The fast paced city of Houston is packed with nearly 2.2 million people. With such an enormous population Houston, is much like a crowed ant colony. The good news is that the population of ants can be controlled to ensure they won’t infest the home. The bad news is that once ants reach the home, they are much harder to control.
What types of ants are in Houston?
Houston is home to a variety different types of the ants. Some of the more popular ants that live in Houston are: Carpenter ants, Black Crazy ants, Fire ants, Ghost ants, Little Black ants, Pharaoh ants, and the Thief ants. All of theses ants will have a different habitat but can pose a huge problem on the home, and its residents when the ants do infest.
Where will Houston ants be found?
On the outside of the home, ants can be found all over the property. Some of the main areas ants will be found are under rocks, walking stones, logs, in the pavement cracks, gardens, decks, and just in the lawn. On the inside of home ants can be found in pantries, around windows, bathrooms, bedrooms, garages, by cat and dog food bowls, and inside the walls of the home.
What can be done to control the ants?
To completely control the ants, an ant control specialist can come to the home and treat for them. To do a full ant treatment, the ant control specialist will need to treat both the inside and the outside of the home. On the outside, the specialist will need to power spray the foundation of the home, treat the windows and doors, and bait any ant colonies. On the inside of the home, the specialist should treat the windows, doors, bait any places where the ants are continually seen, and an in-wall treatment should be done. An in-wall treatment will exterminate any ants living inside the walls of the home.
How to prevent ants from infesting the home?
Keeping a good strong barrier around the home, year round, will prevent ants from ever invading the home. This is done by power spraying around the foundation of the home and treating the windows and doors. The plants are where the ants will get a constant water supply and need to be treated as well. To treat this area granules are used. The granules will soak down to the ants and help exterminate any ants trying to get water.
Look for good reviewed ant control companies online.
There are hundreds of ant control companies in Houston, and it can be difficult to pick a good one. To help save time, look online for a good ant control company. When online, there will be reviews that will say how well the treatments work, how will the company’s costumer service is, and how fast it takes the company to get to the home. Some good online reviews sites are: Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google, and Family Own Pest Control. Picking the right ant control company first will save money and headache in the long run.
Houston Ant ControlBulwark Exterminating
10900 Brittmoore Park Drive
Houston, TX 77041
bulwarkpestcontrol.com AAAnimal Pro: Wildlife Control
8280 Golf Green Circle
Houston, TX 77036
(832) 248- 7804
16155 Park Row, Suite 190
Houston, TX 77084
Bed bugs have been in the news a lot lately. Because of all the information floating around about these pests, you may feel like there is very little left to learn. Bed bugs are tricky little creatures, though, and there are a number of facts about them that might take you by surprise. These five bed bug “secrets” might change the way you see bed bugs forever.
1. Bed bugs are everywhere.
Most people are under the impression that bed bugs are primarily found in large cities. However, that isn’t the case. Bed bugs have made an appearance in all 50 states of the U.S., although they are more prevalent in urban areas. It is a little easier for the pests to spread in highly populated cities, which is why there are more reported cases there than in rural settings.
In addition, hotels are not the only places where you can pick up bed bugs. They are found in apartments, houses, dorms, movie theaters, and even on buses. Bed bugs can make a home just about anywhere, although it is more common to find them in places where people sleep.
2. Bed bugs don’t need to eat every day (or even every week!).
It takes a long time for a bed bug to starve to death. These little pests can survive for nearly a year and a half without feeding, so don’t rely on a mattress encasement to solve your problem. The covers are known to tear or wear down over time, which allows bed bugs to escape. While they are certainly helpful tools in the battle against these pests, it is important to also consult an exterminator and get professional treatment to ensure the bed bugs are gone.
3. Bed bug bites do not follow a predictable pattern.
Have a strange, itchy bite? It is natural to go online to look up your symptoms, although it may not be the best idea. Bed bug bites often look different depending on the person suffering from them. Many times, the bites do occur in groups of three. However, there are some people that either don’t react to the bites at all or that have bites scattered about their body.
4. It is hard to determine when you were bitten by bed bugs.
When the bed bug initially bites you, it doesn’t hurt. Many people don’t react to the bite for several weeks, if at all, meaning that that is hard to pin down when and where you were bitten. In addition, the rash or bite that results is often mistaken for something else, like a mosquito bite.
