Frequently Asked Questions
Since 2002, our skilled pest technicians have been helping the residents of Austin fix their insect and animal issues. With almost 20 years of experience, you can imagine we receive similar questions from our customers. For this reason, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and our answers.
Questions Concerning Pests, Products, & Procedures
Are the products used dangerous to kids and pets?
Safety is our top priority. All our service professionals have been trained on the proper application of materials to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your family and pets. All professional pest control products we use have been registered for use by the United States EPA.
Are carpenter ants dangerous to my home?
Carpenter ants are merely a nuisance or a serious structural pest that needs to be addressed quickly. If the weather is mild and you happen to see one every few days, further inspection may be necessary. Try to locate the source. Seeing several carpenter ants daily is cause for concern and treatment may be necessary.
What are five things I can do outside of my house to keep pests away?
1. Inspect and seal any cracks and holes outside your home. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
2. Check around the perimeter of your home for leaky faucets and anything that allows moisture to pool around the base of your home.
3. Eliminate debris from gutters
4. Trim tree branches and shrubbery from around your home.
5. Store firewood and other wood at least 20 feet away from your home.
What are five things I can do inside my house to keep pests away?
1. Keep all kitchen areas clean (including floors) and free of useless clutter. Kitchen appliances should be kept free of spills and crumbs. Clean shelves regularly and store foods such as cereal, flour, and dog food in resealable containers.
2. Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be stored in sealed containers and disposed of regularly.
3. Check pipes and pipe areas around the house for leaks, cracks and gaps and seal and patch any problems if necessary. Leaky faucets should also be fixed.
4. Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. If you have mold and mildew in your home or office crawlspace, it’s a symptom of an excess moisture problem.
5. Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly. Insects have also been known to come in on potted plants and in luggage.
Why should someone hire A-Tex Pest Management instead of attempting to control
their pest problems by themselves?
Just as you wouldn’t prescribe medicine for yourself or drill your own cavities – you shouldn’t attempt to control termites – or other pests — on your own. The products and the expertise offered by A-Tex Pest Management far surpasses what a homeowner could do on their own. Leave it up to the experts for peace of mind. Why risk it?
How difficult are termites to treat?
Termites are nearly impossible for homeowners to treat on their own. On the other hand, A-Tex Pest Management professionals have the training, expertise, and technology to eliminate termite infestations.
What are the different types of termite treatments?
There are two primary types of treatments available to A-Tex customers: liquids and baits. Liquids are used around a home area to ensure long-term protection. Baits systems involve placing monitoring stations in the ground.
What is the most effective type of termite treatment?
A trained and licensed A-Tex Professional is the best person to make a recommendation for each particular property.
What questions should homeowners ask during a professional termite inspection/treatment?
– What type of treatment is recommended?
– How long will the treatment take?
– How much will it cost?
– How long will it take to get rid of the termites?
– What type of contract or guarantee is offered?
– Are they a member of the National Pest Management Association?
What can a homeowner do to prevent termites?
– Termites love moisture, if you have any moisture around the foundation of your home, avoid that.
– Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
– Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
– Prevent shrubs, vines and other vegetation from growing over and covering vents.
– Be sure to remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in place after the building was constructed. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
– Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.
– It doesn’t hurt to routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.
Can pests other than termites damage property?
Absolutely. Carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder post beetles are all categorized as wood destroying insects. That’s why it’s important to have a professional identify the source of your problem and provide the treatment to control it.
How do you treat for Cockroaches?
Cockroaches have long been one of the most common household pests in our area, coming most frequently in the German, American, Oriental, or Brown-banded variety. We’ve developed years of expertise in solving cockroach problems. Our control strategy depends upon the species of cockroach, which is why inspection and identification is an important first step. Upon identification of the species and analysis of the situation, a strategy is developed. Use of pesticides may be appropriate in some cases. Increasingly, we utilize baits, carefully placed out of reach of children and pets, to eliminate cockroach populations. In other situations, insect growth regulators, which inhibit the ability of the cockroach to molt and grow, are used in combination with other methods. And additionally, we provide information to clients about the ways that they can minimize pest immigration and avoid providing harborage for pest populations. So, you see, cockroach control is really best achieved through a combination of techniques – an “integrated” approach to pest management.
Does A-Tex Pest Management have a service to control mice?
The house mouse is one of the most common pests triggering a call to A-Tex Pest Management. They are best dealt with using an integrated approach including exclusion, sanitation, and population reduction. Usually, traps are employed to eliminate mice living inside buildings, but rodenticide baits occasionally have some utility as well. Each account should be inspected and assessed for the best approach to use at each home/building.
