Prevention and Deterrents are Keys to Avoid Wasp Infestations

Wasps, Hornets, and Yellow Jackets Can Construct Large, Dangerous Nests on Your Property

Wasps’ nests can grow to impressive size during late summer or autumn, before winter approaches in earnest. Paper wasps tend to be an extremely aggressive species, and will sting with very little provocation if they sense danger approaching. Some paper wasps that survive the winter will begin to build their new nests on top of old ones, which gives the impression that they’re reusing old nesting locations.

Among the threatening species of flying wasps, there are two main types: social and solitary. Social wasps, such as yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps have larger populations that solitary wasps like mud daubers.

Many species of wasp make their nests from wood fibers which produce a paper-like shell over time. There are a number of different building styles that tend to differ from species to species. For example, paper wasps tend to build open and exposed nests that look like upside-down umbrellas.

Yellow Jackets have slightly different styles of building nests and protecting themselves from harm. Their nests are covered with a papery sort of substance and are very frequently found within wall cavities or voids. These locations tend to provide excellent protection from the elements for the colonies that utilize them wisely.

When their nest is threatened, yellow jackets tend to be very aggressive as well and will attack their target in large numbers. Yellow jackets are particularly active in late summer, and statistics have proven that the number of yellow jacket stings seems to peak in late summer.

Bald faced hornets, another species of wasp, build nests that are covered in a papery shell, not unlike other wasp species. Like yellow jackets, bald faced hornets tend to build their nests in natural voids or cavities like hollow tree trunks or the hollows of walls.

Mud daubers, uniquely, build their nests from mud or clay, and they typically resemble small tubes or chutes. These strange and eye-catching nests are usually built in existing or natural cracks or crevices in masonry, stone, timber, and they’re also frequently found in the rafters of outdoor structures like the roof awnings of homes, sheds, or garages.

The best and easiest way to manage these pests on your property is to determine which particular species of wasp is causing problems. Some early warning signs of wasp infestations usually occur in spring when queen wasps build small nests in order to breed the first batch or generation of workers.

These workers quickly develop into mature insects and take over nest building activities for the queen for the remainder of the active season. By mid-summer, wasp nests can attain worrying sizes, and can actually appear quite frightening as they emanate the steady, threatening hum of the workers going about their daily business.

If wasps have made unsightly 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 pest control experts.

Flies Can Pose Health Problems for Both Pets and Humans

Keep Cooking Surfaces Clean to Help Reduce the Spread of Fly-borne Bacteria

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.

Flies collect a number of dangerous 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.

In order to make sure that these pests 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 flies occasionally use to stealthily enter your home.

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 these annoying 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 flies 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 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 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 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.

Remove Debris From Your Yard to Decrease Earwig Intrusions

Earwigs Can Enter Your Home Through Cracks and Crawlspaces

During the day, earwigs hide under piles of organic matter like leaves or logs, and prefer damp, dark locations like underneath sidewalks, crawlspaces, and stones. These kind of moist and out-of-the-way locations are also favored by centipedes and millipedes, as well as sow-bugs.

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.

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 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 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 earwig removal experts.

Deer Mice Can Pose Agricultural Threats In Both Summer and Winter

Large Populations of Deer Mice Can Slow Crop Growth

Deer mice are harmless-looking, but have been known to carry dangerous and easily transmitted diseases like hantavirus. They are commonly about twelve to twenty-eight centimeters in length and are named for their fur’s notable coloration, which is remarkably similar to that of deer fur.

At birth, deer mice are blind, pink, and hairless, and scarcely more than three grams. They begin to change color within twenty-four hours. Their eyes open within two weeks and they are weaned at about four weeks. When their characteristic fur begins to come in, it has a bluish coloration which gradually darkens with age.

These pests typically nest in the hollows of trees or under piles of stones or logs. Deer mice are most commonly found in rural, wooded areas and tend to avoid humans, preferring quiet, out of the way nesting grounds. If around a human habitation, they’ll typically be found in attics, basements, or crawl spaces.

These pests do not hibernate, which means that finding a means of shelter during unforgiving winter months is of the utmost importance, and they’ll choose human habitations if no other option is available.

Because of their small size, they can easily gain entry into homes and commercial spaces in search of heat and shelter. They can damage upholstered furniture, mattresses, clothing, paper, cardboard boxes, and basically any other material they deem suitable for their nest building endeavors.

Deer mice have a tendency to stockpile food near their nests during the winter months, which may aid in their identification and subsequent extermination in the event of an infestation.

