many ants eating sugar

A Guide To Common Pests In Bryan, College Station & The Surrounding Areas

The pests in Bryan, College Station and the surrounding areas bring with them a variety of problems, ranging from destructive tendencies to the spreading of diseases. Keeping track of which ones do what can be difficult, but our Pest Library is here to help. Highlighting the most common pests in our area, it provides the most important information you need to know about the pests that might infest your home or business.

Ants

carpenter ants on exposed wood

Sugar ants, fire ants, little black ants, and carpenter ants are common in our area of Texas. Knowing which of these ants have found a way onto your property is important so they can be treated appropriately, ensuring they won't be able to return. Despite looking similar to each other, each of the 12,000 species of ants living across the world has different behaviors, food preferences, nesting habits, and more. Partnering with an experienced professional is the best way to eliminate your Texas property's ant problems.

Ants are a type of insect and identified by three distinct body parts, a pronounced "waist," six jointed legs, bent antennae, and powerful chewing mouthparts. The only ants having wings are the reproductive members. Living together in large colonies with multiple nesting sites means ants invade our properties in large numbers. Ants are not only frustrating pests to deal with, but they can be dangerous and damaging. Ants can cause the introduction of bacteria into our homes, the contamination of surfaces and food, and damage our lawns. Some species are capable of biting or stinging, and others cause structural damage by nesting insect wood. Keeping ants off of your property may be a frustrating task, but a necessary one!

Use the following tips to help prevent problems with ants and other pests that want to make your Texas property into their new home:

  • Regularly inspect the outside of your home, sealing any spaces discovered. Replace loose weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  • Repair pipes and fixtures responsible for causing excess moisture in and around your house. Use a dehumidifier in any damp areas of your home.
  • Don't attract hungry ants to your yard. Keep locking lids on trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins. Keep grill areas and outdoor eating areas free of food debris.
  • Don't provide ants with an all-they-can-eat buffet inside your house. Remove trash from your home, wash dirty dishes, and vacuum floors regularly.

Cockroaches

american cockroach

Cockroaches are scavenging insects. Because these pests can live in almost any environment and feed on nearly anything, are why these pests are such a significant problem around our homes and businesses. In Texas, there are three main species of cockroaches that cause issues for people; the German cockroach, a small species that lives indoors, the large American cockroach that lives both inside and outside our structures, and the Oriental cockroach, a shiny black roach that prefers to live in areas with plenty of excess moisture. No matter the species, none should be allowed to live with people because cockroaches spread diseases, contaminate food, and trigger allergies and asthma attacks in those susceptible.

Cracks in foundations, spaces around utilities, and vents and drains are all used by cockroaches as entry points into our homes or commercial facilities. German cockroaches move from place to place inside things like boxes, deliveries, grocery bags, furniture, and electronics. In multi-unit buildings, they move between walls and floors using wires and pipes as a makeshift highway. Other cockroaches, like American and Oriental cockroaches living outside, often find their way indoors while searching for food or if the weather becomes unsuitable. Once cockroaches get inside, they move to dark, secluded areas where they hide during the day and emerge at night to feed and breed, quickly taking over our structures.

Use the following tips to help prevent problems with cockroaches that want to make your Texas property into their new home:

  • Keep your yard free of food debris. Keep lids on trash cans, maintain gardens, pick up uneaten pet food, and keep outdoor eating areas clear of leftover food.
  • Fix leaking pipes, dripping faucets, and clogged gutters that allow water to build up in and around your home.
  • Keep drawers, closets, basements, and other storage areas free of clutter and debris where cockroaches can hide.
  • Inside your home, limit a cockroach's access to food by washing dirty dishes, taking out the trash, sweeping floors, and restricting eating to the kitchen and dining areas.

Mosquitoes

a mosquito biting a finger tip

Mosquitoes are biting insects and thrive in warm temperatures (above 80 degrees) and lots of standing water. Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases and parasites and are a significant threat to both people and animals. It is the female mosquito that we take most issue with, as they are the ones to bite us and feed on our blood. Female mosquitoes require blood meals to produce viable eggs. Male mosquitoes do not feed on our blood; both males and females feed on plant nectar and other sweet liquids as their primary food source. Mosquitoes have an oval-shaped body, six legs that dangle below them when flying, and they give off buzzing sounds created by their wings as they pass near us.

Warm wet weather allows mosquitoes populations to thrive, which is why these pests are always associated with the summer months, but in Texas's climate, they are a problem throughout much of the year. Females lay their eggs on top of standing water inside natural and man-made containers. Ponds, marshes, tree stumps, mud puddles, buckets, flower pots, pools, trash cans, the tops of tarps, and similar areas collect water; if your property is located near or has a lot of standing water, you will experience problems with large populations of mosquitoes. These biting pests tend to stay near the areas they hatched from but can travel quite a distance searching for food and breeding sites. Controlling and preventing mosquitoes is difficult; partnering with a professional is the best way to manage these biting pests and stop them from overtaking your outdoor space.

Use the following tips to help prevent problems with mosquitoes that want to make your Texas property into their new home:

  • Remove from your property what mosquitoes love most: standing water. Store buckets upside down when not in use, fix low lying areas, and keep gutters clear.
  • Make sure if you own a pool or other man-made water feature, the water is circulating and treated appropriately.
  • Remove brush piles, leaf piles, or grass piles from your yard that collect water.
  • Always place screens in doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from moving inside.
  • Remove debris from your yard that could allow water to collect.
  • Keep vegetation and grass on your property well maintained. Mosquitoes rest in dense vegetation.

