What You Need To Know About Pests In North Texas
Greater North Texas provides residents with many benefits, including great schools, great weather, and excellent community support. However, people are not the only creatures that have discovered how great it is living in Texas. Many insects, rodents, and other pests have developed large, thriving populations throughout North Texas. The best way to discourage pests from calling your property home is to be armed with information. The more you know about our area’s most common pests, the easier it is to avoid and deter them.
Let the professionals at Shoop’s Texas Termite & Pest Control help you prevent problems with pests through our effective pest control services and our informative pest guide!
Ants are insects known for being social, living together in large colonies, and regularly finding their way into our yards and homes to forage for food and to nest. Ants are a problem year-round in Texas but are most problematic during the warmest months when they are actively gathering food to bring back to the nest, and the reproductive ants are creating more and more ants every day. Unlike other pests, ants make their presence very well known, and because we so regularly see them, we almost become immune to their presence- that is until we see them crawling across our kitchen counters!
In general, ants are known for being nuisance pests and don’t pose huge problems for people. However, there are dangerous ants that all property owners need to protect their properties against. Some bite, some sting, and others spread significant diseases. In our area, carpenter ants are a species that isn’t directly dangerous to people but is dangerous to our property. These large black ants like to nest within pieces of damaged or decaying pieces of wood. After moving into our homes searching for food, they often decided to stay and create an indoor nest to expand their colony in a safe, temperature-controlled environment. Structural wood near sinks, tubs, leaking pipes, and air-conditioners often make suitable nesting spots for carpenter ants. If you ever spot ants large or small moving in or around your home, calling a professional for assistance is the best way to identify the ants present, remove them, and of course, prevent a re-infestation!
If you need help solving an ant problem on your property, reach out to Shoop’s Texas Termite & Pest Control today to learn more about our pest control services. Implementing the following prevention tips will help you to avoid introducing ants into your home.
- Don’t leave food accessible to ants. Keep lids on trashcans and recycling bins, pick up uneaten pet food, and don’t store food on counters or tables.
- Inside your home, regularly vacuum to remove crumbs that ants could use as a food source.
- Excess moisture can attract ants, repair leaky pipes and areas of poor ventilation and drainage.
- Seal cracks in your home’s foundation, gaps under doors, and repair damaged trim or weather-stripping.
- Remove tree stumps, fallen trees, and leaf piles from your home that ants could build a nest under or within.
Bed bugs are a pest regularly discovered in homes and businesses throughout Texas and the country. These small insects are found wherever there are people, with public places like hotels, airports, schools, laundry mats, and movie theaters common places to come into contact with these pests. Bed bugs feel so at home with people because our blood is their preferred food source. In addition to our blood, cats, dogs, birds, and rodents, will provide these pests with a food source. Making themselves at home inside any house or business we introduce them into makes bed bugs difficult to control and avoid.
Living mainly indoors and being unable to fly or jump means that bed bugs have had to get creative to move from place to place. Bed bugs have learned that the most efficient way for them to travel is by hitchhiking. They will crawl onto people’s clothing or inside belongings (furniture, mattresses, rugs) and move wherever we take them. Bed bugs are prolific breeders, so just a few finding their way into your home can quickly lead to a large-scale infestation. Adding to their ability to create large populations is that they are nocturnal and hide during the day well out of our sight in dark, tight spaces like the seams of mattresses, cracks in wooden furniture, or behind wooden trim or baseboards. They emerge at night to feed on our blood while we are sleeping, and more times than not, people are unaware they are being used as a food source. Regular pest inspection and service visits are the best way to protect your home and family from bed bugs and other household infesting pests!
If you suspect bed bugs are living in your home or want to make sure they aren’t, reach out to us at Shoop’s Texas Termite & Pest Control for help. In conjunction, implement the following prevention tips to avoid introducing bed bugs into your home.
- When using a laundry mat, always bring your own laundry baskets. After drying your clothing, immediately place it into your basket and bring it home to fold.
