many argentine ants on a kitchen floor

Your Guide To Common Pests In Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

From tiny ants to large rodents, when pests get into your place of business, you need to know what kind of damage they can cause. Our pest library is your best resource guide. You’ll find information on all of the most common pests to invade DFW businesses, including what kind of problems they cause and how to get rid of them.

Ants

some fire ants gathered together on the ground

Ants are a type of insect with three distinct body regions (head, thorax, and abdomen), six legs, and a pair of antennae. Their reproductive members have wings. Two species of ants that invade businesses in our area are the Argentine ant and fire ant. Argentine ants are well known for their massive colonies and many nesting sites. Fire ants are known for their aggressive nature, painful stings, and ability to damage electrical equipment. Neither should be welcome in or around your building.

Ants are small, but troublesome, pests to control. These tiny terrors cause big problems inside commercial facilities. They invade in large numbers, have multiple nesting sites, and – once they decide to call your property home – are very difficult to eliminate.

Ants usually live and nest outside. Unfortunately, they commonly create their nest in the landscaping that surrounds commercial properties. Nesting near the exterior of a building allows them to find their way inside while foraging for food or escaping harsh weather conditions. Ants move inside commercial properties through cracks and other small openings they find in exterior walls and foundations. Once ants are on a property, they're tough to eliminate without the help of a professional.

To avoid problems with ants:

  • Leave a barrier between any mulch or soil and your structure's foundation.

  • Cut back shrubbery, trees, and plants away from the exterior of your building.

  • Get rid of ant entry points by sealing cracks in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Limit the access ants have to food by placing all garbage in trash receptacles with tight-fitting lids.

  • Inside your facility, keep food storage and food prep areas free of crumbs and spills.

Bed Bugs

a bed bug biting a persons arm

Adult bed bugs are identified by their reddish-brown bodies that grow to approximately 1/4 of an inch in length. A bed bug looks like an apple seed with legs. After feeding, they turn a purple-reddish color, and their body expands and elongates. Parasitic bed bugs are found either feeding on the blood of their sleeping hosts or hiding in dark, secluded areas.

Bed bugs are mainly nocturnal, hiding during the day and emerging night to feed. However, when bed bugs live in places where people don't spend the night, such as shopping centers, office buildings, or schools, they will adapt their feeding habits and instead feed during the day.

Bed bugs prefer to live wherever there are people because our blood is their favorite source of food. These hitchhiking pests move easily from place to place on people and our belongings. Preventing problems with bed bugs inside your business is challenging. The threat of them hitchhiking their way into your facility on customers, employees, or inside of deliveries is present every single day.

Additionally, bed bugs are prolific breeders, with a single female being able to produce about 540 eggs in its life! Bed bugs are a real threat to any business's reputation.

To avoid problems with bed bugs:

  • Vacuum and clean your facility daily.

  • Regularly inspect all areas of your business for signs of bed bugs, paying particular attention to upholstered furniture, areas behind electrical outlets, keyboards, and areas behind clocks and other wall hangings. If mattresses and box springs are present, inspect those as well.

  • Eliminate areas of clutter. Bed bugs love to hide out-of-sight in clutter. Make sure all employees know how to identify bed bugs and what the signs of an infestation are.

Cockroaches

a german cockroach on a leaf

Cockroaches are one of the oldest groups of insects still found roaming the earth. Roaches are scavengers that, when living out in nature, are beneficial by helping to break down decaying materials. However, cockroaches don't only live outside away from people. Many species have discovered the benefits of living with people because we provide them with everything they need to survive: food, water, and shelter.

While cockroaches prefer to live with us, having these creatures as guests is never a good idea. Cockroaches spread disease and bacteria, contaminate food, destroy personal items, and create an unpleasant musty odor.

Two of the most common species of cockroaches that invade businesses in our area are the German cockroach and Oriental cockroach. Roaches usually find their way inside facilities while out foraging for food. They move inside through vents, drains, cracks in the foundation, and open windows and doors. Indoors, the German and Oriental cockroaches prefer to live in warm, damp, dark areas like under sinks in kitchens and bathrooms, behind large appliances in kitchen and laundry areas, and near pipes.

To avoid problems with cockroaches:

  • Seal up cracks in the foundation and exterior walls on the property.

  • Place mesh covers over vents and drains leading inside.

  • Keep garage and delivery doors closed as much as possible.

  • Place tight-fitting lids on trash receptacles.

