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Pest Library

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What You Need To Know About Northern Dallas Pests

If you’ve started seeing pests in or around your home or business, it’s helpful to be able to correctly identify them so that you know what you’re dealing with. Your Northern Dallas pest control experts at Clutch Pest Control created this Pest Library to help you do that. It provides information about the most common pests in Northern Dallas, including what they look like, what problems they cause, and what you should do if they end up in your structure.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small, brownish-red insects with six legs and wingless, oval-shaped bodies flattened from top to bottom. Bed bugs are exceptional hitchhikers and move from place to place by stowing away in luggage, bags, furniture, and other personal items. Though they are small, they can be seen with the human eye if you know where to look.

Bed bugs prefer human blood as their primary food source, which is why you'll regularly find these pests inside our homes and businesses. However, bed bugs can feed on any warm-blooded animal, including our pets, if we are not available. Since people are the bed bug's preferred food source, they have adapted to living indoors with us, making them a pest that is active year-round. Though bed bugs feed on our blood, they are mainly nuisance pests; the spread of human pathogens by bed bugs is currently not a threat. Having these pests living in our homes, feeding on us as we sleep, is a stressful situation and can produce insomnia.

During the day, bed bugs hide out in secluded areas that place them close to their preferred food source. Some of their favorite hideouts include the seams of mattresses and box springs, behind the cushions of upholstered furniture, inside cracks in walls, behind electrical outlets, and in areas with clutter. Regularly inspecting these places will help you identify and infestation sooner rather than later.

If you have discovered bed bugs in your home or would like to prevent an infestation, contact the local pest control professionals at Clutch Pest Control to learn about our bed bug control solutions. To help you further, we want to offer the following bed bug prevention tips:

  • Keep luggage and other personal belongings up off the ground and away from other people's belongings in public places.
  • If possible, do not purchase used furniture, mattresses, or box springs for your home.
  • After purchasing new or used clothing or returning home after traveling, immediately wash and dry the items on the highest heat setting the fabrics can handle.
  • Regularly vacuum floors, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and box springs to help to rid your home of the occasional stray bed bug.
  • When traveling, always inspect your hotel room for signs of bed bugs before bringing your luggage into the room.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are pests that home and business owners in Dallas run into regularly. While most species live outside away from people, a handful of these nocturnal scavengers have learned the benefits of living where people live. The three most common species in the Dallas area are the German cockroach, American cockroach, and Oriental cockroach.

There is a stigma associated with these pests that they only invade dirty or unkempt homes, but the truth is they are common household pests, and an infestation can happen in any of our homes. Cockroaches enter structures through cracks in the foundation and exterior walls or through vents and drains. They also move from place to place by hitchhiking inside things like boxes, plant pots, secondhand furniture, or electronics.

Inside our homes, our area's most common cockroaches all prefer to live in warm, humid areas and regularly gather in crawl spaces, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. American and Oriental cockroaches thrive outside and live around sewers and drains, under leaf piles or mulch, or behind tree bark. German cockroaches have adapted to living indoors with people and are a significant threat inside houses, restaurants, and other structures where food is prepared or stored.

Having any species of cockroach in your home is dangerous. Cockroaches carry and spread a host of different parasites, bacteria, and pathogens that can make people ill. The buildup of their feces and shed skins put allergens in the air that triggers allergy symptoms, asthma attacks, and skin rashes in many adults and children.

If you ever discover these dangerous pests in your home, reach out to Clutch Pest Control; we will accurately identify the cockroaches present and implement effective pest control solutions. To help protect your family and property from cockroaches, we want to provide the following prevention tips:

  • Inspect your home's exterior, sealing any cracks or other openings you discover.
  • Place covers over vents and drains entering into your house.
  • Fix leaky pipes, fixtures, and faucets that can provide the excess moisture that attracts cockroaches.
  • Make sure kitchens and bathrooms have proper ventilation.
  • Remove easy access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, picking up uneaten pet food, and keeping food prep, storage, and dining areas clean and free of food debris.
  • Instead of storing items in cardboard boxes, use plastic containers with locking lids that cockroaches can't get into.
  • Remove excess clutter from your home where cockroaches can hide.

Mosquitoes

The hot, humid weather that Dallas is known for allows many pests, including mosquitoes, to thrive. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of areas of standing water, so the more rain, standing water, and moisture present, the more mosquitoes there will be.

In the Dallas area, mosquitoes are the most problematic from early spring through the fall months. These pests are relentless and deliver itchy bites using their proboscis (an elongated piercing mouthpart), making it impossible for us to enjoy outdoor spaces, including our backyards.

Mosquitoes are most problematic on properties that are near areas of standing water and cool shady areas that provide them with daytime resting spots. During the heat of the day, mosquitoes like to hide behind tree bark, under decks, in tall grass, and in shrubs or other dense vegetation. Mosquitoes live in dense populations around their breeding sites, which are in items that collect rainwater, such as buckets and flowerpots, low-lying areas, tree stumps, clogged gutters and downspouts, and the tops of tarps and trash can lids.

To help you reduce the number of mosquitoes living and breeding on your property, reach out to Clutch Pest Control and learn about our mosquito control solutions. In addition, we want to help by providing you with the following mosquito prevention tips.

  • Store containers that can collect rainwater upside down or inside when they are not in use.
  • Fill in low-lying areas that collect rainwater.
  • Keep gutters clean of debris that allows rainwater to pool.
  • Trim back trees and shrubs and keep the grass cut short to reduce resting spots on your property.
  • Regularly shake off the water that collects on the tops of trash cans lids or tarps.
  • Make sure screens in windows and doors are secure and free of holes to keep mosquitoes out.

