Creepy, crawly parasites have no business in your home, hiding in your furniture, lurking in your clothing or worst of all laying eggs in your bedroom. Bed bugs are a year-round nuisance whose presence tends to heighten during the summer months as these hitchhikers easily tag onto vacationers in the warmer weather, who then discretely transport them anywhere and everywhere. Should you experience an unfortunate encounter of the bed bug kind, here are steps to consider to manage and treat the problem.
How To Recognize Your Uninvited House Guest
The first step is to be sure you’re dealing with genuine bed bugs. These pests are masters at the game of hide-and-seek and can be difficult to detect in the daylight hours. Bed bugs are wingless insects that have a distinct reddish brown color with oval-shaped bodies that tend to be about the size of a sunflower seed. They are foul-smelling, have a distinct antenna, and beak-like mouth used for sucking blood from their human hosts.
Where to Look
Secrecy is the name of the game for bed bugs and they tend to gather and collect in areas including furniture seams and corners, pockets of couches, and under cushions and mattresses where they may be difficult to find. Clothing piled on the floor or items stored under beds are also desirable nesting areas as bed bugs tend to thrive in spaces that are cluttered.
Mom Was Right, Bed Bugs Do Bite!
One way to affirm the presence of bed bugs is to find evidence of their bites. Bed bugs feast on human blood and are said to devour as much as six times their weight in a single feeding. While the human host may not realize they are they the main course at the moment, identifying the classic itchy raised welts left behind is a sure sign bed bugs have found their way into your home.
Prevention and Protection
While the thought of bed bugs may be enough to make your skin crawl, there is no substitute for professional services to eliminate the problem. The experts at AJB pest professionals will work closely with you, guiding you through a clear and effective process using multiple techniques to rid your home of bed bugs once and for all. Contact us with questions today for a better night’s sleep tomorrow!
Do you sometimes hear scratching noises coming from somewhere in the walls? Have you caught a glimpse of something darting across the room and wondered if you were seeing things? What is that strange, lingering, musty smell that you can’t find the source of? And what are those little rice-sized black pellets in the bottom of the drawer and under the microwave cart? The most likely answer is that you have mice.
Once you know how to spot the clues they leave behind, it’s not hard to spot a mouse problem. Mice tend to use the same pathways as they travel through your living space and stay close to walls. They leave a urine trail behind, as mice drip urine constantly as they walk. They may clamber through drawers and even climb to scurry across counter areas if they find food there. The spots where they stop and eat are where you will find droppings. You may also see signs of gnawing on boxes or other food containers.
But because they generally come out only at night, mice can go undetected for quite a while. They don’t need much food to survive and they can slip into small spaces. Unfortunately, they can use this time to breed and increase their numbers so that by the time you discover their presence, you could have a large infestation.
If you suspect you have mice, it’s important to keep floors and counter areas free of food and food crumbs. Store your food in chew-proof containers and in high cupboards with doors that close.
Mice pose many serious health risks and so, once discovered, it is important to act quickly to eliminate mice from your home. At AJB Pest & Termite, our trained technicians provide pest control solutions that are both effective and safe for you and your family.
Unfortunately, many of the methods that homeowners may use to try to eliminate a mouse problem are messy and ineffective. Even if you manage to trap or kill a mouse or two, it’s unlikely that your mouse problem is over. Remember, there’s no such thing as one mouse. If you see one, there are many more.
If you have noticed any of the above signs or suspect you may have mice, contact us. We can determine if you have a mouse problem and eliminate it before it becomes an infestation.
Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home and can affect the structure of your house as well. Here are a few methods that are used to control and exterminate these termite problems from people’s homes.
When highly-active termite areas are located, slow-acting baits in bait stations are placed in those places and the worker termites will bring back the bait and feed it to the other members of their colonies.
Although using bait stations is very efficient at removing the termite colonies, they are slow to act and the stations may not work quick enough to control very dense population infestations. Liquid insecticides may then be used in those situations to address the area having a major termite problem. In certain areas that are not suitable for termite pesticides like near bodies of water, termite baits are used to control the problem area.