- Before bringing luggage into a hotel room, inspect it for bed bugs.
- Upon returning home from traveling, immediately wash and dry all clothing taken. Vacuum out and clean all luggage taken.
- When spending time in any public space, including work or school, try to keep your belongings away from other people’s things and up off the ground.
- Avoid purchasing used furniture or mattresses for your home; the discount isn’t worth the risk of a bed bug infestation.
Prolific breeders, fast-moving, and frustrating are words that are often used to describe cockroaches. Cockroaches are pests that regularly find their way into our Texas homes and businesses, much to all of our dismay. Unwanted because of their unparalleled ability to spread disease, parasites, and contaminate food, cockroaches are a pest that needs to be controlled and, at first sight, eliminated. Common hideouts within our homes are places that provide them with warmth, moisture, and food. Kitchens, bathrooms, basements, attics, and crawl spaces are where cockroaches are regularly discovered.
Thousands of different species of cockroaches live worldwide, but just a handful have adapted to living with people and have caused them their bad reputation. Cockroaches become a problem anywhere as they can find their way into our structures either by hitchhiking or on their own through openings in the exterior of your home. The American cockroach, brown-banded cockroach, German cockroach, and Oriental cockroach live in our area and make themselves home in our homes and businesses. Cockroaches are nocturnal species, hiding during the day and emerging at night to scavenge for food. If you are seeing cockroaches during the day, it is a likely sign that a large infestation has already developed and requires immediate attention.
For help solving your property’s cockroach problems, reach out to Shoop’s Texas Termite & Pest Control today. Implementing the following prevention tips will help you to avoid introducing cockroaches into your home.
- Pick up leftover pet food and water dishes after your pets have finished eating.
- Keep outdoor eating areas clean and free of food debris.
- Make sure trashcans have tight-fitting lids on them.
- Store food inside your home within the refrigerator or in air-tight containers.
- Regularly vacuum and clean your home.
- Place wire mesh screens over chimneys and vents leading into your home.
- Caulk cracks that develop in your home’s foundation, replace damaged siding, and make sure window and door screens are in place.
Rodents that tap dance, cook, and sing in cartoons make it seem like these critters are harmless, friendly animals. But the reality is that rodents like mice and rats spread diseases, contaminate food, and cause structural damage; they should never be allowed to become a part of our households. Three of the most common species in our area that regularly infiltrate our Texas homes and businesses are the large Norway rat, the nimble roof rat, and the small, agile house mouse. Nocturnal creatures, rodents often hide during the day, but their rice-shaped droppings, gnaw marks, and unpleasant odors, give them away.
Rodents are regular visitors to our homes and businesses because they live nearby. The grassy yards, parks, fields, and wooded areas surrounding our structures provide the perfect outdoor habitats for rodents. Food is the main attractant for rodents to any property, their high metabolism making it a top priority for them to find a reliable food source. Things like open trash cans, pet food, and gardens provide them with all the food they need to keep their stomachs full. If the weather becomes unsuitable or food sources become scarce, they often look to move indoors. Over time, they have learned that our homes can provide safe shelter and easy access to food sources from our kitchens, pantries, and other storage areas. Once rodents move inside, they will quickly create a nesting site, breed, and produce more rodents, causing even bigger problems within your home.
If rodents are living rent-free in your yard or home, reach out to us at Shoop's Texas Termite & Pest Control for help. In addition to our effective rodent control solutions, the following prevention tips are helpful to implement to make your property less attractive to rodents.
- Remove things that attract rodents from your yard like open trash cans, compost bins, bird feeders, and pet food.
- Seal spaces around pipes and other utilities entering into your house.
- Seal up any cracks or gaps in your foundation and exterior walls.
- Repair damaged or rotting wood trim.
- Make sure to keep exterior doors closed and install weatherstripping around windows and doors.
- Place caps on chimneys and mesh covers over vents.
