One of the scariest things a homeowner deals with is termites, especially in older homes made of wood. It’s not pleasant to think that these bugs are literally eating the house out from under you. Before you start packing your bags, there are four simple steps you can take to tell if you have termites or not.
- There are holes in the wood. Termites love to eat wood, which is why older homes without the proper wood protection are so susceptible to these bugs. Termites will bore their way through wood and come out of the other side. All you will notice is little holes, roughly the size of a pin head. If there are multiple tiny holes in a particular area or room of the house, that may signify a termite problem.
- You find termite droppings. This one is trickier to determine because termite droppings do not look like feces. Instead, it looks like little sand pellets or birdseed. If you see what might look like wood shavings, especially under a window sill or near door thresholds, it’s a sign of a termite infestation and it’s a good idea to get it checked.
- Small tunnels or tubes along the walls. When termites make their nests, they will often form a tunnel or a tube along the wall nearby. It will look like a small line of dirt or sand along the wall, with a distinct branching off pattern. Good places to check are near electrical outlets, plumbing, and windows. Basically, any place which leads to the outside.
- You see wings. Termites have a nasty habit of leaving part of themselves behind when they infest a home. One thing they almost always leave is their wings or at least one of them. They are very small, so it might be difficult to tell them apart from leaves, but they will have a specific look. Termite wings are typically see-through, with a brownish or gray color. Also, there are light veins running throughout them, making them slightly easier to spot.
If you think you have termites, or if you spot any one of these signs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can answer all of your questions and do a termite inspection to help put your mind at ease.
Fire ants are notorious pests, known for their aggressive nature and burning, painful stings. For you and your family’s safety, is important to know these essential facts about fire ants:
Fire ants are invasive.
They are native to Brazil and Argentina and were introduced to the United States in the early to mid-1900s. This makes fire ants a relatively new problem for US homeowners to deal with when compared to other pests.
Mounds can be found anywhere.
While fire ants prefer to create their home mounds in sunny, wide-open areas, they will also nest under rotting logs, rocks, bricks, and houses for shelter. They dig deep, and their tunnels can extend 1 to 3 feet below the surface of the soil.
Colonies can have multiple queens.
Fire ant colonies can have anywhere from one queen to a small group of queens. The more queens present in a colony, the more worker ants can be produced. So long as a single queen survives, the colony will continue to reproduce and grow.
Fire ants reproduce quickly and live longer than you think.
A single queen can lay up to 1,000 eggs per day. While each worker fire ant may only live for 5 to 8 weeks, the queen will live up to 7 years. She will continuously produce more ants over her entire lifespan.
Fire ants are more than a nuisance; they are a dangerous pest to have in or near your home. If you have questions about fire ants or suspect an infestation, please contact us today.
It starts small: phantom noises in the middle of the night; a missing apple from the table; is that skittering in the wall? And then the undeniable proof: droppings in the hall. Rid the mice in your home.
Once you’ve established that mice are living in your house, it is imperative to act quickly. Mice are curious and will get into every corner or space they find. They eat through cardboard and plastic to get to the food. They carry disease (salmonella, hantavirus, and others) all over the house. And most important, they reproduce very quickly. Two mice can become a large family within a few short weeks.
What steps can you take to get rid of them?
- Thoroughly clean your house. You want to make your home uncomfortable for the mice. They won’t come into or leave, a location without food and warmth. Make sure you’re wiping down counters, sweeping and vacuuming floors and clearing clutter frequently, possibly several times per day. Keep food sealed and put away. Locate the mouse’s nest and clean it out. Sanitize any counters and cabinets where mice have been.
- Clear outside the house. You want to make your yard as uncomfortable to the mice as your house. Clean up your landscaping and trim the bushes, especially near the house. Tightly cover all outdoor trash containers. Organize sheds and garages to eliminate hiding places where mice may want to live and breed.
