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Do You Hear Scratching Noises? Roof Rats In Florida. What’s The Cost And How To Control.

Rats and mice enter houses and warehouses in Florida for both food and shelter. They eat just about any kind of foods that people are eating. The rats and mice also contaminate 10 times the amount of food that they eat, with urine, droppings and hair. They start fires by gnawing matches and electrical wires in homes and can cause serious damage. People deal with the most persistent populations of rats and mice both indoors and outdoors. Here’s what to look for.

ROOF RATS

In roof rats, nesting on the ground is uncommon, but they can be found nesting in attic spaces, roofs, palm trees, and shrubbery. Roof rats are climbers and prefer to nest off of the ground. They are destructive to citrus groves, as they live in citrus trees and gnaw on the fruit. They can be quite destructive in attics, gnawing on electrical wires and beams.

Roof rats generally prefer vegetables, fruits and grain; however, they eat ¼ to 1 ounce per day of food from various sources. Because they must have water to survive, roof rats also consume an ounce per day and may travel 100–150 feet from their harborages in search of water or food.

Color ranges from black to grizzled gray to tan with a lighter underbelly. The tail is a bit longer than the combined head and body. Adults weigh from ½ to pound. Their droppings are approximately 1/2 inch long and spindle-shaped. Roof rats live about 1 year and reach sexual maturity in 3–5 months. They have 6–8 offspring per litter and up to 6 litters per year.

IMPORTANT RAT BEHAVIOR

The movement of rats and mice is usually related to food, water, or harborage. Knowing where they are likely to go is important to controlling them.

Rats use any technique to get to food, water, or harborage. Their excellent sense of balance enables them to run on pipes, narrow ledges, and utility wires. Rats, especially roof rats, will climb anything their claws will hold on to, including wires, pipes, and rough walls. Because rats are exceptional swimmers, they often live in sewers, and occasionally enter homes through toilets.

Rodents prefer to use regular paths or runways along walls and behind debris. To get food in the open, they will run behind things to get as close to the food as possible. They are uncomfortable around strange objects or strange food and may avoid both. Rodents and mice frequently gnaw on their surroundings. Their teeth grow 4½ to 5½ inches per year and only gnawing keeps them short and sharp.

Rats and mice are mostly active at night. Rats have greatest activity during the first half of the night, if food is abundant. Mice have normally been active after dark both at night and between midnight and dawn. Rats and mice will be active during daytime hours if food is scarce, if there is an overpopulation of rodents, or when a poison has been used and the population is sick.

RECOGNIZING RAT AND MOUSE SIGNS

Since rats and mice are active at night and are rarely seen during the day, it is necessary to recognize signs of their activity.

Droppings and Urine—Most homeowners first observe rodent problems by finding droppings or urine stains in and around buildings. Rodents usually have favorite toilet areas, but will void almost anywhere. Old droppings are gray, dusty, and will crumble. Fresh droppings are black, shiny, and puttylike. Rodents urinate while running, and the streaks are characteristic. The urine glows under ultraviolet lights, and glows blue-white if fresh.

Rubmarks—Along runways, smeary, black rubmarks appear from contact with the rodent’s body. Rubmarks on walls appear as black smudges left by the rodent. New rubmarks are soft and will smudge. Old rubmarks are brittle and will flake when scratched. Rafters may show swing marks of roof rats.

Sound—Usually rodent sounds are heard at night or in quiet areas. Rodents moving at night often scratch, gnaw and fight. The young often squeak while in the nest.

RODENT CONTROL

Rodentproofing—Rodentproofing is changing the structure of buildings in order to prevent entry of rats and mice. In considering rodentproofing, you must know that:

· Rats can squeeze through cracks ½ inch wide; mice, ¼ inch wide. Any place a pencil can be poked, a mouse can go.

·  Rats can climb the inside of vertical pipes 1½–4 inches in diameter.

·  Rats can climb the outside of vertical pipes up to 3 inches in diameter and any size if within 3 inches of a wall.

·   Rats can jump vertically 36 inches, horizontally 48 inches, and reach horizontally or vertically 15 inches.

