Five Common Fall Pests in the North Houston, Texas Area
by FullScope Pest Control
When fall approaches, North Houston, Texas area residents get to the time of year when it’s smart to start being watchful for household pests. Wasps, spiders, roaches, and rodents can all cause problems. Even mosquitoes are still active into late November. You can definitely put plenty of preventive measures into place to help keep these nuisance pests at bay, but at some point, you should be prepared to seek professional assistance when an infestation is underway.
Your Home is a Refuge for Pests
Don’t take it personally, but insects and other pests are always on the lookout and are natural at finding warm shelters for the winter (this is known as overwintering). Not all pests die off during colder months, and your home is a key target because it offers access to shelter, food, and water. North Houston, Texas homes serve as a cozy hideaway for critters who are not built to survive the cold outdoors. And your home looks just perfect. The first thing to remember in pest control is that you don’t need to hunt down and kill every single pest: when you remove the reasons pests enter your yard or home to begin with (shelter, food, and water), they will simply go elsewhere.
How to Stop Pest Invasions
Regular ongoing maintenance for your home and yard is far more effective than a one-time, catch-all silver bullet treatment. In fact, such a treatment doesn’t exist to eliminate all pests in your home and yard. You just need to be proactive and consistent.
Some Fall Pests to Watch for in North Houston
Paper Wasps and Yellow Jackets
Paper wasps and Yellow jackets are very active in late summer through the fall. They are frequently attracted to sugary things, and these stinging insect pests are prone to build nests underneath eaves, in sheds, garages, and other outdoor structures. Swimming pools and picnic areas are big draws for Yellow jackets in particular, and can build nests in the ground around your yard, as well. As for paper wasps: make sure if you’re spraying a wasp nest, that you are using a foam spray product that you can apply from a safe distance away (at least 15-20 feet).
Mosquitoes in Texas can remain active through late November. Still laying eggs, and still giving you itchy bites. And spreading diseases. Yes, mosquitoes not only give irritating itchy bites. They are disease vectors. Keep your yard free of puddles and other standing water (including kiddie pools and bird baths) where these annoying insect pests can breed. Clean your rain gutters out to keep them flowing.
Spiders aren’t necessarily bad pests (though some are definitely poisonous if you disturb them and they bite you). They are hunters and help keep areas free of pests, so if you have insect pests at home, it will undoubtedly attract spiders. Most spiders are harmless and are beneficial pest control experts themselves, but most homeowners don’t want them around. As with all pests, if you get rid of what draws them, they will go elsewhere. Destroy spider webs whenever you find them, if you don’t like the idea of these arachnid hunters crawling around.
Roaches love warm weather and warm, damp environments, and you will typically see them active in North Houston through at least September and October. If you have the bad luck of hosting a breeding pair that becomes established in your kitchen or bathroom, it won’t be long before the roach population quickly spikes. Roaches are filth pests, and they carry bacteria and diseases with them wherever they go. They can cause and make asthma worse. Be aware that roaches are hearty survivalists who have been evolving for thousands of years, and are resistant to many kinds of extermination methods and pesticides. Even when you have eliminated the bulk of a nest, they can still make a comeback. If you are seeing one or two roaches, most likely there are hundreds more nearby. You may need to call in a professional.
Mice and rats are known scavengers and sly invaders. They build nests indoors whenever they have the opportunity, and are active in the autumn (getting ready to overwinter somewhere). They can often be found in garages, sheds, attics, and basements. Rodents have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, and can chew through wires, drywall, paneling, and other household materials in no time. Baits and traps can help, but if you have a serious infestation, a professional pest control company is your best bet.
There are many effective fall steps you can take to help curb the invasion and spread of pests in your home and yard. Here are five basic tips to help you get started:
- Keep your grass trimmed short for as late into the season as possible.
- Get rid of yard litter, leaf piles, sticks, branches, and any other organic debris, and keep firewood and mulch at least 20 feet away from the side of your home.
- Inspect the exterior of your home, looking for any holes, cracks, gaps, etc., and seal them up with caulk. Screen over vents and entry points where pipes and wires may enter your home. Replace weatherstripping around your doors and windows, including door sweeps. Make sure screens are in good repair.
- Keep tree branches and shrubbery trimmed away, at least an inch, from the side of your home. This helps prevent pests from having easy access to the side of your home, where they can more easily enter through holes or other entry points.
- Clean out your rain gutters and make sure they are draining properly, and diverting rainwater AWAY from the side of your home. Water that puddles is a huge draw for pests searching for moisture (especially mosquitoes). Channeling water away from your home also helps prevent wood decay, which can draw termites, Carpenter ants, and other wood-destroyers.
When Should You Call an Exterminator for Pest Problems at Home and in Your Yard?
You should make a point to contact a professional pest control service that can get rid of pests whenever your normal maintenance and home pest prevention steps are not yielding results. This can help you deter expensive damage, as nuisance pests can cause problems for a home, including serious (and expensive) structural damage. Pests like roaches and ants can not only cause property damage, but they can also be the source of health hazards. If you’re looking at serious pest issues that seem unmanageable for you, call our Texas pest control experts today at 832-898-0190 for a consultation. You can also email us at [email protected]. We can help you get your pest problem under control at home and in your yard, professionally and promptly. We can also show you what you can do to help prevent future problems and save you money in the long run.