Houston Crazy Ants Marching Across Central United States

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Archive For: September 2013

Category Name: pest control

A relatively new species of ant that was first spotted in Houston crazy ants are a spreading menace that destroy many things in their path.

Where do crazy ants come from?

Originally native to Northern Argentina, crazy ants in Houston were likely introduced by a cargo ship traveling from the Carribean, where they were first discovered in 2002.

Named after a pest control expert who first discovered the species they are also called Raspberry Crazy Ants or Tawny Ants.  Due to their aggressive nature, in just over 10 years the ants have spread through Central Texas and have been identified in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.

If you’re not sure if your ant infestion is crazy ants, you can find sources online to help you identify crazy ants and find out for sure which type of ant is invading your property.

Why are Houston crazy ants dangerous?

If you live in Houstin crazy ants are a hazard that it’s wise to be aware of.   They don’t sting like fire ants, but they are far more harmful to the environment.  They are known to displace the ‘tame’ fire ants, which aren’t generally aggressive until bothered, and take over their territory.  Houston crazy ants don’t usually sting humans, but they prey on vital ladybugs and honeybees as well as baby birds.

For reasons yet to be discovered, crazy ants are drawn to electrical systems.  They don’t eat electrical wires, but instead build ‘bridges’ to travel within intricate electrical components which causes shorts.  They’ve been known to destroy everything from smartphones and laptops to air conditioners and vehicle systems.

How to treat crazy ants?

Raspeberry crazy ants are such a problem that many people turn to readily available fire ant poisons to try to cure the problem.  However, this new species of crazy ants in Houston is not affected by traditional ant poison.  The best way to control a tawny ant infestiona is to contact a pest control professional who can identify Houston crazy ants and adminster effective treatment to cure crazy ants.

Houston, We Have a Bed Bug Problem

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Archive For: August 2013

Category Name: bed bugs

Houston has long been seen as an epicenter for commerce and new innovations. Yet, perplexingly, it is also now seen as a hotbed of another kind of activity – bed bugs.  Obviously, Houston doesn’t want to earn a reputation for being home to billions of unfriendly bed bugs.  But that is the current state of affairs for one of America’s most iconic cities.

What is happening in Houston that has caused such an increase in the bed bug population?  Surely, it’s more than the old “everything is bigger in Texas” argument?  Let’s dive in and try to determine what exactly is happening in the Lone Star State.

First, it is important to step back and realize that until recently, bed bugs were mostly a thing of the past.  In fact, bed bugs had almost become an urban myth to most people.  Yet, they have returned in force and are hitting Houston pretty hard.

Yet, Texas can rejoice, sort of, as it turns out Houston doesn’t top the list for US cities with the largest population of bed bugs.  A recently compiled “Top 15” list of cities with the most bed bugs indicates that Houston actually comes in 15th.  In fact, even Dallas ranks higher.  Here is the full list, courtesy of  KTRK-TV Houston.

1. Sacramento

2. Milwaukee

3. Las Vegas

4. Columbus

5. Baltimore

6. Riverside-San Bernardino

7. St. Louis

8. Cleveland

9. Louisville

10. Denver

11. Los Angeles

12. San Francisco

13. Dallas-Ft. Worth

14. Nashville

15.  Houston

Travel is a Major Factor in the Spread of Bed Bugs

Confusion remains as to where all of these bed bugs are coming from.  Travel seems to be a major contributor to the problem.  Travelers taking trips overseas have become increasingly common.  While the United States mostly wiped out its bed bug problem in the 1950s and 1960s, the same can’t be said for the rest of the world.

The globalization of the marketplace, coupled with affordable interactional air travel has led to more than people seeing the world.  Travelers are bring home more than stories and pictures, they are also bringing home little friends on their clothing and in their luggage.  Gross, yes, but it is also an old story as people throughout history have brought new diseases and literally bugs along with them when traveling.

