If you have a garden or even a lawn, you know that weeds are a problem all on their own. But did you know that invasive plant species can be just as bad as more common weeds, like crabgrass or dandelions? Whatever the weed, San Antonio pest control company Bob Jenkins Pest & Lawn Services [...]
As San Antonio’s pest control experts, Bob Jenkins Pest and Lawn Services usually gets calls after termites have been discovered. Often in addition to the infestation, a considerable amount of damage has been done. Though we’re always ready to assist you with termite treatment, we believe the most effective prevention is to know what not to do to attract termites. Termites, like any other species, tend to inhabit places that provide food, shelter, and overall conditions of comfort. Here are the 3 most common ways termites are attracted to your home. Eliminating these environments can greatly increase your chances of staying bug-free.
At home, any wood product is going to attract termites, as this is their food source. This includes cardboard boxes, wood mulch, tree stumps, and more. Piling firewood against the house is a common mistake, and can often lead to home infestation. If building your own home or storage shed, it is essential that you keep the structure’s wood features from touching the soil.
Termites need moisture to live. The water provides nourishment and is used to moisten dirt to build underground tunnels. While they are a popular decorative feature of many houses, plants can greatly increase the moisture of the soil around your home. This creates the ideal environment for a termite to build a tunnel. Eliminating plants and building drains will keep your soil termite-free.
Sealing up any cracks in the foundation of your home can prevent any unwelcome guests from paying you a visit. Often cracks release warm air that is irresistible to termites in the winter months. They can fit through the smallest of cracks, so making sure your house is as structurally-sound as possible will be worth your time and effort.
Though following these steps can contribute to keeping your house and lawn free of unwanted pests, calling Bob Jenkins Pest and Lawn Services is your best bet. Having bugs invade your space is an uncomfortable experience. As the go-to exterminators in San Antonio, we offer unmatched expertise that will rid your home of termites for good. Our team of specialists is on hand ready to use years of experience and the best technology in termite control to eradicate your problem once and for all. Bob Jenkins' Pest Control also provides relief from bed bugs and the best in San Antonio pest control; we also provide weed control for those pesky unwanted plants.
Bed bugs have become a huge problem in recent years, and can affect anyone who has traveled, stayed in a hotel, bought a piece of used furniture, or even just let their pet roam around in the backyard. These pests can result in everything from skin problems to long-term psychological damage. Luckily, there is an exterminator in San Antonio who can help: Bob Jenkins Pest & Lawn Services. Here’s what you need to know.
Who Gets Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs can become a problem for anyone and everyone in San Antonio. Pest control services are a necessity for people who have unintentionally opened their doors to bed bugs, most commonly by picking up a few of the insects from an infected location and then bringing them back on clothing or luggage. You may have also contracted bed bugs from pets that have come into contact with infected animals, from used furniture and clothing that might be providing a home for the bugs, or even from bats or birds that have taken up residence in the eaves of your home.
Do I Have Bed Bugs?
If any of the above transmission methods sound familiar to you, and you’ve suddenly developed a skin rash or itchy bumps, you may have bed bugs. Other things to look out for include small smears of blood on your sheets, tiny black dots on bedding that come from bed bugs’ fecal matter, and any dead bugs or eggs throughout your home. Only a professional can truly diagnose a bed bug infestation, so call an exterminator in San Antonio if you suspect your home has been invaded.
What Do Bed Bugs Do?
If you’re researching exterminators in San Antonio because you think you might have bed bugs, you know that these pests are more than just an annoyance. Their bites can cause redness, itching, and swelling, and even severe allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. If you’ve dealt with bed bugs for an extended period of time, the annoyance can turn into full blown psychological trauma, leading you to obsess over the possible presence of insects and even feel phantom crawling sensations.
What to Do About Bed Bugs
Pest control in San Antonio is serious business. If you suspect that your home may be harboring bed bugs, protect yourself and your family. Contact us right now for an assessment of your home and the beginning of an end to your problems with bed bugs.
Maintaining sports fields in South Texas has many challenges especially the past couple of years. Beginning with the end in mind is one of the best approaches to developing a maintenance program. The program can be a little maintenance as possible to Major League/NFL/MLS caliber or somewhere in between depending on what your end users are looking for.
The end in most cases is a field that the ball rolls well with an even appearance. This even appearance starts with mowing. Mowing, when done correctly and often, will produce surfaces that provides for that even appearance and a consistent ball roll no matter the type of grass. Mowing helps reduce weeds or their appearance, promotes lateral growth, and produces a dense wear tolerant field. By mowing to remove no more than one-third of the leaf should be the target. Simply put if our preferred height is 2” then we mow when the grass gets to 3”. Turf grass under normal growing conditions usually grows one-fourth of an inch a day. In our example four days after mowing the turf grass would need to be cut. As we go shorter in mowing height the time between mowing is reduced. In Texas we deal primarily with Bermuda grass sports fields. The ideal height for a sports field with Bermuda is approximately 1”. At that height mowing should be done at least two times a week if not three. Unfortunately mowing gets shorted in our programs. Because in the grand scheme of things mowing costs. It costs us time which we seemed to be short on these days, but it also cost money in equipment, fuel, and labor.
