How Do Mice Get in Your Business?

House mice can become a significant problem for businesses when the weather gets cold. Many business owners wonder where mice are coming in, and because mice are tiny, there are about a million cracks and crevices that they can squeeze through.

Knowing how to keep mice out of your house or business can be a game changer, especially when it impacts your business. Mice don’t discriminate between homes and businesses; if they can find a warm shelter with available food, they will!

Field mice are not uncommon in the winter and you’re not alone in wondering how to get rid of house mice. Let’s look at how they sneak in and the best way to get rid of mice in old houses or businesses.

Tiny Cracks and Holes

A mouse peeks out through a small hole in the wall.

As one of the most common pests in the United States, mice can enter any small hole in your home or business. Once they’re inside, your most reliable method to get rid of them is commercial mouse control.

If your business has a mouse problem, you risk health violations, upset customers and damage to your property. There are a few steps you can take to encourage them to move on. Whether it’s a warehouse mouse or a mouse in restaurant, your first step is to figure out how mice are getting in.

Closely examine your windows and doors and identify any gaps. Keep in mind that mice can fit through a dime-sized hole. Seal up these mouse entry points with steel wool or caulk. Mouse traps can also be a valuable tool to get rid of mice in the house or business. Bait your traps, humane, if you prefer, with peanut butter or cheese, and place them along the walls or in corners where you’ve noticed mice.

Serious mouse problems, such as noticing baby mice in your house or business, might mean it’s time for the commercial mice control experts at Buckaroo.

Do Mice Climb?

Never underestimate how well a mouse can climb. If you’ve experienced mice in the walls of your house or business, you’ve already got a pretty good idea of their ability to climb porous surfaces.

Mice can climb up exterior walls of your business or easily scale trees to reach your rooftop. Because they’re so good at reaching new heights, it’s crucial to remember that they can sneak in through any small openings in your ceilings, around utility connections and through vents.

Once inside a safe shelter that offers food, water and warmth, mice will build nests and breed. Mice will enter your business in search of these things, regardless of the type of mouse. There isn’t much difference between field mice vs. house mice.

Whatever type of rodents take up residence in your business, we assume you want them gone! If you’re asking yourself, why do I have mice in my house, the simple answer is because there’s food, shelter, water, and a way inside. That’s all it takes!

Rid Your Business of Mice

If you’re wondering how to get rid of mice in a restaurant, or any business, it starts with sealing the cracks in your foundation, walls, doors, windows, and ceilings. Once inside, mice can be difficult to trap and remove. For businesses this can pose a frustrating challenge. If you find that you can’t get rid of them, it’s essential to get in touch with a professional exterminator before mice can cause damage to belongings and begin to spread disease.

Asking if mice in my house make me sick is a great question, and though mouse-borne illnesses aren’t as common as they once were, having them in a food-related business can be catastrophic. Don’t risk your health or your reputation over a rodent infestation.

Say So Long to Mice with Buckaroo Pest Protection

Don’t let your mouse problem grow out of control. Call in the professionals and rid your business of these pests quickly and efficiently. Buckaroo Pest Control is a family-owned pest control dedicated to protecting your business from the damage of a mice infestation. We serve businesses of all types in the North Dallas, Plano, McKinney area and we’d love to help you too!

Mice are a danger to human health and can destroy the things you’ve worked hard for, including the reputation of your business. If you’re ready to chase these pesky critters away, contact the team at Buckaroo Pest Protection today!

Poisonous Spiders in Texas

Eeek! A spider!

While most spiders don’t deserve our fear, there are a handful that do. In Texas, these are the brown recluse spider and the black widow.

Though neither spider is aggressive, they both will bite if disturbed and their victim may suffer severe symptoms including vomiting, cramping, fever, or even convulsions.

To avoid this, learn how to identify these two treacherous Texas spiders and how to keep them away from your home or business.

Appearance

Female black widow spiders are jet black with large abdomens and grow to about 1 inch long. She has a characteristic reddish or yellowish hourglass-shaped marking on her underside.

Male black widow spiders are brown and much smaller at only about ¼ inch. They have venom but don’t bite humans, perhaps because their mouthparts are too small.

Brown recluses are golden brown and have a dark brown or black fiddle-shaped pattern on their heads. Their bodies are only about ¼ inch long with about a 1-inch leg span.