- Call in the experts. Mice instinctually stay hidden, making it difficult to rid your home of these pests. A trained eye will see holes and signs that the average person may miss. Your house needs a thorough inspection, inside and out. The best defense is a good offense and sealing off entrance points to your home will prevent the problem from growing. To deal with the mice already in your home, an expert can identify where the mice are spending their time and set traps accordingly. They will also be able to properly dispose of mice once they’re trapped.
If you follow these three steps, you will quickly and efficiently get your mouse problem under control. Contact us at AJB to arrange your inspection today!
The bite of a bed bug is painless. After using their sharp beak to pierce the skin of a host, bed bugs inject a salivary fluid containing an anticoagulant that helps them obtain blood. The salivary fluid typically causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed, although individuals can differ in their sensitivity.
Bed bugs feed during a person’s most vulnerable time – sleep. Because we don’t “catch them in the act” the result of their bites may go unnoticed, or can be mistaken for the bites of other pests and/or sensitivity to other items. All people react differently to bed bug bites, so while some victims break out in rashes from the bites, other people may not display symptoms.
Bed bugs have been discovered to harbor 28 different human pathogens, but fortunately, the transmission of these diseases to people has not been confirmed scientifically. Some individuals respond to bed bug infestations with anxiety, stress, and insomnia – others suffer tremendously when infestation are identified, completely uprooting their lives. Symptoms vary from person to person It can take anywhere from 2 days to 4 weeks to display symptoms 60% of the population does not display symptoms after a bed bug bite.
Signs of Bed Bugs
The best way to determine if you have an infestation is to look for bed bugs where you sleep (or rest) and where you typically set down luggage (or bags). Your luggage and places where your luggage may be stored are also some of the first areas to look.
In bedrooms, investigate around box springs, mattresses, bed frames, behind wallpaper, clocks and pictures, cracks in wood floors, and under the edge of the carpet, you may see bed bugs. Dark blood spots on sheets and bedding may indicate bed bug feeding. Cast skins will indicate molting stages.
What to do for an Infestation
Don’t panic. Although bed bugs can be annoying, they can be treated safely and successfully if you adopt a well-planned strategy. Do not apply pesticides! Generally, landlords, owners, and building managers cannot legally apply pesticides. They should, instead, hire a licensed Pest Control Service Provider to develop an integrated pest management plan.
Do not dispose of furniture that is infested. Placing infested furniture (particularly mattresses) into common areas or on the street may simply help spread bed bugs to the homes of other people. Infested furniture intended for disposal should be defaced to make it less attractive to other people.
Contact us to schedule a consultation to clear up any bed bug infestation you may have.
While summer is a favorite time of the year for camping, swimming, and other outdoor activities; it is also the favorite time of year for the mosquito! Mosquitoes are pesky insects that carry diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and encephalitis. These insects can cause painful, itchy bites. Some people are very allergic to mosquito bites and can have severe reactions requiring medical attention.
What is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites? Avoiding mosquitos and the places where they live and the breed is one way. Never leave standing water around, this encourages the breeding of the mosquitoes. Keep your home and outdoor structures in good repair, making sure you have a proper screening on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out.
Avoiding mosquitoes doesn’t always work. They find their way into your home, patio and surrounding outdoor areas. For repellents, DEET contains the best protection, with products containing 20 to 30 percent DEET providing the most effective protection. Make sure to use according to directions. Inhaling the repellent or getting close to your eyes or mouth can be very harmful.
Picaridin is another effective repellent found is some products but without the same sticky texture as products containing DEET. You can also use lemon oil, but this doesn’t seem to be quite as effective. However, if you do not want to use chemical-based repellents, you could try this. Some people claim that the citronella plant naturally repels mosquitoes. You can rub the plant’s leaves on your skin or grow these plants on your patio to keep mosquitoes away. Wearing long-sleeves and pants offers some protection against mosquito bites as well.