Now there is more to sports field maintenance than mowing. There is irrigation, aerification, topdressing, fertility, and pest management. All of these will be discussed in the future, but building a maintenance program starting with mowing correctly and often will make the end result much easier to attain once all other parts of the program or implemented.
Scorpions are arthropods that belong to the same class as ticks, mites and spiders (arachnida) and are plentiful in much of the southern and southwestern United States. The body of the striped bark scorpion, Centruoides vittatus, the species usually found in San Antonio area homes, varies from yellowish to tan. There are usually two broad dark bands on the upper surface of its abdomen but it can be only faintly marked or completely pale.
Not considered lethal, the sting can be very painful with localized swelling and itching that may last from several minutes to several days. It can cause a variety of reactions in the elderly and young and can be dangerous for people who are allergic to the venom.
Most scorpions are active at night. During the day they hide under boards, rocks and rubbish. Mulch is also a favorite harborage area. In houses, they are most often found in undisturbed areas such as closets, shoes, bedding and folded clothes. If you think you have scorpions, it’s important to check your clothing before dressing. Also check your shoes before putting them on.
Having the ability to flatten their bodies as well as being prolific climbers, scorpions can easily enter your home through weepholes, cracks and crevices , exterior doorways and even your attic. Once they are on your property they are almost impossible to keep out of your home without professional help. Having other insects in your home could also attract scorpions. They eat small arthropods and insects, even other species of scorpions, but their favorite meal is spiders. They can consume huge amounts of food at one feeding which enables them to survive as long as 6 to 12 months without food.
The first step in managing scorpions is to remove all debris from your property such as loose boards, rocks, staked wood or any other materials under which they can hide. Mulch is also a favorite harborage area. This will reduce the scorpion harborage areas which in turn can reduce the population on your property. For optimum control, a thorough treatment should consist of power spraying the outside of your home and harborage areas with a product that will not only kill but flush them out as well as treating inside to include the attic, plumbing areas and wall voids.
Fleas, which normally cause itchy bites on exposed areas of your body, don’t bite everyone. If your skin temperature is below 85 degrees Fahrenheit you normally won’t get bitten. More women and children have a higher skin temperature and thus are bitten more often than men. So if only some people in your household have flea bites, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were bitten away from home.
Since most fleas can’t reproduce from human blood, pets or stray animals are the normal source. A common scenario is your pet gets infested in the yard then drops eggs wherever it goes in your home, usually carpets, upholstered furniture and beds. As you walk across your carpet, the motion alerts the fleas that a blood meal is available so they emerge from their cocoons as adults and start feeding on you and your pet usually biting your calves, ankles and feet. When you sit on your furniture, any accessible area of your upper body, such as arms, also becomes fair game. If your yard is infested you not only get bitten but adult fleas can hitch a ride into your home on you.
Many other animals can also cause infestations, such as raccoons, skunks, squirrels and even rats. They set up housekeeping in your attic or under your home allowing the fleas to continually infest your living areas. In order to rid your home of fleas, you may have to hire a professional exterminator for live animal trapping.
Pets can be treated with a variety of products available through your veterinarian. A continuing pest control program is highly recommended to stop future infestations from occurring. Stray animals that set up housekeeping in or around your home are another issue. They must be identified, trapped and removed from your property. This will allow an exterminator to perform a flea treatment on your house and/or lawn to be more effective and reduce the chance of future infestations.
Carpenter ants are wood destroying insects that have no useful purpose in the ecosystem. Their normal habitat is living outside in trees, but when environmental conditions are unsuitable, they move into homes and other structures.
Even though they don’t eat wood like termites, carpenter ants still damage homes by tearing out wood to construct nests where they raise their young. As the colony increases in size, carpenter ants destroy larger areas in your home and begin putting off reproductives or swarmers. These reproductives start new colonies so, over time, your home can have many colonies of ants. They can be very destructive and the resulting damage very expensive to repair.
Carpenter ants are hard to detect because they are nocturnal, thereby foraging for food at night. Debris in a windowsill, around a doorjamb, on baseboards or in the attic that returns when cleaned up is often the first sign of an infestation. The damage they cause to your home’s structure is seldom detected until the galleries formed in the wood to make nests collect moisture causing the wood to rot. Exterminating these insects from your home can be very difficult. Like most ants, carpenter ants don’t have digestive systems so they can’t eat solid food. Therefore, food must be carried back to the colonies where it is fed to mature larvae (an intermediate stage). These larvae digest the food and regurgitate it to feed the colonies making slow acting baits, which normally take 14-21 days to start affecting the colonies, the preferred treatment. Baits can be in a liquid, gel, granular or powder form but the colonies must be located for proper placement. The hope is to not only kill the workers but also to kill off the queens.
