Hart Pest Control Blog

This is the official blog of Hart Pest Control.

Most Common Pests Found in Texas

The second-largest state in the United States, Texas, has a variety of landscapes, environments, cultures and animals. While many people love the Lone Star State, there is one thing that no one enjoys — pests. Unfortunately, Texas has many of them. 

From chiggers to rodents, find more than one of these creatures while visiting or living in the state. Since there are thousands of different species of pests in Texas, we wanted to break it down to the most common ones you can find. 

Ants

As the most common pest in America, it is no surprise that ants are one of the most common pests in Texas. There are over 100 species of these tiny creatures that call the Lone Star State their home. Typically, the most common types are sugar ants, carpenter ants and fire ants. 

Sugar ants do not cause any harm but can infest your food and water supplies. Carpenter and fire ants pose more dangers for humans. Carpenter ants destroy homes by feeding on wood like termites, while fire ants bite people causing painful and itchy red bumps, and in severe cases, allergic reactions. 

Mosquitos

Mosquitos thrive in Texas all year long, especially in humid areas like Galveston, Corpus Christi and even Houston. Since the state has warmer temperatures the majority of the year, prepare yourself to come in contact with these blood-sucking pests. Some areas of Texas have a break from these unwanted bugs during the winter months, especially if you live up north. 

Scorpions

Since Texas has many different woody and dry areas, there is a multitude of scorpions. In fact, Texas alone has 18 different species of scorpions. As one of the most frightening pests, many people try to avoid these creatures at all costs, especially since their stings are extremely painful to the point of seeking medical help. Scorpions are nocturnal and love hiding in dark places (even shoes.) 

Cockroaches

In Texas, the famous saying is everything is bigger there, and that includes cockroaches. Many people from different states or countries say that the cockroaches in Texas are the largest they have ever seen, especially since many of them can grow as big as five inches or more. These creatures live in any environment, including homes, businesses, schools and anywhere outside. 

Contact Us Today 

Do not let any of the most common pests listed above take over your home. Let Hart Pest Control help you get rid of these tiny creatures on your property today. For more information, give us a call today.

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I’ve Seen a Cockroach! What Do I Do?

It is disgusting and exasperating to see a cockroach scurry inside your cabinet or across your floor. Does a single cockroach mean that you have an infestation? Perhaps. If you find one, there are likely more hiding in the dark crevices of your home. Don’t dismiss the problem. It is time to take action.

To address the situation, you must know the different types of cockroaches.

Different Types of Cockroaches

The term “cockroach” is an umbrella term that can refer to up to 5,000 species of bugs. Some types prefer warmth, while others are drawn to water or specific types of vegetation. 

If you see one large cockroach, it may be an outdoor cockroach that has wandered into the home. Look for similar bugs near your home and a possible entranceway for the wayward creature.

However, if the creature is less than a half-inch in length, it is unlikely that a single cockroach is living in your home. These species of pests are highly social and tend to live in colonies. They usually enter through pipes or small cracks or crevices in the house. They reproduce at a high rate, so they can quickly become a problem.

What are the Signs of a Cockroach Infestation?

If a single cockroach has made an appearance in your home, it is time to go into detective mode. Look for the following common signs of a cockroach infestation:

  • Cockroach eggs and eggshells: Look for small, brown, oval-shaped disks near where cockroaches will be attracted: food, water and cardboard.
  • Cockroach droppings: If you see powdery, dark dots that look like ground pepper or coffee in the crevices or seams of your walls and counters, you may be looking at the droppings of cockroaches.
  • A strong, musty smell: If cockroaches have colonized your home, you could begin smelling a putrid odor similar to rancid grease. 
  • Dead Cockroaches: Look carefully as you clean floors, cabinets or drawers for dead bugs or decaying body parts that you might miss until you train your eye to look for them.

What to Do if You See a Cockroach in Your Home 

Don’t waste time once you see evidence of cockroaches within your home. These pests carry disease and will quickly become a significant health hazard and a threat to your home. Look to Hart Pest Control for help in the eradication of these nasty creatures. We have over 45 years of experience in making homes safe and pest-free. Contact Hart Pest Control today for a free estimate.

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Preventing Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs. The name alone is enough to make your skin crawl. They are the most unwelcome guest and treating them can be a nuisance if you're going it alone. Follow these tips from your friends at Hart Pest Control to prevent, treat, and control these intruders.

Bed Bug Prevention

There are several steps you can take in order to stop an infestation before it starts. Thoroughly inspect any secondhand items you plan to bring into your home that are covered in fabric. This includes couches, pillows, and blankets. In order to keep bed bugs from getting bedtime nibbles, shield both your box spring and mattress with a tear-resistant safety covering. Mend or replace it after you notice any tears or holes. This may mean inspecting your bed more often than you're used to, but the time is worth it. Additionally, keep your home tidy to reduce areas of clutter where bed bugs could reside. Bed bugs prevention may seem like a hassle at times, but it is much easier to prevent than it is to treat and control after infestation.

Bed Bug Treatment

Okay, you weren't successful at preventing bed bugs. What now? There are some non-chemical routes you can take to rid your home of bed bugs. Put all items of clothing as well as your bedding into the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes. Encase your box spring, mattress, and any pillow-like objects to trap bed bugs and prevent them from spreading. Though there are some portable heating units that can take care of heating household furniture to the necessary 120ºF, this can get pricey and inconvenient. Foregoing these measures could lead to disaster. If any bed bugs are left alive you will find yourself dealing with this mess all over again.

