Fleas are tiny, pesky insects that can drive humans and their pets crazy. Without proper prevention, infestations happen quickly and can run rampant.
Fleas feed on blood. While they prefer dogs and cats as their hosts, fleas also bite and feed on humans.
Fleas thrive in warm, humid areas. In many areas, Texas included, flea season can last year round. This makes continuous prevention essential. Fleas spread by jumping hosts. Animals leave them behind on blankets, carpet, furniture and clothing.
The life of a flea begins as an egg, then turns to larva, then pupa, and finally adult. The full transformation takes about a month. However, the pupa can remain dormant in this stage for a full year. Fleas usually live two or three months. Female fleas will lay up to 40-50 eggs per day.
Biting fleas cause itching and widespread skin irritation. Beyond that, they can cause allergies, diseases such as Lyme disease, and serious skin infections. Animals that are infected can also harm their skin with excessive scratching and nipping. Unlike with animals, fleas don’t live on human beings. However, they can jump on for a quick meal. This leaves red, itchy bumps and causes skin irritation.
Fleas are more than just small nuisances. Left alone, these critters can infest pets, homes, and families. In order to keep this from happening, talk to your veterinarian about prevention measures for your pet(s). It’s also a good idea to treat your home.
For more information about flea elimination and prevention, please contact us.
Termites can turn dream homes into nightmares. These invasive insects make their meals out of structures and cost home and business owners time, money, and stress. Here, we go over some facts about these little terrors.
How Long Do Termites Live?
The lifespan of a worker or soldier termite is about one to two years. That may seem like a long time for an insect; however, it’s short when compared to the queen’s life. Queen termites, tucked away in a safe, comfortable home, can live over ten years.
How Many Varieties of Termites Exist?
There are nearly 3,000 different species of termites throughout the world. They are categorized into three groups: dry wood, damp wood, and subterranean. In Texas, dry wood and subterranean termites are common.
What Types of Environment Do They Thrive In?
As their name suggests, dry wood termites live in dry wood. They don’t need soil contact and they don’t require much moisture.
Subterranean termites live underground and in large colonies. They create tunnels to their food source and are responsible for the majority of termite damage in homes.
Like dry wood termites, damp wood doesn’t need soil contact. However, they do love moist wood. They thrive in coastal areas. These termites typically aren’t found in homes and buildings.
How Much Damage Do Termites Cause?
The amount of money home and business owners spend on termite damage and control each year in the United States is staggering. According to the National Pest Management Association, Americans spend over $5 billion annually. What makes this worse is that most insurance policies don’t cover termite damage.
Termites can wreak havoc in your home, business, and life. They infest and eat away at structures, often for a long while before discovered. Regular inspections and treatments are imperative.
If you would like more information about termites or would like to schedule a professional visit, please contact us.
The cockroach is one of the most common household pests. These insects are not only creepy, but they can also pose hazards to human health. Here are some ways cockroaches affect homes, and why elimination and prevention are so important.
Cockroaches emit a secretion from their mouths and body glands. This clings to whatever it touches and produces a foul odor. On its own, the odor isn’t hazardous; however, the secretion can be.
Cockroaches not only carry diseases, they also spread them. Roaches carry a variety of organisms, bacteria, and viruses that can cause salmonella, plague, and other diseases. As they crawl through drains and garbage, they also pick up dangerous bacteria and deposit it along counters, dishes, and other food surfaces.
Cockroaches can cause allergies of the skin and respiratory system. This could be because of the parasite eggs they carry on their bodies. Shed body parts and feces left behind also cause allergies.
- Large Numbers
These foul creatures tend to live and travel in masses. This means that where there is one, there’s likely much more close by. This infestation increases the potential health hazards that roaches pose to humans.
If you see a cockroach, it may make your skin crawl. However, the effect roaches can have on your life goes far beyond giving you the creeps. Because they are sneaky, dirty, and usually large in number, cockroaches have the ability to spread filth and disease throughout your family’s home with ease.
If you’d like more information about how our family can help protect your family from cockroaches, please contact us.
Zika is the buzzword when it comes to those buzzing pests, mosquitoes, especially if you live in the southern Gulf Coast regions of the U.S. But regardless of where you live in America, mosquitoes are pests that can create a variety of health problems.
- Carriers of Dirofilaria immitis (heartworms), that affect dogs and cats.
- Transmitters of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), that affects horses.
- Transmits LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC) which affects humans, usually through small mammal hosts.
- A carrier of West Nile virus (WNV) that transmits directly to birds and humans.
It is hard to imagine but worldwide, mosquitoes are responsible for more than one million deaths annually. The majority of those cases involve mosquito-related diseases that cause fatal cases of encephalitis. Although most people only experience the typical itchy, skin irritation related to mosquito bites, one never knows until symptoms show up if a local mosquito population is carrying a dangerous infectious disease.
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following measures for protecting yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses:
- Use insect repellent when outdoors,
- If travelling overseas to areas where mosquito-borne illnesses like Malaria are common, consult with your physician to see if any vaccines are available.
- Wear long sleeves and pants during peak hours of mosquito activity when outdoors.
- Eliminate outdoor mosquito habitats such as anything that holds standing water or low areas that pool water.
- Have your home and outdoor areas treated by professional pest exterminators.
For more information on how to minimize your mosquito risk, please contact us. Our skilled pest control technicians are dedicated to the mission of helping our clients live pest-free.
You or your child wakes up in the morning with a strange red bump. Your first thought? Bed bugs! While it’s a valid and growing concern, understanding more about bed bug infestations – how they occur, how to prevent them and how they are treated – will help ease your mind.
Bed bugs have been around since Medieval times and had all but disappeared with the use of DDT, but globalization through worldwide travel and discontinued use of dangerous pesticides means that bed bugs have returned and can affect anyone.
Bed bug infestations occur through transfer. Someone brings a bed bug home on a suitcase, a bag or even a purse. Bed bugs can survive months without a meal but once they have the opportunity to find a victim, they will feed and the infestation cycle starts.
Bed bugs exhibit a feeding pattern of 5 to 10 minutes at site and typically bites occur in clusters. Most people do not feel the bite when it occurs because the saliva of the bed bug contains an anesthetic which temporarily increases blood flow and numbs the skin. Only certain people actually even react to bed bug bites.
Once the bed bug has finished the meal, they will leave and hide. They spend time digesting their meal and when they find another bed bug, which can be months later, they mate and lay eggs.
So, what do you do if you think you have a bed bug bite? First, look for bugs. If you find something, capture it to show to your exterminator. Next, call a qualified exterminator. Never try to treat bed bugs on your own. An exterminator will inspect your home or office and recommend the best treatment if bed bugs are present. Often, with a single bite, we may find that there are no bed bugs at all but can determine what caused the bite and recommend other safe and effective treatment options.
To assess and treat bed bugs or other pests, contact AJB Pest and Termite today!