House Mouse Problems in the Fall

A mouse found in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

All of the wild animals in El Paso TX can tell when autumn is in the air. Even though our winters are more moderate than most, the wildlife know to take precautions against the less habitable environment that is soon to arrive. Unfortunately for us, this means that mice infestations are imminent. Because mice are so small and sneaky, finding the reason for your infestation can be quite a tough task. If you’re looking to learn more about why mice infest our homes and what you can do to keep them away, read on for a professional perspective from our technicians at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso!

Why Do Mice Like About Our Homes?

Like all wild animals, mice have to put in some extra effort to survive comfortably through the winter. They can usually find everything that they need in our homes with ease, so if they are in your area, you are likely at risk for an infestation. These three things are all that mice are looking for:

  1. Warmth: Mice do not hibernate, so they have to find a warm place to spend the winter.
  2. Shelter: Mice are important contributors to their ecosystem—they are preyed upon by what must seem like everyone. Arguably above all, mice need a good place to hide.
  3. Food: Although mice can go long periods of time with little to no food, they enjoy eating and seek out all kinds of food in our homes, preferably snacks loaded with carbohydrates.

How to Keep Mice Outside

Mice can be one of the hardest pests to control on your own. Their size and stealth make them very hard to remove once they’ve already infested your home. The best DIY mice control program is proper prevention—here are a few ways you can lessen your chances of having a rat infestation this fall:

  • Check around your home for any easy access points. You can fix them by adding brush strips to your doors, screens to your vents and windows, and plugs to cracks in your roofing and plumbing.
  • Seal and stow away your food properly, and make sure to clean your dishes and spills promptly.
  • Keep your grass cut short and limit yard waste. Mice can find food and hiding spots on your lawn.

Want a Head Start on Rodent Control in El Paso TX?

Fall is the perfect time for mice, rats, and more pests to get a head start on finding their place to hide out for the winter. If your rodent issues are already turning your cozy autumn into a verminous nightmare, you can trust the rodent control experts at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso to sort them out. Our rodent removal specialists are equipped with an arsenal of different strategies to be molded to the specifics of your infestation. For a free quote on rodent control, reach out to our team today!

Leaky Pipes and Thirsty Pests

Leaky pipes attracting pests in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

Leaks in our plumbing fixtures can lead to more than just defects and damage. The rot and water buildup that leaks cause can create opportunities for lots of different El Paso pests to take refuge inside our walls, cabinets, bathrooms, and more. If you neglect your regular inspections of your pipes for damage or leaks, you could be allowing your home to turn into a safe haven for bugs. To learn what you could expect and how to prevent this, read the Pest Defense Solutions technicians’ advice!

What Pests Do Leaky Pipes Attract?

When leakage from faulty pipes builds up, you might see one of any number of unwanted visitors. However, these three pests are the main ones to worry about in El Paso:

  1. Ants: If you experience leaks during the summer, you are bound to end up with ant problems. The heat-induced dehydration will drive ants into our homes looking for a constant source of water.
  2. Cockroaches: Although roaches are arguably the world’s most resilient pests, they can’t go more than a week without a water source. Given that they are nocturnal, they need a dark hiding place during the day, so damp wooden cupboards and walls are the perfect place for them to take refuge.
  3. Termites: If you thought your leak-induced wood damage was bad, just wait until termites catch wind of it. With a free water source and plenty of wood cellulose to feed on, a leaky plumbing fixture is a termite’s dream come true.

How to Prevent Pest Problems Caused by Leakage

When you discover a leaky pipe in your home, you have to quickly take some preventative measures to stop the site from turning into a pest haven.

  • Seal any cracks that you’ve found using a silicone-based caulk. This is the most effective way to stop leakage on your own.
  • Make sure that any spaces with leakage are as well-ventilated as they can be. This will help any moisture buildup dry faster.
  • Call your local pest control company. A professional pest control technician will be able to take the proper precautions necessary to diminish any current or future pest impact.

Keeping Pests Out in El Paso

If you’re worried that your leaking issue is causing a pest infestation in your home, let your local pest control company know. At Pest Defense Solutions, we train our technicians to assess and handle all sorts of outbreaks, no matter what kind of pest you’re dealing with. We understand that leaky pipes can cause anxiety beyond the threat of pests, so we work our hardest to do our job efficiently and effectively. Contact us today for a free quote!

How to Keep Ticks Away From Your Yard & Home

A blacklegged tick found in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

When summer is coming up, we all look forward to spending more time outdoors in the beautiful, warm weather. However, the more time we spend out in the yard or on a walk, the higher our risk of attracting ticks becomes. Ticks thrive in warm, humid weather and in areas where humans and animals are abundant. This ranges from wooded areas to hiking trails, to backyards, and more. The consistently rising temperatures we have experienced over recent years have also allowed for ticks to expand their domain.

