Posts

ticks

Ticks Can Transmit a Number of Serious Diseases

ticksTicks Can Enter Homes by Hiding In Pets’ Fur

Like many other kinds of insidious pests, ticks require mammalian blood in order to survive. Ticks are often tiny, and even when engorged with blood are often the size of sunflower seeds; this means that ticks can remain undetected for extended periods, particularly if they happen to afflict your pets.

Ticks usually prefer areas with lots of overgrown vegetation, so be sure to keep your lawn well maintained if you intend to cut down their numbers this summer. While it may be common practice to inspect your body and clothing closely after traversing areas with heavy foliage, ticks often find their way onto humans and inside homes by hitching rides on pets.

Like many other kinds of insects, ticks will usually seek out areas that provide some kind of shelter, even inside homes. When they’re not latched onto humans or pets, they can be found in cracks and crevices and nestled within the fibers of carpets. It’s also worth noting that ticks often infest rodent and bird nesting areas, so be sure to exercise extreme caution if attempting to remove them yourself.

ticksWhile they may look similar to the casual observer, fleas and ticks require different treatment methods, and if you suspect that one or the other has made inroads into your home, call your pest control professional right away. He or she will not only be able to accurately identify the pest in question, but will recommend the more efficient and cost-effective treatment method.

Even if the chances of infection are low, it’s important to be aware of the different diseases that ticks carry, in order to be prepared should the worst occur. The most common disease carried by ticks is Lyme disease. This disease is characterized by an inflamed read ring around the afflicted area, as well as joint and muscle pain, and fever. While Lyme disease may be the most common, ticks can transmit a number of equally dangerous diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, and Tularemia.

As warm weather approaches, it’s important to be aware of the ways in which you can avoid tick bites while enjoying the outdoors. For example, wear long-sleeve shirts and pants if hiking or walking through the woods, and choose lighter colors which will allow you to spot ticks easier against the fabric. Also, wear hats and keep long hair tucked underneath to avoid ticks getting tangled and hiding on your person.

ticksCantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Texas tick 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 ticks 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 tick removal experts.

fleas

Fleas Can Lay Eggs in Inconspicuous Places

fleasOutdoor Pets Can Exacerbate Flea Infestations

When the weather begins to warm in the spring and summer, all manner of outdoor pests will become more active. Unfortunately, this also includes fleas, which generally experience a period of inactivity during the winter.

Like bedbugs, these parasites require mammalian blood in order to survive. In most cases, humans will pick up fleas from their pets, who may contact them from running around outdoors. Fleas can then be easily transferred from pet to owner, and then to any number of places inside the home.

Indeed, fleas are famously tenacious pests, and can transfer to a human host from a different pest that’s been trapped and removed. For example, if you successfully trap or kill a mouse or raccoon that’s been skulking around your property, any fleas that it may be carrying may be forced to find a different host, which may end up being pets or their owners.

Despite their size, flea bites can potentially be very dangerous. While they more often than not only result in numerous red, swollen, and itchy bumps, these pests can occasionally transmit a number of serious diseases. Most famously, fleas are responsible for the spread of the black plague in Europe during the 14th century; illnesses like murine typhus, tungiansis, and tularemia are also among those carried by fleas in North America.

fleasSince fleas are minuscule pests, it’s important to be aware of other signs of flea activity. For example, pets scratching themselves abnormally frequently may be an indication of a flea infestation. The sudden presence of the telltale red, itchy bites it also another.

Additionally, be on the lookout for what’s commonly referred to as “flea dirt;” that is, flea feces which resembles ground black pepper, and may be spotted in pet bedding, carpets, and rugs.

It’s also important to keep in mind that flea infestations can begin and spread very quickly. Fleas hide their miniscule eggs in the fibers of carpets, clothing, and put fur, and can therefore be quite difficult to detect. Accordingly, it’s vital that you contact your local pest control professional if you even suspect that fleas may have entered your home.

fleasIn the meantime, and in an effort to keep fleas from laying eggs in the first place, be sure to wash your pet’s bedding frequently, and sweep and mop tile or wooden floors—especially where the floor meets the baseboard.

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

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

beetles

Beetle Populations Explode During the Spring and Summer

beetlesBeetles Help Maintain a Healthy Ecosystem

Beetles can be particularly troubling pests because of their ability to reproduce quickly and to consume vegetation at an alarming rate. These pests can be found all throughout the world and even twenty-five thousand different species have been discovered in North America alone.

Despite their generally small size, beetles can decimate garden crops and vegetation, as well as wood and fabric. They’re often even unintentionally transported inside the home by unaware homeowners, where they’ll quickly consume almost any material they can get their mandibles on.

Beetles are largely dormant in the winter, but warmer weather that beetle activity explodes beginning in March or April and continuing through the summer. More beetles mean that the chances of them finding their way inside your home also increases.

These pests can sometimes find their way indoor through cracks and crevices in the foundation of your home, as well as through exterior-facing vents and pipes. Gaps around doors and window panes are also common entry points. Be sure to sufficiently caulk these areas wherever you may find them.

beetlesLike many other types of insects, beetles are attracted to moisture, so be sure to keep areas of you home dry where moisture tends to collect, like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Many species of beetles have no qualms about eating food stored in improperly sealed containers, and they can even eat through cardboard boxes and many types of packaging.

