Before I get started on this article, let’s not forget those who died, on September 11, 2001, when our Nation was tragically changed due to cowardice terrorism. Please continue to pray for those families who lost loved ones; our great Nation; and, for the men and women who protect our freedoms.

The heat this summer is just brutal!! I think it was Earth, Wind and Fire that sang the song “September”… (maybe I should be thinking of Jingle Bells??). A good song, good tempo, clean…oh the good old days (I think I am divulging my age). September is great month…parents are ready for the kids to return to school, College and High School Football starts, the Hunting seasons begin, the thought of “cooler weather” becomes a reality…September is just a great month. I only wish the clothing retailers wouldn’t put away the “summer” clothes…haven’t they learned that we need Christmas shorts? Heck, it can be 75 degrees in December. My point is this, in our region of Texas we don’t experience the slow changing of the seasons and the 90 day frigid winters with ten foot of snow (Thank you Lord)…we are pretty consistent. Additionally, the “Four” seasons we learned of in school doesn’t apply to us, we just have Summer and Fall. Therefore, just as the clothing retailers should leave the shorts out on the shelves, the grocery stores should leave the pool BBQ supply promotions out, and we all should continue to protect our homes and offices from invading insects.

Ok, as we move into the “cooler season” (For our transplanted Texans, Winter is a word not used that often, in our part of Texas) it’s the time of year to re-explore items discussed…exclusion and alterations. Exclusion is the act of identifying openings in and around our properties that will allow rodents, birds, and other animals’ access to our attics, walls, and eaves. When these areas are located and closed off, you have greatly reduced the opportunity for continued or future damage. However, prior to sealing these areas you need to make certain that you are not “closing in” any critters or they may expire inside your walls or attic, and that will not be a good situation. Should you elect to perform these tasks yourself, you will need steel mesh, expanding foam, ½ inch hard wire mesh, six inch wide tin, screws and the tools required to work with these products. Should you desire to have this service performed by someone else, they should be willing to get up on the roof and close all entry points. The cost for this service depends on the extent of the work required, but you can anticipate spending $95 and more, to have the service performed by a professional.

You, your lawn company, or a tree specialist, if needed, can generally perform alterations to your landscaping and trees. The identification and removal of limbs in contact with the roof or structure should be your first consideration. These limbs should be trimmed back 6-10 feet to insure that critters/animals cannot jump onto the structure. Additionally, the shrubs and ornamental trees should be trimmed back one foot or more from the sides of our homes and businesses. While you are in the area you need to inspect your slab to insure that the soil level has not managed to become higher than the slab. Typically, we recommend that you have a minimum of three inches of the slab visible at all times.

Every house, new and old, can utilize exclusion and alteration services. Performing these services now can and will benefit the “health” of your home for many years. Just because your home is new doesn’t mean you do not need these services. We have performed numerous exclusion services on homes less than one year old. Ask your pest control professional to perform an exclusion survey before the critters make a home in your home.

Now for something that is becoming a major problem…the Gecko, lizard…not the insurance company. First off, there’s not a lot that can be done to control them. They enter our homes through the weep holes, around the facia, window seals, doorjambs, vents, electrical and cable entry points. While they do not cause damage to your property, they do leave droppings just about anywhere and these droppings are sometimes mistaken as rodent droppings. The biggest distinction is a white dot on the end of the dropping. (I know, I know…gross/ sick…but that’s the _oop.) If you feel you need to reduce the Gecko population, your best option is the use of sticky traps placed in the areas of high levels of droppings. Actually, the Gecko is good at reducing other pest in the area.

If you would like more information on these services or any pest related service, please contact me at our office, 936-441-2847, or by email at Until the next issue, have a great time outdoors; get ready for the holidays; and bring on “Winter”….and rain, please.