Hart Pest Control Blog

This is the official blog of Hart Pest Control.

Does Rain Wash Away the Pests?

You’re sitting inside on a rainy day and you’re wondering, “does rain wash away the pests?” The short answer is: maybe. Just like how some people like and others dislike the rain, different pests are affected by rain differently.

Pests who love and loathe rain

Some pests hate the rain. Ants’ complicated tunnel system quickly floods, leading them to search for higher ground and new shelter, preferably somewhere warm and dry and with easy access to food. Rodents, too, seek shelter that is safe and dry, and even insects who like dark, damp places like earwigs or springtails retreat indoors if the rain becomes too much.

Other pests thrive in rainy conditions. Some insects like mosquitoes breed when it’s wet. While they require standing water to lay their eggs, anything the day after from puddles, flower pots, bird baths and clogged gutters encourages them to breed. Additionally, ticks and fleas love warm, humid weather, leading to population explosions during rainy periods.

How rain affects treatments

In short, pests get more pesky and may even actively seek out your home in the rain. Even if you’ve decided to call in pest control, you may be wondering how the rain affects our treatments. For the most part, rain is not a problem. Many insecticides are water insoluble, meaning they won’t wash away in the rain. Furthermore, eaves and guttering overhanging wall edges shield the base of your home. If it’s been raining heavily for several hours or several days, we may reschedule your appointment, but we typically don’t require rescheduling.

In fact, some treatments benefit from rain! As mentioned, rain forces many critters to leave their nests and homes in search of dryness, meaning that we can directly hit pests instead of seeking out their nests, and because pesticides dissolve and absorb into the ground easier in damp conditions, damp ground allows the treatment to sink deeper into the soil.

With over 45 years of experience and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Hart Pest Control is the proven pest control company to rid your home or business of mosquitos, rodents and more. Moreover, our 5/5 star average customer rating reflects our values of being affordable, honest and reliable. If you want some help with your pest control problem, contact Hart Pest Control today.

Continue reading
8 Hits
0 Comments

Rodent Prevention While Out of Town

Rodents are unwelcome in almost any home. They are tough to keep outside, and even tougher to get outside once they have infiltrated your living space. One of the most annoying occurrences is when the critters find a way inside, however, no one is home to do anything about it. Taking steps before leaving for a vacation, business trip or whatever other endeavors will have you absent for an extended period is crucial to rodent prevention. Here are some ways you can keep rodents away while out of town.

Patch Up Those Holes

An easily identifiable holes or gaps you have in your foundation, or even anywhere around the home that allows access from the outdoors, should be covered up before departure. Steel wool, bricks, caulk and other amenities can be used to seal things up. Steel wool or brick may not be a long term solution, however, they should help keep your home rodent-free while you are away.

Thorough Home Cleaning

A well-known fact about mice, rats and other critters is that they love to set up shop in dirty areas. Large amounts of food residue and dirt, especially in dark areas, may as well serve as an invitation for rodents. Before departure, make sure you get to as many nooks and crannies in the house as possible and sweep them out. Make sure to get outdoors as well, and move any firewood or branches away from the home.

Prevent With Scent

There are several scents that will keep rodents away, and many of them may already be available to you at home. Mothballs, dryer sheets and even tea tree oil are just a few items you can use that will emit a smell unkind to the invaders. There’s no better time to fill up the house with different scents than when you are away.

Put Food Away

As mentioned, rodents love making their way towards any food available to them, especially grains. Before leaving, make sure to properly store and food that may be left out on a day-to-day basis. This will make your home that much less appetizing to rodents. In addition, keep pet food in mind when storing food.

Traps

This one may seem obvious, but it is necessary. No matter how many pre measures you take before leaving, odds are at least a couple rodents will make their way indoors. No need to panic. Setting up traps, whether they are just glue traps or poison traps, will help limit the dame the rodents will do once inside. Simply dispose of the rodents and traps when you return home.

Contact Us

Still worried about a rodent infestation while away? For a group of people you can trust, contact Hart Pest Control today so you can enjoy your vacation or trip stress-free.

Continue reading
30 Hits
0 Comments

Five Unknown Facts About Cockroaches

Most home or business owners view cockroaches as rather disgusting insects. A cockroach invasion is often met with a sense of horror. In Texas, the two most common species are the American and the German cockroaches. They are highly social and often live in multigenerational communities. As you may know, it’s rare to see just one cockroach.

Having cockroaches in your home is not pleasant. A cockroach-free home is the best fact about cockroaches that you may want to know. That said, here are five unknown and interesting facts about them.

1. They Are Really Fast

This may not come as a surprise, but did you know they were Olympian-fast for insects? With the ability to run close to three miles per hour, cockroaches can elude you at amazing speeds. Even newborn cockroaches can run almost as fast as an adult.

2. They Can Hold Their Breath

Cockroaches hold their breath to regulate water loss in their bodies. Surprisingly, a cockroach is able to hold its breath for up to 40 minutes. They can also survive underwater for 30 minutes.

3. They Like Beer

Some cockroaches enjoy a good beer. It’s not really the alcohol that attracts them, but the mix of sugar, grains and yeast can be irresistible. The American cockroach is more prone to drinking.

