Common Seasonal Pests in El Paso

Mosquitoes are a common seasonal pest in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

El Paso is home to many types of pests that are, for the most part, active throughout most of the year. Due to our mild climate, pests don’t necessarily wait out the winter like they would in other parts of the country. That said, there are still a number of seasonal pests unique to our area. At Pest Defense Solutions, we believe it is very important to learn what pests are most common in certain parts of the year in order to prepare yourself for an infestation. With information provided to us by the NPMA, we are sharing expert information on common seasonal pests to keep your eye out for throughout the year.

Fall and Winter Pests to Look Out For

The NPMA has warned that the mosquito and tick season may extend well into fall this year due to the mild summer we experienced. Due to the fact that we have such mild winters, we deal with multiple pests throughout the fall and winter:

  1. Rats & mice. When temperatures dip, rodents will try to get indoors to wait out the colder months.
  2. Ants. Because they need moisture, ants will be driven indoors more than usual this time of year to seek out sources of water.
  3. Cockroaches. Similarly to ants, roaches will hide in dark, damp areas of the home in the fall and winter.
Winter pests in the South Central United States map
Rodent
Fly
Mosquito
Ant
Cockroach

What Pests are Common in El Paso Spring and Summer?

During the spring and summer months, we deal with a plethora of pests. Our warm mild weather drives all types of pests to be more active and reproduce. One of the most common pests we deal with is termites, which can infest homes throughout the year but usually swarm in the spring and summer. Mosquitoes are always active in the height of the summer months, which is also when hoards of flies come out of nowhere. Lastly, stinging insects are at peak activity in the summertime, which is when nests are often their most dangerous.

Seasonal Pest Prevention

Due to our climate and weather patterns throughout the year, El Paso residents and business owners experience a lot of pest problems. It’s important to know which pests to keep your eye out for in order to prevent a seasonal pest problem. The residential and commercial exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions can work with you to ensure you are protected from pests all year long.

Aggressive Rats During the Coronavirus

Rodents enter El Paso TX homes during the pandemic - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in El Paso, rats and mice are one of the most common pest problems we see, especially in the fall months. Infestations are currently worse than ever due to the coronavirus. As the CDC announced a while back, rodents are more aggressive due to the growing competition for food sources. When restaurants, cafes, and bars were put under restrictions to limit or even shut down operations, rats and mice suddenly found themselves depleted of their normal food source. This pushed them to search elsewhere for food and shelter, often right inside your own home. Due to the rise in rat and mouse infestations and with Rodent Awareness Week upon us, now is the perfect time to learn how to protect your property from these pests in the coming months.

What’s Happening to Rodents During the Pandemic?

Although rodents may be more common right now, there’s no reason to worry about them spreading COVID-19. There is thankfully no evidence to show that rodents are transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans. The main concern with rats and mice currently is that they are getting more aggressive in nature, can carry other diseases, and could cause damage to your property.

The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their hunt for resources. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. A rodent problem can also result in structural damage.

Preventing Rodents in El Paso

The best form of rodent control is exclusion. This means safeguarding your home from rodents in the first place. Try out our following tips:

  • Seal off cracks and crevices around openings. Mice can squeeze inside holes the size of a dime.
  • Securely store all food in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Clean inside the house and around the garden. Less clutter means fewer places to hide.
  • Put outdoor garbage bags in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids to stop them from feeding on contents.
  • Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids, preferably above ground level.
  • If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.
  • Inspect your garage, attic, crawlspaces, and vents for potential rodent hiding spots.

Rodent Infestations During COVID-19

At Pest Defense Solutions, we understand that a rodent problem is the last thing you have the time and energy to deal with this year. Our rodent exterminators are committed to helping protect your property against these pests. Contact us today to learn how!

Are Termite Infestations Common in the Fall & Winter?

