Why Wildlife Exclusion is Necessary

A raccoon in a dumpster in El Paso TXOur critter control experts at Pest Defense Solutions have been helping local homes and businesses keep safe from the many dangers of wildlife invasions for over 8 years. We’ve learned that implementing wildlife exclusion strategies before you start to notice issues is not only essential, it is possible to do on your own! Whether you’re looking to get ahead of potential wildlife problems this winter or you’re currently dealing with the presence of wild animals on your property, we have the right course of action for you. Read on to learn how to handle wildlife exclusion in El Paso!

Why Should You Do Wildlife Exclusion?

At Pest Defense Solutions, we believe that wildlife exclusion shouldn’t be a secondary measure. It should be rooted into the upkeep routines you use to maintain a safe and pleasant-looking property. This is because wild animals can cause serious problems for your home or business, ranging from garden theft to property damage to the spread of disease. Making use of our roofing, crawl spaces, sheds, and more, wild animals will stop at nothing to find food and shelter, disrupting our daily life in the process.

These are the kinds of wild animals we deal with most regularly:

  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks
  • Mice, rats, and more

How to Handle Wildlife Exclusion by Yourself

We recommend that you take these measures to protect your home or business in El Paso from wildlife:

  1. Seal holes in building exteriors: Seal cracks and gaps in the foundation, roofing, siding, and plumbing fixtures with a silicone-based caulk to prevent pest entry.
  2. Place caps on air vents and chimneys: Raccoons are notorious for invading chimneys looking for a warm place to hide. Purchase caps from a nearby home improvement store to cover your chimneys and air vents.
  3. Trim trees and bushes: Plant overgrowth in your yard can create hiding places for opossums, squirrels, and more wild animals.
  4. Check outdoor structures and appliances often: If you leave a car dormant outside or have a shed, you could be inviting animals to take shelter within. Check them routinely for wildlife presence.

Professional Wildlife Control Services in El Paso

Although the best way to keep wild animals off of your property is to conduct wildlife exclusion in the first place, many people come to us when it’s too late to get ahead of their issue. If this sounds like your situation, let us know as soon as you can. Our wildlife control experts at Pest Defense Solutions are trained in multiple methods of wildlife removal aimed at safe and efficient relocation whenever possible. We will identify the vulnerabilities that led to your wildlife issue and help you correct them to prevent future ones. Reach out today to learn more and receive a free quote!

The Dangers of Squirrels

close up of squirrel in nature yawning

Squirrels don’t look threatening at first. With their big eyes and large, bushy tails, they look akin to a stuffed animal brought to life. You may even have stifleda laugh when you saw the title of this blog post. “The Dangers of Squirrels”? What danger can come from these cute-looking things?

We’ll be honest when we say that squirrels won’t cause the same kind of damage as a lion or bear. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t wild animals. Though as a whole they still see humans as a threat and are not likely to approach or attack, feeding habits have made them more aggressive. So as the boundaries between human and squirrel-kind increasingly blur, it’s important to see the extent of their potential impact on our lives.

Squirrel in the Wild

Rabies can be contracted by any warm-blooded mammal, and that includes squirrels. However, cases of squirrels with rabies are pretty rare. That doesn’t mean an attack is completely out of the question  though. It’s happening more and more that these nut-loving creatures are lashing out on unsuspecting passers-by. And while they may not have rabies, they could carry ringworm, or be host to infected fleas or ticks. Parasitic pests have their own problems and can pass along diseases such as:

  • Encephalitis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Salmonella
  • Tularemia

Whatever the case, if a squirrel bites you, your pet, or someone you know, it’s best to get to a hospital right away.

Squirrel in the Home

You may be able to make your peace with squirrels outside your window or in the local park, but what do you do when they cross into your property? Squirrels are surprisingly intelligent and can take advantage of even the smallest gap in your home, ending up in your attic or between your walls. You’ll hear them scratching and chittering, and if you let them roam unattended to, they could cause a lot of trouble.

