Termite Populations Depend on Weather and Food Sources

Termite Activity Increases Dramatically During the Summer

Published on August 30, 2017

In warmer climates like the American Southwest, termites remain consistently active and visible all throughout the year. On the other hand, termites in cooler climates, tend to exhibit less activity during the winter months, although this does not mean that their activity has ceased altogether. They continue to feed even during the coldest months of the year, and signs of termite damage can manifest at any time.

It’s difficult to predict exactly when termite season will begin or end, although the duration of the season will often depend on where you live. Subterranean species, for example, will not forage for food if the soil is too hot or too cold, thus limiting the time in which they can successfully breed and expand their population.

Weather is one of the main factors that will impact termite activity, but it’s by no means the only important aspect. Termite activity also often depends on the degree of shelter that a given nest can offer its population.

For example, drywood termites, which might nest inside heated structures, are not nearly as exposed to harsh winter temperatures as other species or populations, meaning that they can continue to feed and breed virtually unabated.

Likewise, subterranean termites have the ability to build nests more than eighteen inches below the surface of the soil, enabling them to escape the frigid temperatures above ground. During the unforgiving winter months, environments with controlled temperatures, like basements and attics for example, are ideal nesting places for termites.

It’s unlikely that termites will make their presence known during the winter by swarming—an activity that usually takes place in spring or summer, depending on the temperature—but that doesn’t necessarily mean that termite activity has stopped. In some tropical parts of the country like Florida, for example, swarms may still be observed in the winter, where temperatures can still reach up to the seventies or higher.

Even in these tropical climates, however, breeding will still usually take place in the spring and summer. They will most likely take place on warm, calm days that follow a rainstorm.

Depending on the availability of food, this process can sometimes take up to five years. During this pre-swarming period, termite colonies can continue to grown and cause damage to your home unnoticed. If you suspect that termites have nested in or around your home, call your local pest control expert right away.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas termite control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If termites have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced termite removal experts.

Scorpions Help Promote a Healthy Ecosystem

Scorpions Prefer Quiet and Isolated Areas

Published on August 29, 2017

Despite their frightening appearance, scorpion stings are usually harmless to humans, and further treatment is usually not necessary for a healthy adult. Scorpion stings can prove to be quite painful, however, and may result in localized pain or burning, swelling, numbness interspersed with tingling sensations, and severe muscles cramps.

Scorpions prefer very dry climates and can be found in large numbers throughout the American southwest. They are very sensitive to moisture loss, and prefer to spend daylight hours in shady, secluded locations. Scorpions obtain most of the water they need to function from their prey, which include insects, spiders, lizards, and other scorpions. While scorpions can survive for months without food, they need to constantly maintain their intake of fluids.

They are most active at night, although they can sometimes be seen during the day when conditions are cool and moist. Scorpions have the ability to detect the vibrations of their prey as it moves, allowing the scorpion to lie in wait for an insect or lizard to cross its path.

Scorpions are capable of crushing small prey with their powerful pincers, though they will inject larger prey with their venom—a complicated mixture of paralytic neurotoxins. In addition to hunting prey, they will also use their venom to protect themselves from threats.

Signs of a scorpion infestation are hard to spot, and they leave behind almost no evidence of their activities. These creatures usually only enter homes if they sense that there is better access to food or more hospitable conditions.

They usually use ground-level openings to enter your home, which include cracks in doors, windows, openings around plumbing pipes and utility lines, and various cracks and crevices. Occasionally, scorpions will also hide out in crates, stacks of firewood, and potted plants, which may then be transported indoors by unsuspecting humans.

Once inside your home, these pests will usually be drawn to out-of-the-way areas like basements, bathrooms, garages, and closets.

In order to prevent your home from playing host to scorpions in the first place, you can implement a number of exclusion methods including making sure that cracks around doors and windows are sealed with caulk or cement.

While there are only very few truly dangerous species of scorpion in North America, international travelers to Asia and Africa should take special care to avoid native species of scorpion, which can administer venom much more potent than that of their North American counterparts.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas scorpion control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If scorpions have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced scorpion removal experts.

