How Do You Check for Bed Bugs at Your Vacation Rental or Hotel?

Bed bug in hotel bed in Albuquerque | Pest Defense Solutions

When you’re caught up in the excitement of a vacation, bed bugs are probably the last thing on your mind. However, these tiny pests are notorious for hiding out in places like hotels and public transit centers. If you aren’t careful, you may end up accidentally carrying them home with you! To protect yourself, it’s important to know how to check for bed bugs at your vacation rental or hotel. Read on to learn the best ways to avoid these pests while traveling. 

How to Prevent Bed Bugs While Traveling

Bed bugs commonly spread through public spaces, often hitching a ride on our clothing or luggage. So, the longer you spend in an airport or on a bus, the higher your risk of picking up bed bugs. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to avoid bed bugs while traveling:

  • Carefully read reviews: Before choosing a hotel or bus line, read reviews from previous travelers. If they mention bed bugs, try finding alternative options. 
  • Protect your luggage: Since bed bugs like to hide in cloth, soft luggage is more likely to be targeted by these pests. Switch to a hard-back suitcase and seal your clothing in plastic bags that they won’t be able to penetrate. 
  • After getting home, keep your luggage outside: Until you’ve been able to carefully inspect your suitcase, avoid bringing it indoors. That way, if any insects have attached to your belongings, they won’t have access to your entire home. 
  • Wash your clothes on high heat: High heat kills bed bugs and their eggs. Even if you haven’t worn all of your clothes, immediately wash them on high heat after returning home.
  • Consult a professional if you think you have bed bugs: Nobody wants to wake up covered in bites. If you’ve recently traveled and think you have bed bugs, call a professional to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Signs of Bed Bugs in a Hotel

After a long day of travel, you may be tempted to just drop your luggage and start relaxing after arriving at your hotel room. However, doing so puts you at a bigger risk of unknowingly running into bed bugs. Knowing how to check for bed bugs in your airbnb or vacation rental is crucial to avoiding an unpleasant experience. Here are some of the most common signs that your hotel room is infested:

  • Rusty bloodstains on the mattress, sheets, or pillowcases
  • Brownish streaks on the headboard or in the closet
  • Distinctive musty or sweet-smelling odor
  • Light-yellow bed bug eggs, usually found near the headboard
  • Shed exoskeletons, which are often very small and pale in color
  • Live bed bugs or waking up with bite marks

When looking for bed bugs, be sure to check in any upholstered areas. Look at the headboard, carpeting, closet, and luggage rack. Consider using a flashlight so you can pick up on small signs that are easily overlooked. If you think your room has an infestation, ask for a different room or seek other accommodations. 

Worried You Have Bed Bugs?

If you’ve just gotten back from a vacation and are worried you now have bed bugs, reach out to the experts at Pest Defense Solutions. Dealing with an infestation on your own can feel impossible, but our team has the tools and experience needed to eradicate the bed bugs as quickly as possible. For over 15 years, we’ve proudly helped homeowners throughout El Paso keep their homes pest-free*. Call us now to say goodbye to bed bugs for good. 

Gentle Strategies For Humane Gopher Removal and Management

A gopher in yard in Albuquerque | Pest Defense Solutions

For homeowners in Albuquerque, NM who take pride in their lush green lawns and vibrant gardens, the presence of gophers can quickly turn from a minor annoyance into a major headache. These industrious rodents can wreak havoc on your outdoor spaces, causing damage to plants, irrigation systems, and utility lines, and even posing a tripping hazard with their burrows. There are a few well-known eradication methods like poison and gas, but their effectiveness comes at the expense of our ecosystem. For those seeking to address this issue with compassion and ethical consideration, the professionals at Pest Defense Solutions are here to provide effective and humane wildlife removal methods.

Identifying A Gopher Infestation

Identifying a gopher infestation early on is crucial to prevent extensive damage. Here’s what to look out for, if you suspect you may have these unwelcome rodents on your property:

  • Mounded soil: Gophers create mounds of dirt as they dig their tunnels.  
  • Unexplained plant damage: Voracious plant eaters, gophers prefer to feast on plant roots so keep an eye out for gnaw marks on the lower parts of your plants or trees.
  • Visible Holes: Gophers are complex and systemic diggers. You may notice raised pathways across your lawn, accompanied by holes in a straight line.
  • Gnaw marks on utility lines and PVC pipes: A less obvious sign of gophers, but they are known to chew on utility lines, PVC pipes, water lines, and irrigation systems.

