ants on a baseboard

Common Pests You Should Know About In Denton, TX

North Texas is home to great people, great weather, and many outdoor areas for all to enjoy. Unfortunately, the "all" includes pests like insects, rodents, wild animals, spiders, and more. With so much pest activity in our area, we must protect our homes and businesses from the damage they cause and the problems they create. Pests will utilize any opportunity given to them to make their lives easier, including using our yards and structures as places to live, breed, and feed. To help you protect your property and family from pests that call North Texas home, we have put together a quick pest overview. The information provided in this guide will assist you in identifying pests and start you on your way to a pest-free home!

Ants

black ant

Ants are not pests that hide from us. The reality is that we see ants in our homes and traveling through our yards and gardens way more than we should. Our weather allows ants to be active in North Texas throughout much of the year. These insects can build and maintain multiple indoor and outdoor nests, and worker ants leave their nests each day to forage for and gather food. Once they find a food source, the workers will leave a pheromone trail to alert the other colony members. Ants are difficult to prevent and control because they work so well together and are committed to their nest and colony's success.

Many different species of ants invade North Texas properties; a few of the most common include pharaoh ants, fire ants, black ants, sugar ants, and acrobat ants. Out of the bunch, fire ants and pharaoh ants tend to be the most problematic. Fire ants bite and deliver extremely painful stings; these aggressive ants swarm in large numbers and can easily take over yards, making it impossible to enjoy our outdoor spaces safely. Pharaoh ants have learned to mainly live indoors; they spread pathogens that cause people to become ill, making them unwelcome guests. No matter the species, we need to be on the lookout for ants and prevent them from making themselves at home on our properties. Ants spread bacteria, contaminate food, and are just overall unwanted.

The best way to eliminate ants and other Texas pests that have found their way into your home is with the help of a professional. In addition to the ant control services we provide at Mayco Pest and Termite Control, the following prevention tips will help you avoid problems with these pests.

  • Place all trash in containers with tight-fitting lids. 

  • Remove things like tree stumps, fallen trees, and other debris from your property where ants can build a nest.

  • Look closely over exterior walls and seal up gaps and holes to keep ants out.

  • Create a stone barrier between any mulch or grass and your foundation. 

  • Inside, eliminate food and water by repairing leaky pipes and making sure to wash dishes regularly and put away leftover food.

Bed Bugs

bedbug on a box spring

Bed bugs are an issue whether you live in North Texas or any other part of the country. Humans are their favorite hosts, so wherever we are, you may also find these biting, blood-feeding pests. Bed bugs are wingless insects that cannot jump; they travel easiest by hitchhiking. They move from location to location on people's clothing or belongings such as bags, luggage, and furniture that they crawl onto. The ease with which bed bugs travel is one of the biggest reasons why these pests are so prolific and problematic!

After bed bugs are brought into your home on someone or something, they usually like to move to areas of a house where people spend most of their time. As their name indicates, bed bugs usually first take up residence in bedrooms hiding in mattresses, footboards, and headboards, putting these nocturnal creatures in close contact with their sleeping hosts. As the infestation grows, the bed bugs will travel and invade other areas, hiding behind baseboards, wall hangings, within upholstered furniture, and inside wall outlets. Some of the biggest reasons why bed bugs are so difficult to control and eliminate are that they multiply quickly, they can go long periods without feeding, and they can squeeze their flat oval-shaped bodies inside the tiniest spaces.

The best way to eliminate bed bugs and other Texas pests that have found their way into your home is with the help of a professional. In addition to the bed bug control services we provide at Mayco Pest and Termite Control, the following prevention tips will help you avoid problems with these pests.

  • When traveling, always inspect where you will be sleeping for signs of bed bugs before bringing your personal belongings inside. 

  • In your home, place, bed bug-proof covers over all mattresses and box springs.

  • Regularly wash and dry your bedding and pet bedding, always on the watch for bed bugs.

  • Take care when purchasing used furniture, mattresses, or other second-hand items for use in your home. Avoid buying second-hand items as much as possible.

  • Vacuum your home frequently.

Mosquitoes

mosquito on skin

Outdoor pests that drink the blood of warm-blooded animals, mosquitoes are always unwelcome visitors to our Texas properties. Mosquitoes swarm together in large numbers, and their prolific breeding habits mean they can take over properties quickly. In other parts of the country, mosquitoes are mostly a threat during the spring and summer seasons, but in Texas, where our winters are mild, they are a year-round problem. Females lay their eggs on top of standing water. Any property can become plagued with mosquitoes as they will utilize any amount of standing water as a breeding site. Buckets, flower pots, low-lying areas, trash cans, gutters, wading pools, and ditches are things found in or near most of our yards and offer mosquitoes a place to breed. 

While mosquitoes are annoying pests, they are also dangerous pests. They have been responsible for outbreaks of diseases across the world. As mosquitoes feed on their warm-blooded hosts, they can acquire and spread pathogens. In our area, mosquitoes transmit diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, and the West Nile virus. Avoiding as much contact with mosquitoes is always best. Knowing what attracts mosquitoes to a property can help you avoid contact with mosquitoes. In addition to standing water, lots of trees, overgrown landscaping, and other shady areas will attract these pests. During the heat of the day, mosquitoes like to rest in damp, dark places. Doing things like propping doors open and not having screens in windows allows mosquitoes to move into your home, giving them more opportunities to bite you and your family.

The best way to control mosquitoes and other Texas pests that have found their way into your home is with the help of a professional. In addition to the affordable mosquito control services provided in Denton, TX, the following prevention tips will help you avoid problems with these pests.

