Types of Wasps in Texas (and what you should know about them)

August 24, 2022

Wasps, commonly referred to as Hymenoptera in the scientific community, are the friends of nature no ones like to have around.  Aggressive wasps in Texas seemingly attack without much reason but do you know where this behavior comes from? Wasps tend to get a bad rap because they’re angry, aggressive and bear painful stings, but wasps can be surprisingly helpful when it comes to pest control.

Though commonly found hovering over trash cans or around the canopies of your homes, wasps also target spiders, grasshoppers, caterpillars and more when searching for food. Some wasp species utilize their powerful stings to paralyze their prey before feeding on them, whereas other species prefer to feed on the dead flesh of other insects.  Like grasshoppers and daddy long legs, wasps may be annoying, but they serve a definite purpose.

The Life Cycle of a Wasp

Did you know that worker wasps die off every fall and that only a few queens are left to rebuild their nests the following spring?

Wasps typically spend their short life cycle nesting and feeding on pests that tend to find their way inside minus the invitation. In addition to other insects, these outdoor omnivores like to nest close to homes and feed on fruit, other sugary food items and surprisingly, tuna.

Here in the good ol’ barbeque rich state of Texas, reside a handful of wasp species that all serve their own purpose and march to the beat of their own drums. Let’s look at the types of wasps in Texas and what you need to know about each.

Mud Daubers

A small insect on a branch  Description automatically generated

Mud daubers are one of the only non-aggressive species of wasps that not only avoid humans but also won’t actively defend their nests. This species of wasp tends to be docile around most humans and will only sting if they feel threatened.

Many wasps and even bees look similar, but mud daubers are easily distinguishable by their slender body proportions. These wasps are usually black in color but may have pale markings along their bodies.

Unlike a normal wasp nest, mud daubers build their nests with mud via one-inch-long tube-like structures. These nests are typically built close together and can be easily found in sheltered locations such as garages, sheds, and/or attics. If a mud nest has a rounded hole in it, this may signify that this nest is old and inactive.

Paper Wasps

A insect on the plant  Description automatically generated

This species of wasp is very social and tends to build nests out of paper like material. These wasps are slender, black in color with yellow markings and have trademark black wings.

It’s common to see this species milling around your home and they can be easily identified by the type of nest they build. Paper wasps build their nests with wood fibers that they chew down to a paper like material and shape into hexagonal craters throughout their nests. Unlike their docile cousins, the mud daubers, paper wasps are more aggressive but only attack when their nests are disturbed, or if they feel threatened.

Like many wasps, paper wasps provide a natural form of pest control by eating the other insects in the neighborhood. They are commonly attracted to things that resemble flowers such as perfumes or bright colors. With this species of wasp, the easiest way to prevent them from nesting around your home is to identify nests before they grow large. If you see a nest or many wasps flitting around your home, give us a call so we can inspect your home for hidden nests.

Mexican Honey Wasp

Another common species of Texas wasp that you may run across is the Mexican Honey Wasp. Surprisingly, this is one of the few species of wasps that can produce honey and pollinate some fruits such as avocado. Mexican honey wasps are non-aggressive and tend to leave humans be unless their nests are disturbed. Like paper wasps, these insects tend to build papery nests but instead of sticking close to your home, they tend to nest in shrubbery and trees. These nests typically resemble a paper balloon and are large enough to easily hold thousands of wasps.

Fun fact, though these wasps produce honey that’s like a honeybee’s, wasp honey may contain nectar from toxic plants that can prove fatal if ingested. So no, Texas, you probably won’t see this delicacy at your local grocery store. In short, these are not the friends you want around your home. If you start seeing an influx of striped yellow and black wasps, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.

Asian Giant Hornets

The Asian Giant Hornet, aka the ‘Murder Hornet’ has been broadcast across news stations around the nation, sealing fear into our heart and indirectly encouraging social distancing efforts. These wasps are the largest species of wasp on record and are not commonly found in the U.S.

These approximately three-inch long horrors are very anti-human, tend to attack without much provocation and are a menace to bee colonies worldwide. These wasps nest in the ground and have an aggressive nature like that of rabid wolves.

The Asian giant hornet has a large stinger that delivers potent venom to its victims. This toxin can potentially dissolve flesh and may prove fatal if it delivers multiple stings. It doesn’t stop there. Twenty to thirty of these wasps are capable of killing off over five thousand bees. Luckily, these terrors have yet to grace the south with their presence but since they’ve been in the news, we wanted to give you some peace of mind that these guys are ones you probably won’t have to worry about here in Texas.

I think I found a wasp nest, what now?

