Austin TX
Austin is booming. The bugs like it here too.
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin to join our large population … of bugs.

People often research neighborhoods, schools and cultural attractions but a city’s insect levels and activity may not be included in that pre-move investigation.

We published a detailed Austin insect list previously, but here is a quick primer of pests our customers often encounter in their Austin homes:

American Roaches – some call them palmetto bugs, tree roaches or just “giant roaches” but regardless, they are very common throughout Austin and surrounding suburbs, especially during the spring and summer. These get to be about 1.5″ in length and come in from the outside. They are scavengers, so if there is food or water nearby they will hunt it out. Or even if there isn’t “food” because they can eat nearly anything.

Some DIY prevention tips for roaches include:
Removing clutter from around the house. Not just inside but outside. Since these large roaches come in from the outdoors, removing habitats near your residence will help. Pay special attention to areas of moisture like mulch, piles of leaves and grass and even compost bins that are kept too close to the home.

If possible, trim back tree branches that overhang or touch the house. These are easy ways for any bugs to get onto and inside your home.

German Roaches – not as common as their American counterpart, but they can be much tougher to handle. German roaches live indoors and travel place to place, often carried on or in boxes, crates or old appliances. In apartments and multi-family dwellings they can just be in the walls and go from unit to unit.

A DIY approach is not recommended for German roaches. While some consumer baits or treatments can provide a temporary reduction, missing a hiding spot or not being thorough can mean the problem persists month after month or even worsens. They’re notorious for hiding in hard to reach places so we recommend calling us in for treatment. We provide pet and people friendly treatments that have a long track record of success.

Fire Ants – Texas is the friendly state, but Austin pests can be mean. Fire ants get their name of course from their venomous sting, and their angry habit of stinging repeatedly.

We sometimes see areas of fire ants around gardens and under loose rock paths. They can move up against a home creating mounds and then file inside to search for food or water. The most effective treatment for fire ants is baiting in the yard. We use a small granular bait that is highly targeted to ants (making it safer not only for pets and people but also beneficial insects).

And while fire ant mounds are often seen as the first sign of fire ants, they live in the soil even when not building mounds, so we treat the entire yard or targeted area and not just a few mounds. Otherwise you’ll see this unpleasant guest over and over again.

Scorpions – another sting-y Texas bug, scorpions are nearly as notorious as fire ants. These are often seen in rockier, developing areas such as west and southwest of Austin as opposed to inside the city. Construction in such a neighborhood often causes them to move around and they can end up indoors.

Otherwise, they are nocturnal and so they are typically hiding during the day in rocky areas, cracks and crevices and under wood piles. For this reason — while wearing gloves — it’s a good idea to remove this type of clutter near your home.

Scorpions can climb, so they can be found in attics and then the main rooms of a house when the descend during very hot temperatures or in search of food.

They are predators and eat other insects. Therefore a general pest control service helps both directly and indirectly, by killing them but also getting rid of food sources for any that escape a treatment or that start to move in later.

Spiders – there are hundreds of spider species in Texas but only a couple pose real danger around Austin — the black widow spider and the brown recluse. Here are images of each of these and other spiders to help identify and differentiate them. Most spiders, like scorpions, are carnivores, so treating for insects in general helps drive them out as they go elsewhere for food. You can also discourage web weaving spiders by cleaning windows, nooks and crannies and knocking down their webs.

More ants – besides fire ants some common ants that get complaints are little black ants/sugar ants, acrobat ants, carpenter ants, argentine ants and crazy ants.

Each of these has its own particular treatment method and outside of sugar ants and small kitchen ants, we’d recommend calling us for a dedicated handling. Small kitchen ants can sometimes be successfully treated with a simple sweet boric acid mixture, such as Terro (available in most home stores).

Other ants like acrobat and carpenter ants will establish nests in the walls and don’t often respond to consumer ant baits. We can take a look both inside and outside of your home to research and identify their current location and source so that the problem is handled completely.

(Nearly) Everything Else – Austin has no shortage of interesting insects. Some other notable bugs include millipedes, pill bugs, wasps, hornets, bees, mud daubers and fleas.

Some of those pose more of a danger than others, so we can provide you with helpful information over the phone to help determine if you need immediate assistance, if you can try some do it yourself treatments, or if you can wait a while before getting professional pest services done.

As with all our services, we never require contracts or recommend monthly, bi-monthly or even quarterly spraying for most situations. Even with the variety and number of pests in Austin, spraying that often can be an economic burden for homeowners while also doing environmental damage.

So keep Austin weird and keep it beautiful while keeping it bug free as well as keeping you and your family and pets healthy and happy.

Give us a call at (512) 443-0123 or fill out our form for a fast free quote on pest control.