Texas Pests


Scorpions are arachnids, close relatives of ticks, mites and spiders. They are easily recognized by their characteristic shape and articulated stinger. The most common species in Texas is the striped bark scorpion. Scorpions are nocturnal, hiding during the day and becoming active at night. The sting of a Texas scorpion is very painful but only dangerous if the person stung has an allergic reaction. Scorpions can sting multiple times at once and can control how much venom they inject. Anyone recently stung should be monitored for adverse reactions.  Apply ice to reduce swelling and pain. If breathing difficulties occur or swelling and pain become severe, seek medical attention.



Control and extermination of red headed centipedes is the same process as controlling scorpions.  Just like scorpions they are tough and resilient. But the products we use do work on them, and new, more effective and safer products reach the market every year. I have observed a 10 inch centipede become paralyzed in less than ten minutes after crossing a fresh application of a new product we began using recently.

Fleas and Ticks:

Fleas and ticks are usually associated with pets and other animals but this is not always the case.  Fleas can be difficult to treat with household products as they do not last long enough to continue killing the hatchlings. No product kills flea eggs no matter what the advertisement says. Professional treatments are effective and long lasting.  Combined with a control program for pets, this is a very effective flea deterrent.


Ticks are less common these days because of the number of fire ants we have but they are still present and often carried by deer.  Ticks can be controlled in a similar manner as fleas but often requires a wider area to be treated.     


Termites are a big problem in central Texas. We typically only have to deal with subterranean termites which can extremely damaging to structures, but can also be treated quickly and effectively by a professional who knows what they are doing. This means they need a healthy knowledge of termite behaviors as well as various construction techniques. Every termite treatment is unique and should be approached as such.


Roaches come in many sizes but pretty much everyone can agree that they are creepy and disgusting.  Unfortunately they love us because we provide them with food, water, shelter and warmth better than anything in nature. If you have a problem with roaches call a professional to properly identify and treat them. Different roaches require different treatments. Don't be surprised if a serious infestation requires multiple treatments over the span of several months to completely rid the structure of them.



Fire ants are a very familiar sight in central Texas and are one of the few ants that can inflict a painful sting. Although rarely dangerous, they can cause allergic reactions. They are usually found in distinctive mounds outside which can either be spot treated or area treated for prevention. Occasionally they will invade homes looking for water and food, but can be evicted with a professional treatment.  


Carpenter ants are considered wood destroying insects because of the damage they cause when excavating wood to build their nests. They often do this in decaying wood but just as often can invade homes. Carpenter ants should be professionally identifies as there are other ants that are similar but do not excavate wood. A professional treatment is the best solution for removing the ants as "over the counter" products will just encourage them to spread.


"Sugar" ants are what many identify as any small ant that invades a home looking for food.  These can range from pharaoh ants to argentine ants and many others. There are several kinds of ants which fit this category but it is important that they are professionally identified as different species have different behaviors and may need special treatment. The wrong treatment could backfire and cause them to spread throughout the structure.



There are hundreds of species of spiders in central Texas. All of them can inflict a painful bite which injects venom but few are truly dangerous.  These include the brown recluse and black widow spiders.  Brown recluse are very common in the Texas hill country and are one of the primary reasons for a year-round pest control plan.  Black widows are less common but much more dangerous.  Anyone bitten by a black widow should seek immediate medical attention.



Silverfish live in damp, dark areas in households. Silverfish can damage wallpaper, books, food and wooden materials that are held together by glue. They usually leave behind holes or yellow stains after feeding on substances that contain protein, starch or glue.


Flying Insects:

Flying insects are some of the most difficult insects to control simply due to the fact that they don't have to cross a chemical barrier to move around.


Hornets or "German wasps" are often mistaken for bees and will build a large nest in any void the queen finds acceptable. This can include hollow trees, voids in rock or wood piles, weep holes, and gaps in siding. They often number in the hundreds with nests as large as basketballs. They are very aggressive if disturbed and should only be treated by professionals with the proper equipment.

