species of cockroach. German roaches have an oval body shape, and are a light tan to brown color. They have fully developed wings but do not fly, instead they run quickly to wherever they need to go. Adults are about 1/2 of an inch in length and have distinctive dark parallel lines running from the back of their heads to their wings.

Are German roaches dangerous?

German roaches do not bite or sting but they are considered to be a dangerous pest and should be eliminated from your home as quickly as possible. Before coming into your house they were living in disease ridden places like sewers, dumpsters, and garbage disposals. German cockroaches carry bacteria on their legs and body and introduce it into your home and contaminate your food, counters, plates, and utensils. German cockroaches can spread salmonella, and other diseases that can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Their shed feces and skins can trigger asthma attacks in people, particularly young children.

Why do I have German roaches?

German roaches prefer to live in places that provide a warm moist environment, which is why they are most commonly found in kitchen and bathroom areas. Once inside your home they can travel very easily through its pipes and plumbing systems. German roaches are attracted to garbage that may be stored outside of homes, and will then enter inside to search for food and water. German roaches can also get into homes through packages that are sent to it, in secondhand appliances, or from products that you purchase from the store.

How do I get rid of German roaches?

The best way to get rid of a problem with German roaches is to call a professional pest control expert. Here at Hoffers, our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge that you need to find all the German roaches living in your home and quickly eliminate them. If German roaches have invaded your home contact the pros here at Hoffer's today for more information about how our residential pest control services can safely remove German roaches from your house!

German roach prevention tips

Along with putting into place a year-round pest control plan to control German roaches here are some steps that you can take to help prevent them from choosing your home to invade:

  • Seal cracks in your home’s foundation and caulk gaps around windows and doors.
  • Don’t let garbage build up in your home. Remove it regularly and store it outside in a container with a locking lid until garbage day.
  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, and fixtures, and install de-humidifiers in the high humidity areas of your home.
  • Inspect packages for signs of cockroaches before bringing them inside. Inspect products before purchasing from the store.
  • Keep food stored in the refrigerator or sealed containers.
  • Immediately pick up crumbs and clean up spills.

Ghost Ants

What do ghost ants look like?

Ghost ants have a dark head and thorax and pale colored legs, abdomen, and antennae which give them a “ghost-like” appearance and making it more difficult to spot them.  These are small ants in which adults only grow to be about 1.3 to 1.5 mm in length.  Ghost ants are related to odorous house ants and also give off a rotten coconut smell if they are crushed.

Are ghost ants dangerous?

Ghost ants do not sting and will generally only bite if their nest is being directly threatened. If they do bite, it is usually note painful and does not cause any issues for people.  They can transfer disease organisms since they are commonly found invading both kitchen and bathrooms areas.

Why do I have ghost ants?

Ghost ants often enter into homes while foraging for food. They like to feed on sweets, greasy foods, and other insects. Ghost ants are a type of tropical ant and are often transported in boxes, crates, potted plants and other goods that are shipped. These proficient travelers can be introduced into homes in packages that are delivered or in potted plants that are purchased and brought into homes.

Where do ghost ants nest?

Ghost ants are very difficult to eliminate from homes and properties because they often split their colonies up and have multiple nesting areas both inside and outside. Outdoors, ghost ants can typically be found nesting in the ground, beside rocks, and in log and firewood piles. Inside of homes and other buildings they nest in flower pots, behind baseboards, and behind wall voids.

How do I get rid of ghost ants?

The best way to get rid of a problem with ghost ants is to call a professional pest control expert like our team here at Hoffer's. Ghost ants are very difficult to get rid of because of their multiple nesting locations. All of the nests need to be found and eliminated to truly control and eliminate them. Our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge you need to do this safely and quickly. If ghost ants have invaded your home contact the pros here at Hoffer's today!

Ghost ant prevention tips 

Preventing ghost ants from getting into your home can be tricky which is why it is best left to the experts, but there are some steps you can take to help prevent an infestation.

  • Trim back trees and shrubs from the exterior of your home and buildings because ghost ants will use their branches to gain easy access into your home.
  • Keep a barrier between any mulch or grass and your home’s foundation.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and caulk any open space around windows and doors.
  • Make sure that all screens are completely intact.
  • Store trash in outdoors cans away from the outside of your home and only use ones with locking lids.
  • Keep any wood or log piles away from your home.
  • Seal gaps in your home’s foundation and around utility entrances.