Maintaining thorough sanitation inside your home is generally a good idea to avoid pest infestations of all kinds, and to mitigate the risk of contracting a pest-transmitted disease like hantavirus.

Beetles also love to live under decomposing compost and other lawn detritus. These pests are vital when it comes to the maintenance of the ecosystem, as they help breakdown and recycle plant matter.

Prevention and exclusion are some of the most effective measures that pest control professionals use against beetles. Knowing what species of beetles is impacting your home is also critical, as different species have varied behaviors, diets, and breeding patterns.

beetlesWood boring beetles, for example, require a much more elaborate removal method which may include controlling wood moisture, using surface covers, freezing, and employing insecticide treatments. Bark beetles can be equally challenging pests to get rid of.

This particular species lays its eggs beneath the bark of trees, whereupon the young beetles bore into the wood of the tree, ultimately weakening and potentially killing it.

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

mice

Exercise Comprehensive Exclusion Methods to Keep Mice Out

miceMice Can Easily Spread Diseases and Parasites

House mice are common and often quite dangerous pests that can be found throughout North America. Mice can be found both in cites and in rural areas, and they’re sure to be found wherever human’s throw out food.

Mice are extremely adaptable pests mainly because they eat a wide variety of food, including seeds, grains, grubs and worms, and dry foods that humans may be storing.

Mice like to hide in quiet, out of the way places like attics, basements, and crawlspaces. In the winter, mice will be desperate to find warmth and food, and they’ll often manage to wrangle their way into your home to get it. Once mice are inside your home, they have the potential to cause health problems for your family and to damage furniture, wiring, and walls.

Like beavers, mice must keep gnawing constantly to keep their teeth from growing out of control. This leads to ever-growing damage to furniture and storage boxes, and anywhere in which mice suspect there may be food. There are also many documented cases of house fires caused by mice chewing through wiring.

miceWhen mice establish themselves inside homes, they’ll often make their nests as close to sources of food as possible. Areas like kitchens and pantries are particularly likely to harbor these pests.

In order to combat these pests, it’s important to clean these areas thoroughly to keep them free from crumbs and spills. If possible, keep pet food sealed and stored, and make sure that any opened food is kept in bags or tight-fitting Tupperware.

Another reason why mice are particularly tricky pests to get rid of is that they breed incredibly quickly. Once they’ve successfully established themselves in your home, and once they have sufficient access to food and water, these pests will immediately begin to procreate.

The gestation period of mice is usually around twenty days, and they can have up to twelve pups in a litter. The typical female can give birth up to ten times a year, which means that mouse populations can grow exponentially and can actually get out of hand alarmingly fast.

miceWith so many mice in one place, they have an amazing propensity to spread diseases like hantavirus and parasites like fleas. Since mice are attracted to food sources, the likes of which are stored in your kitchen, it’s not uncommon for mice to spread disease simply by traversing cooking surfaces and simply depositing bacteria as they move.

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

cockroaches

Cockroaches Can Slip Indoors Through Tiny Cracks and Crevices

cockroachesCockroaches Crave Food, Water, and Warmth

Although cockroaches are associated with uncleanliness and squalor, they can enter any home in search of food, water, and warmth. These pests can fit through even the smallest cracks and crevices, and are often inadvertently transported indoors by humans. With plenty of resources and a marked lack of natural predators, human habitations are the ideal breeding grounds for cockroaches, and they can remain hidden yet thriving all year round.

Cockroaches are nocturnal pests, so even if they have established themselves in your home, you may not notice them until they’ve had plenty of opportunity to breed. Cockroaches prefer to live and breed in quiet, out of the way places like basements, crawlspaces, and even inside the cavities of walls, so even when they forage for food at night, they may remain hidden from even the most vigilant homeowner.

Cockroaches are particularly noteworthy pests because of their tendency to carry and transmit dangerous pathogens and may, in fact, exacerbate allergies. Since cockroach populations are constantly drawn to food, the kitchen is particularly at risk of become a breeding ground for cockroach-borne bacteria. Cleanliness is a vital aspect of cockroach control, and it’s extremely important to keep your kitchen, and your home in general, free from crumbs and spills.

cockroachesThere are a number of commercially available traps and baits that may help to mitigate termite infestations. Since cockroaches often enter homes through even the smallest cracks and exterior crevices, you may consider caulking gaps in tiles and concrete through which these pests may be entering your home.

Once these pests establish themselves inside your home, there are a few key signs of their presence. Molted cockroach skins and their egg shells are particularly noticeable, as are their fecal matter. Checking any traps on a frequent basis will also cut down cockroach numbers, and will also give you an idea of the location from which these pests are entering your home.

cockroachesIn a general sense, you can also take some outdoor precautions to lessen the chances of cockroaches entering your home. Make sure to maintain your lawn diligently, at least to the extent that long grass is cut down and there’s no obvious buildup of vegetation. Removing these conspicuous hiding places around the outside of your home will ensure that cockroaches won’t be tempted to make the short traversal from your lawn to your home.

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

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.