Are Pests Triggering Your Allergies This Spring?

Pests can trigger allergies in the spring here in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Many people deal with spring allergies this time of year. Runny nose, itchy eyes…the symptoms can range from mild to severe and definitely disrupt our daily lives. With the weather warming up and trees blooming, it’s easy to blame allergies on springtime. But what if there’s more to it? With May being National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, the Pest Defense Solutions team wants to shine light on the dangers of pest allergens. Spring allergies can be triggered by a number of typical household pests, making it important to know how to prevent them! Read on to learn our top tips for keeping pest allergens out of your Albuquerque home this spring.

How to Get Rid of Pest Allergens

Thankfully, you can prevent pest allergens in your property by practicing basic pest prevention tips! Some of these include:

  • Store food in sealed containers and clean kitchens on a daily basis.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and use a tight-fitting lid.
  • Seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes, screen doors, and windows.
  • Keep your basements and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry!
  • Wash blankets, rugs, and bedding in hot water or get them dry-cleaned.
  • Vacuum and dust your property on a regular basis.
  • Keep pet food sealed in a tight container and wash food bowls.

Pests that Cause Allergies

You may be wondering what pests cause allergies in the first place. A lot of research has proven that cockroach droppings, skins, saliva, and more contribute to allergies and asthma, particularly in children. A roach infestation is often known to exacerbate allergic reactions. In addition, stinging insects such as yellow jackets and fire ants can cause allergic reactions for certain individuals.

In any case, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from an allergic reaction. Severe symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, swollen throat, and wheezing.

Professional Pest Allergen Prevention

Staying safe from pest allergens means staying away from pests in the first place! By keeping pests out of your home, you can greatly reduce the chance of having your seasonal allergies triggered by pests. For help keeping pests out of your property, our team is here to help. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can keep your family safe in spring and all year long.

How to Prevent These 5 Spring Pests

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Albuquerque NM home! Learn more from Pest Defense Solutions.

It’s finally springtime here in Albuquerque! Most people rejoice the return of warming weather. The return of pests, however, not so much. Unfortunately, spring is only the beginning of the major pest season, which can last throughout the fall. Pest problems are obviously a fact of life all year long in New Mexico. With so many people spring cleaning their property, now is the time to implement some pest prevention measures! Keep reading for expert tips from the team here at Pest Defense Solutions.

What Pests are Common in the Spring?

Although some of these pests are active all throughout the year, now is the time that they come out in full force. So what pests do you need to be on the lookout for? The following are just 5 of the typical pest problems dealt with by property owners this time of year:

How to Keep Springtime Pests Away

‘Tis the season for spring cleaning…and pest prevention, while you’re at it. When thoroughly cleaning your property, there’s a few areas to focus on. Clean your windows and doors, and make sure there are no cracks or crevices. Deep-clean your carpets by vacuuming, shampooing, or steam-cleaning them. Thoroughly sanitize your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids are a goldmine for bugs and other pests.

Outside, clean up debris from your yard, gutters, and overhangs. Make sure to trim back tree limbs and shrubs away from the foundation of your home to keep outdoor pests just that—outdoor pests.

Pest Control in the Springtime

With pest season well underway, it’s important to realize that pests will be in full force for the next few months. To fully protect yourself and your home from an infestation, it’s smart to team up with a professional exterminator. Our team will work with you to develop a custom pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your property.

What’s the Difference Between a Termite and a Flying Ant?

Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites in Albuquerque NM - Learn the difference from Pest Defense Solutions!

Was that a termite you saw, or a flying ant? These two insects are commonly mistaken for one another in the springtime when they swarm. Flying ants, known as carpenter ants, are the most destructive ant species in the nation. However, they don’t hold a torch to the damage caused by termites annually! In the swarmer stages of their lives, these two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for each other. It’s important to understand these two. Keep reading for expert info on the difference between a termite and a flying ant from the professionals at Pest Defense Solutions.

The Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Pests

Although they both have wood destroying capabilities, termites are typically more dangerous than carpenter ants. The main differences in habit between these two include:

  • Termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
  • Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
  • Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
  • Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. Carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.

Winged ant vs. termite in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

How do Termite Swarmers and Carpenter Ants Look Alike?

It can be difficult to tell apart termites from carpenter ants. In the swarmer stage, the both appear very similar save for a few key differences:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers.
  2. Termite swarmers: Usually, termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

How to Prevent Termites & Flying Ants

Both termites and carpenter ants can cause a lot of property damage, which is why it’s important to learn how to prevent both! Your best defense against a wood-destroying insect is to sign up for annual inspections from a professional pest control company such as Pest Defense Solutions. Our termite exterminators can conduct thorough property inspections on your Albuquerque NM home or business to look for early signs of termites and carpenter ants.

