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The Alvin Pest Control, LLC Blog

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The Effects of Spider Bites and How to Prevent Them

In Texas, we have around 900 species of spiders. Finding them in your home can be very frightening and distressing. Most spiders are considered venomous, but only a few, such as the black widow and the brown recluse, normally cause serious health problems. Common Reactions to Spider Bites Usually, you will not notice when a spider bites you. A red bump may appear at the location of the bite. Most people do not have any reactions. For those who have allergic reactions or sensitivity to insect bites or stings, symptoms are more likely. Here are some of the more common effects of spider bites: Swelling and redness Skin discoloration Pain and tenderness Fever and headache Stiff joints and muscle aches Other less common symptoms include hives, nausea and anxiety. When deciding to seek medical treatment, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Spider bites can lead to infection as...
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Silverfish: What Are They and How Can You Determine if You Have Them?

Silverfish are a species of insects which are not commonly brought up during conversations about pest control, despite being extremely common. Because not very many people have even heard of these pests, it can be difficult for them to recognize the signs of a silverfish infestation, or understand how silverfish can damage their property. To help you stay on your guard, here is a brief description of silverfish and some way to know if you have them in your house. What are Silverfish? Silverfish are actually pretty interesting creatures. They have roamed the earth long before the dinosaurs, and some scientists estimate that they are around 400 million years old! An impressive track-record. Despite their appearance, they are fortunately not directly harmful to humans. Some people may be allergic to the skin they molt, but otherwise they don’t bite and rarely carry germs. What they do harm, however, is property. Silverfish...
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Why You Should Contact Pest Control When You Have a Pest Issue

If you are a homeowner, then it is very likely that at one time or another, you will experience a pest infestation in your home. Perhaps you feel as though it isn’t a big deal and that you could handle it easily on your own with items bought from the grocery store. Before trying do-it-yourself pest control treatments, read on for more information about why it is important to contact a professional pest control company when you have a pest issue. DIY Sometimes Is Not Enough While do-it-yourself pest control can be effective for a short amount of time, it tends to not be effective for the long term. You may feel as though you can save more time and money by trying to do home remedies or do-it-yourself solutions. However, you can save yourself future hassles and potentially save more money if your pest issue is handled correctly the first...
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Your Guide to Termite Pest Control

Termites have been on earth far longer than humans have been and, chances are, they will still be here long after we are gone. They may be small - they are even smaller than average ants - but together in large groups they can cause major damage. Some experts estimate that they cause as much as five billion dollars in property damage in the United States each year. Termites wreak havoc because they survive by eating the cellulose found in dead plant material, and so they love chomping away at your home’s walls and support beams. If left unchecked, termite colonies can cause damage that is not just unsightly, but that is dangerous as well. How to Identify a Termite Problem Often, the destruction that termites are doing in your home is hidden, and you may not even know you have termites until something collapses. This is scary to think about,...
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Everything You Need to Know About Nuisance Wildlife

Squirrels might be cute when hanging upside down from your bird feeder trying to get the seeds or corn, but a nest of squirrels living in the attic or walls of your home is a whole other matter. Welcome to the world of nuisance wildlife. Many animals want your home to be their home, as they escape the winter cold or the summer heat. Nuisance wildlife and humans do not co-exist well in the home. Trapped animals can feel threatened and become aggressive, and these animals can also present disease and other dangers to your family. Types of Nuisance Wildlife Squirrels are common in our region of Texas and are known for invading homes in search of a warm nesting place. These pests frequently find a way into your attic, where they can chew through and damage electrical wiring. Bats are also common in Texas. All bats love dark, secluded and...
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Keeping the Bugs at Bay: Residential Pest Control

Bugs have been around for millions of years, so they have been swift to develop a sense of human dependency considering that we involuntarily provide them with food and shelter regularly. From cockroaches to ants, there are a wide variety of bugs that discreetly use our homes as a place to eat, live and lay their eggs. To help keep bed bugs at bay, here are three fundamental techniques that you should try to follow as closely as possible. Clean Regularly Bugs are attracted to food, so be sure to clean and vacuum the home on a regular basis so that bugs aren’t able to sense any. When keeping the kitchen clean, don’t leave out any dirty dishes, close any opened snack bags and keep garbage bins closed. As soon as bugs such as ants notice there is food around, they will start to look for it around your home. With...
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Five Ways to Prevent Ants

Common Pests Ants are a common pest to find scurrying around your home. Unfortunately, they aren’t only to be found outside marching across your nicely laid out picnic blanket. You’ve probably seen them making their way across your countertops or floors, inside cupboards, or even in your bagged food items. How do you keep these pests from entering your sanctuary? Here are five ways to prevent ants. Seal All Cracks Ants can easily enter your home through any crack or crevice that they find. This includes under doorways or windows, or even cracks in the foundation. It is best to seal any area that you feel may be a possible entryway for ants, as you will find that a colony of ants will rapidly increase. Keep Your Home Clean Keeping a clean home means that you are less likely to experience an ant infestation. Wash any dishes in the sink. Make...
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Pests Around the Home — Common Bugs in the Bedroom

