Keep an Eye Out for These 3 Summertime Wasps

Learn about summertime wasps in El Paso Texas - Pest Defense Solutions

Summer is right around the corner here in El Paso, and many people are ramping up to enjoy the warm weather outdoors. Unfortunately, with the summer months comes the influx of pest problems. One of the most common pests in the summer is wasps! Especially during the late summer months, certain wasp species can get especially aggressive. When nests are built near your home or business, they can be dangerous for everyone involved. At Pest Defense Solutions, we want to provide our customers with the info they need to know about common summertime wasps and how to prevent them. Keep reading to learn more!

Yellow Jackets

These wasps are notoriously aggressive and very common, especially in the late summer. Some things to know about yellow jackets include:

  • Yellow jackets congregate in colonies of up to or more than 1,000 workers.
  • Their nests look globe-shaped and are built above ground, often near garages, sheds, and more.
  • Yellow jackets will not bother you unless they feel threatened, in which case they may sting repeatedly.
  • Yellow jackets can be best identified by the yellow and black horizontal stripes that run across their bodies.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps aren’t as hostile as other wasps, but they are common this time of year. Here’s what to know about this summertime wasp:

  • They are similar in body shape to yellow jackets, but are mostly brown in color with yellow markings.
  • These wasps are known for the papery nests they build, which look like upside-down umbrellas.
  • Paper wasp nests often hang from tree branches and twigs, as well as porch ceilings and door railings. They typically contain up to 30 wasps.
  • Paper wasps aren’t as aggressive as yellow jackets, but they may sting to defend their nests. Their sting is known to be especially potent.

Common summertime wasps in El Paso Texas - Pest Defense Solutions

Mud Daubers

As their name implies, mud daubers are known for constructing their nests out of mud. Although they aren’t as aggressive as yellow jackets, it’s important to know how to identify them:

  • They are mostly black in appearance but may have light-colored markings. Mud daubers can be identified by their thin, thread-like waist.
  • Nests are usually located in covered areas such as porch ceilings, sheds, and attics.
  • These wasps are less social than other types, often preferring to be solitary.
  • Mud daubers aren’t as aggressive and will only sting when directly handled or threatened.

How to Stay Safe from Summertime Wasps

Bottom line: it’s important to avoid wasps when you see them. Some can be more aggressive than you realize, especially if their nest is nearby. To avoid getting stung, always be on the lookout for nests nearby. To keep wasps away from your property, make sure to cover foods and drinks that are outside and to seal your trash cans securely. If you need assistance with wasp prevention or removal, the team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to help.

Could Pests be Contributing to Your Springtime Allergies?

Pests could be triggering your springtime allergies in El Paso Texas - Pest Defense Solutions

It’s spring here in El Paso, and seasonal allergies are affecting millions of people! We’ve all had a runny nose or itchy eyes from springtime allergies, but is there something else contributing to flare ups this time of year? Believe it or not, household pests can be a big trigger for allergies and asthma, especially amongst children. From cockroaches to dust mites, it’s important to learn how to get rid of pest allergens in your home for the safety of you and your family.

The team at Pest Defense Solutions has gathered information provided by the NPMA on how to prevent pest allergens in your property–keep reading to learn more!

Pests & Allergies

It may seem crazy to think about, but pest infestations can often be dangerous for those who suffer from allergies. Cockroaches in particular are tied back to asthma and allergies. Their droppings, skins, saliva, and more can trigger allergic reactions and asthma, particularly in children. Dust mites are often linked to allergies, along with stinging insects such as yellow jackets and fire ants. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and an infestation in your home can exacerbate your already-bad springtime allergies. If you experience severe symptoms (wheezing, dizziness, shortness of breath, etc.) from an allergic reaction, it’s urgent to seek immediate medical attention.

How to Remove Pest Allergens From Your Home

To keep pest allergens away, it’s important to keep pests away in the first place! By implementing basic pest prevention tips, you can lessen the risk of having your allergies exacerbated by pests:

  • Seal cracks and holes in your property, including entry points for utilities and pipes, screen doors, and windows.
  • Store food in sealed containers and clean kitchens on a daily basis.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and use a tight-fitting lid.
  • Keep your basements and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry. Moisture attracts pests.
  • Wash blankets, rugs, and bedding in hot water or get them dry-cleaned.
  • Vacuum and dust your property all the way through on a regular basis.