If you come across any of these signs, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Pest Defense Solutions for humane wildlife removal.

Most Common Non-lethal Gopher Management Techniques

Dealing with a gopher infestation in your yard doesn’t have to involve harmful chemicals or lethal traps. Non-lethal gopher removal methods offer effective solutions while prioritizing the well-being of these rodents and the ecosystem. A few non-lethal wildlife removal techniques are:

  • Live Traps: Designed specifically to capture gophers for relocation. Wildlife can be aggressive, so we recommend leaving this option to the professionals. 
  • Ultrasonic Repellents: These devices emit high-frequency sounds or vibrations that are unpleasant for gophers, and can be inserted into the ground near their burrows.
  • Castor Oil: Safe for your plants and the environment, gophers hate the taste of castor oil. It can be purchased in granules that you’ll spread in areas you seek to prevent or push gophers out of your yard. Be sure to water afterward, so the oil spreads down into the soil.
  • Gopher Mesh: Highly effective at preventing gophers from burrowing into your garden beds while allowing water and nutrients to pass through. Gopher mesh needs to be installed at least one foot deep, and stick up above ground a few inches, to be properly effective. 
  • Gopher Baskets: If you have a landscape you need to regularly dig, gopher baskets are a gopher mesh alternative that works great for rose bushes, succulents, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens.

Plant Selection: Plant a protective border of lavender, rosemary, or salvia around the landscape you seek to protect from gopher activity. Paired with garlic stakes, this natural gopher repellent is quite effective and doubles as a bonus repellent for many other unwanted garden pests.

    Professional Help with Heart

    The team of highly trained professionals at Pest Defense Solutions has been dedicated to ethical and effective pest control for nearly 15 years. If you suspect you may be dealing with a gopher infestation, you can count on Pest Defense Solutions to safely and humanely care for your home as if it’s our own. Give us a call today for a free estimate!

    How Do You Protect Your Dogs from Ticks?

    dog in pain from ticks in feet - how can you protect your dog?

    Ticks are a pest that no dog owner ever wants to deal with. These pesky little hitchhikers love to latch onto our furry friends, potentially spreading diseases and causing life-long health problems. But worry not! With regular inspections, tick preventatives, and prompt removal, we can keep our dogs tick-free and their tails wagging happily. So, let’s talk about everything you need to know about protecting your dogs from ticks.

    How Do You Protect Your Dogs from Ticks & Tick-Borne Diseases?

    When most people think about ticks, the first thing that comes to mind is Lyme disease. In addition to Lyme disease, ticks are also known to carry Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

    Tick-borne diseases can have a wide range of symptoms in dogs, including lameness, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes or joints. If you notice any of these signs in your furry friend after a tick bite, seek veterinary care immediately. Early detection and proper treatment can make a significant difference in your dog’s recovery and overall health. These diseases can lead to life-long health issues if not treated quickly.

    5 Simple Steps to Safely Remove a Tick 

    Finding a tick on your furry best friend can be alarming but don’t panic! Just follow these 5 simple steps to easily and safely remove a tick that has bitten your pet:

    1. Using tweezers or a tick removal tool, firmly grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
    2. Use firm pressure to pull the tick straight out. Do not twist or crush the tick as you are pulling. 
    3. Check the area to make sure you have fully removed the tick head. 
    4. Dispose the tick by either sealing it in a ziplock bag or soaking it in alcohol and throwing it in the garbage or flushing it down the toilet. If you wish to be cautious, you can also take the tick to a veterinarian’s office to test it for tick-borne diseases.
    5. Cleanse the bite area with an antiseptic to avoid infection.

    How To Prevent Tick Bites on Your Dog

    As with most pests, taking proactive measures to keep ticks away is crucial. Start by consulting your veterinarian to determine the best tick prevention options for your pet’s specific needs. Your vet may recommend either topical treatments, oral medications, or tick collars to keep ticks off your pets.

    Even with proper tick prevention treatments, you still may find a tick on your dog. Regularly inspect your dog’s fur for ticks, especially after outdoor adventures in areas with tall grass or brush. These pesky parasites are excellent hiders: pay close attention to common tick hiding spots, such as the ears, paws, armpits, and underbelly.

