centipedes

Centipedes are Carnivorous Insects

centipedes

Many Centipede Species Contribute to a Healthy Ecosystem

Centipedes are carnivorous insects and natural predators. Although their eyes are only capable of discerning light and dark, their extremely sensitive antennae are more than adequate for locating their prey. Like spiders, these insects are important in maintaining healthy ecosystems by feeding on other damaging insects.

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.

Unlike termites, 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.

centipedesWhile 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.

centipedesFor 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.

Spider Removal | Exterminator | Cantu Pest Control

Dallas Spider Removal and Control

spider removal

Exclusion is an Effective Means of Spider Control

Spiders are predatory insects and, as such, feed on their own species and other insects. Their diets include roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes, flies, moths, and others. They have been known to feed on almost any household pest, and left to their own devices, can prove to be surprisingly effective pest control agents.

These insects eat their own species, and can usually control their own populations in most instances. The winner of these conflicts usually eats the loser. In relatively closed environments like basements or attics, the population will occasionally shift from several small spiders to only a few larger ones for this reason.

Spider removal professionals have reported that a species known as the long-legged cellar spider, is known to prey upon black widow spiders, perhaps making its presence in the home more welcome.

Spiders often live about one to two years—if they aren’t killed and eaten first—and continue to reproduce throughout their lifetime. As is the case with many insects, they are most sexually active in the spring and summer, and their young will mature throughout the summer and fall.

Given the minuscule size of most species of spider, they can easily gain access to your home through tiny cracks and cervices. That said, spring and summer will likely be the most probably times that spiders might make inroads into your home. Dallas spider removal professionals agree that adequate pest control measures are the most important during this time.

Spider removal experts agree that there are a number of measures you can take to reduce the chances that spiders will enter your home. You can attempt to prevent the entry of spiders and other insects by caulking, sealing, or otherwise blocking possible points of entry.

According to spider removal experts, it’s a good idea to remove debris, plants, trash, mulch, woodpiles, and other detritus from around the edges of your home, and ensure that no such material directly touches the outer walls of your home.

This will effectively reduce the number of places that these and other insects can hide, and will reduce the likelihood that they will crawl from these objects onto your home. Since spiders will often nest in above-ground nests, it’s also a good idea to administer pesticides around outdoor corners and cervices where spiders are likely to take shelter.

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

Centipede Removal | Dallas-Fort Worth | Houston | Cantu Pest Control

The Challenges of Centipede Removal

centipede removal

Pesticides and Traps Are Viable Methods of Centipede Removal

Despite the average homeowner’s desire to practice thorough centipede control, these insects are important in maintaining healthy ecosystems by feeding on other damaging insects.

Centipedes are carnivorous insects and natural predators. Although their eyes are only capable of discerning light and dark, their extremely sensitive antennae are more than adequate for locating their prey.

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.

Unlike termites, 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 centipede removal 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, most centipede removal experts recommend available sticky traps may be enough to stem the population of these pests in a given area.

If an infestation is confirmed, centipede removal experts recommend 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 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 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.

dallas termite control

Seasonally Swarming Insects Can Cause Massive Property Damage

swarming insects

Some insects form disastrous seasonal swarms while searching for food and mates

When we spot a solitary ant casually climbing up our windowsill, we hardly feel cause for alarm. It’s important to note, however, that whenever you spot one ant, there are sure to thousands more nearby.

The destructive potential of these insects lies in their numbers, and the presence of even one colony beneath your lawn can spell disaster for even the most idyllic-looking suburban household. Below is a list of a few of the more dangerous and destructive pests that can be found throughout the United States and, moreover, whose seasonal swarms have the potential to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage.

Locusts:

The problems that locusts can present to human populations are nothing short of biblical. When a group of locusts begin to swarm, they can destroy the agricultural livelihood of an entire region as they devour everything in sight. However, locusts only begin to swarm when the number of members in a particular population has reached a critical mass, which triggers a drastic change in behavior and feeding patterns.

Mormon crickets:

In recent years, these swarming insects have become a massive problem for farmers in the American southwest. Like locusts, Mormon crickets consume massive amounts of crops, and they’ve also been known to create dangerous slick spots on roads after they’ve been crushed by cars; in turn, creating hazards for other drivers. When cricket populations become too large to sustain, they will often turn to cannibalism—the avoidance of which is one of the main reasons for their swarming habits.

Termites:

The damage that termites can render to wooded structures is, of course, well documented; but they’re considerably less of the threat while swarming. When termites begin to swarm, that means they’re actively searching for a mate to reproduce with. When ready to find a mate, thousands of winged termites take to the sky in an attempt to search for a suitable partner.

Cockroaches:

An infestation of roaches is often seen as a sign of horrendous housekeeping and, what’s more, they’re almost impossible to get rid of once they’ve gotten a foothold in a home. Cockroaches are drawn to areas of the home where food and water are easily accessible, meaning the kitchens and pantries are prime targets. Cockroaches can survive for months without food or water, and can survive extremely harsh temperatures. They can be killed with various pesticides but, in many cases, these pesticides can be just are harmful to humans.