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. It should be the place you go to when you want to get away from all of the external stressors that affect your life. Despite the fact that your bedroom should be a special place for you to unwind, it is not immune from negative forces that can be frustrating. One of these factors is bugs. No one wants to share a bedroom with bugs, but they are one of the most common places a pest can set up residence in your home. Here are some of the most common bugs you may find in your bedroom. Bed Bugs Bed bugs thrive on feeding on humans as they sleep. So, they are commonly found in the bedrooms of homes. These bugs can easily travel from place to place by jumping into suitcases, attaching to laundry or by attaching themselves to objects like books. Then, they...
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How Quickly can Roaches Spread Throughout the Home?

Cockroaches are one of the most iconic insects that come to mind when people hear the word "pest." They are unsanitary, tenacious, and worst of all, they spread rapidly. With roaches, if you don’t know what you’re dealing with, the chances are you won’t have much luck trying to remove them from your place of residence. The more you know about these annoying pests, the better, so here is a brief explanation of the ways roaches spread throughout your house and how fast it can happen. How they Reproduce Female American cockroaches can lay between six to fourteen egg capsules in their lifetime. Each capsule holds about sixteen eggs. Depending on temperature and humidity, young cockroaches known as ‘nymphs’ will hatch between four to eight weeks. First, the nymphs hatch from their individual eggs, then they all work as a group to break through the egg capsule. Female cockroaches lay about...
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Spiders that Live in the Alvin, Houston and Galveston Area of Texas

Texas is a great place to live. Galveston has long been the beach getaway for Texans, and Houston is a cultural epicenter that supplies museums, live music and well-known education facilities. It’s no wonder that many people choose to live in the suburbs of these two cities, with some of the more popular areas being Alvin, Sugarland and The Woodlands. Texas is also home to no less than 74 species of arachnids, and while most of them are harmless, some can carry serious consequences if you’re bitten. Alvin Pest Control specializes in pest control, whether you have standard house and garden spiders or venomous spiders. Let’s take a look at the most common spiders found in this region of Texas, and what you should do if you find them in your home. Most Common Spiders Black Widow: One of the two potentially harmful spiders found in Texas, Black Widows like to...
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Can I Handle This On My Own? When to Call a Pest Professional

When it comes to pests in your home, you may wonder if you're able to get rid of them yourself. You may not want to spend the money and investment to bring in a professional, but it is often the best course of action. Whether or not you should bring in a professional really depends on the kind of pest and the extent of the infestation. When to call in a professional to handle your pests If you have termites Termites are hard to handle on your own. Their colonies and infestations are hard to find and they can cause damage to structures even before you realize that you have a problem. At the first sign of termites or mud colonies near the foundation of your house, make sure to call a professional. Professionals are able to recommend treatment and also keep them from coming back. If you have wasps Wasps...
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Texas Sized Bugs

Is everything bigger in Texas? Based on the size of the following insects, this popular phrase definitely proves to be true. Let’s take a look at the largest bugs in the state. Tarantula Hawk Measuring out at around two inches in length, tarantula hawks are some of the largest wasps in the world. Known for having an incredibly powerful sting, these giant wasps can take down a tarantula in mere seconds. Although tarantula hawks are definitely scary bugs, they don’t usually attack humans. Unsurprisingly, provoking a tarantula hawk makes you far more likely to get stung. Giant Water Bug Because of their sheer size and gruesome-looking claws, giant water bugs have a quite intimidating appearance. Understandably, they tend to trigger a great deal of fear. Insect-liquefying venom enables a giant water bug to transform its prey into mush. The good news is that giant water bugs spend most of their time...
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How Can Silverfish Damage Your Home?

Silverfish don't inflict as much damage as termites or carpenter ants, but they can cause significant harm. These small, creepy insects often invade attics, kitchens and bathrooms. Their unusual diet may result in repair bills or time-consuming projects. Wallpaper If your house has wallpaper, these bugs might consume the paste that attaches this material to the walls. This behavior could cause your wallpaper to peel. Silverfish may also stain the paper with a yellowish fluid. Insulation When this pest takes up residence in an attic or wall, it will eat the insulation's paper lining. This coating exists to prevent condensation from forming. Consequently, silverfish may eventually cause mold to develop in your walls. Fabrics These insects can damage many types of carpets, rugs and curtains. Most materials are vulnerable to silverfish. They eat silk, wool, linen and cotton. Additionally, this pest devours rayon because it contains cellulose. Silverfish tend to harm...
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Types of Ants in Texas During the Fall