5. Bed bugs know what they are doing.
Bed bugs know how to hide and avoid detection. During the daytime, when it should be easier to find them, they move into the smallest cracks and crevices in the room. They make their way into picture frames, box springs, wallpaper or electrical outlets. Only at night, when humans remain still for a significant period of time, do they creep out from their hiding spots.
Bed bugs are complicated pests; they are difficult to find and even harder to get rid of. Hopefully, unraveling some of their secrets will help you understand them better and deal with them more effectively if they decide invade your home.
Homeowners generally think they’re doing themselves a favor and saving big bucks by handling their own pest control. However, the reality is that they are usually doing themselves a disservice by not employing a trained, experienced professional to eliminate the problem for good. Do-it-yourself pest management efforts often end up a failure because of the lack of knowledge most people possess about the task, and it leads to a worsening situation. Here are some of the most common errors made when trying the DIY approach to pest control.
Misuse or Overuse of Pesticides
It’s easy for someone inexperienced to misuse or overuse pesticides, which frequently occurs during DIY pest control. People that don’t know much about the negative effects that pesticides can have on the environment and their own health, or just don’t care, are quick to purchase over-the-counter products and apply liberally all over the yard and in every nook and cranny inside.
Typical mistakes that homeowners make with pesticide use is administering too much, combining products that shouldn’t be mixed, spraying in windy conditions and using the wrong kind of chemicals for a particular infestation.
Not Getting to the Root of the Infestation
If your first reaction is to immediately stomp on or spray any bugs that come into your line of sight in an attempt to kill them off, you’re not alone. This is what most people tend to do, but it isn’t always the best line of defense. There are many pests that live in colonies (like ants and bees), and even if you get rid of the one or two you see roaming around your home, that means the rest have been left somewhere else and you’ll soon be contending with them as well.
The best course of action to take is to find out where the source of the infestation actually is and treat the entire colony accordingly. The benefit of using a pest control expert is that they know the habits of various insects and exactly where to look for them.
To get an accurate assessment of possible pest situations, inspections should be done at different times of the day. Many homeowners only search during daylight hours, completely missing all the insects and rodents that come crawling out at night. A quick sweep of the property generally won’t allow you to come to the most valid conclusion on your need for pest control.
Believing There isn’t a Problem if Pests Aren’t Physically Seen
Insects and rodents are masters at hiding in the smallest, darkest cracks and crevices of a building, so just because you may not see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Without periodic inspections conducted thoroughly by a professional, you could unknowingly be living with pests that are leaving germs and destruction in their wake, wreaking havoc on your health and home. A good example of this is termites since they can go undetected in the depths of a home for years, all the while feeding on wood and causing major structural damage.
If you know you’ve made some of these mistakes yourself, take extra care to correct future problems with the help of a pest control professional.
About the Author
Tiffany Olson blogs full time on home related topics. She loves sharing info with the public via social media platforms. Some favorite hobbies include camping, reading, and cooking.
If you’re on the market for a new home in Houston, now is the time to buy. Or sell, whichever suits your fancy.
By all accounts www.luxuryrealestate.com, 2014 could continue the trend of a great housing market in southeastern Texas.
There are multiple reasons why experts feel this way, but here are some.
The Housing Association of Realtors in October reported that a 22.5 percent year-over-year increase in home sales. HAR chairman told Luxury Real Estate that Houston “continues to benefit from a confluence of very positive economic forces: strong growth, low interest rates and reasonable home prices compared to other parts of the country.”
Most experts’ prediction for 2014 includes lower inventory levels, along with rising levels of demand that will push Houston real estate values even higher in 2014. Prediction sites like Luxury Real Estate add that the numbers will not be as dramatic as 2013, but homeowners can expect a healthy level of appreciation in the coming months
With fewer homes for sale, that means less completion and higher prices. Most people who shop in the winter months just don’t want to hassle with the market come spring. Come March, April and May when the market increases, the price could go down. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, told McGeough LaMacchia website that existing-home sales across the country have shown a 20 percent cumulative increase over the past two years, while prices have gained 18 percent.
As you would expect, all this leads to historic low numbers when it comes to foreclosures in Houston as well. According to this press release from http://www.har.com/mls/dispPressRelease.cfm, foreclosure property sales fell 49 percent in November compared to the same time a year earlier. Foreclosures make up 8 percent of all property sales, down from 20 percent at the start of 2013. The median price of foreclosures rose 9 percent to $88,000, according to the press release.