    If your property is prone to tick infestations, you should consider professional tick control.

    Pest Defense Solutions Tick Control Services 

    If you encounter ticks around your home or yard, it’s crucial to take immediate action to safeguard your health and the well-being of your pets. Tick bites can cause discomfort and spread disease, making professional tick extermination important. 

    At Pest Defense Solutions, we offer comprehensive pest control services to tackle ticks or any other pest infestations. Our highly trained tick specialists will thoroughly examine your property, identify the source of the infestation, and implement effective tick control measures to create a tick-free environment for you and your dog.

    If you are finding ticks on your furry best friend or in your yard, contact the tick experts at Pest Defense Solutions today for a free quote!

    Wasp-free Wheels: How to Keep Your Car Sting-Free

    a wasp on a car window wants to get inside

    Imagine cruising through Albuquerque, basking in the sun, and enjoying the scenic drive. Suddenly, you hear a buzzing sound and spot a wasp zipping around inside your car. Talk about unwelcome passengers. They do not contribute to gas money, and personal space means nothing to them. But fear not; in this blog, we’ll teach you how to prevent wasps from infesting your car. The following tips will keep those pesky wasps and their nests out of your precious wheels.

    Why Do I Have Wasps in My Car?

    Wasps love dark, warm places to set up shop, and your car fits the bill perfectly. They can squeeze through tiny openings like windows, sunroofs, or vents. They might even hitch a ride on your clothes, bags, or snacks, finding cozy spots under seats, in the glove box, or even in the trunk.

    What Attracts Wasps to My Car?

    Wasps have a few weaknesses that can lead them straight to your car:

    • Leftover food and drinks: These winged critters have a sweet tooth and crave protein. They are not picky and will happily indulge in fruits, soda, candy, meat, cheese, or anything you leave behind. Calories and expiration dates mean nothing to them; they want a free feast.
    • Flowers and plants nearby: Wasps feed on nectar and pollen and can follow enticing scents to your vehicle. They will not consider your allergies or preferences; they are simply after a sweet treat.
    • Fragrant products inside: Air fresheners, perfumes, or lotions can confuse wasps, making them mistake those scents for a tasty meal. They will not consider your style or mood; they are just curious sniffers.
    • Idle cars: If your wheels sit unused for too long, wasps might view it as an open invitation to build their home. They will not care about your schedule or plans; they want a cozy spot to settle in.

    How to Prevent Wasps From Nesting in Your Car

    To prevent wasp invasions and protect your car sanctuary, follow these simple tips:

    • Maintain a clean car.
    • Seal any openings.
    • Choose shady parking spots.

    Uh-oh, Wasps Inside! What Now?

    If you encounter wasps in your car, stay calm and follow these steps:

    • If the car is moving, find a place to safely park it: The wasp might be dangerous, but driving erratically is much more dangerous. Obey all traffic laws in finding a safe place to stop.
    • Move away slowly: Avoid swatting or sudden movements that might provoke the wasp(s). Nonchalantly act like nothing is bothering you.
    • Call the pros: Leave the wasp wrangling to the experts. Do not attempt DIY methods or hop in the car. Contact a professional pest control company immediately.

    Trust Pest Defense Solutions

    Pest Defense Solutions is the team you can count on when it comes to wasp removal from your car. As a local company serving Albuquerque since 2001, we have you covered with the following:

    • Prompt and reliable service: We will answer your call within 24 hours and provide same-day service if needed.
    • Environmentally friendly solutions: Our natural and organic products ensure safety for you, your family, your pets, and the environment.
    • 100% satisfaction guarantee: We stand behind our work, offering a quality guarantee and following up to ensure your satisfaction.

    Do not let wasps spoil your day or damage your wheels. Contact Pest Defense Solutions today for a free professional pest control service quote. We will help you bid farewell to those buzzing intruders so you can enjoy your car in peace. We promise not to leave you with a sting.

    Avoiding Roaches in the Spring: Tips for Homeowners

    three dead roaches on the floor of a home

    Spring is the season of rebirth and rejuvenation. This time of year is also when pests like cockroaches become more active. Cockroaches are a prevalent nuisance in many houses and can be particularly troublesome in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are a significant danger to public health because they can spread infectious bacteria that can cause sickness.