·    Rats can jump 8 feet from a tree to a house if the branch is 15 feet above the roof.

We realize the importance of securing a dependable pest management firm to eliminate and control any pest population in all urban environments. Let Insect IQ take care of your wildlife problems. Here’s what we will do for you.

Critical Elements to Successful Animal Exclusions

    ✓ A thorough inspection to identify the species involved.

    ✓ Key harborage sites and factors encouraging rodent build-up.

    ✓ Animal proofing by the physical elimination of all entry points and potential openings.

    ✓ Population reduction by the use of live traps, sticky traps or other control measures

Interior Monitoring & Inspection

    ✓ For thirty-days, animal traps will be set in inaccessible areas.

    ✓ Traps will be checked once or twice/week for animal capture.

    ✓ After the thirty-days, the snap traps/live traps will be removed from the property.

    ✓ All animal exclusions are GUARANTEED FOR TWO (2) YEARS

We are confident that Insect I.Q., Inc., through the expertise and guidance of an Entomologist can provide you with the highest quality service available.

Intensive Exclusion

(1) a thorough inspection to identify the species involved, key harborage sites and factors encouraging rodent/animal build-up.

(2) recommendations for effective sanitation to deny rodents/animals food and harborage.

(3) rodent/animal proofing by the physical elimination of all entry points and potential openings through which rodents/animals can enter buildings.

(4) population reduction by the successful application of rodenticides, sticky traps or other control measures.

Interior Monitoring & Inspection

The interior monitoring will consist of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to rodent control. For thirty days (30) following the Intensive Exclusion (rodents only), rodent snap traps will be set throughout the entire building in inaccessible areas. These traps will be checked once or twice/week for rodents. After the thirty-day period, the snap traps will be removed from the building.

Call today for a FREE consultation, 855-930-2847.

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It’s Hard To Admit You Have A Pest Problem–But Here’s What You Have To Look Forward To

What customers are saying about Insect IQ’s Pest Removal Service

  • You made a bad situation enjoyable and actually fun!
    Thank YOU!!! You made a very aggravating experience awesome!! We were awestruck! We had no idea how complex and fascinating bees are. We both told each other after you left that we felt our jaws dropped open every time you told us something about being an Entomologist.
  • Tampa Bee Removal
    I just wanted to thank everyone for their part in helping us with our situation. It shows that our community has a “heart” and cares. I know it’s a difficult time for everyone right now and the smallest things can make the biggest difference in the lives of our neighbors.
  • Professional, Polite, Pleasant & Informative!
    Thank you very much for coming out so quickly today.  I can’t imagine what that swarm might have looked like by tomorrow morning.  You were professional, polite, pleasant, and informative.  I will speak to our teachers in regards to you conducting an assembly for us in the near future.
  • Windermere Bee Removal
    Thank you very much for safely re-locating our bees. We hope that they will enjoy their new home and produce lots of good honey and cross-pollination for other plants.
  • You gave my buzzing friends a new home!
    It’s with appreciation that I thank you for relocating our “girls” who had been residing in our wall. The pest control company only wanted to spray, kill and leave them to suffer in the confines of our home, but you were kind enough to consider removing them alive.
  • School Board thanks us for prompt service!
    Thank you for the info and we especially thank you all for your prompt response to my phone call! You all have always been ‘johnny on the spot’ for our needs – you’re appreciated! Lake County Schools (Florida)

Massive Honey Bee Nest removed from Downtown Orlando Church

Orlando, Florida: Central Florida’s CF13 News & WESH2 cover our removal of a very large honey bee colony located in the wall of a downtown Orlando Church. We enjoyed meeting and helping Mr. McGee. Call one of our experts at 1-855-930-BEES (2337) for expert Honey Bee and Killer Bee treatment and removal.

WESH’s Aixa Diaz writes “More than 50,000 bees were removed from the wall of a downtown Orlando church on Wednesday. Mark McGhee, property manager at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, said that he wasn’t sure what to do with the swarm of bees coming from the hive. “First of all, I couldn’t find anybody to do it,” said McGhee. “I knew I couldn’t do it.” McGhee hired a professional company to come in and remove the bees. Upon drilling a hole in the wall, it was clear that the bee hive extended all the way to the floor. 

