Large Deer Mice Populations Can Stunt Crop Growth

Mouse Infestations Can Pose Agricultural Problems Year-round

Published on August 16, 2017

Deer mice typically nest in the hollows of trees or under piles of stones or logs. They 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.

If an infestation of deer mice ever occurs, it will most likely be during the winter months, as the pests will be searching for food and warmth. Deer mice 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.

Deer mice make their nests from fur, weeds, paper, and other detritus, and will hoard food and actively forage near their nesting site. Mostly herbivorous, these rodents prefer seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries, but will also seek out insects if no other food is available.

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

Uniquely, these pests 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 of deer mice have been known to completely derail reforestation efforts in some areas.

As mentioned above, deer mice are prime vectors for pulmonary hantavirus syndrome, which can be fatal. The most effective way to avoid contracting hantavirus from these pests is to keep them out of human dwellings using proofing and exclusionary methods, and to avoid working or sleeping in already where deer mice are already present.

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 pest removal experts.

Exercise Extreme Caution When Removing Cotton Rats

Cotton Rats Can Carry a Variety of Diseases, Including Hantavirus

Published on August 14, 2017

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. Likewise, they have stiff, black-grey fur, which, in some places in the south-western United States, has led to the nickname “javelina rat.”

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.

Like many other species of rodent, 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 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 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.

Cockroaches Can Carry a Variety of Dangerous Diseases

Cockroaches Can Trigger Allergies and Asthma

Published on August 13, 2017

When cockroaches overtake a particular area, they are likely to contaminate food and food preparation surfaces, destroy certain materials like fabric and paper, and leave unpleasant stains and odors on any surface they come into contact with.

Both American and German cockroaches have been known to spread harmful bacteria which can lead to serious diseases if they come into contact human habitations. Indeed, they’ve been implicated in the spread of diseases like typhoid, dysentery, food poisoning, and hepatitis. Likewise, large cockroach infestations have occasionally been known to cause allergies and increase the risk of asthma in some people. Most experts agree that the severity of a cockroach infestation can be tied directly to housing disrepair and sanitary conditions.

Controlling a cockroach infestation is a tricky proposition, because there’s virtually no end to their hiding places. However, it should be noted that cockroaches are tropical and prefer warm areas that have easy access to water. You can use this information to narrow down the possible hiding places, and then begin to limit their access to food and water.

If cockroaches maintain unlimited access to food, bait traps, which a primary means of cockroach control, will most likely be ineffective. Likewise, insect repellents and commercially available sprays on their own will not be enough to eliminate an entire infestation.

Naturally, knowing which species of cockroach will aid in bringing a swift end to the infestation, as different species of cockroaches have subtly different behavior. This information will allow pest control professionals to place traps, repellents, and insecticides with as much accuracy and effectiveness as possible.

A vital step in eliminating cockroaches from a given area is to maintain a degree of cleanliness and sanitation. Cockroaches will reinvade as long as an area is suitable to them, meaning that as long as an area has enough food and water to support their needs, then will return to a spot they had just been driven away from, despite any previous measures to dispel them.

Various pesticides and sprays are on the market for use against cockroaches, but they are only partly-effective and will only temporarily suppress a tenacious cockroach population. Some devices, such as ultrasound-emitting repellents, are patently ineffective and should be avoided.

Traps may be effective against smaller populations, but care should be taken to place them where cockroaches will encounter them while foraging. Many pest control professionals recommend placing them at the junctions of floors and walls wherever suspected cockroach activity is taking place.

 

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 cockroach removal experts.

Chinch Bugs Can Quickly Decimate Healthy Lawns

July and August Are the Most Active Months for Chinch Bugs

Published on August 6, 2017

Chinch bugs, like crickets and aphids, can cause massive damage to your lawn in large numbers. Due to their tiny size, they may be able to go unnoticed for a long period of time, and the telltale brown patches they produce when feeding on grass can easily be disguised during periods of drought.

These pests are especially dangerous in agricultural areas, and have the ability to decimate crops and lead to severe economic ramifications, both in terms or removing the pests and replacing the crops that were ruined.

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.

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.

Carpenter Ants Can Destroy Wooden Structures at an Alarming Rate

Sagging Walls and Ceilings Are Signs of Carpenter Ant Infestations

Published on August 1, 2017

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.

In broad terms, 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.

There are twenty-five different species of carpenter ants in the United States, each will slightly different behavior and appearance, which means that identifying these pests can be difficult. They can range anywhere from three to thirteen millimeters in length, and have been known to sport colors like black, brown, yellow, orange, and red.

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.

It’s important to keep in mind 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, check these kinds of areas first. One you determine the nest’s exact location, it’s possible to treat the infestation with an insecticide dust or aerosol spray. However, attempting to administer these pesticides on your own is ill-advised, as the improper application of these toxins may inadvertently harm other residents or pets.