Getting Rid of Pest Allergens

As mentioned earlier, the best way to avoid pest allergens is to avoid pests altogether! By routinely implementing pest prevention tactics into your home maintenance routine, you can hopefully prevent pests. If you’re dealing with an infestation, it’s always best to call a professional exterminator. Our team is committed to keeping you and your family safe from pests and the dangers they can bring into your home–allergies included.

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 encourage worker ants out of their nests in search of food and water for their colony. Oftentimes, they find exactly what they need in your very home! And once you have an infestation, they can be very difficult to get rid of. To prevent ants from infesting your property this year, now is the time for ant-proofing.

Here at Pest Defense Solutions, we’ve gathered the best ant prevention tips to implement into your spring cleaning or home maintenance routine.

Ant-Proofing Your Home 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. There are several ant-proofing tips to 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 always clean up after spills and messes. Pick pet bowls up off the floor after meal times.
  3. Ensure downspouts and gutters are all functioning properly so that water is flowing away from the foundation.
  4. Regularly check under sinks for excess moisture problems and repair leaky pipes promptly.
  5. Trim trees and shrubbery in your yard to be at least 6 inches away from the foundation of the home.
  6. Wipe down any countertops and sweep floors regularly to clean up spills and remove 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

Ants are pesky and determined, making it hard to get rid of them when you get them! Colonies can spread quickly and into satellite colonies, which is why controlling them can be a lengthy 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.

Professional Ant Prevention Services

If you’ve done all you can to prevent ants but still deal with them constantly, it’s best to consult 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 to prevent them all year long. Contact our team today to learn more.

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.

Whether you own a home or business in the El Paso area, you know that rodents are a problem throughout the entire year. In addition to simply being gross, rats and mice can create a hazardous environment. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about rodents is the fact that they are capable of carrying and transmitting diseases, including hantavirus and salmonella. Because rodent problems are so common in the area all year long, it’s important to learn about the real dangers of rodents.

The Damage Rats & Mice Cause

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 rats 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!

Common Rodent Diseases

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 main three 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.

How to Get Rid of Rodents in El Paso

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.

10 Key German Cockroach Facts to Know

German cockroaches are one of the most common roach problems in the El Paso TX area - Pest Defense Solutions

Cockroaches are a common pest problem for anyone that owns a property in the El Paso TX area. Whether you’re dealing with roaches in your home or business, you’re likely dealing with German cockroaches. This species is the most common roach problem for homes, multi-family units, restaurants, food processing facilities, and more. In addition to simply being gross, German cockroaches breed rapidly and are capable of carrying dangerous pathogens.

In this blog post, the experts at Pest Defense Solutions share their 10 key German cockroach facts to learn in order to be able to identify this pesky roach.

Key German Cockroach Facts

German cockroaches may look somewhat similar to their American and brown-banded counterparts, but they’re quite different. Some key German cockroach facts to remember include:

  1. German cockroaches are best identified by their pronotum (protective plate behind the head), which has two longitudinal dark stripes.
  2. These roaches are most commonly found in residential and commercial kitchens or bathrooms.
  3. German cockroaches typically prefer areas of high temperatures and high humidity.
  4. German cockroaches only live indoors. While rare, they can live outside in warm weather.
  5. German cockroaches have an extremely quick rate of reproduction. They can quickly spread throughout a building.
  6. The ootheca (egg case) of the German cockroach contains between 35–40 eggs, which take one month to hatch.
  7. German cockroaches can carry or transmit diseases and pathogens that may be dangerous to humans.
  8. German cockroach infestations can cause severe asthmatic reactions in some people.
  9. They are able to climb on smooth surfaces because they have a sticky pad on their feet.
  10. German cockroaches prefer to spend their lives hidden in dark areas. They are known to hide inside walls, behind cabinets, inside appliances, and other rarely accessed areas.

How to Prevent a German Roach Infestation

As with all roaches, keeping German cockroaches out of your property requires some effort on your end. By keeping a clean, tidy property, you are effectively lessening the risk of an infestation. Roaches love filth and are attracted to clutter. To prevent a German roach infestation, make sure to keep all food in sealed containers and secure your garbage cans securely. Most importantly, check on areas in your property that are dark or rarely disturbed for evidence of cockroach activity.

Effective & Long-Lasting German Cockroach Control

As soon as you notice a single roach in your Texas property, it’s time to call the experts at Pest Defense Solutions. Our exterminators have years of experience providing residents and businesses alike with full-service German cockroach extermination. You can trust we will work to keep German roaches out of your property all year long.