Habitat

Black widow spiders in Texas prefer to stay outdoors. You might find them in woodpiles or under your porch. If they come indoors, you’re likely to see them in your basement, attic, garage, or anywhere other quiet location where people don’t spend a lot of time.

Brown recluses like to retreat in dark little hidey holes. So, watch out for them in your shoes or tucked into your clothes in the closet.

The Danger of Venomous Spider in Texas

The black widow spider’s venom is reported to be about 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake. Thankfully, they only inject such a small amount. While that small dose may cause extremely unpleasant symptoms, it rarely results in death.

Symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Lesion at the bite site

The venom of a brown recluse is quite potent and can necrotize (destroy) the tissue around the site of the bite. Infection at the site can lead to death in very few cases.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Necrosis or a red, white, and blue lesion at the bit site
  • Weakness

Prevent Dangerous Texas Spiders

Though a bite from these spiders only rarely leads to death, the symptoms can be quite unpleasant. There is an antivenom available for black widow bites but is only used in extreme cases because of the risk of an anaphylactic reaction. There is no good antivenom for brown recluse bites.

Thus, the best way to protect yourself from spider bites is to put away the welcome mat and keep the spiders away in the first place. Here are a few best practices:

  • Avoid using bright outdoor lighting as it attracts insects — a buffet for spiders
  • Cut down weeds and grass around buildings to remove the habitat for both insects and spiders
  • Seal up small openings that may allow spiders access to your home
  • Vacuum up spiders, webs, and their egg sacs inside your home regularly
  • Shake out shoes, clothing, and other household items that you haven’t used in a while

If you’re still as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs about spiders around your property, call in the pros to keep them away. Expert pest professionals from Buckaroo can apply special pesticides that will help control the spider population in and around your home.

Protect Your Home or Business from Texas Spiders

Though spiders are largely undeserving of our fear and hatred, few of us are going to invite them in for a cold glass of sweet tea. In fact, we would prefer to keep them away from our homes and businesses as much as possible.

That’s where we come in. Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, we are committed to using safe, effective methods to control spider populations and keep them away from your space.

If you’re concerned about poisonous spiders in your home or business, give us a call today!

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

Someone has probably said this to you as you’re heading off to bed. But have you ever stopped to think about how you’re not going to let them bite? Do you even know what bed bugs look like?

Hmmm, never thought about that, did you? In reality, your home or business could be crawling with bed bugs and you might not even know! They’re so tiny you wouldn’t even notice them unless you were looking for them.

On that lovely thought, let’s find out how to tell if you have bed bugs and how to keep them away from your stuff!

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are tiny critters about 0.2 inches long once they reach adulthood. Adult bed bugs have brown, flat, oval-shaped bodies if they haven’t fed recently. Once they’ve fed, their bodies balloon out and turn more reddish brown. They have tiny wings, but don’t fly.

Baby bed bugs are much smaller and yellowish-white or almost translucent in color. If they haven’t been fed recently, they are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. The pearl-white bed bug eggs are even tinier — about the size of a speck of dust.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs don’t get cozy and make nests like bees or ants, but they do like to live in groups. Their homes are more like hiding places. They can lay in wait in the right conditions for their next meal to come for between 20 and 400 days!

Their flat little bodies make it easy for them to slide into nearly any space. They often enter homes or businesses because people bring them in luggage, used furniture, or even clothing.

Their preferred hiding spots are in the bedroom. Anywhere in the mattress, box spring, bed frame, or headboard will do. After all, their hosts come and conveniently lie still for several hours each night — plenty of time for them to get their fill of your blood!

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Clean spaces do not equal bed bug free. We naturally assume that a dirty space would be more likely to have bed bugs. However, this isn’t always true.

Bed bugs aren’t like cockroaches, digging around in garbage or other unclean places looking for morsels to feed on. They only need blood to survive, which means they can live in any place where a blood meal is available.

Owners of hotels, retail stores, transportation services, or any business where people frequently bring luggage, clothing, etc must always be vigilant about bed bugs. Any one of their guests or customers could unknowingly bring bed bugs into their space. To prevent bed bugs, teach your staff how to perform regular bed bug checks. At home check your bed and surrounding area during and after travel.

With the rate that bed bugs multiply and their resilience, there can quickly be more of them than you can shake a stick at in what appears to be an immaculate space.

How to Check for Bed Bugs

Thus, you always need to be on the lookout for bed bugs. Luckily, they are relatively simple to spot if you are paying attention.

