San Antonio Ant Control

Ant Control Tips from iPest Solutions

Although ants can be difficult to control once they have entered a home, the following preventative measures can play a major role in helping to avoid infestations:

  • Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and remove from the home frequently
  • Keep food packages closed or sealed and store products in air-tight containers
  • Avoid leaving food out on the counter or pet food out on the floor for long periods of time
  • Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows
  • If you suspect an ant or any pest infestation in your home, contact us to inspect, identify and treat the problem
Cockroach Control Waco

How Austin Became Well Known As The Cockroach Capital Of The US, And Which Roach Pests Are Most Prevalent In The City?

Many urban entomologists agree that Texas has the highest cockroach population of all US states. Back in 1975, an Austin home was found to be infested with at least 50,000 individual roaches. At the time, national news reporters described this home as meeting the world record for the most roach-infested dwelling in recorded history. The national news coverage of this roach-infested home helped to establish Austin’s current reputation as a cockroach paradise.

According to urban entomologists at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, the most commonly controlled cockroach pests in Texas include the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), the Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) and the smokybrown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa). Of these cockroach pests, the German cockroach is the only species that dwells solely indoors, which makes it the most commonly controlled roach pest in all US states.

The American cockroach is the most commonly controlled roach pest in commercial buildings, especially restaurants, and they are also known for their preference for living in sewers. Smokybrown cockroaches are becoming more common as indoor cockroach pests throughout Texas, and they are notable for their relatively large size which ranges from 1 ¼ to more than 1 ½ inches, making them comparable to American cockroaches in size. Oriental cockroaches are often mistaken for German cockroaches, and they are generally the least well known of all Texas’ common roach pest species.

Like most cockroach pests, Oriental cockroaches prefer to remain outdoors, but they are fully capable of establishing reproductive populations indoors. Adults of this species are around 1 ¼ of an inch in length, and they are most prevalent during midsummer before dying off during the late summer and early fall. When this occurs, nymphs remain prevalent, and they enter homes to secure warm shelter in response to cooling fall temperatures.

Although they are often mistaken for other cockroach species, Oriental cockroaches are fairly easy to recognize due to their noticeably sluggish movements and their inability to scale vertical surfaces. These roaches have become well known for being more malodorous than other roach pests, especially within heavily infested homes. Due to their heavy dependence on high-moisture conditions, and inability to climb, Oriental cockroaches are almost always found in harborages located in first floor kitchens, bathrooms, and in basements.

Have you ever caught a whiff of a cockroach odor?

 

 

 

 

San Antonio Roach Control

Cockroaches Occasionally Bite Humans While They Sleep, But Only Within Heavily Infested Homes

Cockroaches are among the most commonly managed insect pests within homes and buildings, and many consider them to be the most revolting insects in existence. The four most commonly encountered and widespread cockroach pest species are known as American, German, Oriental, and brown-banded cockroaches. In addition to these species, San Antonio is also home to smokybrown, Asian, Australian, and Surinam cockroach pests. With the exception of a few rare native cockroach species that are considered minor indoor pests, all cockroach pest species in the US are synanthropic, meaning they benefit from living in close association with humans.

In addition to posing a nuisance within homes, cockroach pests are covered in disease pathogens due to their preference for consuming organic waste like feces and rotting food within filthy conditions. For example, the American, Oriental and Australian cockroach species alternate between sewer and indoor habitats where they spread dozens of disease-causing microorganisms. Cockroach pests also spread allergens within homes, which has been shown to contribute to the development of asthma in children. Unlike many insect pests, cockroaches are not known for inflicting bites, but medical professionals and extension entomologists often hear of people sustaining cockroach bites within heavily infested homes.

According to Dr. Phil Nixon, extension adviser/entomologist for the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, not only is it possible for cockroaches to inflict bites on human skin, but there are several documented cases describing such incidents in detail. Since cockroaches are determined to remain near humans where food and shelter are easily accessible, it is in their best interest to avoid drawing attention to themselves within homes. Because of this, cockroaches will not bite active humans, but sleeping humans is another matter.

