Aggressive Rats During the Coronavirus

Rodents enter El Paso TX homes during the pandemic - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in El Paso, rats and mice are one of the most common pest problems we see, especially in the fall months. Infestations are currently worse than ever due to the coronavirus. As the CDC announced a while back, rodents are more aggressive due to the growing competition for food sources. When restaurants, cafes, and bars were put under restrictions to limit or even shut down operations, rats and mice suddenly found themselves depleted of their normal food source. This pushed them to search elsewhere for food and shelter, often right inside your own home. Due to the rise in rat and mouse infestations and with Rodent Awareness Week upon us, now is the perfect time to learn how to protect your property from these pests in the coming months.

What’s Happening to Rodents During the Pandemic?

Although rodents may be more common right now, there’s no reason to worry about them spreading COVID-19. There is thankfully no evidence to show that rodents are transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans. The main concern with rats and mice currently is that they are getting more aggressive in nature, can carry other diseases, and could cause damage to your property.

The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their hunt for resources. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. A rodent problem can also result in structural damage.

Preventing Rodents in El Paso

The best form of rodent control is exclusion. This means safeguarding your home from rodents in the first place. Try out our following tips:

  • Seal off cracks and crevices around openings. Mice can squeeze inside holes the size of a dime.
  • Securely store all food in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Clean inside the house and around the garden. Less clutter means fewer places to hide.
  • Put outdoor garbage bags in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids to stop them from feeding on contents.
  • Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids, preferably above ground level.
  • If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.
  • Inspect your garage, attic, crawlspaces, and vents for potential rodent hiding spots.

Rodent Infestations During COVID-19

At Pest Defense Solutions, we understand that a rodent problem is the last thing you have the time and energy to deal with this year. Our rodent exterminators are committed to helping protect your property against these pests. Contact us today to learn how!

Prevent a Fall Rodent Infestation With These Tips

Rodents get inside El Paso TX homes in the fall - Pest Defense Solutions

Rodents are a common pest problem year-round, but they’re especially troublesome in the fall months here in El Paso. This is because rats and mice begin to come indoors to seek out warmth, shelter, and food. Unfortunately, rodents can squeeze inside easier than you may think. Because rodents can contaminate surfaces, spread germs, and cause structural damage, it’s extremely important to learn how to prevent a rodent infestation this fall. Rodent exclusion is the key to stopping rodents from making their way indoors. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to help you learn how to make your property less attractive to rats and mice this fall.

Preventing Fall Rodent Problems

No one wants a rodent problem. Thankfully, there are six main things you can do to keep them away:

  1. Keep all vegetation trimmed. Tree branches close to the home or vines along the side of your home will invite rodents in.
  2. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  3. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  4. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  5. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  6. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

The Dangers of Rats & Mice in the Fall

Rodents are not subtle pests and will quickly make their presence known with rustling noises and gnawing noises.  For the most part, rats and mice will take shelter in the attic, basement, and garage. They also will infest kitchens, laundry rooms, and are highly likely to invade your trash cans if given the chance.

Once indoors, rodents can cause a lot of destruction. Their nesting and chewing habits will tear apart materials in your home or ruin wires. They also will contaminate surfaces as they spread potentially dangerous germs and bacteria wherever they go.

Need Fall Rodent Control?

Whether you think you have the beginnings of a rodent problem or you want to avoid one entirely, the team at Pest Defense Solutions can help. Our rodent exterminators will work with you to customize a rodent exclusion plan suited to your needs. Contact us today!

Dangers of Rodent Infestations in El Paso

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

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

The Damage Rats & Mice Cause

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

Common Rodent Diseases

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

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

How to Get Rid of Rodents in El Paso

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

6 Important Pests of 2020

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

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

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


Mosquitoes

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

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


Rats

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

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


Termites

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

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


Cockroaches

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

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


Flies

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

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


Spiders

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

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


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