Deer mice are uniquely responsible for the slow growth of forested and agricultural areas, because of the high degree of seed predation. Many experts agree that the deer mouse is responsible, more so than any other species of rodent or bird, for destroying nearly entire populations of Douglas-fir seeds. Accordingly, high populations have been known to completely derail reforestation efforts in some areas.

Deer mice are prime vectors for pulmonary hantavirus syndrome, which can be fatal. The most effective way to avoid contracting hantavirus from deer mice is to keep them out of human dwellings using proofing and exclusionary methods, and to avoid working or sleeping in already where they are already present. Call your local pest control professional immediately if you suspect that deer mice have entered your home.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas deer mice 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 deer 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 deer mice removal experts.

Cotton Rats are Ravenous Pests and Can Decimate Crops

These Pests Are Especially Common Across the Southern US

Cotton rats they will eat almost anything, including alfalfa, grains, grasses, vegetables, peanuts, fruit crops, sweet potatoes, and sugar beets. Thanks to their tendency for seed poaching, cotton rats can decimate an entire season’s crops before them even have a chance to sprout.

Cotton rats are especially destructive when it comes to sugarcane and melon, as they tend to favor the natural sugars in both foods. In some cases, cotton rats will eat quail eggs, severely impacting the quail population in a given area. To make matters worse, cotton mice are often in competition with quail for a lot of the same food sources.

The cotton rat makes its home across most of the southern United States, including all parts of Texas, as well as most parts of Mexico. Cotton rats are distinguished from other species by their small internal cheek pouches, much like those of the chipmunk, which they use for carrying seeds.

In many instances, the cotton rat will move from farms and fields to gardens and lawns if the opportunity presents itself. While, in most cases, cotton rats are outdoor pests, it’s not unknown for them to enter homes and other structures if food is readily available. They’ve been known to infest outbuildings like barns, sheds, garages, and other similar structures. Other seldom used buildings like lake or hunting cabins are also prime targets for cotton rats.

Like other species of rats and mice, cotton rats are prolific breeders, and, if an infestation is not caught early on, it can increase in severity at an exponential rate. Females can produce up to nine litters per year, and have about five to seven babies per litter. The young cotton rats reach maturity in about a month, at which point they’re ready to find mates of their own. When resources are plentiful, there’s really no limit to the number of rats that a population can sustain.

Signs of cotton rat activity include the appearance of nests or burrows, likely make out of grasses or weeds, and often with multiple entrances. Cotton rats generally nest directly on the ground or in shallow burrows, and tend to make trails in the grass, similar to ruts, wherever they travel.

Cotton rats have the ability to transmit hantavirus, meaning that extreme caution should be taken when handling dead rats, their nests, or their feces. Most experts recommend making sure that grass and weeds near structures is kept as short as possible, and that all holes and openings in outbuildings are sealed as a means of keeping an infestation of cotton rats at bay.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas cotton rat 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 cotton 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 cotton rat removal experts.

Chinch Bugs and Aphids Kill Grass and Cause Brown Spots in Lawn

Eliminate Chinch Bugs When They Are Most Active

Like many other types of insects, chinch bugs are most active during the summer months, and begin to mate and multiply during late spring. During the winter, adult chinch bugs will seek out some kind of shelter, especially long grass or the spaces beneath rocks or logs.

These adult chinch bugs can lay up to about three hundred eggs in a month, and the eggs usually hatch in a week or two. These eggs will usually be deposited in grass stems and other similar places, meaning that maintaining your lawn is one possible step to prevent an infestation in the first place.

When the eggs finally hatch, the nymphs are easily recognizable by their bright red coloration and their unmistakable odor which can be detected in close proximity, especially if they are crushed.

Chinch bugs feed on many different types of grasses, and especially love areas that enjoy exposure to direct sunlight for long period of time. If your lawn does happen to be abnormally infested with these pests, you’ll likely notice damage to your grass during July and August, when they are actively feeding.

Much like aphids, chinch bugs feed by removing the fluids from plants and injecting a toxin that turn the grass brown, eventually causing it to die. A large enough infestation over a long enough period of time will certainly become noticeable as larger and larger portions of your lawn begin to whither and die.

Despite the economic threat that these pests pose, there are a number of preventative measures that have historically proven to be fairly effective. One such measure is to maintain your lawn as much as possible, ensuring that it does not get overlong and out of control. This also includes clearing away any overgrown thatch and tall grasses on your property that you may otherwise ignore.

