Common Pest Identification In New Braunfels, TX
New Braunfels, TX is home to many pests, but you probably only care about the one you just found on your kitchen counter. Use our pest pibrary to identify the pest, find out if it’s dangerous, and learn how to get rid of it. Our pest Library provides this information for all of the most common pests in our area.
Ants are social insects. They live and work together to care for their large colonies and multiple nesting sites. Ants are omnivores and feed on a variety of plant and animal materials, with most having a particular love of sweets. Finding food to feed their colonies with is what usually drives ants onto our properties. Many of our yards provide ants with abundant food sources. Popular foraging sites include trash cans, recycle bins, compost bins, gardens, and outdoor eating areas. Our yards also provide good places for ants to nest like moist soil, grassy areas, woodpiles, fallen trees, and dense landscaping. As ants forage for food or to escape harsh weather, they move into our homes.
Ants have three distinct body segments, six legs, and antennae. The reproductive members (males and queens) have wings. Most ants are red, black, brown, or yellow. Ants that commonly invade our yards and homes include acrobat ants, pharaoh ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, and Argentine ants. Like other pests, in addition to food, moisture attracts ants. Overgrown landscaping, lack of gutters, and low lying areas allow water to collect around the perimeter of your home and, over time, damage wood trim, steps, decks, and porches. In addition to being annoying, ants spread bacteria and contaminate food. Some, like fire ants, bite or sting, and others, like carpenter ants, cause structural damage. No matter the species, ants should never become a permanent fixture in your yard or home.
Ant prevention tips: Limit an ant’s access to food by keeping tight-fitting lids on trash cans, keeping outdoor and indoor eating areas free of food debris, and picking up fruits and vegetables in gardens that fall to the ground. Reduce moisture by keeping gutters clear, fixing leaky pipes, and using dehumidifiers. Stop ants from entering your house by sealing cracks in the foundation, placing covers over vents and drains, and placing door sweeps on exterior doors. Repair splintered wood trim around windows and doors or wood damaged by water.
Occasional invaders are those pests that live outside for most of their life, but sometimes take advantage of our homes, garages, sheds, and other buildings to live. Some of the most common occasional invaders living in our area of Texas include earwigs, fleas, ticks, crickets, bag or tent worms, and cicadas. Outside, dampness attracts many occasional invaders. When the weather becomes too hot or dry, they often migrate inside, looking for moisture.
When it comes to occasional invaders, the good news is most aren’t harmful to people nor destructive to our property. What they are, however, are annoying and difficult to prevent and eliminate. Also, the presence of occasional invaders inside your home is a good indication that the exterior of your house needs an inspection and any entry points need repair. If occasional invaders can enter into your home, other pests, more dangerous and destructive, will also be able to enter. Common pest entry points include cracks in the foundation, holes in exterior walls, spaces under doors, or through open windows and vents.
Occasional invader prevention tips: Reduce excess moisture inside and outside of your home that attracts occasional invaders and other pests. Keep the soil around your home dry by cutting back overgrown shrubbery and maintain gutters and downspouts to direct water away from your home’s exterior. Inside your house, keep humidity levels low by using dehumidifiers. Eliminate entry points into your home by sealing any cracks you find in the foundation or exterior walls. Install door sweeps on basements doors and replace worn weatherstripping. Seal up spaces around air conditioners and utilities (wires, pipes, cables) entering your home.
Norway rats, roof rats, and mice are examples of rodents and the types that invade homes and businesses in our area. Rodents are all identified, from the small mouse to the large capybara, by their constantly growing front incisors. A rodent’s front teeth are one of the many reasons rodents are such unwanted pests. To keep the teeth from overgrowing, they constantly chew on everything they come across. Inside our homes, this may include wires, pipes, insulation, furniture, books, and boxes. Other reasons we need to keep rodents out of our homes and businesses are that they spread diseases, contaminate food, and trigger allergies.
Rodents tend to let their presence be known when inside of our homes. They are nocturnal, so unless there is a large infestation, the rodents themselves stay out of sight, but they do leave behind many signs. If you have a rodent problem, you will most likely see their droppings on the floor, in cabinets, or in drawers. Other signs include hearing noises behind walls or above ceilings at night, noticing a musty smell, or seeing gnaw marks on the floor, cabinets, or food containers. To determine which type of rodent has made its way into your home, it is best to partner with a professional. Professionals can accurately identify the intruder and provide proper treatments to eliminate them and stop them from returning.
Rodent prevention tips: Rodents are most attracted to properties offering them plenty of access to food. To prevent problems with rodents, reduce their access to food. Keep lids on trash cans, keep outdoor eating areas free of trash and leftover food, and maintain garden areas. Remove overgrown vegetation, excess woodpiles, and fallen trees from your property where rodents can nest. Inspect the exterior of your house, finding and repairing openings that lead into your home. Inside, keep your home free of clutter to reduce hiding spots and keep food in the fridge or containers with tight-fitting lids.