Termites are a common fall and winter pest problem in El Paso Texas - Pest Defense Solutions

In El Paso, pest season can seem like it’s all year long. Unfortunately, termites are a pest problem for people not just in the spring and summer, but also in the fall and winter!  Many assume that “termite season” is during the springtime because they are seen swarming. However, a termite infestation can happen at any time of the year. Once they get inside a structure, termites will work 24/7 to chew through wood, even in the fall and winter. Because these wood-destroying pests are a year-round threat, it’s essential to get year-round termite protection for your home. Pest Defense Solutions can help! Keep reading to learn all about termite activity in the fall and winter months.

Fall Termites in El Paso

Depending on the climate, termites will usually swarm any time between March and November. This means you could possibly see a termite swarm in October. However, in the months ahead termites remain active as the queen continually lays eggs and colonies grow. The more mature a colony is, the more damage can be made to your home. If you have an infestation festering in your property for more than two years, it is very likely to begin to notice the signs of damage, even in the fall or winter. If and when we experience cold temperatures, termites will tunnel up to 25 to 30 feet underground to stay warm.

How to Tell if You Have Termites

Unless you’ve had an ongoing termite infestation for some time, it can be difficult to know if you are dealing with termites or not. The damage will begin to show if you’ve had a colony working away for more than a year or two. Here’s what to look for:

  • Mud tubes
  • Discarded swarmer wings
  • Termite frass (feces)
  • Drywall discoloration
  • Loose tiles or buckling floors
  • Bubbling or uneven paint on walls
  • Holes in drywall
  • Hollow-sounding or crumbling wood

Need Termite Infestation Control This Fall?

Unfortunately, termites are able to infest and damage your home any time of the year, even in the fall and winter. The good news is that there are multiple options to safeguard your home against termites at any time of the year. At Pest Defense Solutions, we will work with you all year long to provide customized termite control for you and your property. Reach out to our termite exterminators today for more information!

Prevent a Fall Rodent Infestation With These Tips

Rodents get inside El Paso TX homes in the fall - Pest Defense Solutions

Rodents are a common pest problem year-round, but they’re especially troublesome in the fall months here in El Paso. This is because rats and mice begin to come indoors to seek out warmth, shelter, and food. Unfortunately, rodents can squeeze inside easier than you may think. Because rodents can contaminate surfaces, spread germs, and cause structural damage, it’s extremely important to learn how to prevent a rodent infestation this fall. Rodent exclusion is the key to stopping rodents from making their way indoors. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to help you learn how to make your property less attractive to rats and mice this fall.

Preventing Fall Rodent Problems

No one wants a rodent problem. Thankfully, there are six main things you can do to keep them away:

  1. Keep all vegetation trimmed. Tree branches close to the home or vines along the side of your home will invite rodents in.
  2. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  3. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  4. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  5. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  6. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

The Dangers of Rats & Mice in the Fall

Rodents are not subtle pests and will quickly make their presence known with rustling noises and gnawing noises.  For the most part, rats and mice will take shelter in the attic, basement, and garage. They also will infest kitchens, laundry rooms, and are highly likely to invade your trash cans if given the chance.

Once indoors, rodents can cause a lot of destruction. Their nesting and chewing habits will tear apart materials in your home or ruin wires. They also will contaminate surfaces as they spread potentially dangerous germs and bacteria wherever they go.

Need Fall Rodent Control?

Whether you think you have the beginnings of a rodent problem or you want to avoid one entirely, the team at Pest Defense Solutions can help. Our rodent exterminators will work with you to customize a rodent exclusion plan suited to your needs. Contact us today!

How to Be Pest-Free in Your Outdoor Living Space

Prevent pests in your El Paso TX backyard - Pest Defense Solutions

Pests and insects are a completely normal part of outdoor life. Whether you spend your time in your backyard barbecuing, doing yard work, or playing with your kids, you’ve likely dealt with pests from time to time. Mosquitoes in the birdbath or ants on your barbecue area can be frustrating to deal with, which is why it’s important to learn what you can do to lessen the risk of pest problems outside your home. At Pest Defense Solutions, we know that pests are common year-round here in El Paso. But we don’t believe they have to ruin your time spent outdoors! Our expert technicians have gathered info on how to be pest-free in your outdoor living space.

