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termites

Formosan Termites Can Cause Structural Damage, Even in Winter

termitesFormosan Termites are Particularly Threatening Because of Their Huge Populations

It may surprise many homeowners to know that termite damage is not covered by many insurance plans, despite that fact that some termite populations in Texas, including that of the subterranean Formosan termite, have reached epidemic proportions.

Formosan termites are a particularly dangerous and invasive species, and the damage they pose to wooden structures surpasses that of floods and fires.

Formosan termites are sometimes called “super termites” because of their propensity to breed incredibly quickly and their tendency to decimate any source of wood they come into contact with.

There are upwards of 2,000 known species of termites, so in order to effectively combat an infestation, it’s important to know which species is causing problems. Biologically and behaviorally, Formosan termites are quite different from other species, which means that your local pest control professional will take unique precautions to counter these tenacious pests.

As spring approaches, termite activity will become more pronounced, ultimately culminating in peak activity during the summer months. Formosan termites breed throughout the spring, and their populations can number in the millions. Naturally, great amounts of cellulose are required to sustain such a large colony, which compels them to seek out new feeding grounds—most notably, suburban homes.

termitesLike carpenter ants, these termites can silently and inconspicuously eat away at the foundations of a structure. If you suspect that termites have infiltrated your home, it’s extremely important to get in touch with your local pest control professional as quickly as possible.

Formosan termites have a number of warning signs associated with their damage-causing potential, including sagging walls and ceilings, and conspicuous creaking foundations.

As the name implies, Formosan subterranean termites build their nests underground, but will quickly begin to consume any cellulose they come into contact with. These pests build elaborate honeycomb-shaped nests that can extend outwards from a central hub, and often culminate in tubes of mud which extend off the ground. These tubes, which may be found snaking their way up walls in extreme instances, are a telltale sign of the presence of Formosan termites.

During the winter months, Formosan termites will burrow anywhere from twelve to eighteen inches below ground in order to escape the frigid temperatures on the surface. Rest assured, however, that these pests will re-emerge as soon as temperatures and resources are conducive to breeding.

termitesIf termites manage to find a way inside your home during their otherwise-dormant winter period, the abundance of heat and wood will allow them to continue to wreak havoc virtually unabated.

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

ants

Ants Can Prove to Be Troublesome Indoor Pests, Even in Winter

antsAnts Are Drawn to Glucose, Warmth, and Water

Getting rid of ants during the winter months can sometimes be a tricky proposition, because an infestation can quickly spread from one area of the house to its entirety at a pretty alarming rate.

Ants are drawn to glucose and water, and during the coldest parts of the year, your home is a particularly attractive foraging ground. While driving ants away from your home is obviously an important aspect of pest control, it’s equally important to actually keep them away.

Ants usually establish a nest close to their food source, so they’ll likely try to nest in walls, floors, and crawlspaces. While it’s true that ants are generally less active in the winter than they are in the summer, they still have the capacity to expand their populations alarmingly quickly as long as they have sufficient access to food, water, and warmth.

Nevertheless, there are a number of proactive steps you can take to reduce the chances of ants making incursions into your home in the first place. One of the most important is to seal all food containers and clean spillages and crumbs thoroughly as soon as you can. Ants can detect even minute traces of glucose—which is in nearly all of our food—so maintaining a clean living space is a critical precaution.

carpenter antsIf you spot a solitary ant wandering around your home, chances are high that there are many more of his fellows lurking around. If possible, try to make a note of where the ant goes—if it enters a crack in the wall or slips under a door—which will help indicate where these pests are entering your home.

While it’s never ideal for ants to be living inside your home, some species, like carpenter ants, for example, can prove particularly damaging to walls, floors, and ceilings. These ants burrow through wood in much the same way as termites, although carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood in which they nest. Over time, a large population of carpenter ants can weaken the structural integrity of buildings.

AntsNaturally, your first step as a homeowner if you suspect that your home may also be hosting an ant infestation is to get in touch with your local pest control professional. Despite a number of commercially available ant baits and traps, it’s extremely unlikely that a non-expert will be able to fully eradicate an infestation on their own, and such an attempt may end up costing even more time and money in the long run.

