termites in a mound in tarrant county texas

Common Pest Identification & Prevention In Tarrant County, TX

As a local, family-owned and operated pest control company with over a decade of experience in the industry, we understand the pests that plague property owners in Tarrant County. Check out our pest library with information about how to identify and prevent common home-invading pest species.

Ants

a black ant in tarrant county texas

No matter where you live, ants are also living nearby. While most ant species live outside and well away from people, others have learned to thrive living near people. In Tarrant County, common species such as fire ants, little sugar ants, and rover ants live in large populations and often find their way into our yards and homes. Fire ants are small reddish-brown ants that bite and deliver painful stings. These aggressive ants take over yards and are difficult to control and eliminate. Little sugar ants are tiny black ants with an affinity for sweet foods, which makes it our gardens and kitchens places they love to forage. Rover ants are small brown ants attracted to moisture and love properties with pools, poor drainage, or overwatered gardens.

Living together in large colonies, these social insects invade without notice and are challenging to eliminate and control. They are omnivores, and worker ants are always searching for food to bring back to their nest. They are natural-born foragers and have two stomachs, one for eating and one for carrying food to the nest! Ants often travel together, leaving behind pheromone trails to alert other colony members to a new food source. When ants forage for food and nesting sites on our properties, they generate many problems. Ants contaminate food, spread bacteria over surfaces, create multiple nesting sites, and fire ants deliver painful bites and venom-filled stings that trigger serious allergic reactions in some people. Ants belong outside in nature but not in our Texas yards and homes.

Use the following prevention tips to help stop ants and keep them away from your property and family:

  • Eliminate excess water from your property by repairing leaking pipes, ensuring your yard has proper drainage, and not overwatering flowerbeds and gardens.
  • Remove debris from your yard where ants can nest, such as brush piles, leaf piles, fallen trees, and tree stumps.
  • Fill in bare spots in your lawn to make your yard less attractive to nesting fire ants.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins where ants like to forage.
  • Inside, eliminate food sources by maintaining a clean kitchen and vacuuming regularly.

Cockroaches

a german cockroach in tarrant county texas

If you ever find that a cockroach has made its way into your Texas home, it will most likely be either a German or American cockroach. Both species have adapted quite well to living indoors with people. You'll almost always find German cockroaches indoors, while American cockroaches do well living outside on trees or in garden areas also, but often make their way inside while foraging for food or seeking moisture. American cockroaches are a large, reddish-brown species with a yellow band that outlines the area behind their head. German cockroaches are small, fast-moving roaches that are tan with two darker parallel lines located just behind their heads.

Cockroaches, no matter the species, are unwanted pests inside our homes and businesses. Once they find a way indoors, either on their own through openings they discover in exterior walls or by moving in inside of a box, plant pot, or delivery, they quickly make themselves at home. A few cockroaches can soon turn into many in just a few short weeks. When cockroaches live with us, they cause us many problems. These scavengers contaminate surfaces and food with their saliva and excrement. The spread of diseases and pathogens that make us ill is another huge problem associated with these pests. Cockroaches also damage our personal property by chewing on it and staining it with excrement. If you ever spot what you even think is a roach in or around your property, contact a professional for immediate help to eliminate these pests from your home or business.

Use the following prevention tips to help stop cockroaches and keep them away from your property and family:

  • Inspect boxes and any other items for cockroaches before bringing them into your home.
  • Store food in the fridge or airtight containers, keep kitchen areas as clean and free of food debris as possible.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins and regularly sanitize both.
  • Minimize clutter in your home where cockroaches can hide.
  • Seal entry points in exterior walls and the foundation of your home to keep wandering cockroaches out.

Mosquitoes

a mosquito on skin in tarrant county texas

Small, flying pests that feed on human and animal blood, mosquitoes are not only one of the most dangerous creatures worldwide, but one of the most annoying. In order to complete their life cycle, it is critical for females to have blood meals to create viable eggs. Plant nectar and sweet liquids are the primary food source for both male and female mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most attracted to areas near standing water where they lay their eggs and the larvae develop into new mosquitoes. After hatching, mosquitoes tend to stay in the same area, feeding, breeding, and creating large and hard to control populations.

Mosquitoes are active throughout much of the year in Texas; this means whenever we try to spend time outside, there is a great possibility we'll be swarmed by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are drawn to us by our body heat, the carbon dioxide we produce as we breathe, and by smell. Being relentlessly bitten every time you try to spend time outside in your yard is unpleasant and frustrating and can potentially be dangerous. As mosquitoes feed, they can pick up and transmit diseases to each new host they attack. In the U.S., mosquitoes spread diseases like the West Nile virus, encephalitis, and tularemia.

Use the following prevention tips to help stop mosquitoes and keep them away from your property and family:

  • Look around your property for containers filled with rainwater and dump them out.
  • Keep grass cut short and get rid of overgrown vegetation to help reduce mosquito resting spots on your property.
  • Store containers that can collect water upside down when not in use.
  • If you own a pool, make sure the water is circulating and treated.