    The American Cockroach

    This is the largest of the three most prevalent roach species found in Albuquerque homes. They are reddish-brown and can be two inches long. They frequently inhabit basements, baths, and other warm, moist areas. They are scavengers who consume nearly anything, including paper, clothing, and food scraps.

    The German Cockroach

    This is a small but troublesome pest common in many Albuquerque homes. They are light brown and can be 5/8 of an inch long. German cockroaches frequently inhabit bathrooms and kitchens because they love warm, humid conditions. They are also scavengers and will eat almost anything.

    The Oriental Cockroach

    This is the least common of the three most common species of cockroaches found in Albuquerque homes. They are dark brown or black and can grow to a length of 1 1/4 inches. Oriental cockroaches frequently inhabit basements, crawl areas, and other cool, wet environments. They are scavengers who will eat almost anything, including decaying organic matter.

    Identifying a Roach Infestation

    Identifying a cockroach infestation as soon as possible is crucial because they are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Common signs of a roach infestation include:

    • Spotting live cockroaches in the house.
    • Finding cockroach eggs and feces in your home.
    • Detecting an oily or musty smell in your home.

    What Attracts Roaches to Your Home?

    Several things in your house can attract roaches, such as:

    • Food: Since roaches will consume nearly anything, preserving your food in sealed containers and cleaning up spills and crumbs as soon as possible is crucial.
    • Water: You should fix any leaks or drips in your home since roaches require water to survive.
    • Shelter: Roaches like to hide in dark, secluded areas. So, declutter your home and seal up any cracks or crevices where they can hide.

    How to Prevent a Roach Infestation

    Taking precautions is the best approach to prevent a roach infestation. Here are some tips to keep roaches out of your home:

    • Keep your home clean.
    • Declutter your home.
    • Use roach bait in areas where roaches frequent but avoid using too much, as this can repel them.

    Call a Professional Exterminator

    It is crucial to contact a qualified exterminator if you have roaches in your house. They have the expertise and tools to eliminate roaches from your home safely and effectively. They can also offer suggestions on how to stop infestations from happening again.

    If you identify a roach infestation in your Albuquerque home, do not hesitate to call Pest Defense Solutions Albuquerque. Our team of professional exterminators can identify the source of the problem and provide practical solutions to get rid of roaches for good. Contact us for a free assessment and assistance in securing your house against these troublesome pests.

    Early Signs of Bed Bug Infestation

    A crack in a bed frame with a bed bug infestation.

    The warm weather of New Mexico makes it a haven for insects year-round. While there are steps you can take to stop pests from taking over outside your home, preventing bed bugs is a different matter. Bed bugs can spread rapidly and take over your home quickly.

    Sometimes it isn’t easy to identify bed bugs or realize you have an infestation. Ultimately, keeping an eye out for signs of an infestation can help you identify the problem before it gets out of hand. Professional services provided by Pest Defense Solutions eliminate a bed bug infestation before they are able to take over your home!

    How to Identify a Bed Bug

    Bed bugs are small, flat, oval-shaped insects. They are reddish-brown in color and are about the size of an appleseed. Comparatively, they appear larger after feeding. Because they are nocturnal and feed at night while you are sleeping, you may not notice bites right away.

    Bed bug bites can be easily mistaken as bites from another type of insect such as mosquitoes or chiggers. Although bed bugs don’t transmit any diseases through their bites the area can become itchy and swollen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you contact a dermatologist if you have multiple bites, if they blister, are pus filled, or are showing other signs of infection or an allergic reaction.

    Where to Check For Bed Bugs

    Bed bugs can be found anywhere people reside. Since these pests are nocturnal, they feed at night and will most often hide where humans and mammals sleep. They are called bed bugs for a reason!

    Common infestation signs include:

    1. Spots on Your Sheets: After feeding, bed bugs often leave behind small blood stains on bedding, mattresses, furniture, or even your pajamas. 
    2. Bed Bug Excrements: Yes, it is gross to think about! This pest leaves droppings that look like small dark spots the size of a period. These spots may be concentrated in one area or scattered across your sleeping area.
    3. Shed Skins: As a bed bug grows, they shed their skin. They often leave their skins and hide in seams and crevices of mattresses, bedding, carpet, or floorboards.This is a clear sign of an infestation.