Mice

What do mice look like?

The house mouse is a species of mouse that as their name suggests most commonly invades homes.  House mice are brownish-gray in color with a lighter colored off- white underbelly.  They have black eyes, large ears, and a pointed nose.  Generally adults grow to be 2 ½ - 3 ¾ of an inch long.

Are mice dangerous?

Yes, mice are dangerous to have living in your home.  They are rodents, which means that their front incisors continuously grow and in order to prevent overgrowth they are constantly chewing on things.  When inside of homes they can cause a lot of structural damage and destroy personal items because of the constant need to chew.  Their feces and urine can also cause a variety of health issues in some cases.  Mice are also dangerous because they can expose you and your family to a variety of serious diseases including salmonellosis, leptospirosis and dysentery.   They will also introduce other parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites into your home.

Why do I have mice?

Mice can and do live outdoors, but it is also very common to find them living indoors.  Mice get into homes while in search of three things shelter, food, and water.  If these things can easily be provided in an environment, then they will stay as long as possible and make themselves at home.  They are able to move through very small spaces and create a nesting area behind walls, in basements, attics, crawl spaces, and even behind large appliances.  Their nesting area is usually in close proximity to their food and water sources, which in homes is generally the kitchen and pantry areas.

How do I tell if I have mice?

The most common sign that mice have come into your home is to find mouse droppings on the floor, along walls, in cabinets, and in drawers.  Their droppings look very similar to the size and shape of a grain of rice, except that mice droppings are a dark brown or black color.  You may also hear the mice running behind walls or above the ceiling at night while you are trying to fall asleep.  Due to their need to constantly be chewing, you may start to notice chew marks on food containers, furniture, flooring, pipes, wires, and other items.  

How do I get rid of mice?

The best way to get rid of your mice problem is to call a professional pest control expert.  Hoffer’s professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge you need to find all mice nesting areas and quickly eliminate all of the mice living in your home.  If mice have invaded your home contact the experts here at Hoffer's today for more information about how our residential pest control services can remove mice from your home! 

Mice prevention tips

Along with putting into place a year-round pest control plan to control mice, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent mice from choosing your home:

  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s foundation. Remember that mice can squeeze through a space the diameter of a pencil.
  • Install door sweeps.
  • Place tight fitting caps on any chimneys and be sure that vent covers are secure.
  • Use only trash cans that have tight fitting lids that lock, and store them a distance away from the exterior of your home.
  • Inside of your home eliminate food and water sources by fixing any leaky pipes or faucets, store all food in a sealed container or in the refrigerator.
  • Reduce clutter in basement and attic areas.

Millipedes

What are millipedes?

The name millipede means thousands-leggers but luckily millipedes are not large enough to have thousands of legs and instead have about 30 to 90 pairs. Millipedes are a type of scavenger and when living outside will basically feed on whatever decaying plant or insect materials that they come across.

What do millipedes look like?

Millipedes are worm-like in shape and can vary in size. Some are as small as 1/16th of an inch in length while others can grow to about 4 ½ inches in length. Most are black or brown in color and have mottled patterns, and some can have bright orange or red markings; the species with bright markings generally produce a toxic, foul smelling substance that they use to defend themselves.

Are millipedes dangerous?

Millipedes are not dangerous, they are however a nuisance species that should be prevented against. It is important to note that the toxic substance that some species emit can cause a blister-like skin reaction on some people, millipedes can also be toxic to smaller pets; since they are not an aggressive species they are usually not considered to be a problem for people or pets.

Why do I have millipedes?

Millipedes are most often found living outside but do migrate in very large numbers after periods of heavy rain when the ground becomes too saturated for them to live comfortably, or in the late fall when they are in need of warm shelter. Millipedes enter through the spaces found around basement doors, windows, and the foundation, they can also come in through gaps found around vents and ducts. Inside of homes and buildings, they will hide in dark basements, crawl spaces, closets, underneath of bathroom and kitchen sinks, and in laundry rooms.

How do I get rid of millipedes?