4. They Lived Before Dinosaurs

The original cockroaches date back over 300 million years ago to the late Paleozoic Era.  No doubt — these little pre-historic creatures are true survivors.

5. They Can Survive Without Their Heads

Cockroaches breathe through tiny holes along the side of their bodies. Amazingly, a cockroach can survive about a week without its head. The inability to drink water, however, will eventually cause it to die.

If you’ve dealt with cockroaches before, you know how resilient they are. Once in your home, they usually hide in kitchens near their source of food and water. Although cockroaches prefer sweets and foods that are high in starch, they will eat almost anything. This includes soap, grease and glue. Getting rid of cockroaches on your own can seem like an impossible task.

At Hart Pest Control, we offer the latest in pest control technology and services. Do you have a problem with cockroaches or other insects? Our professional pest management options may be the perfect solution. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Hart Pest Control today.

Continue reading
94 Hits
0 Comments

What Do You Know About Scorpions?

Did you know 1.2 million people are stung by scorpions each year and that these stings result in over 3200 deaths? If you are concerned about having scorpions in or around your home, it is valid. They can sting you, your children or your pets. Experts, Min Kang and Daniel Brooks, conducted a study, on scorpion stings from 2005-2015. From the study, they determined that “...Arizona (68.2%), Texas (10.3%) and Nevada (4.2) were the top contributors” to these statistics.

What Are Scorpions Like?

It is exceptionally dangerous to have these little critters in or around your home. Naturally nocturnal creatures, they stay out of sight during the day and only come out when the weather cools at night. Because of this, they are skittering around in the dark when you are more likely to not see them and get stung.

Scorpions have a powerful stinger that shoots venom into their victims, leaving them paralyzed. A website devoted to educating about animals said the following about scorpions: “[They] have two large claws or pincers which are located at the front of the body of the scorpion. The claws of the scorpion allow the scorpion to effectively hold onto prey in order to both sting it and then eat it.”

How Do They Enter My Home?

Because scorpions are so small, measuring at most two inches in length, they can easily crawl between the bricks of your home and live in your attic. Another hazard of having scorpions in your home is that when it gets hot in the upper levels of your home, they travel into the bedrooms and living rooms. With that being said, you can find them in the most unexpected places such as in your couches, laundry baskets or under furniture. When they decide to use these common places as their new homes, the possibility of getting stung increases dramatically.

How Do I get Rid of Them?

The most successful and thorough way to prevent and end a scorpion infestation is to leave it to the professionals. They have exterminators who are trained on where scorpions like to hide as well as the equipment to eradicate them. Protect yourself and family now by contacting Hart Pest Control to schedule your appointment today. They are there to make your life less stressful with a scorpion free home.

Continue reading
65 Hits
0 Comments

Fleas and Ticks: How To Keep Your Pets Safe

As difficult as it is for humans to deal with pests, our dogs truly get the worst of it. Pet specific pests such as fleas and ticks can latch onto their skin, bite and cause painful itching, rashes and skin damage, and even some diseases like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. To make sure that your fluffy pals don’t have to go through such an ordeal, it’s important to take protective measures against fleas and ticks. Here are some ways to keep your dog free of these pests.

Tick and Flea Treatment

The first and most obvious step for keeping fleas and ticks off your pet is to let a veterinarian treat their fur with pest deterrents. These can either come in the form of drops or as a collar that your dog wears around his or her neck to ward off bugs. If you don’t want to drive all the way out to the veterinarian’s office, then there are numerous over-the-counter options you can choose from. However, prescription flea and tick medication generally works better.

Check Your Dog

It’s always important to check your dog’s fur for fleas and ticks on a continual basis, especially if you live in a densely wooded area and your pet spends much of their time frolicking through the trees. Run a comb through your dog’s fur before they come inside, and if you find anything that doesn't belong, quickly spray them with flea and tick killer and give them a bath with pest eliminating shampoo. Checking your dog’s fur regularly for fleas and ticks helps ensure that if they ever do get any insects on them, you can take care of them before the infestation gets too problematic.

Pest Proof Your Environment

After you’ve finished fumigating your dog, it’s time to go around your house and yard to reduce the risk of fleas and ticks in the areas where your dog plays. Remember, ticks and fleas love places with dense foliage, so make sure you mow your lawn at least once a week and trim back trees and bushes before they become too overgrown. Also, wash your dog’s bedding and vacuum the carpet where he or she hangs out.

As much as we and our pets love each other, dogs can’t tell us when they are suffering, which means that it’s up to us, their owners, to keep them protected from irritating pests. For more information, or to receive quality pest control services, contact Hart Pest Control today.

Continue reading
87 Hits
0 Comments

Hiring a Professional For Termite Control

Dealing with pests, like termites, is unfortunately, part of owning a home or any building. If you see signs of an infestation, it may be tempting to address the issue yourself, but hiring a professional for termite control can prove to be much more effective. Find out why you should bring in the professionals when dealing with termites.

Identify the Problem

Maybe you noticed what you thought was a termite, or you saw signs of an infestation. A trained exterminator can evaluate your specific situation to identify the exact issue. Different pests require different solutions. Armed with this knowledge, a professional can implement a plan designed to address your unique problem.

