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.

Stop Ant Invasions with Professional Pest Control

Ants are common pests in many homes. They mysteriously appear on our countertops, in cabinets, or marching in a line on the kitchen floor. If you somehow manage to kill the ones already in your home, other ones confound you by finding a new way in. Aside from researching the habits and appearance of every type of ant found in your local area, the best way to eliminate these insects is to call a professional.

As airtight as you think your home may be, there are usually cracks and small spaces around the foundation or simply under a door in most homes where ants can slip in. It can be difficult to tell the many different types of ants apart, but you need to be able to do so to eliminate them properly. This is how a professional pest control expert can help.

A professional will spot how the ant moves, how they create trails, and other habits they have that make them distinct from another species. For example, many people think just ants nest in the ground, but this varies by type. The carpenter ant, for example, nests in tree branches and wood structures, including the walls of your home. The odorous house ant, despite its name, prefers to live outdoors under piles of leaves or mulch but can be attracted to debris close to your foundation.

Once a professional eliminates the ants you can take precautions to keep them from coming back. These pests are attracted to food and moisture, so fix those leaky faucets and don’t leave sweets out on the counter. Keep your yard clear of debris such as wet and rotting leaves or decaying branches. These are perfect places for some types of ants to nest in.

Ants are frustrating, but with the help of a professional exterminator you can eliminate these pests from your home. Please contact us for more details.

How to Combat an Ant Infestation

Dealing with an ant infestation is nothing short of maddening; the relentless march of these tiny creatures never seems to end once they have taken up residence in your home. They wander in like they own the place, leaving behind their trails of pheromones for the others. As a homeowner, what are you supposed to do to keep these insufferable pests away? In this blog post, we will explain some ways that you can discourage ants from infesting your home and keep them out for good.

Keep Everything Clean

Ants are naturally attracted to food debris and crumbs that fall to the floor. Be sure that you are consistently wiping down surfaces, tidying up, and vacuuming. If there are any areas in your house that contain tiny morsels of food, this is a treasure trove for hungry ants. By sterilizing these areas, you are eliminating any incentives that ants might have to hang out in your home. Also, don’t forget that ants leave behind pheromone trails to communicate with other members of the colony. Take note of the pathways the ants are traveling along and clean these areas as thoroughly as you can. When you destroy these trails, you are destroying a critical means of communication for the ants. Don’t forget that there are many traps and poisons on the market that can be placed in the areas that ants frequent. By placing these devices around your house, it’s possible to kill or sicken the colony.

Identify Points of Entry

Once you’ve managed to quell the infestation, then it’s time to identify areas around your home that could be acting as entry points for your uninvited guests. Since ants are so minuscule, identifying every point of entry probably isn’t feasible. You may want to hire an expert to help you identify the specific entry points that the ants are using. Ants can sometimes enter through cracks in the walls, so be sure to seal any of these cracks if they exist. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your doors and windows are free of any crevices that could allow ants entry into your house. Sometimes, these areas don’t get properly closed after they’ve been used, so it’s a good idea to ensure that all of these areas are secure. Ideally, you should have some caulk and weather stripping on hand to seal these areas as you find them.

Here at Pest Solutions Termite and Pest Control, it is our mission to keep insects, rodents, and other pests out of your home. If you are having issues with unwanted invaders in your house, please feel free to contact us. We can rid your home of these animals and keep them outside where they belong!

The Pesky Squirrels in Your Attic…

It’s a problem that you might have faced at some point in your life. You’re on the verge of sleep when you’re suddenly snapped to attention by the pitter-patter of paws from somewhere overhead. Once again, a family of squirrels is scampering around in the attic, making themselves completely at home.

They may seem harmless enough, but do not be deceived by their cute visage. Behind those soulful eyes lies a devious mind. Squirrels will make a mess of your attic space and may even gnaw through electrical wires. This is a particularly dangerous tendency because it has the potential to spark a house fire.

You certainly don’t want to lose your home because of a few reckless rodents. Here we’ll look at how you can get squirrels out of your attic and keep them out for good. 

Trapping:

If squirrels have already infiltrated your home, the best way to get them out is to trap them. You might consider purchasing live traps. These usually consist of cages that the squirrel can enter, but will not be able to exit. This way, you will be able to catch the squirrels and release them back into the wild. If you prefer, you could also get a kill trap for the squirrels. This is grisly, but it is an effective way to get rid of your mischievous intruders.

Prevention:

Once the squirrels have been removed from your home, there are some precautions that you can take to ensure that no more can gain entry. Have your house inspected for potential entry points that could be used by squirrels and other pests. Once these areas are identified, seal them up tightly so that squirrels will get the message that they aren’t wanted in your home.

