What You Need To Know About Pests In California
If pests have found a way into your California home, knowing what you are dealing with is extremely helpful. Our pest library provides you with a general overview of the most common pests in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
Rodents like house mice, Norway rats, and roof rats have made a name for themselves as common household pests. They have developed a one-sided relationship with people where mice and rats benefit from us, but we do not benefit from them. Our properties provide them with food, water, and shelter, and in return, they spread diseases, contaminate our food, and cause structural damage.
Where you find rodent activity on your property depends on the species you are dealing with. Roof rats are excellent climbers and move indoors through spaces they find at the roofline or chimneys. Norway rats prefer to stay at ground level and move inside through gaps under doors, vents, or cracks in the foundation. House mice are agile little creatures and find their way into our homes through any opening they find in the exterior. Inside, house mice nest behind wall voids, cabinets and appliances, and inside cardboard boxes.
Rodent Prevention Tips:
- Seal cracks in your foundation and roofline.
- Repair loose shingles and damaged siding.
- Remove debris from your yard that can provide rodents with hiding spots on your property.
- Never place woodpiles, construction material or trash, or recycling bins next to your home's exterior.
When all else fails, contact Johnny Rat Pest Control for our comprehensive rodent control options.
Ants are regular visitors inside our California homes and other structures. Most ants prefer to nest outside. Unfortunately, when ants nest in your yard or on a neighboring property, it is only a matter of time before they find a way into your home. Ants live together in large numbers, and the workers leave the nest each day to forage for food. Your kitchens and pantries and the food they provide are too much for hungry ants to pass up.
Most of the ants that invade our properties, while certainly not welcome, aren't particularly dangerous. Examples of nuisance ants are Argentine ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. Species that are more cause for concern are fire ants and carpenter ants. Fire ants are aggressive and deliver repeated painful stings and bites to people and animals. Carpenter ants aren't harmful to people, but they are harmful to our structures. Carpenter ants like to nest inside wood inside our homes; these ants can cause costly damage over time.
Ant Prevention Tips:
- Store your family's food properly; keep perishables in the fridge and dry goods in airtight containers.
- Regularly vacuum your home's floors and wipe down surfaces.
- Routinely clean the crumbs that naturally gather behind large appliances.
- Avoid attracting ants to your home by keeping lids on trash and recycling cans and storing them away from your home.
If ants are on your property, call Johnny Rat Pest Control to learn about our ant control services.
You will find cockroaches inhabiting any place they have access to food, warmth, and moisture. Unfortunately, our California homes can provide them with all those things. To everyone's dismay, cockroaches have become regular visitors to our homes and, once inside, spread quickly and become quite difficult to control and eliminate. In our area, brown-banded cockroaches, German cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches are the most common.
Unlike other pests that live in wooded areas or fields, the cockroach lives in sewers, drains, and garbage piles. The cockroach's less than sanitary living conditions make them a pest we never want to find in our house. Cockroaches pose a significant health risk because of their ability to spread dangerous pathogens, bacteria, and parasites. Adding insult to injury, they also contaminate food, spread foul odors, and stain surfaces with their excrement.
Cockroach Prevention Tips:
- Always inspect secondhand items, potted plants, and deliveries for hitchhiking cockroaches.
- Maintain a clean kitchen and practice proper food storage.
- Repair leaky pipes and make sure your home is well-ventilated.
- Clear our clutter from drawers, cabinets, closets, and other storage areas that can hide a cockroach problem.
Don't deal with cockroaches for one day longer than necessary. Reach out today to help rid your property of cockroaches.
Spiders are arachnids and related to other "icky" critters like mites, ticks, and scorpions. They are a common pest problem because our California properties offer them shelter, easy access to insect prey, and water sources. Spider problems and insect problems tend to go hand in hand. Spiders hang out anywhere with plenty of insect prey to hunt.
In California, we have a lot of harmless spiders like house spiders and wolf spiders that wander around yards, gardens, attics, and basements. While most spiders are not a cause for concern, we have to be wary and guard our homes against dangerous spiders like black widow and brown recluse spiders in our region. Spiders receive the label of 'dangerous' if their venom is potent enough to cause harm to a person.
Spider Prevention Tips:
- Install door sweeps and weatherstripping around windows and doors.
- Caulk cracks in the foundation and roofline of your home.
- Cut tree branches and shrubbery back from your home's exterior.
- Make sure trash cans have lids on them and store them away from your home; spiders hang around trash cans to hunt their insect prey.
If spiders have taken over your California yard or home, reach out today so we can work together to remove them.
Stinging insects all have stingers extending from the back of their abdomen. The purpose of the stinger is to help defend themselves and nests and, in the case of predatory species, capture their insect prey. The most well-known species of stinging insects in our area of California are Africanized honey bees, honey bees, wasps, and yellow jackets.
Living with stinging insects is a balancing act, and while we want to protect them because of the good they do, we also can't put ourselves in danger. When stinging insects are nesting outside away from people, they aren't a threat, but when they nest in a high-traffic area of our yard, they are. Problematic nesting sites include ground holes, fences, play structures, shrubs next to walkways, light fixtures, and wall voids. The more close contact you have with stinging insects, the more likely a painful sting will occur.
Stinging Insect Prevention Tips:
- Seal up holes you find in your home's exterior.
- Fill in ground holes in your yard.
- Remove fallen trees and other debris from your yard.
- Cover trashcans and keep outdoor eating areas free of leftover food and sweet drinks.
- Don't overplant flowering vegetation near your home.
Don't try to tackle a stinging insect infestation on your own; reach out to us at Johnny Rat Pest Control for help.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are disease-spreading pests that most often find their way onto our properties with the help of their wild animal hosts. The sole source of nutrition for fleas and ticks is blood from warm-blooded animals. With animals like mice, squirrels, rats, skunks, and our dogs and cats being preferred hosts, ticks and fleas have become a common household threat. While people aren't their preferred hosts, they won't hesitate to feed on our blood if we are available.
Fleas are wingless insects. New adults will use their large, powerful back legs to jump onto animal hosts, where they will stay throughout their short life (between two and three months). Ticks have a much longer life, and it can take many years for them to complete their life cycle. They require a blood meal from a new host at each new life stage and, therefore, feed on many hosts throughout their life. Both fleas and ticks primarily live outside in our yards, parks, wooded areas and can be introduced into our homes on us, our pets, or rodent intruders.
Flea and Tick Prevention Tips:
- Remove leaf litter, grass piles, and brush from your yard.
- Keep the grass cut short.
- Remove bird and other wild animal feeders from your property.
- If possible, build a fence to help keep wild animals off your property.
Learn more about flea and tick solutions in California by giving us a call today.
No Matter The Pest, We Have You Covered
The best way to handle any pest problem is to partner with a local professional. At Johnny Rat Pest Control, we are not only local but family-owned. We know the pests in our region and how to guard your home and family against them. Contact us today to learn more!