Effective Solution

There are a variety of products available in hardware stores to eradicate pests. While the cost of these products is normally less than the cost of hiring an exterminator, you will likely experience different results. Homeowners taking a do-it-yourself approach may end up purchasing multiple products in order to find the one that works the best. It may also take several applications to completely eliminate the infestation. Hiring a professional for termite control is often quicker and more cost-effective.

Preventative Action

A professional exterminator can also work with you to take preventative action to reduce the risk of future infestations. For instance, termites prefer damp or moist wood. A leak caused by the elements or a burst pipe can create ideal conditions for a termite infestation. Even stacking firewood near your house can draw these pests inside. Taking action to address these issues will reduce the chances of termites and other pests returning. A professional exterminator can help you identify attractants so you can take action.

Safety

Any type of chemical treatment has the potential to carry a risk, particularly if the treatment is not properly handled or applied. Professional exterminators are trained to safely handle the chemicals and treatments used to remove pests. When properly applied, the treatments will be as effective as possible, and you will have peace of mind that you, your family and pets are safe.

Work with a Trusted Professional

Termites can cause significant damage. Preventative measures can reduce the risk of infestation. However, the sooner a termite infestation is identified, the sooner it can be addressed. Hiring a professional for termite control ensures the problem is safely, quickly and effectively handled so you and your family can enjoy your home without worry. If you have termite control concerns, contact Hart Pest Control today.

Continue reading
88 Hits
0 Comments

How the Right Pest Control Professional Can Improve Your Life

Hiring a pest control professional can truly change your life for the better. Although it may seem odd that such an innocuous decision would have a profound effect on you, it certainly can. Keep reading to learn about how right residential pest control can improve your life.

It Protects Your Home

Your home is your haven and sanctuary. It is also likely your biggest investment. So, it is in your best interests to protect it from anything that can harm it, including bugs. Just like you install a security system to protect you and your family from unwelcome intruders, you also need to take proactive steps to protect your house from insects, rodents and other pests. Calling a pest control professional before you suspect a problem is a perfect way to ensure your house is safe from infestations of flies, bed bugs, mice and other pests you do not want to deal with. When you know you do not need to deal with the presence of pests, you can live your life happier and with less worry every day.

It Saves you Time

Time is a precious commodity for everyone. So, spending time on getting rid of pests in your home can be stressful and take you away from other activities you want to participate in. Getting rid of pests on your own is time-consuming and can also be difficult when you are not a professional. Plus, the time you spend is not guaranteed to get you the results you desire, making the time wasted. You can get better results that are guaranteed to work and save time in the process by calling a professional exterminator. Pest control professionals know the right products to use to get rid of any household pest you have. Plus, they know where to place the products to get the best results for your house. So, you can spend your time doing what you want and not worrying about how to get rid of the pests in your house or how to do it properly.

It Keeps You Healthy

Household pests are carriers of various bacteria that can make people sick. Insects and rodents both have fast metabolisms that allow them to eat a lot, which results in them excreting a lot of waste. The bacteria found in the waste can easily spread diseases to you and anyone who comes into your home. So, hiring a pest control company to either eliminate the pests from your home or prevent them from coming in altogether, will help to ensure you and your family are not exposed to harmful bacteria and the diseases that can come with it.

If you are ready to improve your life by hiring the right residential pest control professional, give the experts at Hart Pest Control a call.

Continue reading
117 Hits
0 Comments

Tick Season - What You Need to Know about Ticks

With the weather starting to get warmer, the bugs and insects will start to come out. Ticks are no exception. The thought of these little blood suckers invading your yard can become very intimidating. But, if you know what to look for and what to do in the event of a bite you can still enjoy the outdoors.

What Does a Tick Look Like?

A tick is closely related to the spider family. It will have eight legs just like the spider but will not spin a web. The tick can range in size from small to large depending on its life cycle. A tick can be as small as a grain of sand when it’s in the larvae stage, the nymph stage or medium size is about the size of a poppy seed, and the adult is the size of an apple seed. The color can range anywhere from black, brown, reddish-brown, yellow and greyish-white.

How Do Ticks Travel?

Ticks are not jumpers. The ticks will travel by crawling and attaching themselves to the hair of their prey. A tick will move from one mammal to another feeding on the blood. They hide in thick foliage around wooded areas. They then attach to mammals like rodents, deer and squirrels. If you are walking through the infested area, you can then become the ticks feeding ground.

Diseases Transmitted from Ticks

There are several diseases that are ticks transmit. These diseases include Lyme, Anaplasma, Babesia protozoa and Ehrlichia. Some ticks can transmit multiple diseases at once. But, Lyme disease is only transmitted from a deer tick bite.

Removing a Tick and Treatment

The best way to remove a tick is with pointy tweezers. You will need to remain calm because you want to make sure you remove the tick completely. With the tweezers, you will want to pull the tick straight up by the head off your skin. You need to get as close to your skin and the head as possible. If the tick’s straw-like mouth does not come out when you remove the tick, do not worry it will work its way out. You need to either flush the tick down the toilet or place in a sealed bag for removal. Then wash the area with soap and water or clean with an alcohol swab.

Symptoms of a Tick Bite

If after 24 hours you start to develop symptoms like a rash, headache, fever and vomiting. If you develop any of these symptoms after a tick bite, contact your doctor immediately.

