Another invasion of giant African land snails
is currently being thwarted in Central Florida with the use of sniffer dogs and targeted pesticides. While the snails are not common, they can reproduce quickly and pose a threat to human health, and an outbreak like this highlights the importance of promptly controlling the spread of any type of pest in the region. Alongside calling for professional help to treat an infestation, there are a number of measures that residents, and business owners can take to limit the risk of termites
, rodents and cockroaches invading their premises.
Controlling rodent populations
Rodents are a common pest and pose a number of dangers to homes and businesses. As well as spreading disease through their bites, droppings and parasites, rats and mice can cause damage
to furnishings and even start fires by chewing through electrical wires. Householders can take a number of steps to prevent rodents from invading their homes such as sealing cracks and keeping surfaces clear of food. In addition, by encouraging local predators such as owls, mice and rat populations can be controlled naturally. As owls eat roughly 2 mice every day
, a family of 2 adults and 3 young can devour at least 70 rodents each week. Having been provided with nesting boxes maintained by the St Johns River Water Management, barn owl chicks are now thriving on the North Shore of Lake Apopka and could help to manage the number of rodents in the area.
Deterring destructive termites
As home to 23 different types of termite, Florida has the highest number of termite species
in the country. Termites can affect the structural integrity of a building, and every year the damage they cause costs the state $1 billion. To address the issue, the University of Florida’s Pest Management University in Apopka is training inspectors to identify and treat infestations. Termites can be difficult to spot as they remain hidden in walls and foundations for years, and their presence is often only confirmed once evidence of damage is produced. Maintaining an inspection space around a building's foundations, as well as removing any mulch from around the outside the walls, can help to prevent termites from entering a property.
Preventing harmful cockroaches
Complaints about poor sanitation in Central Florida restaurants are taken seriously by health inspectors, and the resulting restaurant closures are commonly triggered by cockroaches
being found on the premises. Cockroaches are considered to be a high priority violation as they can carry and transmit diseases. To avoid an infestation that may need professional help to clear, restaurant owners are advised to maintain a rigorous cleaning schedule, ensure food is properly stored and promptly dispose of any scraps or other garbage.
While rodent or bug infestations should be dealt with promptly in order to limit health risks and damage to property, there are also several measures that residents and business owners can take in order to prevent them occurring in the first place.