What You Need To Know About Pests In Austin, TX
Knowing about the pests you are likely to find crawling, flying, or jumping across your home is important so that you have a general idea of what you are up against. Use the following guide to learn about the most common pests in Austin, TX, and the problems they cause in and around your home. Let's work together to make your property as unwelcoming to pests as possible!
Our area is home to many types of ants, including sugar ants, rover ants, carpenter ants, and fire ants. Most people believe ants to be harmless since they are frequent visitors in and around our Texas homes. But beware, ants are more troublesome than they appear.
- Ants transport bacteria.
- They contaminate food stored inside kitchens and pantries.
- Some ants produce unpleasant odors.
- Their small size allows them to infiltrate and damage electrical equipment.
- Carpenter ants cause structural damage.
- Fire ants deliver painful bites and stings.
Ants are a pest problem that few people can escape; they have an excellent sense of smell and constantly search for food sources. Unfortunately, our Texas yards often offer ants multiple places to forage. Your property's trash cans, recycling bins, gardens, and outdoor eating areas are too much for ants to resist. As ants forage for food in your yard, they will eventually find their way into your home, sometimes accidentally and sometimes after being attracted by food odors or moisture. If ants are nesting in your home, you may notice rustling sounds behind walls, the presence of winged ants, or wood shavings under things like baseboards or trim.
Ant Prevention Tips: Ants are tricky to prevent because their small size means they can easily move into our homes. The best way to avoid problems with ants is to take away as many entry points as possible. Inspect potted plants that have been outside for ants before bringing them inside. Use caulk to seal gaps and cracks in exterior walls and the foundation. Place weatherstripping around windows and doors and add door sweeps to all exterior doors. Repair torn screens, seal spaces around utilities entering your house, and place mesh covers over vents.
Bed bugs are small, apple seed-shaped insects whose sole source of nutrition comes from human blood and, if need be, the blood of some other animals like cats, dogs, and birds. When bed bugs find a way into your home, their presence can cause you big problems, including:
- Red itchy rashes around bite sites
- Secondary infections
- Interrupted, restless sleep
- Stained mattresses, bedding, walls, and other surfaces with excrement or blood
Now that you know what problems bed bugs cause, it is essential to know where you are most likely to run into them. Bed bugs are drawn to homes and public places because they put them near their preferred food source — people. Hospitals, schools, airports, and hotels are a few of the most likely places to run into bed bugs. Bed bugs are efficient hitchhikers and climb onto people or into things like bags or luggage and move wherever we take them, including into our homes. These pests are also regularly introduced into Texas homes in secondhand items like electronics, furniture, and mattresses.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips: While preventing bed bugs is a difficult task, there are some things you can do to help avoid accidentally introducing them into your home. Do your best to keep personal things up off the ground in public places. When traveling before bringing luggage into your hotel room, inspect it for bed bugs and immediately alert hotel staff if you notice bed bugs or signs of bed bugs. After traveling, wash and dry your clothing. In addition, always inspect secondhand items for hitchhiking bed bugs before bringing them into your home. For more tips you can read this blog: "How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In Your Austin Home Fast!".
Cockroaches are unsanitary pests that regularly find their way into Austin area homes, restaurants, grocery stores, and anywhere else food is prepared or stored. Their oval body, dark color, and tenacity allow them to move through the smallest spaces into new structures or their daytime hiding spots. Cockroaches are nocturnal and are most active at night foraging for food. The three species in our area that are most common (American, German, and Oriental cockroaches) all prefer to live in areas of a home that provide them with a warm, humid environment. Our kitchens, bathrooms, and basements offer these pests suitable hideouts.
Cockroaches are scavengers and will feed on almost anything they come across; unfortunately for us, our homes and yards provide cockroaches with all the food they need. They will feed on many things, including the crumbs under appliances, liquids from recycling bins, your pet's food, and the cracker that got pushed under the couch. In addition, cockroaches feed on toothpaste, hair, soap, and other non-food items. Once cockroaches get into your home and establish themselves, getting rid of them is a challenging task and one that should be handled by a professional. Eliminating these pests is crucial because they do pose health risks to people. Cockroaches spread pathogens that make people ill, parasites, and allergens.
Cockroach Prevention Tips: You can do several things around your home to make it less attractive to cockroaches. Take away their access to food by always storing your family's food properly, removing trash from your home daily, and frequently vacuuming and wiping down counters. Get rid of excess moisture from your home by repairing leaky pipes, dripping sinks, and using dehumidifiers. Help keep cockroaches out of your home by sealing spaces in your foundation. It is also helpful to inspect boxes, bags, and secondhand items like furniture and appliances for cockroaches before bringing them into your home. For more tips you can read this blog: "How Bad Is It To Have Cockroaches In My Austin Home?".