Tick Prevention

Tick bites and infestations are preventable. Contact Hart Pest Control for your free consultation for your tick or other insect related problems.

Continue reading
160 Hits
0 Comments

How to Get Rid of Rodents

Anyone who’s ever had mice, rats or other rodents in their home knows the stress of trying to get rid of them. Just when it feels like you’ve solved the problem,  that the pesky vermin are still hanging around. It’s enough to put you at wit’s end, but don’t fret. If you’re not sure how to fix your rodent issue, try these tips.

Eliminate Entry Points

Rodents don’t magically appear in your home. They find their way inside through vulnerable areas, like cracks and holes. First, address your rodent infestation by fixing any gaps found around the exterior of your home. You’ll ensure no more rodents will enter if you plug any entry point that’s at least a pencil’s width in size. That sounds extremely small, but rodents like mice can wiggle their way through holes that narrow.

Plug these holes with a combination of steel wool and caulk. Feed the steel wool into the gap, then caulk the gap closed. This will deter future rodents from going anywhere near these former entry points. Avoid using materials that rodents can chew through, including wood, rubber, and plastic.

Strategically Place Traps and Bait

Even though you’re sure no new rodents will make your home their own, your job isn’t quite complete. Chances are good the unwelcome guests have settled into their nests, with no way to get back outside. Draw them out with well-placed baited traps. There are many different varieties of , so research the type that will best address your rodent problem. It doesn’t hurt to use multiple types of traps, because individual rodents might avoid certain kinds.

Aim for the areas where rodents scurry when physically placing the traps. This is usually along the baseboards of walls. Set the trap down perpendicular to the wall, with the trigger facing it. Set other traps anywhere you’ve seen rodents or evidence of them, like droppings. Change the locations of your traps every few days to keep the critters off guard. Remember that rodents can be evasive critters, so set plenty of traps.

Get a Cat

Many types of feline friends love the thrill of the hunt. Consider a cat if you’re thinking about getting a pet and want to take care of your rodent problem at the same time. However, note that not all cats are capable of doing this. 

Are those rodents not taking the bait? Is your cat more interested in napping than hunting mice? It’s time to call in the professionals. Contact Hart Pest Control today.

Continue reading
179 Hits
0 Comments

Case Study: A Home Infested With Ants

When it comes to pest, ants are one of the most common and frustrating creatures. Not only are they small enough to crawl into your home or business, but once they set up shop, they can be notoriously difficult to remove, particularly if you don’t take action immediately.

Today we want to take a closer look at one case where ants posed a significant problem for a homeowner and what was done to both identify and remove the problem. By looking at a real-world scenario, you can better understand how and why ants can invade your property.

A Home Invaded by Carpenter Ants

One of the most prevalent and invasive species of ants you can encounter are carpenter ants. Although most of these insects are unwelcome anywhere, they can be especially devastating because they like to build their nests in wood and other damp areas, which can not only make them hard to spot at first but lead to significant long term damage if the problem isn’t addressed immediately.

In this case, a home was invaded by these ants, but from an unlikely source.

Buying secondhand furniture is a great way to both save money and to find unique, stylish pieces that you can’t buy at any big box store. However, depending on where you buy it, you may be getting more than you bargained for.

For our case study, a homeowner found and bought a piece of wooden furniture from a garage sale. The previous owner had priced it to move, and since the homeowner was looking for some cheap furniture for the patio, it seemed like a great idea.

Unfortunately, a small colony of carpenter ants had taken residence inside the furniture.

Shortly after bringing it home, the colony spread to the porch and, eventually, into the rest of the house.

Once the homeowner discovered them, the infestation was pretty severe. Unfortunately, the ants had been burrowing in spots that were not easily noticed by the residents, which led to the explosion of a full-blown colony.

Thankfully, once the culprit was established, we were able to clean up the mess and eliminate the ants before they had caused too much destruction. That being said, if they had been allowed to continue, the results could have been devastating.

The Takeaway

Although we’re not saying that you should never buy used furniture, it helps to take a moment to assess the piece before bringing it into the home. All too often, people don’t realize how easy it is for bugs and critters to hitch a ride onto the property, meaning that you can wind up with uninvited guests.

The other thing to note is that pests like to spread and populate in areas you may not notice immediately. Inspecting different parts of the home regularly can help you find such infestations before they get out of control.

Contact Hart Pest Control

Whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or some other pest infestation, don’t wait until it’s too late. We can come out and assess the situation and provide immediate relief for you and your family. Contact us today to see how we can keep your home pest-free.

Continue reading
155 Hits
0 Comments

Your Guide to Wasps vs. Bees

Nearly every homeowner must deal with a stinging insect infestation at some point in time. Yellow jackets, hornets and wasps are all harmful pests that can cause you or your family harm if their population is not eliminated quickly once they are discovered.

The tricky part of dealing with stinging insects is ensuring you do not accidentally destroy a hive of helpful bees in the process. Bees are essential to the ecosystem, and without the work they do collecting nectar from flowering plants, we would be unable to cultivate healthy crops. Here are some tips on differentiating between wasps and bees, knowing how to deal with pests and safely relocating bee hives away from high-traffic areas on your property.