Scorpions belong to the class Arachnida along with spiders, ticks, and mites. A Scorpion has a segmented body and a segmented tail that curves up over its body. At the end of its tail is a curved stinger. Bark scorpions are the most common species living in our area. These scorpions are small, with adults growing between two and a half and three inches in length. Other physical features of a bark scorpion include a brownish-yellow color and a narrower tail and pincers than other scorpions. Like other scorpions, bark scorpions have a stinger at the end of the tail that they use to subdue prey after capturing them with the pincers.
Scorpions are excellent hunters. The scorpion’s feeding habits are beneficial and help to control populations of nuisance insects and other arthropods. However, the venom scorpions deliver is potent enough to trigger allergic reactions, and sometimes severe reactions in some people that require medical attention; this is especially true for children and people with compromised immune systems. Attracted to areas of moisture inside your home, you are likely to find scorpions in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, walls, or sinks or tubs. Outside, scorpions hang out in garden areas, on trees, under woodpiles, on rocks, and in similar places. Always take care to avoid contact with scorpions.
Scorpion prevention tips: Reduce excess moisture that attracts scorpions. Lower humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers in basements, wipe-out excess moisture from sinks and bathtubs, and repair dripping hoses, faucets, and pipes. Take a close look at the exterior of your home and repair any holes or gaps you discover in the exterior walls or roof. Open windows and doors should have tight-fitting screens in them. Limit hiding spots for scorpions and other pests by removing areas of clutter and debris both inside and outside of your home.
Most people have a love/hate relationship with stinging insects, we know they are an important part of the Eco-system, but we also know we don’t want them living in our yards. There are many species of stinging insects living in our area, including wasps, yellow jackets, paper wasps, and red wasps. Stinging insects are all equipped with stingers at the end of the abdomen that they use for defense and to help paralyze prey.
Stinging insects are opportunistic and take advantage of any yard that provides a place to nest and access food and water. Having a stinging insect nest outside of your home is problematic because these insects make it so you can’t enjoy your outdoor space. The venom that stinging insects possess is strong enough to trigger serious and even life-threatening allergic reactions in people. Having a stinging insect nest inside of your home is also a problem because, along with the threat of stings when the nest starts to decay, it attracts other insects into your home.
Stinging insect prevention tips: Eliminate nesting spots for stinging insects by filling in ground holes, removing unnecessary piles of wood and other debris, and keeping shrubs and bushes well-trimmed. Place garden areas away from the outside of your home and limit the amount of flowering vegetation you have planted on your property. Keep stinging insects out of your home by repairing torn screens, placing caps on chimneys and sealing cracks in exterior walls, and the roofline. When outside in your yard, wear shoes to prevent stepping on a stinging insect.
Despite being small in size, termites have big appetites and can cause devastating damage inside of any home or other structure they invade. Social insects, termites live together in very large colonies. Preventing these hard-working pests from invading is difficult. Subterranean termites live throughout our area of Texas. When it comes to these pests, it is not a matter of if they will invade your home, but rather when. Putting into place the services needed to prevent these wood-eating pests will save you time, money, and your sanity. One of the few organisms with the ability to convert cellulose into a usable source of food, the termite is an eco-important pest. When living in densely wooded areas away from people, the termite’s feeding habits are helpful, but when termites are in our homes, they turn destructive.
Subterranean termites nest in the ground and move back and forth through the soil or mud tubes to their food source each day. These termites prefer to attack and feed on pieces of wood damaged by water or that are decaying. Outside, in our yards, subterranean termites invade and destroy a variety of structures, including wooden playsets, decks, porches, and old fences. As the workers move through the ground, it is common for these insects to find their way inside through cracks in the foundation or pieces of wood on your home, making direct contact with the ground. Once inside, they move into structural wood located behind walls and below floors.
Termites prevention tips: To avoid problems with termites, it is important to first reduce excess moisture in and around your home. Termites are attracted water-damaged wood. Fix leaky pipes and fixtures, install gutters, and place weatherstripping around windows and doors to prevent water damage. It is also a good idea to use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels. Remove excess woodpiles, leaf piles, and other debris from your yard. Create a 12-18 barrier between any soil or mulch and your foundation. If possible, instead of mulch, use a non-organic landscaping material. Repair cracks in the foundation to keep termites out and limit soil to wood contact on your property.
If you are looking for help preventing or getting rid of termites, reach out to Pinnacle Pest Defense today and learn about our professional home pest control and commercial pest control services.