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!

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!

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 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!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Pest defense solutions logo

Entomologists from Pest Defense Solutions’ parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Common Seasonal Pests in El Paso

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

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

Fall and Winter Pests to Look Out For

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

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

What Pests are Common in El Paso Spring and Summer?

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

Seasonal Pest Prevention

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

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!