5 Common Pests in Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas, brings on a very comforting climate for pests, so it’s not uncommon to find certain bugs in your home. No matter the time of year, it’s ordinary to see certain pests in and around your property, and it’s also important to know how to get rid of any type of infestation. In this blog, we’ll discuss the 5 most common pests you’ll see in Houston, as well as how to eliminate any pest problem in your way. The 5 most common pests are:
Nothing evokes a feeling of revulsion like a cockroach scurrying across the floor when you turn on the light. Roaches are constantly in search of warmth, humidity, and food, making your kitchen, bathroom, and crawl space prime living areas for them. Because they are nocturnal and prefer the dark, you may not see any signs until an infestation is firmly established. In addition to spreading bacteria, which can cause food poisoning and other intestinal diseases, some cockroaches can precipitate asthma attacks in sensitive individuals. The species of roaches most commonly seen in Texas are:
- American cockroaches
- German cockroaches
- Oriental cockroaches
- Flying cockroaches
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Houston
Cockroaches are known for their ability to withstand humans’ best efforts to kill them and hide in hard-to-reach places, making a roach infestation difficult to eliminate without involving the experts at a professional pest control company. Although the following actions may not get rid of cockroaches, they may lessen the severity of your problem, hasten its solution, and prevent future invasions.
- Seal up cracks, including those between cabinets and baseboards, to remove hiding places.
- Make access to food more difficult by eliminating trash, crumbs, open containers, and pet food.
- Fix any leaks, unclog drains, and clean up spills to put an end to standing water.
- Use glue strips, traps, dust, and bait stations to assess the extent of your infestation, and call in an exterminator if indicated.
With the reputation as one of the most industrious creatures in existence, we’ve all seen an ant carrying a crumb far larger than itself. In order to obtain the food necessary to support the colony, they will travel up to the length of a football field, or 100 yards, if necessary. Given this, it’s no surprise that ants will show up in our kitchens to forage for whatever morsels they can find. The most commonly found types of ants in Houston include:
- Fire ants
- Carpenter ants
- Pharaoh ants
- Acrobat ants
- Odorous ants
Given their small size, ants seem like they would not pose a problem to your health or home. While all ants bring the risk of contaminating your food with bacteria and fungal spores, a few varieties can cause more severe issues. Very aggressive, fire ants live up to their name with the painful stings they inflict on their often unsuspecting victims, threatening anyone that gets close. Carpenter ants are the most destructive species you’ll encounter in Houston, building nests inside your home’s wooden structures, including floors, walls, and support beams, especially if they are already moist from a water problem.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Houston
The majority of ants aren’t difficult to remove on your own. Although sprays are messy and could be toxic, enclosed ant baits are generally easy to use properly. However, the easiest way to eliminate these pests is to keep them out in the first place. Steps you can take to remediate and prevent ant infestations include:
- Seal any entry points, including cracks in exterior walls, foundations, around utility lines, and more.
- Keep vegetation, debris, and any other items away from your home’s exterior.
- Reduce easy access to food with airtight storage containers and regular kitchen cleanup after cooking or snacking.
- Mitigate any uncontrolled moisture sources and rotten wood to make your home less attractive to carpenter, acrobat, and pharaoh ants.
- Strategically place ant baits in high-traffic areas that children and pets can’t access.
If the above tips don’t work or you are plagued by either fire or carpenter ants, the best course of action is to bring in a knowledgeable exterminator, such as those at Termio Pest Control. They will safely and effectively remove these pests with professional-grade treatments not available in hardware stores.