If you find yourself dealing with ticks every summer, read on for some tick control advice from the experts at Pest Defense Solutions. We have laid out some advice to help you avoid ticks in your yard and home in El Paso.

Keeping Ticks Out of Your Yard

Ticks thrive in areas that are densely vegetated, lined with healthy trees, or home to many small animals. Any one of these factors could play into a tick infestation in your yard. To keep ticks far away from your home, you can follow these steps:

  1. Trim your trees: Ticks will take refuge in trees and overgrown plants. If plant life in your yard grows over onto the structures of your house or areas that you frequent, ticks can easily find you.
  2. Mow the lawn: Ticks also make use of tall grass to hide in, waiting for unsuspecting animals to latch onto. Mowing your lawn once a week will help you avoid ticks.
  3. Remove piles of debris or yard waste: Any piles of yard waste, old furniture, firewood, or garbage can create hiding places for ticks. Make sure to tidy up often.
  4. Control any wildlife: Small animals like rats, mice, squirrels, racoons, and more can attract ticks to your yard as other options for hosts to feed on.

Preventing Ticks Inside

Ticks are only able to live indoors for up to a few days in most cases. However, in indoor spaces susceptible to more humidity, such as cabins, bathrooms, and sheds, ticks have an easier time staying alive. Most ticks end up in homes because a person or pet brought them in unknowingly. Here’s how you can prevent this from happening:

  • Check your pets: If you have dogs that spend a lot of time outside or go on frequent walks, they could easily bring ticks into your home. Make sure to conduct a tick check when they come inside.
  • Limit exposed skin: Ticks like to hang out alongside trails to latch onto passersby. If you’re going on a hike, wearing high socks or long pants will decrease your chances of bringing ticks back home.
  • Use bug spray: Any exposed skin can be protected by using bug spray. Those containing 20% DEET work well against ticks.

Tick Control Professionals in El Paso

If you can’t seem to stop the ticks on your property on your own, talk to your local pest control company. At Pest Defense Solutions, we train our tick removal experts to assess each individual property thoroughly and efficiently, determining the sources of any tick outbreak and helping customers avoid them going forward. For a free quote, contact us today!

How do Ants Get Inside the House?

An ant infestation starting in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

Ants are the pests that just keep coming. You may think that you’ve tried everything in your power to keep ants out of your house, and they still confidently stroll through your kitchen or along your walls. Truthfully, you’re not alone in this feeling.

Every year we get batches of calls from concerned clients who can’t seem to stop ant infestations from returning to their homes. Even the cleanest houses are subject to ant outbreaks. So, what gives? Read on for expert insight from the ant specialists at Pest Defense Solutions.

What Causes Ant Infestations?

Ants in the house are usually looking for an open food source to take from. If an ant locates accessible food, it will emit specific pheromones, signaling to the rest of its colony that there is a meal nearby. As long as the source continues to supply, the ant trail will grow and grow. Ants will go after just about any kind of food, but prefer these things:

  • Fruit
  • Sweets
  • Meat
  • Bread

Even if you keep your food properly stored and sealed, you still have the chance of an ant infestation developing in your home. Especially during the winter months, ants will seek out warmth and shelter inside our houses. They can find even the smallest gaps to get in. Some of their usual access points are:

  • Broken plumbing fixtures
  • Ventilation systems
  • Holes in foundation
  • Gaps in wood paneling, brickwork, and more

How ants get into homes in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

What Can You Do to Stop Ants At Home?

Keeping your kitchen and bathroom clean are two crucial steps to DIY ant prevention. Keep your food sealed in airtight containers and keep it stowed away. Clean your dishes right after meals, and quickly deal with your spills (using a lemon-scented or vinegar-based solution for extra points). In the bathroom, limit the amount of moisture buildup caused by your shower and sink by keeping the room properly ventilated with fans or open windows.

Then, take your attention to the outside of the house. To keep ants outside, you should:

  1. Seal any cracks that you find in your plumbing fixtures
  2. Place screens on doors and windows or patch up torn screens
  3. Check your foundation and siding for holes to fill
  4. Keep your trash cans at a good distance from your house

Expert Ant Control Services in El Paso

Still dealing with an ant infestation after taking all of these prevention steps? Don’t worry, sometimes the source of an ant trail can be quite difficult to find. If you need your ants in El Paso gone today, let your local pest control company know about your problem. The ant exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions are proud to provide the best service in the region, using efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible solutions. For a free estimate on ant control, contact us today!