Rats Prefer Areas With Ready Access to Food and Water

Rats Are Highly Adaptable and Tenacious Pests

Published on August 28, 2017

Thanks to their ability to consumer a wider variety of food, as well as their ability to withstands temperature changes, brown rats were able to spread around the world and prove to be tenacious pests to this day. Both types of rats have proven to be significant pests, particularly in rural areas and on farms where they have a tendency to spoil stored crops through both consumption and disease.

Black rats are unique in that they effect their habitat, be it urban or rural, in both positive and negative ways. It’s a well-documented fact that black rats have a tendency to drive out or displace any species that were already occupying that habitat, carving out their own ecological niche in the process.

This phenomenon usually leads to an increase in completion among small species, which may in turn lead to the displacement of even more species. However, despite its tendency to displace some native species, they can also increase species population density and add to the diversity of their gene pool.

In populated and built-up areas, black rats have been known to nest in warehouses, residential buildings, and basically any other human structure that provides ready access to food and water. These pests commonly seek out dryer environments like the upper floors of buildings as well as the cavities of walls.

Not unlike mice, black rats create their nests from shredded materials and other detritus like leaves, sticks, paper materials, cloth, and various vegetation. Rats and other rodents frequently nest in trees when living in the wild in an effort to avoid most types of ground-dwelling predators.

Black rats have been known to carry all manner of extremely serious bacteria and viruses, most notably plague, and can actually spread these diseases through a variety of means, including physical contact, bite, or by fleas that may be feeding on it. Rats contaminating food or food preparation areas is also not uncommon.

When determining if there actually is an infestation in a given area, the first sign is to correctly identify the offending rodent. Black rats have hairless, scaly tails which are longer than their bodies and are used for balance and grip when climbing.

Naturally, an infestation of black rats in the home or workspace is an extremely serious problem, but there are a number of warning signs which may allow you to catch the infestation before it gets out of control.

Rat droppings are obviously a major signpost, as are the appearance of grease marks along the surfaces of walls, which are produced when the oils on a rat’s fur are deposited as it traverses an area.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas rat control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If rats have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced rat removal experts.

Moth Larvae Are Difficult to Detect With the Naked Eye

Closets and Attics Are Prime Breeding Locations for Moths

Published on August 27, 2017

Once you’ve actually confirmed that moths have made their way inside your home, there are a number of methods for getting rid of them. One viable option involves the use of pheromones to lure moths into traps. This method requires the user to set the trap close to infested areas and basically requires them to wait for the moths to fall into the traps.

While these kinds of traps are often effective, only some types of pheromones effect certain species of moths. In order to ensure that your pheromone trap is operating efficiently, it may be necessary to enlist the help of your local pest control expert to help identify exactly which species of moth is infesting your home.

Moths often gain access to homes via contaminated food or clothing, essentially hitching rides on these materials and letting human activity do the lion’s share of the work. It’s also possible for household pets like dogs and cats to transport hitchhiking moths into your home.

Moth larvae can often hide in feathers or hair, meaning that it can be very hard to detect them with the naked eye. Once inside your home, these moths will likely search out dark, out-of-the-way places in order to continue breeding.

Another possible solution to a moth infestation is to simply vacuum them up. The problem with this method, however, is that it’s quite easy to miss a lot of the very small and hard to spot eggs that may be hidden away in the lining of clothes, underneath shelves, and between the fibers of clothing or carpets.

While vacuuming may help to clear away some the larger and easier to spot adult moths, this method will likely need to be supplemented with other means in order to ensure that your extermination efforts are successful.

If you’ve determined that a number of moth eggs are still clinging to your clothes even after a vigorous vacuuming, it’s possible to get rid of these errant eggs by storing your clothes in an extreme-temperature environment for a short time.

For example, if you place the bagged clothing in a freezer for about three to four days, the intense cold will have almost certainly killed any offending eggs or larvae.

In the same way that bedbugs can be killed with the use of excessively high or low temperatures, the same effect can be achieved when dealing with moths and their offspring.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas moth removal experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If moths have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced moth removal experts.

