Signs of Termites in Your Flooring

We tend to think of termites as something that would be found in the walls and the wooden frame of your home, and they can be. However, anything that is wood is a target for their destructive investigation. Even if you do not have hardwood floors in your home, you are not safe from their invasion.

Termites tend to target the path of least resistance, which typically is rotten or water damaged wood. They also enjoy the softer sub floors that may be under your actual flooring. However, if you know what to look for, you can catch termites before they do too much damage to your floors.

Signs of termites in your flooring include:

  • Squeaky areas in the floor
  • Hollow sounding areas
  • Splits, cracks, or holes in the floor
  • Baseboard damage

One final and most major sign is that termites can look stunningly like water damage to a floor. Areas may rise, bubble, buckle, or discolor when termites are going to work. It might have water damage already, but termites make the signs more noticeable as they do their work.

When you notice any of these signs, you will want to do a little more investigation. When you pull up the area, you will likely find frass, the byproduct left behind by termites, and you will be able to see the termite tunneling in the wood.

Once you have noticed this, it is time to call a professional right away. The longer termites are left to roam unchecked, the more expensive damage they can do to your home’s structure. If you have found signs of a possible termite infestation in your home, contact us today. Pest Solutions can make sure that termites and any other kind of pest plaguing your home are evicted right away.

Effective Rodent Control Tactics to Keep Your Home Mouse-Free

If you have telltale signs of a mouse problem, such as the presence of droppings, noticing gnaw marks, or even seeing a mouse or two, finding a solution is necessary so they do not infest your home’s interior. Here are some effective ways to keep mice from becoming a pesky nuisance.

Check the Exterior for Damage

Mice will wriggle their way inside of a home wherever there is a damaged spot along the exterior siding or where gaps are present around doors or window frames. It is important to do an evaluation of your home’s exterior so repair work is made in a timely manner. Consider using caulk to fill in holes or cracks as a precaution. When springtime arrives, replace damaged wood pieces and use weather-stripping to keep your home sealed against rodent breaches.

Make It a Priority to Clean Efficiently

If you do not take the time to clean the inside of your home, mice will have a readily available food supply in place. It is important to wipe down countertops after each meal preparation session so food remnants are not left behind. In addition, sweep and vacuum floors and carpets to remove crumbs from the premises. These rodent control tactics just take minutes a day.

Remove Attractions and Add Deterrents

If you keep fire logs on your property, consider moving them to a location out of view of your home. Mice tend to burrow between wood pieces and may make their way to your structure if a woodpile is close by. Remove water sources from your property as well as they could attract mice, other rodents, and insects. Keeping a cat on your property works well when it comes to eliminating mice! And while you’re at it, add a few plastic owls or hawks to your property. Mice will shy away from these decoys as they will believe they will be in danger if they get too close to them.

If you are dealing with a mouse problem, calling a pest control service is the best way to eradicate pests efficiently and safely. Simply contact us to set up an appointment for an assessment of your home or to ask us questions regarding mouse control tips.

Tips to Control Pesky Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are more than just a backyard nuisance. Mosquitoes are biting insects that feed off the blood of humans or other animals to create viable eggs and reproduce. After a mosquito bites and feeds, they leave red, itchy bumps, and can even transmit deadly diseases.

Drain Standing Water

An essential step for any homeowner to reduce the mosquito population around their house is to drain any standing water. Mosquitoes need water to survive because still water is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Be on the lookout for any areas that may collect water. Emptying bird baths regularly, cleaning out gutters so that water doesn’t get trapped, and fixing landscaping so there are no low spots where water can pool will help reduce the available locations for mosquitoes to breed.

Discard Trash or Debris

Another great tip is to remove from your yard any trash or debris that may unknowingly collect water and create mosquito breeding grounds. Tires are notorious for collecting water and are often forgotten by homeowners because the water is not easily seen inside. Throw away any old, unused tires and store any spare tires in a place where water cannot get inside.

Hire a Professional

Finally, removing mosquito breeding sites is not enough. You still need to deal with the adults, which may require the help of a professional. Professional services are typically provided monthly and are an essential part to eradicating mosquitoes in your lawn. As an added bonus, mosquito treatments will also kill other backyard pests such as ants, fleas, and ticks. However, a good professional will take care when spraying insecticides to ensure that helpful insects, such as honey bees, are not harmed or killed.