Wasps

This brownish-colored stinger with wings typically has reddish or yellow markings along its thorax and abdomen (middle and tail). Paper wasps derive their name from the paper-like material they use to build nests, which are umbrella-like shape and unenclosed. You find these pests in tree branches or hollows, porch ceilings, shrubs, door frames and deck floor joints as a rule.

Disturb these nests at your own risk, as paper wasps swarm when aroused in an effort to defend their homes. They are considered helpful insects, as they prey on lesser pest species and control their population. If they are nesting on or inside a structure of your home, you need to control, eliminate or move them to a safe location. Professional help with removal is highly recommended. No one should risk being swarmed and stung without the proper gear and equipment.

Bees

Honey bees are crucial to the healthy life cycle of plants. Without bees, plants and crops cannot pollinate effectively. Most measure between ½-⅝ of inch in length, and they have orange-yellow and brown-black bands over their thorax and abdomen. Honey bees are not aggressive, but they will swarm and attack when their colony is threatened. Honey bee colonies should be removed from structures near your home or high traffic areas and safely relocated. Moving a bee hive is not for amateurs, and professional help is definitely necessary.

If you notice carpenter bees, which are larger, fuzzier and have black and pale yellow fuzz with a bald spot on the abdomen, they need to be eliminated quickly. They chew and burrow into old wooden structures, and while they are not aggressive they can cause severe structural damage over time.

If you have a bee or wasp nest on your property and need it moved or removed safely, Hart Pest Control of Spring, Texas is the experienced pest control expert to help resolve your bee and wasp issues safely. As a family-owned-and-operated business, we offer affordable and reliable pest control that fits your budget and needs. Contact Hart Pest Control today to set up a consultation.

Continue reading
260 Hits
0 Comments

How to Remove Rodents Humanely

Nobody wants their house infested with rodents, however, too many methods of rodent removal are especially cruel. From traps which only kill after an agonizingly long period of time to poisons which not only take a while to take effect but also pose a danger to pets, children and the environment, rodent removal techniques have a reputation for being clumsy and macabre. Yet there are many sophisticated and convenient ways to remove rats and mice which don’t involve unnecessary pain for you or them.

Humane Rat and Mice Removal

The most humane way to address a rodent problem is to stop it before it even begins. This means taking measures to deter rodents from your place of residence and keeping them in the wild. Rats and mice can crawl through any opening larger than a coin, so even the tiniest pathway can lead them into your house. Aside from making sure that all window screens are secured, and all your doors are sealed, you can defend your home against rodents by stuffing clumps of copper mesh into places such as holes in your walls, laundry vents, electrical and plumbing entrances and gutters.

You can also make an all-natural rodent repellent with ingredients you can find in your local grocery store. Just mix salad oil, horseradish, garlic and cayenne pepper and spread the solution around the perimeter of your house—spraying it near door frames and pipes.

For rats and mice already terrorizing your home, there are easy ways to address them. Stay away from poisons and sticky traps, as these merely torture rodents and create a hassle for you as you try and track down corpses and uneaten pieces of poison scattered throughout your home. Instead, stay with the basics. The classic spring trap is efficient, clean and deadly, taking rodents out with one blow and making sanitation a breeze. Or you can avoid killing them all together and invest in a catch and release trap. These machines lock up any rodents that enter and allow you to carry them away from your house and release them into the wild unharmed. To make sure they don’t find their way back inside, take them at least 100 feet in any direction away from your house.

Hart Pest Control

Rodents are troublesome little pests, but there are effective ways to eliminate them painlessly and to even keep them away from your home entirely. For more information on pest control or to hire a specialist for your extermination needs, contact Hart Pest Control today.

Continue reading
190 Hits
0 Comments

Texas Ants Come in Many Species

In Texas, there are many different species of ants. Although many of them may look similar, these ants are very different. The difference may not be their color but how they interact with other insects, how they build their nests and where they live. Understanding ant characteristics and habitats will help you determine which ant species you have.

Pyramid Ants Characteristics and Habitat

The pyramid ant has some distinct characteristics. These characteristics include:

  • The head color which is either red or reddish-black.
  • The back has a pyramid shape sticking up.
  • They live in small colonies with only one queen.
  • These ants prefer a diet of sweets such as honeydew.
  • They build their nests in sunny, sandy soils.

Characteristics of The Big-Headed Ant

This ant also has a distinct characteristic, its big head. Other features are:

  • The ant is reddish-brown in color.
  • Two types of worker ants. The soldier ant has the big head. While the minor worker is smaller.
  • They are not choosy in their diet. They will eat just about anything.
  • The colonies are extremely large.
  • They build their home under logs or stones.

Pharaoh Ant Traits

The pharaoh ant is a pest that is usually found indoors. A pharaoh ant has the following characteristics:

  • They are generally yellow or light brown in color.
  • This ant is translucent.
  • They colonize in the most inconspicuous places within the house.

Black Carpenter Ant and Carpenter Ants

The black carpenter ant and carpenter ant are probably one of the most widely known ants. It can be recognized by its:

  • Larger size compared to other ant species.
  • All black body.
  • Males have wings and fly.
  • They bite.
  • They build their homes in wood, but they do not eat it.
  • They live in a large colony with one queen.
  • Their diet consists of plant juices, food scraps and fungus.
  • The black carpenter ant is larger in size than the carpenter ant.