Experts said that it was a mature colony with at least 50,000 bees living in it, and they said it was a mix of European honey bees and Africanized killer bees. “Normally European bees aren’t as mean as African killer bees, but a colony this size could be extremely defensive,” said Richard Martyniak, an entomologist.” See Aixa’s video and the rest of her story here.

Want to love your bug guy? Contact us today and ask about our pest management services. Mention our post–get a free evaluation and 25% off your first service.

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It’s a bird – It’s a plane – IT’S A SWARM OF BEES!

It’s spring here in parts of Florida and that means Bee Swarms are increasing in frequency. We’ve been receiving daily calls about bee swarms that arrive within minutes. Their size is generally large this time of year, though in areas like Daytona, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Sarasota, we see bee swarms year-round. A Bee Swarm is normally just a method of reproduction –at the colony level. The picture attached is a Tampa Bay honeybee swarm. When a bee colony gets too big for its home, about 1/2 the hive will leave, taking the old

queen with them. They will often temporarily land on a tree limb, side of a house or just about any location, while scout bees are looking for the best location to establish the newly formed colony. It’s an amazing sight to see –20,000 or so bees moving to a branch within minutes. I’ve seen the sky darken with so many bees flying. True swarms are usually gentle, as they

have no home or young to defend, but please respect them, as often they start building external nests within the swarm and can become defensive at any time. Call us for swarm removal

The INSECT IQ / All Florida Bee Removal.com team members are the recognized experts in stinging insect control in Florida. Our team consists of a University of Florida graduate entomologist, state certified pest control operators & registered beekeepers. Did you know that we offer removal services of all stinging insects for the entire state of Florida? Need

service NOW? You can trust the INSECT IQ/ALL Florida Bee removal.com team to give the best service, guaranteed! Call Toll Free 1-855-930-BEES (2337) or feel free to contact us:  https://insectiq.com/contact-us/

To better serve you, below are a few questions our bee removal specialist may ask…

1.   Where is the colony located? (ground, knothole, garage wall, roof soffit, backyard shed)

2.   How high is the colony? (20’ in a tree, 2nd story soffit or on the ground)

3.   How long have you noticed the bees? (1 day, 1 week, 6 months+)

4.   How many bees do you see flying around the entrance/exit hole? 20, 50, 100, too many to count. 

5.   How did you hear about us? 

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Need Bee Removal? Maybe. This is when you do and this is when you don’t.

Yeah, sounds oxymoronic, doesn’t it, after all, you have a lovely colony of honey bees in your house soffit, or wall, or even a tree in your yard. Call a beekeeper, they’ve got to want my bees, and are the experts, right?

Well, hold your horses, pardner…Things are changing here in Florida and it’s not as simple as you might think, so here are some reasons to reconsider.

1. Killer Bees: Over 70% of feral honey bees in Florida possess African genetics. African bees were introduced into Florida several years ago, probably through our seaports via coastal island freighters, quickly taking up residence in the port cities of Tampa, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Yeah, Killer Bees are spreading throughout the state, and because of a very defensive nature, the state Apiary inspection office has deemed it illegal to keep African bees in Florida. These bees can cause very significant stinging incidents leading to fatalities…it’s serious stuff, folks!

2. The bees are OK: I know this is hard to wrap your head around, but it’s true…Honey bees are doing just fine, and actually exploding in numbers. (here in sunny Florida, anyway). See #1. The African Honey Bee is largely immune to pests plaguing our managed honey bee. Estimated colony increases are 2-800% above European honey bee colony numbers, per area.

3. Consumer Protections: Beekeepers are not certified or licensed. Billy-Bob Beekeeper may have started beekeeping yesterday, and claims that he is an experienced beekeeper. He screws things up, causing damage to your house, and the bees are still there. What regulatory office do you call to file a complaint or request an inspector to help you out? That’s right, you are on your own, because all it takes to become a registered beekeeper is $10 and a heartbeat, and I’m not so sure about the cardiac part!