Cockroaches emerge from their indoor hiding spots at night to seek out food, and while doing so, they sometimes crawl over sleeping humans. Their appetite for dead organic materials knows no bounds, as cockroaches are known for gnawing on eyelashes, dead skin on hands and feet, hair, and fingernails, and children seem to be their favored nighttime snack. It is highly unlikely for a cockroach to bite an open patch of skin, and if they eat eyelashes that are still attached to a person, it is likely because they are after bits of accumulated food particles. Cockroach “bite” incidents are considered out of the ordinary, but there is no easy way to know what the pests get up to when their human cohabitants are fast asleep.

Have you ever woken up at night to find a cockroach on your bed?

 

 

San Antonio Wasp Control

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM AGGRESSIVE SUMMER STINGERS

iPest Solutions  offers tips on how to deal with the season’s most common stinging insects

While the distinct buzzing noise and mere sight of a hornet or wasp is enough to make most people swat wildly in fear, there are much safer ways to deal with these sometimes aggressive summer pests. iPets Solutions  advises homeowners that when it comes to stinging insects, gaining a better understanding of these pests’ behavior and habits is an important part of helping to prevent stings.

In fact, stinging insects can pack more than just a painful sting. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from common household pests, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year.

The best way to ensure you or someone in your family doesn’t become a victim of painful stings is to understand which species are causing problems on your property and how best to avoid them. Hives and nests should never be handled or removed on your own as some colonies can contain hundreds of insects and can sting en masse in defense of the nest.”

iPest Solutions offers the following information on the two most common aggressive stinging insects encountered during the summertime:

Yellowjackets: These social insects tend to build nests in trees and buildings, as well as in the ground. They are slow to sting unless their nest is threatened, in which case they will become highly aggressive. Unlike bees, yellowjackets can sting several times and inflict severe pain.

Prevention:  Yellowjackets are especially attracted to sweets and proteins, so it is important to cover food and drinks during outdoor events and promptly clean up and dispose of food and garbage in a sealed trash container.

Paper Wasps: Paper wasps get their common name from the paper-like material they use to build their nests. Their nests are typically made in the shape of an umbrella. These pests build nests on twigs and in tree branches and shrubs, as well as porch ceilings, eaves and similar covered places. Wasps are capable of stinging more than once and may use alarm pheromones to call for back-up in defending their nest.

Prevention: Check for paper wasp nests before performing yard work such as shrub or hedge trimming. Treat wood fences and deck railings with a repellant oil to deter paper wasps from gathering cellulose for nest creation.

Because of the aggressive nature of these stinging insects, it important to contact a pest professional to remove nests on your home or property.

For more information on stinging insects, please visit www.ipestpros.com

waco pest control

Protect Man’s Best Friends from Ticks and Fleas

iPest Solutions reminds pet owners to help keep their dogs and cats pest free

As families tend to spend more time outdoors in the longer days of summer, so too, will their pets venture outside more to accompany them in activities, exposing them to risky pests like ticks and fleas.

Likewise, tick populations increase in warmer weather, which is why the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and iPest Solutions are reminding pet owners to take extra precautions for their furry friends.

Nutrition, exercise, play and affection are the more commonly known basics for pet care taking, but ensuring pet safety by protecting against pests like ticks and fleas is equally important. Learning how to avoid these pesky critters, from walking pets on shorter grass trails, maintaining each pet’s hygiene properly, and more, will keep owners and their four-legged family members from missing out on any spring and summer month fun.

To help shield pets from the discomfort of ticks and fleas in their fur as pest activity increases in the warmer spring and summer months, iPest Solutions recommends pet owners use the following tips from the NPMA:

  • Check pets frequently for ticks and fleas. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where fleas and ticks often hide.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Frequently wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture frequently.

For more information on ticks and fleas, please visit ipestpros.com/contact

San Antonio Texas Bee Removal

Africanized “Killer Bees”

Honey bees are among the most commonly known, and beloved groups of insects, and the ecological services honey bees provide are so significant that humans literally could not live without them. Amazingly, 70 percent of all human food crops are pollinated by bees, and these crops provide Americans with 90 percent of the essential nutrients they consume. Many people are surprised to learn that not a single honey bee species is native to North America, and the honey bees that are currently raised by beekeepers in the country actually originate from Europe. This honey bee species is aptly known as the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), and it is the most economically important species of honey bee out of the seven that have been documented worldwide.