    How Do Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home

    Considering bed bugs are small and hide themselves well, you can unknowingly bring them home with you. Any area frequented by the public are locations where bed bugs can occur. Some common places include: 

    • Traveling: These hitchhiking insects can easily latch onto your luggage, clothing, and other belongings when traveling. If you stay in a hotel or other lodging area that has bed bugs, you may accidentally bring them home with you.
    • Used Furniture: They love to hide in used furniture, especially mattresses and upholstered items. If you buy secondhand furniture without inspecting it thoroughly, you may carry bed bugs into your home!
    • Shared Spaces: Bed bugs can move between homes and apartments through openings like wall voids, floor cracks, and even the ventilation system.

    How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

    DIY remedies or treatments do little when it comes to eradicating a bed bug infestation from your home. At the first sign of bed bugs, call the extermination experts with Pest Defense Solutions. With over 15 years in the Albuquerque area, we are the leaders in bed bug extermination. We thoroughly inspect your home and formulate a plan that is suited to you and your family’s needs. The sooner you call a professional, the sooner you can take your home back. 

    Clean Now for a Pest-Free Spring!

    A basket of cleaning supplies on a windowsill

    In Albuquerque NM, spring brings renewal to the desert landscape, temperatures warm and wildflowers paint the once-arid desert. This time of year also means it’s time to freshen your home and plan for a deep spring clean. Spring cleaning has many benefits such as decreasing stress, reducing clutter and improving your overall mental and physical health. In addition to improving your health, spring cleaning is the perfect time to check for signs of spring pests in your home and take preventive measures to ensure your home is not attracting any unwanted guests. 

    How to Prevent Pests in your Home

    While you are cleaning and organizing your home, it is important to check areas where pests commonly hide for signs of an infestation like droppings, dead pests, wood shavings and egg casings. Below are a few steps to add to your cleaning routine that will help keep pests out of your home.

    Thoroughly Clean Kitchens and Bathrooms

    Kitchens are often ground zero for pest infestations. It is the area in your home with the highest availability of food and warm hiding spaces that many pests find attractive. When spring cleaning your kitchen it is important to clean areas where crumbs or spills are common. Clean under large appliances and cabinets. Food often gets stuck in these hard to reach areas making it an ideal place for pests to scavenge. 

    Spring is also the perfect time to clean out your cabinets and throw away any expired or unwanted food. Pests such as rodents and ants are known to invade cluttered cabinets and get into your food. Ensure open food products are stored in airtight containers and keep an eye out for any holes or cracks where pests could enter.

    Bathrooms are another area where pests are common. They are often attracted to easily available sources of water and are able to enter your home through drains or windows. While cleaning window sills and cabinets, check for holes around your windows and leaking pipes or faucets. Some pests will enter through drain pipes. Pouring bleach down your drain regularly will help deter any pests from entering.

    Reduce Clutter

    Clutter is the perfect hiding place for pests such as spiders, rodents or ants. They will use clutter as a place to hide or build their nests. Reducing clutter within your home not only makes your house look cleaner and decreases stress but it will also make your home less hospitable to a variety of pests. 

    In addition to reducing clutter within your home, you should also clean any clutter around the outside of your home as well. Some pests will be attracted to piles of leaves or grass clippings you may have in your yard. Make sure to dispose of any unwanted organic matter in your yard as you landscape in preparation for summer.

    Mosquitos thrive in a cluttered yard. They are attracted to standing water that can form in places like buckets, tarps and kid’s toys. Emptying and tidying any areas with standing water will help keep mosquitoes from swarming your yard in the spring and summer.

    Inspect the Exterior of Your Home

    Pests often enter through small holes or cracks in the exterior of your home. Examine your foundation and walls for any possible entrance points before vegetation begins to grow in the spring and possibly hide any defects. Make sure to seal any holes or cracks with a sealant. This is also the best time to look for signs of termite or carpenter ants on the exterior of your home.

    Spring Preventative Pest Maintenance 

    Pests become more active during the spring as the outside temperatures rise. While spring cleaning can help keep pests at bay the best way to ensure pests do not invade your home is by calling the experts at Pest Defense Solutions. With over 10 years of experience, our technicians are able to expertly identify areas where pests may enter your home and help create a plan to keep your home pest free all year long. Get started with your free quote today!

    How Extreme Weather Attracts Pests

    Raindrops falling into a puddle on the sidewalk

    With hot summers and relatively low annual precipitation, New Mexico is loved for its annual abundance of sunshine. However, our weather isn’t always perfect. Each year, cities across the state experience a variety of extreme weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, or severe droughts.