How Do Bed Bugs Spread?

It’s harder than you would imagine to avoid a bed bug infestation. These pests aren’t picky about whose homes they infest. No degree of cleanliness inside your house can prevent a chance encounter with bed bugs while you’re out and about. If bed bugs latch onto your clothes, luggage, or other items that you bring back inside, they can quickly spread to different rooms in your home and remain out of sight. So how are bed bugs so sneaky?

How Do Bed Bugs Spread Around?

It helps that bed bugs are quite small, only reaching about 1/4” at the largest. They can easily hide in all sorts of fabrics and materials, waiting to be transferred from public places to comfortable homes. Some of the common sources of bed bug infestations are:

  1. Luggage: Many people report bed bug infestations shortly after traveling to a new place. Bed bugs like to latch onto luggage and take a free ride to a new destination.
  2. Furniture: Bed bugs have plenty of folds and cushions to duck into in furniture. Before bringing a new couch, chair, or mattress into your home, inspect it for any bed bug activity.
  3. Clothing: In second-hand clothing stores especially, bed bugs have an optimal environment to thrive. One infested article of clothing can quickly lead to many more, so make sure to quickly wash any new clothing you bring home.

How to Stop Bed Bugs from Spreading

Although it can be difficult to avoid a bed bug encounter, there are a few steps that you can take to create a less hospitable bed bug environment in your home. You can:

  • Vacuum regularly and keep your possessions organized to avoid excess clutter.
  • Put protective covers on your mattress and box spring.
  • Inspect your room whenever you travel and try to avoid leaving bags on the floor.
  • If you wash your clothes at a laundromat, transport them in a sealable bag.

The basic methods of bed bug avoidance coincide with general cleanliness, meaning that the more precaution against pests and germs you take, the better. However, there is no guaranteed way to avoid bed bugs—sometimes, they just sneak by.

Dealing with a Bed Bug Infestation in El Paso TX

If you wake up with small red bites aligned in zig-zag patterns on your body, it could be too late to prevent a serious bed bug infestation. Don’t rush to throw out your mattress or sheets—call an expert bed bug exterminator instead. All of your belongings can be saved through the process of a professional heat treatment conducted by a licensed pest control technician. For a free quote on bed bug removal services, contact us today!

How Do You Remove a Tick?

How to remove a tick in El Paso - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in El Paso, pests are in full force in the spring and summer. None is potentially more of a threat than the tick. These tiny pests are infamous for transmitting a number of diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and, more infamously, Lyme disease. Although the chances of getting Lyme disease are relatively low, it’s still important to learn what you can do to prevent tick bites. Even more important is the knowledge of how to remove a tick in a safe and timely manner. With May being National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to share all you need to know about removing ticks.

What Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

Not all tick species carry and transmit Lyme disease. In fact, deer ticks (also known as blacklegged ticks) are the type most known for their ability to transmit this dangerous disease. The transmission most often happens when a nymph deer tick bites a person. The good news is that when a tick is safely removed within the first 24 hours, the chances of contracting a tick-borne illness is low. It is only when an infected tick has been attached for 36–48 hours can the bacterium be transmitted. Knowing how to promptly and safely remove ticks, then, is essential to stopping the transmission of Lyme disease.

Tick removal guide - Pest Defense Solutions in El Paso

Instructions to Safely Remove a Tick

With a fine-tipped pair of tweezers, you can safely remove a tick right at home. In fact, the following method is backed by the CDC and the ASPCA. Here’s how to remove a tick:

                • Use the tweezers to firmly grasp the head or mouth of the tick, as close to the skin as possible. Avoid grasping the tick’s body to the best of your ability, as this could inject the tick’s blood into the skin.
                • Firmly and steadily pull the tick outward in a straight motion. Try to not twist the tweezers, as this could dislodge the head, leaving it embedded in your skin.
                • As soon as the tick is removed, carefully clean the area of the bite, as well as your hands, with soap and water.
                • To safely dispose of the tick, place it in a sealed bag or jar with alcohol. Another option is to flush the tick down the toilet. Do not crush the tick.
              • In the rare case you develop a rash or other symptoms after getting bitten by a tick, it’s important to see your doctor immediately. If the tick was saved, your doctor may wish to see it for inspection.

                Tick Control and Removal in El Paso

                Ticks are one of the most dangerous pests due to their ability to transmit disease. For this reason, it’s crucial to learn not only how to prevent ticks but also how to remove them if you’ve been bitten. The tick control experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to help—contact us today for help with tick removal!