Millipedes enter into homes in large numbers and hide in very hard to reach areas, because of this it is best to get help from a professional pest control expert to eliminate and control millipedes. Here at Hoffer Pest Solutions, our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge needed to find, identify and provide safe, effective treatments to eliminate millipedes. If millipedes have invaded your home, contact the pros at Hoffer today for more information about our millipede control services.

Millipede prevention tips

Eliminating millipedes from your home is a tough task and should be left up to a professional, but there are some steps that you can take in and around your home to help prevent an infestation.

  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s foundation, and caulk gaps found around doors and windows, especially those located in basement areas.
  • Make sure that all vents are secured and covered, and that spaces found around pipes and wires are filled in.
  • Reduce the humidity levels in your home by using air-conditioners and/or de-humidifiers.
  • Make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from the outside of your home.
  • Remove piles of organic debris from your yard and garden areas.

Mosquitoes

What do American mosquitoes look like?

Adult mosquitoes grow to between 1/4 and 3/8ths of an inch in length.  Their body is oval, but narrow in shape and they have distinctive long legs, a long nose (proboscis), and one pair of wings.  Mosquitoes have a grayish colored body with white stripes across their abdomen.  They are also covered with silver, green, or bluish iridescent scales.

Are mosquitoes dangerous?

Mosquitoes are considered to be a danger to people.  Besides their painful bites that cause raised red itchy welts, they carry and transmit a lot of dangerous diseases including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and Zika virus.  They also carry West Nile virus which if left untreated can lead to dangerously high fevers, weakness, confusion, and even coma.

Why do I have mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are attracted to properties that have areas of standing water and lots of vegetation.  Female mosquitoes require a water source to lay their eggs on, and are often attracted to wading pools, clogged gutters, wheel barrows, trash piles, and low lying areas.  They come out during the early morning and evening to feed and during the heat of the day hide in the shade of tall grasses and overgrown vegetation.

Signs of mosquitoes

If mosquitoes have invaded your property you will notice swarms of them especially at dawn or dusk.  They are usually found buzzing around your legs and ankles, where they are trying to give you painful bites.  You may also notice their larvae moving around in areas of standing water.

How do I get rid of mosquitoes?

The best way to get rid of a problem with mosquitoes is to call a professional pest control expert.  Here at Hoffer’s, our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge needed to find all the areas on your property where mosquitoes are breeding. We can then provide effective treatment to control their numbers. If mosquitoes have taken over your property contact the pros at Hoffer today for more information about how our mosquito control services can safely control mosquitoes on your property!

Mosquito prevention tips

Along with putting into place a mosquito control plan there are some steps that you can take to help control mosquito numbers on your property.  Here are a few:

  • Reduce areas of standing water by making sure gutters are not blocked, storing buckets, wading pools and wheel barrows upside down when not in use; and filling in low lying areas in your lawn.
  • Trash cans and dumpsters should have tight fitting lids and trash should not be allowed to pile up.
  • Make sure that screens and windows are completely intact to help stop these annoying pests from getting inside.

Rats

What do rats look like?

What a rat looks like depends on the species that they are.  Two of the most common species of rats that invade homes and other buildings include the Norway rat and the roof rat.

Norway rats, or “brown rats” as they are also referred to, are most commonly found in urban areas, fields, and farmlands.  The Norway rat is brown with some scattered black hairs in their fur and their underside is a whitish-gray color.  They have a long heavy body, blunt nose, small eyes and ears, and a slightly shorter tail than other rat species. Adults grow to be about 7-9 ½ inches in length and have a tail length of about 6-8 inches.  Norway rats are terrible climbers, so they are usually found invading ground levels of buildings and basements.

Unlike the Norway rat, roof rats are great climbers and can be found in trees, attics, and in upper levels of buildings.  Roof rats have a long thin body, pointed nose, large eyes and ears, and a long tail.  Their fur is a brownish color with black hairs throughout it and their underside can be black, gray or white.  Adults can grow to be about 6-8 inches long and have a tail length that is equal to their body at 6-8 inches.

Are rats dangerous?

Yes, rats are considered to be dangerous for several reasons.  These reasons include:

  • Causing significant damage to property and personal belongings through their constant need to chew to prevent their front incisors from overgrowing.   
  • If cornered or directly handled they can bite or scratch.
  • They contaminate food, and leave trails of urine and feces, which can be a health hazard wherever they travel throughout your home.
  • They bring in other parasites likes mites and fleas. 
  • They have been known to transmit many serious diseases including bubonic plague, rat-bite fever, typhus, and salmonellosis to people.

