Welcome to Texas: What are the Most Common Household Pests?
Welcome to the great state of Texas! With a reputation for live music, excellent BBQ, and a wide selection of cultural attractions, there’s a lot to love about living in this state. But you probably already know that. What you may not know is that Texas is also home to a great variety of household pests. As a resident of this state, new or old, it is important for you to be familiar with the types of pests most common to the area so that you know how to avoid common pest infestation and who to call for help if they do take over your home. With a basic knowledge of common household pests, you can worry less about infestation and focus more on enjoying the great qualities of Texas.
What Type of Pests are Common in Texas?
Just like you had your reasons for choosing Texas, the state’s pest population has its reasons for settling down right here. Termites, for instance, thrive in humidity while rodents benefit from the ample vegetation available in certain areas and the lack of predators. Continue reading to learn more about the top five most common households pests in Texas including:
Texas has one of the highest concentrations of termites in the country. Drawn by the humidity of the state, these dangerous pests can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home before you even know they’re there.
If you’ve spotted small ant-like pests with four wings or small, cream-colored pests without wings, you may very likely have a flying termite or subterranean termite problem on your hands. Other signs of termites in your home include:
- Mud tubes on the exterior of your home.
- Discarded wings near doors and window sills.
- Wood that feels soft or sounds hollow when tapped.
- Peeling paint or drooping drywall.
- Sticking windows and doors.
- Fecal mounds resembling sawdust or salt and pepper.
Although there are a few steps you can take to prevent termites such as 1) eliminating moisture around the foundation of your home 2) removing wood and wooden structures in contact with the ground, and 3) avoiding large amounts of mulch, the only way to get rid of a termite infestation is to contact a reputable pest control company like Myles Pest Services. Partnering with expert exterminators can save you thousands when it comes to termite removal.
This may not be a fun fact, but did you know that there are over 60 types of rodents native to Texas? Luckily, the types of rodents most commonly found in homes can be narrowed down to four main offenders: house mice, deer mice, norway rat, and roof rats. Despite the variety of rodents in Texas, the following tips will help you prevent and get rid of rats and mice in most situations:
- Ensure all food is properly sealed and stored.
- Find and seal entry points such as holes and cracks around windows.
- Try adding mesh to your downspout and other pipes and tubes.
- Keep all trash cans carefully closed.
- Try out different types of traps and baits.
- Consider live traps for more humane rodent removal.
It isn’t easy to get rid of rodents in your home, but with the proper knowledge and strategies, you can live rodent-free.
Unlike termite infestation, it’s usually pretty easy to tell if you have a cockroach problem. You’ll most often spot these dark, oval-shaped pests near pantries, cabinets, trash cans, open food containers and empty cans, pet food, and areas with crumbs or unwashed dishes. If you think you have cockroaches in your home, acting fast is key! These notoriously durable pests are not only visually alarming but also capable of worsening allergies and spreading dangerous types of bacteria and parasitic worms.
To get rid of cockroaches effectively, try these five basic strategies:
- Thoroughly clean your home
- Purchase cockroach traps from supermarkets or home improvement stores
- Try out different store-bought baits
- Experiment with safe, home remedies
- Work with a professional exterminator. Cockroaches are tough but you’re tougher so don’t wait to take action!
There are lots of outdoor activities to enjoy in Texas: barbecues to host with friends and family, national parks to explore, rodeos to attend. However, Texas is also known for having an extremely high population of mosquitos. That means that spending time in your yard puts you at risk of both itchy bites and dangerous diseases like Zika virus and West Nile virus.
Although professional mosquito control is the most effective way to protect your household from these aggravating pests, there are several actions you can take to reduce your mosquito population:
- Purchase mosquito traps from the store or make your own with sugar and water.
- Keep oscillating fans running to discourage mosquitos from approaching your outdoor gatherings.
- Try DIY mosquito repellents after careful research to ensure they are safe for you and the environment.
- Plant mosquito repelling plants such as citronella grass and scented geraniums.
- Eliminate or cover standing water to prevent mosquitoes from using it as a place to lay their eggs.
Texas is home to a variety of different ant species, both indoors and outdoors. These pests typically find their way inside your house in search of food, water, or shelter. Some of the species that call our state home include:
- Carpenter Ants: These pests are large, black, and shiny. Like termites, they destroy wood and create tunnels within the wood structures of your home. While they are less destructive than termites, they are still a threat to your home.
- Acrobat Ants: These tiny ants typically live outdoors and are anywhere from light brown to black in color. These insects are attracted to moisture inside your home and walls and will usually make their way inside through tunnels carved out by termites or carpenter ants. After making their way inside, you may find them inside pantries or anywhere food is stored.
- Fire Ants: Many people are familiar with this species due to their painful bites. These ants are dark red and are typically very small. They build mounds outside and are very dangerous if you come in contact with them.
- Odorous House Ants: As you may have guessed, these dark brown ants get their name from the odor they emit when squashed, the smell is similar to rotten coconut.
- Rover Ants: This species can range anywhere in color from a pale yellow to a dark brown/black. While not very dangerous to humans, they swarm in large numbers, making them difficult to control.
The best way to get rid of ants is to start with proper identification. Once the species is identified, they can be safely exterminated through DIY methods, or better, with help from a professional pest control company.
Last but certainly not least dangerous are spiders. The first step in protecting yourself from a spider infestation is identifying the type of spider you are dealing with. The spiders most common to Texas include.
- Yellow Garden Spider: This non-poisonous spider can be identified by black and yellow markings on its abdomen.
- Carolina Wolf Spider: Although these dark-colored spiders are not poisonous, their bite can be extremely painful.
- Woodlouse Hunter Spider: Dark red in color, these non-poisonous spiders have six eyes and long fangs.
- Black Widow Spider: This extremely poisonous type of spider often has a red, hourglass-shaped mark on it’s black abdomen, but this is not always true of females.
- Brown Recluse Spider: Commonly found in woodsheds, garages, and other dry, private areas, these poisonous spiders range in color from light brown to dark grey and can be identified by messy webs close to ground level.
- Other common spiders in Texas include the Grey Wall Jumping Spider, the Crab Spider, and the Long-Bodied Cellar Spider.
Once you identify the type of spider in your home or on your property, you can more safely treat the infestation and prevent future invasions with store-bought solutions and DIY remedies. Eliminating openings near doors and windows, removing vegetation from the perimeter of your home, and frequently dusting and vacuuming are also great ways to maintain a spider-free home.
Contact Your Local Pest Control Company
Texas may be home to quite a few pests, but it’s also the home of Myles Pest Services. As a pest control company with over 30 years of experience providing top-quality services to Texas residents, we have the solutions to your pest problems. Whether you’re battling termites or worrying about spiders, our highly trained local exterminators are ready to help.