Hornets and wasps like mud daubers and yellow, red, and brown wasps are flying insects that have two things in common. First, they are predators, which means they hunt and feed on other insects, and they have stingers extending from their hind ends. These insects use their stinger to paralyze their prey and defend themselves against larger predators, including people. When wasps and hornets decide to nest in our yards, gardens, or on your home's exterior, they pose a danger to you, your family, and your pets. Their stings are venom-filled, painful, and can trigger allergic reactions ranging from mild to life-threatening.
The weather in our area is warm throughout most of the year, which means we get to enjoy our backyards for most of the year. However, hornets and wasps can really put a damper on you and your family's ability to enjoy the yard. Constantly dodging the stings of wasps and hornets or having to avoid an area of your yard where they are nesting is less than ideal. Examples of places these pests may nest include trees, shrubs, ground holes, under deck or roof eaves, in doorways, or inside play structures. Having flying insects like hornets and wasps nesting in our yards should be taken seriously, and partnering with a professional is the best way to eliminate them.
Flying Insect Prevention Tips: Our Texas yards provide wasps and hornets with plenty of places to forage for food and is one of the biggest reasons they find our way to our properties. Many can eat the food and drinks we consume, so our trash cans, recycling bins, and outdoor eating areas are particularly attractive to these pests. Make sure to keep outdoor tables and grills free of leftover food and keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins to deter wasp and hornet activity. It is also a good idea to regularly harvest gardens and fruit trees. The more food that is available to wasps and hornets on your property, the more likely they will call your yard home.
Residents of Texas have to deal with many unsavory pests, including scorpions. Scorpions are unique-looking arachnids and are creatures that regularly find their way onto our properties, typically while searching for food and water. While some scorpions just pass through while hunting, others decide to stay and make their presence permanent.
The most common things that initially attract scorpions to a person's yard are areas of shelter (woodpiles, mulch, rocks, trees), food (insects, small rodents, lizards), and water (dripping pipes, hoses, and leaky air conditioners). Most scorpions prefer to live outside, but they sometimes make their way into our homes when following their prey or when attracted by moisture or the promise of a cool, shady spot to rest. Having scorpions living on your property is more than an inconvenience it is a potential danger. The venom scorpions possess and inject through their stinger is powerful enough to harm people. If scorpions have found their way to your property, do not hesitate to seek help from an experienced professional!
Scorpion Prevention Tips: The following suggestions will help you make your property less attractive to scorpions and their prey.
- Fix leaky plumbing.
- Make sure your yard has good drainage.
- Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
- Clear out excess foliage, leaf piles, and other organic debris from your yard.
- Cut back foliage from the outside of your home.
- Install screens, door sweeps, and weatherstripping around doors and windows to help eliminate entry points.
- Use caulk to seal cracks that develop in your home's exterior.
What is one of the most feared pests that regularly crawl their way into our Auston homes? We bet most people would answer spiders! Some of a spider's most unsavory characteristics include quick movements, unsightly webs, and the ability to bite us when they feel threatened. Some spiders have venom powerful enough to cause harm to a person; in most cases, the spiders we come across only have venom potent enough to affect their insect prey. While most people want nothing to do with these leggy pests outside in their yards, there is an even lower tolerance for spiders inside our homes!
Spiders in our area that frequent our yards and homes include wolf spiders, black recluse spiders, house spiders, and tarantulas. When it comes to spiders, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that spiders aren't in your home because they are looking for you; they actually would prefer to have no contact with people at all. The bad news is that spiders are most likely in your home because they have followed their insect prey inside. If spiders are creeping around your house, so are insects! In our homes, spiders hang out in dark, quiet areas where they are likely to capture their prey, like closets, areas under sinks, basements, crawl spaces, and storage boxes.
Spider Prevention Tips: When it comes to preventing problems with spiders, you have to look at why spiders have chosen your property to live on. The most likely reason spiders are in your yard and or home is that it provides them with food, water, and shelter. Make your yard less attractive to spiders by making it less attractive to their insect prey. Keep lids on trash cans, keep the grass cut short, prune shrubs and bushes, and remove areas of standing water. Help keep spiders from getting into your home by caulking cracks in the foundation, repairing holes along the roofline, and placing mesh covers over vents and drains. In your home, regularly vacuum and dust to dislodge hiding spiders and their insect prey!
Trusted Solutions For All Of Your Pest Problems
Aries Pest Control is a family owned and operated business providing professional home pest control and commercial pest control services to Austin, TX, and the surrounding areas. Trust our professionals and our 25 years of combined experience to help you solve your family's pest problems. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we always try to go above and beyond our customers' expectations. If you live in the Austin area and are experiencing issues with pests, reach out to us today to learn about our effective pest control offerings!