Why do I have rats?

Rats like to live in areas that are close to people because we give them easy access to three things that they need to survive; food, water, and shelter.  They can get into homes many ways, and sometimes only need a space the diameter of a quarter to squeeze into a space.  Rats will enter into homes through spaces in the foundation and around utility entrances, through loose vents covers, and open spaces in roof soffits.

Signs of rats in my home

If rats are in your home you will probably hear them before you see them.  At night while they are active you will hear them scratching and running behind your walls or above your ceilings.  You may also find their feces in basement and attic areas, and see chew marks on pipes, drywall, flooring, and food containers.  Rats also tend to leave grease or dirt marks on walls as they travel throughout your home.

How do I get rid of rats?

The best way to get rid of a problem with rats is to call a professional pest control expert like our team here at Hoffer's.  Rats can bite, scratch and transmit serious diseases to people, so leaving rat control up to an expert is best. Our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge you need to provide you with the necessary services to find and eliminate any rats that have invaded your home.  If rats have gotten into your home contact us today for more information about how our rat control services can safely remove them from your property!

Rat prevention tips

There are many things that you can do to help keep rats from invading your home.  Rat prevention tips include:

  • Seal cracks, crevices and spaces in your home or building’s foundation and around utility entrances and chimney areas.
  • Remove piles of debris from your property, and trim back overgrown trees and bushes from your house.
  • Make sure to keep outdoor trash receptacles, garden and compost areas a distance away from the outside of your house.
  • Keep clutter to a minimum in basement, attic, and other storage areas because the more clutter you have, the more area rats have to nest in and the longer it may take you to notice their presence.
  • Fix leaky pipes and drains so that they do not have access to easy water sources.
  • Store pet food in sealed plastic containers instead of the bags they come in. Pick up any uneaten pet food.

Stinging Insects in Florida

There are many stinging insects that call Florida their home, and most of the time, they don't bother us. Bees, wasps, and hornets are more than happy to stay in the wild to get their food and survive. But when they build their nests in the wrong place, they can become a problem. Here are a few stinging insects that can become pests in Florida.

Social Wasp

Of all the stinging insects that plague humans, these are the worst. Social wasps are wired to work together in complex behavior patterns. One pattern that can be clearly observed is the way these insects swarm together to protect their nest or deal with a threat. Some wasp species will not only swarm, but pursue humans for a great distance.

  • Yellow Jackets - These are social wasps that will often build their nests in the ground. If stepped on, a nest can crack open and release many of these wasps all at once. Yellow jackets are known to swarm, give chase, and even go around obstacles to get to their target. Don't try jumping into the water to escape these stinging pests. Their aggression can outlast your ability to hold your breath.
  • Bald-Faced Hornets - While these bear the name hornet, these insects are considered by many to be wasps. They get their hornet name because of the large aerial nests they create, but they are not true hornets. In many ways, bald-faced hornets share the characteristics and bad temper of the yellow jacket. A unique behavior that sets them apart, however, is their ability to squirt venom. If this venom is squirted into the eyes of a human, it causes immediate watering, and can result in temporary blindness.

Solitary Wasp

  • The majority of wasp species in Florida are solitary wasps -  Once they have mated, the females of these species look for food on their own and take care of their own offspring. While they may work on a nest with other solitary wasps, they will tend to their own cell and provide food for their own offspring. These nests have no community, and they do not exhibit any of the behavioral patterns of social wasps. For this reason, most solitary wasps will not sting unless they are handled or feel threatened.
  • Cicada Killer Wasp - While the name may sound threatening, these wasps do what their name says; they kill cicada. In fact, cicada bugs are their primary food source. They dig a burrow in the ground and build many chambers. Then, the adult female hunts for several cicadas, one at a time; paralyzes them with her venom; and drags each individual cicada back to her burrow to place in each of the chambers. When a cicada is placed in a chamber, the female plants an egg under it. The cicada will provide easy food for the larvae after it has hatched.

Social Bees

There are three primary social bee species that come in contact with humans in Florida. Like social wasps, social bees engage in complex behavior patterns like building community nests and swarming.

