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.

Don’t Fall For These Bed Bug Myths

Bed bug myths in El Paso Texas - Pest Defense Solutions

Bed bugs are a dreaded pest, and for good reason. Not only do they bite, they can spread easily and are notoriously difficult to get rid of without a pest control company in the El Paso area. Bed bugs were once a pest of the past, but saw a resurgence as the amount of international travel began to rise. Because they are such a feared pest, there is a lot of false information about them out there. This can be dangerous, making it important to learn how to separate fact from fiction. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to help. Read on to learn the truth about common bed bug myths.

Myths About Bed Bugs

  • Bed bugs are attracted to messy or dirty homes.
    • This is one of the most common myths about bed bugs. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth and blood, not how messy or clean your property is!
  • Bed bugs are nocturnal.
    • Bed bugs are active when their hosts are at rest. This obviously means they are active at night, but they can feed during the day if needed.
  • Bed bugs only infest beds and bedrooms.
    • Bed bugs gather near areas where people rest. This includes sofas, chairs, cracks in the wall, and even power outlets.
  • Bed bugs are too small to see on your own.
    • Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and can definitely be seen. Nymph bed bugs are much smaller and translucent, making them more difficult to spot.
  • Bed bugs are capable of jumping and flying.
    • Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs cannot jump or fly. They have underdeveloped wings, and move from one area to another by crawling.
  • Bed bugs latch onto or burrow inside your skin.
    • Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs will not latch onto your skin. After feeding, they will
  • Bed bug bites transmit dangerous diseases.
    • Bed bugs definitely bite, but they do not transmit diseases as mosquitoes do.
  • Bed bugs live for a year or more without a blood meal.
    • While they definitely can survive months without a meal, it is very unlikely for bed bugs to survive an entire year.

What to Do About Bed Bugs in El Paso

If you have bed bugs, it’s important to act quickly. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here for you. Our bed bug treatment options are designed to get rid of your bed bug problem quickly and effectively. To learn more about how we can keep you safe, contact our team today!

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.

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.