10 Tips for a Pest-Proof Backyard

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

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

10 Tips to Keep Your Backyard Pest-Free

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

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

Pest Control for Your Backyard in El Paso TX

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

10 Spider Facts

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

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

Top Ten Facts About Spiders

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

When Do You Need Spider Control?

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

Start Ant-Proofing Your Home Now!

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

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

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

At-Home Ant Prevention in 8 Steps

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

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

How to Get Rid of Ants in the House

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

Prevent Ants with Professional Ant Control

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

How to Get Rid of Pigeons on the Roof

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

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

Are Pigeons Dangerous?

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

  • Salmonella
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Cryptococcosis, and more

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

How to Get Rid of Pigeons Yourself

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

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

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

Professional Bird Control in El Paso

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

Dangers of Rodent Infestations in El Paso

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

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

Structural Damage Caused By Rats & Mice

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

What Diseases Are Spread By Rodents?

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

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

Want to Protect Your Property From the Dangers of Rodents?

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

What Do Bees Do During the Winter?

Bees in the winter in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in El Paso, bees are one of the most common insects we encounter in the spring and summertime. This is because, as pollinators, they have abundant access to flowering plants this time of year. Their activity can peak in the late summer and linger into the fall—but what happens to bees during the winter months? While we don’t experience frigid temperatures in the winter often in our region, bees are nonetheless out of sight this time of year.

Believe it or not, some types of bees can actually go into a dormant state similar to hibernation during the winter as they wait for spring to arrive once more. Keep reading to learn more about winter bee activity with the experts at Pest Defense Solutions. 

Common Bees in the Winter

Bees are more active during the warmer months of the year. They’re less likely to be around as soon as temperatures drop below 50°F. In El Paso, the following bees all react to winter a bit differently:

  1. Carpenter bees: These wood-destroying bees can remain dormant through the winter in their nests. During the winter months, young carpenter bees that hatched in the summer will hibernate in their nests. During the summer, older bees will die after larvae are laid.
  2. Honey bees: For honey bees to survive the winter, they must have a robust population with a secure hive and a large store of honey. Male honey bees die off, leaving the female bees to crowd tightly together in their hive with the queen in the middle. The female worker bees will vibrate and shiver around the queen bee, keeping alive until warmer days return.
  3. Bumblebees: All bumblebees in a colony except the queen will die if temperatures become too cold. The queen bees will hibernate, or overwinter, by digging small holes in the dirt.

Bee Prevention Tips in El Paso

While you shouldn’t worry about an infestation during the winter, it’s a good time to prepare for the coming months. It is possible to keep bees and other insects out of the spring and summer by using simple pest prevention methods. Seal cracks and crevices around the exterior of your house to prevent pests from entering. Consider planting your garden away from the perimeter of your property, or only growing non-flowering shrubs. Install tight-fitting screens on your windows and doors, and ensure that your trash cans have tight-fitting lids. Finally, keep your yard tidy and fill in any holes left by animals to prevent bees or wasps from nesting.

Want to Protect Your Property From Bees?

Any time of year, you should contact a local bee expert if you have bee problems. At Pest Defense Solutions, our team will identify potential nesting sites on your property or areas where stinging insects may spend the winter. As spring and summer approach, we can also prepare you for pests. Contact us today to get started!

Keep Out Birds with Chimney Caps

A bird nesting on a chimney in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

For some people, having flocks of birds around might be desirable. However, if you aren’t careful about their presence on your property, birds can cause serious problems. Besides being a constant source of noise in the morning, birds can cause significant property damage through their nesting and droppings, and even expose people to diseases. If you’ve noticed that birds are nesting in or around your chimney, it’s important to take steps to ward them off. If you’re looking for bird prevention advice, read on for insight from the experts at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso!

How Birds Create Problems for Homeowners

There are a few significant ways that birds cause problems for homeowners in El Paso. If you’re noticing more birds than usual around your home, here are some things to look out for:

  • Gutter blockage: Birds nesting in your gutters can divert rainwater in ways that cause water damage to your home or affect your garden.
  • Chimney blockage: When birds build nests inside your chimney, they can block off the flow of fumes from your fireplace out into the open air. This creates the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning inside your home.
  • Droppings: Bird droppings can induce histoplasmosis in humans, a disease that is caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus sometimes found in bird and bat droppings. This disease can cause aches, chills, fever, and more at varying levels of severity.

Keeping Out Birds in Chimney Stacks

When birds nest in your yard, they might make their way toward your roof for the warmth and the potential shelter that your chimney provides. As we’ve gone over, this can create many problems, including health concerns, for you and your family. The best way to prevent birds in the chimney is by installing a chimney cap. This will cover your chimney so nothing outside can get in, but still allow for proper ventilation from the inside. This way, you can keep out blockage, debris, droppings, and actual birds from your chimney.