6 Important Pests of 2020

2020 pests to look out for in your El Paso TX home this year - Pest Defense Solutions

Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to protecting your family and home against pests this year, you can be proactive with the help of Pest Defense Solutions. We are helping homeowners prepare for the upcoming pest season by offering insight into anticipated pest activity.

At Pest Defense Solutions, we have examined trends, company data and our own field experiences to determine the following six pest predictions. Additionally, we have provided preventative tips to help keep your home pest-free this year.


Mosquitoes

Disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito, have recently surged in some Western states. These mosquitoes, as well as the common house mosquito, spread diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). A bite from a mosquito can also spread the parasite that causes heartworm in pets.

Homeowner Tips: West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, can increase with rising populations. And, mosquitoes only need one tablespoon of water to lay their eggs! To protect yourself and your family, dispose of any standing water around your home and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending any time outdoors.


Rats

Rat populations have increased over the past several years, and this may be partly due to warmer than usual winters. We can expect to see that trend continue as rodent populations, especially in suburban areas, increase. Warmer winters, a booming construction pipeline, lack of sanitation control, and lack of affordable housing are all issues that have advanced the swell of recent rat activity.

Homeowner Tips: To prevent rodents from entering your home, utilize the following prevention tips: Keep shrubs and trees cut back from home, especially thick ground cover that can serve as hiding places for rats. Ensure that trees do not overhang, touching the roof of your home. Seal any exterior openings larger than a nickel with rodent-proof material such as hardware cloth or flashing. Finally, seal and tie trash bags, placing them into garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.


Termites

Termites are one of the most destructive pests, causing homeowners in the United States $6 billion in property damages each year. These wood-destroying pests are a constant challenge for homeowners in the Western U.S., and this year, termites could prove to be even more damaging. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions have seen an increase in activity from subterranean and dampwood termites in many areas this year.

Homeowner Tips: Earth-to-wood contact provides an avenue for termites to enter homes and structures. To deter termites, eliminate soil to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulations near your homes’ foundation. Termites can be present for years before homeowners ever see signs of their activity, causing considerable and costly damage. Avoid these costs by having a termite protection plan in place. Speak to your pest control provider about risk and protection options for your home.


Cockroaches

Cockroach populations have increased dramatically over the past several years, due in large part to warmer weather and increased rainfall. Cockroaches carry diseases, infest stored food, and then spread these diseases through their excrement. Cockroach removal is vital as infestations can be serious if not taken care of in a timely manner.

Homeowner Tips: To deter an infestation, cockroach-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices around windows and door frames with a silicone-based caulk. Keep a clean kitchen, sweeping, mopping and wiping up any spills. Check that door seals, including the one on your garage, are in place and intact. If you’re experiencing cockroach problems, speak with your pest control professional to determine the best solution for your home.


Flies

If you have noticed more flies this past year, you are not alone. Although they’re more active in the summer, house flies reproduce year-round. Filth flies – house flies, bottle flies, flesh flies – generally live and breed near human habitats and their numbers have increased in recent years. Increasing population density, waste management practices that haven’t kept pace with growth, and a general trend toward a warming climate for the fly pressure all contribute to increasing this disease-spreading insect.

Homeowner Tips: The house fly and other types of “filth flies” are not only nuisance pests; they also have the potential to spread the disease to humans and animals. To protect yourself and your family, repair any damaged screens on windows and doors. Keep trash stored away from your home and make sure that all trash cans have tight-fitting lids.


Spiders

Spiders are carnivores, eating other insects and thriving in wet environments. Increased moisture leads to an increase in the insects that spiders eat as a food resource. Heavy rain and warmer temperatures have created the perfect conditions for insects and spiders to flourish. Although beneficial for our ecosystem, most people prefer spiders to stay outside where they belong.

Homeowner Tips: To keep spiders out of your home, keep food put away in tightly sealed storage containers. This will help eliminate ants, roaches and other pests, which will leave spiders with no food source. If the thought of spiders lurking is alarming, try changing your white outdoor light bulbs to yellow light bulbs, which attract fewer insects that can serve as food for the spiders. There are a few species of spiders that can live indoors and need to be controlled by spider removal experts.


The experts at Pest Defense Solutions agree that a proactive approach can help eliminate pest issues before they appear. With these pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and make sure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests this year.