Hart Pest Control Blog

This is the official blog of Hart Pest Control.

How Hurricanes Aid Mosquitoes in Texas

In addition to destroying countless buildings, trees and vehicles, Hurricane Harvey unleashed an enormous mosquito swarm during September. Insect experts in Texas reported that most of these bugs were members of the psorophora species.

Traits

Psorophora mosquitoes rank among the biggest "skeeters" in the Lone Star State. They also seek prey more energetically and trigger greater discomfort than most other species. These insects probably laid their eggs before the rain began to fall. The eggs hatched and released fast-growing larvae as the storm arrived.

Development

This pest's larvae reach adulthood in less than four days. Unlike some bugs, they can live in mud when the water in a puddle evaporates. This adaptation makes it easier for huge swarms to take flight even if the sky quickly clears after rainy weather.

The majority of mosquitoes place eggs in stagnant water. A female psorophora mosquito behaves differently. It puts them on a dry surface near water. When a storm occurs and the water level rises, the eggs hatch as they become wet.

Hurricane Harvey dropped record-breaking amounts of rain along a portion of the coast that spans more than 400 miles. Nearly 40 inches fell during the month in Houston. This made it possible for abnormally large quantities of mosquitoes to proliferate.

Spraying

The pest problem became so severe that state officials sought assistance from the U.S. Air Force. Military airplanes sprayed pesticides across millions of acres. Meanwhile, Harris County deployed trucks with insecticide-spraying equipment.

Although the majority of these bugs don't transmit diseases, a species known as Aedes aegypti became prevalent after the storm. This mosquito can carry the dangerous Zika and West Nile viruses. Both illnesses have infected more than 100 Texans during 2017.

Precautions

Texas residents may shield themselves from these winged vampires by applying DEET sprays and wearing shirts with long sleeves. Unfortunately, the bugs can bite through some fabrics. Head nets offer additional protection. It's also important to regularly maintain window screens.

If a future hurricane prompts a mosquito outbreak near your Texas home, turn to Hart Pest Control. Our Houston-area company has reliably provided contract-free services for almost five decades. You can trust our talented staff to thoroughly banish pests at economical prices.

To get started, please dial 281-379-9400 today.

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4 common places rodents hide in homes

 

A rodent infestation is more than just a nuisance. Rodents carry diseases and attract other pests, like fleas and ticks, that also threaten your family’s health. Their tendency to gnaw on electrical wiring has sparked many a house fire. At the very least, rats, mice and squirrels damage property and make a huge mess.

 

Rodents look for quiet places of shelter that offer protection from larger animals. Your home’s warmth and safety make it ideal for raising a family.

 

These nocturnal creatures wait for the house to get quiet before rummaging for food and nesting materials. You may never spot one, but signs of trouble include droppings, a pungent, musty odor, greasy marks around doorframes or baseboards and evidence of food tampering. 

 

Teeth marks are also telltale signs. Rodents gnaw obsessively because their incisors never stop growing. Woodwork, cardboard, electrical cords, food packaging, furniture and even books are fair game.

 

Keep reading to learn about rodents’ favorite hiding places and what you can do to deter these dangerous pests.

 

Attics

 

Squirrels and roof rats are good at finding entry points around roofs and eaves, and they can flatten their bodies to slip through incredibly small gaps. They are fairly easy to hear overhead, especially in the evening hours.

 

Make sure that woodwork around the roof is in good repair and that vents and chimneys are covered with strong wire mesh.

 

Inside Walls

 

Rats and mice take advantage of wall cavities for free access to the whole house. A squirrel might fall from the attic and be unable to find an escape.

 

Listen for rustling and squeaking, and inspect your baseboards for openings. A lingering foul odor might indicate a decomposing body.

 

Call on one of our experts to pinpoint infested corridors and provide a solution.

 

Basements, Garages, Storage Closets and Sheds

 

It’s no surprise that spaces that accumulate clutter and have little human traffic are appealing. They’re usually dark and quiet, and they contain plenty of useful materials for making a home. Cardboard storage boxes that are rarely opened are as inviting as it gets.

