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!

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

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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
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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.

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.