10 Common Household Pests in California to Watch Out For

Pest issues in homes can be very tiresome to deal with. Not only do household pests cause diseases, they can be responsible for a lot of property damage around your home. This can come with heavy financial loses for you, and put your family in turmoil because of the diseases these pests may bring in.

 

household pests

Here are the most common household pests in California to watch out for:

1) ANTS
The most common ant found in California homes is the Argentine ant or the Linepithema Humile (formerly Iridomyrmex humilis). These ants, originating from South America, become adept in living in houses and cities — they create networks to weave in and out of houses and water pipes. They don’t pick fights with their neighboring ant colonies, like their relatives in South America. Instead, they exist like peaceful allies.

When They Are Active
● These ants may be active throughout the year thanks to the weather in California but they tend to come inside your homes in the fall and winter time, seeking the warmth and shelter of your cozy home.

Places They are Found In
● You will find plenty of Argentine ants in your kitchen.
● They are attracted to sweets, tuna, eggs, event other pests like dead spiders and rodents.
● Argentine ants are scavengers so they will prey on any organic matter they can find and
they’re attracted to humid places so they can be found in gardens too.

How Their Presence Is Dangerous
● A colony of ants can render all the food in your kitchen useless by contaminating it.


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Prevention
● Clean up standing water by regularly cleaning out flower pots, grill covers, and birdbaths in your garden.
● Clean food spills in your kitchen immediately.
● Seal small cracks and openings, since Argentine ants can enter buildings through miniscule gaps.
● Store firewood and building material away from the house since they can be potential nesting places for ants.
● Argentine ants tend to bounce back after being eliminated so make sure you consult a professional pest control service.

Diseases Caused
● Argentine ants only bite people when provoked, and they don’t even have stingers.
● There is more risk associated with food contamination. These ants can crawl into food and can spread food-borne diseases like dysentery and e-coli.

2) FLEAS
Fleas are common pests in homes with pets. The most common source of fleas is animals — not only your pets but also strays that pay a visit to your backyard. Fleas may hop onto your pet’s fur from another pet or infested dirt or grass. Fleas stay on an animal’s underbelly, so they can easily be transferred to your carpet when your pet lies down.

When They Are Active
● Fleas are more suited to summer and spring season in California. These pests love warm, humid climates.

Places They Are Found In
● Since fleas like to stay out of direct sunlight, you can find them in shady nooks and crannies of the house.
● Fleas are generally found in shaded areas of the house, like small cracks, and dog houses.

How is Their Presence Dangerous?
● Fleas can be dangerous to pets since they can carry tapeworms.
● Their bite and intense itching cause intense irritation.
● Flea saliva can cause skin dermatitis, which appears on patches of skin as itchy bumps or rash.
● The inhalation of flea feces can also cause asthmatic-type reactions in some people.

Prevention
● Deep cleaning is essential to get rid of flea larve.
● Make sure you use your vacuum in shaded areas of the house. Vacuum under your furniture and in all the hidden areas of the house.
● If you live in a heavily carpeted house, steam cleaning is necessary after vacuuming.

Diseases Caused
● Fleas don’t serve as carriers to diseases that affect human beings.

3) BED BUGS
Bed bugs get their notorious name from feeding on human blood while they are sleeping in the bed. They also inject you with a substance that prevents you from feeling a bite. Since bed bugs are the size of a poppy seed, it is unlikely you will notice them.

When They Are Active
● Bed bugs are most active in warm, moist weather like summer and spring. They can go dormant in cold winter months.

Places They Are Found In
● Bed bugs survive in cracks and crevices. Bed bugs can be found behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, and in furniture crevices.
● Bed bugs can also survive in luggage or seats of cars, buses, and trains.

How Their Presence Is Dangerous
● They can cause red, bloody welts due to their bites.
● They can attack your pets too.