While interests remain low, they will go up in 2014. As we speak, the rates are expected to rise to 5.5 percent by the end of 2014. Another possible factor is that the Fannie Mae announced a few weeks ago that it would raise the fees it charges for lenders, who in-turn would pass those fees on to borrowers. Again, as you read this, you have to ask yourself: Why wait to do this?
With fewer homes on the market, simple logic tells you that they sell faster. If you wait until April or May, more will show up on the market and increase the time it takes to sell your home.
Selling a home is not an easy task. It can be stressful and time consuming. Why make it more difficult on yourself? One resource that will is www.homevestors.com. Instead of waiting until the typical months of April and May to put your house for sale, do it when the market is at its strongest, there isn’t a lot of competition, won’t take that long and will make the most money for you, do it now.
Author Bio: Ian St. Clair is an award-winning writer who has close to 10 years of newspaper experience. He’s written about everything from the Denver Broncos and college football to community theater and romance novels. He’s now at We Buy Ugly Houses Houston. You can find him at Google-Plus.
LaLaLaLaLa! Sure you might rock out to the Goo Goo Dolls, but did you know there is a rowdy bunch right beneath your feet? Check out these four tiny musical artists that could be in your backyard:
Crickets and Grasshoppers
Who isn’t familiar with these tiny musicians? Known as nature’s fiddlers, Crickets and Grasshoppers use stridulation as their favorite form of music making. Crickets have a comb like vein that runs along the bottom of each wing. These little guys make sounds when they rub the bottom of one wing along the top of the other wing. This makes a chipping noise while grasshoppers make more of a snapping or soft rattling sound. Grasshoppers make noise a little differently by snapping their wings together in flight or by rubbing their hind legs against their wings making it sound like they are shaking a rattle.
Cicada, also referred to as locust, make a very unique sound, which is often referred to as Cicada Song. They have noisemakers called “tymbals” on the sides of their abdominal base. When they contract the muscle located within the abdomen the tymbals cave inwards and make a loud clicking sound. By positioning their bodies and adjusting the speed and force of which it vibrates, they can amplify their sound.
The Tettigoniidae family, or Katydids are quite a musical bunch! These guys have noise making organs, which are also activated by stridulation. The tropical loving insects rub the back part of their front wings making a beautiful song.
Micronecta scholtzi, aka Water Boatman, would definitely be the lead singers in a band, if only the band were underwater! This tiny bug, about the size of a grain of rice can belt its song up to 99.2 decibels. This is comparable to the sound of a passing train or a live orchestra. The boatman uses this noise as a mating call. They make it by rubbing an organ along their ribbed abdomen. Unfortunately, the sound is lost when it passes from water to air, leaving the lovely inhabitants above sea level, without the beautiful song of the water boatman.
Next time you forget your iPod, fret not! Just walk outside (or stick your head under water) and listen to some sweet tunes performed your backyard rock stars. A night on the town to see a local band does not have to be too far from home!
The most common and widespread scorpion found in Texas is the Striped Bark scorpion (Centruroides vittatus). Houston homeowners are very well aquatinted with these stinging pests, but there is much more to this creepy-crawly pest than their sting.
Here’s everything you need to know about Houston’s Striped Bark scorpions:
Striped Bark scorpions vary in color depending on their habitat and age, but most are a dark orangish-brown with gold accents. They are a little bit darker in color than other species of bark scorpions. They are most known for their two, long, black stripes that run down their back.
An average Striped scorpion will measure about 2 ½ inches in length. A male Striped scorpion tail will be longer than the female’s, and both tails are longer and more slender than other species of scorpion.
Where Are Striped Scorpions Found?
Striped scorpions are frequently found throughout much of the south central and south-west United States. Found in states like Oklahoma and New Mexico, Striped scorpions are most prevalent in the state of Texas; including areas of Houston.
You can find them living under rocks, boards, and other debris in your yard. Additionally, they like to take up residence inside the cracks and crevices of stone walls, bricks, stones, and other landscaping features. These areas are commonly referred to as scorpion condos by us in the pest control biz.
Inside your home, you will find Striped scorpions hiding out in wall voids, attics, and any other secured location. They are active at night, and that’s when most accidental human encounters occur.
What Do Striped Scorpions Eat?
Striped scorpions do not burrow, but rather they forage; foraging for food in particular. Their favorite meal happens to be a cricket or cockroach, although they will also eat many other types of insects. They capture their meals, their insect prey, with their pinchers. While holding their next meal with pinchers, they will sting their prey as to paralyze it. Once paralyzed, it’s mealtime!