They could chew on wiring and insulation, which may result in an electrical fire. Their urine and droppings can damage your home’s foundation and irritate anyone with respiratory illnesses. And, to put it simply, a squirrel nest in your home is stressful and unpleasant for everyone involved. If you’re faced with an infestation, you don’t need a list of everything that could go wrong – you just want answers. And that’s exactly what Pest Defense Solutions has to offer.

Wildlife Control in El Paso

It’s not enough to simply remove squirrels in the average El Paso home. If there is a vulnerability in your home, it’s essentially an open door for any pests or nuisance wildlife in the area. That’s why, at Pest Defense Solutions, we offer wildlife control and exclusion methods that will seal your home off from the Great Outdoors. It’s a more humane school of strategy that often doesn’t even require pesticides. If you want to learn more and get your free quote, contact Pest Defense Solutions today!

Signs of a Fall Bird Infestation

pigeons migrate and cause a fall bird infestation on this roof

In most of the US, cooler weather and shorter days are signs that millions of birds will soon start migrating south for the winter. The El Paso TX area is the destination for many of these birds, and for many more, it’s a layover on their journey. That makes fall and winter prime time for residential bird infestations, which can cause structural damage, loss of property value, and health concerns. But how can you tell when you have a bird infestation? Here are some signs to look for:

Birds on Your Property

The most obvious sign of a fall bird infestation is the presence of birds. Birds will feed, bathe and spend time on your property searching for food, water, and shelter. Sometimes birds will fly around your home, perch on branches or power lines, in bushes, or on the ground. If you consistently have numerous birds around your home that don’t seem to leave, you should consider it an infestation and call a bird control service.

Excessive Bird Droppings

Bird droppings can harbor disease. Inhaling pathogens in bird droppings can cause respiratory problems. Additionally, bird droppings are acidic and can damage the finish of buildings or vehicles they land on. So, if a large flock of birds roosts on your home or business for a prolonged period of time, it could lead to serious repair bills. If you notice excessive bird droppings on or around your home or property, contact a bird removal expert before it gets worse.

Irritating Bird Noises

A little bit of squawking or cawing or flapping or chirping noises never hurt anyone. But when birds roost on your property and they start occurring day and night at all hours? That’s when things start to get seriously annoying. And it’s more than just a nuisance–it can also prevent you or your family from getting enough sleep, which can affect your mental and physical health. Birds can even nest inside the walls or attic where they’re hard to find. If you have constant bird noises around – and especially in – your home, you have a bird infestation.

Damaged Plants and Gardens

Migratory birds are hungry birds, and flowers, fruits, and vegetables are some of their favorite foods. So, if you’ve been working hard on your vegetable garden, your efforts could be completely wiped out if a bird infestation develops. Their droppings are harmful to your plants as well. A bird control specialist can develop a plan to bird-proof your garden using non-toxic techniques that won’t harm the birds–or your plants.

Humane Bird Control in El Paso

A few birds can be beautiful, but too many will quickly overtake your property and the sense of peace it provides you. A bird infestation can take hold before you realize it–especially in the fall and winter, and especially in El Paso. So, what do you do about a bird infestation if it happens to your property?

Pest Defense Solutions provides effective, professional, and humane bird control services in the El Paso, Texas area. If there are birds on or around your property, we can help remove them and keep them away.

Contact us today for a free quote!

Five Horrifying Facts About Cockroaches

Cockroach on wood block

When most people see a cockroach in their home, they don’t need to be convinced to call an exterminator. Cockroaches are repulsive and hard to get rid of on your own, after all. But here are five facts that show that cockroaches are even creepier and stranger than we thought.

Cockroaches are fast

The average walking pace for a person is 2.5 to 4 mph, but roaches can run at speeds of 3 miles per hour and won’t hesitate to run at you in an act of self-defense. Because cockroaches often feel threatened by humans, they will typically only run or fly at you to create an opening for their escape. It’s best to avoid coming in contact with cockroaches for another reason. They’re known or suspected carriers of the bacteria that cause dysentery, typhoid fever, Salmonellosis, cholera and other illnesses.