Aerating the soil is another beneficial practice, as is ensure that your lawn is well-watered, if possible. Chinch bugs prefer dry, arid locations that are directly exposed to the sun, and making sure that your lawn has enough water will go a long way to deterring them.

There are also a number of commercially available predators which you may consider introducing to your yard. These insects, including ladybugs and lacewings, will feed on a large number of chinch bugs and will help to keep the population under control.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas chinch bug 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 chinch bugs 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 chinch bug removal experts.

Many Different Types of Beetles Are Attracted to External Floodlights

Eliminate Pooled Moisture to Avoid Beetle Infestations

Beetles have firm antennae and chewing mandibles, and are characterized by their very firm, hard wings, which are often mistaken for their outer shell. They fold their front pair of wings over their back pair, which are waterproof and protect the beetle from damage and dehydration. Interestingly, despite their two pairs of wings, beetles are poor fliers.

Many species of beetles can prove damaging to humans, especially in an agricultural sense. These insects feed on plants, other small insects, or animal fibers, depending on the species. While some species are characterized as pests on farms and in gardens, while some other species, such as the ladybug, often prove beneficial to humans by killing harmful insects.

Flour and grain feed on food products in homes, and have also been known to damage food production/storage facilities and stores. June beetles, on the other hand, attack lawns and landscapes and attack the roots of grass, which might necessitate costly replacement in the long run.

During the fall and winter, these insects may become an even more prevalent pest to homeowners, because they’ll constantly be trying to make their way inside your home to escape from the cold weather. During these period, you may be able to spot hundreds of beetles clustering around the outside of your home as they try to spot an opening.

In general terms, they can be divided into three different categories, which allows pest control experts to more accurately identify and exterminate the offending species. These categories include food product beetles, wood-destroying beetles, and fabric-infesting beetles.

Some kinds of beetles can be removed simply by using a vacuum of a broom, but your pest control profession will be able to recommend the best means of removal. Moreover, many different types of beetles and other insects are attracted to floodlights outside the home or business. Therefore, it’s a good idea to switch from white lightbulbs to the less enticing yellow lights.

In the summer months especially, it’s important to remove food or compost that supports beetle development and reproduction. Likewise, moisture control is an important step in controlling beetle infestations. Make sure that areas like basements, bathrooms, and attics are kept as moisture-free as possible.

Some popular removal methods that pest control companies may choose to employ include using a pheromone-based beetle trap, which will effectively attract and immobilize the beetles. This will serve to determine the location of ingress and help you to administer insecticides effectively.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas beetle 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 beetles 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 beetle removal experts.

Carpenter Ants Will Damage the Walls and Ceilings of Your Home

Exterminate Destructive Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are among the most common ant species found throughout Texas. They are an extremely adaptable species and have been known to thrive in outdoor and indoor environments.

These ants prefer semi-moist and humid environments and usually nest in trees, tree stumps, fallen logs, fence posts, ceiling beams, roofing boards, and even inside attic insulation.

Thanks to their tiny size, these ants can go undetected for long periods of time if they choose to nest inside your home. By the time their presence become apparent, extensive damage to your home may have already been done.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wooden structures in which they nest. Rather, they break down and remove the wood in order to enlarge their nesting space. Depending on the size of the colony, the amount of wood that these ants are able to destroy over time can be extreme.

Although these pests have the ability to break down and remove cellulose material, they usually prefer to move into preexisting cavities like termite galleries, or areas that have been gradually worn down by rot. These areas prove especially attractive to carpenter ants as they search for a nest because of the naturally moist conditions.

Keep an eye out for piles of sawdust-like material or similar wood shavings that may be collecting around suspicious holes. This removed wood material is one of the telltale signs that carpenter ants have been expanding their nest in the vicinity.

The appearance of worker ants will be the most obvious sign of an infestation in your home. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that carpenter ant workers can vary in size within the same species. Likewise, these pests have been known to traverse great distances as they forage for food, meaning that even if you spot some of these ants around your home, it shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence that they have decided to nest inside your walls.

When trying to determine the nesting place of a carpenter ant colony, the exterminator will check walls and ceilings first. Once the exterminator determines the nest’s exact location, it is possible to treat the infestation. Keep in mind, attempting to administer pesticides on your own is ill-advised, as the improper application of these toxins may inadvertently harm other residents or pets; a professional exterminator will keep your pets and family safe.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas ant 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 ants 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 ant removal experts.

