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3 Common Pests That Drive Houston-Area Residents Crazy

If you’ve ever had a pest infestation such as ants, wasps or fleas then you know how quickly a minor problem turns into a major one quite rapidly. Given the mild tropical climate of Houston with rare cold snaps and freezes, pests and rodents flourish here more than any other region in Texas. With our many bayous and humidity levels supporting a wide range of species, it is no wonder Houston pest control service providers are never at a loss for work. Although there are many pests that call Houston home there are 3 major types that Houston Pest Control experts have to deal with. The key is to knowing what you are dealing with, the dangers they pose and how to prevent an infestation.

COCKROACHES

houston roaches

With more than half a dozen subspecies within the Houston area, cockroaches are one of the biggest problem Houston Pest Control Companies deal with. Cockroaches can spread diseases and even cause asthma, especially in young children. Cockroaches depend on heavily populated urban areas, where building structures such as storefronts, restaurants and homes provide them with shelter that has easily accessible food sources. While there are several types of cockroaches in Houston alone, the most common type is the American Cockroach. Cockroaches are a major pest in Houston and can spread disease and cause asthma. Cockroaches thrive in an urban environment, where human building provides them with easy access to food and shelter.

Where Did These Cockroaches Come From?
Their name is actually ironic as this species originated in Africa and were brought here nearly 3 centuries ago. Since their ideal climate is hot, humid and dense, Houston became a perfect environment for them to thrive. They are the most commonly known roach in Houston, and can be identified by their dark reddish brown color and light stripes on their back near their head.

How They Enter Your Home

American cockroaches love moisture and darkness and thereby love our sewer systems, where they enter homes through openings for plumbing or drain pipes. Although they have insatiable feeding habits they are drawn into homes more for moisture and warmth. They tend to make themselves at home underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks so it is important to try and keep those areas aired out and free of moisture.

 Extermination and Prevention

If you have ever had one roach and then ignore it only to start spotting 20 or 30 roaches, then you have dealt with the problem of eliminating roaches. Because they thrive so well in this climate infestation is always a possibility but there are ways to protect against it. Typically, these threats are more likely in the colder months or when there is any long drought. If you keep your home clean and free of clutter as well as seal the openings around all your pipes you decrease the odds of infestation greatly. Ridding your home of this breed of cockroach can be tedious and ongoing for some time so there are a number of professional roach control solutions available we can consult with you about.

BATS

Houston Pest Control Bats

Those mythical creatures made famous in the Batman movies and comics are more common to Texas than one may realize. In fact, Texas has the most diverse variety of bats anywhere in the US. Of all 47 species of bats that inhabit the US, Texas is home to 31 of them, with Houston alone hosting 11 species. That is a lot of bats, but don’t worry they are all insect eaters and even though they can become a pest, Bats ironically are essential to insect control. Bats are not hostile or aggressive at all; in fact they are quite reclusive and come out only at dusk or dawn to feed. As we mentioned just one bat on its own can eat thousands, yes thousands of mosquitos in just one feeding. Imagine the impact when you consider there are legions of bats in the Houston area. Bats are very much nocturnal and avoid human contact if possible, and contrary to the saying, bats are not actually blind. In fact there is probably a lot about bats you have assumed incorrectly.

How Do Bats See At Night?

The old saying “blind as a bat” is actually quite inaccurate. Bats have average vision, but because they are nocturnal, they actually use there extreme sense of smell and hearing to locate their prey and navigate the Houston landscape. Essentially bats send out ultra-high frequency chirps that bounce of obstacles such as trees, walls and even small insects such as mosquitos. Using their keen sense of hearing, they can literally map the area in their brains in a split second and “see” obstacles and prey in the dark. This process is called echolocation and is quite fascinating if you ever get to watch a documentary on bats.

While Not Aggressive They Still Pose A Danger

As mentioned bats attempt to avoid humans if at all possible but as their natural habitats such as caves and trees due to development or flooding; they must sometimes seek alternative shelter. Many times that may be your home, typically in an attic due to ease of access through roof vents and their preference for high and confined spaces. Bats can survive in your attic even in the summer due to cross breezes that keep the bats cool when your attic is over 140 degrees in the summer. While bats are quite cute and endearing creatures they still pose a high risk danger of carrying rabies so never handle a bat with your bare hands should you encounter one.

Have Bats? Call A Professional Houston Pest Control Expert.

As bats are a crucial element to the environment and insect control, Texas Law forbids killing bats as a form of pest control. Bats must be handled with extreme care and colonies must be relocated through a process called Bat Exclusion which is restricted during some parts of the year in accordance with state law. If you feel you might have a bat problem you should call us so the issue can be handled humanely and within the law.

MOSQUITOS

Houston Mosquito Control

With the tragic flooding the Houston area suffered in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, it is no surprise that mosquitos are the number one pest that plagues Houston residents. With our tropical climate and vast creek and bayou systems mosquitos were already a year round problem before the flooding. Fast forward post flood and the superfluous standing water escalated the mosquito population exponentially and rapidly. The mosquito population in Houston is on pace to break records due to these climactic events over the summer and an unseasonably warm fall so far.

Why Are Mosquitos Dangerous?

Mosquitos are one of the most dangerous insects in the world. It is not because of venom, or physical characteristics but rather the diseases they carry. That can not only transmit diseases to humans but also livestock and pets. As has been documented in the media over the last decade, West Nile Virus is carried exclusively by mosquitos and has been blamed for several deaths in some parts of the world. This and other diseases like Malaria have claimed the lives of thousands of people and animals over the last few centuries.

Do All Mosquitos Feed On Blood?

There are actually over three thousand species of mosquitos worldwide as they belong to the fly family. Some of these species pose no threat to humans and in fact most do not accost humans, as they feed solely on nectar. However in some species, the female has developed parts to pierce human and animal flesh, this is not for food but rather to help in the development of their eggs. The diseases are spread through the mosquito’s saliva which has an anti-coagulant to prevent your blood from clotting so they can consume what they need to consume. This saliva is released into your blood to release that anti-coagulant so the wound keeps pumping blood.

Why Are There So Many Mosquitos?

Mosquitos have a typical insect, four stage cycle of life beginning with the egg. Typically the female will lay eggs in or near a body of water even as small as a puddle. The reason you see so many mosquitos is because just two mature specimens can create thousands of adult offspring in just a few weeks. Couple these facts with the flooding in Houston and you have a recipe for a plague like infestation.

How Can I Prevent A Mosquito Infestation?

Although mosquitos inhabit a variety of different geographical areas they always concentrate near still waters such as stagnant ponds, puddles, swimming pools and even a dog bowl that hasn’t been emptied after a storm. Given the flooding, there is still a lot of standing water around the region. Since one single female can lay over 200 eggs at any given moment, it doesn’t take long to have a problem. Remove any standing water off your premises and plant lavender around the perimeter of your home as it is a natural repellant. If you really want to get serious about mosquito prevention simply call us to schedule a consultation and see how we can help before things get out of hand.

DO YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL PEST CONTROL IN HOUSTON?

Don’t try and tackle your pest problem on your own, you could waste hundreds of dollars on store bought sprays and solutions that actually do very little to eradicate the problem. Champions will devise a custom approach to your pest problem and get your home pest free in no time. Contact us today for the best in Houston Pest Control.

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