 

Keep these areas neat and well lit. Use sturdy plastic storage tubs with tight-fitting lids, especially if they’re used to store pet food.

 

Kitchens

 

Rats and mice don’t typically nest in commonly occupied rooms, but the kitchen is an exception. Proximity to food sources is a major selling point for rodent real estate.

 

Mice often hole up in protected areas behind appliances. They also slip behind loose baseboards and settle under cabinets that are rarely opened.

 

Keep your kitchen as clean and free of crumbs as possible, and tightly seal all food products. 

 

Trust the Pros

 

The trapping and removal of rodents is a hazardous job that only a professional should tackle.

 

Keep your family safe by calling Hart Pest Control today. Our extensively trained and highly experienced technicians can provide effective solutions for rodents and other pests.

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Top Three Steps to Keep Your Home Free of Ants

 

Ants are a nuisance throughout America, but the hot Texas climate encourages these troublesome insects to breed rapidly and invade homes all year long. Here at Hart Pest Control, we're regularly called out to eliminate a variety of ants that include carpenter ants, fire ants, odorous house ants, acrobat ants, pyramid ants and pharaoh ants. These are just a few steps that you can take to keep ants from invading your space. 

 

1. Secure Your Home

 

It's difficult to keep ants out of your home because these insects are really good at squeezing through the smallest of spaces, but there are a few simple things that you can do to make it just a little more difficult for them to get inside. Check for any cracks, crevices or openings around the windows and doors, along the foundation and around any areas where pipes are connected to your home. Even the smallest entrance points should be thoroughly sealed with silicone caulk or another good sealant of your choice. It's also a smart move to trim any bushes or tree limbs that may be touching your home because ants use these as roadways that deliver them straight to your home.

 

2. Remove Temptations

 

Ants send out a few scouts on a search for food sources, and you may be invaded by lines of hundreds or thousands of ants if those scouts scurry back to the anthill to report that they've found a feast. Keeping in mind that even a single crumb can bring all of the ants on the run, it's important to keep all of your food locked up tight. That box of open cereal or crackers will definitely draw in ants, so all food should be carefully sealed in containers. You'll also want to keep the outside of food containers wiped down and free of spills, and there should be a tight lid on all trashcans. Be sure to wipe down counters, sweep and mop floors regularly and pick up your pet's food dish after each meal.

 

3. Don't Provide Drinking Water

 

Ants are just as attracted to a good source of water as they are to food, so you'll definitely want to keep all areas of your home dry. Check for leaky pipes under sinks and any leaky areas around toilets and bathtubs. Fix faucets that suffer from a chronic drip, and you may want to use a dehumidifier in the basement and any other moist areas of your home. 

 

Quality Pest Control Available

 

Unfortunately, ants often make their way into homes even when all of the above steps have been carefully followed. If you are experiencing any type of ant problem or any other pest-control issue, then you may feel free to contact us here at Hart Pest Control. Give us a call at 281-407-8336, and our professional, well-trained technicians will come right out to identify the problem and provide you with an individualized treatment plan that leaves your home free of pests.

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Tips for Your Labor Day BBQs

 
Labor Day is a great time of year to get together with your family and host a cookout. If you are like others, you will want to do everything that you can to make your cookout stand out in a positive way, but doing so is not always easy. You and your guests are not the only ones who are looking forward to the feast, so you must be on the lookout for uninvited visitors. Several pests will love to join you for your Labor Day event, and they can cause a lot of problems if you don’t take steps to stop them from getting into your yard. Luckily, you can keep yourself and your guests safe by keeping a few tips in mind and learning about common invaders.
 