If someone who is allergic to mosquito bites is bitten, get medical help immediately. Severe swelling and difficulty in breathing can occur without proper medical attention. For most people, washing the area with mild soap and water is sufficient. You can apply a cold pack to relieve swelling and use hydrocortisone cream for the itching. If the bite is painful, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease the pain. Antihistamines such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton can help with allergy symptoms resulting from mosquito bites.
AJB Pest & Termite has a strategy to help you keep mosquitos today! Our philosophy is to provide a barrier around your home or office which will control pests from invading your space indoors. Contact us to discuss our treatment methods.
Forget their life spans, which generally last no more than 10 days. Fruit flies have other characteristics that make many Texans quake in their sandals. Namely, it’s the insects’ inherent ability to destroy a region’s food supply. Well, at least the part that includes fruit. These fast breeding, minute creatures have surprisingly voracious appetites.
Consequently, their appetites exceed most fruit trees and plants’ ability to produce. So even though most species of fruit flies live for a short time, the havoc they can wreck is phenomenal. This is exceptionally true when the pests are foreign invaders. Within the last few years, our pest control experts have encountered fruit flies who until recently didn’t call Texas home. Examples include fruit flies typically indigenous to the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Pacific Rim.
Because our service areas share similar climates with those foreign destinations, the pests are well suited to breed and feed here. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily behave like native fruit flies. Plus, they don’t always respond to the treatment methods some Texas pest control companies are accustomed to using in their daily work. However, there are pest control companies that are knowledgeable in exterminating all species of fruit flies known to plague the State of Texas.
Our firm is one of them. Oriental and Mediterranean fruit flies are no match for the AJB Pest & Termite Team and neither are the domestic ones. We can help trap, identify, treat and otherwise remove fruit flies from homes as well as businesses. In addition, we make efforts to share our findings with the state’s agencies responsible for monitoring pests who threaten our region’s food supply. To learn more about foreign and domestic fruit flies that may be encroaching on a given area, please contact us today. We’ll be happy to visit the site and offer our expert assistance.
Fleas are one of the most common household pests in the United States. Although small in size, they can cause serious heartache for family members and their pets.
Female Produce up to 5,000 Eggs
Ever wonder why it’s so hard to control fleas in your home? Well, one of the reasons is because females lay up to 5,000 eggs in their lifetime. Assuming there are just 100 female fleas in your home, that’s half a million eggs!
Only 5% are Adults
Reports indicate that just 5% of a typical flea infestation are adult fleas. The remaining 95% are eggs, larvae, and pupae. That means for every five “normal” fleas you see, there are 95 others scattered throughout your home in different stages of their life cycle.
Vector for Infectious Disease
Fleas are more than just a nuisance; they can carry dangerous infectious diseases, including the bubonic and septicemic plague.
Fleas can Drink 15x Their Body Weight in Blood
To say fleas drink a lot of blood would be an understatement. Fleas can drink up to 15x their body weight in blood per day.
Some People and Pets are Allergic to Fleas
Even if you don’t succumb to infectious illness from a flea bit, you may still experience an allergic reaction. Affecting both humans and pets alike, Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is a condition that’s characterized by skin redness, itching, and inflammation in response to a flea bite.
Fleas can Jump 100x Their Length
Relative to body size, fleas are one of the most capable jumpers in the animal kingdom. Using their hind legs, they can jump to heights of 7 inches, which is about 100x their body length.
If you’re dealing with a flea infestation, contact us today. ABJ Pest & Termite is Texas’ premier residential and commercial pest control service provider.
Rats are highly destructive often devouring anything that gets in their way. A rat infestation can cause a huge amount of damage in a short time as they gnaw their way through wood and plastic, eating holes in walls and chewing through wires. Rats carry diseases such as Bubonic plague and Hantavirus and a dozen more according to the Centers for Disease Control and carry many other diseases, being linked to occurrences of Salmonella poisoning to Lyme disease. Rats are very aggressive and will bite if confronted. Their urine can cause as much damage as their chewing.