The Real Dangers of Rodent Infestations

Rats chew on wires and create hazards in Albuquerque NM homes. New Mexico Pest Control shares info on the dangers of rodents.
 

Whether you own a home or business in the Albuquerque area, you know that rodents are a problem throughout the entire year. In addition to simply being gross, rats and mice can create a hazardous environment. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about rodents is the fact that they are capable of carrying and transmitting diseases, including hantavirus and salmonella. Because rodent problems are so common in the area all year long, it’s important to learn about the real dangers of rodents.

The Damage Rats & Mice Cause

Rats and mice can wreak havoc in your property with their nesting and chewing habits. These pests aren’t picky and can create a mess digging through your garbage. Additionally, rats have incisors that never stop growing … meaning they never stop chewing! One of the most dangerous things rats chew on are electrical wires. Needless to say, exposed wires can become a fire hazard. Additionally, rats and mice will tear up any type of material to create nests. If you have rodents in your property, you can be sure you’ll have a lot of cleanup to take care of in their wake!

Common Rodent Diseases

In New Mexico and all around the world, there are a number of serious illnesses and health risks tied back to the presence of rodents. These pathogens can be spread directly or indirectly. Mice-borne diseases are spread directly to humans through contact with droppings, saliva, and bites. They are transmitted indirectly through ticks, fleas, and mites. The main three rodent-borne diseases to be aware of include:

  • Hantavirus
    • Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases or when it is not treated, it can lead to shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  • Salmonella
    • When rats and mice walk over surfaces, they are tracking dirt and bacteria across other food surfaces. Salmonella, commonly referred to as food poisoning, can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and worse.
  • Rat-bite fever
    • Also known as Streptobacillus, rat-bite fever is usually caused by a bite or scratch from an infected rat. It is also caught by handling infected animals and ingesting food or drink contaminated with the rat’s feces or urine.

How to Get Rid of Rodents in Albuquerque

If you notice the presence of rats or mice inside your property, it’s time to call a rodent exterminator. At Pest Defense Solutions, our mice exterminators have the experience needed to properly get rid of infestations and ensure you are protected from future rodent problems. Our goal is to keep you, your family, and your property safe from the dangers of rodents year-round.

10 Key German Cockroach Facts to Know

German cockroaches are one of the most common roach problems in the Albuquerque NM area - Pest Defense Solutions

Cockroaches are a common pest problem for anyone that owns a property in the Albuquerque NM area. Whether you’re dealing with roaches in your home or business, you’re likely dealing with German cockroaches. This species is the most common roach problem for homes, multi-family units, restaurants, food processing facilities, and more. In addition to simply being gross, German cockroaches breed rapidly and are capable of carrying dangerous pathogens.

In this blog post, the experts at Pest Defense Solutions share their 10 key German cockroach facts to learn in order to be able to identify this pesky roach.

Key German Cockroach Facts

German cockroaches may look somewhat similar to their American and brown-banded counterparts, but they’re quite different. Some key German cockroach facts to remember include:

  1. German cockroaches are best identified by their pronotum (protective plate behind the head), which has two longitudinal dark stripes.
  2. These roaches are most commonly found in residential and commercial kitchens or bathrooms.
  3. German cockroaches typically prefer areas of high temperatures and high humidity.
  4. German cockroaches only live indoors. While rare, they can live outside in warm weather.
  5. German cockroaches have an extremely quick rate of reproduction. They can quickly spread throughout a building.
  6. The ootheca (egg case) of the German cockroach contains between 35–40 eggs, which take one month to hatch.
  7. German cockroaches can carry or transmit diseases and pathogens that may be dangerous to humans.
  8. German cockroach infestations can cause severe asthmatic reactions in some people.
  9. They are able to climb on smooth surfaces because they have a sticky pad on their feet.
  10. German cockroaches prefer to spend their lives hidden in dark areas. They are known to hide inside walls, behind cabinets, inside appliances, and other rarely accessed areas.

How to Prevent a German Roach Infestation

As with all roaches, keeping German cockroaches out of your property requires some effort on your end. By keeping a clean, tidy property, you are effectively lessening the risk of an infestation. Roaches love filth and are attracted to clutter. To prevent a German roach infestation, make sure to keep all food in sealed containers and secure your garbage cans securely. Most importantly, check on areas in your property that are dark or rarely disturbed for evidence of cockroach activity.