It can be difficult to determine exactly how many scorpion you may have living inside your Houston, TX home. One way to check is to explore your home at night with a black light flashlight. Scorpion will glow neon blue under a black light, and will pop right out for you to see. If you are seeing a lot of scorpions, it’s best to call a Houston scorpion exterminator.
A scorpion control professional will be current on all of the latest methods of control, including dusting your voids, outlets, and attics with scorpion pesticide. Call a Houston scorpion control professional today!
Houston Scorpion ControlBulwark Exterminating
10900 Brittmoore Park Drive
Houston, TX 77041
bulwarkpestcontrol.com AAAnimal Pro: Wildlife Control
8280 Golf Green Circle
Houston, TX 77036
(832) 248- 7804
16155 Park Row, Suite 190
Houston, TX 77084
Houston, Texas stands as the fourth largest city in the United States, and as such it offers most of the same avenues of entertainment as all of the other large cities. From museums of high culture to play areas for children, there is something available for everyone in Houston. If you have been living in Houston for a long time you may have missed out on some of the attractions because you have become stuck in the same routine over and over again. To really get the feeling for what Houston has to offer you should take the time to explore the city and find some of the hidden gems. These are three of the best entertainment venues in Houston.
There are few things in this world more exciting than a live theatrical performance. You can see the raw power and emotion of the actors and actresses, all while witnessing the skill of the set designers. The Alley Theater is a hotspot for local theater and musicals in Houston, providing a venue for cutting edge and experimental performances, as well as more traditional theater. They highlight people from the area, so you are given the chance to see the “next big thing” before it ever breaks out. The venue is intimate so you feel like you are right on the stage no matter where you are sitting, and the variety of plays means that there is almost always something for the entire family at least once a year. If you are interested in local arts and supporting the local community, then the Alley Theater deserves a visit.
Space Center Houston
If you grew up near Houston then you probably went to the Space Senter as a child, but that does not compare to the experience of going as an adult, even if you do not have children of your own. Here you can marvel and the men, women and machines that made it possible for an American to be the first person to walk on the moon and you can be awed by all that space has to offer. It is easier to appreciate the simulators and the history of the space center as an adult than it would have been while you were a student in grade school. The new Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, Machines in Motion, brings to life 40 of da Vinci’s greatest and most advanced creations in a way that is seen no where else in the world. This is a terrific place to spend a day with your family, or with your partner.
Murder Mystery Texas
For a quiet, but fun night out with your partner, Murder Mystery Texas is an excellent choice that is very affordable. The mystery unfolds over a four course dinner, and during your experience you are able to meet and mingle with the other people who attended the event. Everyone that you see is a potential suspect, as members of the cast have been planted as waiters and guests so that you are kept guessing the entire evening. A detective is there to guide you through the investigative process, and by the time dessert is finished, you should be able to figure out who the killer was. Prizes are given for the most accurate and most humorous answer, so even if you get the solution wrong, you can still win. The events only last two to three hours, so there is no need to set aside an entire day to enjoy this immersive and interactive experience.
Houston has all of the amenities of the other largest cities in the United States, and there are plenty of things to do if you take the time to look. Spend some time exploring what Houston has to offer and you will find the hidden gems that make it such a great place to live.
Author Bio: I am David Hoffman and I have been living in Houston since 2010. I wrote this article after one of my friends, a long time Houston resident, admitted that he had never been to the space center as an adult. I was shocked that there was so much of the city that people miss out on because they fall into the same patterns every time they go out.
It may be impossible to completely be rid of pests on outdoors on your property, but you can take measures to ensure they don’t come creeping inside your home this winter. By eliminating possible habitats around your yard, you decrease the chances of a pest infestation. Insects migrate indoors during the cold, wet months of winter to find shelter while they hibernate and lay eggs that will hatch in spring. Do a thorough walk-through of your home’s exterior and destroy any possible pest habitats to prevent insects from getting inside your home and overwintering. This will require you to think like a bug, searching for any insect-sized bridges that could help non-flying bugs get inside your house. You’ll also have to use your bug-senses to spot any places of refuge, or places where insects might be hiding out.
1. Clean Your Gutters
Gutters collect leaves, moisture, and muck, which creates a prime habitat for insects to burrow into. Clean out your gutters and downspouts so insects can’t take up residence in the debris.
