Human dwellings and outbuildings provide shelter for rats and mice during cold periods. Crawl space areas beneath homes or attics are common rat escapes. Rats will also utilize garages, sheds or even inside your home. They do not like open exposure, mainly foraging at night or with heavy infestation the weaker rat of the nest may seek out food sources during the day.
The reason for the increase in rat infestations during the fall and winter months is due to the weather is changing, therefore rats are seeking warmer habitats which usually consist of inside homes or in garages. Many people notice movement of rats when large areas of land is excavated for construction. This displaces a large amount of rats and mice.
In our area there are two types of rats that infest homes, the Norway rats and Roof rats. Norway rats dwell in burrows found in grass embankments, beneath the roots of trees and at the edges of palings and drain covers. Roof rat nests may be found inside the lofts, attics, beneath floor boards and in other dark infrequently visited locations.
Rats are responsible for the transmission of many diseases. Their feeding habits are destructive, and their nesting behaviors can compromise the structure of infested buildings. However, rats are secretive and not seen by many humans when populations are low. Therefore, an infestation may prove difficult to confirm. The most obvious sign of a rat infestation is the sighting of a rat dead or alive. Rats prefer to hide, given enough space, so if seen in plane sight it is likely there is a full blown infestation. Another sign would be a spotting of rat droppings. Rat droppings indicate a heathy feeding rat population. The last sign, which is probably the most vague, would be if you see a sign of a rat leaving dirt or grease marks along floorboards. Although this is a sign it is not a for sure indication of rats being in your house and could be many other things.
In the event of an infestation it is best to consult a pest control professional. If you see any signs that rats might be in your home call Western Exterminating at 817-834-3121 to set up an appointment for an estimate and evaluation.
Carpenter ants are large ants that tend to invade homes in Texas starting in late winter and early spring. The common myth about Carpenter Ants is that they invade homes by eating wood the same way termites do. This is proven to not be true. Although Carpenter Ants are an annoying nuisance that can invade your home, they do not eat wood. Instead they usually nest somewhere in homes where there is already structural damage in cool damp areas like a bathroom, kitchen or around windows and doors. Carpenter ants love to move into areas that already have structural damage from termites, rotting wood and/or they will excavate tunnels in insulation. These ants can be found in certain parts of a house such as hollow core doors, around and under windows, roof eaves, decks and porches. These areas are more likely to be infested because they are most vulnerable to moisture.
Here are a few interesting facts:
- Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they will feed on a variety of foods people eat—particularly sweets and meat. They will also feed on other insects and insect honey dew.
- The queen lays 9 to 16 eggs her first year and may live up to 25 years.
- Development time from egg to adult is at least 60 days.
- Carpenter ants will forage for food up to 300 feet away from the colony.
- Have multiple colony locations (satellite colonies).
- Swarmer’s are not produced until the colony is 2 years old and usually 3 to 4 years old.
Would you know the difference between an ant and a termite if you saw one? Click here to compare the visible differences.
Homeowners usually notice Carpenter ants when the worker ants are foraging for food or if there are visible dead ants or debris; many people describe this debris as looking like coffee grounds. Also they may see a swarm of ants inside or around their home. Carpenter ants will not structurally hurt your home but are a major nuisance to homeowners. If you see any sign of an ant infestation contact Western Exterminating Company for pest control service as soon as possible as it is proven that this issue cannot be ridden of easily. For a residential or commercial estimate call us at 817-834-3121 to set up an appointment.