Does A-Tex have a service to control moths?
Most pest moths fall into one of two categories: 1) stored product pest moths, or 2) clothes moths. We can help solve problems with both groups of pests. In both cases, the solution involves identifying the source and eliminating them; in conjunction, a program can be devised to monitor for their presence. Programs vary widely depending on the account. Residential services and commercial services can take on radically different approaches and each requires individual assessment.
Questions Concerning How Our Services Could Affect Your Property
Do I need to empty my kitchen cupboards?
No, it’s not necessary to empty cupboards as we apply a gel to areas where cockroaches nest or harbor. No liquid sprays are applied to these areas.
Is my cat / dog safe?
There is no concern to the safety of animals since the amount of active constituent that they may take in, either by contact while it’s wet or by ingesting orally, is very small.
What do I need to do prior to the Pest Control treatment?
Access to room edges is necessary to spray along skirtings. Therefore, clothing articles, magazines, toys etc. should be moved off the ground. All food items should be cleared from bench and tabletops.
Will the spray you use stain my carpet?
No, the emulsion we spray does not stain. It’s a water based residual spray that doesn’t contain strong solvents which might affect coloring or finishes.
Will the spray affect humans?
No, it will not affect you. The chemicals we apply are registered to be used in hospitals, schools, and public places. (see also MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheets)
Is it safe to stay in my premises while you spray?
It’s safe, but we recommend that you vacate your premises while the treatment is carried out and to ventilate the rooms thoroughly after completion for 3 hours before settling back in.
My child suffers from asthma. Is it safe to stay?
To avoid triggering an asthma attack, we recommended that he/she is not present while the treatment is carried out, and preferably stays away from the premises overnight.
What if I touch areas that have been sprayed?
Sprayed areas are of some concern while still wet. But once the carrier, which is water from the tap, has evaporated, the active constituent adheres to the surfaces and will not contaminate or harm you. Should you get in contact while it’s still wet though, wash with soap and plenty of water as soon as possible.
Will the gel / paste that is applied to the inside of cupboards contaminate my food?
No it will not. The gel / paste is only applied to areas where insects congregate or harbor, like cracks, crevices, or hinges.
Will I see cockroaches, spiders, or ants after the treatment?
Yes, it’s possible that insects may wonder in from outside. Chances are they will have crossed treated areas and will die shortly after.
How often should I have a Pest Control treatment done?
Regularly at intervals of no more than twelve months. Shorter periods may be recommended, according to environment conditions.
Is the treatment guaranteed?
No, it’s not guaranteed, but a 6-month warranty is given.
Do I need to wash everything after the treatment?
There is no need to wash utensils or surfaces once the treatment is carried out.
I’m renovating. When is it best to do the pest control?
We suggest the pest control is done after all trades people have completed their jobs (painting, carpet laying, landscaping and final clean up). Preferably one or two days prior to moving in.
I’m planning to have my carpet cleaned. Will that affect the Pest
It’s best to do the pest control after carpets have been cleaned or vacuumed.
Questions About Pests, Our Products, & Our Company
Can I buy your products from you and apply them myself?
By law, we cannot sell most of the products that we apply. The professional products we use are long lasting products because the life cycles of many pests are counted in weeks or even months. Then we supplement the long-lasting products with baits and sprays. When homeowners want to treat their properties and pets themselves, they face the dilemma that the products available to them have a short life, usually a couple of hours to a couple of days. This makes it difficult to overcome an infestation.
How long does a treatment take?
This will depend on a couple factors: the size of your house or yard being treated, the pest or pests we are treating. In general, a medium size family home and yard can be treated for fleas, ticks, ants, or roaches in about an hour, with no evacuation required. Mite and bedbug treatments take from one to two hours, with a three-to-four-hour evacuation needed to let the fogging step of the treatment do its work. Termite treatments do not require evacuation but may take from half an hour for small spot treatments to several hours for larger infestations. You technician call give you a time estimate along with the estimate of cost.
Do you require a yearly or quarterly contract?
We never require a contract. Although we have many customers on quarterly and annual programs, we are also happy to treat on an as-needed basis. We will send you a quarterly reminder card for ant, roach and yard treatments or an annual reminder for flea treatments, or well will give you a reminder call if you prefer.
What level of toxicity do your products have?
Traditional pesticides work by disrupting the nervous system of the pest and are toxic to humans and pets for the same reason, they impact our nervous systems. If possible, we use products that kill insects by either dehydrating them or by causing their breathing pores to close, thus suffocating them. If we must use products that work on the nervous system of the pest, we use them in extremely low dosages, so the toxicity rating is completely safe for people and pets.
