As inviting as South Florida is, with its sunny, tropical environment, luscious landscapes, and miles of beaches to enjoy, there are downsides to paradise, such as the humidity and pest activity that continues to pester homeowners into the fall and winter.  In many parts of the country, common pests and bug activity start to slow in the fall months but the warmer climate in South Florida provides a unique environment for pests to stay active longer, or even year-round.  

For many pests, such as ants, termites, roaches, rodents, spiders, and silverfish, your home is their fall and winter vacation destination. This month we laser in on these pests and unpack why it’s important to maintain pest control services year-round.

Rodents

Even though Norway rats, roof rats, and house mice can be a year-round issue for homeowners in South Florida, cooler temps and shorter days ramp up their desire to move indoors for the fall and winter. Rodents are frightening enough, running around in your walls and your attic but they’re also capable of transmitting 35 diseases through their dander, saliva, feces, urine, and fur.

Not only do rodents pose health threats, reproduce rapidly and they can also chew through electrical wiring, causing damage to your home’s electrical circuitry, potentially leading to housefires. You may not realize rodents have invaded your home until you hear scratching in the walls, scampering sounds in your attic, squeaking sounds in your walls, tracks or feces in your kitchen, or, an actual rodent sighting. Since rodents are most active at night, this may indicate that the rodent population in your home has grown out of food sources they can find at night.

When you hire a licensed pest control operator, such as Hulett Environmental Services to eliminate the rodent population in your home, certified technicians are trained to know what signs to look for to strategically trap and eliminate your infestation. Outside, Hulett places locked, tamper-proof bait stations around the perimeter of your property, reducing the rodent population surrounding your home. Hulett offers exclusion techniques to help prevent rodent entry, as well.

Roaches

While cockroaches may have adapted to almost any environment, the one thing these pests can’t do is regulate their body temperatures, when temps outside start to drop in the fall and winter. Cold-blooded bugs, like cockroaches seek the warm and damp conditions found in many homes in South Florida. A warm damp place, such as under your fridge and in other appliances, makes cockroaches seek shelter in your home during the fall and winter months in South Florida. Addressing a roach infestation is critical because roaches can cause allergies produced from their shed skins, feces, and body parts, such as their antennae and legs. In susceptible individuals, contact with these allergens can show up as mild to severe rashes, as well as trigger allergic asthma reactions.

Spiders

When other insects venture indoors, for warmth, during the cooler months, spiders may follow them. Spiders eat many insects that can be found in homes. That’s why, if you notice more spiders in your home, in the fall and winter, it might be because other insects have invaded your home. While most spiders are not aggressive, some will bite if you brush against them by accident. For the most part, spiders found in South Florida are not venomous.

Brown recluse spiders are found in dark, undisturbed places and only attack when disturbed. While brown recluse bites can result in large, necrotic lesions where the surrounding tissue dies, this is not always the case. Most of the time, recluse bites go unnoticed, resulting in a pimple-like swelling. However, it’s always best to get these bites assessed by a medical professional for proper treatment. Although Brown reculse do not have native populations in South Florida, they are spotted on rare occasion from being transported to a South Florida home in boxes, clothing, etc.

Black and Brown Widow spider bites can be painful, with muscle cramps starting in the area of the bite and moving towards the center of the body. Some bites can be so painful that they can be mistaken for appendicitis or a heart attack. Extreme pain is treated with narcotics and muscle pain is treated with muscle relaxants. Widow spider bites can sometimes require medical treatment.

Silverfish

Small, fish-shaped silver bugs that like warm, dark, and damp places can sneak into the dark, warm, and damp spaces in your home in the fall. Silverfish, hard to detect because they crawl around in dark places and hide in crevices and cracks in your home, are unsightly creatures that cause damage by chewing on paper, glue on book bindings, cardboard, and fabrics. Signs of silverfish in your home include small, pepper-like droppings, holes in books, clothing, and bags of dried goods.

When it comes to dealing with pests in your home in any season, Hulett takes the stance that prevention is way more effective than trying to control pest infestations. Before this fall gets underway, contact Hulett for a FREE pest inspection! Our licensed technicians can devise a plan to create a pest barrier around the perimeter of your property to prevent pests from entering your home all year long!