Carpenter ants are very sensitive to any pesticides placed in their environment and when these products are detected they move to other areas of your home where they tear out more wood. Many bait products that you buy over the counter will kill the ants too fast so you only kill a small portion of the colonies and the rest will no longer take the bait, so it's very important to contact a professional exterminator when your suspect you might have a problem with carpenter ants. Researchers have spent many hours producing baits with tiny amounts of toxins that carpenter ants can’t detect. These slow acting baits can eliminate entire colonies. By the time they realize the baits are killing them, the entire colony, including the queen, has been contaminated and will die.
Termites are beneficial organisms that eat dead wood and turn it into rich humus in the wild, but when they start eating your home it’s time to call Bob Jenkins Pest & Lawn. Subterranean termites, the most common wood destroying organism in this area, are social insects that infest homes & businesses. They travel from the soil into your home, consume the wood and return to the soil.
Here are a few helpful tips for recognizing termites in your home. Look for damage to sheetrock, wallpaper or doorjambs, especially in plumbing areas. Also look for small areas of dirt called “castles” on walls, baseboards, doorjambs or window areas. Inspect the perimeter of your home for mud tubes. Subterranean termites use these mud tubes to travel into your home. They also enter around water and sewer pipes or any other accessible openings such as hairline cracks in the slab. The swarmers or reproductives are small black bodied insects with clear wings that are twice as long as their bodies. Soldiers have cream colored bodies with brown heads. Workers entire bodies are cream colored and are 1/8 to 3/8” in length.
There are many species of termites that can cause problems but subterranean termites are the primary culprit in the San Antonio area. One of the most effective treatments for these termites is a soil treatment applied by a professional exterminator using the product Termidor.
Termites are social insects. This means there is a division of labor among the different types of individuals. Most ants, bees and wasps are also social insects. Nearly all termite species have reproductive and soldier castes, but in most of the more primitive species the typical duties of the workers (nest building, food gathering and feeding of the reproductives and soldiers) are handled entirely by the nymphs which are young or juvenile termites. Even in species with workers, the older nymphs may do some of the work.
Workers and nymphs of subterranean termites perform all the work of the colony and also cause all the damage to your home. Soldiers serve only to defend the colony. They can’t eat wood. They, together with reproductives, are fed by the workers. Both workers and soldiers are eyeless and therefore blind.
Winged adults are referred to as primary reproductives (often called swarmers). They emerge from the colonies on recolonizing flights during certain seasons of the year. In South Texas it is between March and May. After these flights, a male (king) and female (queen) will pair up, lose their wings and construct a small cell in the soil. There they will mate, lay eggs and rear the first group of workers for the new colony.
Each colony supports itself independent of other colonies, although recent research suggests closely related colonies may share workers during part of the year.
Other types of termites, such as drywood termites, don’t have to travel to the soil. They, unlike subterranean termites, live in the wood all the time. Drywood termites are primarily found in areas with high humidity such as the Corpus Christi or Houston areas. The normal treatment for these requires tenting your home and the use of gas fumigation.
Termites and Carpenter Ants are incredibly destructive indoor pests. Both species swarm during the Spring, so if you notice flying ants in your bathroom area or in the kitchen (anyplace where you have moisture), take a close look to determine if they are termites or just winged ants. Termites have a single pair of wings, straight antennae and a broad midsection while winged ants have four wings, bent or elbowed antennae, and a narrow waist.
A termite inspection will examine conditions conducive to infestation or infection and will look for live evidence of wood destroying organisms. A leaky shower or toilet creates a moisture problem for the surrounding wood members and thus creates a suitable environment for termites or carpenter ants.
Once termites take hold of your home, they are particularly difficult to remove. Due to both their destructive power and the difficulty in removing them, termite control is effective when you understand their habits. Whenever warm temperatures hit and it rains, you should be keep a watchful eye on the wet areas inside your home for termites or carpenter ants.
The majority of termites start to reproduce and lay down their own eggs in the springtime. They dig into the damp ground to lay their eggs, and while the eggs incubate, the worker termites work on you home so they can provide nourishment to the new termite babies that are about to become members of a larger colony.
Termite treatment by a professional exterminator is the most powerful way to exterminate current termites and continue to keep termites far away. The best time for termite control is actually a year round treatment plan that works to kill existing termites and then includes treatment of the damp ground beneath your property that will prevent future infestations.