The autumn months can be pleasant, and many people will enjoy this season by having outdoor picnics or barbecues. This is a great way to spend time with family and friends, but this can also attract several types of outdoor ants as well. When you understand the different species of ants, you can take effective measures to deal with their colonies. Identifying Ants in Autumn Correct identification of ants is an important part of any comprehensive ant control plan. There are several techniques used to identify the particular species of ant that is infesting your area. The first method is the close examination of the color on the body of the ant. The most common colors are red, black and brown. Sometimes, the colors will tell you about the behavior of other ants in the area. For example, biting ants usually have a different color on their body segments than the...
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Business Owners and Pest Control: What You Need to Know

Office spaceBusiness owners face a unique regulatory environment when it comes to pest control. It is very important to understand the differences between pest control for businesses and residential properties before making a decision based on your particular requirements. Business owners need to protect their reputation, which can become compromised in the event of a pest infestation. This can reduce the amount of profits, and it can even lead to the closing of the business in some cases. Common Pest Control Issues For Business Owners Our services and informational content is designed to assist business owners who need to make decisions about pest control in a timely and efficient manner. Our service professionals are always prompt, and they are fully informed about the different methods for business pest control in your area. Save money and time by considering these top issues for business owners: We investigate the entire property to determine the...
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How to Avoid Bed Bugs This Summer

Bed bug on skinIf you are like other people who are excited about summer, you plan many events and make the most of each day. You could have travel plans so that you can visit friends or family, or you might want to take an unbeatable vacation. No matter what you would like to do, getting the most from your summer requires you to learn about bed bugs and how you can keep them away. Unless you have a plan in place, bed bugs can strike without warning and make you feel hopeless, and the best way to safeguard yourself and your home is to prevent them from getting inside. Read Online Reviews Going somewhere that already has bed bugs is one of the top ways you can bring them back into your home, so you must check online reviews before you visit a restaurant, theatre or hotel, which will help prevent unwanted surprises....
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How to Know What Type of Ants You Are Dealing With

If you see ants in and around your home, you might wonder how you can tell what type of ant you have. There are more than 16,000 species of ants in the U.S. However, there are substantially fewer ant species that are found in Houston, Galveston and the rest of the Gulf region and even fewer that are known to infest homes and businesses. It is important for you to correctly identify the ant species with which you are dealing so that you can use the appropriate treatment methods for them. Fire Ants Fire ants are especially problematic because of the dangers that they present to humans and animals alike. These ants are red ants that bite. If you are bitten by fire ants, you will feel a burning and stinging sensation. These ants inject an alkaloid venom that can cause serious reactions in people. They establish nests in sunny, warm...
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What Are the Signs of a Termite Infestation?

If your goal is to protect your home from the unthinkable so that you won't face costly repair or replacement costs, don't overlook the red flags of a termite infestation. When these pests get into your home, they can cause a lot of damage without warning, and you can't afford to let them catch you off guard. Many people are shocked when they see how much trouble termites can cause, but you can avoid that situation when you arm yourself with the right information. Discarded Wings An overcrowded termite colony will send flying swarmers out to find a new place to infest, and you could end up on the wrong side of an invasion if you are not careful. The good news, however, is that you can spot discarded wings when swarmers are trying to take over your home. They usually shed their wings near common entry points, so you might...
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Zika Virus

JackieA study by University of North Dakota researchers shows that the mosquito species Aedes vexans, which is native to North America, can transmit Zika virus.I contracted Zika in late July 2016 in the Commonwealth of Dominica (small island in the Caribbean).  At the time I was in Dominica I took pictures of the mosquito I was being bit by (see below). I sent the pics off to confirm but never got an ID. The reason I did was that the entire time I was in the country I never saw a Aedes -  aegyti or alobopictus (striped) mosquito (these mosquitos at the time were the only known carriers of the Zika Virus). So study now confirms that there is another species transmitting this virus. My belief is that the mosquitos in Dominica were Aedes vexans. What does this mean to us? This breed of mosquito has the ability to have a much...
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Zika Virus & Mosquitos

Zika Virus 1 Zika Virus & Mosquitos 4 Things You Need To Know By: Jackie L. Thornton Associate Certified Entomologist The Zika Virus is a rare mosquito-borne disease that has made its way to the United States. Because of the disturbing images of what this pathogen can do to newborn infants, it has certainly piqued our interest. I have compiled a list of 4 things that may help understand a little more about this disease. The perspective of this article comes from a 35 year pest professional and an Associate Certified Entomologist, not from a medical field perspective. 1. The Mosquitos that transmit this virus are already here in the U.S. Yes, the most common carriers of this virus are the Asian Tiger Mosquito (aedes albopictus) and the Yellow Fever Mosquito (aedes aegypti) . These are of our more “daytime” fresh-water mosquitos and they are infamous for also carrying the virus for Dengue & Yellow fever and Chikungunya viruses to name a few. 2. What...
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