5 Steps to Be Pest-Free Outdoors

The last thing you want during a barbecue or family picnic is a pest problem. Chances are, there are several things in your backyard that could be attracting pests. The key is to make your yard less attractive to pests in general. Our top tips are to:

  1. Keep a clean environment. Crumbs and spills will attract ants and other insects.
  2. Remove any standing water. Stagnant water is one of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes.
  3. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Ticks and mosquitoes will shelter in overgrown vegetation or tall grass.
  4. Inspect all wood structures. Wood-destroying pests (carpenter ants and termites) will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  5. Use an insect repellent. Most store-bought repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.

What Pests are Common in El Paso Backyards?

If you’ve lived in the area for some time, you know that pests and insects are common during most months of the year. However, pests are more common than ever this time of year, and are likely right in your backyard! The pests you’ll see in your yard are mosquitoes, stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants, spiders, ticks, fleas, and flies. While most of these pests are a nuisance to deal with, ticks and mosquitoes in particular are more dangerous. Because these pests can bite and transmit diseases, it’s very important to learn how to keep them away from your property altogether.

Year-Round Outdoor Pest Control

A pest problem outside your home can quickly become a pest problem inside your home. By preventing pests in your backyard, you can lessen the risk of those pests coming indoors. For expert help on staying pest-free, the residential pest control pros at Pest Defense Solutions can help. Contact us today!

Are Cockroaches More Dangerous in the Summer?

Summer cockroaches can be a dangerous pest problem in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

Cockroaches are one of the most dreaded household pests. And if you are noticing more cockroaches than ever, there’s a reason why! While they’re a common pest problem for homes and businesses throughout the entire year, they are especially prolific in the summertime here in El Paso. Most species are drawn to the heat and humidity, which encourages them to breed at a more rapid rate. Because infestations can be so large this time of year, it’s crucial to learn how to keep cockroaches out of your property in the first place. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share tips on keeping cockroaches away from El Paso properties this summer and all year long.

Keep Cockroaches Out With These Tips

As with all pests, the best way to not get an infestation is to actively prevent them! Some of the best ways to keep cockroaches out include:

  • Inspecting the perimeter of your home and seal cracks and crevices. Seal windows and doors or install screens.
  • Keeping a clean kitchen and bathroom. Wipe or clean up any spills or messes quickly.
  • Picking up pet food bowls after mealtimes. Try to avoid leaving food out overnight.
  • Securely storing all food in tight-fitting airtight containers, and refrigerating unsealed food.
  • Ensuring your garbage cans are sealed with a tight-fitting lid, and routinely take it out.
  • Avoiding leaving piles of clutter or junk both inside and outside of your property.
  • Promptly fixing any leaky pipes or clogged rain gutters to avoid moisture problems.

Are Roach Infestations Dangerous?

Cockroaches are infamous for being hardy insects that can withstand a number of harsh conditions. During the winter months, some will be less active. When the temperatures rise here in El Paso, roaches will come out in hoards. The warmth and humidity encourages roaches to breed at a more rapid rate. When they get inside, they can quickly spread to kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and more. Not only are they gross, but roaches actually spread bacteria and germs that can contaminate food items. They also are known to trigger allergic reactions in certain individuals.

What to Do When You Have a Summer Roach Problem

If you see even one cockroach, there are often many more hidden nearby. Getting rid of cockroaches is no job for an amateur, and DIY control efforts can simply worsen the problem. Always contact your local cockroach exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions when you have a summer roach infestation.