Ants

 
Learning how to prevent ants from ruining your cookout is a smart step in the right direction when your goal is to keep your guests happy from the start of your event to the end. Ants send scouts into different locations to search for food, water and other resources, and your yard could be the next target. If an ant finds your food, it will return to the colony to inform the others of its discovery, and you will encounter an invasion in no time. If you want to keep ants away, you can mix a solution of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar, spraying it around your yard. Placing your trash cans away from your table is also a great idea when you want to safeguard your friends and family from pests. 
 

Wasps

 
Nothing will ruin your Labor Day cookout as much as getting stung by wasps while you are spending time with your loved ones. If you don't already have wasps near your home, you can put holes in brown bags and hang them up around your property. Wasps are territorial and won't want to create a new nest where they think other wasps are present, and the bags will act as decoys. When wasps are nearby and you want to address the issue, you can spray them with soapy water. Doing so will prevent them from flying, so they won't be a threat for much longer. You need to ensure that nobody is too close to the nest when you spray it because wasps will sting when they are agitated, and it does not take much to make them angry. 
 

Mosquitoes

 
If your Labor Day cookout lasts until the evening hours, you will eventually feel the itching and skin irritation that comes with mosquito bites. Preventing these flying pests from annoying you and your guests can be difficult, and some people decide not to try, accepting mosquitoes as a part of life. In addition to causing mild discomfort, mosquitoes can transmit a range of diseases that you will want to avoid, such as the West Nile virus, yellow fever and more. You can use sprays and creams to prevent them from biting, but you can also set up candles around your yard. 
 

Hart Pest Control

 
Even though you can take many steps to discourage pests from invading your Labor Day cookout, you can only go so far. If you want to give yourself and your guests the best possible protection, turn to Hart Pest Control. We will handle mosquitoes, wasps, ants and any pest that tries to spoil your fun. You can reach out to us if you have questions or concerns, and we look forward to working with you.
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The Dangers of Scorpions and Spiders

Is your family protected from scorpions and spiders? Arachnids are very good at hiding. If they come into your home, you could be at risk for painful bites and stings. Although arachnids’ venom is rarely fatal, people with allergies or special sensitivity should be aware of the danger that they pose to humans. 

Spiders

Spiders are attracted to dark, quiet spots with little human traffic. They hide in woodpiles, garages, attics and closets. Some species make their homes in dark corners of the ceiling or under heavy furniture. Surprisingly, only about half of all spiders spin webs for trapping prey. Those that don't often go undetected.

Common eight-legged pests in the Spring area include the following:

• Grass and garden spiders

• Common house spiders

• Long-legged sac spiders

• Black widows

• Brown recluses

Spiders are typically not aggressive toward humans, but they’ll bite if threatened. Children should not attempt to capture them.

Depending on the individual, the effects of a bite can range from pain and redness to muscle cramps and nausea. Most bites, fortunately, are minor irritations. 

Since their venom is especially potent, black widows and brown recluses pose greater danger than most spiders. Brown recluses are quite shy and avoid humans, but beware: In a few rare cases, their venom damaged body tissue or reached internal organs.

Black widows have a distinctive red hourglass marking on their abdomens and hang head down in their webs. Brown recluses bear a mark shaped like a violin. 

Scorpions

Scorpions are identified by their segmented bodies, slender tails and pincers. The striped bark scorpion, a common pest in and around Spring, is one of the few species that prefers dark, moist habitats like pine forests. It’s usually pale yellow and difficult to spot. Since harsh sunlight evaporates the moisture supply in its body, the striped bark scorpion is nocturnal. It hides in hollow logs, dead vegetation, attics and construction debris.

Stings are not lethal, but pain and itching may persist for several days. Allergic people who are stung could experience swelling, numbness, skin discoloration, muscle spasms or breathing difficulty.

Let Us Help

We at Hart Pest Control can detect an infestation at its source. Since many treatments that eliminate insects are ineffective against scorpions and spiders, you need our professional expertise. Our courteous crew members are highly skilled and use the most cutting-edge techniques. 

Don’t take your chances with scorpions and spiders. For a pest-free home and greater peace of mind, call Hart today.

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