Longtime Central Texans and new residents alike enjoy the regions’ warm climate, proximity to the coast and natural resources. However, those factors are also attractive to another species: pesky, Texas-sized insects.

Local lawn care company Emerald Lawns provides tools and services to make pest management simple and effective, as well as DIY tips that homeowners can use to alleviate annoyances on their own.

1. Getting rid of wasps

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the number of types of wasps. Six different wasp species thrive in the state, and all of them see movement as a threat and cause to attack. They chase people for about 100 feet from their nest—and unlike bees, can sting multiple times.

DIY tip: To minimize the risk of wasps nesting on a home, Emerald Lawns Branch Manager Cain Cooper recommends painting eaves a shade of blue or white. Wasps often mistake blue or white eaves for the sky or clouds, while earth-toned colors resemble trees or rocky cliffs ideal for nesting.

How can Emerald Lawns help? Emerald Lawns Pest Control includes a three-part application. Technicians walk the perimeter of a home to sweep eaves and windows, using a 28-foot extension pole to reach spots on the second floor.

“Our products are able to shoot pretty far. We have attachments for the end of those extension poles that we can stick a can of control product right up next to the nest and spray it,” Cooper said. “There’s a lot less margin for error than homeowners are going to have.”

2. Minimizing mosquitos

Nobody likes being bitten by mosquitoes at the barbecue. The itch is irritating, and these blood-sucking bugs also carry several types of diseases, such as the West Nile virus and the Zika virus.

Did you know? Female mosquitoes are the only ones in the family that take a blood meal, as they need the protein to make eggs. A single mosquito lays 100-200 eggs at a time, and it only takes 2-3 days for a mosquito larva to mature.

DIY tip: Homeowners can minimize mosquitoes by avoiding leaving standing water around the home or yard, and keeping the lawn mowed and tidy. More preventative measures are ensuring gutters are cleaned and avoiding over-mulching.

Emerald Lawns’ approach: Emerald Lawns experts begin by fogging out the mosquitos with a specialized formula. Then, they set In2Care traps to kill the larvae and spread a control product to eliminate other larva growing sites.

“[In2Care traps are] one of the more green solutions for mosquito control. It’s essentially a one-gallon [container] that looks like a planter. It’s got water in it and an insect growth regulator,” Cooper said. “Anything that gets laid in there will never have a chance to become an adult.”

3. Fighting away flies

Feel like flies are everywhere? They are; 12 generations of flies can produce each summer. Flies’ larvae, called maggots, mature into adult flies within 8 days–and then live up to 25 days. These nuisances contaminate countertops and food by spreading pathogens, parasites and diseases.

DIY tip: Clean up after pets and sterilize garbage and recycling cans to prevent fly infestations before they happen.

Emerald Lawns’ prevention: Most insects are drawn to the carbon dioxide that humans release, so Emerald Lawns experts install sprayable bait in hangout areas. Once the flies are near people, the fly bait takes over their senses and they die upon ingesting it. The bait is also applied under garbage and recycling can lids to meet the flies where they are.

“The great part about things like bait is that it’s targeted, so we’re not spraying everywhere and killing the beneficial stuff,” Cooper said. “A lot of people are worried about pollinators and ladybugs. You don’t have to worry about that when we’re doing these targeted baits.”

4. Eliminating fire ants

Most people who spent their childhood in Texas have a terrible memory of an encounter with fire ants, which typically involved sprinting to the nearest faucet. The pain of this invasive species’ stings can last up to an hour, and are worse for the many people who are allergic to them.

Did you know? A fire ant mound is only an exit for a colony. Mounds normally have a four foot radius around them, making them difficult to destroy.

DIY tip: Lawn owners run into issues when they try to control fire ants themselves, as the ants can move their colony within a couple of days. The most effective at-home solution is pouring 1-2 gallons of controlled product into one mound.

“There’s a lot of weird, at-home remedies like pouring boiling water around [the mound]. It’s not very effective, so it’s not something that you’d ever recommend,” Cooper said. “Fire ants actually do really well in water. It’s really interesting to watch as they will form rafts and they will protect their queen and float on other fire ants just to get to another dry spot and reestablish.”

What can Emerald Lawns do? The best way to ensure a fire ant mound is demolished is by bringing in experts. Emerald Lawns Pest Control will target mounds with a concentrated solution, apply bait throughout the property and conduct follow-up visits as needed.

5. Goodbye, fleas and ticks

Those who live in wooded areas or have pets are likely well-versed in flea and tick woes. Fleas and ticks inhabit grasses and mulch beds, giving them easy access to children, dogs and other animals who play in the yard.

DIY tip: The most vital practice for flea and tick management is to check family members and pets for these pests before entering the home. If they do enter the home, vacuuming frequently is key to slowing the spread. Keeping a well-manicured lawn and ridding the area of standing water is also beneficial.

Emerald Lawns’ solution: To prevent exterior flea and tick issues before they happen, Emerald Lawns technicians will fog the lawn and landscape. In the unlikely event of a home infestation, Emerald Lawns has a comprehensive solution for the interior as well.

Interested in learning more about Emerald Lawns pest control services? Visit www.emeraldlawns.com to find out more. Prices begin at $77.25 with no contracts.

The above story was produced by Morgan O’Neal with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.