Insects and pests have developed a wide variety of methods to stay out of sight and mind of predators and those that wish them harm. The downside to this adaptability is that they use these methods as a way to fool unsuspecting homeowners and take up residence. The following are the main methods pests stay unseen or try to fool any onlooking eyes.

Color Similarities or Camouflage

Many insects and pests have a color variation between different species to maintain a form of “camouflage” to stay safe from other predators. Typically, one insect or animal will have a colorway indicating that it is lethal and another species will take a similar colorway to confuse predators – and thus stay safe.

The most famous examples of color variation (and copying it) are the Coral Snake and Scarlet King Snake. The Coral Snake is highly venomous and lethal, whereas the Scarlet King Snake is harmless – the difference between them is minute and hard to discern. The Coral Snake has a repeating black, red and yellow pattern – as does the Scarlet King Snake – but the red and yellow on the Coral Snake touch, whereas the red touches black on the Scarlet King Snake.

The following sayings are helpful to remember with these snakes:

“Red touches yellow kills a fellow”
“Red touches black is a friend of Jack”

Pest Look-Alikes

Another way pests stay out of sight is they evolve to look like other species that they are unrelated to. The most common confusion of insects is the difference between a bumblebee, hornet and a wasp. They all have similar colorways and seem to be the same, so how can you tell the difference when it matters most?

Bumblebees are fuzzy; round in shape; the smallest in size of the three (they’re only ¼ inch large!); and have a yellow-black colorway. They are relatively harmless, as they die when they sting you, and they have no intention of bringing you physical harm.

Wasps do not have “fur” like bumblebees; are narrow in shape; larger than bumblebees (¼ inch larger); and are black with either white, red or orange markings. They are aggressive and will attack when they feel threatened.

Hornets are the largest and most dangerous of the three – they will attack and will continue to sting until they are satisfied. Additionally, they are wider and either yellow or orange in color.

If you are unsure which of the three insects you’re dealing with, avoiding all three when possible is the best option.

Change in Appearance

Some insects change their appearance as they get older and go through the different stages of metamorphosis. The cicada has the largest variation in its appearance as it gets older. When it is still within its egg, it looks like a clear-ish grain of rice. Once it hatches (now called a “nymph”), it looks similar to a termite or a small white ant.

The most important part of their nymph phase is that they will stay in the dirt and are not a threat to you or your home (unlike a termite)! If you see an insect that looks like a termite that is in the dirt instead of a tree, leave it be – it is a baby cicada and poses no threat.

Another insect that changes appearances is the simple butterfly or moth! They start out looking like a normal worm (the “larvae” stage) and once they emerge from their pupa shell the difference of if it is a butterfly or moth is apparent.

Butterflies are large; will hold their wings in a large, vertical fashion; and have colorful patterns over their wings and back.

Moths are small; will hold their wings in a tent-like fashion that hides their abdomen at the same time, and are gray and patternless.

For more information on how to discern a pest population in your home, contact Apple Pest Control for a pest-free future.

Fleas are never something you want to see in your home, especially if you are a pet owner. While fleas aren’t too difficult to get rid of, it is still important to be knowledgeable about them to treat the infection correctly since they won’t go away on their own. 

What Are Fleas?

Fleas are small dark parasites that cling to skin and fur in pets. Their presence will cause itchy skin and will leave behind small specs or ‘flea dirt. They can also jump long distances which allows them to spread quickly. 

Will Fleas Go Away on Their Own?

You might be asking yourself will fleas eventually go away? While some could last 2 – 3 weeks, they could also live for up to 12 months on the host it finds, so it is unlikely they will go away on their own. Fleas can also reproduce very quickly by laying eggs in carpet, bedding, or garden prolonging the infestation. There is a greater chance of infection during the warmer months, especially in Texas because this is their prime breeding time. 

Due to all of these things, it is important to treat them as soon as you notice them. 

Take Preventive Measures

Before we get too far into the summer months it would be beneficial to your home if you get preventative prest control done by a professional. Pest control specialists can perform an inspection to identify potential problem elements and spray treatment in your yard and home to steer away fleas and prevent laying their eggs. 

For your pets specifically, there is a year-round medication they can be on that works to prevent fleas. 

I found a flea! How do I treat it?

Luckily there are many easy treatments for your pets if they get fleas such as medicated baths, brushing, and medications that can be prescribed. To help get rid of them from your home you should wash bedding, small carpets, and other fabric where they could be laying their eggs. For bigger carpet areas vacuuming is important to do. You can also buy a specific flea spray that will help get rid of them. 

However, the most efficient way to ensure they will be gone from your home is to have a pest control specialist come to your house and perform a treatment. 