Rats are secretive and typically the only indication of their presence is the damage left behind or telltale paths left through grass or other plants as they go outside to forage. There is often a distinctive odor of decay in and around an infested property. Dead rats may be found, but seeing live rats means that the infestation if severe.
The Rat Culture
There are two main types of rats that infest homes, the Norway rat and the roof rat, or black rat. Norway rats may also be called sewer or brown rats. The Roof rat is smaller with a more pointed nose than the Norway rat and the tail is longer than the body. The Norway rat is bulkier with a tail that is shorter than the body. Roof rats are adept climbers living in trees, shrubs, and vines, using these to move from building to building.
Rats need shelter, food, and water and live any place that humans can provide that to them. They eat trash, berries, nuts, insects and virtually anything. They may be observed foraging around trash cans, woodpiles or other debris. They nest nearly anywhere and reproduce rapidly, averaging 5 to 7 litters per year.
Primary means of rat control is by exclusion, sealing any possible entrance points. Minimize plants around the base of buildings. Sanitize areas where there is food and clean up debris or trash inside or outside buildings. Traps can be set to catch live animals. Poison bait is also available but must be used with caution to avoid exposing other animals or humans.
As your pest control company, AJB Pest and Termite can help identify a rat infestation and get it under control. If you could use our help with a rat infestation or our pest control services please call us today.
When wildlife invades your home or business, you want to remove the interlopers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Seeking the help of wildlife removal specialists is your best bet for accomplishing this goal. AJB Pest & Termite has a proven three-step system for freeing you of unwanted pests.
Inspection of the property, both interior and exterior, is the most important part of pest removal. By examining teeth marks, droppings, and other clues left by nuisance animals it allows us to determine the animal species, where they are entering and exiting the building, and what trapping methods will be ideal for their capture.
The inspection process makes baiting and trapping the animals more effective. The time our professionals spend investigating the wildlife activity makes it possible to pinpoint the required placement of traps. The monitoring of traps to ensure the removal of all of the animals in the building can be a lengthy process but it is necessary to get the desired results.
3. Exclusion and Repair
AJB Pests & Termite is there every step of the way. Once the trapping process has been completed, any damage to your home or business will be repaired by us as part of the wildlife removal service. Exclusion techniques are also imperative to prevent further pest activity in the building. Fixing known entry points for pests make it less likely for them to inhabit the structure in the future.
If you are experiencing problematic wildlife activity in your home or at your business, contact us today for more information about our services and to receive a quote.
When considering enlisting the help of a pest control company to manage the pest activity in your home or business there are several things to consider. To determine which company will be most in line with your needs, budget, and personal values try evaluating their responses to the following questions.
1. How often and to what extent do your technicians undergo training?
Determining the professionalism of the technicians who would theoretically be working in and around your home or office is an important factor when considering the services of a pest control company. Knowing that a company confidently entrusts their reputation with the adequate proficiency and skill of their technicians is always a good sign. Each technician must complete annual training and continual education each year. In addition, a technician will undergo a criminal background check annually as well.
2. Do you use chemicals, and if so, are there any potentially negative effects?
Becoming knowledgeable about a company’s pest control methods can be vital to guarantee the safety of your family members and pets. Discussing any adverse effects of chemicals the company typically uses will allow you to make an educated decision about whether this service will be best for your situation.
3. Are you willing to provide any references?
If a company is unable or unwilling to provide references of their past performance quality, that may mean they are inexperienced or their service is substandard. Companies that happily provide you with glowing recommendations on their behalf are more likely to satisfy your personal pest control needs.
4. What is the cost breakdown for services rendered and how will I be billed?
Understanding the price point of a particular service and if it is something that needs to be paid up front or may be billed monthly, quarterly, or annually will give you a better idea on how this will tie in with your budget and lifestyle.
5. What can I expect from a consultation?
Providing you with peace of mind is the purpose of a pest control company. When a consultation is informative and helpful while offering minimal interruption to your daily activities, seeking the help of professionals becomes convenient and less of a hassle.
Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of hiring a professional pest control company.