By following these 3 tips and contacting our team of pest control professionals here at Pest Solutions, you will successfully control the mosquito population of your yard so you can get back to utilizing it for outdoor activities.

Are You a Rental Property Owner? Rely on Routine Termite Service

When you own a property that you have turned into a full-time rental, you should do everything you can to maximize occupancy. Dealing with annual vacancies will lead to missing out on potential income because you will have inevitable gaps between your tenants. Although you will not be able to eliminate these gaps altogether, you can make an effort to minimize them. Investing in routine termite service is a great way to accomplish this goal.

Inspections

The first service that you will want to get from professionals is routine inspections. Although you may feel confident in your tenants to maintain your property, there are many variables that can lead to a colony of termites getting into the yard and making it all the way to your house. Each inspection will help you determine whether you have a termite problem that must be resolved.

Prevention

Once you have established that termites are not present on your property, you can begin taking preventive measures. Termite professionals will look at your rental to determine the weak spots and to help with adjusting how the backyard is laid out to avoid attracting termites.

Since your tenants will have the freedom to store items in the yard and near the home, you should rely on inspections to provide them with information that can keep termites away. For instance, if your tenant has firewood on the ground, a termite expert will suggest moving it away.

Extermination

The final reason that you will want to get termite service is when you need to exterminate these pests. By investing in inspections and preventive measures, you should be able to keep this from happening. But, you also want to take immediate action when you notice there is a problem.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about what you can get with termite service.

June Bugs: Good Riddance

The European Chafer Beetle, also known as the June Bug, is a pest that has been a bane to property owners throughout North America. But it does not have to be. The following will provide a guide to the beetle itself, as well as options for how to get rid of the Chafer Beetle once and for all.

What Is The June Bug?

The European Chafer Beetle is just that: European. Formerly, this large, white grub was only found on the continent of Europe. Over the last several decades, though, it has made its way over to North America to breed in similar climates. Many in North America refer to these beetles as June Bugs.

The bug grows to be about 14 millimeters in size and can have a reddish-brown hue to it. And while they only have a single year life cycle, the European Chafer Beetle mates in large swarms, usually on warmer nights. The female beetle then lays up to 40 eggs over the course of the year, allowing the insect to multiply quickly. As the beetles mature, they prefer to feed on both cultivated and wild grass roots.

How Does The June Bug Damage Grass?

The European Chafer Beetle can damage just about any plant. It eats the roots of a wide variety of species, but it does prefer turf grasses due to how fibrous the roots are. This type of feeding can cause significant damage to any lawn. As soon as the roots are gone, the grass begins to turn brown and die, which gives yards a patchy, unhealthy look. But while this damage can be an annoyance to home and business owners who have the task of looking after a lawn, even worse damage can come from simply having the European Chafer Beetle on the property.

Just the appearance, smell, and sound of the beetles attract other animals, like birds, rodents, and reptiles. It is these animals that do the real damage. With their claws, beaks, and teeth, they dig up the lawn in search of the beetles, to feed themselves and their young. The worst time of year for this type of damage is when the grubs are both getting bigger and eating lots of roots near the ground’s surface, generally in the spring and the fall.

June Bug Elimination Options:

Option 1: Nematodes

Nematodes are one option. Because they are microscopic roundworms, they are considered a biological control measure. The beauty of this elimination option is that they are already natively-occurring in the area so they will not significantly disrupt the surrounding habitat. Unfortunately, nematodes are rarely a foolproof solution. First, they are not a preventative measure. It is only after European Chafer Beetles have invaded that nematodes can be used. This means that your lawn is nearly always at risk of damage and it is only when the damage is done that the nematodes come into effect. Additionally, nematodes are rarely able to completely wipe out a yard’s beetle infestation. This is especially true if the nematodes are not introduced in July, when they will have the most success with killing younger and more vulnerable beetles.

Option 2: Pesticides

Using pesticides to fight unwanted creatures and plants is like using magic dust. It always works. There is a reason for this, though. Pesticides can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, it is advisable to bring in a professional pest control service to administer the chemical and ensure that nothing and nobody in the area are harmed in the process.

To make sure that your yard does not suffer from a June Bug infestation this year, please contact us.