  • Store food in containers with air-tight lids, or a refrigerator.

  • Maintain a rigorous sanitation schedule.

  • Fix dripping pipes and use dehumidifiers to keep basement and storage areas dry.

Fleas & Ticks

a small flea in some grey dog hair

Fleas and ticks are unwanted pests that can take over our outdoor spaces and find their way inside our businesses. Wild animals introduce fleas and ticks onto properties, so whether pets are allowed on your property or not, problems with fleas and ticks could still plague your business. Fleas and ticks hide in tall grass and dense vegetation waiting for a host to happen by that they can jump or crawl onto. If their new hosts are your customers, their presence will negatively affect your business.

Fleas and ticks are both problematic pests to have living on commercial properties. Their presence is not only annoying but causes health risks to customers and employees. Ticks are a type of arachnid, and adults have a oval-shaped bodies and eight legs. Ticks pose significant health risks to people and our pets. Depending on the species, they carry and transmit a wide range of disease-causing pathogens and bacteria. Fleas are insects and are only about the size of a speck of dirt. Fleas transmit parasitic tapeworms to both people and pets.

To avoid problems with fleas and ticks:

  • Place covers on trash cans, remove bird feeders and keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris. These steps will deter flea and tick carrying wildlife from being lured to your property.

  • Remove brush, leaf piles, and other debris from your property. Also keep grass short and cut back overgrown vegetation to decrease the number of flea and tick hiding spots.

  • Create well-marked, well-maintained walkways that are free of overgrown vegetation for your customers and employees to utilize.

Mosquitoes

a mosquito biting a mans knuckle

Adult mosquitoes are small fly-like insects that have slender bodies with long, thin legs and narrow, hairy wings, as well as extended mouthparts they use for feeding. Plant nectar and pollen are both the male and female mosquito's primary source of food.

Mosquitoes thrive in weather that is warm and wet, and their populations are at their highest during the spring, summer, and early fall. They are most active at dusk and dawn. During the heat of the day, they rest, hiding in tall grasses, under trees, and along fences lines.

Mosquitoes are biting insects and outdoor pests that can find their way onto any property. They are, however, most attracted to properties near breeding sites, which are areas of standing water. Female mosquitoes bite people and animals to feed on their blood and gain the protein needed to create viable eggs.

Due to their feeding habits, female mosquitoes carry and transmit a wide variety of diseases to both people and animals, including the West Nile virus, encephalitis, and the Zika virus. They also transmit potentially fatal parasitic heartworm to dogs. Because they swarm in large numbers, deliver painful and itchy bites, and spread diseases, these pests should never be welcome on any commercial property.

To avoid problems with mosquitoes:

  • Store any containers that can collect water upside down when not in use.

  • Fill any low-lying areas on your property that can collect rainwater.

  • Keep gutters free of debris, so they flow freely.

  • Keep the grass cut short and remove overgrown vegetation from the property.

  • Mosquitoes are weak flyers, so use an outdoor fan on decks or porches to keep these biting insects from attacking your customers.

Rodents

a norway rat peeking out of the leaves on a tree branch

Two of the most common species of rodents that invade businesses in our areas are the Roof rat and Norway rat. The agile roof rat gains access into buildings through the roof, while the heavy-bodied Norway rat enters at ground level. Rats and rodents, in general, are initially attracted to properties that provide them with secluded shelter and easy access to food. Once living on your property, it is very common for them to move inside while foraging for food or seeking out a quiet area to nest.

Rodents were so named because they have a constant need to gnaw to keep their continually growing front incisors sharp and prevent them from overgrowing. Rodent's chewing habits constitute a significant threat to commercial properties. They will chew on and damage wires, pipes, cables, furniture, flooring, boxes, inventory, electrical equipment, and more.

In addition to their intense chewing habits, rodents are dangerous pests because they contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria, they spread disease and parasites, and their presence will drive customers away from your business.

To avoid problems with rodents:

  • Remove excess piles of debris, keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris, and place tight-fitting lids on dumpsters and recycling bins.

  • Limit their access to your building by cutting back tree branches, shrubs, and bushes from its exterior walls and roof.

  • Get rid of entry points by repairing roof damage, fixing holes in the foundation, placing mesh covers over vents and drains, and keeping doors leading into your facility closed as much as possible.

For information about partnering with Delta One Pest Management to protect your business from pests, reach out to us today!

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