They’re Extremely Tough

Think you can just smash a cockroach with a rolled-up newspaper and be done with it? Think again. Cockroaches’ exoskeletons are exceptionally durable. They can withstand force equivalent to 900 times their own body weight. If you’ve discovered a cockroach infestation in your residence, don’t attempt to exterminate the roaches individually. Effectively eliminating a cockroach infestation is nearly impossible without help from a professional exterminator.

Killing a Cockroach Attracts More Cockroaches

Cockroaches are attracted to certain scents, and what catches their attention the most? The smell of another dead roach. A dead roach produces a smell called the “death stench,” and this scent often attracts curious nestmates. Cockroaches are known to be social creatures, so when a dead roach is discovered, they tend to investigate and relay information to the colony that they may be in danger. After alerting the colony, they may even begin feeding on the carcass of the deceased. 

A Cockroach Can Live for Weeks Without a Head

Just when you thought cockroaches couldn’t get any creepier, it turns out a cockroach is perfectly capable of surviving for multiple weeks while headless. Because these pests breathe through a system of tubes that filters air in and out of the sides of the body, a head is only needed to consume food and water. While a cockroach can’t fully restore its head, the way that it can grow back its limbs, it can survive for a few weeks until it dies of hunger or thirst.

A Cockroach Can Survive for More Than Half an Hour Without Air

A cockroach is able to hold its breath for 40 to 45 minutes, making any plans to suffocate these creepy crawlies a non-starter. 

Professional Cockroach Exterminators

If you’re dealing with a cockroach infestation, don’t hesitate to hire professional exterminators. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions are proud to serve customers with quick and reliable cockroach removal so you don’t have to deal with a problem like this all on your own. After extermination, you can count on Pest Defense Solutions to keep them from returning. Contact us today for a free quote!

How To Avoid Being Stung By Wasps

A yellow jacket spotted in El Paso TX

Dealing with wasps is no fun. When you find a wasp nest in your yard, your first thought might be to try to get rid of it, but the ever-present humming of its darting defenders turns many away. This is the right call to make. Wasps are quite irritable, so you might anger them accidentally and spur them into action against you. This can lead to a barrage of painful stings. Looking to learn more about preventing wasp stings in El Paso TX? Read on for advice from our licensed and state-certified wasp control specialists at Pest Defense Solutions!

Ways to Avoid Wasp Stings

Getting a head start on preventing wasps is the best way to avoid wasp stings. In order to do this, you have to stay diligent about making your property less attractive to them. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Keep your grass, plants, and trees trimmed back. Limiting overgrowth will result in fewer opportunities for wasps to safely build nests.
  • Be careful with sugary and protein-rich foods. Leaving them out for too long will attract wasps.
  • Toss your soda cans, food containers, and similarly attractive items into sealable bins.

If it’s too late for you to prevent wasps from building nests in your yard, you have to adjust your approach. Here are some ways to avoid a wasp sting when they’ve already settled on your property:

  • Allow wasps to approach you, and be very still when they do.
  • Refrain from swatting at them if they hover around you for too long. 
  • If you have to walk by their nests, do so carefully and slowly. 
  • If you’ve been stung and have to run away, run in a straight line, keeping your arms tucked in.

How to Take Care of a Wasp Sting

Some wasps can get riled up to the point of stinging when someone simply passes by their nest. This often leads to unsuspecting passersby being stung. You can treat your symptoms in these three ways if you end up with a wasp sting:

  1. Use a rag soaked in cold water or an ice pack as a cold compress
  2. Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to deal with pain
  3. Take an antihistamine in the area around your bite is swollen

In rare cases, a wasp sting will result in swelling of the face or mouth, nausea, faintness, and difficulty breathing. These are symptoms of anaphylaxis and warrant an immediate call for an ambulance.

Who Can Remove Wasp Nests in El Paso TX?

