Flea infestations are very unpleasant to say the least, both for you and your pets. Preventing fleas starts with understanding how fleas are introduced into your home in the first place.
Most of the time, fleas enter the home when a pet brings them in from the yard. Fleas use animals as hosts, and they can jump large distances, which allows them to jump on passing animals. This allows them to travel great distances, right into your yard and then into your home.
Fleas can also travel on old furniture, infested clothing, linens or even the clothing of a human guest whose home is infected. Because of their small size, they can directly enter your home through cracks in the floor, window seals or screens.
Only a few fleas are needed to start an infestation because they can can lay hundreds of eggs before they die. After a few days the eggs hatch and the larvae spin cocoons and emerge after several weeks.
To get rid of fleas, you should begin by washing or trashing and bedding or blankets where the fleas’ ‘hosts’ spend their time. The cocoons are resistant to insecticide, but after using a flea treatment, frequent vacuuming will encourage the fleas to exit the cocoons, where they will be vulnerable to the insecticide.
If your flea infestation doesn’t get better after about a month, it may be time to re-treat or call a professional.
Most homeowners realize the best way to deter unwanted pests is to clean thoroughly and remove trash. But one often overlooked prevention measure is controlling moisture in and around your home.
Even in a dry climate, moisture can cause big problems in a short amount of time when it comes to inviting pests to take up residence in and around your property.
A relatively small amount of water or a leaking pipe provides sufficient water to attract bugs and rodents. It’s worthwhile to perform regular checks for moisture issues in and around the home, as well as other buildings on the property such as sheds and barns.
Spring is an optimal time of year to check. The weather is changing and spring showers provide more than enough moisture.
Here is a short checklist of items to check on your property:
Check plumbing lines under home for even small leaks
Insure exterior faucets seal tightly and do not drip
Tall grassy areas can hide pools of water that might otherwise be visible. Walk the perimeter of your property.
Downspouts and gutters can hold unwanted water if they are not regularly cleaned out.
Look for places standing water can collect – lawn ornaments, bird baths, old tires, decaying woods and even pool covers.
Check the ventilation for your attics and crawl spaces. These ventiations will help keep the area dry and have fresh air circulating.
Despite having a well maintained home, unwanted pests can still be a problem. If you notice any evidence of pests in or around your home, we recommend the issue to be looked at quickly before a larger issue arises.
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The Asian giant hornet has generated a lot of fear in the U.S. in recent weeks since it was spotted in North America. It is the largest wasp in the world, up to 2 inches long, with a sting that has been described as hurting like a hot nail punched through the skin. There are also concerns about its effect on honey bees, since they attack honey bee nests and rapidly kill entire colonies.
The good news is that the Asian giant hornet has only been spotted in Washington state, and there have been less than 10 confirmed sightings. These hornets are only aggressive when their nests are disturbed, and their nests are usually found in wooded areas.
There are several species of Texas native hornets that are often mistook for the Asian giant hornet, such as the cicada killer wasp, which can grow as large as 1.5 inches. Cicada killers are solitary and rarely sting.
So there’s no need to fear Asian giant hornet in South Texas, now or likely ever. If you have problems with other hornets or pests, schedule a home inspection with one of our licensed professionals at Hitman Pest Control today!
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If you’ve got pets, then you’ve probably encountered fleas in your home. The parasitic pests may start off by hopping a ride on your dog or cat, but they’re perfectly content to settle for human blood, too. And they’ll go after any warm body within reach.
First, keep your house cleaned and vacuumed regularly. If you find an adult flea, chances are it has already laid hundreds of eggs. This can remove existing flea populations and prevent egg laying.
Keep your yard groomed. Fleas feed on rodents and other small animals that find refuge and even food sources in overgrown bush. If the rodents are there, the fleas will be too. This may be hard for some pet owners to hear, but keeping them on a leash even in your own backyard can help avoid fleas.
Speaking of rodents, if you have a rodent problem, you may very well have a flea problem as well.
Bathe and groom your pets often, especially in summer. Flea treatments, as prescribed by your veterinarian, can help.
Possums (or opossums) are a common sight in the evenings in south Texas. Although they prefer to live in wooded areas near streams or swamps, they will often den in attics and garages, or under mobile homes.
Problems can arise from their messy nests, and their tendency to tear insulation, wiring and ductwork. Their lifestyle makes them likely carriers of disease, fleas and ticks.
Possum problems can be avoided by removing sources of food and shelter from your property. Trash should be stored in sealed containers, and any pet food dishes should be brought in at night. Also, check for other sources of food or shelter, like fallen fruit from trees or piles of logs or brush.
To prevent home infestation, regularly inspect your home and other buildings for holes, cracks, broken access covers, etc. Tree branches hanging near the home should also be trimmed.
If you suspect a possum infestation in your home, schedule a home inspection with one of our licensed professionals at Hitman Pest Control today!
Termites are a problem that you never see coming. By the time you’ve found them the damage is often extensive. Especially as the weather warms up, termites can become a serious problem.
One potential problem can come from swarming termites. The good news is that the swarming termites that fly around in spring and summer do not bite, sting or even eat wood. Swarming termites’ job is to find a new home, to build a new colony.
The bad news is that the presence of these swarmers means that a colony is nearby, either already in your home or nearby, ready to expand into your area.
Don’t let your home become their base of operations this year. Schedule a home inspection with one of our licensed professionals at Hitman Pest Control today!
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An insect that you should look out for in and around your home this spring are carpenter ants. Similar to termites, carpenter ants can damage the wood in your walls, ceilings and foundation as they make paths throughout the structure.
The carpenter ants that we mostly deal with around our area are the red and black colored species.
One of the signs of infestation is swarming, which often occurs around this time of year. During swarming, some of the ants make a one-time flight and then die soon after. If you see large winged ants in or around your home, you likely have a colony nearby.
Most home ant infestations indicate the presence of a moisture problem, either plumbing or weather related. Problem areas often include areas around doors, windows, chimney flashing and so forth.
The good news is that we have very effective bait that has proven very effective. The local ants love it, sometimes carrying it back to the nest before we’re done.
Do you suspect the presence of these or similar pests? Schedule a home inspection with one of our licensed professionals at Hitman Pest Control today!