How Tree Trimming and Landscape Maintenance Prevent Pests in Houston

Tree trimming can be a tedious job, but it’s a great method of green pest control in Houston. Here’s how trees cause infestations and some easy trimming tips.

In the summertime, nothing beats sitting in the shade of a tree. In the Houston heat, trees in backyards provide a little relief from the relentless sun, and when they’re near our homes, the shade provided helps keep our homes cool and gives those air conditioning units a break. Fruit trees, like figs and pears, provide ample shade and plenty of fruit in the summertime.

As lovely as a big oak tree or even a pear tree may be though, trees can be havens for household pests. Termites, of course, love to live in trees, but so do a lot of other pests such as spiders and ants — not to mention bigger pests like racoons and possums. Though trees may provide us with so many benefits, they also may be providing pests with access to one of the most vulnerable parts of your home: your roof.

You know that most pests don’t just wander in your front door, but you may be wondering how so many of them can find easy access, even when it seems like your home is shielded from common pests. It may then surprise you to know that pests often gain entry to homes through the roof.

So what does this have to do with the trees in your back or front yard? If you’re not trimming your trees regularly, then you could be letting all sorts of pests come into your home. 

Natran Green Pest Control in Houston has been in the business since 2006, and we’ve seen plenty of tree branches hanging near roofs that end up causing infestations. We know our customers want to keep harmful chemicals and pesticides out of their homes, and tree trimming and lawn care are two easy ways to do green pest control every day.

Insects and rodents in an attic usually aren’t found until it’s too late, and they can be tough to get rid of completely. Here’s how tree trimming prevents pests and a few easy tips to stay on top of your tree trimming routine.

How tree and bush trimming prevents pests

Unlike paint colors and furniture, you probably put a new roof on your house maybe two times while you’re living there — maybe more if you stay for several decades. But even if you have a newer roof, it’s not guaranteed that insects and rodents won’t find a way in through small cracks and crevices near eaves and soffits. 

Trees — especially ones with great big branches — provide an excellent point of entry for insects and pests who might otherwise not have access to your home. When those branches touch your roof, they basically become bridges for any insect or rodent that wants to cross — and many of them do.

Take ants, for example. Ants will follow along on a branch to find food until it ends or it provides access to another place to search for food, like your home. If an ant finds food on your roof, it will leave a “bread crumb” trail for the other ants to follow. Then it’s only a matter of time before the other ants start exploring the roof further until they find a way into your home and to more food.

Rodents use these branches as well. Although you may enjoy watching squirrels climb through your trees and up onto your roof, you won’t feel as welcoming towards them when they start chewing into your home. 

Now squirrels and racoons are one thing — but what about rats? After Hurricane Harvey blew through Houston, roof rat populations grew. Unlike the more common rats you find in sewers and alleys, roof rats like to hang out in trees, and if they have access to a roof via trees, then they will likely find a way into your home. According to a report from ABC, a hole the size of a nickel is big enough for a rat or mouse to squeeze through, and all it takes is just one hole to launch an infestation.

But trees with big branches touching the roof aren’t the only types of trees that can cause an infestation if they’re not trimmed. Fruit trees can also cause problems for homeowners in a completely different way if homeowners aren’t quick to act.

Having a fruit tree in the backyard can be great in the summer, but homeowners aren’t the only ones enjoying the fruits. When fruits fall from trees and are left rotting on the ground, they attract bees and wasps who love to eat the fruits. With so much food available, it makes sense that these insects would want to live nearby — like at your house.

Bees and especially wasps can build nests fast, and sometimes, you don’t notice until you can see the cone-shaped nest hanging down from your roof. A big wasp nest can make your backyard uninhabitable, and you’ll be dialing the number for a green pest control in Houston in no time. After all, who wants to sit by the pool and risk getting a painful sting?

Other forms of foliage around your home can also give insects and rodents a way to get to your roof. Vines that creep up the side of your home may look beautiful, but ants can easily crawl up them and so can other insects. Remember, ants have no idea your roof is at the end of the branch. They’re just looking for food, and once they find it, they won’t forget where it was.

Don’t forget bushes and large flowers near your foundation. Though they may not touch the roof, these plants provide shade and cover for insects and rodents. When plants are right up against the house, it’s harder to notice when pests find a hole or burrow underground and infiltrate your house — until it’s too late and again you’re dialing the number of a green pest control in Houston.