How to Keep Skunks Away from Your House

Nobody likes a skunk. They aren’t innately aggressive or even particularly destructive, but the fear of skunks comes from the ridiculously smelly spray that they release when startled. It is part of their natural defense, and they use it often and indiscriminately. It could be your dog who got too excited and chased it, or you could turn a corner in your yard and run face first into it.

That is the real issue with a skunk in the yard. They are difficult to deal with because you can’t really get close to them to shoo them away. If you get sprayed, their scent is very difficult to negate. This is often why you will want to choose a professional to get rid of them. However, you will also need to take measures to prevent skunks from returning.
To keep skunks from coming back to your yard, consider the following:

Secure Food and Garbage – The number one reason a skunk is attracted to your yard is because it can find something to eat. It can smell food remains in your garbage can or from pet food and will come to find something to eat. If possible, put trash cans indoors or otherwise secure them. The same goes for any fruit-bearing trees or plants. Pick up any fallen fruit and pick the offerings as soon as they are ripe.
Block Any Borrows – Skunks don’t usually make their own dens in the ground, instead they will move into dens abandoned by other wildlife. If you spotted a skunk frequently in your yard, they likely found somewhere to live nearby.
Remove Suitable Homes – It is not just abandoned borrows that skunks may call home, but brush piles or even under decks or porches. Be sure to remove or block off these areas so they can’t live in your yard.

Of course, skunk prevention doesn’t do much if you already have one. If there is a skunk in or around your yard, contact us to help you get rid of it and keep any more from coming back.

3 Things You Can Do To Get Rid of Fleas

There is a certain four-letter F-word that no one wants to hear in their house. Fleas…we’re talking about fleas. Once fleas have been discovered in your house, you have to find out how they got there and make sure you kick them out as soon as possible. Then, you have to lay the groundwork to make sure they never come back.

If you find these unwanted guests in your home, don’t worry! There are some steps you can take to kick them out.

Tip #1: Sprinkle Boric Acid On Everything

One of the best tried-and-true methods of getting rid of fleas is to put boric acid down all throughout your house. This chemical compound dehydrates fleas that come into contact with it, shriveling them up into little mummified versions of themselves. It’s cheap, relatively harmless, and once you’ve sprinkled it all throughout your home, it can be vacuumed up with no extra fuss. Speaking of vacuuming…

Tip #2: Clean Everything

This should technically be the first thing you do, but it can be a chore. Fleas will hide absolutely anywhere in your house, so there is no nook or cranny that should be considered safe. Vacuum every carpet and couch, and make sure you get all the crevices along the floorboards. Give your pets flea baths, wash your laundry, and then wash anything that was technically clean but within reach of the fleas. If you’re lucky, a carpet-bombing of cleanliness can take care of the problem before it gets serious.

Tip #3: Bomb Your Home

Once everything is cleaned, clear out your house and set off a bug bomb. Make sure you bring your pets with you, and be sure they’ve been treated to kill any fleas that might try to get on them again. Set off the bug bombs as instructed, and make sure you have a chance to go through your home before letting the kids or the pets back in. Make sure food bowls and water dishes are cleaned thoroughly, and kept someplace where the insecticide won’t reach them. The same goes for any food you might have out, such as in a fruit bowl.

Combating fleas isn’t easy. If you find you can’t stamp out the infestation on your own, simply contact us today!

Spring Time Intruders Invade California Homes

We are all familiar with the old adage “Spring showers bring May flowers.” Unfortunately, Spring showers also bring an array of unwanted visitors into our homes. This time of year, insects are drawn from their winter domiciles by rainy weather. Ironically, it is the spring rain that awakens household pests from their dormant winter retreats. This is the result of the rain washing away their food supply, forcing them to venture out in search of new sources of nutrients. Naturally, households offer a cornucopia of food sources that presents easy pickings for the pests.

The world of insects encompasses an almost countless variety of species. The average home hosts more than 100 different types of these bugs. In August 2016, The Los Angeles Times Science section published the results of a study that was conducted in 50 private homes. It was carried out by entomologists at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The search revealed the identification of 10,000 home-based bug specimens which took nearly 2 years to categorize. But, before you reach for the can of Raid in a state of panic, rest assured that most home occupants will never encounter the vast majority of these critters. Most of these are harmless and will spend their lives in the home in total seclusion.

