I was at a new customers building the other day and noticed this. It’s a short video but it shows where termite swarmers emerged from an expansion joint in the same place some ants were hanging out. The ant is a natural enemy of the termite. Not good news for the termite swarmer. Ants v. Termites
At McGrath Pest Control we have seen and done a lot of different types of jobs. Of course things like alligator trapping and coyote trapping are a few things I’ll let Billy the Exterminator deal with. Not me. Just recently, though, we have had a few pigeon calls to our office. A new customer called and said they live in a three story town home and pigeons were nesting on the roof and this ledge above their bedroom. It’s driving them crazy cause they can’t sleep because of all the noise these creatures are making. So we said we could help.
After George inspected the situation, we realized any of our ladders wouldn’t work for this job. We would have to rent a boom lift to complete this job. We’ve used a boom lift before for other bird jobs, but this one would be different cause we would actually have to drive it there ourselves and figure out how to place it in between the different town homes.
That was probably the hardest part cause we kept having to raise it, lower it, move it. Nope that’s not the right spot. Raise it again. Nope that won’t work either. Lower it, move it. Raise it. Watch out!! Don’t hit the ledge of the other home. Lower it, move it. O.k. that will finally work.
It took for ever just to set it up. I blame that on us a little cause we don’t use one of these very often. Bring on the next job though, we are pros at this whole boom lift thing now.
George then proceeded to install plastic bird spikes along the edge of the house.
It looks like he is doing a good job installing these spikes. A few times pigeons tried landing on the edge in front of George but were quickly deterred because of the spikes. I’m glad they didn’t get mad at George and leave a deposit on his head. HaHa
I’m very proud of the job we did that day. O.k. I take that back. I’m very proud of the job George did that day. There is no way the pigeons will be landing on this ledge, I hope the customers will be able to sleep more comfortably. I also hope we have more jobs like this. I really enjoyed watching George do the install. You noticed I said watching George. We all must have a George working for us. He is the best!!
Hope this helps!
As the year comes to an end, I like to reflect on how the past year impacted McGrath Pest Control. In the 39 years that we have been in business this has been one of the best ever. I’m so lucky and blessed to have such a good staff and and even better customers. We have all worked so hard trying to be the best pest control company in Houston and I believe we are on our way in achieving that goal. As productive as 2012 was, I know there is so much more work to be done and so much oppotunity for us out there.
I look forward to 2013 and all the new customers we will acquire and satisfy. Get ready. This is going to be the best year ever. Thanks again for everyone’s help and support.
I wanted to post a few random pictures I took last week while working. There is a new business that kept having ants in and around their building. I couldn’t find the source till now.
I sprayed behind the trim and boom I hit the jackpot. Their problem was solved not too long after that. Usually when you find the source of anything it solves all the other problems.
The next picture goes back to one of my previous blogs. Rats, Rats, Rats. This customer was having a problem with rats. I told her along with trapping upstairs, we need to figure out where the rats were entering the house. Bingo!! I found it.
My next job is to seal this up and place a bait box down below.
I see stuff like this all the time especially this time of year.
Hope this helps
McGrath Pest Control
Probably about 20 years ago a swarm of drywood termites made their way into the Heights part of town. Since then almost every time we get a termite call from someone living in that part of town, I’m almost assured that it’s going to be drywood termites. Well now, I’m seeing them spread west into the Memorial area and as well as the Katy area.
There are several differences in drywood termites and the more common, subterranean termites. The biggest is how they get into your house and how they are detected. Subterranean termites come from the ground and work their way up into your house through a mud like tunnel which you can see (hopefully, if you have read my earlier blogs) on your foundation. If caught early enough, subterranean termites can be treated and eliminated fully without much damage at all to your structure.
Drywood termites on the other hand do not originate from the ground. Their swarmers fly in and will work their way in to a crack or an opening in the outside wood structure of your house. Because they will work their way inside the wood, detection sometimes is not detected till the wood is already damaged. The most evident tell signs of drywood termites are the either black or tan looking little pellets that are either pushed out from the wood and on to the ground, or are detected inside the middle of a piece of damaged wood. Subterranean termites will consume the cellulose of the wood and leave a dirt like substance inside the galleries where they have been. Drywood will not leave any dirt or mud, just their pellets behind.
