Pest Control Guide – Best Times to Treat for Pests In North Texas
North Texas has its fair share of pests throughout the year but not every month has the same type of pest issues. In this guide, we look at what you can expect each month and give you a little bit about spotting pests in your home or commercial property.
Late Winter – January and February Pests
January and February – The colder months are the most active time of year for rodents, especially in attics. This is because by the time winter has really begun, the small populations of mice or rats around your home have grown and as you likely know in North Texas, roof rats love attics. Signs of a roof rat infestation usually occur when you begin to hear that galloping on your ceiling. You might also notice urine or scat or even smell it. As the population grows, so does the noise and the amount of scat and urine stains. If the situation is really bad, you will hear squeaking and the banging will be much louder. Rats in your attic will chew up wires, clothing and furniture, having babies, and regularly looking for food.
Spring – March-May Pests
Spring is a great awakening and what emerges now are rodents and insects all looking food scraps that have been left around. Mice and rats are not the only rodents that you might encounter in January or February. Squirrels will have nested and had babies by now and if they have gotten into your attic or walls you will likely hear them. Your home or business might also have insect pests such as ants or silverfish. You might still have issues with rodents in your attic, but in your kitchen, it is the cockroach and some species of ants. Outdoors, the weather is warming up and fleas are emerging. They lay eggs in soil or on animals. Flea hatching cause fleas to emerge by the hundreds as soon as it begins to warm. This is because animals are prowling about looking for food and fleas love animals. Fleas will happily use you as a vehicle to enter your home. They jump on your shoes and pants and as you get in the house, they jump off and find a pet or carpeting in which to lay eggs.
Ants are now more active too. Spring is the time when ants and termites disperse and form new colonies. You might find a few foraging ants in your kitchen, pantry, or around your patio, garbage or recycling containers in March, You might also find new colonies, especially of fire ants, in your yard. Spring is the other best time to control ant populations. Contact pesticides only kill the foraging ants – those out looking for food sources. A baiting program that is responsibly managed is key to controlling ants in North Texas.
All three of these spring pests are often discovered because you see them. In the case of fleas, you might see bites or notice that your pets are scratching more often. There are topical flea control products that you can apply to your pets but they only work on the flea populations on your pets. Fleas in your lawn or the drop from wildlife will continue to breed and pester you and your pets.
Early Summer (June-August) – Usually in late May the wasps appear. The most likely type of wasp you will see are paper wasps. The single queens are looking for and building small circular paper discs with a few cones. These often appear on the underside of eaves or in outbuildings, such as your gardening shed. Yellow jackets and hornets may also be present in early spring. If their colony fared well through the winter, then expect a bigger problem earlier. Yellow jackets are fearless and unrelenting when it comes to food.
Early Summer Pests – June, July, and August
By June and July, the ant populations are in full force as there are more resources for them to harvest. You may see larger invasions in your home or around your house. In the case of fire ants, the colonies are active and more of a nuisance. Late spring is the best time to deal with fire ants, as the newer colonies are smaller and easier to control.
June, July, and August are prime months for new infestations of cockroaches- German, American, or Asian – there are plenty of varieties of cockroach around North Texas. There is a lot of food around and the smell of dead things, such as cooked meat attracts them. The hotter weather also makes garbage and recycling smell. Nothing attracts a cockroach faster then rotting food smells.
Late Summer Pests – September and October
Besides, to the early summer pests, you gain crickets, spiders, and more wasps. Late summer signals that great cricket invasion. Count yourself lucky if you have not witnessed the massive hoard of black crickets. You see them by the thousands around lights or on light-colored buildings. Spiders too are very active and even in early summer. You will have to deal with roaming male spiders looking for mates. By late summer many webs have egg sacks. In the case of black widows and brown recluse, the females with eggs become more aggressive. By the hotter part of summer, the bigger solitary wasps are out. These are most often spider wasps, such as the mud daubers. You will see long and lean wasps around water and on bare ground gathering mud. These wasps are generally not aggressive unless they are in danger. They also provide a small benefit as they control spider populations. Other wasps, such as the cicada killer are large and all over the place. These wasps control cicadas – those insects that buzz all the time. The problem with cicada killers is that they burrow into the ground and they can damage lawns. Solitary wasps are not aggressive like social wasps. Yellow jackets and hornets are social wasps.
Late Fall and Early Winter Pests – November and December
Late Fall and Early Winter (November – December) – The warm weather is mostly gone and the last of summer’s harvest is also gone. This means that the food sources for both ants and rodents are disappearing. It also means that rodents are looking for a warm and dry place to overwinter and that ants are still looking for food. You may see ants in your home or business or hear roof rats in your home’s attic, storage areas or business.
Pests that bug you year-round
Termites and bed bugs are both an issue year-round. One of these eats your home, and the other eats your blood. Annual pest control inspections are a great way to identify the presence of either of these pests. Spring is a prime time to discover that there is a new infestation of termites around your home as that is the time that new colonies form. You might notice insect wings around the outside of your home or inside on windows. Termites only fly when they disperse and then they shed their wings.
Bed bugs are around all the time and they tend to not overwinter. They live in your home, on airplanes, in hotels and other places where humans live or sleep. These are insects that prefer to eat human blood and if you travel you are more likely to come into contact with them. They are also the perfect hitchhiker and will come home with you and start a colony in your home or office.
The best defense is a good offense. When it comes to pest control, regular inspections pay off for homeowners and property owners throughout North Texas.