Crazy Ant Characteristics

The crazy ant is one of the most destructive ants in Texas. They have been known to chew through electrical wires. Other characteristics include:

  • A reddish-brown coloring.
  • They are fast and move unpredictably. Hence the name crazy ant.
  • They feed on other insects.
  • They do bite.
  • They connect their colonies to form bigger colonies.
  • They do not have many natural predators.
  • Extermination is difficult.

These are just a few of the ant species located in Texas. For more information about the ants located in your area, contact Hart Pest Control today!

Continue reading
301 Hits
0 Comments

How to Treat a Fire Ant Sting

Anyone who has been stung by a fire ant readily testifies to the fact that the sting causes quite a bit of pain accompanied by a burning feeling and itchy skin. A particularly disturbing aspect of the fire ant is that the insect's tendency is to sting a person several times. Reactions typically last for several hours to several days.

Although most people are not allergic to the fire ant's venom, an allergic reaction can result in a serious condition called anaphylaxis. A person experiencing a severe reaction to a fire ant's sting needs to go to the emergency room right away. A severe allergic reaction may include difficulty swallowing, dizziness, trouble breathing or vomiting. Treatment may include a prolonged series of injections containing the fire ant's venom.

Fire ants are natives of South America but have infiltrated the southeastern area of the United States. The venom emitted by a group of fire ants is strong enough to kill a turtle. People are typically stung by fire ants when they step on their mounds. Since the average person is unable to distinguish a fire ant mound from another ant mount, the best way to prevent getting stung by a fire ant is to avoid all ant mounds.

People who are not allergic to the venom emitted by fire ants should take the following 10 steps after they are stung:

  1. Sterilize the wound with warm, soapy water. Applying hydrogen peroxide can help eliminate bacteria from the wound. Apply hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
  2. Place several ice cubes in a washcloth.
  3. Wrap the washcloth filled with ice in a zippered plastic storage bag.
  4. Apply the ice to the sting for 15 to 20 minutes. If ice is not unavailable, use a bag of frozen vegetables.
  5. Remove the ice for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Reapply and remove the ice for an additional 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Do not apply heat to the area that was stung.
  8. If itching is causing a problem, apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Another remedy for itching skin is to apply a paste made with baking soda and water. Baking soda may also help to reduce redness that occurs in the area of the sting. If baking soda is unavailable, apply white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to soothe the area.
  9. If the itching persists, a doctor can write a prescription for an antihistamine.
  10. If possible, elevate the affected area.

Preventing a fire ant sting is always better than getting stung. Contact Hart Pest Control if fire ant mounds exist on the premises. Exterminators at Hart Pest Control can help resolve fire ant issues.

Continue reading
240 Hits
0 Comments

Unexpected Places to Find Ticks

Texas ticks get big. Some can even grow as big as a sunflower seed! In this area, you’ll likely encounter American dog ticks, black-legged or deer ticks, brown dog ticks and Lone Star ticks. Although they are arachnids much like spiders, they don’t spin nests to trap their prey. Instead, they climb onto people or animals passing by and embed themselves in your skin so that they can enjoy a meal of fresh blood.

Risks of Ticks

Ticks are more than just annoying: They also carry a variety of potentially serious diseases and infections, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis. Ticks can hide in a wide range of places, and whenever you or your pets go outside, they can climb onto your clothing or feed on your blood. They can also hitchhike and travel into your home, making it easier to feed and reproduce.

Where Do Ticks Hide?

Ticks are strategic. They like to hide in tall vegetation that gives them easier access to their preferred hosts. Although many people associate ticks with a day in the woods, they are also quite likely to be hiding in your backyard. That’s because anywhere that animals can be found, ticks can be found, too, especially if it is a suitable habitat.

Common tick hotspots include:

  • Lawn edging, especially shrubbery, borders and ground cover
  • Lawn debris, such as leaf piles and grass clippings
  • Wood piles
  • Brick or stone walls
  • The park or dog park
  • The veterinarian’s office

Other Unexpected Tick Hiding Spots

Once a tick has found a host, it will tend to look for places that provide good cover, which means that it can be hard to find and remove. When you come in from a potentially tick-infested area, you need to check your entire body, especially in skin folds and creases and under hair.

Top tick hiding spots include:

  • On the scalp or under other hair
  • Behind the ears
  • At the back of the neck
  • In the armpits
  • Under breasts
  • In the belly button
  • In the groin and buttocks areas
  • Behind knees
  • Between toes

Getting Ticks Under Control

Although clearing away common tick hiding spots, such as leaf piles and wood piles, will help somewhat, there are no DIY or over-the-counter products that will effectively rid your property of these little blood-suckers. Hart Pest Control offers professional tick control services that are fast, affordable and reliable. We offer same-day service on not just ticks but also other common Texas pests. Contact Hart Pest Control today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

Continue reading
308 Hits
0 Comments

Types of Scorpions Located in Houston

In Texas, there's no escape from scorpions. Many residents find them in their homes from time to time. They can be crawling across the floor or resting under the bathroom or kitchen sink. Since they love dark places, they like to hide under debris and rocks as well as in linen closets, garages and under beds.