Mosquitoes Can Transmit Heartworms and Other Parasites to Pets

Eliminate Weeds and Standing Water to Limit Mosquito Populations

Published on August 26, 2017

There are many different products on the market designed to prevent heart worms in dogs and cats, most of which can be administer to your pet orally.

Often, however, it’s a good idea to prevent the spread and proliferation of the mosquitoes themselves, which will, in turn, lower the chances of your dog or cat contracting heart worms. In the summer months when mosquitoes are at their most active, there are a number of proactive steps you can take around your home to keep your family members and your pets safe and disease-free.

Heart worms can cause lasting damage to a dog’s heart, lungs, and arteries, and can continue to harm your pet even after they have left the body. If left untreated, these parasites can continue to multiply and seriously impact your dog’s quality of life.

Heart worms are easily prevented but have proven to be fairly costly to treat; and then there’s the chance that they’ll be caught too late, after the bulk of the damage has been done.

These can be fairly difficult parasites to treat, in part because they can often be quite difficult to detect. While obvious outward signs may not be visible, a trained vet will be able to administer a simple blood test to determine if your dog or cat has heart worms.

If the test indicates the presence of a parasite, the vet will likely recommend a regimen of antibiotics, which usually lasts for a number of months. This course of action can sometimes be costly, which is why prevention of the parasite is often the most efficient and cost-effective measure available.

 

Perhaps the most important precaution to take is to eliminate areas where standing water is allowed to collect, such as flowerpots, birdbaths, and naturally low areas of your lawn.

Mosquitoes can breed in even the smallest amount of standing water, and eliminating these areas on your property will go a long way in keeping their numbers down as the weather gets increasingly hotter.

Another smart step to take is to keep weeds and grass under control, which will naturally limit the hiding places for mosquitoes during the hotter daylight hours.

Some experts suggest that perfume and cologne act as attractants to mosquitoes, and people wearing these products may experience a greater number of mosquito bites than normal.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas mosquito control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If mosquitoes have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced mosquito removal experts.

Mice Populations Can Damage Crops and Spread Disease

Watch Out For Warning Signs to Catch an Infestation Early

Published on August 25, 2017

In a home or commercial environment, mice will always seek out stored food or pet food; they aren’t particularly picky eaters, and will chew through almost any kind of material, including thin sheet metal, to get to what they want. What’s more, the food that the mice don’t actually consume will likely become contaminated by their urine, droppings, or hair.

The degree of potential damage that mice can pose naturally depends on the size of the infestation in question, but considering the fact that the typical house mouse can breed incredibly quickly, the initial presence of a few mice in the home can quickly lead to the appearance of dozens more in a surprisingly short amount of time.

Dealing with a significant mouse infestation might seem like an impossible task, but the key to successfully getting a hold on the problem is to become familiar with the telltale signs of mice and to catch them early on, before they have an opportunity to breed. Catching the problem early on will dramatically increase the chances of successfully exterminating all of the offending pests.

While a single mouse might only consume around eight pounds of food per year, they have the potential to destroy much more than that, thanks to their habit of nibbling on many pieces of food and discarding partially eaten items.

House mice living in fields will likewise have no problem digging up and feeding on newly planted grain; they may also damage crops before the harvest.

However, losses to previously-stored food are significantly greater, and therefore pose a much more formidable economic threat. As mentioned previously, the real threat is widespread contamination of this feed with disease-causing urine and feces.

When mice decide to take up residence in a home, they almost always cause some degree of structural damage. Their near-constant gnawing and nest-building activities can destroy insulation inside walls and attics.

Mice like to make their homes inside electrical appliances and can chew through wires and cables with ease. As such, short-circuits and other fire hazards are very real and constant concerns. Even if good fortune prevails, these wires and other electrical equipment are often costly to replace, and will likely have to be carried out by and experienced professional.

Mice living in attics or basements also have easy access to any antiques are heirlooms that may be stored there. If a mouse sees fit to damage these items, they may be extremely difficult or even impossible to replace.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas mouse control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If mice have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced mouse removal experts.