    Serious storms can be hazardous and destructive. But, most people overlook one major factor that can contribute to long-term property damage: pest infestations. By significantly altering their natural habitat, severe weather conditions can push pests out of their homes and into yours. Understanding how extreme weather attracts pests can help you protect your property from infestations, even in the face of an unexpected storm.

    How Weather Influences Pest Behavior

    Most rodents and insects rely heavily on their surroundings to survive. So, any rapid change in their environment will have a lasting impact on their regular habits. That said, it’s important to note that each species is different. Some pests thrive in hot and dry conditions, while others need moisture and cool shade to survive. Here are the two main environmental factors that influence pest behavior:


    A lot of pests depend on annual temperature patterns for key parts of their life cycle. For example, many insects will begin reproducing when the weather heats up in the summer, and most rodents will seek shelter and start nesting as things cool off in the early fall. A sudden dip or spike in the temperature during a severe weather event could alter pest behavior by:

    • Decreasing pest populations: Insects in particular are heavily influenced by temperature, largely because they are ectothermic and unable to produce any body heat of their own. For that reason, a large number of insects may die off during freezing conditions. While this can help control the populations of some unwanted pests, such as mosquitoes, it could also negatively impact the local environment by killing off beneficial critters such as bumblebees.
    • Increasing indoor infestations: Whether things get severely hot or cold, rapid weather changes may encourage pests to seek shelter indoors. Since our homes and businesses are temperature controlled, they become the ideal hiding place for pests who are unable to survive in the harsh outdoor conditions. 
    • Growing certain pest populations: Here in New Mexico, heat waves are a pretty common occurrence – especially in the summer. Some pests thrive in warm conditions, which could cause them to become more active or reproduce longer into the season.
    • Heightening pest aggression: Though some pests thrive in warm environments, extreme heat can dry out the landscape. Without moisture, the pests may die off or become desperate for survival. In their desperation, certain species – such as wasps – may become more aggressive toward humans.

    Heavy Rains or Flooding

    From April to July, many areas in New Mexico experience serious rainfall or thunderstorms. Particularly if the rain leads to flooding, these types of storms may lead to a sudden increase in insect and rodent activity. Excess water can influence pest behavior by:

    • Washing away or destroying nests: Even if the flooding doesn’t seem severe to you, a small stream of water is all it takes to flood out an ant nest or mouse burrow. Any displaced pests will search for shelter elsewhere, which could lead them into your property. 
    • Providing a place for some species to breed: Mosquitoes only require a half-inch of stagnant water to reproduce. Puddles leftover from serious rainfall could provide the perfect environment for these types of pests to thrive, leading to a sharp increase in their populations. 


    Summers here are long, hot, and dry. Though many of our local pests have adapted to withstand the heat, they still need water to survive. Droughts can kill off pests that don’t have access to water, and the dryness may ultimately lead to more indoor infestations. During a drought, our homes have more water than the rest of the environment. From leaky pipes to lawn sprinklers, it’s important to be aware that any moisture could attract a whole slew of pests when it’s dry outside.

    How to Prevent Pests During Extreme Weather

    Pests can be a major issue for home and business owners. From property damage to health risks, unwanted critters are the last thing you want to deal with during a serious storm. Though extreme weather can attract pests to your property, there are several steps you can take to prevent them from getting indoors:

    • Fix broken window or door screens
    • Repair worn-out weather stripping
    • Seal off any cracks and gaps that lead into your home
    • Repair leaky pipes, dripping faucets, or other plumbing issues
    • Get professional pest control services

    Infestations can be stressful to deal with any time, but they are particularly difficult to handle on top of a serious storm. If you want help protecting your property from pests no matter the weather, turn to the experts at Pest Defense Solutions! With over 15 years serving the Albuquerque area, our highly trained technicians know how to handle any local rodents or insects that you may be dealing with. We strive to deliver reliable, long-lasting results that you can depend on. Get started with your free quote today! 

    A Guide to Termite-Free Firewood

    Round logs stacked in a woodpile - a common habitat for termites in winter

    When winter hits in New Mexico, there’s nothing like a roaring fire to keep you warm. But the last thing you want is to welcome wood-boring pests in as you bring in your kindling. Termites can be a major problem for homeowners, both in your firewood and the wood of your home. Pest Defense Solutions specializes in termite control for homes around El Paso, but we’d like to keep problems from forming in the first place. That’s why we offer several steps you can take to protect your woodpile from termites and all manner of other pests.