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

mice

Mice Infestations Can Facilitate the Spread of Dangerous Diseases

miceMice Can Damage Wiring, Walls, and Furniture

As they try to seek out spaces for nests that aren’t likely to be disturbed by humans, mice will often traverse dusty attics and seldom-used basements, meaning that if a mouse were to scamper across a particularly dusty patch of floor, they’ll likely leave behind their telltale footprints.

Mice have a unique bone structure, making their tracks fairly easily recognizable—as long as you have an idea of what you’re looking for. They have a four-toed front paw and a five-toed back paw, which you’ll often see in conjunction with myriad tail-prints. That said, your local mouse removal professional will be able to tell at a glance what species and how many mice you may be up against.

Likewise, the sudden abundance of holes in various surfaces like furniture and walls are a clear indication of the presence of mice. Their ever-growing teeth need to be constantly used—much like a beaver’s—so they don’t do any undue harm to themselves.

miceThat said, mice can chew through almost any surface and, given enough time, they tend to do just that; unchecked mouse populations can present serious economic repercussions, as the damage that they do during the course of the infestation will doubtless need to be repaired.

Moreover, mice have been known to present serious fire hazards, as electrical wires rank among the items most frequently defaced. Apart from furniture, wiring, and walls, teeth and nail markings might also appear along baseboards or wooden paneling close to the floor, as well as the edges of frequently travel routes. Mice will often gnaw through boxes, both wooden and cardboard, as untended boxes tend to provide easy access to hiding and nesting places.

On that note, it’s very common to find that mice have been hard at working boring holes into insulation in between walls and in attics. These holes or tunnels may be indications of possible nesting areas, and are often characterized by a lack of dust and/or cobwebs, albeit with an abundance of droppings in the near vicinity.

mice

The characteristic scent that’s produce by a mouse’s urine is the factor that finally convinces homeowners to call in their pest control professionals, although by the time the odor becomes offensive, the mouse population in the area in question has been able to propagate unchecked for quite some time.

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

beavers

Live-Trapping and Removal Help Combat Beaver Populations

beaversBeavers Can Potentially Flood Crops and Buildings

Beavers are remarkable engineers and have the unique ability to modify their environment to suit their needs. As with many other constructive animals, they play an important role in preserving the balance of local ecosystems. Beavers help conserve and store water for dry times of year with their dams, and also help control flooding during the rainy season.

When beavers live in close proximity to humans, however, they are often considered pests, and have been known to cause widespread damage with their dam-building activities. Beaver dams have the potential to flood crops, roads, pastures, especially when a given area experiences a sudden and unexpected downpour, and the water doesn’t have any clear route for drainage.

beaversBeavers are incredibly stubborn and tenacious animals, and have been known to consistently frustrate human efforts to remove their damns. Beavers spend most of their time constructing or repairing their dams to ensure that they remain livable, so when humans remove or destroy them, the beavers’ instincts kick into high gear and the damn is immediately rebuilt.

Beavers can be found in most wooded lakes and rivers in Texas, and can easily find their way into residential areas as long as the conditions are favorable. They tend to avoid arid areas, as year-round conditions do not lend themselves to beaver mating and breeding habits.

When beavers begin making their homes a little too close to humans, it’s occasionally necessary to remove these animals, so as to avoid flooding and excessive damage to wooden structures.

Under normal circumstances, legal live-trapping and removal is a commonly used method for control. However, it’s important to note that this measure may only last for a season or two, before a new pair of beavers move into the same area and begin to mate and build dams.

This is often a common occurrence, as beavers are driven from their homes by expanded housing developments encroaching on their habitats. Most of the time, these animals will drift farther downstream until they find a suitable location to build a new dam. A pair of beavers have the ability to damn a small river, start to finish, in about three or four days.

beavers

Beaver activity if fairly easy to spot in the wild. If the dam isn’t immediately obvious, you’ll likely be able to spot the distinctive work done to felled trees by their powerful incisors.