Homeowners experiencing termite problems can help with their termite issues by limiting the termites sources of foods like wood piles and repairing their house’s plumbing and leaks. This can control existing infestations as well as preventing possible infestations from occurring sometime in the future.
Another method of treatment is a wood treatment. Wood treatments can kill current termite colonies and also prevent them from eventually sprouting up. This treatment includes injected foams and sprays, surface sprays, and borate treated wood. Borate wood treatments prevent any possible infestations and eliminate existing ones. Surface applications are used during the construction process of building a home and then the foams and wood injections are used after the home is already built.
Another method to take action in controlling a termite problem is to do a soil treatment. Concealed and hiding termites take place under the soil, which is why soil surrounding the area is treated to act as a protective barrier from the termites. The first step done is to dig a trench surrounding the home or foundation, and then the soil is treated with a termite pesticide product. Afterward, the trench is then refilled with soil. This kills the termites coming from the house and trying to return to their nests as well as preventing future termite issues. This termite pesticide option gives you much faster results and lasts you a few years.
If you have any questions or concerns on these termite control options, please feel free to reach out and contact us.
Opportunistic, aggressive, territorial and potentially dangerous, the bothersome fire ant is preparing to reemerge from its winter safe haven as the weather begins to warm. Springtime represents mating season for the fire ant and as their activity increases, they may choose to call either the outside or inside of your home or office their family compound. Either way, the fire ant packs a nasty punch to unsuspecting landlords who unknowingly harbor their crew.
How To Recognize Fire Ants
Certain defining characteristics set fire ants apart from other ant species. These features include:
Appearance: Fire ants can present as both reddish brown and reddish black in color and vary in size from 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch long. They are a typically segmented insect with antennae, stinger, and three sharp teeth on their destructive, tiny heads.
Nests: Fire ants build and live in a characteristic mound like structure that at times can be tricky to notice. Recent research at Texas A&M finds that “in cold, dry areas such as the High Plains of Texas, mounds are usually much smaller and harder to detect.” Nests that are often times unknowingly disturbed, can result in violent behavior from their inhabitants.
Behavior: Fire ants are considered especially aggressive when their mounds are disrupted. When disturbed, fire ants emerge aggressively, crawling up vertical surfaces, biting and stinging “all at once”. A sting usually leaves a blister on the skin. Some victims experience nothing more than an irritation and others can suffer deadly consequences just as they might from multiple bee stings.
At AJB Pest and Termite, we understand the inherent threat fire ants create in your home or place of business. We share in your sense of urgency in eliminating this type of danger and our family is here to serve and protect your family against the very real threat the fire ant brings to our community. Contact us at the very first sign of fire ant invasion, we are here and ready to not only eliminate the threat but permanently smolder the fire.
If you are a pet owner, one thing that you might be worried about is dealing with fleas this summer. This is a common concern among those who own dogs, cats and other pets, but luckily, there are a few tips that you can follow that can help.
1. Keep Your Lawn Maintained
First of all, you should know that fleas like nice, tall grass and weeds. If you keep your lawn neat and trimmed, you can help prevent fleas from being a problem in the first place. Plus, you’ll make it easier to treat your lawn to prevent and get rid of fleas.
2. Keep Your Pets Groomed
Giving your pets frequent baths with flea shampoo and combing their hair with a fine-toothed comb can help get rid of fleas and flea eggs. Along with helping prevent fleas, this can also help prevent shedding and can keep your pet looking and feeling great. You can also talk to your veterinarian about flea control products that might work well for your dog or cat, such as a flea medication that can be applied to your dog’s skin.
3. Work with a Pest Control Company
It’s always a good idea to work with a pest control company if you are concerned about a flea infestation. Your pest control company can come out and treat your home and your yard to get rid of any existing fleas and prevent new fleas from making themselves at home there.
As you can see, there are a few different ways that you can prevent fleas this summer. If you are looking for a pest control company that you can count on to help you with flea control and other types of pest control, contact us at AJB Pest & Termite today.
Summer is upon us with its bright skies, hot weather, swimming and outdoor parties. However, an unwelcome guest that is always trying to bug us, is the ever hungry mosquito. Well, as luck would have it, we have just the list to help keep those flighty little creatures away from your next barbecue.