  • Honey bees - These bees usually nest above ground and in hollow trees or logs. Nests made by bees are controlled by one queen who dominates her brood through the secretion of pheromones. While these insects can swarm, they are not aggressive.
  • Bumble bees - It is hard to miss these large, fuzzy, black and yellow bees. They are the largest of all bees; and like honey bees, bumble bees are not aggressive.
  • Africanized honey bees - If you hear about bees attacking humans in large numbers of sometimes hundreds of thousands, they are sure to be Africanized honey bees. If an Africanized honey bee hive is not discovered for years, it can grow to staggering numbers; and while these bees will die when they sting, it doesn't seem to bother them. They will swarm, chase, and go around obstacles to get to their target, just like a yellow jacket.

Solitary Bees

  • Some bees keep to themselves; but while they aren't a stinging threat, they can be a problem in other ways.
  • Carpenter bees - Similar in appearance to a bumble bee, with the exception of an entirely black abdomen, carpenter bees are solitary bees that bore tunnels into wood to make a home for their offspring. When they do, their tunneling efforts can cause damage. If left untreated, carpenter bees will return over and over and increase tunnels that they, or other carpenter bees, have started.

If you see stinging insects on your property, it is important to find out what type of insects they are and whether or not they have established a nest on your property. For assistance, contact Hoffer Pest Solutions for a free evaluation and estimate.


Subterranean Termites

What are subterranean termites?

Subterranean termites are a species of wood destroying insect that live in large social colonies generally underground. They feed on cellulose that is found in leaf litter, wood, soil, and feces. If given the opportunity, they will most assuredly feed on structural wood in homes and other buildings. They are especially attracted to wood that comes into contact with soil and that has had previous water damage or is decaying. Subterranean termites are responsible for creating over 5 billion dollars’ worth of damages to homes all across the U.S.

What do subterranean termites look like?

Subterranean termites divide themselves into different castes depending on their job descriptions. Workers are found in the highest numbers within the colony. They have a soft creamy white body, have no wings, are blind, and grow to be about ¼ of an inch in length. The soldiers look very similar to the workers, although they are a bit larger. Soldiers also have an elongated yellow head, large strong jaws, and short legs. The reproductives are the largest members of the colony size wise. They are winged, dark-brown to black in color, and grow to be about ¼ to ½ inch in length.

Are subterranean termites dangerous?

Like drywood termites, subterranean termites are not dangerous to people, as they do not bite or sting.  Subterranean termites are however, extremely dangerous to a building’s structural integrity.  Help should be sought to eliminate subterranean termites from your home at the first sign of their presence.

Why do I have subterranean termites?

Termites most often enter into homes accidentally as they are out foraging for food.  They enter through small cracks and spaces in the foundation of homes and other buildings. Once inside, they will start to feed on and tunnel through its’ structural wood; especially if the wood has been previously damaged by water.  Having subterranean termites in your home is usually a sign that a moisture problem is also present.

Signs of subterranean termites in my home

It can sometimes take months or even years for the signs of termite damage to be noticed by homeowners because termites live their entire lives under ground or inside of wood. A common sign that termites are around is seeing a termite swarm. A subterranean termite swarm occurs when winged reproductive members fly from a mature colony in order to find a mate and create a new colony of their own. A swarm generally occurs after a heavy rain on a warm day. After a swarm it is common to find piles of wings underneath of doors and windows.

If subterranean termites have infested your home you may also notice piles of frass (feces) on the floor, paint on walls that appears splintered or blistered, and walls that sound hollow when you tap on them. Mud tunnels which are about the width of a pencil going towards your home or up foundation walls that termites use to travel though are another sign.

How do I get rid of subterranean termites?

In order to eliminate subterranean termites from your home you need to get help from a professional termite control expert.  Here at Hoffer's, our termite treatment services include: a termite baiting program and preventative treatments. If subterranean termites have invaded your home contact the pros here at Hoffer's today for more information about how our termite control services can safely, quickly, and effectively remove subterranean termites from your home!

Subterranean termite prevention tips

Stopping subterranean termites from invading your home and property is a very difficult task, which is why the most comprehensive way to get rid of them and prevent them is with the help of a professional.  Here are some preventative measures that you can take to aid in this process:

  • Limit any soil to wood contact for structures that are located on your property.
  • Reduce moisture levels in your home by using de-humidifiers or air-conditioners.
  • Make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from your home.
  • Replace any wood in your home that has been damaged by water.
  • Fix any leaky pipes or fixtures.