Of the 90 species in the United States, there are 18 scorpion species in Texas. However, it's very rare for people to come across species other than the striped bark scorpion. Despite that, learning more about this species and scorpions in general can help you stay safe and know when to call for pest control.

An Overview of Scorpions

Contrary to popular belief, scorpions aren't insects. They're predatory arachnids that have eight jointed legs and up to six eyes. They use the stinger on the end of their segmented tails to deliver painful blows. Their large claws help them grasp and crush their prey. Some species can live for 25 years.

Scorpions can climb trees and crawl along branches to gain access to your home's exterior walls and roof. They get inside through small cracks and crevices, where they could build a nest in your attic. When hot weather comes, they move into the lower levels of your home to stay cool.

Since scorpions are most active at night, you might only come across them when it's dark. Because of that, it'll probably see you before you see it and strike if it feels threatened.

Among the more than 1,500 scorpion species in the world, only a few have venomous stings that are deadly. In Houston, the sting from a striped bark scorpion is usually just painful. However, people who have a sensitivity to scorpion venom could have a life-threatening reaction.

Striped Bark Scorpion

You can differentiate the striped bark scorpion from other species by simply observing its appearance. It's very small, only growing to a maximum of 1.5 inches as an adult. It can be 3 inches including the tail. You might be able to tell the gender too: the males are longer and more slender than the females.

The most distinguishing feature is its color, which usually has two shades. It can be a light red or orange color with a darker stripe down its back and darker triangular mark on the head. In Houston, Texas, this species tends to be on the paler side compared to those in other states.

Striped bark scorpions are a communal species, so they nest together. They eat a diet of crickets, spiders, worms and other small invertebrates. On an occasion, however, they may feed on each other.

The Importance of Scorpion Removal

When male and female striped bark scorpions mate, they can produce anywhere from 15 to 40 babies after eight months of gestation. Because of that, a scorpion infestation can develop quickly.

Contact Hart Pest Control for an estimate today.

Continue reading
1296 Hits
0 Comments

Keeping Pests Out of Your Fourth of July Party

With summer not far away, a lot of people are thinking of ways to host an unforgettable Fourth of July party that their guests will love. If you can relate to them, you are probably planning to have great food, refreshing drinks and fun games that everyone can enjoy. Throwing an impressive Fourth of July party is a nice way to get people together, but you will need to watch out for pests and the issues they cause. Bees, mosquitoes and ants are just a few of the pests that might crash your party and spoil the fun if you are not careful.

Mosquitoes

Sharing meals and games with people close to you is a wonderful way to spend your Fourth of July, and the evening will conclude with a spectacular firework show. When the sun starts to set, mosquitoes will come out of their hiding spots to search for viable hosts, and you and your guests are likely targets. Before you host the event, check for and remove any standing bodies of water near your yard. Also, keep mosquito repellent on hand if you would like your guests to be comfortable and bite free.

Bees and Wasps

Since they can give painful stings, you don't want bees and wasps to join your Fourth of July party this year. You can check for nests before your party and spray them with an insecticide, but you might want to use a nontoxic product that won't harm your guests. Hanging brown paper bags around your yard will discourage wasps from getting close, but you can also make traps to keep bees and other stinging insects at bay.

Ants

When ants detect that you are having a cookout, they will want to join you so that they can get a fresh meal. Inability to manage ants during your party can make it hard for your guests to have a good time, and you won't want to make that mistake. If you want ants to evade your yard, spray vinegar around your property and near your party. Since they won't like the smell, ants will make an effort to avoid your event.

Hart Pest Control

You can use many tricks and tips when you want to prevent pests from ruining your Fourth of July event, but you won't get the best possible results with at-home solutions. You must enlist the help of a trained expert if you are serious about keeping your party free of pests.

If you need a team you can trust, Hart Pest Control won't let you down or leave you disappointed. We will inspect and treat your yard for invaders so that you can have your Fourth of July party without fear or stress. Because we are ready to meet your needs, we encourage you to contact us and schedule your appointment.

Continue reading
280 Hits
0 Comments

5 Myths About Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are common pests in warm climates around the world. In some cases, mosquitoes can present serious dangers for small children and elderly adults. There are, however, many misunderstandings about the dangers of mosquitoes and how they breed.

1. Mosquitoes Can Cause Malaria

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, about 400,000 people die each year from malaria. In almost all cases, malaria is contracted after people get a mosquito bite. Malaria is not, however, a common problem associated with mosquitoes in the U.S. since there are only about 1,700 cases of malaria in the entire country each year. Almost everyone who dies from malaria lives in a country with poor sanitation and health care.

2. The Zika Virus Is Extinct

The Zika virus was considered to be a serious health concern when it first became widespread in 2015. The CDC issued health warnings, and the media talked about the Zika virus every day. Today, people almost never hear about the Zika virus. The threats posed by the Zika virus still exist, but they are rarely discussed. Although governments have taken steps to fight the Zika virus, the chances are low that the virus will ever be fully eradicated.

3. Mosquitoes Do Not Bite During the Day

People tend to get most mosquito bites when they go outside at night. In general, mosquitoes spend less time searching for food during the day due to the increased risk of being seen. Mosquitoes are, however, capable of biting during the day. If you come near mosquito populations during the day, they will bite you like they would at any other time.