Baits have traditionally not been successful in dealing with carpenter ants, but your local pest control expert will be able to determine which extermination method will be the best fit for your home.

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.

Kill Moth Eggs and Larvae by Heat Treating Clothing

Moth Eggs Are Hard to Detect and Can Remain Hidden Until it’s too Late

Published on July 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example, if you place the bagged clothing in a freezer for about three to four days, the intense cold will have almost certainly killed any offending eggs or larvae. In the same way that bedbugs can be killed with the use of excessively high or low temperatures, the same effect can be achieved when dealing with moths and their offspring.

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

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

Mosquitoes Live and Breed Around Standing Water

Baits and Traps Are Only Partly Effective in Dealing with a Mosquito Infestation

Published on July 22, 2017

During the typically wet and humid spring and summer months, mosquito infestations will inevitably be on the rise. We all know that it’s best to apply topical mosquito repellent for personal protection, but what about the general protection of a particular area when mosquito spray might not be an option? For these situations, there are a number of traps and repellents that can be helpful in keeping your outdoor space mosquito-free.

Some varieties of traps use propane as a heat source and carbon dioxide canisters as an attractive agent are meant primarily for controlling large mosquito populations that have become especially unmanageable. These carbon dioxide canisters are meant to simulate human breathing and exhalation—which female mosquitoes tend to find irresistible—and serve essentially as decoys, attracting the mosquitoes to the trap before they can home in on actual, blood-filled human beings. Some other traps use a light source as an attractant, though these particular traps attract all manner of flying insects rather than just mosquitoes.

Traps using electrical means like extension cords or batteries care usually cheaper, smaller, and meant for smaller areas will less drastic infestations. These, too, will require a degree of maintenance, which usually amounts to cleaning out the trap’s victims with a wire brush.

These “zappers” as they’re commonly called, serve more of a psychological effect for the homeowner than actually impact the mosquito population in any significant way.

The sharp, snapping zap noise created by these machines let the owner know that it is, in fact working; but again, the actual impact on the surrounding pests in negligible. What’s more, these machines utilize a strong electrical charge, and should be kept well out of the reach of children and pets.

While the bodies of mosquitoes continue to pile up around the traps—perhaps giving homeowners some small sense of satisfaction—this doesn’t necessarily mean that an impactful dent in the surrounding mosquito population is actually being made.

This is because mosquitoes are extremely adept at sensing even trace amounts of carbon dioxide and other attractants, meaning that they’ll likely be drawn to your location from surrounding areas. Real, significant control of mosquito populations in more dependent upon the breeding habits of the specific mosquito species in question, as well as seasonal factors and weather patterns.

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

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

Mice Can Chew Through Wires and Cause Fire Hazards

Mice Infestations Can Result in Structural Damage and Disease

Published on July 21, 2017

The degree of damage that mice can pose naturally depends on the size of the infestation in question, which in turn depends largely on the availability of resources like food, water, and nest-building materials, but considering the fact that the typical house mouse can breed incredibly quickly, (a mouse can begin to breed at as young as six weeks) the initial presence of a few mice in the home can quickly lead to a population explosion in a startlingly short amount of time.

When dealing with a significant mouse infestation, Dallas mice removal experts know that the key to successfully getting a hold on the problem is to become familiar with the telltale signs of mouse incursions in the home and to catch them early on, before they have an opportunity to breed and pose even more serious economic and health problems.

Once inside a home, mice will always seek out stored food or unsupervised scraps. More importantly, food that mice come into contact with but don’t consume themselves will likely be contaminated and rendered inedible. Even though a single mouse consumes relatively little food, they have the potential to render useless vastly more than that, thanks to their habit of nibbling on many pieces of food and discarding partially eaten items.

This is an especially serious problem on farms where large amounts of food stored in silos could be made utterly useless by even a small number of hungry mice. Losses to previously stored food can significantly impact the profitability of farms, and the real threat of widespread contamination of this food with disease-causing urine and feces is certainly one to be avoided at all costs.

Apart from the health risks, Dallas mice removal experts have discovered mice almost always cause some degree of structural damage when they decide to take up residence inside a home. Constant gnawing and nest-building activities can destroy insulation inside walls and attics, necessitating their replacement and further inflating home maintenance costs.

As a byproduct of their nesting activities, mice can chew through wires and cables with ease, commonly causing short-circuits and other fire hazards. Although a mouse-caused fire might sound ridiculous, it’s much more common than you might think. Even if you manage to avoid a fire, these wires will likely have to be replaced by an experienced professional. These pests that make their homes in attics or basements might also have easy access to heirlooms and other expensive antiques that they can easily destroy.

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

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.