When it comes to central Texas, whether you’re in Austin, or the Waco area one thing is certain. Spring season brings a lot of changes and interesting pest control challenges. The spring season can be exciting in a lot of ways. One of my favorite aspects of this season is the appearance of new life. The trees begin to turn green. Lawns begin to green up and flowers bloom. Where everything was once gray and lifeless, life is emerging.
The plants are not the only things springing to life this time of year, though. The deer are fawning, baby birds can be heard in nearby trees, and even the occasional bunny rabbit can be seen along the edges of our landscaping.
Here in lies the problem. Along with the cute little bunny rabbits and spotted whitetail fawns come the baby mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons and so on. The critters are in search of the perfect nesting locations and many times what they find are ways to enter our structures. Raccoons can take what appears to be a small opening and create a large opening. Once they have found or created a way into the attic or wall void, they begin to create a nice warm nest for raising their young. Raccoons tend to give birth to four babies at a time and can have more than one litter a year. Squirrels love to take advantage of structures in the same way, and commercial buildings often offer many points of entry. Other vermin to think about include, roof rats, mice, possums, ringtail cats, birds and so on.
Spring also is the time of year that we see the emergence of insects. Carpenter ants are among the first to display their breeding habits, and this is often the first indicator that a commercial building is infested. Usually, in early to mid-March carpenter ants that are infesting wall voids or attics spaces or even plumbing chases will send off reproductive ants (swarmers) to start new colonies. These swarmers can number in the hundreds and cause all kinds of disturbance and distractions. The key point though is that the property manager or home owner now knows there is an infestation of carpenter ants. Many other insects exhibit the same behavior. Termites will be the next to emerge, usually right after the carpenter ants. Again, there and can be hundreds of the swarmers that come crawling out of a wall void or down from attics and ceilings. Termites and carpenter ant swarmers have wings and can be seen in windows, along with the edges of walls on the floor and often they will be in all of the fluorescent lightings. Again the important thing to be aware of is that the swarmers are easy to get rid of, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. The active colony is the challenge and far more destructive than the swarmers.
Most of the concerns in the spring concerning pest control and commercial buildings come from the outside, and many can be prevented. A thorough inspection of the property can usually reveal many openings that allow pests to enter. The inspector should also be looking for areas around the structure that are conducive to pest infestations. With a little bit of planning and preparation, building maintenance can usually prevent the need for excessive chemical use and costly repairs down the road.
- Some of the more common things to look for around commercial buildings include:
- Gaps around doors and windows/Missing or damaged caulk
- Gaps around plumbing, electrical penetrations, and A/C conduits
- Excessive vegetation and tree limbs that contact the roof or walls
- Gaps around roof intersections
- Clutter and debris around the structure.
Bug Master Pest Control has trained inspectors that know where to look and what to look for. Initial IPM inspections are free for commercial and residential structures and can usually prevent having to deal with major events down the road.
Request your free written inspection today