Fire ants:

Originally brought to the US from South America, fire ants now cause major problems from coast to coast. Fire ants are, of course, known for their particularly obnoxious bite, as they can latch onto their target with their proportionally powerful jaws and drive their stinger into the target multiple times.

Killer bees:

Killer bees don’t actually kill that many people, despite the mini-panic that was started in the 1990s. They are, however, these swarming insects are incredibly territorial and will attack any thing they perceive to be a threat to the security of the hive.

If any of these swarming insects 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.

wasps

Yellow Jackets and Nesting

yellow jackets

Yellow Jacket Nests Can Be Hazardous to Humans and Pets

Yellow jackets are a sub-species of wasp that can identified by their black-and-yellow markings which run in rings around the segments of its body. Although yellow jackets are sometimes mistaken for bees by the causal observer, they are much leaner in shape and more streamlined than their fuzzier and rounder counterparts. Like bees, yellow jackets are pollinators, although they are technically predatory scavengers and will feed on other insects, meat, and fish, as well as sugary substances. Their wide preference of foodstuffs means that they can be particular nuisances around garbage cans and picnics.

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, which may allow a yellow jacket population to continue growing until it reaches upwards of one million members.

Yellow jackets can be aggressive insects, especially 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 pest control experts 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.

Some of the same 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. Likewise, it’s important to clear away fallen fruit and make sure it doesn’t start to rot on your lawn which will inevitable attract more insects of all kinds to the site.

If yellow jackets 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.

centipedes

Centipedes as Pests

centipedes

Agile Centipedes Present Challenge for Pest Control Experts

Centipedes are nocturnal, agile, fast-moving insects and are, therefore, rarely seen by humans in their natural habitats. These insects can be found all throughout North America and, depending on the species in question, can live in a variety of geographic regions and environments. The name “centipede” is somewhat of a misnomer, because in reality they can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. They are elongated insects with flat, segmented bodies and possess one pair of legs per segment. 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.

Unlike termites, 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.

If centipedes have made an appearance in 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.

filthy disease-ridden invasive rat enjoys wallowing in uncleanliness

7 Common Invasive Species

filthy disease-ridden invasive rat enjoys wallowing in uncleanliness

These invasive species could be hiding in your backyard RIGHT NOW!

As if the local crop of dangerous and property damage-causing pests wasn’t enough, there’s been a growing number of invasive critters that have been known to wreak all kinds of havoc on unsuspecting homeowners. Some of the most common foreign invaders are listed below:

Red Imported Fire Ants:

The hint is in the name on this one. They’re called imported fire ants, as one might assume, because they’re originally imported from South America. Red Imported Fire Ants, which also go by the rather jaunty acronym RIFAs, have become tenacious pests throughout North America, Australia, and Asia. RIFAs are known for their severely irritating stings, which usually leave unsightly pustules on the skin.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs:

Few people know that the Brown Marmorated Stink bug, or simply “Stink Bug,” is actually an invasive species. The truth, however, is that these pests were accidentally brought to the US from Asia in the mid-nineties, and has since succeeding in proliferating through the country. Unfortunately, sink bugs pose a serious agricultural threat, and are known for their characteristic noxious odor when crushed or otherwise disturbed.

Formosan Subterranean Termites:

This species of termite comes from Asian countries like China, Japan, and the titular Formosa, Taiwan. The Formosa termite is the bane of homeowners whenever a population is detected and has, in fact, been referred to as a “super-termite” because of the typically large size of their colonies and the rapid rate at which they consume wood. A mature Formosan termite colony can cause severe structural damage to a home in as little as six months.

Norway Rats:

The erroneously named Norway or “common” rat is thought to have initially emigrated from China, but has now spread to every continent on the planet with the exception of Antarctica. Technically, this makes them the most successful mammal (as far as proliferation and survival is concerned) right after humans. Norway rats are disastrously destructive and notoriously unsanitary creatures—hence that whole ‘plague’ thing.

European Starlings:

The Starling is my favorite invasive species because it’s a testament to man’s ignorance. The story goes that once upon a time, some overly-romantic fop wanted to introduce every kind of bird found in the works of William Shakespeare into the US, without considering the ecological consequences. Droppings from these destructive birds can damage the structural integrity of a building, as well as promote disease.

African “Killer” Bees:

Know colloquially as Killer Bees, the African honeybee is actually the product of genetic crossbreeding, and was introduced to Brazil in the 1950s in an attempt to boost honey production. A number of swarms managed to escape quarantine, however, and have since made their way across South America and into the US. Killer bees are highly aggressive and territorial and, though their venom is no more potent than that of an average honeybee, the fact that they’re known to attack in greater numbers beans that a coordinated attack can sometimes be fatal.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes:

As if we needed more mosquitoes in the US, the Asian Tiger Mosquito has made its way around the globe, especially in recent decades, thanks to a greater volume of international travel and trade. The Tiger mosquito is characterized by its black and white striped legs and small striped body and, unlike other species of mosquito, is known to feed during daylight hours.