5 Ways to Prevent Summer Ticks in Pets

Tick prevention for pets in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

Summertime brings about many types of insects, including ticks! These parasitic pests are feared for their ability to transmit Lyme disease to humans and animals alike. Unfortunately, they’re common in El Paso in the warmer months, making it important to know how to prevent these blood-sucking pests on your pets and people. Although cats are rarely affected by ticks, they can be dangerous for your dogs. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to keep your family safe from ticks. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share their top 5 ways to prevent summer ticks.

Threats of Ticks

There are several concerns when it comes to dealing with ticks. In some pets, ticks have been known to cause anemia. The main danger is, of course, contracting Lyme disease. Cats aren’t as affected as dogs by ticks, but ticks can easily latch onto any pet and bring them inside. Ticks may feed for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, making it important to check your pets every time they’ve been outside.

Dogs can be seriously affected by Lyme disease and will begin to show several symptoms if affected. Always be on the lookout for signs of depression, loss of appetite, fever, lameness, or swollen joints and lymph nodes. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately take your pet to see a veterinarian.

Tick Prevention Tips

To keep ticks away, it’s important to stay wary of the situations in which they may be encountered in the first place. Some of the things you can do to prevent summer ticks in pets include:

  • Investing in tick prevention
    • Consider speaking to your veterinarian about tick prevention methods. Some may have suggestions or solutions for keeping your pets safe.
  • Keeping a tidy, pest-proof yard
    • Mow your lawn regularly and trim bushes or trees on a regular basis. In addition, implement pest exclusion to keep rodents out as they often carry ticks.
  • Inspecting pets and family members
    • Whenever you take your pets outdoors, make sure to inspect them for ticks. Pay close attention to areas behind the ears, neck, and under the legs. In addition, check your children for ticks after hikes.
  • Avoiding areas with tall grass
    • Ticks are known to be in areas with high grass or vegetation. Be careful to stay on trails when hiking or walking.

Year-Round Tick Protection

In general, always be careful about ticks in the summertime. They are more common than you think! For more information on keeping ticks away, the pest control experts at Pest Defense Solutions can help.

Learn What Different Wasp Nests Look Like

Wasp nest identification in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

It’s summer here in El Paso, and insects are everywhere! The warm weather invites insects of all kinds to come out in full force. This includes wasps, which play a needed role in our environment. However, wasps can build nests near residential areas, creating a hazardous environment for anyone nearby. If you notice a growing number of these stinging insects flying to and from a certain area, there’s a chance you have a nest nearby. Because there are different types of wasps, it’s important to know how to tell them all apart! The team at Pest Defense Solutions are here to help you learn what different wasp nests look like.

Wasp Nest Characteristics

The four main types of wasps we have in our area are paper wasps, mud daubers, yellowjackets, and bald-faced hornets. Here is what to know about the appearance of their nests:

  • Paper wasps
    1. A paper wasp nest often looks like an upside-down umbrella.
    2. These nests tend to be more open, and can get quite large in size.
    3. They are typically supported by a single stalk and made out of a papery substance.
    4. Nests can be located under and within the eaves of structures, in attics and wall voids, and in other enclosed areas.
  • Mud daubers
    1. Female wasps construct their nests out of mud.
    2. The nests are small and tubular in size, often looking like organ pipes.
    3. They are typically found in cracks or crevices.
    4. Tend to build their nests in sheltered areas, including under eaves, garages, attics, or on the sides of buildings.

Identifying different wasp nests in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

  • Yellowjackets
    1. Nests are a papery material and have a single opening.
    2. The inside of a yellowjacket nest can have up to 100 tiers of cells.
    3. Yellowjackets can also build underground nests that can be enormous in size.
    4. Favor areas near the ground, in hollow trees, under porches, and a number of other areas.
  • Bald-faced hornets
    1. These nests are almost always at least three feet off the ground.
    2. They are made of chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva.
    3. They can grow to the size of a football or basketball.
    4. Builds its nest oftentimes in trees, bushes, or wooded areas, but they also can be on buildings.