Inspection for drywood termites is very difficult, as you can imagine, but very important. A person should always have a professional come out and perform an annual termite inspection for both subterranean and drywood termites. Even then, drywood may go undetected for sometime until some sort of evidence appears.
There are numerous different types of treatments for drywood termites. From the most common in tenting, to simply just removing the infested wood and treating the new wood with a borate chemical that will kill any future attack. Most all pest control companies will be able to treat for drywood termites, but they may only use one or a few of the different types of methods to treat. That’s why it’s very important to get several different bids and decide what is best for you and your home, as well as, your budget. Drywood treatments can be a lot cheaper than subterranean treatment, or they can be three times more expensive than subterranean treatments. It all depends on what is best for you house. For more information on drywood termites you can go to the Texas A&M Agricultural website at: http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/l-1782.html
Hope this help!!
McGrath Pest Control
Being in this business for over 36 yrs. we, as a business, have seen numerous houses and even more problems. Every house has a different issue and a different reason why they have those issues. Along with getting your house serviced on a regular basis for rodents, insects, etc. , the most important aspect in keeping your house bug free is to eliminate the entry points for the insects.
Make sure all holes and cracks and gaps are filled in around your house. First I would start with under the sinks. Make sure you don’t have any holes like this under there:
Now this was kind of extreme, but you get my point. Also check around doors and windows to make sure there are no obvious entry points that need to be sealed up.
Outside your home you will find numerous holes and gaps and rotten wooden areas that little critters may be able to enter. Be sure all those areas are fixed or repaired. Here is a picture of someone trying to fix a gap with just spray foam:
Not pretty. Now here is a picture, after a certain pest control company was called, of the same roof the way it should be done.
Now that looks much better and last much longer. I also see many houses that have water rot that, if left unattended, may be a walk way straight into your house. If possible these rotten areas need to be fixed. The following two pictures are before and after pictures from above said pest control company.
Looks pretty good and no more ants or roaches or even termites will be getting in here.
I’ve learned over the years that we can spray and trap to our hearts content, but If we don’t keep the critters out then the customers issues won’t be completely solved and they won’t be completely happy. As always if you’re not sure what to look for please call a professional to come out and inspect your home.
Hope this helps!!
This new customer had us out cause they thought they had a small little ant problem around a window. When I started dusting I found this:carpenter ant video part 1
The next video is inside the very same house. I wish I would have had someone else to video the entire scene. It was actually worse than it appears.carpenter ant video part 2
This was a crazy call. The good thing is the customer contacted me a few days later and informed me all the ants were gone and there were no more issues around the window. I’m glad to see some of the chemicals work.
Now this was not a normal carpenter ant situation. I believe they have had this issue for a very long time and just either didn’t realize it or ignored it.
So what have we learned today kids? If you see something that doesn’t look just right, do not let it go. Call a professional to inspect and to take care of it before it get out of control.
Hope this helps!!
McGrath Pest Control
Posted in Ants
Tagged carpenter ants
Are you thinking on buying a house? If you are then more than likely you will need a WDI report. WDI stands for wood destroying insect report. Even if your mortgage company doesn’t require you to get one, I believe it is very important to invest the money to protect both you and your potentially new investment. I’ve had too many homeowners call me out to spray their house only to find they had termites in some far off corner of the house and no one ever told them about them. This is not very exciting news when you just spend $200k on your dream home.
I’m hired by the buyer to (A) let them know if their potentially new home has termites, (B) has had termites, or (C) has the potential to get termites. A termite inspection is a visual inspection. I will document any and all conducive conditions in and around the house. A conducive condition is any area around the house that could possibility cause termites to appear on or near you house. A few examples could be standing water, high foliage, wood to ground contact, or rotten wood. I also document any obstructed or hidden areas in and around the house that termites could appear. A few examples of these could be soil line over the foundation, hidden plumbing areas, items placed up against the house, or vines growing against the side of the house.
