Adventures in Pest Control Austin

Dermested Beetle 195x134When it comes to pest control Austin customers are continuously worried about termites. Subterranean termites have an appetite for most of the materials used by homebuilders, so the concern is obviously valid. Whenever our pest control Austin customers see something in their home that they are unable to recognize, we get a call to come out and perform an inspection in an effort to make sure their home isn’t about to fall down.

One of our customers made this phone call to me just the other day. He had a short list of concerning information, and assumed the worst. During the phone call he mentioned that

  • He found a large number of “little bugs” under the sink. Commonly this is where you will find termites because they come up from the ground into the home through plumbing penetrations. Plumbing penetrations are holes in the foundation for your plumbing pipes.
  • There was a good bit of sawdust or dirt found along with the “little bugs”. This sawdust or dirt can be a sign of termites. Termites construct mud tubes to travel from their colony to the food source. They travel through these tubes for protection from the elements and natural predators.
  • They recently replaced the front door and found active termites in the wall; the active termites were “treated” by the general contractor. The home did not have what a pest control Austin company would consider to be an adequate treatment. I feel confident to assume there is still a colony underneath the home.

So, in a 10 minute phone call I had heard some telling signs that the customer may be dealing with termites, probably from the same colony that was destroying their front door.

  • By the way, let me stop here to mention IF YOU FIND ACTIVE TERMITES, INSIST THAT YOUR GENERAL CONTRACTOR STOPS AND CALLS A PEST CONTROL AUSTIN COMPANY TO INSPECT AND GIVE YOU A QUOTE FOR SERVICE. An inspection is free and you need a licensed applicator to deliver an effective treatment with the right products.

Anyways, like I was saying, our customer mentioned things that had me concerned. I set an appointment to go and have a look (inspections should ALWAYS be free, if it isn’t call someone else). So, once I arrived, the inspection begins and I have a short list of concerning information to start off with. In the master bathroom under the sink there was still some of the “little bugs” left crawling around after the homeowner cleaned most of the mess up.

They were not termites. As you can imagine this was a big relief to the customer. These were a dermestid beetle. Where are these beetles coming from? Dermestid beetles are commonly seen around decomposing animals. I spoke with the customer for a few minutes and found out that they had a bee infestation about six months ago. There was actually a honey comb in the wall that they removed and then treated for the bees living in their master bathroom walls. I opened the door to access the tub’s motor and found that under the tub there were many dead bees. There was no smell, but there was a pile of dead bees on the floor. The beetles had found their way into the structure and the dead bees were serving as a food source for the beetles and their larva. This went unnoticed until the beetle colony was literally bursting at the seams and poured through the plumbing penetrations and into the cabinets.

The solution to this issue was simpler, less invasive and quite a bit cheaper than a termite treatment. All we needed to do was:

  • Remove the food source
  • Treat for the dermestid beetles
  • Seal any entry points where the beetles may have gotten in

If you are having pest control issues and/or your are not sure what the pests are please contact us for a free inspection.