You should never try to remove a wasp nest on your own. Wasp nests can be home to many more individuals than you’d like, and these wasps will all team up to sting you if you deliberately disrupt their lives. Instead of taking them on yourself, reach out to your local wasp nest removal experts. At Pest Defense Solutions, we train our technicians in multiple styles of efficient and eco-conscious wasp removal. To learn more about these strategies and receive a free quote, contact our team today!

10 Tips for a Pest-Proof Backyard

Servicing a backyard in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

The warm weather every spring and summer here in El Paso TX brings people out of their homes and into their backyards to enjoy the sunshine. But how many times have you been excited about an outdoor event only to have it ruined by mosquitoes, flies, or otherwise? All sorts of pests can find something about our backyards that will help them thrive. Our job is to prevent our backyards from offering this hospitality. Read on to learn how from our exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso!

10 Tips to Keep Your Backyard Pest-Free

Many different kinds of pests will invade your backyard in our region, so it’s important to have a wide-scoping pest prevention strategy. Here are our 10 best tips for keeping your backyard pest-free:

  1. Keep your grass short: Mowing your lawn once a week can be the difference between a pest-free lawn and one riddled with ticks, fleas, and more.
  2. Trim your plants: Keep bushes, trees, and shrubs cut short and neat. Letting them grow out of hand will increase the number of pest hiding places, especially for blood-sucking pests like mosquitoes and ticks.
  3. Get rid of yard waste: Piles of yard waste prove useful for bugs as small as ants and animals as large as rats. Clear them out often to discourage unwanted guests from hiding inside.
  4. Eliminate standing water sources: Standing water sources are most infamous for attracting mosquitoes, but they also draw in many other insects. Cover or pour them out whenever you find them.
  5. Set up garden netting: From aphids all the way to raccoons, it’s hard to get a break from pests attacking our garden plants. Using netting can allow them to receive all the nutrients they need while staying safe from pests.
  6. Dethatch your lawn: Too much thatch buildup will trap excess moisture and allow pests to find hiding places more easily, so it’s important to keep watch and dethatch when necessary.
  7. Water your lawn properly: Overwatering and underwatering can both lead to pest problems for different reasons. This is why we recommend installing a sprinkler system or irrigation system to regulate your water for you.
  8. Store firewood correctly: Firewood should be kept off of the ground, far away from your home, and covered to prevent waterlogging. Taking all of these measures will reduce your risk of a termite infestation.
  9. Keep waste bins shut and distanced: Foraging pests as small as ants and as big as raccoons will take advantage of open garbage cans to look for food in. Keep them far away from your yard and seal them if possible.
  10. Hire an exterminator: A professional pest control technician will be able to identify potential vulnerabilities around your yard and help you set up plans to prevent infestations in the first place.

Pest Control for Your Backyard in El Paso TX

If you want to make sure that you don’t deal with pest problems this spring and summer, reach out to your local pest control company. At Pest Defense Solutions El Paso, we take pride in our holistic extermination approaches, working to outbreaks before they start using eco-conscious products and strategies. For a free quote, contact us today!

10 Spider Facts

Finding spiders in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

Spiders are some of the most widely-feared creatures in El Paso TX, and we understand why—with their gangly legs, clustered eyes, and accompanying tales of venomous bites, spiders don’t have the friendliest presence. However, our spider control team at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso knows spiders deeply, and we are here to teach you a bit more about them. We hope that we can sway you towards seeing them as fascinating and not so frightening!