  • Though it is challenging to rid your property of every ounce of standing water, do your best to remove as much as possible. 

  • Store containers upside down when not being used.

  • Fill in low spots on your lawn that allow puddles to form and keep gutters free of clogs that allow rainwater to build up. 

  • Clear out overgrown vegetation and keep your lawn cut short to reduce resting spots for mosquitoes on your property.

Rodents & Other Wildlife

a deer mouse

Texas is home to many different species of wild animals. Rodents and other wild animals can become a problem on any property, but those located near wooded areas or places like parks, meadows, and fields tend to have more issues with these pests. Some of the most common animals to become problems on our North Texas properties include rodents like house mice, Norway rats, roof rats, and squirrels. Wildlife like opossums and raccoons also make regular appearances. 

As with most pests, food is typically what attracts wild animals to our yards. They are always searching for reliable food sources, and our trash cans, gardens, and fruit trees can act as a never-ending buffet. While these critters primarily live outside, sometimes they will decide to use our structures as a place of shelter. When they do, their presence causes many problems; they can damage structural elements, furniture, insulation, flooring, walls, boxes, and your personal belongings. Having rodents and other animals living in your yard or home is also problematic because they carry diseases that can make people ill. Also, animals spread parasitic ticks and fleas to properties causing even more pest issues!

The best way to get rid of rodents, wild animals, and other Texas pests that have found their way into your home is with the help of a professional. In addition to the comprehensive rodent and wildlife control services we provide, the following prevention tips will help you avoid problems with these pests.

  • Eliminate sources of water buildup in your yard and around your home that animals could utilize.

  • Place an animal-proof cap on your chimney.

  • Fix ripped or torn window and door screens.

  • Seal holes in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Keep your yard and house as clean as possible; fewer areas of debris means fewer hiding spots for rodents and wild animals.

  • Prevent animals from feeding out of trash cans and compost bins by keeping tight-fitting lids on them.

Spiders

brown recluse spider

While spiders aren't everyone's cup of tea, you can't argue that they are helpful creatures in nature and in our yards. Spiders are predators, which means they feed on other living things; in their case, insects and other spiders. Spiders help control populations of insects that spread disease or damage flowers, crops, grass, and the like. Spiders have two body segments, eight legs, and lack wings and antennae. Their presence can also be noted by the webs that many (but not all) spiders create. If you start seeing a large number of spiders or their webs on your property, there is likely a large insect infestation present that you should address.

Most spiders are relatively harmless to people, we are much larger than spiders, and the venom that most of them have isn't potent enough to cause us harm. However, two species living in the United States do pose a significant health risk to people; the brown recluse and the black widow. Knowing that both of these dangerous spiders live in our region of Texas is important so you can protect yourself and your kids from them. A bite from either species will cause symptoms that need to be managed by a health professional. The weather in Texas allows most insects to be active throughout most of the year, and since spiders feed on insects, it means that spiders are also active year-round. Spiders are usually found outside in wooded areas, meadows, fields, gardens, and yards. While they don't seek out indoor accommodations, it is common for them to follow their insect prey indoors, becoming unwelcome guests in our Texas homes.

The best way to eliminate spiders and other Texas pests that have found their way into your home is with the help of a professional. In addition to the spider control services we provide at Mayco Pest and Termite Control, the following prevention tips will help you avoid problems with these pests.

  • Keep your lawn cut short, shrubbery cut back, and remove unnecessary landscaping to reduce hiding spots for spiders and the insects they like to feed on.

  • Remove areas of clutter from inside and outside your home.

  • Make sure you have weatherstripping installed around exterior windows and doors and screens in windows and doors.

  • Keep screens on chimneys and vents.

  • Seal cracks in the foundation of your house.

  • Remove spider webs as you discover them; doing this will annoy spiders, and they'll move elsewhere.

Termites

a termite

Termites are pests that thrive in the weather that North Texas provides them. The hot temperatures in the summer and mild temperatures in the winter allow these pests to feed continuously throughout the year. Termites don't sleep; they work day and night to ensure they gather enough food to feed their expansive colonies. The most common type of termite in our area is the subterranean termite. Subterranean termites nest underground in areas of damp soil, and the workers leave the nest each day to gather food. Termites are wood-eating pests that survive on the cellulose from wood, plants, and other organic debris. Termites in our areas can feed on sound wood but much prefer water-damaged or decaying wood.

Termites are a common sight in densely wooded areas because both moisture and trees and other food sources are present. But, termites don't just live in the woods; they can be found almost anywhere and can easily become a problem in any North Texas home. As termites travel through the soil or the mud tubes they create, these insects often find their way into homes through cracks in the foundation or wood making contact with the soil. Once inside, they will travel through the walls and under floors, attracted to structural wood near leaking pipes, windows, doors, and other moist areas. As the termites feed, they hollow out the wood, causing more and more structural damage. Termites are responsible for more than five billion dollars in damage across the country each year!

The best way to eliminate termites and other Texas pests that have found their way into your home is with the help of a professional. In addition to the effective termite control services in Denton, TX we provide, the following prevention tips will help you avoid problems with these pests.

  • Repair leaky pipes quickly and use dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture within your home.

  • Seal cracks in your foundation.

  • Limit wood to soil contact on your property and house.

  • Create a stone barrier between any soil or mulch and your foundation. 

  • Put into place a year-round pest control plan to prevent future problems with destructive termites.

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