Prevention
● Bed bugs can make their way to your home from your luggage, clothing or bedding. They can also hitchhike their way to your home via your pet’s fur or its bedding.
● Always check second-hand furniture like mattresses and box-springs before bringing it home. Keep the furniture in your house clean.
● Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of a bed bug infestation, they can be carried to your bed too.
● Vacuum suitcases after you are back from a trip.
● A residential pest control service is necessary to get rid of bed bugs.

Diseases Caused
● Bed bugs don’t act as a vector for any dangerous diseases, but their bites can cause red and itchy welts.
● Bed bugs get their notorious name from feeding on human blood while they are sleeping in bed.
● They also inject you with a substance that prevents you from feeling a bite.

4) COCKROACHES
The most common roach found indoors is the German cockroach which is attracted to water.

When They Are the Most Active
● German cockroaches are the most active at night since it’s darker and cooler.
● Cockroaches are active throughout the year.
Places They Are Found In
● Since German cockroaches are attracted to water, they are often found in kitchens and bathrooms.
How Their Presence is Dangerous
● German cockroaches are notorious for leaving behind a trail of disease-causing pathogens wherever they go.
● They can cause food contamination.
● In large numbers, they can produce a foul odor.

Prevention
● Make sure you clean up food scraps lying in the kitchen.
● Declutter the kitchen.
● Fix water leakages since cockroaches are attracted to moisture.
● Don’t leave unwashed utensils overnight.
● Seal the entry points in your home that might be hard to spot with the naked eye.
● It is necessary to get rid of even a single cockroach as soon as you spot it. Cockroaches release a pheromone in their droppings which acts as a signal for other cockroaches, telling them it is safe to make this place their home. So if you see any single cockroach, it might be a sign of a full-blown cockroach infestation in the future.

Diseases Caused
● They are often vectors for Salmonella and E. coli and can cause food poisoning and dysentery.
● People can have allergic reactions to cockroach fecal wastes, cast skins, and saliva.
● Symptoms include rashes and breathing issues.

5) TERMITES
Formosan termites, a specific species of subterranean termites have started infesting homes in California. This species doesn’t require soil to survive.

When They Are Most Active
● Termites can occur throughout the year, and their activity increases during the spring and summer months.

Places They Are Found In
● Since termites are attracted to cool and dark places, they are most often found in wood.
Formosan termites that feed on cellulose-based food, can be found in wooden framing of your home, furniture, and hardwood flooring.

How Their Presence is Dangerous
● Termites can cause small pinpoint holes in your drywall.
● You will notice a termite infestation when you begin to notice the tiles on your walls or floors are loosening.
● Uneven or bubbling paint, that causes moisture build-up, can be due to termites.
● A full-blown termite infestation can cause structural damage to your wooden home, so it is best to eliminate any signs of termites with pest control before it destroys your home.

Prevention
● Eliminate any standing or pooling water from your home.
● Make sure that scrap wood is not touching the damp ground.
● Make sure your attic and basement are well ventilated. Adequate airflow prevents the buildup of moisture, which attracts termites.

Diseases Caused
● Termites don’t carry any dangerous diseases.

6) Silverfish
Silverfish get their name from their silvery-gray color, and their habit of having their tail ends wiggle behind them like fishes.

When They Are Most Active
● Silverfish are more active during humid, warm months of summer and spring. They are more active during nights.

Places They Are Found In
● Silverfishes are most commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.
● You can also spot silverfish activity behind skirting boards, window and door frames.

How Their Presence Is Dangerous
● They can eat foods like cereal and wheat flour.
● They can also damage books by feeding on their surface.
● They also attack leatherware and synthetic fabrics.

Prevention
● Repair leaky pipes and faucets.
● Use a dehumidifier.
● Clean under sinks.
● Seal all the cracks that you notice.
● Throwaway unwanted cardboard boxes, piles of newspapers, and books.

Diseases Caused
● Silverfishes do not transmit diseases but might trigger an allergic reaction in people.
● There are often misconceptions about their appearance, and people often mistake them to be poisonous.
● Might cause an allergic reaction in some people.

7) EARWINGS
Apartments and homes become an unintentional host to earwigs for two reasons. These insects can invade by accident through human activities or they can actively seek to escape inclement outdoor conditions in your space.