So as lovely as they are, trees can be a bridge to your roof, which is an easy entry point for both insects and rodents, and plants and bushes can cover other points of entry to the home. That’s why regular tree trimming and maintenance is so important for homeowners to do throughout the summer when it’s the best time. 

During the fall, rodents and insects will start looking for warm places to wait out the winter, and your attic is the best spot on the block. Not only is it warm, but the tree branches provide an easy bridge to get back down to the ground to look for food. But trimming a tree in the fall can hurt it and even kill it in some cases. 

This puts homeowners in a bad position. They don’t want to kill the tree, but rodents and insects will keep using those branches to get inside the house. If regular trimmings and lawn care are done, this won’t be a problem when the chilly fall weather sets in.

5 easy tips to keep up with tree trimming

So clearly, tree trimming and general lawn maintenance can be a great method of green pest control in Houston. But now comes the hard part: keeping up with it all.

Though it can be a tedious job to pull out the sheers every few weeks, doing regular tree trimming and lawn care maintenance can help contribute to your pest control strategy in a meaningful way. Your lawn will look more beautiful as a result, and it will help keep insects and rodents away from your home.

Trimming is also a green pest control method that doesn’t need any chemicals or pesticides. You don’t need to continuously spray chemicals near your home. You just need to set some time aside each week to care for your lawn, plants and trees. 

Remember: Work smarter, not harder. Here are five easy tips to keep up with tree trimming and lawn maintenance in your yard.

  1. Create a trimming schedule for yourself: Choose one day every week or every other week to be your trimming day. Walk around your yard with a large pair of sheers and look for branches and bushes that need to be cut. Snip what you can and then grab the ladder and get the branches that are higher up, especially the ones touching your roof.

If you’re regularly monitoring the trees on your property, then you’ll have less work to do in the long run. You’ll be able to catch branches and vines before they become a problem, and over time, you won’t need a big ladder as often.

  1. Keep branches growing at a 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock angle, trim branches growing at weird angles: This will keep your tree growing. While you’re at it, you can also take out dead branches and twigs. Be careful not to overtrim it. You will stop it from growing and may even kill it.
  2. Move large plants and bushes away from the foundation of your house: Unless you’re a truly dedicated gardener and you’re out tending to your yard almost every day, these large plants will only provide shelter for insects and rodents trying to get inside your home. Plant smaller flowers near the foundation of your home so you can easily notice when a rodent has made a hole near your home. 
  3. Split the lawncare chores with your family: Lawncare maintenance isn’t just for one person. Everyone can pitch in. If one of your kids is mowing the lawn and another is pulling weeds, you’ll feel less overwhelmed with lawncare projects, so trimming the trees once in a while will feel like a less daunting task. 
  4. Plant fruit trees away from the house or garage: As noted above, bees and espcially wasps like to make nests near a major food source, like the rotting fruit below a tree. You can still enjoy a fruit tree in your backyard, but make sure that it’s planted away from the house or garage. You won’t have to worry so much about trimming the branches because they won’t be near your home — though you should still be trimming them anyway — and bee and wasps won’t have a close place to build their nests. Make sure you’re cleaning up fallen fruit from under your fruit tree regularly. This will take away the food source for bees and wasps.

Trimming and pruning trees can be done on your own, but if the branches are too big to hold when on a ladder or near a power line, then it’s time to call in a professional. Know your limits and don’t put yourself at risk.

Green pest control in Houston and Dallas

Even if you do keep up with your tree trimming and lawn care maintenance, there’s still the change that rodents and insects will find a way into your home. Though trimming counts as green pest control in Houston, it’s not a failsafe method. Rather, it’s just one part of a larger green pest control strategy.

At Natran Green Pest Control in Houston, we like to help homeowners protect their homes before an infestation really takes root. That’s why we offer three levels of protection plans — EcoZone, EcoPlus and Natranized — for homeowners looking for green pest control in Houston that works without harsh chemicals and pesticides.

Depending on which level of protection you choose, our professionals will identify potential problem areas in your home — places where we know insects and rodents will target — and use our own green pest control strategies to create barriers around your home that will keep out pests and pesticides. 

These green pest control plans work, but you can help beef up the protection by trimming your trees and taking good care of your lawn and flowerbeds. When all of these little things are done together, you reduce your risk of a pest infestation, and you will have peace of mind that your home is secure.

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