Spiders are arachnids. They are important predators in nature and in our backyards, helping to limit the number of nuisance and destructive insects. Spiders are also pests that many people fear, making them largely unwanted on our properties. Though the spider's quick movements, less than cuddly appearance, and creepy webs startle people, the good news is that most spiders we come into close contact with are harmless. Yes, spiders have hollow fangs that can penetrate people's skin, and yes, they inject venom through those fangs, but only a couple of spiders in the U.S. have venom potent enough to cause harm to people. Most spiders only have venom strong enough to affect their insect prey.
To understand why you are suddenly finding large numbers of spiders in your yard or wandering around your home, you need to understand what is attracting them. The biggest attractant for any pest to a property is food, and spiders are no exception. Spiders are predators and feed primarily on insects. Properties with large populations of insects in their outdoor and indoor spaces draw spiders. Trash cans, gardens, standing water, and outdoor light fixtures are where insects tend to hang out, and wherever there are insects, there will also be hungry spiders lurking nearby. Spiders typically become a problem in our homes for one of two reasons; first, they are searching for a dark, quiet space to lay eggs, or second, they have followed their prey indoors. Once inside, if there is food and water present, the spiders will stay and enjoy the benefits of your temperature-controlled home!
To take care of your property's unwanted spiders, reach out to the professionals at Shoop's Texas Termite & Pest Control. In conjunction with our spider control services, the following prevention tips will help make your North Texas property less attractive to spiders.
- Dense vegetation can house insects and spiders. Cut back shrubs and bushes from your home's exterior and walkways.
- Clutter is another popular hiding spot for spiders that are naturally shy and reclusive. Remove clutter from your yard and inside of your home.
- If moisture is building up in your yard or around your house, fix the leaky pipes or poor drainage causing it.
- Inspect your home's exterior surfaces, caulking any cracks or other openings you discover.
- Make sure weatherstripping is in place around windows and doors and that screens are tight and intact.
Here in Texas, everything is bigger, including the problems we experience with Termites. Texas is a place where termites thrive, and our area's property owners have to be vigilant of not just one species, but two — subterranean termites and Formosan termites. Subterranean termites may be less aggressive feeders, but they cause more damage as a whole because they are more widespread. The Formosan termite is a type of subterranean termite that is a voracious and aggressive feeder that quickly causes substantial damage. Unlike subterranean termites that solely nest underground, the Formosan can nest aerially, thanks to their ability to create carton nests. They often place these nests on the roofs of buildings. Neither species nest inside the wood they are gathering food from to feed their expansive colonies.
Both subterranean termites and Formosan termites have high moisture needs and a preference for feeding on water-damaged wood. Properties with poor drainage, ventilation, leaky plumbing, or lots of trees and wood debris tend to be at most risk for termites. However, it is important to note that a termite infestation can find its way to any of our Texas properties. Guarding our structures against these wood-eating pests is difficult because the damage they cause often becomes extensive before being discovered. Also, because termite damage is avoidable, most homeowners' insurance doesn't cover termite damage, leaving the cost of repairs up to the homeowner. Billions of dollars in damages are caused by termites each year, with subterranean termites responsible for the bulk of that damage.
If you are suspicious that termites are living rent-free in your yard or home, reach out to us at Shoop's Texas Termite & Pest Control for help. In conjunction with our termite control solutions, the following prevention tips will help make your North Texas property less attractive to termites.
- Keep gutters clear to keep rainwater from overflowing and seeping into your roof or down the sides of your home.
- Repair leaky spigots or hoses that can allow water to pool around your home.
- Avoid wood to soil contact on your property.
- Create a two-foot barrier between your home's exterior walls and any mulch.
- Never pile wood near or against your home.
- Remove leaf piles and grass piles from your yard.
If you need help ridding your property of the pests causing damage and bothering you and your family, reach out to Shoop's Texas Termite & Pest Control. We are North Texas' leading termite and pest control company. We provide the services necessary to keep homes and businesses free of pests that are not only pesky but potentially dangerous. To learn more about our pest control solutions and why we have been named "The Best Pest Control Company" for 25 years in a row, give us a call today!