Bed Bugs Love to Check into Hotels Too

The Kentucky Director for the Department of Public Health, Guy F. Delius stated recently, “Bed bugs were almost eradicated (in the late 1950s and 1960s) but they are making a comeback now because more people are traveling, riding buses and planes and staying in hotels all over the world and bring things back to the United States with them.”  Hotels are another problem for those who travel, as hotels around the world are having a great deal of trouble dealing with bed bugs.  If you want to report a hotel that is a bed bug hotspot or just check out what hotels may have extra bed bugs to spare, then visit The Bedbug Registry.

Good Precautionary Measures to Prevent Bed Bugs

If you travel and are worried about bed bugs, and you should be, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk.  One step is to place your suitcase, along with travel clothing, in a plastic trash bag and leave these items out in the sun for a couple of days.  This will kill any bed bugs that might have been taking a ride with you.  You will also want to wash your clothing in hot water as well.

Anywhere people congregate, such as school, apartment complexes or hotels, can help breed germs and, as it turns out, bed bugs as well.  Fighting bed bugs might not be something you ever wanted to do and it might not be easy, but with some planning, it is possible.

If you’re concerned that bed bugs might have hitched a ride home with you during your last trip, call a bed bug expert for a free inspection.

Common Pest Problems In Houston For Texas Pest Control Companies

Written By:

Archive For: October 2012

Category Name: pest control

Is there a pest problem in Houston?  What pests?

Texas as a state has a variety of pests ranging from insects to reptiles to rodents.  Some of these animals and insects are simply a nuisance while others can cause health problems, carry disease, and even cause deaths.

Some pesky Texas residents include but are not limited to:

  • Brown Recluse Spiders
  • Black Widow Spiders
  • Lone Star and other ticks
  • Fleas
  • Mosquitoes
  • Timber Rattlesnakes
  • Roaches
  • Scorpions
  • Bed bugs
  • Tarantulas
  • Western Cottonmouths
  • American Alligators
  • Pocket Gophers
  • Cotton Rats
  • Eastern Fox Squirrels

Some of the biggest pest threats in Houston, and Texas in general, come from spiders, mosquitos, and ticks.  They are widespread across the state and can live in and around homes.  There has also been an overwhelming increase over the last few years in bed bugs and flea statistics.  In particular, the biggest problem for Texas pest control is bed bugs.  As of this year Houston ranked 11th on the list of top 50 US cities for bed bugs.  This is a major concern for both residents and tourists.  Due to climate changes and hot humid summers, Houston’s pest problems can change rapidly from year to year.

Thankfully there are many options for pest control.  Texas can remain a vacation destination and a happy home for residents for years to come.

What are the risks involved with these pests?

There are several risks from uncontrolled pests.  For example, many insects and rodents carry diseases.  Some animals and insects are poisonous and can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to death.  Other pests are simply nuisances, causing loss or contamination of food, damage to property, and irritating homeowners/ residents.  Even pests as “innocent” as mosquitos can pose a great health risk to humans and animals, as they carry diseases like West Nile Virus and Heart Worms.  These pests can be managed and controlled simply and efficiently using a variety of methods in Texas.  Pest control is a must.

What are my options for pest control services?

Because of the wide range of pests and the variety of species represented in Texas, there are many options for Texas pest control.  Methods can range from simple changes in things like outdoor lighting, insulation/ sealing around homes and offices, and cutting back weedy areas to full-fledged pesticides and traps administered by professional pest control companies.  Because there is a wide variety of needs from different types of customers in different areas of Texas, pest control companies offer a wide assortment of products and services to best suit the needs of each individual case.  Because of regulations and laws from the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Texas, pest control companies must adhere to strict guidelines, ensuring the safety of customers, children and pets as well as the humane treatment of the managed pests.

As a customer, there are many options and choices for how best to deal with individual pest problems

Houston Bed Bugs Infestation At Record Highs

Written By:

Archive For: September 2012

Category Name: bed bugs

From the moment our country was founded until right around WWII, bed bugs were a pest that many Americans dealt with everyday.  In the late 40s and early 50s, products like DDT and chlordane came into widespread use and eventually eradicated the bed bug population in our country to almost zero.  Even though these products were found to be effective, they were also later found to be harmful to the environment and human health, and were subsequently banned from use by the mid-eighties.  Today, there are new ways to kill bed bugs that do not require blanket application of dangerous chemicals that could possibly harm you.  Bed bug control is not as easy as it once was, but it is still just as effective as long as you know what to do and how to do it.