1. Wear Light Colored Clothing – Turns out these pesky things are attracted to dark clothes. Keep the summer spirit alive and wear bright colors and lightweight clothing. That sundress will look fantastic and keep the bugs away.
2. Specialty Candles and Lanterns – The sun is setting and it’s lovely weather to sit outside and have a cool drink. What better way to enjoy the mood than with candlelight? Luckily, stores all over sell different varieties of candles and lanterns that keep the bugs away and keep the ambiance alive.
3. Keep an Eye out for Stagnant Water – Mosquitoes breed in water that doesn’t have any flow, so make sure to keep water moving! Pools need to be cleaned, bottles capped and any toy water guns emptied so there’s no way the bugs can make anymore little biters.
4. Bug Repellent – There are bottles of lotions and sprays to put on during the summer that help keep away unwanted pests, but remember to read the directions. Many of these convenient products wear away after just a couple of hours.
5. Call Us – For the most secure way to keep the mosquitoes away, contact us to help keep your next outdoor party safe from bugs that bite. We have a state of the art misting system that will keep you, and your lawn, summer ready.
As temperatures continue to drop, keep in mind you may not be the only one looking for an escape from the cold. Rodents such as mice and rats are foraging for food and shelter during these colder months, and often end up sharing space with you and your family.
How Do They Get In?
Mice and rats can enter your home in a variety of ways. They are capable of squeezing their body down to a fraction of its original size, fitting through openings as small as a quarter in their quest for shelter. Mice and rats are also extremely strong swimmers and have been known to enter houses through sewage lines. Loose roof shingles are another area that rodents can squeeze through to make their way inside. Make sure that there aren’t any cracks in your foundation that would allow a fury pest to enter your house, and have a roof inspection done every so often to ensure there are no loose shingles allowing access to the attic.
Damaging Your Home
Once they’ve made their way inside, rodents will need both food and water. Mice prefer to eat grains, so things like your cereal and pasta are high on their list of delicious meals. If you have a mouse that gets in and helps itself to your pantry, you’ll notice tears, scratch marks, and droppings near your food. Unfortunately, once a mouse has started in on your bag of Chex Mix, it needs to be thrown out. Not only will rodents eat your food, but they will chew on almost anything to keep their teeth sharp. This includes any wooden furniture, insulation, or electrical wires that are available. This can not only damage your possessions but your wallet as well. Having a mouse or rat short out your electrical system can cost a pretty penny, but getting and keeping them out of your house doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.
How To Get Rodents Out
Once your house is home to rodents, it’s time to take the necessary steps to get them back into the wild where they belong. Here at AJB Pest & Termite we specialize in pest control and can have you back to living in a rodent-free house in very little time. We use baited traps and continuously monitor set traps to ensure they capture the intended critters. Once all of the pests are out of your house, the repair process to any damaged areas can begin.
Contact us if you think you may have rodents; one of our specialists can help you with scheduling an inspection to determine your pest problem and get started on providing a solution.
As a new mom, you have enough to worry about in regards to providing adequate care for your baby that even the thought of having to fight to keep the ants away from your home is probably too much for you to bear. Unfortunately, not thinking about an ant problem isn’t enough to either prevent or get rid of ants. So instead of ignoring a potentially large ant problem, try to do something about it now with the following tips.
Clean Up Frequently
Babies drink a lot of milk initially, and milk is a sweet carbohydrate that’s prone to attract plenty of ants. Therefore, it’s essential for you to clean up and store away milk bottles promptly after usage. Also, believe it or not, your baby’s spit up can be appetizing to ants. Hence, you’ll want to clean up the aftermath of a messy spit up situation as soon as possible. That means doing laundry frequently and throwing all of the dirty bibs and burp clothes into the wash.
Milk and spit up don’t just land on clothes and burp clothes. They also end up on the floor and furniture as well. When that inevitably happens, you need to quickly wipe up and sanitize the area to avoid attracting ants. Since there’s now a baby in the house, you’ll want to stay away from harsh chemicals and stick with a vinegar and water mixture instead.
If even with following all the tips above, you still find yourself with ants at home, be sure to contact us for additional assistance.