When They Are Active
● Earwigs prefer dark, cool and moist areas as their nesting places.
● They go into hibernation in winter. They can dig more than 5 feet under the ground to evade cold.

Places They Are Found In
● Earwigs like staying in enclosed places with moisture like garages, kitchen, bathrooms, and basements.
● They prefer homes with dirt floor crawl spaces and warm places.

How Their Presence Is Dangerous
● Earwigs emit a foul-smelling, yellow color liquid that can stink up the whole place. However, neither this liquid nor earwigs are dangerous for your health.

Prevention
To prevent earwigs from entering your home, you can take the following measures:
● Keep windows and doors closed.
● Make sure the minor cracks in your house are sealed.
● Use a dehumidifier or fan in the kitchen, garage and basement or make sure that these places are dry.

Diseases Caused
● It is a myth that earwigs can get into your ears and lay eggs in your brain. These pests do not carry any diseases that are dangerous to human beings.

8) PAPER WASPS
If you’ve noticed paper nests resembling inverted umbrellas in and around your house, you are playing host to a colony of paper wasps.

When They Are Active
● These pests are more active during the spring and summer, when the flowers start to bloom.

Places They Are Found in
● Paper Wasps nest in sheltered areas like eaves of houses and wood fences.
● Sometimes they also nest under play equipment.
● Make sure to call a professional pest control service if you think you have a paper wasp infestation at hand.

Prevention
● Periodic inspection of porch ceilings, windows, doorframes, roof eaves, attic
● Use essential oils like peppermint, clove, and lemongrass oil as paper wasps repellents.

How Their Presence is Dangerous
● They aren’t dangerous other than their stings. Their stings can be very painful and can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Diseases Caused
● Paper Wasps are not carriers of diseases dangerous to humans.

9) MILLIPEDES
Generally, millipedes can’t survive indoors, but under moist conditions, they can call your house their home.

When Are They Most Active
● Millipedes generally become dormant in the colder winter months.

Places They Are Found In
● They are found mostly in gardens, in moist soil, and storage spaces.

How Their Presence Is Dangerous
● Millipedes are generally unobtrusive and don’t bite or sting when threatened.
● They release a sticky substance when distressed that can cause an allergic reaction.

Prevention
● Make sure compost piles, firewood, and stones are away from your house.
● Create a band of gravel between the foundation of your home and any flower beds that touch the structure.
● Seal off any accessible areas that are made of brick and stone with copper mesh or steel wool.
● Make sure crawl spaces or areas under the home are properly ventilated.

Diseases Caused
Millipedes don’t cause any harmful diseases.

10) RATS
There are two troublesome rat species in California, the roof rat, and Norway rat. Their identification is necessary to know which control strategy to implement.

Norway Rat: These sewer rats are larger than roof rats. Their burrows are found along building foundations, beneath rubbish or woodpiles, and in moist areas like gardens. These rats generally reside in the basement or ground floor.

Roof Rat: Roof rats are agile climbers and usually nest above the ground and in enclosed spaces in buildings like attics, walls and false ceilings.

When They Are Most Active
● Rats are active throughout the year.

Places They Are Found In
● Rats can be found throughout the house, especially in the kitchen.
How Their Presence Is Dangerous
● Other than causing diseases, rats can cause structural damage to your property by chewing through wires, clothing and books.

Prevention
● Make sure the house and garden is tidy.
● Less clutter, less places to hide.
● Don’t keep garbage bags in your house for a longer period.
● Make sure you clean scraps of food.

Diseases Caused
● Rats urine, droppings or saliva can cause many diseases. The most dangerous is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).
● Rat bites can cause rat-bite fever, which may be severe enough to warrant hospitalization.

It is best to consult a professional pest control service the moment you see any sign of pests in your house. Take Care Termite in Tracy, California, is known for its effective pest control services. Take Care Termite can help you save your family from catching any pest borne damages and prevent any financial losses that these pests might cause.

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