San Antonio Flea Treatment

If you are in San Antonio, Helotes, Boerne, New Braunfels, or other surrounding areas and need professional help with flea treatment, Apple Pest Control is at your service. Contact us today for more information on flea treatments along with other service areas

protecting babies from bugs

With San Antonio and the surrounding areas being so warm most of the year, insects are usually a common presence in our lives. Our first instinct is to spray bug killers, but many of the most popular bug sprays are actually full of harmful chemicals. So what do you do to get rid of your bug problem? Do you have to search for all-natural bug sprays?

Apple Pest Control wants to help you find solutions to all of your bug problems. If you’re educated and aware of the best techniques to defend your home, you’ll be prepared to help both your home and the environment.

Why Use Natural Bug Repellent?

Bug sprays that use insecticides and pesticides are designed to kill living organisms. While they work to kill the insects that are bothering you, they also spread into the environment and kill other bugs who are constructive to the outdoor system. Those bugs can then be eaten by other animals who are then exposed to the chemicals and could be affected, as well.

These chemicals are even dangerous for children and pets to be around! If you use a chemical bug spray, it is important to keep your family and animals safe from exposure. It has been proven that some carcinogenic qualities can be found in these sprays. You wouldn’t want to track the chemicals into your home and not know where they sit for years.

Natural bug repellent is meant to do just that – repel. Without the chemicals used to kill bugs and insects, firmly repelling bugs from entering the home or settling in the yard is effective.

Effective DIY Bug Repellent

If you do decide to go natural when using bug repellent, buying expensive, natural bug sprays is not your only option. Homemade repellents actually work really well when introduced into the ecosystem. Plus, they don’t disrupt the existing flora and fauna. Below are a few of the peskiest bugs and the natural recipes to repel them.

Spiders

Spiders really dislike peppermint and lemon, so having these essential oils on hand is a good idea if you’re seeing a large spider presence. Add peppermint and lemon oil drops to a spray bottle, and treat all entryways and cracks. In fact, spiders’ taste buds are located on their feet, so the oils are sure to dissuade some of those spider friends from staying in your home.

Cockroaches

Clove oil is a great weapon against cockroaches. A few drops in a spray bottle could deter them from collecting. Also, an entire clove and Epsom salt placed under the sink or in cabinets could be a larger fix.

Wasps

Wasps can be very dangerous once they’ve already built a nest. You may need to seek professional help to get rid of the nest. However, there are several things that could deter wasps from settling on your home or in your yard altogether. Planting citronella, mint and eucalyptus in your garden is a great start to deterring wasps. Using each plant’s essential oils under the eaves and on your property is even better.

Ants

The smell of coffee grounds blocks ants’ sense of smell. You can scatter coffee ground around your property to try to keep them away.

Vinegar

A large majority of bugs dislike the scent and taste of vinegar. If you need a general bug deterrent or a stronger option, placing vinegar along the entryways is a great way to repel all kinds of insects without actually hurting them.

Need For Professional Help?

If your bug problem becomes too much for you to handle, allow Apple Pest Control to figure out a solution for you. We’ll make sure those pests don’t bother you anymore. Give us a call today!

Pest control companies that spray for ants

If you live in Texas, you know the weather changes all the time. The cold days don’t stick around as long as the warm days, but we still have a winter – usually. Pesky bugs that crawl and fly around you in the warm months almost seem to completely disappear in the winter months. While you might not see as many bugs during winter,  that doesn’t exactly mean they’re not there. They’ve just found a place to hide until it warms up. Ever found yourself wondering, “Do I still need to spray for bugs in the winter?” The answer is yes.

 

Winter temperatures affect the bug’s food resources, causing them to use the energy stored in their bodies. Since the resources are limited, bugs have to slow down to conserve that energy.

 

Since they’re not in their peak season, winter is the prime time for you to do what you can to prevent bugs from coming back. You can do some year-round practices to limit the number of bugs that try to make their way back into your home.

 

A few ways to prepare ahead of time:

 

  1. Keeping your house clean
  2. Avoiding large amounts of trash
  3. Trying your best to close food containers and packaging

 

Bugs search for dark and warm places to spend their time during the cold season of the year. These places typically include basements, closets and pantries. A pantry is a perfect spot for a bug to rest during the winter – not only because it’s dark and warm but there is easy access to food. That’s why it is so important to make sure your food is properly packaged and sealed.

 

The wintertime is also the best time to spray for bugs. The spray that pest control companies use can be broken down by high temperatures, rain and sunlight. Those three things are less of a factor during the winter months. When the winter pests are kept outdoors, your home becomes a healthier place to cozy up in without the worry of anything disturbing the peace. You can also safely host holiday celebrations and family gatherings without the worry of something crawling out of the walls.

 

The winter months in Texas may not have the coldest temperatures, but the pests are still looking for a nice and warm place to escape. Take action and make the necessary precautions to make your home bug-free this winter. Contact Apple Pest Control today for an appointment.

