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Pest Library

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Common Pest Identification & Prevention In Redding, CA

We have put together a pest control guide to help our customers learn more about the pests that commonly invade our California homes and businesses. Having a general idea of what pests are living here and finding their way into our homes is the best way to quickly identify a problem, so you can take steps to eliminate them. Below is an overview of the pests that have learned the benefits of living near people.

Ants

Having ants in your house is something that is not out of the ordinary. As we have taken over more of their natural habitat, they have discovered how to live successfully near people. Most ants in our area, like Argentine ants and odorous house ants, are nuisance ants. They don’t cause major structural damage or cause serious health problems, but they do create enough problems to be aggravating. First of all, they are often attracted to moisture, which means there is probably excess water somewhere around your home. Second, they contaminate surfaces with the bacteria they come into contact with. Third, they feed on many of the same foods we do and will contaminate your family’s food sources. And finally, if they are finding entry points into your home, so will other more destructive and dangerous pests.

In our area of California, we do have to contend with carpenter ants. While carpenter ants are not dangerous to people, they are very destructive and will damage structures. When these large black ants find their way into our homes and decide to stay and nest, they create tunnels and nesting galleries inside structural wood. The longer these ants are living in your home, the more damage they cause. No matter the ant species, these omnivores were most likely attracted to your property because it offers a reliable food source. Ants are constantly foraging for food to bring back to the nest. Things like open trash cans or recycling bins, pet food, gardens, fruit trees, flowerbeds, and outdoor eating areas provide them with food. The more time they spend outside in close proximity to your house, the more likely they will discover a way inside. If your house meets their basic needs, they may decide to stay and create an indoor satellite nest that will help them expand their colony.

To help you prevent problems with ants in your Redding area home, we want to recommend the following prevention tips.

  • It is always important to get rid of the items attracting ants, like easy access to food. Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins, keep indoor and outdoor eating areas free of food debris, maintain garden areas, and pick up uneaten pet food.
  • Repair leaky pipes, clogged gutters, and low-lying areas that will allow moisture to collect around your home’s exterior and attract moisture-seeking ants.
  • In your home, reduce excess moisture by ensuring proper ventilation in bathrooms, kitchens, and crawl spaces. Use dehumidifiers. 
  • Regularly vacuum your home, keep kitchen counters clean, and store your family’s food in the fridge or airtight containers that will keep hungry ants out.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs aren’t pests anyone wants to find in their home but, unfortunately, they are common. A bed bug infestation can happen inside any of our California homes or businesses; they don’t care where they live, just that there are people or animals available to feed on. Bed bugs have become prevalent in structures where people are present, like our homes, because our blood is their preferred food source. Also, these insects can’t jump, fly, or move quickly, so their main mode of transportation is hitchhiking. They crawl onto our clothing, bags, or other personal items and are transported to wherever we take them. 

The sole source of nutrition for bed bugs is blood from warm-blooded animals. While human blood is preferred, they will feed on birds, rodents, and pets like cats and dogs if we aren’t available. Knowing what bed bugs look like and where they like to hide in our homes is helpful to identify an infestation sooner rather than later. Bed bugs are oval-shaped insects with flattened bodies that enable them to hide in tight cracks and crevices. They are typically dark-reddish brown and look like apple seeds. After feeding, their body swells to a capsule-like shape; they also turn a darker red. Some of their favorite hiding spots within a home includes the seams of mattresses, in the cracks of headboards and footboards, and behind wood trim or baseboards. They also regularly hide under rugs, areas of clutter, and inside electrical outlets. 

To help you prevent problems with these tricky pests in your Redding home, we want to offer you the following bed bug prevention tips.

  • Remove clutter from your home where bed bugs like like to hide, and don’t use the area under your bed as storage.
  • Don’t leave piles of dirty laundry on the floor.
  • Vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture regularly to remove stray bed bugs.
  • Regularly wash and dry your family’s bedding on a high heat cycle, inspecting mattresses and box springs for bed bugs during the process. 
  • Take care when purchasing secondhand items like clothing or furniture for your home. Make sure to thoroughly clean and inspect them for bed bugs before bringing them inside.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are insects that are difficult to control and infest in large numbers. Some species have adapted to living near people. In our area, cockroaches that regularly invade our California structures are the large American cockroach, the small German cockroach, and the shiny black Oriental cockroach. All three species vary slightly in habitats and behaviors, but all prefer to live in warm, damp areas, and all are dangerous to have in our homes. Cockroaches spread diseases, pathogens, and parasites; they contaminate food and surfaces, and their shed skins and excrement trigger allergies and asthma attacks. 

It is important to understand how and why cockroaches move indoors. Some roaches like American and Oriental cockroaches live successfully outside but often search for food and water sources inside. Entry points usually include cracks in the foundation, drains, vents, or spaces around windows and doors. If the weather is unsuitable or there is a reduction in food sources, they will migrate indoors to gather food and seek out a damp, moist environment to live in, such as kitchens or bathrooms. The German cockroach has adapted to living inside with people, and they move from place to place by hitchhiking inside boxes, deliveries, or secondhand items. In multi-unit buildings, they move through spaces in walls, floors, and vents while seeking new sources of food and shelter. 

To help you prevent problems with cockroaches in your Redding home, we want to offer you the following prevention tips.

