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Ants Go Marching!

Spring Preparation!

With warmer months upon us, you may begin to see many pests in the home and lawn. This month we focus on two of the most notorious pests in our area, Ants & Fleas!




Lawn Aerification

Live Oak Pest Control Logo

Topic for review in the next issue:

General Household Pests

Insects that pose potential problems inside your home such as: roaches, bedbugs, silverfish, ect.

Contact Us

17856 US 129 S,
McAlpin FL 32062

(386) 362-3887


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There are many types of ants commonly found in Florida that can do a wide range of damage to homes, crops, trees, electrical equipment and many other structures.Two species of importance are found in Florida. Most notorious is the red impoted fire ant (RIFA), followed by the much less common native fire ant.


RIFA is native to central South America. In the U.S., RIFA was first introduced from Brazil into either Moblie, Alabama, or Pensacola, Florida, between 1933 and 1945.


It is important to distinguish between the RIFA and the native fire ant in order for appropriate control measures to be taken. The differences between the two are determined by analyzing mound shapes/sizes and the physical biology of worker ants.

Mounds of RIFA will be round, softball size to basketball size in shape and the worker ants do not have disproportionate head to body ratios.

Mounds of the native fire ant will be low, flat, irregular shaped and may range from fist size to several feet long or wide and these mounds contain worker ants with square-shaped heads that are larger in proportion to the rest of their body.


Fire ants frequently invade home lawns, school yards, athletic fields, electrical equipment, home gardens, pavement cracks, parks and recreational areas.

Mound treatments or area-wide broadcast applicatons are utilized to manage fire ant populations.

Live Oak Pest Control utilizes multiple strategies to control fire ants. Our first approach is two broadcast applications and individual mound drench with a liquid insecticide.


Topchoice is a broadcast application granular product, proven to be highly effective against all types of ants including native fire ants and the more aggressive RIFA. Backed by Bayer to provide a 1-year guarantee for control of red imported fire ants only, this is LOPC's recommended follow up to the broadcast application using the liquid insecticide.



Fleas are small (1/16 inch), dark, reddish-brown, wingless, blood-sucking insects. Their bodies are flattened side to side, which allows fleas to easily move through the hairs on the host's body. Flea legs are long and well adapted for jumping. The flea body is hard, polished, and covered with many hairs and short spines directed backward. The mouthparts of an adult flea are adapted for sucking blood from its host, which can result in the transfer of diseases such as: plauge, murine typhus and tapeworm.

Several species of fleas may be pests in Florida with the cat flea being the most frequently found. Cat fleas may attack a wide variety of warm-blooded animals including dogs, cats, humans, chickens, and rabbits.


The female flea lays her tiny, white eggs loosely on the hairs, in the feathers, or in the living area of the host. The eggs readily fall off the host onto the ground, floors, bedding, or furniture. The tiny eggs hatch in 1- 12 days after being deposited. Next, the white, wormlike larva emerges, avoids light and feeds on many things in and around the host area including animal parts and organic matter. Within 7 - 14 days, the third larval stage is completed. Usually after a week the adult flea emerges and begins its search for blood.


Anyone can identify a flea problem by the ithcing red welts on their body or the scratching of pets. You might even see these minute black insects hopping around in the lawn and on your dog or cat. A flea bite can cause excessive itching for two weeks or more.

Overview of Ants & Fleas

Fire ants and fleas are among the most unwelcome insects in any home or lawn. The bites itch, making people and their household pets miserable. Dogs and cats often suffer from serious flea allergies. If your flea and fire ant infestation is extreme, you must treat your pets and home immediately in order to alleviate the problem. Once your pets and home have been treated, your lawn should also be treated to prevent the infestation from re-invading your home. In most all cases two treatments are recommended for proper control. Live Oak Pest Control Inc. offers services to handle infestations of these troublesome pests.

Lawn Aerification


Should You be Aerating Your Lawn?

One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for aeration if it:

  • Heavily used lawns with lots of traffic such as: lawn equipment, children, pets and vehicle traffic. 
  • Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem.
  • Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering happens when soil of finer texture, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soils. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.

What is Lawn Aeration?

Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produces a stronger, more vigorous lawn.

Soil compaction is the # 1 reason to aerate your lawn. Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water, and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots drom these essential elements.

When to Aerate Your Lawn?

The best time for aeration is during the active growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Ideally, April to August in the North Florida area are excellent times to aerate.

If your lawn soil is compacted, it might not be getting the air, moisture, and nutrients it needs to thrive and survive. Lawn aeration attends to this problem and strengthens the roots, and strong roots equal a lush, green lawn.

For more information about aeration call Live Oak Pest Control today to set up a free lawn consultation with our experts in the lawn department.


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