Hornets Will Swarm if Their Nests Are Threatened

Hornets Are Highly Territorial Insects

Published on August 23, 2017

Due to the fact that there are several wasps in one area there will be an established hierarchy of sterile females that will defend and build the nest, and reproductive males and females that will continue on to mate and have more offspring.

Hornets will build their football/soccer shaped nests out of paper or wood pulp mixed from saliva under the eaves of houses, in attics or in bushes and trees.

Social wasps also have a specific way that they mate. Before winter a reproductive female will mate with a reproductive male, and store the collected sperm. After hibernating for the winter, the female will build her nest and fertilize the eggs the way she chooses.

At the beginning all fertilized eggs will produce sterile females to help with the nest, but as the queen runs out of sperm to fertilize eggs the unfertilized eggs will produce male wasps which will help to further future population. After an egg is laid it usually takes around a week for it to hatch and then another 2 weeks to fully develop into an adult hornet.

Though Hornets are not as aggressive as a yellow jacket, a hornet sting is actually more painful than other wasp stings due to the large amount of acetylcholine that is injected into the human. Hornets can sting multiple times because their stingers are not barbed and will not stick to a human the way a bee’s stinger will.

A single sting will not be a severe threat to a human unless the person is allergic and then anaphylaxis will set in. If a human comes too close to a hornet’s nest or tries to unsuccessfully eliminate it, then hornets are capable of a full on assault resulting in hundreds of hornets attacking a single invader. If a hornet is killed then their last attempt at protecting the nest will cause them to release a pheromone that will result in the whole nest narrowing in on and attacking the invader.

If you are stung by a hornet it is best to place ice on the stung area. It is important that you clean the area often so that it does not become infected. Call your doctor or medical professional to discuss the treatment that is right for you.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas hornet control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If hornets have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced hornet removal experts.

Thoroughly Clean Food Preparation Areas to Reduce Fly Bourne Bacteria

Biting Flies Can be Excruciating for Household Pets

Published on August 21, 2017

Like many other kinds of insects, flies are most active during the warm summer months, usually from late spring to early fall. Although they tend actively seek out human food and habitations during this time, a series of simple preventative measures, including good cleaning habits and hygiene, can decrease the chances that flies will infest your home.

In order to make sure that flies stay outdoors where they belong, it’s important to limit their access to your home as much as possible by keeping doors and windows closed or screened. The same goes for external vents, which they occasionally use to stealthily enter your home.

Flies collect these pathogens when they land on certain unwholesome materials, and then deposit those pathogens when they land on food, tables, or counters. They regurgitate onto solid food and then eat that same liquid, meaning that they’re able to transmit disease just by feeding, grooming themselves, or simply by walking around.

Likewise, a major key to keeping flies away is to cover up garbage cans and make sure that compost piles are well away from the home. Keeping cooking surfaces clean, both indoors and outdoors, will also go a long way to keeping your home free of intrusive insects.

It’s also important to note that outdoor pets are especially vulnerable to flies and the diseases they carry during the summer months. Since these insects are attracted to offal, manure, and waste, all of which your outdoor pet may come into contact with during the course of an average day, your pets may be beset by any number of particularly irritating species of fly.

Biting flies, for example, will actively harm your pet, and they may very well end up injuring themselves while trying to scratch them away. To make matters worse, if your pet happens to have an open wound, flies will likely try to lay eggs inside the injury which, as one might assume, can lead to all sorts of complications. If this situation occurs, take your pet to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible in order to avoid further infection.

If you notice that your pet is constantly scratching itself due to fly irritation, you may consider allowing it indoors during the hottest daylight hours when flies are most likely to feed. When the temperature drops as the sun goes down, fly activity tends to drop off, making it safer for your pet to go outside again.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas fly control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If flies have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced fly removal experts.