Whiteflies

What do whiteflies look like?

Adult whiteflies are small insects with yellowish colored bodies and four wings. The adults have a white waxy covering over their bodies and wings.  Nymphs range in color from transparent yellow to white and some may be fringed in black.  Whiteflies are not true flies, despite their name, and are actually more closely related to aphids, mealy bugs, and scales.

Are whiteflies dangerous?

Whiteflies are not dangerous to people, they do not bite, sting, and are not known to transmit any diseases. However, whiteflies are very dangerous to agricultural crops and ornamental plants.  These pests are known for causing hundreds of millions of dollars in loss in the agricultural industry.

Signs of whiteflies

Whiteflies excrete a sugary substance known as honeydew; this excretion will leave behind a shiny residue on plants that they are infesting.  As the honeydew builds up and ages, mold will develop on the plant.   Whiteflies use their specialized mouthparts to pierce the skin of the plants causing the leaves to turn a yellowish color and eventually fall off.  In a heavy whitefly infestation you will notice whiteflies flying around vegetable and ornamental plants. They are especially prevalent during periods of warm weather.

How do I get rid of whiteflies?

The best way to get rid of a problem with whiteflies is to call a professional pest control expert. Here at Hoffer Pest, our professionals have the experience, training, and knowledge needed to provide you with the necessary services to eliminate any and all whiteflies that have invaded your home, business, or property. If whiteflies or other pests have invaded your home or business, contact the pro’s here at Hoffer's today for more information about our year-round residential pest control services.

Whitefly prevention tips

Preventing problems with whiteflies is a very difficult task. It may be helpful to hose off ornamental plants that you see whiteflies hovering around and infesting.  However, the best way to prevent a serious infestation is to get help as quickly as possible.  Female whiteflies can each lay 200 to 400 eggs and have a rapid reproduction cycle. A small whitefly problem can quickly become a very large problem.


White-Footed Ants

What do white-footed ants look like?

White-footed ants are black or brown in color and have pale-yellowish colored feet.  They have a one-segmented waist, and a 12- segmented antennae with no club on the end.  They are a fairly small species with adults growing to be about 2.7 mm in length. 

Are white-footed ants dangerous?

White-footed ants are not considered to be dangerous because they do not bite or sting.  While they may not be dangerous, they are a huge nuisance for homeowners to deal with because of their extremely large colony size of up to 3 million members.  This species is very difficult to eradicate from homes.

Why do I have white-footed ants?

White-footed ants are often found in both urban and suburban areas.  They are spread through the transportation of landscaping materials and plants.  Purchasing already infested goods and introducing the ants into a home is common.  White-footed ants will also get into homes as they are foraging for food sources.  They feed on a variety of foods including sweets, proteins, dead insects, plant secretions, and honeydew produced by aphids and other insects.

Where do white-footed ants nest?

White-footed ants have very large colonies and are known for creating multiple nesting sites both outside and inside of homes and other buildings.  Outside they can be found nesting in trees and bushes, under loose mulch, piles of leaves, and under other debris.  Inside they can be found nesting in attic areas and behind wall voids.  

How do I get rid of white-footed ants?

The best way to get rid of a problem with white-footed ants is to call a professional pest control expert.  These ants are very difficult to get rid of because of the extremely large size of their colony and multiple nesting areas.  The professionals here at Hoffers have the experience, training, and knowledge to find and eliminate any nesting areas and actual ants that have invaded your home and property.  If white-footed ants have invaded your home contact us today for more information about how our residential pest control services can effectively get rid of them for you!

White-footed ants prevention tips

Preventing white-footed ants from getting into your home is a difficult task, which is why it is best left to the professionals, but here are some steps that you can take to help prevent an infestation:

  • Trim back trees and shrubs from the exterior of your home, they will use their branches to gain easy access inside.
  • Keep a barrier between any mulch or grass and your home’s foundation.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors; and caulk any open space around windows and doors.
  • Seal any gaps or spaces in your home’s foundation or exterior walls.
  • Make sure that all screens are completely intact.
  • Store any wood or log piles away from your home and remove piles of leaves or other debris from your property.