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A Guide To Common Pests In Los Angeles County

Mice in the attic or roaches in the kitchen are just two of many common pest problems that trouble homes and businesses in Southern California. Learning more about the most common pest invaders can help you know what to do if you find any of these pests in your residential or commercial setting. Our Pest Library delivers the most important information you need to know about Los Angeles County insects and rodents.

Bed Bugs

bed bugs on box spring

Bed bugs are blood-feeding insects and thrive wherever there are people as our blood is their preferred food source. Homes, hotels, airports, shopping centers, libraries, movie theaters, offices, and schools are examples of places one could come into contact with bed bugs.

After moving into our homes, bed bugs make themselves at home in various areas, including bedrooms. They are efficient crawlers, and as the infestation develops, move through walls and floors and into different areas of a structure. Some favorite daytime hiding spots for bed bugs include cracks in walls, upholstered furniture, behind walls hangings, clutter, and wall voids behinds outlets.

Bed bugs bite us to feed on our blood, leaving behind red itchy welts on those allergic to their saliva. The only piece of good news when it comes to bed bugs is the spread of disease by these pests is not a significant risk. Problems bed bugs do bring with them include staining with blood and excrement walls, floor, bedding, and furniture, causing sleepless nights, and making us uncomfortable in our own homes.

It is also important to know that bed bugs are active at night and hide skillfully out of sight during the day, this can make identifying an infestation tricky. Their ability to conceal their presence often allows for a large infestation to develop before their presence is finally noticed.

The following tips will help you protect your Los Angeles County property from becoming a home to unwelcome bed bugs:

  • After traveling, immediately wash and dry all clothing taken on the highest heat settings possible.
  • Do not place personal belongings on the floor of any public place for any length of time.
  • When purchasing used items, take care, and thoroughly inspect them for signs of bed bugs.
  • Keep your home as clutter-free as possible to reduce hiding spots.
  • Place bed bug proof covers over mattresses and box springs to take away favorite hiding spots from bed bugs.
  • Get the best bed bug control in Los Angeles County from Kat's Pest Solutions!

Cockroaches

cockroach near tomatoes

In Southern California, the two main types of cockroaches home and business owners need to protect their property from are the German cockroach and American cockroach. The German cockroach is a small species that prefers to live indoors. The American cockroach is the largest household invading roach in the United States and prefers a more outdoor life.

Despite their differences, like all cockroaches, they are highly adaptable and have learned the benefits of living near or with people. Both American and German cockroaches can become a significant threat after finding a way into our homes and businesses.

Cockroaches typically become a problem inside a structure after finding a way inside while out foraging for food (American cockroach) or introduced in something like a delivery box, grocery bag, furniture, or appliance (German cockroach). Once inside, they take cover in dark, tight spaces, hiding during the day and emerging at night to scavenge whatever food sources are available. These cockroaches prefer damp, warm areas and reside near or in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.

Cockroaches are unwelcome pests as they breed quickly, are difficult to control, and contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites that make people ill. Their presence also puts children at risk of developing asthma, and they trigger allergy-like symptoms in many people.

The following tips will help you protect your Southern California property from becoming a home to unwelcome cockroaches:

  • Eliminate excess moisture by repairing leaky pipes and fixtures. Keep crawl spaces well-ventilated and use dehumidifiers to dry out damp areas like the basement.
  • Get rid of entry points into your home by sealing cracks in the foundation, repairing loose siding or shingles, and placing weather stripping around windows and doors.
  • Empty trashcans in your home each day. Place the trash outside on containers with lids. Make sure trash is picked up from your property each week.
  • Since roaches feed at night, each evening, make sure to vacuum floors, wipe down counters, wash dishes, and put leftover food away.
  • Always inspect deliveries for signs of cockroaches before bringing the boxes, bags, or pieces of furniture into your home.
  • Get the best cockroach control in Los Angeles County from Kat's Pest Solutions!

Mosquitoes

mosquito biting a hand

Mosquitoes are biting pests; females consume blood meals from people and animals to produce viable eggs. Mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous animals in the world because of the diseases they carry and transmit to both people and animals. Mosquitoes spread West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, dengue, and chikungunya. They also spread parasitic heartworms to dogs and cats. Mosquitoes are problematic, dangerous pests, take care around them, and take the steps necessary to limit their numbers on your property.

If you have large numbers of mosquitoes on your property, there is likely a source of standing water in your yard or near it. Females lay eggs on top of standing water, and once the larvae hatch and develop into adults, they tend to stay around where they hatched. Things that breeding sites for mosquitoes include buckets, flowerpots, clogged gutters, tree stumps, tarps, trash, and brush piles.

Mosquitoes are also attracted to properties with lots of flowering vegetation as plant nectar is the primary food source for mosquitoes (male and female). During the day’s heat, they like to rest on properties with tall grass, lots of trees, and overgrown vegetation to escape the heat.

The following tips will help you protect your Southern California property from becoming a home to unwelcome mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate any and all areas of standing water around your property.
  • Store containers that collect water upside down when not in use- buckets, wading pools, flower pots, etc.
  • Remove tree stumps and other natural containers from your yard that collect water and act as a breeding site.
  • Clean up brush piles, overgrown landscaping, and other yard debris mosquitoes could use as a place to rest.
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your home by keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible. Place screens in doors and windows.

