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Pest Library

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A Guide To Common Pests In The Texas Hill Country

Knowing about the pests living in our region of Texas is the best way to stop them from moving into your house. The Texas Hill Country region contains a beautiful landscape and outdoor spaces that provide a home to many pests; unfortunately, many of these pests often take refuge or forage for food inside our Texas homes. Use our pest library to help you identify and learn more about Texas's most common household pests.

To eliminate your property's pest problems, reach out to us today at Hill Country Pest Solutions. We are a local company that takes the time to get to know our customers, perform thorough inspections, and develop customized treatment plans. To learn more about our effective commercial and home pest control plans and the benefits of regular pest control, reach out today and speak with one of our friendly professionals!

Ants

If you had a penny for every time you spotted an ant; you would probably be rich by now. Ants are some of the most common insects that people in Texas and across the country run into regularly. Around 1,000 species of ants live across the country, each with colonies containing thousands or more members. Ants are everywhere, from fields and gardens to city sidewalks and suburban yards! Luckily not all one thousand species of ants find their way into our homes; only a handful have made themselves known as household pests. In our region, homeowners need to guard their homes against the following types of ants — cutter ants, raspberry crazy ants, red imported fire ants, and pharaoh ants.

Though most ants are more of a nuisance than dangerous, some do pose significant health threats (pharaoh ants), some bite and sting (fire ants), and others cause structural damage. You should never ignore ants on your property, as they can build large populations, create multiple nesting sites, and take over your property. The biggest reason ants are so problematic wherever people live is that our properties offer them multiple nesting sites and many food sources. Ants live in large colonies, and workers leave the nest each day to gather food to bring back to the colony. Things like trash cans, recycling bins, and outdoor eating areas can act as an all-you-can-eat buffet for foraging ants. When ants are foraging for food in your yard or a neighbors yard, it is only a matter of time before food odors and sources of moisture in your home will draw them inside and, in some cases, entice them to stay!

Ants are tricky pests to eliminate; every ant and nesting site needs to be found and treated to prevent a reinfestation. At Hill Country Pest Solutions, we will get to the root of your ant problem to ensure we eradicate these pests from your property and keep them from returning. Along with our professional services, the following tips can help to keep ants at bay on your Spring Branch property:

  • Ants love moist areas; repair leaky pipes, air conditioners, and fixtures to reduce excess water in or near your home.
  • Always keep lids on containers like trash cans and recycling bins.
  • Keep indoors and outdoor eating areas free of leftover debris and as many crumbs and sticky spills as possible.
  • Regularly vacuum your home.
  • Make it a habit to regularly inspect your home's exterior and seal any small cracks or other openings discovered.

Cockroaches

If you spot cockroaches in your home, they are likely American or German cockroaches. While neither cockroach species is native to North America, both have become common pests inside our homes. They may have originated from Africa or Asia but have found a way to North America, where they have thrived. They have become regular unwanted visitors inside residential and commercial structures. The German cockroach is much smaller than the American cockroach. In addition to the difference in size, you can differentiate these two species by markings located near their heads. American cockroaches have a yellowish, figure-eight-like marking on the back of the head, and German cockroaches have two black parallel lines located behind their heads.

The biggest thing you need to remember about cockroaches is that an infestation can happen in any home; cockroaches don't discriminate and move where we take them or wherever there are sources of food and shelter. Cockroaches thrive in our homes because they provide them with warm, damp areas to hang out, plenty of food, and access to water. These roaches often find their way inside through small cracks in the exterior they come across as they forage for food. Cockroaches also move from place to place by hitchhiking in appliances, furniture, electronics, boxes, and bags. These insects are never welcome in our homes as they pose significant health hazards by contaminating surfaces with feces, bacteria, and pathogens and contaminating food sources. They can also trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

Regular pest control services are the best way to guard your home against cockroaches and other household pests. In addition, the following prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with cockroaches:

  • Keep cockroaches from wandering in your home by sealing spaces in its exterior.
  • Inspect secondhand items for cockroaches before bringing them into your house.
  • Thoroughly and regularly vacuum your home, and don't forget areas under appliances and furniture.
  • Regularly wipe down counters, tables, and other surfaces in your home.
  • Remove trash from your home and wash dishes daily to avoid providing cockroaches with easy access to food. 
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to reduce humidity levels in your home.
  • Make sure basements, bathrooms, and kitchens are well-ventilated. 

Rodents

Rodents are a common pest problem that most home and business owners in our region deal with at one time or another. Rodents like mice and rats have learned that our structures will provide them with safety from predators, a temperature-controlled environment, and easy access to food; why wouldn't these crafty creatures take advantage? Both rats and mice are pretty agile and can move their bodies through small spaces to access our home. As they are out exploring and seeking out food and shelter, they will come across an opening into your home you likely didn't even know existed. Once inside, they hide in places like crawl spaces, behind cabinets and appliances, and within storage spaces. They are nocturnal and do their best to stay hidden, so identifying a problem with these pests can take some time. But time is not on our side when it comes to rodents; they are prolific breeders and quickly build large populations.

Dealing with mice or rats deciding to make your Texas home into their home is not only an annoyance but a danger. These critters spread diseases like hantavirus, dysentery, and salmonellosis through their excrement and saliva that can make people quite ill. In addition, rodents are constantly chewing to keep their front teeth from overgrowing. They will chew on electrical wires, cables, and pipes in our homes, leading to short circuits, fires, and water damage. Not to mention the damage their sharp front incisors cause to cabinets, flooring, walls, furniture, clothing, bedding, and more while foraging for food and nesting materials!