Inspect mattresses and bed frames frequently. Bed bugs are more active at night, but you still might see them skittering around if you disturb them by poking at the mattress.

Bed bugs molt their exoskeletons several times throughout their life. Even if you don’t see live bed bugs, you can spot these translucent or light-colored exoskeletons they leave lying around.

Another visible sign is the delightful sight of their fecal stains. These are tiny brown or red mounds, usually most easily visible on white or light-colored bed sheets.

Bed bugs generally bite at night while the host is sleeping. If guests are waking up with new “mosquito” bites, it’s time to take a closer look at the mattress and room where they were staying.

There are also active monitoring systems you can install. These use carbon dioxide to attract bed bugs to the device — making it easy to identify the problem. Some monitors even include insecticides or traps that will help get rid of bed bugs.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are quite resilient but can’t survive at extreme temperatures. Wash all bedding and clothing in the hottest water possible and put anything that can handle it in the dryer on the hottest setting for an hour.

Clean the space thoroughly by vacuuming the floors, mattress, everything. Use a steam cleaner that reaches over 115 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.

Cold also works to kill bed bugs. Seal items in plastic bags and put them in the freeze at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for at least four days.

A Helping Hand with Texas Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of and starving them out is nearly impossible because they can live so long without feeding. If you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, call in the professionals at Buckaroo Pest Protection to help.

We will corral up all those nasty critters and give them the boot! Plus, regularly treating a space for bed bugs will help prevent a new infestation from getting started.

Contact us today to learn more about protecting your business from unwelcome guests!

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

The ants go marching one by one, by one, and another one… As the weather heats up, more and more of these intrusive insects start appearing in your home, including your kitchen and, unfortunately, in your food. Resourceful sugar ants can even appear in your car! Talk about driving you crazy.
What are these pesky little critters? More importantly, how do you get rid of sugar ants in your kitchen and home? Let’s find out!

What Are Sugar Ants?

The “real” sugar ant actually doesn’t live in the United States. This banded sugar ant enjoys a warm home in Australia.

However, in the US, we use the term “sugar ant” to refer to any sweet sustenance-seeking type of ant. In other words, these species are attracted to sugar and sweets as opposed to grease or protein like other types of ants.

Thus, there are a number of other names for sugar ants, which are actually the real names of these ants. Some of these include:

Pharaoh ants

●      Pavement ants

●      Rover ants

●      Little black ants

●      Cornfield ants

●      False honey ants

●      Carpenter ants

●      Odorous house ants

The most common sugar ants in Texas are the Pharaoh ants. Unfortunately, they can bring pathogens and bacteria with them, making them very unwelcome invaders in homes and kitchens.

What Do Sugar Ants Look Like?

Since sugar ants in the US refer to several different species, they don’t all look the same. However, they are generally tiny (less than ⅛ of an inch) and range from light yellow-brown or red-brown to black.

What Do Sugar Ants Eat?

As the name suggests, these types of ants love sugar, and anything containing it . This includes:

 All types of sugar including powdered, white, and brown varieties

●      Honey

●      Maple syrup (and other syrups)

●      Jams, jellies, etc.

●      Cake, cookies, pastries

●      Soft drinks

●      Juice

To avoid attracting these ants, it is imperative to keep your food sealed up snugger than a bug in a rug. Don’t leave food sitting out on the counters and immediately clean up spills and crumbs from the table, counters, and floors.

Do Sugar Ants Bite?

Sugar ants are generally not aggressive. However, they will bite if they feel threatened. Sugar ant bites are usually not a big deal. Some people may experience a little itching around the site but that’s about it.

If the person is bitten multiple times, there may be more of an issue. Also, those who are allergic may experience more significant symptoms.

How Do Sugar Ants Get Into Your Home?

Because they are no bigger than moles on a chigger, sugar ants have no trouble sneaking into your home. Whatever crack or cranny they can find to crawl through will do.

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Naturally?

Now let’s get down to brass tacks and address the issue you’re really wondering about — how to get rid of sugar ants.

Sugar Ant Repellants

There are a variety of natural substances/ingredients that will repel sugar ants. Sprinkling these or using them around your home and kitchen can be an effective way to keep the critters from coming inside in the first place.