As your family friendly local pest control company in the Plano area, the safety of your homes and families are our top priority. If you’re worried you have a wasp infestation, call us today. Though wasps can be a natural form of pest control, due to their aggressive behavior it’s important to take proper preventative measures. As the first key to proper and effective pest control is pest prevention, we understand how important it is to ensure that nests are removed safely and permanently.

Wasp Removal in Plano, McKinney and North Dallas

If you’ve spotted a large wasp in or around your home, don’t get stung, give us a call. This warrior species is wiping out bee colonies at such an alarming rate that local agricultural departments are taking extensive measures to eradicate these nests the moment they’re found. Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, we want to ensure the safety of your family around such an aggressive species. Click here to sign up for a free whole home inspection or give us a call at (469) 598-0560 for more information. Check out our latest promos!

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You can lasso up some information about different types of pests we protect against, the services we provide, or just schedule a service today. 

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Summertime Pest Control Tips

backyard patio with furniture

July 1, 2021

Nothing ruins a picnic like a line of ants. Nothing ruins a barbecue like a swarm of mosquitoes. And nothing ruins a morning like spotting a spider, cockroach, or mouse somewhere in your house.

You can keep bugs and critters away from your home and yard this summer. Pay attention to these Summertime Pest Control Tips.

Block Their Entry to Your Home

Your first line of defense is to make it difficult for pests to even find an entry to your home. Check all your screens for holes and repair any you find. Check around your doors and windows for gaps. You should caulk or replace with weather stripping, when needed.

Clean Your Kitchen

A pile of crumbs on your counter or floor is like a buffet to ants and other insects. Let them find their dinner elsewhere, preferably far away from your home. You need to make there are no crumbs or pieces of leftover food sitting around. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Wipe your counters, sweep your floors, put food away immediately, and take out the trash regularly.

Get Rid of Standing Water

Getting rid of standing water is the first step to control mosquitoes. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. You absolutely don’t want them to make your yard their home. It’s easy to miss standing water sometimes. Make sure you walk your property to check rain spouts, water near your air conditioning unit, and pick up toys left scattered throughout the yard.

Maintain Your Yard

Keep your landscaping maintained to avoid overgrowth. That’s where pests like to hang out and build their nests. Trim bushes and trees that are near the house. You also need to weed and rake and remove debris.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Don’t let fruits and vegetables get overly ripe on your counter. If you do, the fruit flies will invite themselves in for a party. Eliminating fruit flies is a headache you don’t want.

Store Your Firewood Properly

Termites are often found in damp or wet firewood. Un-split wood with bark is more likely to attract insects than split wood. Stacking the wood in loose piles off the ground will help keep the wood dry. Don’t give termites free access to your home. If you store firewood, keep it away from your house. You may consider investing in a shed away from the house. BTW – the further away, the better.

Don’t Throw Meat in the Outside Garbage Too Early

This is a real summertime pest control tip you probably never considered. Don’t throw meat scraps in your outside garbage unless the garbage will be picked up in the next 48 hours. The combination of rotting meat and summer sun could bring unwanted pests to your yard incredibly fast. This is not just insects. Raccoons and mice will eat right through your plastic garbage can to get to that rotten meat.

Inspect Swings and Outdoor Furniture

You need to check the chains and corners of your swing sets regularly for spider webs and cocoons. The straps and pads of outdoor furniture are also a great hiding place for insects and spiders. Remove them when you see them.

Use a Pest Control Service

Hire a local pest control service to come to your home. Make sure they regularly spray for bugs and rodents common to your area. A professional pest control company can provide more protection than you can on your own. Plus, you will have someone to call in case of an emergency!

Whether you choose to do it all on your own or hire a professional pest control service, though, keep these Summertime Pest Control Tips in mind to take control of your yard again and have a pest-free summer!

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5 Things to Do After Buying a House for Pest Control

housekey in hand

June 18, 2021

Yes! You finally received the keys to your new home. What’s even better is that it’s in Texas, where the most fun people on the planet live.

What’s not so fun, however, are all the pests that live here too. Texas has pretty mild weather (well sometimes it can be so hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs) but we don’t get much snow and cold weather. This means we have a hospitable environment for creepy crawlies. So let’s check out 5 things you should do for pest control when you buy a new home. 

1. Do a Deep Clean

Pests aside, the first thing you should do before moving into a new home is to thoroughly clean it. After all, the previous owner might have just spiffed up a few spots, sprayed some air freshener around, and decided that was good enough for government work. 

