bedbugs

Removing Bedbugs from Homes and Hotels

bedbugs

Contact Cantu Pest Control Right Away to Curtail Bedbug Infestations

There’s something inherently repulsive and unwholesome about bedbugs, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the thought of their insidious little feet, crawling unchecked over our prone forms, all while we’re at our most vulnerable.

Like mosquitos, bedbugs thrive on human blood, but lack the decency to bite you while you’re awake. On the other hand, bedbugs—mercifully—are incapable of transmitting blood-borne diseases.

It’s important to note that since bedbugs are attracted primarily to blood, their appearance in your home is not necessarily an indication of dirtiness. Indeed, you’re equally as likely to find them in a pristinely kept homes and hotel rooms as you are in filthy ones.

bedbugsThere are several indications that you may have bedbugs—apart from being bitten, obviously—which include dark or rust-colored spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, the offensive, musty odor of the bedbugs’ scent glands, and the appearance of blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases.

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, and used beds or couches. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite during the night like horrible, parasitic Draculas.

If you ultimately determine that you’ve got bedbugs on your hands, you can begin to purge the infestation by cleaning up the areas in which they’re commonly found.

bedbugsFor example, many bedbug removal professionals recommend that you clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Likewise, one should use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming. Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors. It’s also important to repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.

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

spiders

Identifying and Removing Common House Spiders

spiders

Not All Spiders Are Pests; Some are Beneficial to the Local Ecosystem

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.

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.

spidersSpider 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.

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.

spidersAccording 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.

wasps

Removing Wasps from Your Home

wasps

Catch Nests in Their Early Stages to Avoid Dangerous Wasp Swarms

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

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

Wasps can be dangerous, especially to kids who have developed allergic reactions to these pests. To make matters worse, these insects often make their nests in areas that may be inaccessible to some homeowners. Elderly people, especially, may not have the means to remove a nest on their own. In these instances, nests may be allowed to grow to extreme sizes, thereby exacerbating the problem through inaction.

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

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

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

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

waspsOccasionally, wasps will make their homes inside walls. This is probably the most difficult place from which to remove them, as they’re sheltered from all sides. Also, the wasps may detect any hammering or banging that a homeowner may make trying to remove them, further angering them and causing them to swarm. If this situation occurs, call an expert immediately, who will know exactly how to go about removing them.

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

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

thrips

Thrips Can Spread Agricultural Diseases

thrips

If Left Unchecked, an Infestation of Thrips Can Be Financially Devastating

Thrips, also called storm flies, are tiny insects that feed by puncturing the outer layer of their hosts, be they plant or animal, and sucking out the cellular contents. Many species of thrips are considered pests because they cause serious economic damage to a variety of crops. Despite their minuscule size and ability to fly in limited bursts, they are more commonly carried long distances on the wind.

In the absence of natural predators—in green houses or grow rooms, for example—thrips population size can increase exponentially, at which point they become an especially pronounced nuisance to humans. Moreover, these insects are known vectors of upwards of twenty fairly serious agrarian diseases.

Like many other types of insects, thrips become most problematic during the summer months. Indeed, they usually take anywhere from one to two months to develop into adulthood during the colder months, but during the hottest parts of summer, the process can take only a quarter of that time to complete. As one might assume, thrips are most active during the hottest parts of the day, which means that many growers who choose to apply biochemical pesticides will do so during that time, when the thrips are less likely to be hunkered down inside the most secure parts of their host plants.

thripsThese insects are fairly difficult to control because of their size as well as their propensity to appear suddenly from an origin point that may be a great distance away. If control methods become necessary, it’s a wise decision to use a variety of means, including biochemical control, natural predators, and cultural control.

There are a few methods for determining if thrips are actually infesting the plant life on your property. One method is to shake or gently beat a sample of the foliage over a light-colored sheet of paper, so that any nesting nymphs will fall out and become visible. Another slightly more costly method is to use yellow sticky traps in or near your plants, which will likely collect a large number of thrips that happen by over time.

thripsThere are a variety of predatory insects that may be able to get rid of invasive thrips with minimal effort on your part, including green lacewings, minute pirate bugs, and several species of parasitic wasps, although extra precautions should be taken when introducing a whole new potentially dangerous species to an area in order to get rid of a preexisting one.

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

squirrels

Squirrels in Winter

squirrels

Attics Are Attractive Hiding Places for Squirrels During Winter Months

Attics are ideal entry points and nesting places for destructive vermin like mice, rats, chipmunks, and squirrels. As any homeowner beset by such a problem will likely be aware, the fist and most obvious sign of the presence of squirrels in one’s home is the supremely irritating sounds of bumping and scratching that can be heard across the upper floors and walls.

Squirrels are more at home in trees than on a flat, ground-like surface and as long as there is adequate shelter from predators, a squirrel will make it’s home just about anywhere.

squirrelsAs the weather continues to get colder, especially in areas like Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston, an attic is the ideal home for a squirrel, as it’s warm, dry, and virtually perfect for both nesting and storing food. Moreover, an attic is the perfect place for squirrels to breed, as they’re usually well out of the way of predators—meaning that homeowners beset by this particular problem should immediately search for means of dealing with the problem in order to avoid an infestations.

