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Brrrr! Winter Weather’s Effects on BUGS and other PESTS…

So, you thought that this cold weather would knock out all the Florida critters we deal with? Well think again! In Florida, WE BREED BUGS! And just because we are having a spot of “frigidness” (is that a word?) here and there, for the most part it’s never long enough to really knock out any of the bugs like it may up north. Just think about it…last night we were supposed to reach freezing temperatures and in the next two days we’ll be back in the 80’s!! The bugs and critters (as well as the lawn, plants & flowers) are CONFUSED–and I hope this information helps you NOT BE.

When winter weather arrives, some pests go into hibernation while others enter homes seeking warmth and food sources. We want to encourages homeowners to take several precautions against common winter pests like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches and spiders. Here are some “Prevent-a-Tips” to prevent an infestation now, and over the next few months.

the bug stops here logoIf you have already been invaded by any of these OR others, you can count on us at PEST CONTROL GENERAL STORE to help you eliminate the problems SAFELY and effectively. Ask us how, then Do-It-Youself!! We are Professional Pest Management Specialists…not sales clerks! The products we sell and the advice that we offer far surpasses discount chain stores. There is no comparison. You’ll find us in Holiday, Florida at:  2636 US Highway 19, or online at www.pestcontrolgeneral.com as well as on Facebook! Oh…and be on the lookout for our NEW e-Commerce Website coming soon!! We will now be able to ship our products and provide our expert advice all across the nation!

House Mice
The house mouse is the most commonly encountered rodent in the United States. House mice usually nest in dark, secluded areas like attics and storage buildings and garages. This rodent can cause serious property damage by chewing through drywall and also wires that can then spark an electrical fire. House mice are also known to contaminate food and spread diseases, including Salmonella and tapeworms.

Prevent-a-Tips:

Mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool.

Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice like to hide in clutter.

Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.

Norway RatsNorway Rats
Norway rats often nest in piles of debris and other undisturbed materials. They are known to gnaw through almost anything – including plastic or lead pipes – to obtain food or water. They can cause extensive damage to your property. Norway rats are also a vector of many diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever and cowpox virus.

Prevent-a-Tips:

Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as ½ inch (or the size of a quarter).

Inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or crack and fill them with silicone caulk.

Eliminate sources of moisture in crawl spaces and basements.

Regularly inspect inside the home for signs of an infestation, including greasy rub marks caused by the rat’s oily fur.

German Roach InfestationGerman Cockroaches
The German cockroach is the most common species of cockroach found throughout the world! German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture, so human homes make the perfect habitat. This type of cockroach often hitchhikes indoors via grocery bags, boxes and secondhand appliances, and is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches can contaminate food sources and spread bacteria and human pathogens. Moreover, cockroach allergens are know to trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Prevent-A-Tips:

Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.

Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.

Pay attention to kitchens and bathrooms, especially under appliances and sinks.

Be aware of bringing in second-hand items! Thoroughly inspect furniture, appliances, even clothes, books and nick-nacks for they can introduce an infestation to your home!!!

Brown Recluse SpiderBlack Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown recluse spiders prefer to spin webs in undisturbed places, such as closets, attics, crawl spaces and garages. Like other types of spiders, the brown recluse is frequently found inside cardboard boxes, along window moldings and in seldom-used clothing and shoes. These spiders can bite and inject venom if disturbed, making them dangerous to humans.

Prevent-A-Tips:

Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. This will help reduce the chance of spiders finding a way inside.

Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers. Pay special attention to shoes, baseball mitts and gloves that aren’t used as frequently as other items, as spiders like to hide inside them.

If you suspect you have a spider bite, seek prompt medical attention.

mean racoon imageRaccoons
Raccoons are commonly found all throughout Florida (and the country.) This type of wild animal occasionally enters homes through attics or chimneys in search of a denning site. Raccoons are a major host of rabies in the United States.

Prevent-a-Tips:

Store trashcans and recycling bins in sealed areas such as a locked shed or outhouse. If trashcans are kept outdoors, use animal-proof lids.

Inspect the outside of your home for access points, such as broken vent covers.

Repair any loose siding or shingles.

Install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry.

Keep tree branches trimmed back from the house.

I hope you find these Prevent-a-Tips helpful. If we can be of any service to you in helping eliminate these or any other pests, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (727) 942-3551. Or, better yet, visit us in our store, or online!

