Hart Pest Control Blog

This is the official blog of Hart Pest Control.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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