It’s worth nothing that an infestation of squirrels could mean anywhere from two to twenty of these animals obstinately tearing up your property, and as with any animals that have a tendency to invade homes—insect or otherwise—they’re almost impossible to get rid of when they invade in large enough numbers.

Calling your local wildlife control experts in certainly a solution, but it should be noted that such a measure is generally fairly costly, though they can generally be relied upon to remove the pests to a different location, as opposed to just killing them outright. On the other hand, the enthusiastic homeowner does have a number of options at their disposal to deal with the problem themselves, including trapping and removing the squirrels manually.

squirrelsHowever, this squirrel removal method is generally easier said than done, as it requires the amateur to accurately identify all entry and exit points that may or may not be hidden around your attic. For the untrained civilian, this is not small task. Assuming that the individual in question has successfully managed to identify all of the points of ingress and egress, the next step is to block all of these points except for one. If done correctly, this means that the squirrels have no other option than to use the exit in which the trap should be placed.

Appropriate squirrel-sized traps can be purchased at nearly any hardware store, and should be placed in or near the squirrels’ point on entry. Follow the instructions provided by the trap’s manufacturer, and ensure that the trap is mounted correctly. When a squirrel is successfully captured, it may then be removed to a different location, which usually means that the critter in question will not be invading your attic again anytime soon.

Cantu Pest Control cares about safe and humane trapping of the wildlife that has invaded your home or business. We believe that wildlife invaders do not have to be killed in order to solve the invasion. After our squirrel removal professionals have properly and thoroughly employed measures that will eliminate future wildlife infestation then the property owner may choose to have any wildlife in and around the property caught in humane traps.

If squirrels 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 squirrel removal experts.

mosquitoes

Mosquito Larvae and Maturation

mosquito

Mosquito Larvae Can Thrive in Stagnant Water

Mosquito larvae, commonly called “wigglers,” live in water between four and fourteen days depending on the water’s temperature. They must come to the surface at often to obtain oxygen through a breathing tube called a siphon.

Larvae constantly feed since maturation requires lots of energy and food. They hang with their heads down and the brushes by their mouths filtering anything small enough to be eaten toward their mouths to nourish the growing larvae.

These insects feed on algae, plankton, fungi and bacteria, among other things. They breath at the water surface with the breathing tube up. It breaks the water surface tension.

mosquiotesSurprisingly, one species of larva feeds on larvae of other mosquitoes — the toxorhynchites. These are the largest mosquito known and are predators of other mosquito larvae that may live near them.

Their larvae are much larger than typical mosquito larvae. During growth, the larva molts (sheds its skin) four times. The stages between molts are called instars. At the forth instar, the usual larva reaches a length of almost one half of an inch and toward the end of this instar ceases feeding. When the fourth instar larva molts, it becomes a pupa mosquito.

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

skunks

Removing Skunks from Texas Suburbs

skunks

Skunks Can Cause Pungent Problems for Pets

If you live in the south or Midwest, you’re probably very familiar with skunks and the problems they cause. These small, cat-sized mammals are foragers and are often sighted during the same season as raccoons and opossums. The skunk, of course, is known for the terrible odor that it produces from glands beneath its tail, and as a result, a variety of urban legends surround the skunk and how to get rid of its pervasive stench.

Skunks can be easily spotted thanks to their characteristic black-and-white stripes, although they can sometimes have brown-and-grey coats. All skunks, regardless of color, have a prominent and unmistakable tail that serves as a visual indication of their uniquely odorous traits.

Skunks are omnivores, and much like opossums and raccoons, will eat almost anything. They’ve known to prefer insects and grubs, small rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, and birds, though they’ll also eat berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi, and nuts if the opportunity to do so presents itself. In cosmopolitan areas, they have no qualms about overturning and rooting through garbage cans in search of discarded food.

Skunks will also occasionally act as scavengers, eating the carcasses of birds or rodents. Cat owners, especially, might have problems with them, as they’ve been known to find their way into garages or basements in search of cat food left out in the open. Likewise, skunks frequently dig holes in lawns in search of earthworms and grubs.

skunksSkunks have excellent sense of hearing and smell, although they have quite poor eyesight which only extends to about 10 feet, making them vulnerable to death by road traffic. In the wild, these animals are fairly short-lived, often surviving for no more than a year.

As everyone knows, skunks are famous for the noxious odor they emit when threatened. A skunk’s scent glands produce of mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals such as thiols. This scent mixture is strong enough to ward off most predators, including bears, and can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove from clothing. Aside from the stench, the liquid itself can be extremely physically irritating, and can even cause temporary blindness.

skunksAlthough it is fairly rare for a skunk to bite a human, the most prevalent cause of same can be traced to the rabies virus. In fact, raccoons and skunks vie for the title of most prolific carrier of rabies throughout many regions of the United States. That said, it’s generally agreed upon that a skunk will use its spray only as a weapon of last resort. Their distinctive coloration is the first major deterrent, and many would-be predators know to flee the area when they spot the telltale black-and-white stripes. Otherwise, a skunk will usually attempt to ward off predators with threatening hisses, foot-stamping, and tail-raising.