Have a SAFE Spray,

The Florida Bug Expert Mona Giordano, CPO

The Florida Bug Expert
Mona Giordano, CPO

Mona Giordano, Certified Pest Control Operator

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Hmmm?

NOT! Unless of course she wants to tan while she works out…..

Well, it’s that time of year again! Spring has sprung and it’s time to get crackin’ in the lawn and garden (At least for those that are in the south and not covered by mountains of snow and slush, or still freezing temperatures!)

Ahhhh, Sunny Florida, Palm trees blowing in the tropical breeze, green lush lawns, delicious fruit just dangling from trees, spectacular visions of vibrantly colored flowers, sand, beaches,AND…chinch bugs, grub worms, fleas, ticks, fungus disease! What’s a homeowner to do? Well, I’m so glad you asked because that’s exactly what I do. My name is Mona Giordano and I am the “florida bug expert” here on Word Press, but in my real day to day job, I am a State Certified Pest Control Operator who has traded in her “pump sprayer” for a 9-5, air conditioned job in a retail do it yourself pest control shop called PEST CONTROL GENERAL STORE ( http://pestcontrolgeneralstore.com )located in sparkling downtown, Holiday, Florida!

What I now do, is teach homeowners and businesses how to do their own pest control and lawn & garden care using the “tools of my trade” as a professional pest control operator. We identify lawn problems, insects, critter droppings, termites, etc. and then show you how to use the “good stuff” SAFELY while getting expert results at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. Because Spring and Fall are the primary times to fertilize and get going on a lawn care program, I decided to prepare a little checklist for you to get you going on the right track.

March/April and then Sept/Oct are the times to be applying a slow-release, good quality fertilizer to your lawn. We are currently recommending our custom blended 16-2-8 with a solid secondary and primary nutrient package. You always want to use a slow release nitrogen source so you don’t encounter any burning or streaking AND what else is in that mix makes all the difference! The label should read like a One-A-Day Vitamin; zinc, copper, boron, iron, manganese, magnesium and molybdenum to name a few.  This should never be done 1) if there is any active fungus present (the nitrogen will spread the fungus like a wild fire) and 2) before all danger of frost and freeze is gone.

If you are planning to re-seed or re-sod, it’s time to rake out all of the dead areas from winter damage and prepare the soil. This holds true for flower beds and vegetable gardens as well.

If you have weeds growing already, this is the perfect time to treat with pre-emergent weed killers to keep weeds from growing OR to treat with post emergent weed killers (not until the temps are between 70-82′ though and NEVER when the temp is over 85!!) to get them under control BEFORE they start getting out of control! Different turf grasses need different weed killers so make sure you are dealing with a professional for good advice (hey, like US). Weed killers cause more damage than any other type of pesticide!!

This is the time to repair/prepare/guage your sprinkler system. You may find that you have cracked or mis-directed heads on some, while others may be not working at all. Best to get this in check before the rapid growing season. Put out 6-8 Dixie Cups in each zone and water during your regular time, on your regular day and then see how many “inches” of water your system is delivering. It is not about how many “minutes” you water, it’s about how many “inches” you water. Florida lawns only need 1″ of water PER WEEK in the cooler months and 1 1/2″ during the hot months–HONEST! Too much water is more damaging than not enough!!

Sharpen those lawn mower blades!  When the blade is dull, it tears and splits the grass blades leaving them frayed and damaged and wide open to disease pathogens.

Last, but certainly at the top of the important things to do list is Insect Control! This category, along with proper feeding and watering are the MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL! We have found that using a granular insecticide every 3-4 months or a liquid insecticide every 6-8 weeks is imperative to controlling all the various insects we deal with in a Florida lawn. We do NOT recommend the discount chain store items for this important task. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars promoting products that don’t work or work marginally, for a short duration, but because you here it advertised over and over, you get the impression that it’s good stuff, after all, they sell pallets of the stuff, right? WRONG! This happens with all of the chemicals, but many homeowners and businesses aren’t even aware that there is a Pest Control General Store, staffed by professionals where you can get the right advice, the right products and the proper instruction. Well, you do now and we are more than happy to help!

I hope this information sets you up for a beautiful, green, colorful, productive spring and summer lawn and garden. If you need further help, we are here for you Mon-Fri from 9-5 and Sat from 9-2. If you are not local, no worries. You can send us samples of bugs in the mail, send us pictures via e-mail or text….whatever it takes to get the job done. We can ship to most states and we always provide a wealth of in-detail instructions to make sure your application is not only effective, but more importantly SAFE for you, your children, your pets and the environment. When it comes to pest control and lawn care–you’ve got a friend in “the business”

Until next time, be blessed and….HAVE A SAFE SPRAY!