Before Hiring a Pest Control Company, Ask Them These Questions

Before Hiring a Pest Control Company, Ask Them These Questions - Pest Defense Solutions in El Paso

Whether you own a new home or business and want to protect it from pests, or you’re thinking of changing your current pest control provider, how do you know how to make the right choice? Before hiring anyone, it’s important to take several factors into account, including the company’s reputation, processes, reviews, and more. At Pest Defense Solutions, we want our customers to make informed decisions when it comes to the safety of their properties. We’re sharing the top questions to ask before hiring any pest control company—read on to learn more.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pest Control Company

1. Are pest control treatments safe for my family?

When you work with a professional, pest control is completely safe for you and your family. In fact, trying to administer pest control products you picked up from your local store is actually more dangerous. Make sure to look for a pest control company that:

  • Makes use of EPA-approved treatments
  • Is dedicated to an eco-friendly approach
  • Prioritizes pest prevention and IPM practices

2. Are your exterminators certified and trained?

A trustworthy pest control company will be able to show that they have comparable licenses and insurance to the most established and reputable exterminators. It’s crucial that your trusted company has liability insurance to protect you against any further damage that is caused to your property during the extermination process. In addition, look for companies that routinely train their pest control technicians to stay on top of the latest and greatest in the pest control industry.

3. How does the pest control process work?

A good pest control company knows there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every pest infestation. Always look for a company that will work with you to customize a pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home or business. This is best done with:

  • Regular inspections of your property to pinpoint pest problems or issues that may contribute to future pest problems.
  • Customized pest control plans that focus on targeted treatments around your home and exclusion efforts to keep pests away.
  • Open communication. A good pest control company is transparent with you about the treatments needed on your property.

4. Do you have a history of good reviews?

Reviews don’t lie. When choosing the right exterminator, make sure to check out their ratings and reviews on Google or their website. If a pest control company is truly professional, they should have nothing to hide. If you can’t find a link to their reviews on their website, ask to see what customers have said about them.

5. Will you keep pests away from my home?

The key to pest control is preventing pests in the first place. A trusted pest control company will not only work to eliminate active infestations, but also to implement prevention methods to keep them away for good. Always look for companies that abide by IPM practices, and for those that offer quarterly or annual pest control services.

El Paso’s Best Pest Control Company

Pest Defense Solutions is proud to be El Paso’s trusted pest control experts. We are proud to have good relationships with our customers, built on mutual trust and effective, long-lasting services. To get started, contact us today!

Do Termites Infest Non-Wood Homes?

Do termites infest non-wood homes in El Paso Texas - Pest Defense Solutions

One of the biggest misconceptions about termites is that they only infest wood homes. The bad news is that this is not true—non-wood homes can get termites, too! This is because termites are attracted to a number of different things that could make your property the perfect environment for their activity. Because termites are a threat to all types of homes, it’s important to learn what may be attracting them to your house in the first place. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to help you better understand what could be causing termite problems in your El Paso home.

Termites in Non-Wood Homes

No matter whether your home is made of wood, brick, or stone, termites remain a threat. This is because there could be other risk factors at play. Wood stored near your home, moisture issues, wooden decks, and more could all put you at risk for a termite problem. The best way to know if you are protected against termites is to work with a professional termite exterminator. A thorough home inspection will pinpoint anything in or around your property that could put you at risk for termite problems.

What Draws Termites to my Home?

  1. Moisture problems.
    1. Subterranean termites in particular are attracted to moisture, especially in soil. Standing water or excess moisture will invite termites to take up residence in your home. Always fix leaks, broken sprinkler systems, downspouts, and clogged gutters to ensure you are protected from moisture problems.
  2. Foundation problems.
    1. Termites will take advantage of structural vulnerabilities, no matter whether your home is wooden or brick. A crack in the structure of your property allows for termites to easily build mud tubes upon it. Frequently inspect your home for cracks and make repairs as needed. Look for other issues that could contribute not just to termite problems, but all sorts of pest problems!
  3. Wood in contact with the soil.
    1. Even homes that aren’t made of wood can have siding, decks, porches, fences, posts, and more that contain wood. Any wood that comes into contact with your home’s exterior is at risk for termites. For this reason, avoid storing firewood on the ground near your property. Remove decaying logs or stumps, and avoid mulch. Trim back trees to avoid branches coming into contact with your home.

The Risk of Termites in El Paso

Termite infestations are a year-round threat to all homeowners here in El Paso. You can keep your structure safe by working with your local termite control experts. At Pest Defense Solutions, our termite exterminators will thoroughly inspect your property to locate anything that could make you vulnerable to termite problems.