At the first sign of rodents in your home, such as rodent droppings, noises behind walls, gnaw marks, or holes in food containers, reach out to us for help. In addition to total home pest control, it is also a good idea to implement the following prevention tips to help keep rodents out of your Texas home:

  • Seal any gaps that develop in your roof and foundation.
  • Repair damaged weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  • Install door sweeps on all exterior doors.
  • Place mesh cover over drains leading into your home.
  • Seal spaces around cables and other utilities entering your home with a rigid material like steel wool.

Solve your property's rodent problems once and for all with the help of the professionals at Hill Country Pest Solutions. Call today!

Scorpions

Scorpions are formidable predators that live throughout Texas. They are exceptional hunters, and their feeding habits, along with other predators like spiders, help control populations of nuisance insects. Scorpions have eight legs, a segmented body with large front claws, and a tail that curves over their body. At the end of their tail, a stinger is used for defense and to paralyze their insect prey.

Scorpions are unwanted pests, and you don't want them in your Texas home. While scorpions aren't aggressive towards people, they will sting us if they feel threatened. Reaching into gardens, boxes, or closets can elicit an unwanted sting. While their stings aren't typically life-threatening, a serious allergic reaction requiring medical attention can occur if a sting were to happen to a person allergic to their venom. Unfortunately, scorpions don't just stay outside to hunt their insect prey; they are often lured into our homes by the promise of moisture, shelter, and insect prey. Once inside, they will make themselves comfortable, be a challenge to find and remove, and put you and your family in danger.

If you are concerned about scorpions on your property, we can help. Our professionals know how to protect properties and people against scorpions through our effective pest control services. Use the following prevention tips to make your property less attractive to scorpions:

  • Remove debris like leaf piles and woodpiles from your yard where scorpions can take shelter.
  • Scorpions have surprisingly high moisture needs, and things like leaky pipes and dripping air conditioners can attract them to the exterior of your home.
  • Remove areas of standing water that can attract the insects scorpions like to feed on from your property.
  • Keep the grass cut short and cut back overgrown vegetation to make your property less attractive to the insects that hungry scorpions hunt.

Don't try to tackle a scorpion problem on your own; reach out to us for help!

Spiders

Spiders are beneficial pests that primarily live outside. They spend their lives in gardens, fields, wooded areas, and other outdoor spaces like our backyards hunting their insect prey. Spiders are arachnids, and like other arachnids, they have eight legs and lack wings and antennae. Various spider species call our region of the country home, such as the brown recluse, the cellar spider, and the orb weaver. The biggest draw for spiders to any indoor or outdoor space is insect prey. The more insects you have on your property, the more spiders you will have.

Spiders have a less than cuddly appearance, which makes most people fear these web-building, quick-moving creatures; however, most aren't dangerous to people. Most spiders only have venom potent enough to cause harm to their insect prey. Only a few spiders like the brown recluse spider in the U.S. are considered dangerous. Dangerous spiders have venom strong enough to cause harm to a person. In the case of a brown recluse spider bite, the venom causes the skin around the bite site to ulcerate and become difficult to heal and prone to infection.

If spiders are making themselves at home on your property and becoming a nuisance or putting your family in danger, reach out to Hill Country Pest Solutions for help. We have the experience and services necessary to eliminate spiders and the insects they hunt. To assist you further, we have put together a list of spider prevention tips:

  • Address moisture issues on your property that attract spiders and their insect prey.
  • Cut back vegetation from your home's exterior.
  • Closely inspect and seal any openings you find in your home's exterior.
  • Ensure windows are intact and screens and weatherstripping are not damaged. 
  • Keep lids on trash cans, keep outdoor lights off as much as possible, and remove areas of standing water. Doing those things help make your property less attractive to insects and, in turn, spiders!

Learn more about the spiders that call our area home and how to keep them out of your house by giving us a call today!

Stinging Insects

Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects are an essential part of the ecosystem by either pollinating crops or feeding on nuisance insects and controlling their numbers. However, because stinging insects defend themselves using their venom-filled stingers, they become less helpful and more dangerous when they call our Texas yards home. Though not everyone is allergic to their venom, many are, and people with severe allergies could experience a life-threatening reaction. Not only are the allergic reactions they cause problematic, but no one can enjoy their outdoor space when constantly trying to dodge the painful stings of these pests.

Stinging insects typically only become a problem for people when they build their nests in high traffic areas of their yard or decide to build their nests within a home's wall voids. The more contact you have with stinging insects or their nests, the more likely a sting will occur. Our properties tend to attract stinging insects because they provide them with plenty of places to build nests and forage for food. Common nesting sites include tree branches, tree hollows, woodpiles, ground holes, and spaces under landscaping ties and rocks. Depending on their species, stinging insects feed on various things they can find in our yards, like plant nectar, pollen, and insects. Some also feed on the same proteins and sweet liquids we consume, and so our property's trash cans, grills, and outdoor eating areas also provide them with food sources.

If stinging insects have become a problem on your Texas property, we can help. Our professionals will safely remove their nests and take back your family's outdoor spaces from these dangerous pests. In addition, use some of our top prevention tips to guard your property against stinging insects:

  • Close off entry points in your home's exterior that could allow stinging insects access to your home to build a nest.
  • Remove potential nesting spots from your yard like fallen trees, woodpiles, and other yard debris.
  • Cut back trees, shrubs, and other landscaping away from your home. 
  • Reduce food sources by limiting flowering vegetation, keeping lids on trash cans and recycling bins, and keeping grills and outdoor eating areas free of leftover food. 
  • Keep your lawn cut short and fill in ground holes.

There is always a potential danger that comes with removing a stinging insect from your property. Therefore only professionals should remove them from your yard. To learn more about how we can help, call us today!

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Professional and timely . Instantly trusted this guy . I’m good judge of character . Do it the right way . Howard is a gent but also experienced. Looking forward to seeing him bi monthly

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(830) 396-6133

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