  • Regularly inspect the exterior of your house to identify openings in its exterior that cockroaches can fit through. Seal them using a caulking gun.
  • Check your home’s weatherstripping, door sweeps, and screens- replacing any that are defective.
  • Repair leaky piping and fixtures in and around your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier inside your home.
  • Take the time to move large furniture and appliances to remove crumbs and other food sources that cockroaches could take advantage of. 
  • Clean your kitchen regularly, wash dishes, and take out the trash daily.
  • Store trash outside in containers with tight-fitting lids.

Rodents

These rodents are large, usually gray, and are about 6 inches long with a thick tail that is also around 6 inches long. Like all rats, they have rounded faces, small ears, and a light-colored underside.

When Norway rats come into a yard, they will usually burrow in the ground underneath piles, especially in locations that are near a food source, but they may not be content to stay in the yard. They are equipped with teeth capable of chewing holes in wood and other building materials. Once inside a home, they can cause many issues. They leave droppings and urine everywhere. They chew holes, destroy insulation, and have the potential to cut live wires. They spread ticks, fleas, lice, mites, and other parasites. And their attraction to trash cans and other dirty locations make them a mechanical vector for harmful bacteria.

Norway rats can be difficult to get rid of because they are neophobic. That is to say, they don't like things that are new and unfamiliar. So, don't expect to lay food down for these pests and easily trap them. But you can use this fear against them. Keep your grass trimmed. Change and trim landscaping routinely. Move objects around in your yard, or remove them altogether. Norway rats love clutter. A clutter-free yard is less welcoming to these pests. For professional assistance with rats and other rodents, go here.

Spiders

Spiders are pests that regularly make their way onto our California properties. There are three main reasons why these eight-legged arachnids have made a name for themselves as common household pests. The first reason is the simplest; because they have found a way inside. As spiders move around the exterior of our homes, it is easy for them to move indoors through spaces they discover in exterior walls or by traveling inside along wires, pipes, and cables. The second reason is our structures provide spiders with a damp, dark environment to lay their eggs in. The third and final reason is that your home may be providing spiders with an abundant food source. When ants, flies, and other insects have made themselves comfortable in our homes, their presence will attract the attention of hungry spiders.

While having spiders in your home usually isn’t dangerous, their appearance should warn you of potential problems. A spider infestation is often an indication of the presence of excess moisture, large populations of insects, and plenty of hiding spots for these shy creatures to retreat to. These are the things that make indoor and outdoor spaces attractive to spiders. The more spiders you have living in your yard, the more likely these pests will eventually wander into your home. Spots in our yards where spiders and the insects they like to feed on typically gather include trash cans, gardens, overgrown plants, and standing water. Once spiders have found a way indoors, they are usually quite comfortable, and getting them to move back outside is rather difficult without the help of a pest professional.

Stop spiders from taking over your California property by using the following prevention tips:

  • Clean regularly to remove crumbs and spills from your home that attract the insects that spiders like to eat. 
  • Keep lids on trash cans to avoid flies, ants, and other insects from gathering on your property and providing spiders with a constant food source.
  • Block entry points by sealing cracks and other openings in your home’s exterior walls. 
  • Reduce areas of moisture that spiders and their insect prey can take advantage of. Repair leaky pipes, keep gutters clear and use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture in your home. 
  • Remove excess yard debris, maintain your lawn and gardens, and keep your home’s storage spaces free of clutter to reduce hiding spots for spiders.

Subterranean Termites

A few different species of termites live throughout California, but those that are the biggest threat to the structures of our homes and, unfortunately, our bank accounts are subterranean termites. Termites are insects that survive by feeding on cellulose that they convert into a usable food source. Wood and wooden structures are targeted by termites and provide them with the food they gather and bring back to the nest. Subterranean termites do not nest in the wood they feed on; they travel back and forth from their nest to a food source each day. Their nests are underground in the damp soil that provides these pests with the moisture they need to survive. Each day, they move to and from their nest through the soil or through the mud tubes they create to move safely above the ground.

Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture, and things like leaking pipes, clogged gutters, and poor drainage or ventilation will attract them to a home. Some of the subterranean termite’s common entry points include cracks in the foundation or pieces of wood like wood trim, steps, or beams making direct contact with the ground.

Once inside, they will be attracted to wooden beams or other structures damaged by water. Subterranean termites target the wood behind walls or under floors and near doors, windows, sinks, tubs, and toilets. These pests move in and out of structures each day without much notice, making it easy for them to feed on a home’s structural wood for months or years before anyone notices them. More often than not, the destruction termites cause alerts homeowners to a problem, not the termites themselves!

To help you prevent problems with wood-eating subterranean termites on your Redding property, we want to offer you the following prevention tips.

  • Subterranean termites need moisture to survive. To help make your home less appealing to them, quickly repair leaky pipes, ensure proper ventilation, and use dehumidifiers. 
  • Create a barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
  • Eliminate wood to soil contact on your property.
  • Seal cracks in the foundation of your home to help prevent termites from easily being able to move inside. 
  • Remove excess piles of wood and organic debris from your yard that termites could use as a food source and that would attract these pests to your property.

If any of the above pests or any other pest has taken over your Redding property, reach out to the professionals at Jefferson Pest Control. We have many different pest control methods available to ensure we meet the needs of each of our customers. Our professionals will get to the root of your pest problem and provide the tools necessary to eliminate infestations and prevent future pest problems. To learn more about our home pest control or commercial pest control services, give us a call today!