Fleas Can Transmit Diseases to Humans and Household Pets

 

 

Fleas Can Hide in Tall Grass and Among Yard Debris

Published on August 18, 2017

Apart from exclusion methods, the most efficient and effective way to eliminate the chances of flea infestation is to get rid of potential flea hiding places outside your home like long grass and excessive vegetation. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that fleas cannot fly, but they can jump impressive distances considering their size.

Humans traversing these areas should be wary of the jumping fleas, and should examining skin and clothing as closely as possible before re-entering their home. In conjunction with cutting grass and pulling weeds, it would be a wise decision to employ chemical control products or various pesticides in order to cut down on flea breeding, especially during the spring and summer months.

Since fleas depend on a mammalian host to survive, they can prove to be an almost-constant problem for humans. They are often brought into the home by household pets. These parasites prefer long-haired pets like dogs and cats, because the hairs provide both a means of attaching themselves to the host, and a suitable hiding place once they begin sucking blood.

Fleas are unique pests in that employing exclusion methods to deal with an infestation are not always effective. However, it’s possible to help prevent an infestation in the first place by sealing any gaps and holes in the foundation of your home so that mice, rats, and any other small animals that could possibly play host to fleas cannot gain entrance to your home.

Additionally, since pets frequently bring fleas into the home from outdoors, the use of a vet-approved anti-flea product on pets is recommended.

Thanks largely to their size, signs of fleas in the home might not be immediately apparent. One such sign, however, is the repeated scratching or grooming of household pets. This behavior is often a clear indication that a number of fleas may already be present—and breeding—inside your home. To make matters worse for your pet, fleas can often nest in pet bedding, providing easy access to an unsuspecting host.

Flea infestations are nothing to ignore, and a pest control expert should be consulted as soon as possible if you suspect that your home is being overrun. This pest control expert will be able to help identify the source of the infestation and will be able to prescribe and number of remedies for the situation.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas flea control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If fleas have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced flea removal experts.

Earwigs Love to Breed in Cool, Dark, and Moist Locations

Remove Yard Debris to Decease Earwig Numbers

Published on August 17, 2017

Although they’re mostly known as scavengers, earwigs have also been known to damage crops and can eat living plants and frightening amounts when their populations grow large enough.

Earwigs are very easily recognizable by their unique pincers at the ends of their abdomens. Although these pincers look threatening, they are actually harmless to humans. Earwigs are primarily scavengers, and do most of their feeding at night.

They primarily feed on the bodies of dead insects and other decomposing organic material. It’s for this reason that earwigs are sometimes considered beneficial insects, because they help break down decomposing matter and promote a healthy ecosystem.

 

Earwig populations frequently congregate around the foundations of buildings. This can be a problem because earwigs can very easily enter your home through low windows and cracks in the foundations of structures.

These pests are attracted to electric lights, which will draw even greater numbers to your home, increasing the chances that they may find a way inside.

It’s worth noting, however, that earwigs usually enter homes only by accident, and won’t reproduce or cause much damage if they find their way inside human structures.

Still, it’s possible that, if left unchecked, earwig populations can grow large enough to cause some ecological and agricultural problems. That said, there are a number of preventative measures and removal methods you can employ to keep your property clear of unwanted earwig infestations.

Perhaps the easiest method is to remove debris and other detritus from your yard to cut down on the number of places that earwigs could theoretically hide. If you begin to get rid of tall grass and remove logs or rocks that may be present in your yard, you’ll systematically begin to make your property less appealing for many types of pests.

Because earwigs need moisture to survive, consider eliminating areas where moisture may pool around your property. This measure has the dual-purpose of eliminating breeding ground for these pests as well as for mosquitoes, which need stagnant water in order to lay their eggs.

Many of these damp areas may be underneath outdoor faucets, which have a tendency to drip, or in crawlspaces, where it’s naturally cool and dark as a matter of course. Doors, windows, outward-leading pipes, and any other ground-level entry points are locations to keep in mind.

It may also help to seal or caulk any cracks in the foundation of your home your might spot. This will limit the number of cracks and crevices through which earwigs can enter your home.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas earwig removal experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If earwigs have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced earwigs removal experts.