To begin reducing mosquito populations on your Texas property, contact D. Lee Pest Services today. Our professionals will be happy to inform you about our comprehensive mosquito control options.

Scorpions

a scorpion ready to attack

The brown bark scorpion is one of the most common scorpion species living throughout the United States. It is important to have a general idea of what they look like in order to avoid contact with them. Adult bark scorpions grow between two and a half and 3 inches in length and have a brownish-yellow body to tan in color. They have a slender curved tail and large thin claws. These scorpions are also able to be identified by their ability to climb up surfaces. Scorpions can live for long periods without food, but they cannot live without a source of moisture. Things like leaky pipes, dripping air conditioners, clogged gutters provide these pests with the water they need for survival.

Scorpions are predators and feed on a wide variety of prey. They make themselves at home on any property that provides them with lots of insects, spiders, and other prey to hunt. Brown bark scorpions prefer to live in areas with plenty of shelter and moisture. Avoiding brown bark scorpions is essential; the venom they possess to paralyze prey with is strong enough to cause health problems in people. If stung by a brown bark scorpion, you should seek medical attention to treat the symptoms. Places in and around our homes that scorpions like to hide include behind tree bark, under rocks and logs, rock walls, in gardens and flower beds, on walls, in tubs or sinks, in piles of folded laundry, and storage boxes.

Use the following tips to help prevent problems with scorpions that want to make your Texas property into their new home:

  • Remove debris from your yard that scorpions can hide within.
  • Wipe away excess moisture from sinks and tubs.
  • Fix leaky pipes and air conditioners.
  • Ensure that gutters and downspouts are free of debris and direct water away from the outside of your home.
  • Repair openings in your home's exterior and replace worn weatherstripping and damaged trim.
  • Take care when gardening or reaching into boxes or other storage areas where scorpions often hide.

Spiders

wolf spider up close

A type of arachnid, spiders, are an essential component of our eco-system. Wolf spiders, brown recluse spiders, and black widows spiders are common in our area of Texas, and their predatory feeding habits help control populations of flies, mosquitoes, aphids, and other problematic pests. Yards with gardens, overgrown landscaping, ponds, clogged gutters, and dripping faucets are attractive to both spiders and the insects they feed on. Spiders are identified by their two body sections, eight legs, and many eyes. Spiders catch prey in webs or by running after them. The silk produced by spiders is used by some to build webs; others wrap prey up with it or use it to line their burrows. Some favorite spots for spiders to build webs or burrows include trees, in woodpiles, under decks or rooflines, under shrubbery, or in the ground under mulch.

Most spiders, including wolf spiders, are nuisance spiders and pose no harm to people. However, spiders living in Texas that do pose a threat to people are the brown recluse and black widow. A bite from either spider will deliver venom that is potent enough to trigger health problems. Luckily spider bites are rare as they are shy and do their best to stay out of our way; bites from any spider, dangerous or not, are typically an accidental occurrence. Spiders will find their way onto a property that offers them shelter and plenty of food to hunt. Spiders prefer to live outside, but often find their way into our homes when food becomes scarce outdoors or while searching for a dark, quiet place to place their eggs.

Use the following tips to help prevent problems with spiders that want to make your Texas property into their new home:

  • Remove leaf piles, woodpiles, fallen trees, and other debris from your yard.
  • Keep grass on your property cut short.
  • Seal cracks in the foundation or exterior walls of your home to keep spiders from crawling into your home.
  • Turn off exterior lights as much as possible or use a motion detector to avoid attracting large numbers of insects to your home.
  • Keep storage areas free of debris where spiders could hide.

Termites

a termite on decaying wood

Subterranean termites are the most widespread species living across Texas and the entire United States. These termites create nests placed in the ground in damp soil or inside things like decaying tree stumps or fallen trees. Termites mainly feed on things composed of cellulose like trees, plants, lumbar, and other organic materials. Thanks to a special enzyme in the termite's stomach, they are one of the few creatures able to convert cellulose into a usable nutrient. This unique feeding habit is helpful in nature but is damaging when these termites find a way into our homes.

Termites living in Texas's warm climate and throughout the United States' southern portion can remain active year-round. There isn't a day that goes by a termite colony isn't gathering food to feed its expansive colony. Living in the ground, traveling through the soil, and feeding on the interior of wooden structures means termites aren't in people's view very often. Staying out of sight, termites can work without much notice for months or years; it is usually only once they've done their damage that they are finally noticed. Don't let their tiny size fool you; termites cause more than five billion dollars in damage across the country each year! The best way to save your property from being damaged by termites is to be proactive, and partner with a pest control company before these pests move onto your property.

Use the following tips to help prevent problems with termites that want to make your Texas property into their new home:

  • Damp wood and soil attract termites. Get rid of things from your property that are causing moisture issues in and around your home.
  • Use rubber mulch or another non-organic option in landscaped areas located around your foundation. Wood mulch absorbs moisture.
  • Tidy up your yard and remove debris like fallen trees, tree stumps, leaf piles, woodpiles, and grass piles that attract moisture-loving, hungry termites.
  • Any rotting or water-damaged wood on or in your home should be removed and replaced with sound or pressure-treated wood.
  • Repair damage to the foundation of your home.

If you want to protect your Texas home or business from wood-eating termites, partner with the local pest experts at D. Lee Pest Services! We will work with you to protect your property from termites.

 

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