Pests to watch out for as winter arrives in Texas

Just because summer is over does not mean that pests have gone away. In the temperate Texas winter months, many bugs do not go into deep hibernation like those in northern states. This leaves the bugs active and looking for a slightly warmer climate to live in, and your home and yard are the perfect places for them to live while waiting for the weather to get warmer again. Here are some common household pests that appear during the winter months.

Fire ants
Anyone who has visited Texas for more than a day is very familiar with the plague of fire ants. Their mounds can range from a half an inch tall to several feet if left undisturbed. The fire ant is a very aggressive ant that will attack anyone and anything that disturbs its nest. Whenever the nest is disturbed, the ants react quickly to attack the posing threat with venomous bites. Those that have the misfortune of being bit by these annoying pests will notice a painful burning or pinching sensation as the fire ant bites, which is then followed by a slightly hardened bump that itches for days after being bitten. If you find a fire ant mound in your yard, do not disturb it. Disturbing a mound will not only increase your risk for being attacked, it causes the fire ants to spread to other areas of your yard.

Fleas
Fleas are often picked up in grassy areas by your pet as they come in from outside. However, they have been known to bite and feed off of humans when food sources are in short supply. The flea is adapted to consume the blood of your household pet and will make your pet’s fur their own personal home. Those who are bitten will feel a slight pinching sensation followed by an itchy feeling. If the fleas are left untreated, the quantity of fleas on your pet will actually begin to drain an excess of blood and can be life threatening. This is especially true in puppies and kittens.

Spiders
As the months get colder and bugs begin moving into your home, the spiders will begin to follow their food source. For the most part, spiders are harmless and more of an annoyance than anything. However, Texas is home to both brown recluse and black widow spiders. Due to the reclusive nature of these two poisonous spiders, it is rare that you well ever actually see them in your home. If you do find them, it is recommended you contact your local pest control for an appointment as soon as possible. The more common spider that you will find in your home is the jumping spider. Signs of more common indoor spiders are webs in high corners, especially in areas that attract flies, such as the kitchen. While they have their benefits for taking care of other household pests, spiders are annoying and should be removed with a can of spray and the destruction of any webs that have been made in your home.