Yellow Jackets Prey On a Variety of Damaging Insects

Yellow Jacket Populations Can Grow to Huge Sizes if Left Unchecked

Not unlike bees, yellow jackets are social insects and live in nests with thousands of individuals at a time. Most yellow jackets prefer to nest on the ground, and their colonies are often found underneath porches, steps, crawlspaces, and at the base of trees.

Occasionally, yellow jackets will nest inside the hollows of walls, especially in older houses. Others, however, will make their nests off the ground, often in the branches of trees of in the rafters of man-made structures. Most of the time, yellow jacket populations will die during the cold winter months. Sometimes, however, the population manages to live on, especially if their nest happens to be in a particularly sheltered location. In a warm attic a yellow jacket population can continue growing until it reaches upwards of one million members.

Yellow jackets can be aggressive insects when their nest is threatened. Unlike bees, yellow jackets have the capacity to sting a target multiple times, thanks to their slender stinger and small barb-like point. Depending on the person, yellow jacket venom has the ability to cause severe allergic reaction which may even prove to be fatal depending on the number of times the person in question has been stung.

Despite the potential health risks they pose to humans, yellow jackets are beneficial pests that prey on a variety of damaging insects. Unless their nest is directly threatened, yellow jackets are usually to loath to sting, although they can occasionally become a nuisance to humans and pets, at which point a pest control expert should be consulted.

For ground-level or below-ground nests, it’s common practice for an exterminator to employ an insecticide dust, which is administered in and around the nest entrance.

The matter becomes slightly more complicated when yellow jackets nest inside structures, however, as their entrance must be sealed until all the members of the colony are dead. Otherwise, the living members of the colony will try to escape through the inside of the structure, creating a stinging hazard for all the human occupants that happen to be inside.

Fly-prevention measures can be applied to the prevention of yellow jackets as well. Keeping garbage cans closed and sealed will prevent yellow jackets from seeking out food residue and rotting refuse. Clear away fallen fruit and make sure it doesn’t start to rot on your lawn; rotting fruit will inevitably attract more insects and vermin of all kinds to your yard.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas yellow jacket 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 yellow jackets 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 yellow jacket removal experts.

Identifying and Removing Wasps’ Nests Around Your Home

Hire an Exterminator for Safe and Effective Wasp Nest Removal

At a glance, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a wasp and a bee, especially if you’re focusing on net getting stung. The principal difference between wasps and bees is that the former are carnivorous while the later feed on nectar and pollen. Wasps have smooth, sleek bodies with a thin profile, while bees have larger, hairy bodies, which they use for transporting pollen.

They are usually half an inch to three-quarters of an inch long and mainly feed on spiders. These insects are common problems for homeowners all across North America. Like many other insects, they are most active during the summertime.

Wasps can be dangerous, especially to kids who have developed allergic reactions to these pests. To make matters worse, these insects often make their nests in areas that may be inaccessible to some homeowners. Elderly people, in particular, may not have the means to remove a nest on their own. In these instances, nests may be allowed to grow to extreme sizes. Removal of these mega-nests require an exterminator for the occupant’s safety and well-being.

Wasps are either solitary or social. Solitary wasps will usually bother human beings unless provoked, and since they’re usually on their own, they really don’t present that great of a threat. Social wasps, on the other hand, can be significantly more dangerous, because they’ll always have back up, as it were, and they can quickly organize themselves into threatening swarms.

Once these social insects have established a nest, they will continue to return to it again and again, at which point they become territorial and have the potential to become highly aggressive. Many wasps prefer to build their nests under protected, shady areas, like under eaves, porch roofs, decks, sheds, and steps. Sometimes their nests are hard to locate because they can maneuver themselves into very small spaces.

One good method to determine exactly where the wasps have nested is to wait until dusk and then observe the flight patterns of the wasps. Just this mild degree of observation is usually enough to determine the general whereabouts of the nest, and even if you can’t find it that night, you may be able to see the nest itself the next day when visibility has improved.

If you are able to determine the exact location of a nest, it’s a good idea to call an exterminator to remove the nest quickly and safely. Homeowners often try to remove wasp nests themselves, but only end up aggravating them instead.

Occasionally, wasps will make their homes inside walls. This is probably the most difficult place from which to remove them, as they’re sheltered from all sides. Also, the wasps can detect noises that a homeowner may make trying to remove them, further angering them and causing them to swarm. If wasps are swarming about your home or office call an exterminator immediately. An exterminator will know exactly how to go about removing them safely without harm to occupants and pets.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas wasp 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 wasps 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 wasp removal experts.