Effective & Long-Lasting German Cockroach Control

As soon as you notice a single roach in your New Mexico property, it’s time to call the experts at Pest Defense Solutions. Our exterminators have years of experience providing residents and businesses alike with full-service German cockroach extermination. You can trust we will work to keep German roaches out of your property all year long.

6 Important Pests of 2020

2020 pests to look out for in your Albuquerque NM home this year - Pest Defense Solutions

Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to protecting your family and home against pests this year, you can be proactive with the help of Pest Defense Solutions. We are helping homeowners prepare for the upcoming pest season by offering insight into anticipated pest activity.

At Pest Defense Solutions, we have examined trends, company data and our own field experiences to determine the following six pest predictions. Additionally, we have provided preventative tips to help keep your home pest-free this year.


Mosquitoes

Disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito, have recently surged in some Western states. These mosquitoes, as well as the common house mosquito, spread diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). A bite from a mosquito can also spread the parasite that causes heartworm in pets.

Homeowner Tips: West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, can increase with rising populations. And, mosquitoes only need one tablespoon of water to lay their eggs! To protect yourself and your family, dispose of any standing water around your home and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending any time outdoors.


Rats

Rat populations have increased over the past several years, and this may be partly due to warmer than usual winters. We can expect to see that trend continue as rodent populations, especially in suburban areas, increase. Warmer winters, a booming construction pipeline, lack of sanitation control, and lack of affordable housing are all issues that have advanced the swell of recent rat activity.

Homeowner Tips: To prevent rodents from entering your home, utilize the following prevention tips: Keep shrubs and trees cut back from home, especially thick ground cover that can serve as hiding places for rats. Ensure that trees do not overhang, touching the roof of your home. Seal any exterior openings larger than a nickel with rodent-proof material such as hardware cloth or flashing. Finally, seal and tie trash bags, placing them into garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.


Termites

Termites are one of the most destructive pests, causing homeowners in the United States $6 billion in property damages each year. These wood-destroying pests are a constant challenge for homeowners in the Western U.S., and this year, termites could prove to be even more damaging. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions have seen an increase in activity from subterranean and dampwood termites in many areas this year.

Homeowner Tips: Earth-to-wood contact provides an avenue for termites to enter homes and structures. To deter termites, eliminate soil to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulations near your homes’ foundation. Termites can be present for years before homeowners ever see signs of their activity, causing considerable and costly damage. Avoid these costs by having a termite protection plan in place. Speak to your pest control provider about risk and protection options for your home.


Cockroaches

Cockroach populations have increased dramatically over the past several years, due in large part to warmer weather and increased rainfall. Cockroaches carry diseases, infest stored food, and then spread these diseases through their excrement. Cockroach removal is vital as infestations can be serious if not taken care of in a timely manner.

Homeowner Tips: To deter an infestation, cockroach-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices around windows and door frames with a silicone-based caulk. Keep a clean kitchen, sweeping, mopping and wiping up any spills. Check that door seals, including the one on your garage, are in place and intact. If you’re experiencing cockroach problems, speak with your pest control professional to determine the best solution for your home.


Flies

If you have noticed more flies this past year, you are not alone. Although they’re more active in the summer, house flies reproduce year-round. Filth flies – house flies, bottle flies, flesh flies – generally live and breed near human habitats and their numbers have increased in recent years. Increasing population density, waste management practices that haven’t kept pace with growth, and a general trend toward a warming climate for the fly pressure all contribute to increasing this disease-spreading insect.

Homeowner Tips: The house fly and other types of “filth flies” are not only nuisance pests; they also have the potential to spread the disease to humans and animals. To protect yourself and your family, repair any damaged screens on windows and doors. Keep trash stored away from your home and make sure that all trash cans have tight-fitting lids.


Spiders

Spiders are carnivores, eating other insects and thriving in wet environments. Increased moisture leads to an increase in the insects that spiders eat as a food resource. Heavy rain and warmer temperatures have created the perfect conditions for insects and spiders to flourish. Although beneficial for our ecosystem, most people prefer spiders to stay outside where they belong.

Homeowner Tips: To keep spiders out of your home, keep food put away in tightly sealed storage containers. This will help eliminate ants, roaches and other pests, which will leave spiders with no food source. If the thought of spiders lurking is alarming, try changing your white outdoor light bulbs to yellow light bulbs, which attract fewer insects that can serve as food for the spiders. There are a few species of spiders that can live indoors and need to be controlled by spider removal experts.


The experts at Pest Defense Solutions agree that a proactive approach can help eliminate pest issues before they appear. With these pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and make sure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests this year.