To take back your outdoor space from biting mosquitoes and learn more about our mosquito control services, call the Texas pest experts at Ivy Green Pest Control, and speak with one of our helpful professionals!

Spiders

a wolf spider on tile in tarrant county texas

Eight-legged, fast-moving creatures, spiders are pests that invade our gardens and, if we aren't careful, our homes. Wolf spiders live throughout Texas and are large, hairy spiders that move quickly when chasing down prey. Though harmless to people, their large size and speed often cause them to frighten people. Two dangerous spiders that live in Texas that we should be wary of are the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. Both have venom strong enough to affect people's health and trigger symptoms that need to be managed by a health professional.

The warm, humid weather found in Texas allows spiders to thrive. Most of our yards offer spiders with places to build webs or burrow and hunt for prey. The more insect activity you have on your property, the more spiders you will also have. Bushes, gardens, flowerbeds, woodpiles, trees, and fallen trees offer natural hideouts for spiders. Some man-made structures that spiders use to build webs or hide in include roof eaves, doorways, behind siding or shutters, areas around light fixtures, and near trash cans or recycling bins. After moving inside while following their prey or seeking a quiet spot to lay their eggs, spiders move to damp, dark areas of the home, such as basements, crawlspaces, closets, utility rooms, and bathrooms.

Use the following prevention tips to help stop spiders and keep them away from your property and family:

  • Inspect your home for openings spiders can use to get inside. Repair any spaces around doors and windows, cracks in the foundation, gaps along the roofline, or damage to roof shingles.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins, maintain gardens and keep outdoor lights off as much as possible to reduce insect activity around your home.
  • Reduce the clutter on your property to limit hiding spots for spiders.
  • Wear gloves when gardening or working in storage areas. Shake out stored clothing or linens to dislodge hiding spiders.

Stinging Insects

close up of a wasp in tarrant county texas

Stinging insects are eco-important pests. They are responsible for the pollination of plants and crops. Predatory species like wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and mud daubers help control populations of aphids, mosquitoes, and other pests. Stinging insects have a stinger that extends from the end of their abdomen that they use to inject venom into prey to paralyze it, but they also use it to defend themselves against threats. Some species are more aggressive than others, but all will protect themselves from danger by delivering painful stings.

When stinging insects live outside away from people or have placed their nest in a low traffic area of a yard, they usually aren't a problem, and their benefits outweigh their dangers. But, when a nest is built on our home or in a high-traffic area, you need to take steps to remove the nest. The venom stinging insects possess is strong enough to trigger allergic reactions in some and can sometimes be life-threatening. Sometimes just simply walking by a nest is enough to elicit an attack. If stinging insects place a nest under your deck, in shrubs next to your home, in a doorway, on a play structure, behind a wall void, or another less than ideal spot, it should be removed by a professional to protect the health and safety of your family.

Use the following prevention tips to help stop stinging insects and keep them away from your property and family:

  • Maintain shrubs, bushes, and trees located around your home's exterior; cut them back away from your exterior walls.
  • Limit the amount of flowering vegetation planted next to your house.
  • Check over your home's exterior and roofline, repairing any openings you find.
  • Fill in ground holes where yellow jackets and other ground-nesting stinging insects can nest.
  • Repair clogged gutters and leaking hoses that stinging insects could use as a water source.

Termites

close up of  a termite in tarrant county texas

In our area of Texas, there are two types of termites we need to concern ourselves with: drywood termites and subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are the most widespread species of wood-eating termites living across Tarrant County, TX and the rest of the country. Termites feed on wood and cause more than five billion dollars in damages across the country each year. Termites are not a pest you can wish away or hope won't find a way into your house. They are a pest you actively have to protect your home and bank account from. The warm, humid weather found in Texas helps termites remain active throughout the year, working day and night to gather wood to feed their massive colonies.

Subterranean termites have high moisture needs and require contact with the damp soil for survival. They move to and from their food source to their underground nest each day and prefer to feed on water-damaged or decaying wood. Subterranean termites usually move into structures accidentally through cracks in the foundation or porch steps, deck posts, or other wood making contact with the ground. Drywood termites build their nests inside the wood they are feeding on. These termites have lower moisture needs than subterranean termites, don't require contact with the soil, and prefer to feed on dry wood. Drywood termites move into structures through spaces in the foundation or exterior walls of a home on their own. They also move into structures inside construction timbers, wood furniture, and floorboards already infested with adults, eggs, or larvae.

Use the following prevention tips to help stop termites and keep them away from your property and family:

  • Don't allow deck posts, porch steps, and other wood structures to sit directly on the ground.
  • Keep the soil around your home's perimeter as dry as possible.
  • Remove leaf piles, fallen trees, and other organic debris from your yard that may attract foraging termites.
  • Repair openings in your foundation or exterior walls tiny termites could move through.
  • Fix leaky pipes and repair water-damaged wood in or on your home.
  • Inspect wood furniture, lumber, and other wooden items for termites before bringing them into your house.

To learn more about our termite control services, call the Texas pest experts at Ivy Green Pest Control, and speak with one of our helpful professionals!

 

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