Once I do my visual inspection it’s my job to walk around with the buyer and point out every little thing I marked on the report. As I do this, I’m also explaining why each mark is either good or bad termite wise. Usually this is when I go into my termite speech and explain how and why termites work. I will also check on my report whether I believe a preventative termite treatment is necessary or not.
It is not my job to tell the buy whether they should buy the house or not. I’m just there to explain what I see and give my opinion good or bad. That’s what they hire me for.
Now what I do is not only for the buyer. The seller can benefit from a termite inspector also. I tell all my customers that are putting their house on the market to call me before there is a contract put on their house. I can do a mock inspection with the homeowner and show them what the buyers inspector will probably point out. This will give the seller the chance to change or fix any problem areas. Plus if they do end up having termites, we can solve the problem issue quickly. If your not in the business then you probably won’t notice all the little areas around you house that could be problem area for termites. Usually they are minor and be easily fixed or solved, but if let unattended could result in the loss of a sale. I’ve seen it happen many times.
I hope this helps in educating everyone on what to do when buying a home. I realize there are twenty billion other things buyer has to worry about and if I can help eliminate one then I’m happy. Now I do want you to realize this was just a quick over view of what I do at a termite inspection. There are tons more detailed stuff, but I didn’t want to bore you too much. If you are not sure what to do, please ask your realtor or call your local exterminator and should be able to help you out any way possible.
Hope this helps!!
Throughout the year some of the big problems we have to deal with are squirrels. These little buggers love to find their way into small little areas in people’s houses. They will find a little crack or gap to enter and set up home. Sometimes they have their babies there and sometimes they will just set up a nest to hang out and eat or get out of the weather. If it’s in your attic we can trap them and take them away somewhere. When I say take them away, I mean far away. Squirrels are territorial. They tend to stay in the say area all the time, so if you take them far away to a new area they should stay around that area. Some times though, they will try and get into an area where there is no attic access. What do you do when this happens?
Here is a picture of a tile roof where squirrels were getting in.
It is on a tile roof and the squirrels were making their way in to nest. Again the problem is there is no way to get to this area to try and trap them. We had to basically wait for them to leave during the day. Once this happened we stuffed a towel into the hole until I could send George out to seal up the hole. That is probably the most frustrating thing about squirrels. If you have an opening with no attic access, it is extremely difficult to get them out.
After a few days we noticed the towel had not been moved or chewed on so we figured they were long gone. I sent George out to seal it up, and this is what he did.
Not a bad job. There is no way these squirrels will be getting in this customers house any more. So what’s the moral of this story kids? Have you noticed I alway have a moral of the story? The moral of this story is make sure there are no areas around your house where squirrels or any type of rodent can enter. If your not sure, call us. We can come out and evaluate any potential problem areas.
Hope this helps!
Posted in squirrels
Termites……..Is there a certain time to treat that’s better than others? The quick answer is yes….when you actually have termites. The longer answer is no. You can treat you house for termites when ever you want. Now it is true that spring is when most termites seem to pop up, and that’s when people usually decide to have something done. The problem with that is by the time you wait you may already have a problem. If you get a treatment done before a tunnel is found, then your guaranteed not to have any unforeseen issues.
I wanted to post a picture I found at a house the other day. Now I’m writing this bog from my iPad so forgive me if something looks crazy or weird.
This is what happens when you are not proactive and either have a yearly termite inspection or preventative treatment. This is the largest termite tunnel I have seen in a long time. Unfortunately it was next door to a house I was already treating. I tried to contact the home owner but to no avail. I hope the home owner does something quick. I can just imagine what the inside of his wall looks like.
So the moral of the story kids is to always listen to your bug guy, and know what’s going on around your house. If your really worried or just want to have some piece of mind when it comes to your house, get a preventative termite treatment done. And of course anytime of the year of good to have it done.
Hope this helps!,