At the end of each year, people compile “top” lists of their top favorite songs, top TV shows, and so on. This year will be remembered for so many things, not the least of which might be the Top Three Pests in Houston!
Although there are, unfortunately, an abundance of annoying critters in the city, here are three of the most common pests you might find in your Texas home and how to avoid them:
- Cockroaches, both unpleasant and unsanitary, may top the list of least favorite pest in most cities around the country. These pests multiply quickly, so you can easily have a small horde of them on your hands before you’ve even seen the first one. Most common found in Houston are the American, Brown-Banded, German and Oriental cockroaches. Roaches like small, tight and dark spaces where they are hard to reach. Cockroaches are responsible for spreading a wide range of viruses, bacteria, parasites, and human pathogens that can cause health problems, such as diarrhea, dysentery, and salmonella poisoning – and their shed skins and feces have been known to trigger allergic reactions and asthma They do require food and water to live, but since they can turn almost anything into food, water is the big one here: if you suspect a problem with roaches, try to limit the amount of water around your home.COCKROACH TRIVIA: Cockroaches can survive being submerged underwater for half an hour. They hold their breath often to help regulate their loss of water. So note that drowning them might not be a good option!
- Termites are a destructive pest to have, responsible for more than $5 billion annually in property damage – most often not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Subterranean termites are common in Texas and can create nests inside homes. They can literally eat a home out from under its owners, often without them even knowing until much damage has been done, which is why they are called “silent destroyers.” Termites have the ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected, 24/7, and can compromise the structural stability of a home within several years depending on the species. To avoid them in your home, eliminate or reduce moisture by repairing faucets, pipes and exterior AV units; replace weather stripping around foundation and windows; and inspect and monitor all exterior areas of wood such as windows and doorframes for noticeable changes.TERMITE TRIVIA: Termites outnumber people. For every person on the planet, there are 1,000 pounds of termites.
- Bed bugs likely get their name from their habit of taking refuge in beds and feeding on humans while they sleep. But they can also be found on furniture, suitcases, clothing or anywhere in the home they can hitchhike to. These tiny insects, usually about 4 to 5 millimeters long, often stay hidden and are usually nocturnal, but small black spots indicating bedbug feces or nymphs in mattress seams and other furniture could indicate their presence in your home. Bed bugs are a very difficult pest to treat. In fact, 76 percent of pest professionals say they are the hardest bug to eradicate.BED BUG TRIVIA: Bed bugs can ingest seven times their own body weight in blood. That’s equivalent to an average adult male holding 120 gallons of liquid in his stomach at once.
Because Houston enjoys a mild tropical climate with rare cold snaps and freezes, pests and rodents flourish here more than any in other region in Texas. That’s why these (and other) pests easily take advantage of the comfortable living they might find in your home.
If cockroaches, termites and bed bugs top your list of unwanted pests, contact a pest control specialist to inspect and eradicate them.