How to Prevent Pests in Your Garage

How to prevent pests in your garage in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

Pest problems are a year-round concern for El Paso residents. While pests are certainly a problem inside homes, they can also easily infest garages. Because so many people store items in their garage year-round, often unattended for months at a time, pests find the environment to be a haven. With ample access to food, shelter, and water, rodents, spiders, and other pests will happily inhabit your garage. Seeing as no one wants to stumble across pests in their garage, it’s crucial to learn how to keep them out in the first place! The experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here with their top tips on how to prevent pests in your garage.

Pests Found in Garages

Garages provide plenty of hidden spots for pests to survive. The most common pests found in garages here in El Paso include:

  1. Spiders. Most spiders crawl inside to feed on other insects. This makes your garage even more suitable for their place of dwelling. Spiders are known to spin webs in boxes and in rarely-accessed corners. You can be sure to come across spiders when pulling out holiday decorations from your garage every year.
  2. Rodents. Especially in the colder months of the year, rodents will seek shelter in garages. They can easily build nests in storage boxes and wall voids, or even sneak into your car. Because they can squeeze through coin-sized holes, rodents in garages are more common than you may want to believe.
  3. Silverfish. One of the most common nuisance pests, silverfish are especially fond of garages and cardboard boxes. Once they are in your garage, they can feed on a number of items: paper, glue, clothing, flour, and more. While mostly harmless, silverfish are nonetheless a nuisance.
  4. Flies. Especially in the hot summer months, flies can be a major nuisance. Flies are attracted to buildings by air currents and odors, and will get into garages when the door is open. House flies can be found resting on nearly any surface including on walls, floors, window sills and other various objects found in the garage.

Tips For Pest-Proofing Your Garage

Keeping pests out of your garage entails many of the same prevention measures you’d take to keep them out of our home. This includes installing effective weather stripping, as well as sealing cracks and crevices with silicone-based caulk or steel wool (or both). Always fix any leaky pipes or moisture problems. Another great tip is to consider storing your items in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids to deny pests access to your stored goods. Once stored in the right containers, it’s still wise to store items up and off of the ground.

How to Prevent Pests in El Paso Homes

Dealing with pests anywhere inside or outside your property can be frustrating and even downright dangerous. If you are having trouble keeping pests out of your garage, the expert technicians at Pest Defense Solutions can help!

Benefits of Commercial Disinfecting Service

Commrcial disinfecting service in El Paso Texas - Pest Defense Solutions

El Paso has undergone difficult months during the pandemic. With the ongoing surge of COVID-19 in our communities, it can be overwhelming to know how to best protect you, your property, and the people in your circle. At Pest Defense Solutions, we remain dedicated to helping limit the spread of the coronavirus—our commercial disinfection service can help. If you have had a confirmed case of the coronavirus in your building or need to prepare to safely reopen your property, we will work with you to ensure your property is completely safe and disinfected. Our trained technicians are here to answer some of the many questions we get about our commercial disinfection service.

What Disinfectant Do We Use?

Any old cleaning product won’t do the trick when it comes to commercial disinfecting. Pest Defense Solutions uses an EPA-approved disinfectant that is registered on List N, which is a registry for products approved for use against COVID-19.This disinfectant is highly effective and proven to kill not just disease-causing bacteria but also viruses and fungi. Our specialists will target critical hard surfaces, including door handles, handrails, switches, bathrooms, tables, and areas that get a lot of traffic.

How Long Does Commercial Disinfection Service Take?

Before beginning, one of our trained technicians will walk you through what to expect before, during, and after the process. The time it takes for our disinfecting service depends on several factors, including the size of the building and what type of facility we are working in. Regardless of the time it takes to disinfect your property, the premises will be safe for use in about half an hour after the treatment. There are also different levels of disinfection available depending on the contamination, which can affect the time it will take to complete the service.

Are Disinfecting Services Safe?

Our number one priority is the safety of both our team and yours. Each of our technicians is trained to uphold a number of safety guidelines. Some of these protocols include:

  1. Our technicians will wear suitable PPE, including respirators, N95 masks, goggles, coveralls, rubber boots, and more.
  2. Every technician is extensively trained in safety procedures to minimize risks in exposed environments.
  3. Throughout the disinfection service, a team member will ensure safety procedures are applied and comply with legislative requirements. 

Is Commercial Disinfecting Service Needed For Your Property?

Pest Defense Solutions’ commercial disinfection service is ideal for any high-traffic business, including rec centers, schools, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, and more. We are happy to work with businesses that have had COVID-19 exposure or just want precautionary cleaning measures. Our experts will work with you to customize a disinfection plan suited to your needs. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule service for your El Paso property.