2. Check Downspouts
Insects are attracted to moisture, so be sure to check your downspouts to ensure that they directing water away from your house. This will keep pests at bay as they are directed away from your house.
3. Store Firewood Outdoors, Away from the House
If your home has a fireplace, be sure to store all firewood outdoors, at least 20 feet away from your house. Insects love taking refuge in firewood, so be sure that you keep all firewood outdoors until you’re ready to burn it.
4. Eliminate Debris Resting Near Your House
Insects love to make themselves at home in old debris, so make sure you remove any debris resting against or near your house. This includes rocks, compost piles, bricks, old boards, and anything else you may have lying around.
5. Pull Mulch Away From Your House
If you have mulch next to your house, be sure to pull it away so it’s not resting right against the house. This will help keep insects away from your house’s structure.
6. Store Trash Cans Away From Your House
Trash is a prime food source for insects and other critters. Naturally, it attracts pests. Store any trash cans away from your house, and be sure to keep the lids on tight at all times.
7. Shift Plants so They Don’t Touch Your House’s Foundation
You don’t want plantings touching your house’s foundation, as insects like to live in them. Prune tree limbs that overhang your rooflines or gutters, and give your shrubs a trim so they don’t rub against your house’s walls, porch, deck, or any other outside structures.
8. Remove Autumn Leaves and Keep Them Away From the House
Remove any leaves that have collected outside and store them at least 20 feet away from the house. Leaf piles are a prime place for insects to take up residence.
9. Replace Exterior Lights
Replacing exterior light bulbs, which typically attract bugs, with yellow or sodium vapor bulbs will keep the bugs away during the winter and all year round.
If you take the time to do a thorough outdoor inspection and eliminate any possible habitats where bugs may be dwelling, you will be saving yourself the headache of having to deal with an indoor pest infestation further down the road. Remember that insects will be attracted to the warmth your home provides during the winter, so by eliminating their outdoor habitats, you are decreasing the risk of them making their way indoors.
About the author: Chris is writer for Excel Pest Control, a New Jersey based pest control company.
Christmas is right around the corner, which means it’s that time of year to load up on candy, either to munch on yourself or to gift as stocking stuffers. But why stick to the traditional chocolates and peanut brittle? To add a fun little kick to your Christmas candy this year, consider giving your loved ones candied insects. There are many types of bug candies to choose from, whether you want to give your family and friends chocolates, brittle, suckers, or other insect snacks.
Insect suckers have long been a favorite among children, tweens, and teens, making it a great choice as a stocking stuffer this holiday season. These colorful suckers actually contain a real insect in their center. You can choose from a variety of colors, flavors and insects, including grasshoppers, crickets, ants, worms, and scorpions. Flavors include toffee, apple, banana, blueberry, grape, strawberry, orange, tequila, and watermelon.
Chocolate Covered Ants
Chocolate covered ants are another long-time favorite, with many forms of this treat to choose from. Likewise, you can also choose from chocolate covered crickets. This would be the perfect gift for an adult relative who’s got a sweet tooth, or an older teenager.
Peanut brittle has always been a popular delicacy during the holiday season, so why not spruce it up this year by giving out amber brittle with insects inside? This ribbon-style toffee-flavored candy houses insects and a fern inside, and is designed to look like fossilized amber. How could anyone NOT want this in their stocking?
Chocolate Covered Scorpion-on-a-Stick
Scorpions are a popular treat in many parts of the world, and one of the more popular ways to enjoy these critters is on a stick… dipped in chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. The appeal of a chocolate covered scorpion is that it still maintains its shape, all the while making a delicious snack. This would be a great gift for the adventurous eater in your family, or for that relative you don’t like.
While butterfly candy isn’t made from real butterfly, this ribbon style flavored hard candy does feature a real insect, along with edible flower petals to simulate the appearance of an actual butterfly. This candy is available in blueberry and strawberry flavor, and would make a delightful gift for anyone on your Christmas list.
Ant candy is a hard candy that is designed to look like an ant farm. It contains real black ants, and is available in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, apple, and cherry. Your family members are sure to get a kick when they find one of these in their stockings this year. One thing’s for sure – Christmas will be a lot more interesting if you hand out insect candy instead of the normal Christmas fare. Your loved ones are guaranteed to get a kick out of receiving these exotic candies – or they will run screaming from you. Which would be a good thing if they are a relative you don’t necessarily enjoy.
Chris is a blogger for Excel Termite & Pest Control a NJ based pest control company.