The Florida Bug ExpertMona Giordano, CPO

The Florida Bug Expert
Mona Giordano, CPO

 

 

 

FLEAS!!!! (And that’s an understatement!)

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So….you’re wondering why the fleas are so outrageous this year (ESPECIALLY IN FLORIDA!), well let me give you a little info; The weather has so much to do with it, and here in sunny Florida we have not had any real winter to speak of. Now, I for one, am not complaining about this beautiful weather, but we have had thousands of customers that are just being bombarded by this blood-sucking pest to the point of wanting to abandon their homes–really, no exageration!

The reason is simple. Fleas come in from outside. They are feasting on the blood of wildlife, birds, rodents, your pets AND you. They enter your home on your socks or pants (or on your pet, if you have one…(you don’t even have to have one, to be inundated with fleas in your home and yard, by the way) and once they are inside they are feeding on any warm-blooded mammal around. They do not discriminate!

Once they have fed, they lay eggs (30-40 per day) and the eggs go undiscovered as they migrate over to the dusty areas of your home (you know, all the out of the way places that we don’t vacuum as much as the areas you can see. Like under the bed, in the closets, under the cushions of furniture, etc.) 

Once there, they hatch into a tiny worm-like creature covered with lots of tiny, tine hairs. This is called the LARVAE and this stage feeds on the undigested blood (okay, the flea poop! There, I said it. Are you happy now? LOL) and they hang out in that dusty area and spin a cocoon (PUPAE) where they stay (anywhere from 14-365 days!) until three conditions exist to cause them to hatch out, so to speak, and start the process all over again. Yes, baby fleas reproduce–they are actually not babies at all, they are small adults! 

Now….about those “3 favorable conditions” that MUST be present to cause them to emerge out of their safe, snuggly, home in the pupa; 

1.     Atmospheric Condition Changes. Doors open and closing, A/C unit kicking on and off…

2.     Body Heat. You, your dog or cat, rats (hope not for your case!), ferrets, hamsters…

3.     Carbon Dioxide. Breathing, panting, talking, you get it…

So, if ALL THREE OF THOSE ARE NOT MET THEY STAY IN THE COCOON! That’s why the foggers you set off before you leave for vacation don’t work and when you get home expecting a flea-free abode, you 1. Walk in the door (change the atmospheric conditions) 2. Breathe and Speak “Ah…it’s good to be home” (Carbon Dioxide) and YOU ARE there, which means warm-blood is now available for dinner!  

If you have a flea infestation, don’t worry. We can help!! The products that we carry contains ingredients that dry out the eggs and larvae and a residual for the adult fleas that may re-enter your home (which they most certainly will if you don’t treat your yard too!!) I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t say anything about that problematic, protected from EVERYTHING (including microwave ovens–yes, we did experiments–that ‘s another BLOG in and of itself) stage; the Pupa. Well that’s because NOTHING WORKS AGAINST THAT STAGE! Sooo, that’s why it takes between 14-21 days until you break the life cycle and you are in control.

Whew! That’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about flea biology, right? In any event, like I said before…We can HELP.  We have the products and the professional instruction on what to use, as well as how and where to use it to be FLEA FREE. I promise.

You can contact us, if you are not local to our store, we can ship you the product and viola! In 14-21 days you’ll be back to livin’ in paradise with no freeloaders living rent free on your pets, in your home and in the yard.

Hope that helps. I look forward to talking to you soon.

Mona Giordano (floridabugexpert.wordpress.com, facebook.com/Pest Control General Store, www.pestcontrolgeneral.com, Twitter @coffeechuch, or the old fashioned way- (727) 942-3551

HAVE A SAFE SPRAY!

Mona

 

 

 

 

 

PEST CONTROL: To Do (It Myself) or not to do (it Myself) that is the question?