Cantu Pest Control cares about safe and humane trapping of the wildlife that has invaded your home or business. We believe that wildlife invaders do not have to be killed in order to solve the invasion. After our skunk removal professionals have properly and thoroughly employed measures that will eliminate future wildlife infestation then the property owner may choose to have any wildlife in and around the property caught in humane traps.

If skunks 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 skunk removal experts.

coyotes

Trapping and Removing Coyotes in Texas Suburbs

coyotes

Coyotes Are Often Skittish Around Human Populations

Coyotes are remarkably intelligent animals with acute senses of survival. Their keen eyesight, hearing, and smell make them effective predators, and their opportunistic nature often means that they’ll happily consume discarded food in more urban environments.

Most coyotes are slightly smaller than the average German shepherds and can be identified by their erect ears, slender legs, and bushy, black-tipped tail. Most coyotes are either grey or sand colored, so as to better blend in with their habitat.

Coyotes are omnivores and are very opportunistic. They’ll eat many different types of animals, including rabbits, rats and mice, insects, carrion, and even fruits and vegetables.

coyotesThese animals use dens for birthing and rearing their young, but do not normally require much in the way of shelter. In keeping with their opportunistic nature, they usually prefer inhabiting abandoned badger burrows or natural cracks and crevices.

In broad terms, coyotes tend to keep to themselves, but with human housing developments continually moving farther and farther into previously undeveloped areas, the chances that the average homeowner will have a run-in with a coyote at some point have increased.

Coyotes and bobcats are widespread and Texas, though trapping them and removing them may not be the wisest course of action. While trapping can alleviate the problem in some specific circumstances, it is not sufficient to completely eliminate coyote problems in urban areas.

coyotesStill, there are a number of simple and straightforward ways to decrease the chances of coyote-related problems on your property. Bringing in pet food and water is a good first step, and making sure that garbage can lids are secured will keep them from rooting through your trash in the dead of night.

Coyotes are, after all, predators, which means that small pets may occasionally be at risk. Always walk pets on a leash, especially at night. Likewise, it’s important to keep bird seed and squirrel feed well off the ground. Coyotes will often be drawn to the seed, and will be drawn even more quickly to birds and small rodents that happen to be feeding on the seed.

If you do spot a coyote in your yard, certain simple noisemakers and even thrown rocks are often enough to make them wary of entering your property again, at least for a little while.

Cantu Pest Control cares about safe and humane trapping of the wildlife that has invaded your home or business. We believe that wildlife invaders do not have to be killed in order to solve the invasion. After our professionals have properly and thoroughly employed measures that will eliminate future wildlife infestation then the property owner may choose to have any wildlife in and around the property caught in humane traps.

If coyotes 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 control experts.

crickets

Controlling and Exterminating Crickets

cricketsAlthough 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.

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.

cricketsThe eggs will hatch during the spring and summer of the next year, and the whole process will begin anew. This is a challenging time for homeowners because crickets will eat almost any organic material, including any plants you may have in your yard as well as beneficial insects. That said, they also serve as a food source for predators like centipedes and birds, ensuring a healthy ecosystem.

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.

cricketsThese 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 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 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.

Ants

Fire Ant Removal and Identification

Fire Ants

Fire Ants Are Social Insects and Can Create Massive Colonies

The term fire ant is the general name that acts as an umbrella over a large number of specific species of red ants that inhabit the United States. The types of ants that are under this umbrella include pyramid ants, pharaoh ants, harvester ants, and finally the most notorious: the red imported fire ant. All these species of ants closely resemble one another, and all share the same biology. All ants have a body divided into three sections: head, thorax and tail. Fire ants also have antennae that are bent at a 90 degree angle, and sport the standard six legs.

Fire AntsAnts are very social insects that make their home in a colony which was built by their queen after recently swarming and mating. Swarming usually occurs during the spring and fall after a rainfall. Winged males and winged females will leave their current colonies to swarm, pair off and mate. After mating the male ant dies while the female ant will shed her wings, and burrow into soil to build her own colony. These new colonies are generally found near wood sources, such as a fallen tree or near a house, and in sunny areas. After burrowing the new queen will give birth to a small number of eggs and feed the new hatchlings herself. These new ants will either be winged males, reproductives, or sterile female worker ants. From this point on the queen will continue to increasingly produce more offspring resulting in over 500,000 new ants in a single colony.

Fire AntsThe fact that fire ants can be social insects can be seen in the way that they interact with other nearby colonies of the same species. A single colony of ants can be very territorial and attack intruders, but fire ants are known to actually share queens with other nearby colonies resulting in a rapid growth of even more colonies and swarming. The resilience of these ants is evident in their survival tactics. If a colony is subjected to flood water, or attacked by outside forces such as a human with chemicals, it only takes the queen and a handful of worker ants to survive in order make a brand new colony a few feet away just overnight. Therefore, it is important to completely eradicate this pest problem from the start.

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