Like most of us here in Ocala and north central Florida I am a transplant. I came here in 1990 and fell in love with the area and decided to put the cold harsh winters behind me. I had many years of pest control under my belt so I assumed that the transition to pest services in Ocala would be an easy one. Boy was I wrong!
There was no real training programs at the time for this harsh new reality and most of what I saw was a spray and pray type approach which really wasn’t solving the heart of any issues. It has taken me the better part of two decades to perfect a pest control service for Ocala but it is one of the main reasons The Bug Doctor has thrived in this highly competitive market. It is a service we are proud to present to you, our fellow Ocala residents.
A Living And Breathing Beacon
To be a successful exterminator, especially in Ocala, we need to understand just how pests are entering our homes and businesses. To do that, you really have to take a “bugs eye view.”
When we look at our homes we may see the entry as one of many doorways. There’s the front door we open with a key, the back sliding door which gives us a nice view, the garage that opens with a push of a button, perhaps a window (if you’ve forgotten your key) and maybe we even consider the doggie door as we look around. All of these seem pretty buttoned up when shut and locked. We usually feel pretty safe with the notion that we are secure behind our four solid walls.
However, when an insect or rodent views your home, they see it entirely different. To them, your home is a kind of living breathing object. It emits heat, light, smells, sounds and air. For a pest, your home shines like a beacon on a hill (do we have those in Ocala?). From a distance they can be attracted by its lights or perhaps the odor this weekends barbecue provided or any number of reasons. Once at the foundation of your home or property line, it’s an easy transition for these pests to go from an outside menace to an inside problem. Your Ocala pest control provider should thoroughly understand this because it’s all the difference between just spraying and actually having a strategic action plan that keeps unwanted pests from entering your home or business.
It’s my hope that this list will aid you in keeping your home pest free. The 5th one on the list will surprise not only you, but it’s one that many professionals also overlook. It’s one of the many things that set The Bug Doctor apart from the crowd and why our service is so well received in the Ocala area. If you need help, a friendly voice and a knowledgeable staff member is just one phone call away. Call us today at 237-0122.
Here Are the 5 Easy Access Points
While we seldom think of the attic space above our heads we almost assuredly don’t really view it as an entry way, let alone a place where any self respecting critter would want to live.
Pests however, view it with a “bugs eye view.” The attic is a source of food, shelter, warmth and seclusion with easy access both in and out. For an unwanted insect or rodent it’s a simple task of following either the heat, air currents, light or all three to find their way in, it’s as if nothing is in their way.
Attics are designed to breath and most homes here in Ocala are set up in a very similar way. As the heat of the day rises the temperature in the attic increases and this hot air needs a way out. Heat rises, so vents on the peak of our homes allows this heated air to escape creating a vacuum. As the warm air leaves the attic through its vents, new air (cooler but some days not by much) is pulled into the space via the soffits on the eaves of our homes. Some soffits are solid with screened vents every so many feet while most are a white or other colored perforated metal that surrounds the entire base of the roof system. The ‘pulling’ inwards of this air creates a current which attracts the attention of a pest and gives them an easy trail in which to follow to try and gain access. What may not even be noticeable to you and I, to a roach or other pest is like a strong summer breeze that carries the fresh scent of a flowering bush or a neighbors backyard grilling on the 4th of July. While many of the currents do not lead to an access spot because they are properly sealed, many point the way right inside this huge void above our heads.
These spots often include cable or telephone lines, unsealed a/c chases, loose or damaged fascia or soffit, damaged or un properly screened vents, unsealed exterior lighting fixtures or uneven siding material that extends past the soffit such as T1 11 where the grooves or gaps offer easy runways back and forth into the heated abyss.
For sure there are more attic entries we could add to the list but more important is the fact that we at The Bug Doctor know just how to address these points and even treat the attic itself should an occasional invader sneak by. It’s an essential part of positive pest control in Ocala.
Todays Ocala homes are far better built, or should I say retrofitted than in times past. Gone are the days of single pane or louver styled windows which offered the easiest access points for unwanted pests. (there are still many sub par windows that exist however) Windows have come a long way in providing energy efficiency, noise reduction etc. Still, even with the modern windows there can be plenty of areas an insect can gain access.
As I write this I’m right next to my office window which was indeed replaced and upgraded just a few years back. Even after the work was done I was able to feel the air currents, especially in the winter, from tiny gaps or unsealed seams.
Imagine if I can feel them just what does a Palmetto bug (big roach which some suggest should be our state bird) detect? The air currents, heat or light from around our windows are no less appealing than those that lead to the attic. They offer an insect a sign post of how to get into our structure, a way in that seldom do we consider especially if we have laid out the expense for an upgrade.