Rodents

Nobody wants to share their home with rodents, unfortunately at one time or another, most of us will. Some of the world's most common rodents, mice and rats, are considered commensal. Commensal means "to share one's table," meaning they have adapted to living with people and taking advantage of the food and shelter our properties provide. There are around 1,500 different species of rodents living worldwide.

Though each species is unique, all rodents have continuously growing front incisors. To keep their teeth from overgrowing and prevent them from eating, these animals constantly gnaw on different objects throughout the day. When rodents are in your home gnawing on wires, pipes, cables, flooring, furniture, and other personal items, the damage they cause becomes significant and costly.

Roof rats and Norway rats are common in our area. Roof rats are excellent climbers, and Norway rats prefer to stay at ground level. Mice can live successfully at ground level and are excellent climbers; they have no trouble making themselves at home in whatever location provides them with their basic needs.

Rodents are prolific breeders and can quickly take over any indoor or outdoor space they invade. Luckily, in most cases, you will only have trouble with either mice or rats on your property – not with both at the same time! No matter the rodent species, these animals should not be allowed to live near people. In addition to being destructive, they carry and spread parasites, bacteria, and human pathogens that can make us ill.

If rodents ever decide to make your property into their home, reach out to us here at Clutch Pest Control. We will quickly come to your aid and implement the services necessary to eliminate the rodents and keep them from returning. To help Texas homeowners further protect their families and properties from rodents, we want to provide the following easy-to-implement prevention tips:

  • Eliminate the food sources that can initially attract rodents to your property. Keep lids on trash cans, pick up uneaten pet food and maintain gardens.
  • Keep indoor and outdoor eating and kitchen areas clean and free of food debris.
  • Take away their easy access to the interior of your home by inspecting and sealing cracks in the foundation and exterior walls.
  • Use steel wool to seal spaces around utilities entering your house.
  • Reduce clutter where these pests can hide. The faster you notice their presence, the quicker you can ask for help!

Stinging Insects

Stinging insects are pests that regularly find their way to our Dallas yards. Though they are beneficial out in nature, acting as pollinators and predatory species providing natural pest control in our yards, they are dangerous and unwanted pests. Their name provides us with the reason they are considered so dangerous; at the end of the abdomen is a stinger they use to paralyze their prey and if it becomes necessary as a means of defense. When people become a threat to stinging insects, they retaliate by delivering multiple painful and venom-filled stings. Those severely allergic to their venom can experience life-threatening reactions.

Stinging insects like wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and mud daubers are attracted to our properties because they provide them with convenient sources of food, water, and shelter. Our yards, gardens, trees, and landscaping give these pests plenty of nesting sites and places to forage for insects, pollen, and plant nectar. Sometimes they will exploit openings in our homes and nest inside wall voids, attics spaces, and roof rafters. When they abandon their nest in our homes, it decays and will attract insect activity and cause mold and mildew issues. Having stinging insects nesting on our properties is never ideal, and you should have their nests removed as quickly as possible.

If you need help removing an unwanted stinging insect nest from your Dallas property, reach out to us here at Clutch Pest Control. In addition to our stinging insect control services, the following prevention tips will help you protect your family and property from stinging insects:

  • Cut overgrown trees and shrubs back away from your home's exterior.
  • Remove woodpiles, brush piles, and construction debris from your yard where stinging insects could build a nest.
  • Fill in ground holes in your lawn where stinging insects could build their nests.
  • Remove water sources by keeping gutters clear, filling in low-lying areas, and storing containers upside down when not in use.
  • Place covers over vents and chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and other openings in your home's exterior walls and foundation that stinging insects could exploit.

Termites

One of the few organisms that can convert cellulose into a usable food source, termites, are well-known for being destructive, wood-eating pests. There are several different species of termites living across the United States. The most widespread species in Texas is the subterranean termite; these termites have high moisture needs and create intricate nests under the ground in damp soil.

Subterranean termites divide their colony members into different castes or groups (reproductives, soldiers, and workers). Worker termites make up the bulk of the colony and carry most of the workload, including leaving the nest each day to gather food to bring back to the nest. Subterranean termites move back and forth from the nest to food source either through the soil or above the ground through mud tubes that they have created.

Subterranean termites usually find their way into our Texas homes by accidentally moving inside through cracks in the foundation or wood, making direct contact with the damp soil. Things like leaking pipes, dripping air conditioners, and clogged gutters can cause excess moisture to build up around your home that will attract these moisture-loving pests. Once inside, if the termites find what they are looking for (water-damaged wood), they will likely turn your home into a foraging site, returning day after day, week after week, month after month, until their presence is obvious and you take the steps necessary to eliminate them.

Since termites move into our homes through the ground and stay hidden, it is difficult to identify an infestation until their damage is extensive. Termites are not only damaging to the structure of the buildings they invade but to bank accounts. Most insurance companies do not cover termite repair costs, leaving home and business owners responsible for the cost of repairing the termite damage.

Partnering with a professional is the best way to protect your home and back account from termites. In addition to our professional services, we want to offer you some tips to help make your home less appealing to wood-eating termites:

  • Quickly repair your home's leaky pipes, dripping air conditioners, or damaged roof and gutters.
  • Use dehumidifiers in your home to reduce moisture levels.
  • Seal up cracks and crevices you find in your foundation.
  • Remove as much wood to soil contact on your home and throughout your yard as possible.
  • If any wood in your house becomes damaged by water, quickly replace it with sound wood.

Custom Solutions For Your Northern Dallas Pest Problems

For Dallas-area home and business owners who would like to maintain properties free of annoying, destructive, or dangerous pests, partner with the local experts at Clutch Pest Control. We are dedicated to our customers and go above and beyond to provide effective and affordable pest control solutions! To learn more about our pest control options, give us a call today and speak with one of our helpful professionals!

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