Welcome to Houston, the multicultural city there is an icon of Texas living where everything, as they say, is bigger in Texas. That’s right, big buildings, big trucks, big traffic, and you know what else? Big roaches!
Yes only in Texas do we have roaches among other pests that are big enough to walk off with your sandwich. All jokes aside, given our semi-tropical climate and the abundance of the bayous in the city—pests thrive here.
Everything from said roaches to rats and every bug and rodent in between—Houston has them, and if you’re not careful they’ll take over your home. However, it’s impossible to treat a problem or an intruder if you don’t know what it is.
The ultimate key two successful pest control in Houston homes is to be able to identify the pest or pests causing problems. Sure, it’s easy when you see that roach running across the kitchen counter, but What about when you’re only seeing signs of an infestation. You’re seeing droppings, food boxes that have been chewed into, Strange odors, and other signs of pest presence. What do you do then?
You can’t treat a cockroach problem the same as you would a rat problem and vice versa. Ultimately, you must know how to identify the pest that has infiltrated your home or property. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous task, but it is quite fascinating.
Understanding How Houston Pest Control Works
Living in Houston, you might be very familiar with some common pests that can infiltrate your property. You’re probably quite familiar with fire ants, yellow jackets, cockroaches, and of course those huge flies of summer.
Whatever pests you’ve dealt with now or in the past, you know how important having a good Houston pest control service can be. However, most of us as homeowners don’t know the methods and procedures they used to read our homes of pests.
Well, the first step, as Scott covered, is knowing your enemy. Whether it’s ants in the kitchen, cockroaches in the bathroom, or mice under the crawlspace. If you don’t know what you’re dealing with any treatment you do might not even be effective and you’re just spinning your wheels. So, pest identification is absolutely critical to even getting started battling the problem.
Once you’ve done that, you can use the many pest control methods to treat the specific pest you are dealing with. Those methods include but are not limited to:
Exclusion- Physically blocking pests from entering your home such as metal mesh over vent holes in the attic.
Organic Pesticides- Application of safe pesticides that kill and/or deter insects from breaching your property.
Mechanical- The use of traps and other mechanisms to remove or exterminate certain pests.
Integrated Pest Management – A holistic approach that uses multiple methods to deter and rid your home of all pests.
Identifying Common Houston Pests
There are so many different kinds of pests that can invade your Houston home. Each one has its telltale signs that lets you know who and what they are. Sometimes the signs are very clear, such as rat droppings, and other times they take a little more digging to figure it out. Either way, the most important part of pest identification is accuracy. If your identification is off, then it’s no better than guessing and using blanket solutions for specific problems. So, let’s take a look at some common Houston pests and how we identify them.
Cockroaches are nocturnal bugs— they like the dark and they love being in damp areas. You’ll often find them in the kitchen, bathrooms, and underneath decaying foliage that is damp. These pests are serious disease spreaders that can contaminate your food source if not protected.
Ants are sugar addicts. They love the sweet stuff—candy, honey, fruit, and everything in between. They often come into your home through foundation cracks or exploited seals and windows and doors. Ants can multiply incredibly fast and can cause damage by tunneling through wood in your home. Not to mention, their bites can be painful.
Spiders build webs to catch other insects to feast on. You’ll normally find them in dark corners or near windows to gain access to prey. Some spiders, such as the Black Widow, can be very dangerous to humans due to their poisonous venom. So, identifying them is very important.
Rodents like rats and mice are drawn to food sources such as open food, trash cans, and leftovers that have been left on the counter. They can cause a lot of damage when they know through wires, wood, and drywall. Like roaches, they also carry a multitude of diseases.
Techniques Used to Accurately Identify Pests
As if we haven’t mentioned it half a dozen times, accuracy is crucial to identify pests. An incorrect identification it’s no better than none at all. To provide the most effective pest control in Houston, you first identify pests that are causing the problem so you can bring the solution.
There are various methods we use at Champions Pest Control to accurately identify what we’re dealing with. These methods include visual ID, traps, and in some complex cases, DNA testing. As Scott mentioned, if it’s a particularly tough case, we also have a resource within Texas A&M that is helpful. However, we are also well-staffed with experienced entomologists that are very capable of most identifications.
Visual identification is typically step one to identify pests for obvious reasons. For example, specific insects have characteristics that are exclusive to their species. A cockroach can never be confused with a fire ant and vice versa.
Traps are very useful when pests are avoiding human contact to be visually identified. For example, cockroaches tend to hide when the lights are turned on so it’s hard to get an ID. There are things such as glue traps and pheromone traps that can capture the insect for analysis.
DNA testing is a more complex method for difficult cases such as rare species. A DNA sample is taken from the actual pest itself and analyzed in a lab. another method that can be used to identify pests.
Call Us When You Need To Accurately Identify Pests
If you’re having a problem with an unknown pest in your home or on your property your first step should be the call Champions Pest Control. We have experts on staff that can accurately identify pests causing problems and eradicate the issue. Contact us today and let’s get your home pest-free.