Exterminators Gearing For Big Insect Season

The beginning of spring marks the beginning of an annual "war". Just a few days into warm weather and already little red mounds are popping up in east Texas yards. Already people are grabbing pest control items off the shelves of stores like Lowes, to fight the annual battle against bugs. A wet and mild winter mean conditions are perfect for termites, mosquito's and fire ants.

"It means you're going to have a lot of pests this year, means infestation is going to be very bad, a lot of termites a lot of ants" says Longview master gardener Mary Durham.

For exterminators it's their busy season and a time to warn people to watch for insect signs.

"Now is the time to start looking, and being aware there is a problem, this is a time for us to shine and go to war with the insects" says Longview exterminator Danny Ausmus.

According to Texas A & M entomology web site, termites and fire ants are responsible for millions of dollars in damage each year.

"Fire ants up against a house can cause electrical problems in the air conditioning units or other wiring going into the house" says Ausmus.

Fire ants kill livestock and even cause human deaths each year. And all insects, from carpenter ants, to fleas and ticks, are expected to have large populations this spring, but experts say there are a number of good treatments that work and consistency can win out.

"It's a constant fight but you can be in control of it, you kill the queen you kill the colony" Durham says.

Pest control experts say you can treat insect problems yourself with over the counter baits and poisons, but be sure to carefully read directions. Some treatments can be harmful or deadly to bees and other wildlife if applied improperly.

Bob Hallmark reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com