The European honey bee was first transported to the New World by European settlers during the 1600s, and today, more than 20 subspecies of European honey bees have been described. Although honey bees are known for inflicting venomous stings that can trigger potentially fatal allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, they are not considered pests. Unfortunately, the far deadlier Africanized honey bee (aka the killer bee) is a pest, and this species is known for occasionally building nests within or on structures, and for aggressively attacking humans and animals in response to nest disturbances.

Back in 1956, researchers collected colonies of exotic honey bees from Africa and shipped them to Brazil so that they could crossbreed with another species in the country. This was done in an effort to increase honey production, and create a robust beekeeping economy in Latin America. Although honey bees had never inhabited the Americas before they were transported to the continents by humans, the exotic species of African bees found the tropical New World environment hospitable, and they began reproducing in massive numbers. It would be an understatement to say that the goal of producing hybrids succeeded, as multiple African honey bee colonies escaped from the Brazillian apiary and proceeded to mate with European honey bees that had long since established a wild habitat in North and South America.

Each year or the next three decades, the African honey bee species traveled 300 miles northward, mating with European honey bees along the way. By 1990, African honey bees arrived in Hidalgo, then Houston, and eventually, they established an invasive habitat in most states located in the southern half of the US. However, by this time, the exotic honey bees were no longer representative of the original African species; instead, they were hybrids of the African and European honey bee species. To put it another way, the unusually aggressive hybrids were similar to European honey bees, only they had become “Africanized.” Countless Africanized honey bee envenomation incidents are reported to US poison control centers annually, and some of these attacks result in fatalities in San Antonio. Today, Africanized honey bees are among the top ten most commonly managed stinging insect pests in residential areas in the south.

Have you ever encountered a swarm of killer bees?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Antonio Ant Control

How Many Carpenter Ant Species Can Be Found In Austin?

Numerous carpenter ant species have been documented in the US, and according to a recent nationwide survey of pest management professionals, carpenter ants were the most commonly controlled ant pests in residential areas during the 2016 year. Of the 14 carpenter ant species inhabiting Texas, only three or four can be considered common indoor pests in Austin. These species include Camponotus sayi, C. vicinus, C. discolor, and C. decipiens, the last of which used to be known as C. rasilis. While the two most commonly controlled and economically costly carpenter ant pest species can be found in Texas, they are not prevalent in urban and suburban areas in the state. These two species are commonly known as the black carpenter ant (C. pennsylvanicus) and the western black carpenter ant (C. modoc), and for reasons that are not clear to experts, the former rarely infests structures in areas of Texas where they are abundant; instead, they prefer to remain within heavily forested areas.

 

sayi, C. discolor and C. decipiens are far more common than C. vicinus in Austin, and while these three carpenter ant pest species frequently infest homes in the city, only C. decipiens and C. discolor are known for occasionally nesting within structural wood. However, when these two carpenter ant pests do nest within woodwork, they inflict only minor damage due to the relatively small size of their colonies. While Texas sees relatively few carpenter ant infestations within structural wood, the ant pests are still difficult to eliminate from infested homes in the state because they often establish satellite nests within hidden indoor areas, such as wall voids, attics, and ceiling voids.

In order to eliminate carpenter ant infestations, all satellite nests, as well as the original outdoor nest, must be located and destroyed. Multiple control methods are required to rid homes of carpenter ant infestations, and workers are notorious for being picky about the baits they are willing to consume. Gel and granule baits specifically designed for carpenter ant control must be strategically placed throughout infested homes. To destroy nests hidden within wall voids, pest control professionals usually have to drill holes in walls in order to deliver aerosol or foam insecticide directly into nesting galleries. Carpenter ant workers can be recognized for their relatively large size, which measures between ¼ and ⅝ of an inch in length.

Have carpenter ants ever established nests within your home?

 

 

San Antonio Spider Control

Which Potentially Dangerous Spider Species Are Commonly Managed On Residential Properties In Austin

It is often said that spiders are beneficial within and around homes because they prey on insect pests. However, the argument that spiders should be allowed to wander about within homes because they perform a free pest control service is laughable to arachnophobes, and probably most spider enthusiasts as well. Although entomologists have long been on a mission to convince people to embrace spiders, the eight-legged creatures remain one of the most commonly controlled groups of arthropods within homes. According to a recent nationwide survey of pest management professionals, the five most commonly controlled spiders on residential properties during the 2016 year were American house spiders, wolf spiders, cellar spiders, black widow spiders, and brown recluse spiders.