The Danger of Wasp Nests

It is important to avoid approaching wasp nests if you have one nearby. It’s especially crucial to never attempt to knock one down on your own. There are likely many more stinging insects inside than you’d expect, creating a hazard for anyone nearby. Wasps can sting at will multiple times. In the case of a wasp nest on or near your El Paso property, contact the wasp removal team at Pest Defense Solutions today.

What’s Attracting Termites to Your Home?

Firewood can attract termites to your property in El Paso Texas. Pest Defense Solutions.

Termites are the most damaging pests in the nation. A single infestation is known to cost homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs. For that reason alone, it’s important to know what may be attracting termites to your property in the first place. By limiting termite attractants in your property, you can possibly reduce the chances of getting a termite problem down the road. Here in the El Paso area, termites are a threat to homeowners. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share information on what may be attracting termites to your home–read on to learn more.

These Things May be Attracting Termites

Every type of termite is attracted to wood, but each one has specific preferences that influence what structures they infest. It’s important to know what attracts termites to your house in order to prevent infestations:

  • Improper drainage or leaky pipes causing excess moisture near or in your home
  • Firewood or wood piles stored in or near your property
  • Wooden foundations in direct contact with soil
  • Airflow or ventilation issues causing excess humidity inside of a home
  • Mulch or landscaping too close to the foundation of the property

Ways to Prevent Termites

It’s important to know how to check for termites. There are a few things you can do to prevent termites. Always stay on top of home repairs: fix any damaged roofing, and seal any cracks or crevices in your property. Keep your garden neat, trim back trees and bushes away from the foundation of your home, and regularly inspect any outdoor furniture, porches, or decks. The best thing you can do to prevent termites is to get regular services and preventative treatments from a professional pest control company.

Keeping Termites Away in El Paso

Termites are one of the most destructive pests around. For that reason, it’s crucial to work with a professional termite exterminator who can protect you from these wood-boring insects all year round. The team at Pest Defense Solutions can be trusted to provide the industry’s best termite control services. Contact us today to learn more about how to keep termites away from your home.

The Threats of Murder Hornets

Murder hornets - Info from Pest Defense Solutions in El Paso Texas

Asian giant hornets, also known as “murder hornets” have certainly made their presence known in the past few months. After being sighted in the Pacific Northwest, this hornet has struck fear in the heart of many nationwide. As the largest hornet in the world, it’s easy to understand why! Their sting is known to be potentially fatal, but the true threat they pose is to the honeybee population. Thankfully, these Asian giant hornets have yet to be spotted in El Paso. Regardless, it’s important to stay aware of the threats they pose, and the team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share the facts.

Are Murder Hornets as Dangerous as Everyone’s Saying?

Asian giant hornets are definitely the most threatening of their kind. The biggest concern scientists have is the fact that they are a big predator to honeybees and hives. A single murder hornet can kill dozens of honeybees in minutes, and a group of 30 hornets can devour a hive of nearly 30,0000 bees in hours. If these hornets were to have a bigger presence in the states, the honeybee population would be in severe danger.

But what about their stings? Like many stinging insects, the Asian giant hornet will not attack humans unless they feel provoked or threatened. Their stings contain neurotoxins and are extremely painful. If someone is stung multiple times, the neurotoxins can cause organ failure and eventual death.

What Does a Asian Giant Hornet Look Like?

If you came across one of these hornets, you’d know it wasn’t your ordinary stinging insect! Here’s how to tell them apart: 

  • Workers are 1 ½ – 2” in length while queens can exceed 2”
  • Light orange head with an orange, black, and brown striped body.
  • Large, prominent eyes
  • Distinctly sharp mandibles
  • Six legs and a set of antennae
  • ¼” (6 mm) length stinger

Should You Worry About Murder Hornets in Texas?

Right now, no. As mentioned earlier, there are no current sightings of these anywhere in America besides Washington state. Scientists are currently leading the way to find, trap, and eradicate this pest before it becomes more widespread. In any case, it’s always best to enlist the help of a licensed pest control company for any type of stinging insect.