It is best to consult the services of a reputable, trustworthy company like Hart Pest Control when coming up with a bed bugs treatment plan for your home. Their experts can assess the infestation and come up with the course of action that is perfect for your home, your needs, and your budget.

Bed Bug Control

While you're treating your home, control will be key in preventing another infestation. Ensure that you are treating all areas of the home where bedbugs may have migrated. This includes dirty clothes baskets, neighboring furniture, bed frames, and carpets. You must be thorough and vigilant.

Ensure that all follow-up treatments are followed per your pest management professional's instructions. Even the smallest misstep can start you over at square one when it comes to bed bugs control. Save yourself the hassle and contact us today! We'll get your home under control no matter what wanders in. No if, ants, or bugs about it!

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Tick & Flea Prevention: How to Keep Your Home Safe

Ticks and fleas are a year-round problem for many homes. These pests are most active in the warmer months. However, the real problem arises when these little annoyances are in your home. It can feel overwhelming and if so Hart Pest Control can help. 

Humans and animals are the primary targets for these blood-suckers. Ticks and fleas can cause both Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, among other diseases. Also, fleas can lay about 40 eggs a day and can live between two weeks to a year! Here are some ways to keep your home safe from these awful pests.

Treating Your Yard

Grass that is too high can attract fleas and ticks. You can prevent this by cutting your grass relatively short and trimming your plants. Keep plants away from your home, as tall plants act as a pathway for fleas and ticks to enter your home. 

Trash and food sources left out can attract unwanted visitors. For example, possums and raccoons are carriers of ticks and fleas. To reduce the chances of critters entering your home, keep trash far away from your home. You should also bring pet food inside. 

Fleas and ticks can hide under dead leaves and twigs. Therefore, raking your lawn is the best form of prevention. 

Deep Clean Your Home

Having ticks and fleas in your house doesn’t mean that your home is dirty. However, places such as carpets and curtains attract ticks and fleas. This is because they can hide inside the material fibers. These places are usually where ticks and fleas tend to lay their eggs. 

To prevent infestations, try vacuuming your carpets. When finished vacuuming, be sure to empty the vacuum’s contents outside. Steaming your curtains is another way to remove these pests.

Tick and Flea Treatment for Pets

Ticks and fleas prefer animals as hosts over humans. If your pet has fleas or ticks, then your entire home can become a haven for these pests. Your pet may even develop heartworms if a flea infection goes unnoticed. 

Fleas love to nest in the same spot where your pet sleeps. To prevent a flea infestation, wash your pet’s bedding with hot water. This is highly recommended, because the heat helps kill fleas in any life stage. In severe cases, consider throwing out the old bedding altogether.

Natural Tick and Flea Repellent

There are many ways to get rid of ticks and fleas naturally. Herbal sprays are safe and suitable to use around children and pets. Salt is another great home remedy. It dehydrates fleas, making vacuuming these pests a no-brainer. 

Baking soda helps remove fleas from the fibers of your furniture and carpet. You can start by laying down baking soda on your carpets and furniture. Next, take a hard bristle brush and rub the baking soda into the carpet. After that, thoroughly vacuum the area and empty the contents. 

Lemons are a good home remedy for treating fleas. You can make a lemon spray by mixing water with lemon slices. Pour into a spray bottle and let the solution sit overnight. The next day, spray the solution over the infested areas. 

Call a Pest Control Professional 

The best solution for protecting your home from infestations is by hiring a professional pest control service. Hart Pest Control combines knowledge with experience and has been in business since 1969. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get rid of those pests for good!

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Common Signs of a Termite Infestation

If you are a homeowner, then the word “termite” probably terrifies you, as it should. Termites are no joking matter, as they can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. They can slowly eat away at the home’s structure and foundation, causing a myriad of issues. If termites are not dealt with properly, they could cause complete devastation. Keep reading for ways to detect if you have a termite infestation

Damaged or Hollowed Wood

As termites constantly feed on wood, they can cause a lot of damage to any wood in the home. One common sign of termite damage is splintered, hollowed or grooved wood. After chewing on the wood for so long, the wood can begin to splinter and break apart, as well as show signs of grooves or knicks. This kind of damage can be found on or below surfaces such as wooden flooring, walls, or trim. 

Evidence of Swarms

Termites leave their wings behind at the point of entry into your home. These entryways could be through doors or windows, or near other wooden structures on your property. The presence of discarded wings is a sure sign that a swarm or a colony of termites has decided to make their home here. Therefore, they shed their wings as they will no longer need them as they build their nests. 

Mud Tubes

These tunnels are found on the ground near the surrounding outside of your home, beginning at a nearby tree or wooden structure, such as a shed. They nest underground, yet they search above ground for their food source. If they tunnel outside of the home, you will find their small tube-shaped tunnels headed for whatever source of wood they can find. The tunnels can also be found in your home as well. Termites use this system of tunneling as a way to keep themselves warm and dry.

Contact Hart Pest Control

Unfortunately, you may be keeping an eye out for termites and you may not even see any damage. But, that does not mean that you are safe from termites. You may have an infestation and not be aware of it. If you suspect any termite activity or find any evidence of termites, you should not wait to call pest control professionals. Contact Hart Pest Control for help with a termite infestation. 

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