American house spiders and cellar spiders have adapted to thrive within homes where their webs can become a nuisance, and in this circumstance, a professional control program may be necessary. Unlike indoor-dwelling spiders, experts state that controlling wolf spiders is unnecessary since they are naturally shy around humans, are not medically significant, and prefer to dwell outdoors. However, black widows and brown recluse spiders pose a significant medical threat, and their presence within a home should always be addressed by a pest control professional. Black widow and brown recluse spiders are often cited by health professionals as being the only two medically significant spider species in the US, and both of these spiders can be found throughout Texas.

With the exception of rare allergic reactions to venom, medically harmful wolf spider envenomation incidents have not been documented. However, these spiders are not tolerated well within homes due to their large, hairy, and overall frightening appearance. Carolina wolf spiders are around 1 ⅓ inch in length, not including leg span, and their bites can be extremely painful. While most wolf spider species are shy around humans, the tiger wolf spider (Tigrosa aspersa) often exhibits aggressive behavior toward humans, and they will readily bite if they become disturbed. Wolf spiders are also known to invade homes during the fall and winter seasons in order to overwinter in warm conditions.

Black widow and brown recluse spiders are generally shy around humans, but their synanthropic habitat makes these spiders very common within homes. For example, thousands of brown recluse specimens have been recovered from just one house, and the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) is one of the most commonly controlled spiders on residential properties in Texas. In addition to southern black widows and brown recluse spiders, three additional recluse spider species can be found in the southern portion of the state, but luckily, they do not dwell in close association with humans.

Have you ever encountered a black widow spider in your home?

Bed-Bug

How Far And How Fast Do Bed Bugs Travel Within Homes At Night, And How Do They Locate Human Blood Hosts?

Along with cockroaches, ants, and flies, bed bugs are the most commonly controlled insect pests within homes and buildings throughout the US. Given the commonality of bed bugs today, it is hard to imagine a world without them. However, during the latter half of the 20th century, bed bugs were almost entirely absent from the US. The introduction of the first widely used insecticide known as DDT during the 1940s nearly eradicated bed bugs from the country within a decade. A few isolated bed bug infestations began to appear in big cities during the 1990s, and by the early 2000s, it was clear that bed bugs had resurfaced in every state in the country. While experts are not exactly sure why bed bugs resurfaced in the US, it is obvious that the increase in global travel and trade helped to redistribute bed bugs throughout the world. Unlike all other bloodsucking insect pests, bed bugs rely primarily on human blood meals to survive. This has made bed bugs well adapted to thriving within homes.

In order for bed bugs to survive indoors, they must not only feed on human blood, but also remain hidden from humans at all times in order to avoid extermination. This is why bed bugs only emerge from their hiding spots to collect blood during the few hours before sunrise when humans are in their deepest state of sleep. Although bed bug adults are no larger than an apple seed, they can travel 4 feet per minute, and they often cover a foraging distance of 20 feet in just one night. In some cases, bed bugs have been found to travel 60 feet in search of human blood hosts. Bed bugs locate blood hosts in three stages, the first of which sees bed bugs wander around randomly until they sense a nearby human. Once bed bugs are within close proximity to a blood host, they begin to detect and follow the CO2 exhaled by humans. Lastly, bed bugs detect body heat, which allows them to make direct contact with a blood host. At this point, bed bugs begin inflicting repeated bites until they find a suitable blood vessel in which to feed. If humans are not available, bed bugs will reluctantly feed on the blood of pets like dogs and cats.

Have you ever discovered mysterious bug bites on your body upon waking in the morning?

 

 

 

San Antonio Mosquito Control

Summer Mosquito Prevention Tips

What are some precautions that can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites?

There are a number of precautions that people can take to protect their home and family from mosquitoes. iPest Solutions San Antonio & iPest Solutions Austin recommends the following tips:

  • Eliminate or reduce mosquito-breeding sites around the home. This includes birdbaths, flowerpots, grill covers, baby pools, unopened swimming pools, tires and other objects where water collects.
  • Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any source of standing water that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings with fine mesh, sealing around all screen edges and keeping doors and windows shut to prevent entry.
  • Use mesh that is 18X18 strands per inch, or finer.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. But, also take proactive measures during the day to protect against daytime biters, like the Asian tiger mosquito the main carrier of Zika.
  • When outdoors, wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin whenever outdoors.