    Keep Your Firewood Dry

    Termites thrive in moist environments, so it’s important to keep your firewood as dry as possible. Stack your firewood off the ground and away from any sources of moisture, such as gutters or sprinklers. You should also cover the top of the stack with a tarp to protect it from rain and snow. Doing this will not only help deter passing insects, but it’ll also make sure the wood burns as well as possible.

    Store Firewood Smart

    It comes as no surprise to say that termites are attracted to wood. So if you store your firewood next to the home, if termites get into it they’ll have easy access to spread to your property. That’s why we suggest that you keep your firewood at least 20 feet away from your house to reduce the risk of an infestation.

    Use Treated Wood

    Some types of firewood, such as pressure-treated lumber, are treated with chemicals that can repel or kill termites. While this type of wood may be more expensive, it can provide an extra layer of protection against termites.

    Inspect Your Firewood Regularly

    Regularly inspect your firewood pile for signs of termites, such as small holes in the wood or sawdust-like material. If you notice any of these signs, take action immediately to remove the infested wood and prevent the termites from spreading.

    Pest Defense Solutions for the Best Termite Professionals

    Termites are incredibly destructive, and they can spread at a prodigious rate. That’s why, if you suspect a termite infestation, it’s best to hire a professional exterminator to inspect your property and recommend a treatment plan. And if you live in Albuquerque or Santa Fe NM, Pest Defense Solutions has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to properly identify, locate and eliminate termites. We can put in the work you need to enjoy a cozy night in without the fear of termites or other pests. To learn more, contact us today!

    Do Ticks Survive the Winter?

    An American dog tick found in Albuquerque NM

    Although the winter in El Paso comes with its own unique bunch of pest problems, some of the creatures we deal with in the summer can brave the weather to cause even more trouble. Some fair-weather critters deal with the winter by scrambling to set up shop inside our insulated structures; others brave the elements and hope for the best. Ticks fall into the latter category, and they happen to be more successful than most people realize. Although they thrive in the summer, ticks have the means and resilience to have successful winters in many cases. Read on to learn about how they do it and what you can do to avoid them with our tick control experts at Pest Defense Solutions.

    When is Tick Season in El Paso?

    When we imagine tick season, many of us think of finding ticks on our dogs or our own legs after spending time outside in the summer. Tall grass and humid heat is a recipe for tick problems. However, if the humidity remains consistent and they can find a source of warmth, ticks will survive through the winter.

    Harsh cold and a lack of potential hosts will do significant damage to a tick population, but these pests have a few survival strategies that can help them deal with the tougher months of the year. These are their responses to a frigid winter:

    1. If ticks can find an oblivious host animal, they will latch onto them for a source of heat and nutrients that will last through the winter
    2. When they are unable to find a host, ticks can hide in leaf litter for warmth and protection
    3. Soft-shell ticks burrow underground during the winter to survive

    How to Avoid Winter Ticks this Year

    When temperatures drop below 45° consistently and the ground is wet or icy, take activity sees a significant decline. That said, even though tick problems are less likely to arise, these resilient pests can still cause problems for your family and your pets if you aren’t careful. We recommend you take our winter tick prevention advice to steer clear of these bugs:

    • Get rid of yard waste regularly. Ticks are often found hiding in leaf piles, so it’s best to get rid of them quickly.
    • Consistently check your pets. Dogs are some of ticks’ top targets, so be sure to check them for ticks whenever you get home from a walk, even in the winter, and especially if you walked through grass.
    • Set up a service with professional tick exterminators. Experienced pros can conduct a barrier treatment to prevent tick activity across your entire property.

    How Can Tick Exterminators Help Me?

    Even though they have been labeled as a traditional summer pest, it’s clear that ticks can cause problems for people and pets all year round. If you want to protect your family from ticks in El Paso this winter, your best bet is to team up with your local tick exterminators. At Pest Defense Solutions, we train our tick control team to conduct environmentally-friendly, safe, and effective barrier treatments, as well as assess properties for vulnerabilities that could lead to further tick infestations. We can protect you from ticks in every season. Contact us today to get started with a free quote!