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.

Fleas Can Lay Eggs in a Variety of Innocuous Places

Fleas Can Hide and Breed in Carpeting, Clothing, and Upholstery

Fleas can lay their eggs on the ground, buried within rugs and carpets, in the lining or bedding, clothing, or upholstery, and even in cracks in the floor. What’s more, they have an incredibly short gestation period, and the eggs of most species hatch within two days.

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.

These pests are unique in that employing exclusion methods to deal with an infestation is 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.

Apart from exclusion methods, the most efficient and effective way to eliminate the chances of an 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.

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.

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.

Crickets Occasionally Make Their Homes Inside the Cavities of Walls

Crickets Can Consume Crops at an Alarming Rate

Crickets can be found wherever there’s a bit of shelter, including under rocks, logs, and in tall grass. Mating season for these pests usually occurs during late summer. During this time, they’ll burry their eggs in the dirt where they’ll remain safe throughout the winter.

Although they seem harmless, crickets can do considerable damage to your lawn during the summer months. When crickets appear in large numbers, their constant feeding on foliage can begin to take a real toll. Most species are active at night, which is when you’ll most likely hear their characteristic chirping.

In rural areas and on farms, crickets can be especially dangerous pests. They have a propensity to consume crops at an alarming rate, and can economically devastate an agricultural operation.

Crickets can sometimes find their way indoors and make their homes in hidden or inaccessible spaces, like the cavities inside walls. Once there, they can drive some homeowners crazy with their ceaseless chirping which can be aurally magnified by the walls of a home.

Apart from their incredibly loud and grating chirping, crickets trapped inside homes often feed on clothing and carpeting, making them an economic threat as well.

As is the case with many different types of pest control threats, a mixture of approaches and treatments is usually required to ensure that the infestation is taken care of. If the problem persists it may be a good idea to introduce predators of the cricket to your property, like cats, birds, or spiders, all of which will help to curtail the population of these insects.

Pest control professionals will also help to seal cracks in walls and foundations to ensure that more crickets can’t find their way inside your home in the future.

These pests are most active during the summer months, and are attracted by garbage left outside and by electric lights, both of which can be found on the property of the average homeowner. Crickets resting on vertical surfaces like walls and light posts, especially during the summer, is not an uncommon sight.

During the winter, however, they will move from these exposed areas to sheds and crawlspaces because of the warmth and moisture they provide. It’s during this time that crickets will likely try to worm their way inside your home. They’ll be drawn by the warmth, light, and the easy availability of many different food sources.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas cricket 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 crickets 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 cricket 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.

Effective Cockroach Control Begins With Inspection and Identification

Cockroaches Are Attracted to Food, Warmth, and Moisture

As they invade human dwellings, cockroaches pick up dangerous microbes on the microscopic hairs on their legs and spines. If they travel through sewage drains, for example, they can collect dangerous bacteria and then deposit it if they travel across food or food preparation areas.

Cockroaches can enter buildings through drains, pipes, and cracks in structural foundations. They can be found in private residences, but are also common in larger commercial buildings and grocery stores, food processing plants, and hospitals—basically wherever access to food is available. Roaches also frequently infest basements and gardens.

Apart from their ability to spread disease through the contamination of kitchen surfaces and eating utensils, cockroaches have been known to trigger asthma. As cockroach nymphs develop, they periodically shed their skins or exoskeletons. Exoskeleton particles, along with particles cockroach’s feces can function as antigens when inhaled and exacerbate allergic reactions.

When dealing with a cockroach infestation, it’s very rare that only one pest control method is used. Likewise, many follow-up inspections will be required in order to ensure that the treatment is effective.

Effective cockroach control begins with inspection. A good flashlight is helpful when trying to track down signs of cockroaches, as is some kind of flushing agent like aerosol. Keep an eye out for dark speckling which accumulates where cockroaches congregate.

Other signs of infestation include discarded skins and egg shells. These signs can help determine the cockroaches’ point of origin. The use of sticky traps can also help determine areas of roach activity. Leaving these traps in place and checking them regularly can help give an early warning and indicate a roach problem before an infestation gets out of hand.

Another important step in controlling a roach population is exclusion, which means restricting their movement and number of hiding places. It will likely not be possible to remove all avenues of movement, but doing whatever you can will nevertheless make an impact. Consider using some kind of sealant, urethane foam, or caulking material to seal up cracks in walls or under skins where cockroaches might be entering.

Sanitation is also an obviously important aspect in cockroach control and involving removing their access to food and water. While exclusion and sanitation alone will likely not be enough to eliminate cockroaches altogether, their dual implementation will improve the chances of pesticide application.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas cockroach 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 cockroaches 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 cockroaches 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.

Centipedes Are Attracted to Moisture and Shelter

Most centipedes appear brown or reddish-orange in color. Centipedes have long, sensitive antennae which they use to track prey. They are carnivorous insects and possess venomous claw-like structures to trap and paralyze prey: usually worms, spiders, and small vertebrae.

Most adult centipedes prefer moist, dark, quiet places during winter and place their eggs in dampened soil during spring or summer.

As insects, centipedes live abnormally long lives; most usually survive up to a year in the wild, although some have been known to like up to six years. Centipedes do no roam during the daytime, but they will sometimes make inroads into human habitations and seek damp areas in bathrooms, closets, basements, and other similar spaces.

Centipedes are unlikely to consume wood. Millipedes, however, are herbivores and detritivores, and feed exclusively on dead or decaying plant material as well as cellulose-based materials like wood.

While some pests like cockroaches or mice may leaving visual clues that they’ve been using your home as shelter, no such indicators exist for a centipede infestation apart from actually seeing the centipede itself.

In North America, the most commonly encountered centipede is the house centipede which ranges from 25 to 38 mm in length. This particular species possesses extremely long legs and has the ability to travel on both floors and walls without issue.

As mentioned above, centipedes are carnivorous insects, which means that limiting their access to potential food sources is a step in the right direction when it comes to eliminating them from the home. It’s for this reason that a comprehensive approach to pest control is best; ideally, your pest control expert will be able to identify all species of pests that may be invading your home, and from there, he or she can put the most effective control method for your home.

While the venom produced by these pests is not fatal, the bite from some larger species of centipede can be as painful as a bee sting and can lead to severe pain, numbness, discoloration, and inflammation of the afflicted area.

For common house centipedes, commercially available sticky traps may be enough to stem the population of these pests in a given area. Moreover, these traps will be able to give you a more accurate idea of where these pests are coming from, as well as the routes they’re taking to get around your home.

If an infestation is confirmed, it’s recommended that homeowners take special care to seal off uncommonly moist areas like bathrooms and reduce entry points to the outside like cracks and crevices.

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