It is common to see carpenter ants around Texas homes. They can show up at any time of year. They can live indoors, even though they usually have their nesting sites in trees. Carpenter ants in Texas rarely damage homes, but they are a nuisance.
Carpenter ants usually show up late in winter or in the early spring. They typically emerge from their colonies to mate and start new colonies at this point in the year.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are some of the larger ants that you can find in Texas homes and yards. The state is home to 18 carpenter ant species. The most common of them has a reddish head and thorax with a black tail. During mating season, they grow larger and have wings. In the pest control industry, we refer to these winged carpenter ants as “swarmers.” These ants are sexually mature and can grow to 1/2 an inch in length. Other carpenter ant species are black or yellow.
What Carpenter Ants Eat
Carpenter ants feed on insects while outdoors. They also consume honeydew, which is a liquid produced by aphids. They will seek other food sources while indoors. When inside a home, carpenter ants consume the foods that people eat. They are fond of sugar and honey. They will also eat any accessible pet food. These ants typically forage at night. Workers can travel as far as 100 yards from the nest when looking for food.
Carpenter Ants and Moist Wood
Whether they are indoors or outdoors, carpenter ants live in moist wood. They cut galleries into the wood to make nests. They also cut tunnels so that they can move between the galleries. Some carpenter ant species prefer to use voids that already exist in the wood rather than make their own.
Ways to Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestations
The most important step for keeping carpenter ants out of a home is to remove possible nesting sites. Get rid of any stumps, logs or waste wood within a 100-yard radius of the home. You should keep stored firewood away from your house and only bring it indoors when you are going to use it. you should also keep vegetation like trees and shrubs from coming into contact with your house.
If you see signs of carpenter ants in or around your home, contact us immediately to find out how we can help.
Are spiders bugging you? Spiders are one of the frequent unwanted visitors into the home during the cooler months of the year. And like all pests, due to their size and decreasing food sources, spiders will take shelter in secluded areas around your home. With this interaction with humans comes the potential of being bitten. Spiders do not generally seek out people to bite. Bites occur when human and spider environments collide. We enter their world and in turn they enter ours. Here are 3 tips on how to keep spiders out, limiting interaction with these 8-legged unwanted visitors.
1) Keep clutter inside and outside of the home to a minimum.
Spiders like to be in areas that they can set up shop, to build their webs and capture food. The less traffic coming into the areas that they are residing the better.
Besides home-building and hunting, they’re also motivated to self-preserve. Naturally, they do not want to become victims of being lower down on the food chain. Geckos, birds, mud daubers and other insects will either use them to feed to their developing young or just flat out eat them.
While the majority of spiders we know build webs, watch out for the stealth of the wolf spider. Unlike most, instead of building webs, wolf spiders chase their prey on foot, preferring to hide in areas where they can be undetected. The less items around and inside the home that just sit around for long periods of time without being moved the better. Most garages are a perfect example of having multiple spots where spiders can hide.
2) Protect your hands when clearing potential spider areas.
As you are attempting to limit the hiding places of these pests, never reach into an area with your hands that you cannot actually see. Always wear gloves to help lessen the chance of being bitten. As mentioned before, spiders do not typically go out of their way to bite human beings, but they will protect themselves if needed. Imagine: what you would do if a giant hand were reaching down into your home? I would try to protect my home, and so would the spider.
3) Vacuum and sweep.
Remember that when you are cleaning the inside of your home, your best friends are the vacuum and a broom. Always clean the corners of the rooms, even corners on the ceiling as the joining walls make a great spot for spiders to hang their web.
Also, turn over furniture and vacuum beneath. Spiders will often have webs around the base of furniture legs for years, and because it goes unchecked, people wonder why occasionally they will have itchy bites around their ankles.
Other areas to include in your cleaning path are under kitchen cabinets, between the cabinet and the floor, behind appliances, between office desks and the wall, and even behind bathroom toilets.
If you consistently get into a routine and utilize these tips you will see a drastic decrease of spider activity in your home and less instances of having itching bites appear on you or your loved ones.
Have questions or need a professional? Contact us today to schedule our professional pest control service.