If squirrels have invaded your attic, it doesn’t have to be an unending battle. If you have reached the end of your rope with these furry little demons, we encourage you to contact us.

 

Here at Pest Solutions Termite & Pest Control, we strive to keep pests out of your home and remove your headache of the unwanted visitors. Feel free to also check out our website to see all of the services that we have to offer.

Don’t Ignore Ladybugs in the Home

As far as pesky insects go, ladybugs don’t always rank very high on the standard homeowner’s list. Most homeowners would probably prefer to have a ladybug problem than a termite one; however, just because ladybugs are kind of cute and keep plant-eating aphids at bay in your garden, it doesn’t mean you want thousands of them using your home as their winter incubation spot.

The real issue with ladybugs in the home is that there is never just one. It may start off as just one, but it doesn’t’ stay that way. Ladybugs excrete a smell that will attract other ladybugs; which means if you see one in your home, you can expect many more to find their way in!

Unfortunately, a ladybug’s smell is very difficult to remove as they can end up in strange places, like inside light fixtures or inside of walls. Once the scent is released, it is difficult to get off; the only thing you can do is take countermeasures to either kill or deter the ladybugs. There are a few home remedies you can do like planting mums that naturally repel ladybugs or leaving bags of cloves or bay leaves in areas that the ladybugs like to gather. However, that most effective option is to call the pest control experts that have special formulas to take care of ladybugs successfully.

If you have a ladybug problem, contact us today! We would love to help solve your ladybug problem or any other kind of pest problem that you’re experiencing.

Is Pest Control Harmful to Children and Pets?

For many households that have pests, some may choose to forgo professional pest control because it involves chemical treatments. Many may choose to use Do-It-Yourself methods because they can be more natural, if they fear for the safety of children and/or pets in the home. However, the truth is that there is really no need to forgo professional pest control if you can find the right company to do it.

A good pest control company will ask if you have children and/or pets in the home and take measures to treat in a way to not cause them harm. Even if potentially harmful chemicals are needed, a respectable pest control service will let you know what precautions to take. This could be keeping your children and/or pets indoors for a certain amount of time while things dry, or keeping certain areas of treatment off-limits.

For example, if you have carpenter ants in a closet, a pest control service may treat it with spray, dust, and a baiting gel. Therefore, they may recommend you keep that closet closed and locked until the treatment is completed. Yet, if they choose to treat other areas of the house, they may not use items like the dust that can easily come into contact with curious pets or children. In most pest treatments, the chemicals are only harmful to non-insects until it dries.

The benefit of using professional services is that it not only gets better pest control results, but you will know for sure when it is safe to let pets or children around treated areas. If you use a can of bug spray, you won’t be completely sure when others can be around it. However, a pest control technician will be able to properly articulate the purpose of the treatment and how long it will take to before it’s safe to be around.

If you have pests and your Do-It-Yourself treatments aren’t nearly as effective as you’d like, it is time to get a professional’s touch. Don’t live with pests, contact us today!

How to Keep Carpenter Ants from Coming Back

To some, seeing ants isn’t a big deal. However, carpenter ants differ from your standard small ants that may invade your kitchen. Carpenter ants are larger and they could be making your home their home – and trust us, that is something you do not want.

Unlike normal ants that are a simpler nuisance, carpenter ants tend to burrow into damp wood to make their nests. While they do not eat wood like termites, their intricate burrows in damp wood can affect the integrity of a structure. This means if you have damp beams in your walls due to even light water damage, carpenter ants may have already moved in.

In order to remove carpenter ants, you may need to cut out the drywall in the area where you found them most congregated and noticed the most buildup of the sawdust-like residue they leave behind. From within, the nest will need to be removed and spray the ants so they do not move elsewhere. As they could just relocate their nest, this is why it’s best for a pest control expert to get the job done. However, in order to prevent carpenter ants from returning you may need to take extra steps (which your pest control expert can answer questions on!).

The best way to protect the structure of your house and prevent carpenter ants from coming back is to address the water issue. Carpenter ants always nest close to damp areas. This means that you need to address whatever is causing the wood in that area to get wet. It could be a leaky gutter just outside that is letting water drip close to your house, or it could be even just a slightly leaky pipe behind the drywall.

By fixing whatever is causing the moisture and allowing the wood to dry, it will help prevent carpenter ants from returning. However, just because you discovered one damp area doesn’t mean there aren’t others you do not know about. Often, when people find carpenter ants in their house, they find what is called a “satellite” nest. This means it is an offshoot of the main nest; one where a queen is not present. What you want to do is to keep the main nest as far from your home as possible to keep satellite nests away. This could mean keeping firewood piles away from the house, removing debris from the yard, and taking out any other rotting wood or structures that carpenter ants could call home. If you live in a heavily wooded area, you may want to invest in regular spraying by a pest control expert to make sure your home is defended.