This is going to be your new home and you want it to be pristine. Plus, any crumbs or debris left lying around is like rolling out a welcome mat for pests. It’s also way easier to deep clean before you fill the rooms up with stuff, so take advantage!

2. Clean the Yard

Pests aside, the first thing you should do before moving into a new home is to thoroughly clean it. After all, the previous owner might have just spiffed up a few spots, sprayed some air freshener around, and decided that was good enough for government work. 

This is going to be your new home and you want it to be pristine. Plus, any crumbs or debris left lying around is like rolling out a welcome mat for pests. It’s also way easier to deep clean before you fill the rooms up with stuff, so take advantage!

3. Seal Up Cracks

Go over your new home with a fine-toothed comb and a tube of caulking. Seal up every little crack and cranny you find that gives pests an entry point. You won’t be able to button it up so tight that not a single pest gets in, but you can cut down on their presence considerably.

As a bonus, sealing up all the cracks can help you save money on your cooling bills — something you’ll appreciate when it’s hotter than a stolen tamale outdoors.

4. Set Out Traps

Pests seem to have a nose for when people move out of a home. It doesn’t have to be sitting empty for long before they start coming in droves, looking to nest in a safe location. Consider setting around a few traps for mice and ants as you prepare your home to move into. This is the perfect time to do it before you have your kids and pets running around getting into things.

If you don’t catch anything, you can be reasonably sure there isn’t an infestation — yet.

Alternatively, you might consider calling a reputable pest protection company to do a full inspection. You can also set up ongoing pest protection services, which are far more effective (and less icky) than dealing with an infestation after it has already set in. At Buckaroo Pest Protection, we use non-toxic, eco-friendly products to protect your home (as opposed to the chemical-laden ones commonly used by other companies).

5. Install a Termite Baiting System

If you’re moving to a Texas home from somewhere else in the South, you already know there are far more termites here than you can shake a stick at. What’s more, they are sneaky little critters. By the time you realize that you have an infestation, they will have already done a whole passel of damage to your home.

Termites in Texas

We have two basic types of termites here in Texas. These are the Formosan Subterranean and the Southeastern Drywall termites.

As you might guess, the subterranean ones live underground. They tunnel through the earth looking for sources of their favorite food — wood. When they find that wood in your home, they create odor trails for the other workers to find the food source and they get to work hauling back the food. This, of course, means they are dismantling the structure of your home as they work.

Drywall termites are similarly destructive. However, instead of building their nests underground and traveling to your house, they set up shop right in the dry wood in your walls, roof, and foundation.

If you were smart as a hooty owl when you moved into your home, you already ordered a pest inspection. This ensures there isn’t already an active infestation. But, you’ve got to keep those pesky critters at bay going forward.

Termite Baiting System

That’s why this is the perfect time to install a termite baiting system. Unlike the liquid termiticide that is applied generously and indiscriminately as a barrier around your home, baiting systems are more refined.

Pest professionals like us who are smart as a whip know where to place the bait stations for maximum efficiency. When roaming termites find the bait, they take it back and share it with their friends, effectively enjoying their Last Supper together.

Baiting systems are less harmful than injecting bucketloads of pesticide into your dirt, but they work slowly so setting them up now is ideal. Protect your home from these pesky critters before they ever become a serious problem.

What Buckaroo Can Do for You

When it comes to protecting your home from pests, we ain’t all hat and no cattle, you can be sure about that. Our resident pest expert has plenty of arrows in his quiver with 30 years of experience behind him.

Even if you don’t know where the pests are, or if you even have an infestation, we can help you figure it out and corral those critters in no time — or better yet, keep them from ever showing up. After all, those critters are about as welcome as an outhouse breeze, if you know what we mean.

Give us a holler today for a free whole-house inspection.

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We are Available Monday – Friday; 8am – 5pm

Want to know more? 

 You can lasso up some information about different types of pests we protect against, the services we provide, or just schedule a service today. 

Call Us Anytime: (469)-742-2345

Ways to Prevent Mosquitos from Invading Your Yard

mosquitos

May 11, 2021

It’s so nice to — slap! — sit in the backyard — whine, whine, slap! — and enjoy the warm Texas evening in North Dallas.

Whelp. Once again you lasted all of five minutes out there with those hordes of annoying mosquitos. But you want to be able to relax in your backyard so you’re probably asking yourself “how do I stop mosquitos?”

You’ve come to the right place. Check out these simple and effective tips to stop so many mosquitoes from invading your yard and crashing your party.

1. Mosquito Repellent Plants

Nature gifts you with an excellent way to both decorate your yard and encourage the mosquitoes to spend time elsewhere. Several beautiful plants give off a pleasant aroma that is not-so-pleasant for pests. Try incorporating these as part of your landscaping for a colorful mosquito-free backyard.