Paper wasps are a very common sight starting in the spring and lasting into late fall.  They build the small (and sometimes not so small) hanging nests that are often found under eves, and in foliage. They are usually only aggressive if they consider the nest threatened and can inflict multiple painful stings.


Honey bees are rarely aggressive but can be a nuisance. In central Texas honey bee hives are often invaded and converted to Africanized hybrids. These hives are not as aggressive as pure "killer" bees but are far more defensive than the average honey bee and will attack anything they consider a threat. This most often is a person operating loud machinery such as a lawn mowers, weed eaters, and tractors. They can and will chase a target for up to a hundred yards and will home in on the eyes and mouth. If a hive such as this is discovered a professional should be contacted as soon as possible


Mosquitoes are one of the most difficult flying insects to control and often requires a large area to be treated as well as any standing water that can be used for breeding. They are more a nuisance than dangerous here in the U.S. but in other parts of the world they are the #1 deadliest insect due to their role in the spread of viruses and other pathogens.


Pickett's Pest Control is now also offering Mosquito Fogging.
Click here to learn more...

Flies & Gnats:

House Flies and Gnats are difficult but not impossible to control. Various products are available to deal with these spring and summer pests but they need to be properly identified to be effective.


Trapping Services:

We offer trapping services for nuisance critters such as Raccoons, opossums, Skunks, Squirrels, etc. We use live catch “havahart” traps, and do NOT kill the caught animal. We release them into the wild at various locations. We sometimes use motion activated cameras to catch images of the targeted animal to determine exactly what we’re pursuing.










Mice, Rats & Rodents:


Mice are typically found near food, water, or heat sources and can be a minor nuisance or a major pest. They usually just tear up some boxes and leave droppings but in some cases they can destroy insulation, wiring, and even plumbing. Traps and bait are both effective means of control depending on the situation. There are many kinds of traps and baits available on the market for do-it-yourselfers but if you can't get rid of the little critters or just don't want to deal with it, please give us a call.


Rats are a much bigger and nastier problem due to the extensive damage they can cause and diseases they can carry and spread through contact with droppings or the spread of fleas. Rats are usually only found in urban areas but sometimes show up in the country. A rat's teeth grow up to five inches a year so they must constantly chew in order to keep their front teeth from getting too long.  A rat bite can exert 24,000 pounds per square inch. They can chew through wood, asbestos, brick, cinder blocks, four inch thick concrete, aluminum, even a 1/2-inch thick sheet of metal and only need a half inch opening to enter a building.


Other nuisance animals include squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and possums. We have experience trapping, relocating, and excluding (critter proofing) these types of animals from homes and businesses.


When it comes to rodent control the first and most important step is to identify the species we are pursuing. There are three suspect species that account for 99% of rodent calls.

The most common is the Field Mouse. This little guy,  though the smallest of the usual rodent encounter can absolutely wreak havoc on where ever they decide to reside. They reproduce at an alarming rate and don’t need much more than a sparse food and water source to survive, chewing their way into wherever they need to go.

Then there’s the Rats. There are two species of Rat’s encountered in our region, both are very capable of making themselves comfy in your walls, crawl spaces, attics and any other nook or cranny that isn’t often disturbed.

First and probably more common, is the Roof Rat.

These guys often access there environments from an elevated situation such as power, or phone lines, tree branches and vines. They are very acrobatic and can swing through tree branches or the electric wires in your attic with the grace of a monkey in the forest. Their tails are longer than their bodies and they use it like a tight rope walkers balancing stick.

Finally comes the Norway Rat.

When we receive a call where the culprit is described “as big as a cat” the Norway Rat becomes the main suspect. They can grow quite large with access to large amounts of nutrition. They are adequate climbers though not as nimble as the Roof Rat. Their tails are shorter than their bodies and they have blunt looking noses. When most folks think of rats it’s the Norway’s ugly mug that comes to mind.


Treatment varies greatly with each individual situation. The first step is usually locating their access, habitat, and food and water source, and removing as many of these factors as possible. Then there are many variations of trapping and baiting employed to control the destructive, disease spreading little rascals.


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