Bed Bug Infestations Spread

Over the past 3 years, bed bug infestations have grown considerably in number and in scale mostly due to negligence and lack of understanding as to how these pests can come to infest your home.  The level of infestations on commercial airliners have led researchers to believe that traveling back and forth to countries who had never fully eradicated their bed bug populations could have something to do with their reappearance on a large scale in the states.  Once they are here it takes very little time for them to spread by simple contact, hitchhike their way into your homes, and multiply.  While there may not be a sure fire way to keep your home clean, precautions do exist that could dramatically improve your chances of staying bed-bug-free.

Hotels are the number one infested public place for bed bugs.  Increasing your knowledge on simple preventative techniques when traveling is always a good idea, and could mean the difference between an infestation and a clean home when you return.  Hotels are not the only problem areas however; all public places are notorious for housing the pests.  Movie theaters, train stations, even public libraries have all had recorded cases of infestations that effect the public eventually.  This doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds, and can always be approached with confidence if you have taken the steps to be prepared when or if a bed bug infestation occurs.

The more people that live in your city, the more likely having a bed bug problem will be.  Border states like California and Texas have seen huge growth in infestations, thought to be due to their climates as well as the amount of outside-the-country travel amongst their citizens.  In Houston bed bugs have risen to an all time high, attributing to their place in the top 5 “most infested” cities in America in 2012.  Houston bed bugs have spread to all walks of life, being spotted in some of the area’s public office buildings, largest hotels, and finest dining establishments.  In Houston bed bugs can be treated quickly and effectively thanks to the number of willing pest control companies who are ready to rid your home or establishment today.  No matter where you live, not just Houston, bed bugs are a real threat to your health and happiness.  Helpful information on what they are, how to deal with them, and steps to take to defend your home against them is online for free, and should be used by anyone wishing to keep their home safe against bed bugs.

Pest Control For Houston And The Greater Houston Area

Written By:

Archive For: September 2012

Category Name: pest control

When searching for preventative pest control, money is not always the only factor.  While researching pest control services, it’s best to divide your search into categories.  Price may well be a factor, but when searching for the right company, it’s best to do an overall comprehensive search on what is out there and what those businesses can offer you.  This all depends on the particular pest you are trying to get rid of, the preferred method in which you wish your problem to be solved, and of course, how soon can it be solved.

Response times for some companies may be longer than others, some only handle mice or roaches, and some use less-than-humane methods in ridding your house of any unwanted pests.  It is important to know what you want and how you want it done before giving just any pest control company your money.
States in warmer climates like Florida or Texas tend to see a higher occurrence of pest related issues because there are simply more pests for them to deal with.  This also means that in those places, you have a higher option of businesses when it comes to pest control, Houston, TX for instance has almost as many pest control services as it does fire stations.  There are services to rid your house of the usual pests like roaches, fleas, ants and the like, but also for the more exotic, regional pests like armadillos and rattle snakes.   In Houston, pest control is of the highest caliber.  It is important to know that if you live in that area, and are looking for a specific characteristic for which company to use, the options are enough for you to find what you are looking for, despite how significant or small your situation is.
For pest control, Houston isn’t the only city that has a wide variety to choose from.  Even in places that you would never expect like Maine or other parts of New England, your options for pest control companies is a lot higher than you think, so please, before settling with a company you are unsure of, look into it and do your research.
When it comes to working in pest control, Houston does seem like it is the place to be.  While most of our construction work throughout our country is completed by private contractors from Texas, it is the opposite with pest control.  Many out-of –state workers wind up in Texas working for pest control companies out of necessity, and because of this a great portion of the pest control workers in Houston are indeed not native to the state.
If you live in or own a home in Houston, beware of the pest issues associated with that region.  But if you are a glass-half-full kind of person, the good thing is that when it comes to pest control, Houston citizens are well taken care of.