What kinds of plants are the best? Try planting cheerful yellow and orange marigolds in window boxes or flower beds. Pretty purple lavender plants give off a pleasant aroma that chases away mosquitoes and has the added benefit of helping you feel more relaxed. Dried lavender is often used in aromatherapy for this very purpose.

Aromatic lemongrass (which also makes a delicious tea) and other plants such as mint, catnip, and citronella are also great choices for mosquito repellent.

2. Don’t Leave Standing Water Around

Want to breed a new generation of mosquitoes? Leaving standing water lying around your yard is a great way to do it. Though not necessary for all mosquito reproduction, most female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. It only takes about a week for mosquitoes to mature from egg to adult so even just leaving standing water for a few days can mean you’ll have an infestation of Biblical proportions.

Keep in mind that water can collect in various places that you might not think about. Check the gutters to make sure water is draining properly. Clogged drains lead to pools of water in the gutters that make a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Don’t leave toys, trash can lids, wheelbarrows, and other items capable of holding water lying around. Walk your property and look for puddles or areas with poor drainage. Remember, mosquitoes are small, they don’t need much standing water to breed.

Do you like to watch the birds come and splash in your birdbath? Don’t forget that this is also standing water. Change it frequently to kill any developing mosquitoes.

3. Don’t Leave Debris Lying Around

In the same vein, don’t leave debris lying around in your yard. Piles of wood or damp soil can retain enough water for the mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Also, some species can use decaying logs or leaves as a breeding ground rather than just water, so make sure to clean up this organic matter as well.

Very shady yards tend to be more hospitable to mosquitoes and other pests. If you implement our tips and find that you still have a problem, you might consider trimming your trees a little. Lots of sunlight can help chase away these unwelcome visitors.

4. Light Candles

In addition to cleaning up your yard and changing up the landscaping, you can also use temporary tricks that annoy the mosquitoes. Candles are one such great idea. Not only do they fill the air with a pleasant scent but also they add a touch of atmosphere to your backyard barbecue.

If you’re in a large open area or it’s very windy, the candles might not work too well. But in a partially enclosed space like a patio, candles are the perfect touch.

There are various essential oils that mosquitoes don’t like, so don’t think you’re stuck with just the typical citronella candles. Look for candles made with:

  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Lemongrass
  • Clove
  • Peppermint
  • Geraniol
  • Lavender

Alternatively, you can use an essential oil diffuser with any of these effective scents.

5. A Dish of Beer

As much as the human species might be attracted to beer, mosquitoes are repelled by it. In fact, they are quite the little teetotalers. Set a little dish of beer or any other type of alcohol out to keep the mosquitoes away from your party.

6. Coffee Grounds

Scientists are still unsure why this trick works, but for some reason, coffee grounds impede the growth of mosquito larvae.

This is a great trick to use in areas of standing water that you just can’t seem to get rid of. Each time you brew a pot of coffee, toss the grounds in moist areas of your yard where mosquitoes are likely to hang out to prevent them from proliferating.

7. Garlic Spray

Though garlic tastes delicious on soft Italian bread or mixed in with pasta, it isn’t so appreciated as a scent. Mosquitoes find it particularly unpleasant as a garlic spray kills them on impact. Thankfully, the smell, though strong, dissipates quickly.

It’s completely safe for kids and easy to make from simple ingredients. Simply crush or mince a clove of garlic and boil it in water. Then pour the garlic-infused water into a spray bottle and spritz it around your yard.

8. Spray the Yard with Professional Spray

These remedies and tricks should cut down considerably on the number of mosquitoes flitting about your yard. However, sometimes the big guns are necessary for the best outdoor experience.

Unfortunately, many professional sprays are full of chemicals. This may not be ideal, especially when you have kids and pets. Thankfully, there are other options.

We use effective, eco-friendly, botanically-based products that are safe for pets and people. Finally, you can enjoy a backyard party in North Dallas without all the slapping and itching.

Invited Guests Only

Next time you’re wondering how to keep those uninvited guests from crashing your party, keep us in mind. Our expert pest control services allow you to enjoy the great outdoors comfortably without relying on harmful chemicals.

Get in touch with us today at Buckaroo Pest Protection to start enjoying a pest-free experience!

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We are Available Monday – Friday; 8am – 5pm

Want to know more? 

 You can lasso up some information about different types of pests we protect against, the services we provide, or just schedule a service today. 

Call Us Anytime: (469)-742-2345

What Is Integrative Pest Management?