The Houston climate provides perfect breeding conditions for scorpions, and the prime season is typically in July and August, although they are present year-round. Of these arachnids that call Houston home, the yellowish-brown striped bark scorpion is the one that you are most likely to encounter. Although not particularly dangerous, a scorpion sting typically leaves a red mark, is painful, and can be surrounded by red and swollen skin. If more severe symptoms develop, you need to seek immediate medical attention. They only attack if surprised or threatened but, given their ability to hide, care should be taken to not startle scorpions concealed in:
- Crawl spaces
- Potted plants
- Any dark, moist areas inside and outside
How to Get Rid of Scorpions in Houston
If you have only a few scorpions, you can save some money and get rid of scorpions yourself. However, if there are more than you feel comfortable dealing with or they keep returning, professional intervention is a necessity. At Termio, we rely on Integrated Pest Management to fully understand your scorpion infestation and prevent them from entering your home. Only when it's unavoidable will we treat the inside of your home with products we would trust our own families around.
Few pests elicit as strong a fear response from as many people as spiders do. Like most other invaders, spiders only enter your home in search of the basics for survival – food, water, and shelter. There are only a few varieties of Houston-area spiders that tend to wander indoors, including:
- Common house spiders
- Cellar spiders (Daddy-long-legs)
- Garden spiders
- Orb weaver spiders
- Wolf spiders
- Brown recluse spiders
- Black widow spiders
Of these, only the brown recluse and the black widow spiders pose a serious health threat. Though, unless your spider identification skills are strong, it’s probably best to treat them all the same and avoid contact if possible.
How to Get Rid of Spiders in Houston
If you only have a few spiders in your home, you can get rid of them by killing each one individually, given you have the patience for that. For a more extensive spider infestation, you may be tempted to use DIY products, but those can be harmful if used incorrectly. Your best bet is to partner with knowledgeable pest control experts, who will assess your home and protect it with eco- and family-friendly solutions. You can minimize the chances of recurrence by:
- Eliminating spiders and their eggs before they can hatch with regular web removal, dusting, and vacuuming.
- Reducing clutter and keeping your home organized.
- Making sure any entry points around windows, doors, and other openings are sealed off to prevent spiders from coming in.
- Keeping typical spider hiding spots, such as firewood, trash bins, and other items, away from exterior walls.
- Eradicating other pests, and thus attractive food sources, inside your home with preventative pest control.
With our climate in Houston, mosquito season lasts longer than it does in most other parts of the country. If we’re lucky, we get a break from their incessant whining and red itchy bites from December to February, but that is not guaranteed. Female mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 that you exhale in their quest for mammal blood to aid in egg production. If the annoyance of these flying pests wasn’t enough, they are known to transmit dangerous diseases when they bite, including:
- West Nile virus
- Zika virus
- St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE)
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
- Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)
How to Get Rid of Mosquitos in Houston
The best defense against mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid being bitten. Total prevention is not realistic, but there are some actions you can take whenever you go outside and around your home to minimize the mosquito population and exposure, such as:
- Cover exposed skin with long sleeves, pants, and close-toed shoes, preferably in light colors, when you know mosquitoes will be present.
- Apply a repellent containing DEET to your clothing and exposed skin before venturing out.
- Use an insecticide spray around your yard according to the directions and burn citronella, cedarwood, or lavender candles to help keep mosquitoes at bay.
- Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing standing water or refreshing water frequently in objects such as kiddie pools, bird baths, buckets, and tarps.
- Consistently trim grass and other plants and remove vegetation debris to lessen hiding areas.
- Plant bee balm, lavender, scented geraniums, and other greenery are known to repel mosquitoes.
Professional Pest Control in Houston, TX
Although some infestations can be handled on your own, for situations that require professional intervention, you need to have a local pest control company you can trust. Working for a family-owned and operated business, the experts at Termio Pest Control stay current on the latest industry technology, methods, and products and are committed to protecting our neighbors like we would our own homes. Through the use of Integrated Pest Management, we are able to get the job right the first time, reduce the risk of recurrence, and leave your home guaranteed pest-free with the use of eco- and family-friendly treatments only as needed. Whether you are currently facing a pest crisis or want information on any of our preventative programs, contact Termio Pest Control today to see what we can do for you.