The average number of windows for a home in Ocala is right around 15 give or take. That’s 15 areas where tiny gaps or openings could exist. Even if the window itself is in great shape the trim around the window or an ill fitting or torn screen can often be the culprit that gives an entry way for an unwanted visitor. At The Bug Doctor, we treat your Ocala home from top to bottom and we won’t let this entry point go unchecked. It’s all part of our strategic plan that sets us apart from the rest.
Ocala home styles vary a great deal but one thing they all have in common is their ‘skin.’ That exterior layer that you see when you drive up. It could be vinyl siding, sheets of T1 11, brick, stucco, block or even metal for such as a mobile home. This outer ‘skin’ as we call it, is the first line of a homes defense against the elements. At first glance it also looks like it could keep any unwanted pest out as well. If only it were that easy.
The Bug Doctor technicians are masters at finding even the tiniest entry points and knowing just how to treat them. Seams in siding, weep holes in veneers and even the excess stucco that goes below grade are common places that offer insects and rodents entry into the structure. What seems too small to you or I is more than enough room for invaders. What makes it even more advantageous for our intruders is that once inside the ‘skin’, they have pretty much free access to anywhere inside the home. So many times we’ve found and solved a problem on one side of the home by treating and or sealing an access point that was completely on the other. For humans, our skin is the biggest organ of our bodies. For your Ocala home, it is the same thing and we here at The Bug Doctor know exactly how to treat it.
Not all Ocala homes have a crawl space under the home but many do. Mobile homes, manufactured houses and almost all of the homes in the historic district are built up off the ground. There are many advantages to this for not only the homeowners, but also for pests. Crawl spaces are perhaps the least visited place of any Ocala home.
If you have an attic you at least go up once or twice per year to bring down some holiday decorations but usually, unless there’s a problem, no one goes in their crawl space very often at all. This under belly of your home or business is very conducive to pest entry and activity. The mere fact that it’s undisturbed is very appealing to rodents or other wildlife. Insects take advantage of the dark cool space as well. Large roach populations often occur under a home but it isn’t noticed until there’s so many that competition for food starts to get high.
Suddenly, large roaches now begin to pop up inside the home on a regular basis looking for a fresh supply of food. This seemingly ‘sudden’ invasion has actually been building up for some time and it’s not limited to just the roach. Also, the access from the crawl to the living areas of your home is some of the easiest you’ll find in any home. Double wide mobile homes are actually brought out in two halves and put together on site. That seam of the two halves is almost impossible to see inside the home but is often very obvious in the crawl space and provides easy entry for any bug.
It’s a very vulnerable spot and it runs the full length of the house. Plumbing pipes, cable and telephone wires and even air ducts almost always run along the ground until they then go up through the floor to where they serve their need in the home. Many times these are sealed fairly well but sometimes they are not. Besides, rodents and insects are masters at entering our homes. They can chew through thin coverings or protective
flanges or squeeze in and out of just about any gap or crack when on the hunt for food or water. Although the crawl space area may be one that gets the least amount of attention from the homeowner, it’s an area where we at The Bug Doctor give quite a bit of scrutiny to.
This may come as a surprise to you but did you know there’s one area of your Ocala home that’s prone to more bug activity than any other? It’s true. The south side. Well, technically the south/southwest side and it actually can attract more insect activity than the other three sides. The reason is simple but there’s a few caveats.
The south/southwest side of your home actually gets more sunlight and this will attract insects who will invade the walls and use the warmth of the heated walls. This can include ants, termites, lady bugs and even cluster flies. In fact each winter we get many calls for large seemingly clumsy flies dying on the window sill. When we ask is it on the south side of the home? We almost always get an astonished reply of, “How’d you know?” 😉 About the same time we get calls for lady bugs and it’s for the same reason.
These critters go to that side of the home and invade the walls to escape the cold end of year days and survive the winter. It’s where they hibernate. The longer exposure of the sun keeps that wall warmest the longest. Other insects also take advantage of this little bonus and will search out the south side of our houses for a suitable place to set up their own house. Your Ocala Bug Doctor technician knows this tendency and always has a keen eye on that side of your home knowing it’s one of the most favorable spots to find activity before it gets inside.
For sure, there are many more entry points and details about any Ocala home or business that can and do offer pest entry ways. Some are very obvious and easily treated while others require a real sleuth to figure it out. The Bug Doctor termite and pest control has been serving Ocala and the surrounding areas for over 25 years and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. If you feel you’d like to experience The Bug Doctor difference I invite you to call 237-0122 or click the contact button on your screen. At The Bug Doctor, we’re more than just a pest control firm, we’re your neighbors and we’d be glad to meet you!