4. Mosquitoes Pose the Same Dangers for Everyone

Mosquitoes are dangerous because they have the potential to inject viruses directly into your bloodstream. There are a wide range of viruses that are only contracted from mosquitoes in most cases, such as West Nile virus, Zika virus, and yellow fever. According to statistics from the CDC, there are more than 3,500 viruses that mosquitoes can transmit. Young children and elderly adults who are more vulnerable to viruses are more likely to be harmed by mosquitoes than healthy adults.

5. Nothing Good Is Done by Mosquitoes

When spending time outdoors, mosquitoes can seem like annoying pests that do no good for the world. In reality, mosquitoes are a critical component of the ecosystem because they help to keep animal populations at reasonable levels. Research has also been published about how genetically modified mosquitoes have the potential to transmit vaccinations. Humanitarian organizations have speculated about ideas for using mosquitoes to immunize populations that cannot afford vaccinations. Although mosquitoes kill many people in impoverished countries, they also have the potential to do good when they are used in the right way.

To learn more about how our pest professionals can help rid you of your mosquito problems, be sure to contact us today. Take a look at our service area and see if we can help you today!

Continue reading
350 Hits
0 Comments

Tips to Keep Fleas Off Your Pets

Bloodsucking pests, fleas can spread diseases to both humans and animals. These tiny insects live for several weeks, but some fleas are able to live for up to a year in the right conditions. Fleas can carry bacteria that cause diseases such as typhus, the bubonic plague and others. These insects go through four life stages, making it important for you to take steps to kill fleas in all of their life phases. If you have pets, it is important for you to take steps now to keep these insects off of them and out of your home.

Treat Your Pets

If you wait until fleas have already taken up residence on your pets, it can be very difficult for you to get rid of these pests. You should apply flea treatment to your dog to the back of its neck. It is important for you to apply it there because it takes awhile for the treatment to absorb and to start working properly. Applying it in that location prevents your dog from licking it off. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian about the recommended flea treatments for your cats and dogs. Some dog treatments contain permethrins, which are safe for dogs but can be deadly to cats. You should begin treating your pets in late winter or early spring before the fleas begin to hatch.

Give Your Pets Flea Collars

In addition to using flea treatments on your pets, buy flea collars for them. Make certain that you do not have them too loose or too tight. You should be able to place a finger between the collar and your pets' necks. Take care not to put a flea collar on your cat that contains permethrins.

Treat Your Yard

In order to keep fleas off of your pets and out of your house, treat your yard. There are sprays available that can be applied that will kill fleas and ticks that are in your grass. By keeping the fleas away from your property, you can help to keep them from ever taking up residence on your pets.

The best way to keep fleas off of your pets is to take preventative steps so that the fleas don't have the opportunity to start an infestation on your pets or in your home. By treating your pets each month with flea treatment, buying flea collars and treating your yard, you can look forward to the summer months without having to worry about fleas. Hart Pest Control has treatments available for your yard. If you already are dealing with a flea problem, contact our professionals and let us help you eradicate fleas from your home and your property.

Continue reading
474 Hits
0 Comments

What Type of Climate Do Termites Live In?

Termites are known for their ability to destroy wood quickly. They can damage the building and cause psychological distress to anyone who is experiencing a termite infestation. These pests flourish in very specific types of conditions, so you can educate yourself about their habits in order to make informed decisions about your particular pest-control requirements. Our service professionals are always available to answer additional questions you might have about advanced termite control solutions from Hart Pest Control.

Climate and Termite Infestations

Termites thrive in conditions where there is a lot of lush vegetation. If you live in a region that has beautiful forests and a lot of vegetation, you might also live in a climate that has a large termite population. To control these pests, you must be able to eliminate the specific conditions that attract them to your home. The first condition that you should understand is moisture. Warm and humid areas of the world are more likely to attract termites than cold areas. This means that the interior of the building will also become more attractive to termites if you live in a colder area of the country.

What Attracts Termites?

Termites are like any other pest; they seek food and shelter from harsh outdoor conditions. This may lead them right into your home. Once you understand the types of things that attract termites, you can begin to become aware of these conditions inside of your property. You might not be able to change everything that is attracting these pests to your home or commercial building. However, you can take precautions to eliminate certain aromas that are known to attract these pests.

Vegetation will attract termites because of the moisture in the soil. If you live in a climate where it is easy to grow vegetables or flowers, you might also end up attracting subterranean termites as well. These pests are capable of building large colonies underground, so you have to be able to recognize the signs of an early infestation in order to protect your property. The best preventative measure is to keep the debris out of the lawn area. If your plants are decaying, this smell will attract termites. Clear any tree branches that fall around the home, and keep your bushes and shrubs trimmed. This will help you ward off a termite infestation if you live in a warm, humid climate.

Hart Pest Control

Our service professionals understand that customers might need additional information about termite infestations in order to protect their property against an infestation. Contact Hart Pest Control to speak to any of our pest professionals and set up an initial appointment. If you see any signs of a termite infestation, take immediate action to minimize the damage to your property.

Continue reading
1151 Hits
0 Comments