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 beavers 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.

ringtail cats

Limit Access to Food and Water to Deter Ringtail Cats

ringtail catsHomeowners Can Deter Ringtail Cats With a Variety of Exclusion Methods

Ringtail cats are curious creatures. These strange animals prefer the more arid regions of North America and are usually nocturnal. While winter draws nearer and temperatures continue to cool, attics and crawlspaces become more attractive to all kinds of pests, from bats to these ringtail cats.

Ringtail cats are fairly small creatures, usually weighing between two to three pounds. These creatures are omnivores and opportunistic feeders. They’ll eat anything, really: insects, lizards, small birds, fruits, and nuts.

These animals closely resemble small foxes, but with characteristic massive bushy tails. Not unlike mice, ringtail cats can use their tails to navigate tight areas and manage to pull off impressive feats of climbing and balance. With these traits, ringtails can navigate all manner of tricky architecture with ease, meaning that they can access your attic or wall voids as long as they have a large enough point of entry.

ringtail cats

Locating points of entry around your home can be pretty tricky because ringtail cats can fit into nooks and crannies as small as a golf ball. While ringtails are more skittish and not as dangerous to pets. Be that as it may, ringtail feces does have the ability to spread serious diseases that may harm members of a household.

As long as one is properly educated about the problems caused by ringtail cats, there isn’t much reason to worry. If you suspect that these animals have made appearances around your home, be sure to contact a pest control professional right away.

There are a number of methods you can use to decrease the chances of ringtail cats causing problems around your home. One such method is to make sure that access to food and water is limited. Be sure to remove pet food and water at night, as ringtails will likely be drawn to such an easy score. Since ringtails also dine on insects on a regular basis, you may consider switching your outdoor lighting from white light bulbs to yellow, which tend to attract fewer insects, and thus make your home less appealing for predators that feed on these insects, including bats and ringtail cats.

ringtail catsCantu 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 ringtail cats 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.

hogs

Hogs Can Present Severe Problems for Landowners

hogsHogs Are Tenacious Pests and Prolific Breeders

It’s difficult to overstate how quickly wild hogs can become a problem for landowners. A sow, for example, becomes sexually mature at six months and can bear two litters per year with six to eight young per litter. Some studies have suggested that upwards of seventy percent of hogs in a given population must be removed each year in order to keep the population at a stable number.

In more rural areas of Texas, feral hogs can be an extremely severe problem. As many unfortunate homeowners know as a result of firsthand experience, wild pigs can cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage to one’s home and land—not to mention livestock. These animals are extremely tenacious by nature and, moreover, are extremely prolific breeders, meaning that any hog problem should be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Wild hogs can root up crops, spread disease, and will eat—or at least try to eat—almost anything they come into contact with. To make matters far worse, hogs are generally extremely intelligent animals and will quickly catch on to human attempts to control or remove them from a particular area. For example, if one attempts to remove hogs from his or her land by systematically hunting them, they may succeed in downing one or two, but may soon discover that the remaining hogs have quickly adapted and learned from their slain brethren’s’ mistakes.

hogsWhile it is, admittedly, extremely difficult to remove wild hogs from your property, it’s certainly not impossible with diligent work and application. While you may not ever be able to remove these animals permanently you can certainly buy yourself some time and they may deign to keep off your land for at least a season or two.

Despite the significant challenges to such a task, there are a number of worthwhile methods you can use to keep hog populations under control.

One of the most effective, however, is trapping. If done correctly, trapping and removing hogs can result in 100% eradication of these burdensome pests. Your local pest control professional will know exactly where and how to trap these animals, and ensure that it’s done correctly. Otherwise, they might be able to determine the weak points of the trap, manage to escape, and become ‘trap shy’ and impossible to catch for the rest of their lives.

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 hogs 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.

bobcat

Bobcats Help to Maintain a Healthy Ecosystem In the Southwest

bobcatBe Wary of Household Pets Left Outdoors

Bobcats are common throughout the United States, but are rarely seen in cities and urban areas thanks to their aloof, reclusive nature. When they are spotted by humans, they are sometimes mistaken for normal house cats, although it should be noted that bobcats are actually two to three times larger than the average house cat, but smaller than a mountain lion.