Top Ten Facts About Spiders

  1. Most spiders can’t really hurt you: Although every spider uses venom to kill their prey, only a select few species have enough venom to seriously harm humans.
  2. Spiders live all over the place: They live all over the world and all around you right now! Research suggests that the closest spider to you at any point in time is likely less than 10 feet away.
  3. There are tens of thousands of known species: Over 35,000 different spider species have been recorded across the globe, and scientists expect to find many more species soon.
  4. Spiders give gifts: When a male spider fancies a female, he will sometimes capture an insect and wrap it in silk as an offering. Sometimes, though, the male will fake a meaningful gift by wrapping up leaves or other junk instead.
  5. Spiders can dance: Male courtship practices sometimes involve an elaborate scuttling dance routine complete with arm-waving and attention-grabbing maneuvers.
  6. Female spiders sometimes eat males: At different points in the mating process, female spiders of different species will sometimes kill (and even eat) their male counterpart, whether a courtship attempt is deemed unsatisfactory or the female sees fit to save his body as nourishment for future offspring afterwards.
  7. Spider muscles don’t work like ours: Spiders can only pull their legs in using their muscles, not extend them out. Instead, they must push a special fluid through their legs that pushes them back. This fluid also allows many spiders to jump quite far, in select species reaching lengths over 50 times that of their body!
  8. Spider silk can do many things: We often think of spider silk as the material used for webs, but some spiders also use their silk to make paths of transportation, tunnels, nests, and even as a floating device to glide through the air on.
  9. It’s also stronger than steel: Steel cut to the same density as a strand of spider silk is actually 5 times weaker!
  10. But it starts as a liquid: Spider silk only becomes solid when it makes contact with air. Before that, it sits as a liquid in the spider’s spinning gland. It’s an incredible feat of nature that it can become so strong in this way!

When Do You Need Spider Control?

While we hope that you’ve picked up some information that has changed your mind about spiders, we understand that having unwanted guests of any kind in your home or business can be unsettling. Do you need to get rid of spiders in El Paso TX? Our team at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso has you covered. Reach out today for a free quote!

Start Ant-Proofing Your Home Now!

Picking up pet food is a good way to prevent ants in your El Paso Texas home - Pest Defense Solutions

As soon as the weather warms up each year, ants start to come out in full force! Each spring here in the El Paso area, rising temperatures drive worker ants out of their nests in search of food and water for their colony. It’s often the case that they can find everything they need inside your home, and once they establish themselves inside, they can be very difficult to get rid of. It’s always better to get a head start on ant-proofing before spring is in full swing to avoid the headache of an ant infestation.

Our ant exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions have compiled our best ant prevention tips to implement into your spring cleaning or home maintenance routine.

At-Home Ant Prevention in 8 Steps

Ants can be tricky to get rid of, making it important to do everything you can to prevent them in the first place. These ant-proofing tips can help lessen the risk of getting an infestation: 

  1. Inspect your property and seal any cracks or crevices using a silicone-based caulk.
  2. Keep all pet food bowls clean and promptly clean up after spills and messes. Pick pet bowls up off the floor after meal times.
  3. Ensure downspouts and gutters are working to divert water away from the foundation.
  4. Regularly check under sinks for leaky pipes.
  5. Trim trees and shrubbery in your yard to be at least 6 inches away from your foundation.
  6. Wipe down all countertops and sweep floors regularly to clean up spills and crumbs.
  7. Store dried goods, food, and pet food in airtight containers and refrigerate ripe fruit.
  8. Take out your garbage on a regular basis and use trash cans with a tight-fitting lid.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the House

The problem with ants is that they always seem to find a way back inside! Colonies can spread quickly and form satellites of themselves, which is why controlling them can be a lengthy and frustrating process. If you have a major ant problem, you’re almost certainly going to need the help of a professional ant exterminator to get it under control. A pest control company has the tools and resources necessary to not only get rid of ants, but keep them from coming back.

Prevent Ants with Professional Ant Control

If you’ve done all you can to prevent ants but still deal with them constantly, reach out to the ant exterminators here at Pest Defense Solutions. We know how distressing ant problems are, which is why we’ll work with you to determine how best to prevent them in your home all year long. Contact our team today to learn more and receive a free quote!

How to Get Rid of Pigeons on the Roof

What pigeons look like in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

Many people agree that pigeons are some of the most annoying birds out there. Because they are dependent on humans for their food and shelter, they are found in higher numbers in areas of more dense human populations, making them even more hectic and difficult to deal with. What’s more, pigeons are just as dangerous as they are pesky. Commonly carrying diseases, parasites, and filth with them, they pose multiple threats to our health. If you’re currently dealing with pigeons that you need to get rid of, read on for expert information and advice from the bird exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions!