  • Vinegar: Mix one part vinegar with one part water. Spray liberally in areas where you see ant activity. This will kill ants on contact as well as erase the scent trails that ants use to navigate.
  • Whole cloves, bay leaves, garlic: The strong smell from these spices can interfere with the ants’ scent trails, disrupting their ability to navigate and communicate.
  • Used coffee grounds: Sprinkle around the areas where you know that ants are entering your home or to protect certain areas like your food pantry or pet bowls from future ants. Ants strongly dislike the smell of coffee and the acidity burns them.
  • Essential oils: Lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, neem, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils seem to be effective at repelling insects in general.

Sugar Ant Traps

If you’ve been struggling with sugar ants for a while, repellants might not be strong enough for you. What you really want to know is how to kill sugar ants and keep them from coming back for good.

Here are a few of the best sugar ant traps or other methods for killing ants you can try at home:

  • Boiling water: scald and kill the little critters by pouring boiling water into the sugar ant holes around your home. This must be done several times to be effective.
  • Boric acid: This compound is toxic for ants and will kill them over time. Mix boric acid with sugar and water. Set the solution up as ant traps around the house or pour it into ant holes. Note: can be toxic to pets as well so use this method with care.
  • Ant bait: Commercial sugar ant bait is another option. The point is so that the roving ants will take it back to their ant colony where even more ants will eat and die.

Tired of Sugar Ants?

Getting rid of sugar ants isn’t always easy, especially if you have large established colonies nearby. If you’re feeling defeated after trying everything to no avail, the best option is to call for professional help.

Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, our number one priority is keeping you and your family safe. That means performing thorough inspections first to know what we’re dealing with. Then we treat the exact problem using pest control products that won’t cause harm.

Ready to get rid of your sugar ants? Give us a call or schedule a Buckaroo service today!

Cricket Season in Texas: How to Stop the Invasion

Crickets become abundant with warm spring and summer weather. They are nocturnal insects and most active on warm summer nights when males attract mates by rubbing their wings together and chirping. What do we do when there are hundreds of these pests at our front doors and in our commercial building lobbies?

The most important step is to make sure that your home is sealed from the constant swarms of these noisy insects. We’ll explain what attracts crickets and how to get rid of them. If you need help identifying where they’re getting in, one of our technicians can help. When you need cricket pest control for your problem, call the pros at Buckaroo. We’ll assess and diagnose your pest problem quicker than you can say “Jiminy Crickets!”

The Value of Crickets

Crickets are useful insects that help balance the ecosystem. They are omnivores that eat a variety of plants, flowers, fruits and other insects. They break down plant material to help enrich our soils.

 Crickets are also a food source for pets and in some countries they’re a food source for humans. In Cambodia and Vietnam, crickets are considered a delicacy. In other cultures, they are a sign of good luck.

The Cricket Life Cycle

Why do we see so many crickets when the weather turns warm? A female cricket can lay over 200 eggs at a time. Once she mates, she spends most of her life laying up to 2,000 eggs. Two weeks later, those eggs will hatch into cricket nymphs.

Nymphs, or baby crickets, go through several phases of molting (shedding their skin) before they become adults capable of reproducing. This process can take 2-3 months. Once they become adults, crickets live an additional 2-4 moths. How long crickets live can vary depending on weather and food.

Cricket eggs that are laid in late fall become dormant until the spring and hatch when the weather turns warm. This restarts the entire life cycle and causes seasonal infestations.

What Attracts Crickets?

So, what attracts these crickets to your house? Crickets are primarily attracted to light, food, and shelter. Light is the biggest attraction. Crickets will swarm where there are bright lights such as car lots, parks, homes and commercial buildings.

They love to venture indoors at nighttime when the temperatures drop in the fall. In your home, crickets favor warm, moist environments like the kitchen. They will be attracted to fruits, vegetables and pet food. Sometimes crickets also eat natural fabrics like wool, silk and cotton.

How to Get Rid of Crickets

If you want to eliminate crickets in your home, you must seal the entry points where they are getting in. Crickets can fly and easily travel through windows, vents and gaps along your foundation. Use caulk to seal these gaps and repair and screens with holes.

Inside, keep your home clean, especially where you see crickets collecting. Store food in pest safe containers, including pet food once your pets are done eating. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them. If necessary – spray with the proper chemicals to eliminate the infestation. This is an area where hiring a professional can help.

Pest Control for Crickets in Texas

If you have more questions or would like an inspection by one of our trained techs, give us a call at 972-362-4026. You can also use our handy online schedule form. Our team can identify where crickets are getting in and implement a program to eliminate them. Don’t let chirping crickets drive you crazy another day!