The Creepy Crawlies that Love to Call Houston Home and What to Do About Them

Laura Schwecherl Pest Control

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Certain creepy crawlies love to call Houston home, whether they live in between the couch cushions, behind the walls, or in hard-to-reach kitchen crevices. Unfortunately, Texas heat and humidity is to blame. Most pests that end up inside require high humidity: When they’re outside they typically live in places full of moisture, such as soil, mulch, or debris.

While pests can be an absolute pain for homeowners and renters alike, there’s hope. We’ve identified the most common pests you may find in your Houston home, how to prevent them from breaking in, and when to call for professional help.

Here are seven common pests you may find in your home, along with surefire signs it’s time to call for help:

Termites

Termites are probably the most pest-y of all the creepy crawlies, especially once you consider that their damages amount to more than $5 billion dollars, according to the National Pest Management Association. They’re also common in Houston and notorious for creating nests inside houses and other buildings. There are a handful of measures you can take to prevent their presence, such as repairing leaky faucets and keeping firewood away from the home. The most effective way to avoid a termite infestation is to schedule regular inspections with a pest management professional to ensure your home remains free of them.

When to call in professional help: If you see signs of termites—including wings they’ve shed and holes in wood—give pest control a call.

Spiders

We’re sorry to inform you that Houston is home to the black widow, the brown recluse, the jumping spider, the wolf spider, and other eight-legged relatives. While these creatures are particularly elusive, they may come out to bite. Some spider bites can cause allergic reactions in some people while others, such as the black widow, may result in more serious side effects. Spiders like food, so keep crumbs out of site and vacuum often.

When to call in professional help: A few spiders in your house isn’t a huge deal, but watch out for more than that; then you should call pest control. If you find a web, break it. If you notice it’s been rebuilt, that’s another indicator you should call in the pros.

Cockroaches

Two types of cockroaches—American and German—are prevalent in Houston. They are often found wherever food is, as well as in warm and moist places such as basements. If you notice holes or cracks in your home, seal them. Keep the house clean, too, and maintain a dry basement (a dehumidifier is a helpful tool).

When to call in professional help: Once you spot a cockroach, call in the pros since this pest is a prolific breeder and hard to eliminate.

Mice and Rats

Nobody wants to be eating dinner and then see a mouse or rat scurry under the table and vanish behind the fridge. While seeing one of these pests in your house is unpleasant, it’s what rodents, ranging from the Norwegian rat to the deer mouse, do when we don’t see them that’s especially problematic: gnaw on furniture, wires, carpet, water lines, and more. They also leave droppings on pantry shelves, counters, and places they nest. The best way to keep mice and rats out of your house is to repair any holes in walls and around the baseboards, and to take note of doors that don’t seal properly.

When to call in professional help: If you see something, say something. While there are ways to trap a mouse or rat yourself, it’s much easier (and less stressful) to call pest control. You don’t have to wait until you spot one either; once you see droppings, that’s a sure sign rodents are inside.

Scorpions

Texas is known for its large variety of scorpions. Scorpions aren’t incredibly dangerous, but they can sting. The severity of a sting ranges from person to person, but it’s still important to make sure you take proper action if you find one in your home. (Not-so fun fact: Scorpion litters range from 25 to 35 babies, which could mean a full-blown infestation.)

When to call in professional help: Once you see one, call professional help.

Wasps and Bees

From paper wasps to yellow jackets, mud daubers, and bald faced hornets, plenty of wasps and bees are local to Houston. Not only can they nest on or inside your house, but their stings are no joke, especially for people with allergies.

When to call in professional help: If you spot a nest, it’s time for pest control to intervene. While there are some DIY products to help tear them down, it’s much easier and safer to have the pros handle and remove an active nest.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are common in humid places (hi, Houston), and survive by sucking blood from animals and humans. Mosquito bites not only cause annoying itching and irritation, they can also transmit diseases, such as  Zika, a serious public health threat in Houston. They’re also super hard to manage on your own.

When to call in professional help: It’s a good idea to get professional help once you notice mosquitos swarming in your backyard or, even worse, inside your house.

Conclusion

While not all house pests are dangerous, they’re definitely a hassle. It’s important to keep your house clean, free of food crumbs, patch any holes, and resolve wet areas. Unfortunately, even the most well-maintained homes can experience an infestation. Make sure you take advantage of pest control to help prevent, control, or exterminate unwanted critters in your home.

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Laura Schwecherl
About the Author
Laura Schwecherl

Laura Schwecherl is the Marketing Director at Possible, a nonprofit healthcare company based in New York and rural Nepal. She was the previous Marketing and Partnerships Director at Greatist, which exposed her love of writing about health and wellness. In her spare time, she is either training for a marathon, writing poems, or eating tacos. 

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