Experienced beekeepers; those that are in beekeeping for a living and not just a weekend hobby, do not perform live removals, as it’s too risky for them—the liability risk is too high & the recovered bees almost always don’t work well in commercial apiaries. The disease risk is too great or the bees just don’t perform well.

4. Insurance: I don’t need stinkin’ Insurance…..Beekeepers do not have Insurance. Well, Billy-Bob Beekeeper MIGHT have livestock insurance for his beehives, but you know that wouldn’t cover damages to your house when he cuts through the water supply and your Persian wool carpet is ruined. Nor does he have Workmen’s Compensation insurance, so you are holding his medical bills when he falls off the slippery, honey-soaked ladder and breaks his collar bone, and is put on permanent disability. Think this doesn’t happen??? um, yeah, right…..

5. And the Experts say what?: The State of Florida’s Apiary Inspection office is recommending AGAINST LIVE BEE REMOVALS and recommends ERADICATION of feral honey bee colonies located near humans or animals. See #1.

6. And this Expert agrees too: The University of Florida’s Apiary Entomologist is recommending AGAINST LIVE BEE REMOVALS, and recommends ERADICATION of feral honey bee colonies located near humans or animals. See #1. (sensing a trend yet, or do you want to continue…?)

7. The Law says. Florida State law requires anyone doing structural honey bee removal or eradication to carry pest control certification. See State Statutes, Ch 482. A licensed pest control operator that also is a registered beekeeper CAN perform live bee removals, and we DO perform live bee removals, but we are very selective, because of the following…

8. The untold truth about live bee removals: Most live removals are unsuccessful; Most relocated colonies suffer mortality within the first 90 days. Try as we might, they just don’t take. The transfer can be difficult and provides an opportunity for pests and diseases to take hold. Or some colonies just insist on leaving our hive boxes. 20% survival is an optimistic figure for the long-term survival of the colony genetics.

9. Economically speaking: It’s just not worth it: Bees that are not kept by beekeepers are considered feral. I like to call them ‘ Mutts’, as we have no clue whether they will exhibit behaviors that are beneficial for beekeeping, including gentleness, honey production, disease resistance, swarming rates, and many other factors. Also, add the high rate of transmissible disease that feral bees have, these are diseases that can wipe out an entire apiary!.

I frequently buy starter colonies of “thoroughbreds” from bee breeders for about $75.00.. These are bees that I can count on being good and safe for my bee yards. I figure the mutt bees are worth at most $15 ($75 X a 20% success rate). Live bee removals can take several hours, working in hot bee suits and in very hot Florida temps…How long will YOU work for a possible $15, while extending risk if the mutt bees sting someone, or you are sued for damages caused?

10. You’ve worked hard for your assets: Sting risk liability. Combine the above considerations, and property owners, managers are placing their assets at significant risk. Bees don’t like us relocating them somewhere else. We in the bee removal industry, are used to taking stings, but all it takes, is one errant sting to your allergic neighbor, or passerby on the sidewalk across your street and POW, instant lawsuit. Do you think the jury will have compassion when you were hiring unlicensed providers, against the recommendations of the state regulators and University apiary entomologists. Didn’t think so either…

In Closing: Listen, we are experts at this, and we will perform live bee removals properly, but there are considerations. We came into this the right way. University of Florida entomology education, providing extension education to Florida’s first responders and citizens, created the State African Bee education program, hold certifications and proper insurances and are considered leaders in this industry. We also are enthusiastic supporters of beekeeping in Florida. Call or email us. We’ll solve your bee problems, correctly and economically, and you can have confidence that you can stay bee-free!

If you have a pest or bee problem, schedule an in-home evaluation. There’s no charge. Learn more at https://insectiq.com/request-a-visit-or-call-us/. Or call 800-343-5317.

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist | Jonathan Simkins, B.Sc., Entomologist

Insect IQ | 800-343-5317

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Termites In My House | What’s Your Risk, What’s The Cost, and How To Control

Termites In My House | What’s Your Risk, What’s The Cost, and How To Control

The global economic impact of termites is estimated to be at $40 billion annually. Subterranean termites are responsible for about 80% of the total economic impact (Rust and Su 2012). 