Interestingly enough, the home infestations were found to be more common in upscale neighborhoods where biodiversity in the form of outdoor plants and flower beds proliferate. These gardens offer a lush refuse for the critters. Also, larger homes provide more entrances into the domicile for which the tiny invaders are able to gain in-door access.

Termites Lament “Please Pass the Salt”

Termites easily make the list as being among the 10 least wanted insect presence in your home. Termites can cause extensive home infestations, which, in turn, can wreak havoc on a structure. Termites are equal opportunity house eaters. Contrary to popular belief, termites don’t favor older homes. A new home can experience termite damage just as easily as an older one. Many homeowners experience sticker shock when they receive the repair bill for structural damage incurred by termites. Depending on the extent of the damage, the repair costs can reach into the thousands of dollars.

Early signs of a termite infestation can be observed by the presence of fly termites. These adventurous alates are comprised of both male and female termites who have left their nests in search of a new home where they begin to procreate prolifically. They then proceed to raise an army of like-minded critters and literally attempt to eat the homeowners out of their residence. Swarming flying termites are attracted by light emanating from the home. An indication of a swarm residing in your home can be determined by observing them being attracted to light sources in the evening hours.

The 10 Least Wanted

Other pests making the 10 Least Wanted list include ants, cockroaches, centipedes, moths, wasps, hornets, silverfish, and dark-winged fungus gnats. Keep in mind that not all insects are bad guys. In fact some, such as spiders, provide a service by consuming other more annoying insects like black flies and book lice.

If your spring is being ruined by an insect infestation, contact us today.

Do You Need to Throw Out Your Stuff When You Get Bed Bugs?

Yikes! Bed bugs are creepy not just because they feed on blood (and nothing else) but because they are champions at hiding. You may never be aware of them until things get bad. It’s a common misconception that you have to throw out all of your stuff like the bed or furniture because you cannot get all the bed bugs out.

What About the Mattress?

If the mattress is in good condition without tears or holes, then it should be fine to keep. Look at all the furniture in an infested home and check for breaks or tears where bed bugs can hide away from pesticides. Pesticides need to get in contact with the bugs in order to kill them. No contact – no dead bugs.

What’s the Big Problem with Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs wedge themselves into very thin cracks and crevices. Basically, if the edge of a credit card can fit into it, so can a bed bug. Not only do the adults and babies hide in these cracks, but they also lay eggs there. Eggs are much harder to kill than adults or babies. It takes just one pregnant female to keep an infestation going.

Getting at All the Bugs

Some items, like electronics, can be destroyed by pesticides. The bugs in this stuff can all be killed by placing small objects in sealed plastic bags and leaving in a freezer. Anything that can go through a clothes washer and dryer will kill bugs. Getting rid of all the trash and clutter in an infested home helps get rid of places where bed bugs can hide.

In Conclusion

Just because you have bed bugs does not mean that everything has to be thrown out. If a bed or couch is in great condition without damage, then it should be safe to keep for years to come. Work with an expert at Pest Solutions Termite & Pest Control to best save your stuff – and your sanity – from bed bugs.

Contact us today.

How Drought Affects Insects

California is no stranger to drought these past few years, but while humans have their various drought worries like water restrictions and wildfires, typically insect invasions aren’t part of those worries. However, the truth is that drought and insects in the home can go hand-in-hand.

While many insects thrive in hot and dry conditions, they still need to be close to a water source. These insects, like those that need water to breed and reproduce, will seek water in a drought. However, with standing bodies of water harder to find, they will seek alternative sources, and often these alternative sources are often your house. Some insects may die off or migrate to more preferable areas, but if they can find a water source in your house, they will be more than happy to live there.

Often, the houses most susceptible to invasion in a drought include those with old, leaky pipes in the wall. It could just be a few small drips, but it will look like an oasis to insects. Furthermore, if it has been going on for years and the wood has started to rot, it is the perfect environment for insects that burrow and damage wood.

Some may see the one good side of a drought is that there are less insects, but the truth is that a drought just makes insects more annoying because they are more attracted to your home than ever. This means that pest control is more essential when it does not rain because insects will have a harder time simply living in nature.

If you have a pest problem during any of California’s overly dry season or any other time of year, contact us today. Let Pest Solutions come out and solve those problems before any more insects decide to make your home into their drought vacation home.