We're open sign on business door

April 15, 2021

When your business has a serious pest problem, you have two options before it gets any worse.

 At first, you could try to exterminate the pests on your own, or you can trust professionals like Buckaroo to do the commercial pest control on your behalf.

 Without a doubt, it takes more skill and expertise to service a commercial structure when it’s full of pests. So, Buckaroo Pest Protection tackles the problem head-on like a linebacker and uses environmentally friendly, integrative pest control methods.

 But if you’ve never heard of that kind of pest control, this post will go over the basics to give you an idea of what to expect before Buckaroo inspects your property.

What’s the purpose of intergrative pest control in the first place?

Overall, the general idea behind integrative pest control is to get rid of the pests while minimizing the risk to humans and animals.

 The issue with old-school pest control methods is that they basically involve using a substantial amount of poisons and toxic substances, hoping that rats and insects take the bait and eventually kick the bucket.

That may have worked in the past, but these days, it takes more attention to detail, especially when the job involves an older commercial building. Indeed, if a business operates in a building as old as dirt, there will be pests in all likelihood.

Nuisance insects like cockroaches and ants are the least of your concerns. In all likelihood, the structure is infested with other pests you can’t see most of the time, especially if the structure sits next to undeveloped land. So, integrative pest control takes a 360-degree approach and offers business owners long-term protection instead of a quick fix.

The process begins by identifying what pests need to be taken care of ASAP and which ones aren’t really the primary threat. To kill pests once and for all, you have to know the scope and scale of the problem.

Do you only have a roach problem, or do you have a severe rat infestation that’s making your business reek like a stinky dish rag? The answers will certainly vary from case to case, so we rely on the integrative method to diagnose the issue right away.

How does integrative pest control work?

Integrative pest control, sometimes called integrative pest management, determines the root cause of the infestation by monitoring the environment and seeing how bad the problem really is.

That way, the experts at Buckaroo Pest Protection can step in to do the job right.

 The best part about integrative pest control is that it takes a holistic approach that goes beyond using a safer alternative to pesticides.

When you need reliable pest extermination at the end of the day, integrative pest management gives you the best chance of success. Otherwise, you risk getting re-infested if the root cause isn’t fixed the first time around. By analyzing the ecosystem, Buckaroo’s exterminators can protect buildings from specific pests without applying one-size-fits-all solutions. The general idea is to stay laser-focused on the animals or insects that you do want to get rid of and those you don’t mind sticking around.

How can businesses tell if they need a commercial pest control specialist?

Buckaroo Pest Protection works with all types of commercial buildings, and one of the questions we hear most often is: how can I tell if I need a professional exterminator? 

Well, the answers are pretty straightforward. If you notice that your business is suffering as a result of the infestation, it’s time to give us a call.

 For instance, if you operate a restaurant and you have a mice problem, the state of Texas can shut you down in the blink of an eye! But if your business is something like a warehouse, you might not think that rodents are a concern, yet they are because they carry disease, among other problems.

 he most noticeable signs are rat droppings, but rodents also leave urine trails behind and tend to gnaw on things like baseboards or anything they can get their teeth on. Cardboard is another preferred

 A quick rule of thumb is that when you notice one type of pest, there are probably more that you don’t see.

 If pest infestations get severe, you could have your own little pest ecosystem, so we fight fire with fire and take a look at the bigger picture with integrative pest management.

Why choose Buckaroo Pest Protection? 

We’re straight shooters at Buckaroo Pest Protection, so we guarantee the quality of our work and offer fair prices.

 If you trust us to do what we do best –  protect your company, employees, and your customers – we’ll prove to you that you made the right choice.

 We offer regular maintenance plans that help keep the pests away and protect businesses long after we knock out the initial problem. You can rest easy knowing that our commercial pest control services use eco-friendly, chemical-free, and non-toxic materials the vast majority of the time.

What areas does Buckaroo Pest Protection serve?

If you live in North Texas, we have you covered 100 percent because we serve a pretty wide area, including communities like:

  • Allen
  • McKinney
  • Frisco
  • Plano
  • Fairview
  • Lucas
  • Richardson
  • Prosper
  • Murphy
  • North Dallas

 But keep in mind that this is only a quick rundown of the towns we service. If your business is located in any community near these, we’d be glad to come out and see what we can do for you.

 Click to get a free business inspection, and we’ll take $50 off the initial service with an annual service agreement!

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We are Available Monday – Friday; 8am – 5pm

Want to know more? 

 You can lasso up some information about different types of pests we protect against, the services we provide, or just schedule a service today. 

Call Us Anytime: (469)-742-2345