Rodent

There are many pests that naturally try to seek warmth during the winter. Most of the time, the warm places that they find are inside of your home. This winter, you should be prepared and learn about the pests that could be living in your home. Termite control or even wildlife removal may be needed for the upcoming season.

Termites

San Antonio has extremely high termite activity. These pests will get into your home and begin to destroy everything they come in contact with. Termites remain active during the winter, especially in a warm home. If termites find a way into your house, the entire colony will thrive in the warmth. You can stay on the lookout for termites in your home by looking for mud tubes, wings and wood damage. Termite control will be needed for an infestation before too much damage is done.

Crickets

If you live in San Antonio, you probably know all about the many crickets that live here. Swarms of crickets seek warmth in your home during the wintertime. You may see crickets crawling on your trees, walls, and around your home this winter. Crickets make loud noises and can be a very annoying pest to prevent this winter.

Spiders

This winter, you may not be thinking about these creepy crawlers hiding in the warmth of your home. Spiders love living indoors. If they are surviving in your home, they will continue to stay there. They remain very active during the winter season and can begin to have babies in the cracks of your home.

Rats

Rats and mice can be very dangerous when living in your home. These rodents are looking for holes to get into your house and find warmth. Rats can bring disease into your home this winter that can harm your family’s health. Rats are known for having babies and bringing their whole family into your house. If you have a rat infestation this winter, contact a professional company for wildlife removal San Antonio homeowners can trust, such as Apple Pest Control.

Winter in San Antonio may not entail super cold temperatures, but these pests will definitely still be searching for a warm area to escape to. Trust Apple Pest Control, your local San Antonio Pest Control, to get the pests out of your home for good. Contact us today for an appointment.

silverfish on stoneWhat is a silverfish?

Silverfish are a common pest in Texas, but not a common name. Silverfish are known to be one of the oldest insects in the world, dating back to prehistoric times. They are the shiny gray bugs that you usually find running in your drawers, papers or books. These creepy crawlers are around half an inch long and are mostly active at night.

While these insects are safe to humans, they can be very annoying when it comes to your home. Silverfish are drawn to your papers, cardboard and food because of their diet, which is full of sugars and carbohydrates. When these pests chew on objects around your home, they will create holes and can ruin your possessions. Silverfish can be found chewing up your special family scrapbook, important business papers and your food!

DIY Silverfish Removal

There are many ways to prevent these pests, such as keeping your food in air-tight containers or vacuuming your home, but what are the ways to get them out for good? To get rid of this tenacious species in your home, you can try these silverfish DIY pest control methods:

  • Herbs and spices, such as cinnamon sticks, bay leaves or dried rosemary, have been known to naturally repel silverfish. Placing these herbs and spices around your home will begin to repel silverfish, but it is not proven to kill them.
  • A method that will make silverfish dry up and die is contact with diatomaceous earth. This is a crushed rock substance that will kill off silverfish. Just sprinkle it around the problem areas and watch them vanish.

When to call a pest control company for silverfish control

Since these pests are so small, they can be hard to find during the day time. A professional pest control company will help you find these pests and get them out. Pest control companies have chemical treatments and other ways to take action quickly.

Silverfish can seem uncontrollable, especially after trying natural DIY pest control. While these methods may temporarily work, these pests do not give up. The best option is to contact a professional pest control company like Apple Pest Control. Our trained professionals will combat your silverfish problem and have these little monsters gone for good. Contact Apple Pest Control San Antonio to say goodbye to the silverfish in your home.

common pet pests

Fleas, ticks and other pests can be harmful to animals due to the potential risk of viral, bacterial or parasitic infections. Some of these diseases and viruses can be fatal or cause life-long complications that can make your animal’s life less enjoyable. Here are some of the most common pests for pets – a few you likely know about and some that might surprise you.

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pest infestation

Like us, bugs need food, water and shelter. However, unlike us, bugs assume they can get all those things for free by hiding in the dark spaces of your home. We’ve all come across one or two unwelcome guests, but how can we tell when those crawling freeloaders have officially moved in? Here are a couple of ways you can identify a pest infestation in your home.

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The kitchen is the heart of the household during the holidays. As it gets colder, bugs and other pests will undoubtedly look for shelter in your home – and for food in your kitchen. Don’t wait until a few unwanted guests show up at your Christmas dinner! Here’s a few tips for keeping your kitchen pest-free.

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Wasp Nest Removal Services

The Texas heat seems to bring insects toward homes in the masses. One insect, in particular, is the wasp. Wasp tend to gravitate to crevices and corners of homes to build their nests. These nests act as a universal sign that it’s finally time to call a pest control service. If you want to handle things on your own, however, here are some things to do when you find a wasp nest.
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