Like all felines, bobcats are predators and feed on a variety of other animals. Mice, rats, squirrels, chickens, birds, and rabbits all contribute, at least in part, to the bobcat’s diet. Although it’s unlikely, bobcats have been known to prey on domestic dogs and cats, especially in more rural areas where there is less human activity.

As is the case with any animal, bobcats play an important role in the ecosystem. Bobcats and other predators help to keep rodent populations down and rodent-borne diseases at bay. If these and other predators were eliminated from a given area, there would likely be large scale economic and public health repercussions as rodent populations begin to damage crops and vegetation, spreading diseases in the process. Likewise, predators like bobcats eat carrion, eliminating animal remains and vectors for disease.

bobcat

Unlike bats, armadillos, and other small mammals, removing bobcats is a much more challenging process.

For example, if the mother is trapped and removed to a different location, its young will likely be left alone to dehydrate and starve. Even if a pest control professional or homeowner may be able to capture the entire family at once, the kittens may be too young to be transported and released along with the mother, and will either be left alone or taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center, which is no substitute for the survival skills they would learn from their mother.

Additionally, it should be noted that bobcats are territorial animals, and relocating them to an unfamiliar area may provoke native animals to attack, obviously diminishing the chances of its relocation and survival.

bobcat

Like most cats, bobcats are fairly shy animals and persuading them to leave your property shouldn’t be too difficult. Still, there are a number of tactics which you can employ to make your yard less attractive to wandering bobcats. One such method is removing any excess vegetation or debris around your yard in order to cut down on the number of potential hiding places. Likewise, it’s a good idea to bring in any pet food or water that may normally be kept outside. Bobcats will use their excellent sense of smell to locate any nutrients they can find.

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 bobcats 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.

ants

Ants Are Attracted to Sugar and Water Around Your Home

antsCarpenter and Fire Ants Present Unique Threats to Homes

Ants are social insects, so when a few of these pests find their way inside your home, many more are sure to follow. Ants are particularly attracted to sugar, although they also need ready access to water in order to thrive. Naturally, the kitchen is the area of the house that’s most likely to attract ants from the outdoors.

Uncovered food in pantries and even in refrigerators prove more than sufficiently enticing for a hungry ant colony. Garbage cans and even exposed pet food are often enough to pique an ant’s interest from even relatively great distance.

There are over twelve thousand species of ant around the world, and even though many are harmless, there are a few species native to North America which can become particularly unwelcome houseguests. Among these troublesome pests are the fire ant and carpenter ant, that latter of which can burrow into walls, ceilings, and foundations which can weaken structural supports and necessitate costly repairs.

In the wild, carpenter ants will nest in tree trunks and piles of wet and decaying wood. Their perpetual search for food and water will sometimes bring them into contact with human habitations. Homeowners should take special care to eliminate any areas around the home where moisture tends to collect, particularly in bathrooms and basements. Even a leaky pipe or collected rainwater may be sufficient to attract carpenter ants to your property.

carpenter antsCarpenter ants are relatively large in size, and are generally black in color. If you spot these insects wandering around your home, are suspect that they have caused damage, contact your local pest control professional right away.

Much like carpenter ants, fire ants are drawn to sugar and water, but while carpenter ants can pose a threat to property, fire ants can occasional pose a threat directly to your person. It’s especially important to maintain a thorough fire ant control regimen if you have young children or pets, as idle curiosity may often compel them to start digging around near a fire ant mound.