Rodents

a little rat up close

Rodents crave food, shelter, and water. They are opportunistic and take advantage of any property that provides them with their basic needs. They stay as long as food and shelter continue to be available, becoming a bigger and bigger problem each day. Preventing issues with rodents is difficult because though they are wild animals, many species have learned to rely on people for survival. Some of the most common rodent invaders living in our area include roof rats, Norway rats, house mice, and field mice.

All rodents have a pair of front incisors that continuously grow throughout their lifetime. Rodents are continually chewing on things they come across to keep the front teeth from overgrowing. In our homes and yards, their chewing habits are dangerous and cause damage to wires, pipes, cables, and more. They also chew on things like furniture, clothing, boxes, walls, and other personal items.

Other reasons why these pests are unwanted are because rodents spread disease, contaminating food, and bring with them parasites (fleas, ticks, and mites). Rodents thrive in areas of warmth, moisture, and shelter, making it common for them to nest near kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and inside attics.

The following tips will help you protect your Southern California property from becoming a home to unwelcome rodents:

  • Cut out a rodent’s access into your home by inspecting its exterior and repairing any cracks and crevices discovered. Place weather stripping around windows and doors and make sure screens are securely in place.
  • Eliminate access to food by keeping tight-fitting lids on trashcans, compost bins, and outdoor eating areas free of debris. Remove bird feeders and pick up uneaten pet food each evening.
  • Get rid of access to water by repairing clogged drains, leaky pipes, and drippy hoses.
  • Reduce hiding and nesting spots by maintaining your lawn and landscape and removing debris from your yard. Inside your home, keep storage areas neat and organized. Store personal items in plastic containers with locking lids, not cardboard boxes.
  • Get the best rodent control in Los Angeles County from Kat's Pest Solutions!

Spiders

a black widow on a web

Black widow spiders and brown widow spiders are species of spiders that live throughout Southern California. They and other spiders are predators and mainly live outside in gardens, fields, wooded areas, and yards. They live in places where there are lots of insects to hunt and feed on. In gardens, spiders help reduce the number of pests that like to feed on our plants and crops. However, when they decide to move into other areas of our yards or inside our homes, they quickly become unwanted.

The biggest reason spiders are living on your property or in your home is to follow prey (insects). When insects move indoors, spiders will follow. They also move indoors when looking for dark, quiet places to lay their eggs. Common entry points for both spiders and the insects they are feeding on include vents, gaps around windows and doors, cracks in the foundation, torn screens, and holes along roof soffits. . The more insects you have living in your yard or home, the more likely you will experience issues with spiders and other predatory pests.

Most species of spiders though intimidating to look at, pose us no real harm. Most spiders including the brown widow spider are considered nuisance pests. However, some spiders living in our area, like the black widow spider do pose dangers to people as their venom is strong enough to trigger health problems. Spiders are reclusive and prefer to stay away from people, bites are rare and are usually the result of accidental contact with a spider. Reaching into a box, moving a piece of outdoor furniture, and gardening are common ways people come into contact with spiders.

The following tips will help you protect your Southern California property from becoming a home to unwelcome spiders:

  • Keep the grass cut short and maintain shrubs and other landscaping.
  • Place screens in open windows and doors.
  • Caulk openings in exterior walls and the foundation of your home.
  • Place door sweeps on exterior doors, cover vents, place caps on chimneys, and seal gaps and roof intersections.
  • Regularly vacuum and dust your home. Keep storage areas free of clutter and excess debris.
  • Switch out outdoor lightbulbs with LED lights, which are less attractive to insects.
  • Eliminate excess moisture from in and around your home. Water attracts many insects-fix leaky pipes, don’t overwater gardens, and use dehumidifiers to keep basements dry.

Stinging Insects

a mud dauber gathering mud

Eco-important pests, stinging insects like bees help to pollinate plants. Predatory species like wasps, hornets, and mud daubers help control populations of insects like mosquitoes, aphids, flies, and more. Stinging insects may vary in size, color, and temperament, but they all have a stinger extending from the abdomen.

The venom-filled stingers help some to paralyze prey and all to defend themselves and nests against threats. Their stings also make these pests a danger to people and why we don’t want stinging insect nests in our yards or on our homes or outbuildings.

The venom stinging insects have is strong enough to trigger allergic reactions, sometimes life-threatening reactions. Also, whether you are allergic or not to the venom, nobody wants to deal with the pain of being stung by angry bees, wasps, or hornets. Stinging insects live, breed, and feed outside; they are opportunistic and nest on any property that suits their needs.

Most like to place their nest in sheltered areas that protect them from predators. Common nesting sites include ground holes, tree limbs, shrubs, roof overhangs, the underside of decks or porches, behind window shutters, and under mailboxes or grills. Sometimes they will exploit openings into a home and build a nest in the attic, chimney, or wall void. When it comes to dealing with a stinging insect nest, it is always best to partner with a professional to protect you and your family from their dangerous and painful stings!

The following tips will help you protect your Southern California property from becoming a home to unwelcome stinging insects:

  • Trim back shrubbery and tree branches from your home.
  • Maintain your lawn and make sure to keep the grass cut short.
  • Limit the amount of flowering vegetation planted near your home.
  • Fill in ground holes and remove fallen trees, trees stumps, and other debris that could act as nesting sites.
  • Seal spaces in exterior walls, holes along the roofline, and cover vents.
  • Place screens in open windows and doors to keep stinging insects out.

If you're looking to protect your Southern California property from stinging insects and other common pests, reach out to us at Kat’s Pest Solutions today to learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control solutions!

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