There are many bugs we encounter in our East Sacramento backyards; however, not all bugs are harmful. Although many may seem like pests, there are some benefits to keeping some around while others can wreak havoc on our food, plants, livestock and even our health. When it comes to pest control, it can seem like a country standoff of “good guys vs. bad guys.”
What are the benefits of keeping some bugs around? There is one famous backyard bug that immediately comes to people’s mind… the ladybug. The vibrant ladybug is a predatory bug that feeds on spider mites and aphids. They can eat up to 5,000 pests in their life span! Another great insect to keep around is the camouflaged praying mantis. They will also eat just about anything as well (including its own kind). And what about the creepy crawly millipede? These large creatures are scavengers and will eat decaying leaves and even garden slugs!
Now that you know we have some bugs on our side helping us out, lets discuss the bad bugs lurking in the shadows. These common pests can be found in almost every home at some point or another. These are the “Hateful Eight” of the pests we find in and around our homes throughout the year.
The Black Widow Spider: These can be identified by their hourglass-shaped mark on the abdomen. They often like to stay in dark secluded spaces but are still to be taken seriously because of their venomous bite. Most people bitten do not suffer serious harm; however, it can be fatal to small children and the elderly.
The Cockroach: Fast breeding and fast moving, cockroaches can spread bacteria and other diseases such as salmonella and E. coli. Their molted skins and droppings can also cause allergens and have even been linked to childhood asthma.
The Flea: Fleabites can be itchy and painful. These annoying creatures can trigger allergic reactions and even transmit serious diseases such as tapeworms and typhus.
The Wasp: Unlike bees, wasps do not die after they sting someone. They can sting multiple times, and this can be deadly to anyone who is allergic.
The Mosquito: Causing more deaths to humans than any other insect in the world, their bites have infected people with some of the deadliest diseases such as the West Nile virus, malaria, and yellow fever. They can also cause heartworms in pets.
The Fly: House flies can carry some of the most dangerous germs resulting in the spread of bacillary, cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, and infantile diarrhea.
The Tick: Ticks do not jump or fly, they use other methods to find a host to latch onto. With their impressive sensory organs they can detect carbon dioxide you exhale and can also sense odors, vibrations, and heat. Their bite can be undetectable at times and they are carriers to various fevers and Lyme disease.
If you are encountering these unwanted pests, a pest professional can safely eliminate them from your home. The good guys are in town and they are here for you!
Rain rain go away, the pests are coming in to play!
Winter months bring cold weather, rain and less bugs (or so one may think), leading people to believe they do not need pest control this time of year. However, it is a common misconception that bugs die off in the winter. This actually isn’t the case at all. So where do they all go in colder weather? Well, they just move to someplace warmer…your home!
Bugs will enter through cracks and crevices until they find shelter in wall voids, attics, basements and crawl spaces. The pests that do not enter structures will burrow underground or even in trees to survive. Another common misconception is that bugs also hibernate. Truth is, the state they go into is called a “dormant state” -meaning they slow down to conserve energy, a behavior caused by cold weather and lack of food sources.
In addition to bugs trying to find a warmer place to call home, rodents will do the same. This is why recurring treatment and routine inspections are important. Installing door sweeps, weather stripping and sealing up any rodent entry points can help reduce or prevent infestation.
So when winter months hit, it may be wise to reconsider the need for pest control. Without a recurring service you may find that once things warm back up in the spring, high numbers of pests will start popping back up. The invasion of your property could call for an extensive and expensive treatment.
When it comes to pests, “peace of mind” can be priceless…because pests don’t wear sweaters!
There are approximately 4500 species of cockroaches in the world. In Sacramento the most common are: German, Oriental, American, and the new kid on the block... The Turkestan roach (Blatta lateralis).
What is really interesting is just how quickly the Turkestan roach has taken over California. Just a few years ago you would see Oriental and American roaches but now its 99% Turkestan roaches.
Turkestan roaches are outdoor roaches. That means that they typically live in the sewers, organic waste (leaves), irrigation boxes and other high moisture areas. They are typically content to live their lives outdoors. When they do come inside, its almost always the garage or bathroom... but they can fully infest a home if given the right living conditions.
What has really been strange is just how many I've seen this year. I've lost count of how many times a client who have never seen a roach in their life suddenly have Turkestan roaches in their yard and home.
They don't look like typical cockroaches (especially the female). The male is on the right, female on the left in the photo above.
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