Perceived threats to the mound will cause these pests to swarm, and you’ve no doubt experienced first-hand the painful defense mechanism these pests can employ when their territory is under attack. It may be tempting at try to remedy an ant infestation on your own, however it’s much more cost-effective and efficient in the long run to hire a pest control professional evaluate and eliminate the infestation in a timely manner.

antsCantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas termite 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 to get in touch with our Dallas ant control professionals 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.

rabbits

Rabbits Help Maintain a Healthy Ecosystem

rabbitsExclusion Methods Are a Vital Part of Rabbit Control

Wild rabbits are ubiquitous pests in almost every region of the United States. Although these pests are cute and may appear pretty harmless on the surface, rabbits are herbivores and will not hesitate to eat flowers, vegetables, and all manner of other foliage that you may be trying to cultivate on your property.

These animals are most active during the spring and summer, which is peak breeding season for rabbits, and you’ll likely notice small holes and missing flowers during this time.

Like many other small mammals, rabbits play an important role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Although it may sound slightly cruel, rabbits provide food for many different kinds of predators including foxes, bobcats, and wolves.

rabbitsLike most pests, rabbits are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they will take any opportunity they can to dine on fruits, vegetables, and flowers that may be located around human residences.

Most breeds of rabbits live in below-ground burrows, although some may choose to live in above-ground dens made of all manner of debris, including fallen logs and branches, and overgrown thickets.

Rabbits are herbivores and eat many different kinds of plants. They have the ability to completely strip a flowerbed or garden, which is one of the main signifiers of rabbit presence. Rabbits are fairly active during the day, so if they do happen to be causing problems on your property, you’ll likely be able to spot the animals themselves. Likewise, rabbit families can make a surprising amount of waste, which typically takes the form of pellets, in a short amount of time. If the rabbit problem is severe enough around your property, you will almost certainly come into contact with these pellets.

Rabbit removal is not a particularly complicated process, and there are a number of fairly effective methods to do so. Your local pest control professional will be able to aid in this process by identifying the breed of rabbit, the locations of their burrows, and their feeding and breeding habits. Perhaps the most effective and human means of rabbit removal is live trapping and relocation. When trapped and humanely removed, these animals will be able to live in breed in almost any location, provided there is enough foliage to sustain them.

rabbitsWire fencing is also a possible solution to a persistent problem, although this measure will likely only protect a specific area, like a flowerbed or garden, rather than alter the behavior of the rabbits all together.

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 rabbits 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.

moles

Mole Infestations Can Lead to Costly Lawn Repairs

molesRoot Systems and Trees Can be Damaged by Moles

Moles are extremely common pests across Texas, and have caused problems for homeowners from Houston to Dallas to San Antonio. They are subterranean creatures which can be found beneath suburban lawns and gardens. They have also been known to burrow beneath patios and porches, and love to excavate in the dark, damp earth in search of grubs and other insects.

A mole problem can often be identified by the sudden appearance of mounds of dirt on the surface of your lawn. These mounds are the result of mole excavations as the push up and rearrange the dirt beneath the surface of the ground to make room for their tunneling.

If a mole problem becomes severe enough, these creatures have the ability to damage root systems with their burrowing. Over time, this burrowing can cause severe damage to lawns and gardens, and can require expensive replacement.

Moreover, residents might find it impossible to walk across their lawn without “falling” through the surface, leaving costly and unsightly holes. Despite the relatively small size of these animals, their destructive presence can cause thousands of dollars of damage to lawns and landscaping.

molesMole remove can sometimes be a complicated process, and should only be attempted by pest control professionals who understand the behavior of these animals. Moles have very poor eyesight since they spend all their time in the dark, but they do have an excellent sense of smell, which they use for direction and hunting for food.

Depending on your specific situation and location, pest control experts may choose to plant chocolate lilies or garlic, which will naturally repel these animals. However, this approach may not always be on option, and occasionally trapping and physically removing the moles is a necessary contingency.

It’s important to note that moles can be removed in a non-lethal and humane way, and commercially available traps will usually do the job without minimal hassle. Still, the official diagnosis of a pest control expert is often invaluable, because they’ll be able to more accurately determine how many moles are in your yard and have been trained in how best to gauge the severity of the situation.moles

Moles are perfectly adapted to dig, and they’re extremely efficient at it. Some species can dig up to fifteen feet in an hour, and can dig to depths of forty inches below the surface.

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 moles 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.