Do your products smell bad?
The products are either odorless, or have a faint, pleasant smell. In some applications we use cedar oil products that make your home smell like a cedar closet. Most people like the aroma, which decreases over time, and is completely gone within 48 hours.
Why do you only guarantee flea and roach treatments?
We stand behind all our work. Our job is to eliminate the infestation and keep it from recurring, so whether there is a specific time guarantee or not, we will work with you to see it happens. With indoor powder flea treatments, we also offer a written One Year Guarantee; starting with the second roach treatment, we guarantee against roach infestation for three months.
Are you more expensive than other companies?
Yes and no. Many of our treatments are less expensive. For instance, our termite treatments are almost always less costly, and there is no need to evacuate or tent. Our treatments for bedbugs are also generally less costly than traditional methods, and our treatments for bedbugs work! Treating with our long lasting, effective yet environmentally friendly products is sometimes a bit more costly than the toxic sprays most pest control companies use. However, the products we use give you a treatment that will work and will last for months, or, in the case of the indoor carpet treatment for fleas, at least one year. Sprays are gone before the week is out, leaving your property vulnerable to the hatching of the next generation of pests.
Why don’t you use tents or “tenting”?
Tents are not really a long-term solution for any type of pest. Tenting is also astronomically expensive, uses highly toxic chemicals, and is a safety hazard to you and your children and pets. Instead, we treat with cedar oil products that both eliminate the termites and keep them from coming back. Our termite treatments are usually much less costly than traditional methods, and you don’t have to evacuate the home.
Do you treat wasps, bees, or spiders?
We can help with wasps, spiders, and carpenter bees. Carpenter bees are wood boring; we treat the wood in much the same way we treat for termites, with a wood penetrant the eliminates the infestation and prevents future infestations. Treating for other pests takes away a spider’s food source, so a regular pest treatment will greatly reduce spiders. Honeybees are protected by law and should be referred to the agriculture department of the University of Texas or to a local beekeeper who will come for the bees if the swarm is large enough. If bees are allowed make a hive inside a wall, you will need to hire a carpenter to open the wall up, which can be expensive and time consuming.
Why should I hire a Professional?
You should hire a pest control professional because he or she has been trained, certified, and licensed to practice pest control in the state of Washington. A pest control professional has been educated not only to solve pest issues in the most effective manner, but also in environmental awareness and safety. A-Tex’s Pest Management Professional will solve your problem.
What is the difference between pest control and pest prevention?
There is not really a difference as pest control is pest prevention and pest prevention is control. With that said, many experience pest problems which require a pest Control plan in place initially. Once controlled, pest prevention can be assumed in order to protect from future infestations.
Why won’t one treatment solve my insect problem?
Our homes are constantly under attack from many different pests all year long. You can choose to control your pest problem for a period of 30 days (One treatment) or yearly (Quarterly program). By choosing one of our pest control programs, you are creating a “Treated area” pr “Barrier” around your home; this ensures the absence of pests from inside your home. Since we are encroaching on their territory, they are constantly trying to invade our homes and reclaim their territory. Creating and maintaining a treated perimeter around your home will prevent infestations.
Will the technician have to apply these materials in my home on each visit?
In majority of cases, when a customer calls us for pest control service, pests have been observed in the home. Initially, we treat the interior, in conducive and activity areas, as we do our exterior service. Once we have controlled the interior population, a regularly scheduled exterior service is recommended to maintain a treated perimeter which helps keep the pests outside, not in. Of course, upon request, future interior services are available at no extra charge as part of the Top Care or Top Care Plus programs. In addition, any materials used are applied in the most effective and efficient manner. We will only service the interior if we deem it appropriate to do so.
Why should I go on a program for pest control?
A-Tex Pest Management has a strong focus on prevention. Our preventive approach keeps pests out of your home year-round. Though you may not see them, insects are putting pressure on entering your home in every season.
Why don’t we do interior pest control every time?
Being on a pest control program will provide year-round protection and should eliminate the need to treat the interior on each visit. After the initial interior treatment, exterior treatments are regularly scheduled to maintain a treated area (wall) round your home, thereby attacking the pests before they can get inside.
What can “I” do to help control the pests around my home?
Limit the amount of harborage areas that pests can dwell in on your property. Cut back any vegetation or ground cover (such as ivy or thick layers of pine needles) that is directly in contact with your home. Mulch beds should be moved away from the home as to not come in contact with the foundation. Seal all visible cracks and holes that potential invaders could use to enter your home. Discard any piles of debris or unused materials such as wood piles, bricks, etc. These areas can be potential harborage areas and by removing or limiting them will help in controlling a pest problem.