Are Pigeons Dangerous?

Many of us view pigeons as a nuisance or a sign of an unclean environment. However, pigeons are more than just an annoyance. These birds are actually capable of carrying and spreading many different diseases and parasites. On top of harboring ticks, fleas, mites, and lice on their bodies and passing them to humans, they are also capable of passing on these diseases:

  • Salmonella
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Cryptococcosis, and more

What’s more, pigeon droppings can quickly cause paints to deteriorate and cause damage to the structural materials in our buildings. This can cause issues for homeowners and business owners alike.

How to Get Rid of Pigeons Yourself

If you’re currently wondering how to get the pigeons off of the roof of your home or business, there are a few strategies you can take to ward them off:

  1. Physical barriers: You can block access to established nests or potential nesting sites using spikes, wire coils, and other bird deterrents for purchase
  2. Spooks: Scare off birds using reflective materials, mock predators, or even a sonic bird deterrent device that you can purchase in stores.
  3. Cut off food access: Pigeons will take advantage of any food that they can find around your home. Make sure not to leave food out, but also ensure that your trash cans are sealed shut.

If these tactics aren’t working for you, it’s crucial to call your local bird exterminators to handle the problem before it gets worse.

Professional Bird Control in El Paso

There are a lot of local regulations to abide by when conducting bird control, so if you’re having pigeon problems on your property, make sure to call up your local pest control company. The bird removal experts at Pest Defense Solutions are well versed in a variety of bird removal strategies, and can have your home or business pigeon free for now and for good in no time. Contact us today for a free quote!

Dangers of Rodent Infestations in El Paso

Rats chew on wires and create hazards in El Paso TX homes. Texas Pest Control shares info on the dangers of rodents.

Rodents are one of the most concerning pest problems we face here in El Paso. In our region, both mice and rats can be active year-round, making them a constant threat to home and business owners. Not only do rodents cause a mess in your property, but they can also be downright hazardous due to their droppings, ability to contaminate surfaces, and even spread dangerous diseases.  By understanding the real threats of dealing with a rodent problem, you can better prepare by learning to avoid a rodent problem in the first place. Read on to learn everything you need to know with the rodent control experts at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso.

Structural Damage Caused By Rats & Mice

Rats and mice can wreak havoc in your property with their nesting and chewing habits. These pests aren’t picky and can create a mess digging through your garbage. Additionally, rats have incisors that never stop growing … meaning they never stop chewing! One of the most dangerous things a rat can (and will) chew on are electrical wires. Needless to say, exposed wires can become a fire hazard. Additionally, rats and mice will tear up any type of material to create nests. If you have rodents in your property, you can be sure you’ll have a lot of cleanup to take care of in their wake. This is very hazardous and is always best left to the expertise of a professional.

What Diseases Are Spread By Rodents?

In Texas and all around the world, there are a number of serious illnesses and health risks tied back to the presence of rodents. These pathogens can be spread directly or indirectly. Mice-borne diseases are spread directly to humans through contact with droppings, saliva, and bites. They are transmitted indirectly through ticks, fleas, and mites. The three main rodent-borne diseases to be aware of include:

  • Hantavirus
    • Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases or when it is not treated, it can lead to shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  • Salmonella
    • When rats and mice walk over surfaces, they are tracking dirt and bacteria across other food surfaces. Salmonella, commonly referred to as food poisoning, can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and worse.
  • Rat-bite fever
    • Also known as Streptobacillus, rat-bite fever is usually caused by a bite or scratch from an infected rat. It is also caught by handling infected animals and ingesting food or drink contaminated with the rat’s feces or urine.

Want to Protect Your Property From the Dangers of Rodents?

If you notice the presence of rats or mice inside your property, it’s time to call a rodent exterminator. At Pest Defense Solutions, our mice exterminators have the experience needed to properly get rid of infestations and ensure you are protected from future rodent problems. Our goal is to keep you, your family, and your property safe from the dangers of rodents year-round. Contact us today to get started!