Bird Control with Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

If you already have a chimney cap but birds are still causing problems on your roof or in your chimney, talk to your local pest control company about your issues. Here at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso, we train our bird removal team to develop unique exclusion plans for each of our customers. We understand that bird infestations must be handled delicately, so we prioritize safe and humane removal techniques to keep everyone safe and your home bird-free. Contact us today for a free quote!

How Do Mice Breed So Quickly?

Group of mice near El Paso TX home - Pest Defense Solutions

Out of pests, mice are one of the most dangerous for one reason: they multiply at a rapid rate. This is why seeing even one or two mice—or rats—in or around your property can be a bad sign you have a serious infestation underway. The life cycle of rodents is so quick that mice reach sexual maturity and begin to reproduce at just a month old. Needless to say, this means that even one or two mice in your garage one week can grow exponentially in a manner of weeks. This is why it’s so imperative to learn how to prevent mice from breeding in your El Paso property in the first place. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know with the experts at Pest Defense Solutions.

The Fast Reproduction Rate of Mice

You might not think a couple of mice in your garage is a bad thing—but even a small problem can quickly turn into an infestation. All it takes is one female and one male mouse to kickstart what could be a serious infestation. Here’s everything you need to know:

  1. As mentioned before, young mice reach breeding age at 4–6 weeks of age.
  2. One mouse can give birth to five or six babies after just a three-week gestation period. Even worse, they can produce up to 10 litters a year!
  3. These female mice can mate immediately after giving birth, meaning mice can birth a second litter in as little as 25 days after the first. 

Rodent reproduction rate infographic - Pest Defense Solutions in El Paso TX

Rodents Inside vs. Outside Your Property

The life cycle of a mouse makes it easy to see why these rodents are such common pests in our region. Although the average mouse lifespan is only about 12 months outdoors, they can live for nearly 2 or 3 years in an indoor environment. Living indoors also enables mice to breed more rapidly, as they are unable to reproduce in the winter if outdoors. Inside the comfort of your home, rodents are safe from predators like owls, hawks, and cats. This can lead to a longer lifespan and, in turn, more litters!

Stopping Mice From Breeding Quickly

No one wants to share their property with a big population of rodents. To prevent mice from turning your home or business into their personal breeding grounds, it’s important to learn how to prevent the mice in the first place. Even more important is learning how to recognize the signs of rodents to catch an infestation early on. For help or advice, the rodent exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions are happy to assist. Contact us today!

Pointers for a Pest-Free Kitchen

A cockroach in the kitchen in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions El Paso

The kitchen is one of the hardest rooms in the house to protect from pest problems. With opportunities to find food, standing water, moisture, shelter, indoor to outdoor access, and more, it’s no wonder we get so many calls every year to help El Paso residents with their kitchen pest problems.

Are you looking for some strategies to help keep your kitchen clean and pest-free*? Look no further! The pest experts at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso have put together their best advice to help you get rid of kitchen pests and keep them away for good!

Why Are There Bugs in the Kitchen?

We know that all kinds of critters set up shop in our kitchens, but why? Sometimes, even if you think you’re doing the best that you can keeping your kitchen neat and tidy, bugs and vermin have access to everything they need and can get to it without you knowing. Here are the three main reasons why pests could be in your kitchen:

  • Food: Pests can quickly jump on food that has been left out, spilled, or left unsealed in your cupboards. Mice, rats, and more are even capable of breaking into packaged goods!
  • Water: Leaky pipes under cupboards and standing water in the sink can both contribute to a pest problem by giving them a source of hydration.
  • Shelter: Spiders love the clutter of our pantries, roaches love the dark and damp environment under our sinks, and rodents love the hidden accessibility of our walls—they could be everywhere!

5 Tips to Keep Pests Out of Your Kitchen

Keeping pests out of the kitchen means getting rid of factors that might attract them. Here are five important ways to reduce the risk of a pest infestation in your kitchen:

  1. Reduce moisture buildup in the kitchen by sealing any leaking pipes, running your garbage disposal often, and clearing any clogged drains.
  2. Wash your dishes as soon as you’re done with them and wipe up spills promptly to prevent crumbs and residue from attracting pests.
  3. Take out the trash often and use sealable lids on your bins.
  4. Check the expiration date on goods you’re purchasing at the grocery store. Make sure you aren’t letting foods go bad in your pantry or refrigerator, too.
  5. Make sure there are no gaps around your windows and doors. You can close them with screens and door sweeps.

Need Help with Pest Control in the Kitchen?

Sometimes, trying to deal with pest pressures in the kitchen on your own just isn’t enough. That’s where the experts at Pest Defense Solutions El Paso come in. We are acutely familiar with the way pests operate here in El Paso TX and will develop an overarching pest control plan to figure out why your home or business is infested, rid all pests, and keep them out for good. For a free quote or to hear more about our services, contact our team today!

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!