What is a Pesticide?

By definition, a pesticide is a chemical that is used to prevent or repel pests.  We commonly think of pesticides used to manage termites, ants, or bees that cause damage to our family or our home. However, pests can be any insect, rodent, bacteria, virus, fungi, plant, or other organism that causes harm or disease to our environment. Despite the negative connotation of pesticides, they are not all bad by definition.  Insect repellents and mildew sprays are considered pesticides and are monitored under the same strict requirements as any other, more potent pesticide.  Consider that algaecide used in fish aquariums and pools and disinfectants used to clean kitchen counters are pesticides that are highly regulated under state and federal law. The Office of Pesticide Programs of the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA regulates pesticides in the United States.

There are many types of pesticides and they vary in purpose.  For instance, insecticides control insects while herbicides control weeds. Common pesticides found in most homes include insect sprays, repellants, cleaners, and pool chemicals.  Review the following chart for common pesticides.

As seen in the table above, pesticides are designed to mitigate one or more pests.  Pesticides typically have a few active ingredients that are biochemically engineered, biologically engineered, or perhaps naturally occurring to combat a particular pest.  Pesticides that are biologically engineered or found to be naturally occurring are typically safer and more effective than those biochemically engineered.  Additionally, pesticides are primarily made up of inert ingredients.  In fact, inert ingredients make up over ninety percent of the product.  Thus, consider what you are using from over the counter and always read the labels.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local pest control professional at Cantu Pest Control.

For more information about news and special offers about Cantu Pest Control. Follow Cantu Pest Control’s news and updates for the Dallas / Fort Worth areas on Facebook and Twitter.

Harvestmen

What are Harvestmen?

Harvestmen are more commonly known as “daddy long legs.”  Although there are thirty seven families and six thousand five hundred species, “daddy long legs” refers to only one family of Harvestmen, the Phalangiidae.  With such a profound number of species, harvestmen can be found almost anywhere in the world.  Interestingly enough, eighteen families of harvestmen can be found in Texas.

The old legend claims that “daddy long legs” or harvestmen are the most venomous animal in the world; but they do not have fangs long enough or a mouth conducive to biting a human being.  This tale, however, is nothing but a preposterous tall tale!  Harvestmen do not have glands that contain venom.  Also, the chelicerae or pseudo fangs are simply used to grasp things and are not powerful enough to penetrate the skin of a human being.  Furthermore, harvestmen are slightly pesky nuisances, especially when crawling briskly across you, but they are medically harmless.

Distinctiveness of Harvestmen 

Although most people probably consider them to be spiders, harvestmen differ as spiders have two separate body segments.  Harvestmen have a single, globular body that has a distinctly segmented abdomen.  The two eyes almost appear as if they are glued in place on the surface of the body.  The harvestmen’s eyes do not form images and are used in conjunction with their second pair of legs, pseudo antennae, to delve into their environment.  The body looks much like the body of a crab.  Extending from the single-segmented body are many long spindly legs appearing much like very thick strands of hair.  There are, however, species of harvestmen that have short legs.  Additionally, harvestmen have scent glands just outside the base of their legs that produce an obtrusive odor.  This odor may indeed be the reason that many people believe them to be poisonous.

Living Conditions

Harvestmen, found in covered areas such as caves and beneath logs and other wooded areas, are considered both predators and scavengers.  They prey upon other small insects and arthropods alike, most of which also inhabit wooded areas with overgrown vegetation.  Typical arachnids have a filtering mechanism called a sucking stomach that protects them from parasites.  Harvestmen do not have this filtering mechanism and are prone to internal parasites.   Harvestmen are equal opportunity in that they will eat dead animals, live or dead plant matter, and the feces of most any animal.  These omnivores do hunt their prey but find meals of dung equally delicious!

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Pest Entry Points into Your Home

Insects, snakes, and mice alike enjoy the atmosphere of your home as much as you do.  If you don’t enjoy their company, try taking a few steps to seal common entry points; the simplest of which is to close and seal your doors including the front, back, and garage doors.  Additionally, seal or screen in commonly overlooked entry points such as the dryer vent, chimney, and drain outlets.  Even your foundation can be an entry point if it begins to separate.

To further discourage bugs from entering your cozy home, consider installing screen doors and screens on the windows, especially if you enjoy the evening breeze.  If you already have screened windows, then inspect them as screens do tear or rust over time.  Seal any holes that you find to be more than a quarter of an inch.  This can be done using caulking; however, steel wool is sometimes more effective.

Perhaps the simplest measure to take in keeping your home pest-free is to tidy up the clutter.  Piles of clothing and boxes of stored items are perfect breeding and nesting grounds for many insects.  Unfortunately, they depend upon you for food as well.  Snakes, mice, and insects all feast on leftover pet food, trash remnants, and unsealed containers.  Take your home back and don’t let the bugs bug you!

For more information about Cantu Pest Control, visit www.cantupestcontrol.com. Follow Cantu’s news on Facebook and Twitter.