The Florida Bug ExpertMona Giordano, CPO

The Florida Bug Expert
Mona Giordano, CPO

So many people are trying to do their own pest control these days. Most of them (sadly) have had to resort to that because of the economy. However, I am here to tell you that Doing Your Own Pest Control is an amazingly smart idea! Not only can you save a ton of money, you will actually get better results, in most cases, because it’s your home and you will take more care and can monitor more closely (you also don’t have to be at the Jones’s in 15 minutes for your next appointment and scrimp on the chemical because you spilled it at the last job!).  Now I’m-a not-a talkin bout attempting to do the job with over-the-counter products applied haphazardly in places they have no business being. I’m talking about using Professional Pesticides under the direct instruction of a Certified Pest Control Operator (and their staff of trained professionals).  You see, that’s what I do. I instruct homeowners and businesses how to do the job SAFELY and EFFECTIVELY.

My name is Mona Giordano, and I am a State Certified Pest Control Operator AND the co-owner (with my husband, Peter) of the Pest Control General Store located in Holiday, Florida.

In Florida, we have bugs, we breed bugs!! Partially due to the fact that we have a sub-tropical climate and partially because we are such a transient state. We have cargo ships coming into port from all over the world–and many of them are bringing along some unwelcome guests. You know the ones I mean…BED BUGS, Ants, and a wide range of other insect pests that we once had under control in this country, but because we are “global” they are back–and back with a vengeance!

Okay, perhaps you don’t have a local Certified Pest Control Operator or a Do-Your-Own Pest Control store down the block. What are you to do? Easy. Send us a bug (on clear scotch tape, and mark the outside of the envelope “HAND CANCEL” so the critter does not get squashed!) And WE will identify the insect AND recommend exactly the right products and the Professional Instructions on how you can get the job done! We’ll wrap it up and ship it out, complete with in detail instructions and our contact info in case you need to talk to us personally.

If you suspect you are having a BED BUG problem–NO PROBLEM! We can help!! Our primary concern will always be on the safety of you, your family, children, pets and of course, the environment.

In most cases (not in the case of Drywood Termites that require a “tent fumigation” performed with lethal gases) and most states (except California, New York and a few others) you are legally allowed to purchase our products and apply them yourself and I promise you, you WILL GET THE RESULTS YOU ARE DESPERATELY NEEDING!

Just ask us how, then do the job yourself.

You can contact me, Mona Giordano, at (727) 942-7412 / mgiordano07@gmail.com. I will be happy to help!

Wecome to floridabugexpert!

Welcome to floridabugexpert! My name is Mona Giordano. I am a State Certified Pest Control Operator, Pest Management Consultant, Conference Speaker and Integrated Pest Management Instructor. I am at your service to answer your pest control and lawn/garden questions and make recommendations on which products to use so you can do your own pest control at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. In fact, we have trained many a professional pest control operator, ourselves. When many of them have a problem they can’t solve–they come to us.

My husband, Peter, and myself have been in the Pest Control Industry for over 28 years. We own the Pest Control General Store in Holiday, Florida and have been in that same location for 25 years (yes, I was just a child when we opened it, lol!) We have been providing homeowners and businesses help with doing their own pest control, lawn and garden care, termite control and much more by providing them with the “tools of our trade” (professional-strength insecticides, weed killers, fungicides, termiticides, rodenticides and fertilizers) and by identifying insects and lawn problems then providing the proper instruction on how to apply them and obtain SAFE, effective results while protecting their children, pets and the environment.

This “blogging thing” is brand new to me. I posted my first blog on January 12, 2012! Please bare with me as I learn the ins and outs of this new technology (new to me, that is) and join with me as I add video instructionals and how-to’s on You Tube and FACEBOOK, as well as upgrading our website to include e-Commerce so your can purchase all the products and equipment I teach about, if it is not available to you locally. The (ad)venture begins now…

Some of the upcoming topics you can look forward to are:

<> Cold Weather Protection For Your Florida Lawn and Landscape

<> Roaches and Spders and Bed Bugs, Oh My!

<> Lice in Public Schools and Daycare, What’s a Parent To Do?

<> Does Organic Gardening and Pest Control Really Work?

<> “I Spray These Ants, But They Keep Coming Back!”

These are just a few of the “hot topics” of the hour. I will be blogging daily, but if you have a question or a problem in the meantime, here’s how you can contact us:

Web:                        http://pestcontrolgeneralstore.com   OR   http://www.floridabugexpert.com

FACEBOOK:         Pest Control General Store

e-Mail:                    pcgsinc@aol.com

Phone:                    (727) 942-3551

Address:                 2636 US Highway 19 – Holiday, Florida – 34691

Thank you again for visiting our Blog. We look forward to helping you “get the bugs out” of your life.

Blessings and….HAVE A SAFE SPRAY!

Mona Giordano "The Bug Lady"