Your home is a large investment. Termite prevention and control should be a priority and incorporated into your general home maintenance plan, which may include an annual renewal inspection by a trained and licensed termite inspector. Termites generally require a pest management professional for control, but there are many things that you can do to prevent infestations. This guide is intended to help you make an informed choice on the best termite protection for you and contains the following information. 

For more information about costs and how to mitigate your risk visit:
Original Source: UF IFAS Extension

Contact us for FREE termite inspection

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Cockroaches in Florida, who are they and where do they live?

The Australian cockroach is one of several species of pest management services (pests that are managed either by the use of pesticidal strategies or physical means) and the most common species of peridomestic cockroaches (cockroaches being pests that live mostly outdoors but may be found indoors occasionally) encountered in southern Florida. This species resembles the American cockroach, but can be distinguished by the presence of light yellow bands on the upper margins of the forewings.

Because the Australian cockroach is primarily outside, an approach to pest prevention and control that includes preventing entry into structures is recommended. For example, door thresholds should be installed tightly, a space the width of a quarter is enough to allow entry. A simple way to look for cracks is by standing inside a structure and checking whether light shines through cracks around doors or windows.

Additionally, habitat removal, such as organizing or removing the stagnant clutter in your garage, would be an effective way to control Australian cockroaches.  CALL TODAY 855-930-2847 FOR A FREE INSPECTION

If you need help with Cockroaches or any other pest problems, call Insect IQ (855) 930-2847 or contact us.

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The Aggressive Nature of Yellow Jackets And How To Mitigate Attacks

These wasps play a beneficial role in destroying many insects that attack our garden and garden plants. However, nests near homes may be a source of irritation. If the nests are large or difficult to approach, such as within the walls of a house, the safest method would be to hire a pest control service to eliminate the colony. Any attempt to remove or destroy nests by the layman should be done at night when nest activity is at a minimum.

It must be noted that no matter how inactive a nest might seem at night, any disturbance will result in instant activity by the colony. It is necessary to work cautiously but quickly. Protective clothing is recommended.

Yellowjackets are capable of stinging repeatedly and are especially provoked if there is a threat to the nest. Unlike a honeybee, which dies after it has stung a target once, yellowjackets can sting repeatedly. In fact, when a yellowjacket or hornet is injured it frequently releases an “alarm pheromone” which immediately causes aggressive, defensive behavior from other members of the colony.

To mitigate your chances of being stung or swarmed at your home, remove nests as soon as you notice wasps. Do not attempt to remove a nest yourself. The nest may be bigger than you realize and swarming can cause serious injury and even death when mishandled. 

If you need help with bees or any other pest problems, call Insect IQ (855) 930-2847.

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Sting Victim | See What Happens When Yellow Jackets And Bees Sting You

Nobody wants to be stung by a bee or yellow jacket, but we all get stung at one time or another. Backyard barbeques, soccer games, schoolyards, and well anything outdoors can lead to a sting.

Every wonder what is actually happening? 

Well, here are the ins and outs (pun intended) of the typical bee sting.

Bees have a barbed stinger that gets embedded into your skin and remains there until removed. The venom sac continues to pulsate after the bee has pulled away continuing to discharge more venom into your body. 500 stings can kill a typical person. For those with unfortunate allergies, one sting can be deadly.

If stung, remove the stinger by scraping it away. If you squeeze the stinger, it will pump more venom into your arm. Ice the arm immediately and take Benadryl. Always consult a doctor before taking over-the-counter medicine.

Yellow Jackets have a needle-like stinger and can sting you multiple times in multiple spots. 5 to 10 yellow jackets can leave 100s of stings all over your body. As the yellow jackets sting you they release an alarm pheromone signaling other yellow jackets to attack. If you find yourself getting stung, get to an enclosed area as quickly as possible. Don’t jump into a pool, the hive will continue to swarm and call reinforcements.

AND THE BEST WAY TO AVOID GETTING STUNG IS…

Prevention.

Remove nests as soon as you see them. Don’t let small nests become big nests. And make sure you have a professional pest prevention company treating your property regularly.

If you need help with bees or any other pest problems, call Insect IQ (855) 930-2847.