If you have a carpenter ant problem and need help, contact us today.

Tips for Pest Control in Apartments

Renting an apartment is handy for many people and gives them the chance to work and play while living near to their area of work and/or favorite attractions. However, the multifamily nature of most apartments means that you likely share a lot with your neighbors.

You will hear all of the noises coming from their apartments, the smells (both good and bad) coming from the person next door’s place. Unfortunately, it is very often the case that neighbors in an apartment building will quite frequently end up sharing pests with each other.

Apartment complexes are some of the most difficult places for pest control to get a handle on. The close proximity of all of the apartment units makes eliminating or even mitigating an infestation of pests an extremely difficult thing to do. Units don’t just share walls and floors; they also have utilities with a shared connection between the various units. Not only that, pests are extremely sneaky and can find a wide variety of different entrance points from underneath doorways and windows that lack weather stripping to AC unit ventilation shafts and the dirt of a potted plant.

Check Packages

Pests can potentially find their way inside your residence through packages delivered to your home. The easiest way to avoid this is to thoroughly check your packages before bringing them inside. While this won’t completely circumvent this method for pests to get into your home, it does make it less likely.

General Anti-Pest Practices

The following anti-pest practices can also help to limit the ability for pests to get into your apartment.

  • Place and dispose of your garbage in sealed bags
  • Wipe down surfaces and sweep floors regularly to remove crumbs and other residues that may attract pests
  • Vacuum once a week at minimum
  • Store food in sealed plastic containers
  • Check for moisture and repair leaky pipes regularly

Using a pest control contractor can help you more easily maintain control of pests in your apartment complex. Contact us today to discuss pest removal options for your rental property.

Making Your Home Less Attractive To Rodents

When cooler weather arrives, many homeowners discover rodents have made their way into their abodes to retreat from the temperature outdoors. Taking steps to keep rodents on the exterior of the home can be done by making the interior feel less than attractive. Here are some tips to try in an attempt to keep mice, rats, and other pests from taking up residence inside of a home.

Do an Evaluation of the Exterior

If the outside of a home is riddled with cracks and crevices, mice will surely use them as entryways to the interior. It is best to take the time to assess siding for voids and fill them in as needed. Cracks around windows and doors should also be treated with pieces of weather-stripping, caulk, or foam to make it harder for mice to squeeze their way inside.

Keep Rodents Afraid of the Home

Using decoys on the property of a home will help in keeping rodents from getting too close to the structure. Plastic or rubber owls or hawks will make rodents believe they are in danger within the area, compelling them to move on to other areas while in search of shelter. Rubber snakes also work well at keeping mice from crawling under doors or trying to make their way through foundation levels.

Tend to the Interior and Use Scent

The inside of a home should be kept as clean as possible to help in keeping all types of pests away. Failing to clean a home can lead to an abundance of crumbs which make rodents more likely to attempt getting inside if they smell food nearby. Instead of greeting rodents with the scent of food, try spraying diluted lavender oil or keep a peppermint plant inside. These scents will naturally deter rodents away. Keeping a cat is an alternative as well. The scent of this predator will keep mice from trying to gain entry.

If rodents are seen or suspected to be inside of a home, calling a pest control service is the best way to eliminate them completely. To find out more, contact us today.

Keeping Mice at Bay When Weather Cools Down

When autumn arrives, the need to prepare the home for cooler weather is necessary. This should include taking steps to keep rodents from trying to take cover in your house! Here are a few tasks you can incorporate into your maintenance routine to aid in keeping mice out of your home.

Do an Evaluation of the Exterior of Your Home

Mice are able to squeeze themselves under and through very small areas. For this reason, doing a detailed evaluation of the siding on the home is necessary. Stuff pieces of steel wool into small holes and use a basic caulk to fill in cracks. If larger damage is present, consider calling a professional to make repairs so pests do not use voids to get inside of the home.

Keep the Inside of Your Home Clean

Mice will stay in an area where there is easy to reach food. If you take the time to do a thorough cleaning of the inside of your home, crumbs will not likely be present. This in turn will force mice to move on to other areas in search for food. Make it a priority to clean up after every meal and take the time to contain leftovers for storage.

Hire a Professional to Complete an Evaluation

If you think you have mice in your home, it is a good idea to call a pest control service to check over the home and property for any signs of mice. This type of business will know the telltale signs of a mouse problem and will take the necessary steps in eradicating one if found. They will also be able to handle a variety of other pest problems, keeping the home free of intruders all winter long.

Do you need help in removing mice from your home? Contact us today! We’re a pest control company in Los Angeles, CA.