Pinpoint Pest Control Blog

Integrated Pest Management Serving North San Diego County for over 40 Years.

How Ants Enter Your Home

Given their tiny size and tenacious nature, ants are easily one of the most pervasive pests. Once a scout ant finds a viable food source and reports back to the colony, it opens the floodgates for an endless stream of foraging ants to make their way into your home.

Understanding how ants enter your home is vital to slowing their advance and saving your property from undue damage. Pinpoint Full Service Pest Control is here to help you identify and educate you on this phenomenon. Here, we will discuss what to look for when you start to notice ants in your home so that you can take proactive measures to keep them outside where they belong.

How Ants Create Trails

As mentioned, ants often deploy scouts to find food sources and efficient routes to get to them. If allowed to make it back to the colony, they create a scent trail for other ants to follow. If you notice a large amount of ants in your kitchen or elsewhere in the home, study their movements and see if there is an organized line they follow. This will identify areas to clean, as removing the scent trail disrupts their movements.

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What You Need to Know About Silverfish

Don’t let the name fool you — silverfish aren’t aquatic animals living far from your house. They are dangerous small insects that can destroy wooden surfaces in your home. The main issue with ridding yourself of silverfish infestations is that they’re particularly difficult to spot and identify. Luckily, a little bit of information goes a long way. Here’s what you need to know about silverfish to identify and prevent them.

Silverfish Appearance

Silverfish are tiny, about 12-19 millimeters in length. You can spot them by their small, wingless, carrot-shaped bodies and the three filaments coming from their tail. They’re difficult to find since they are mostly nocturnal and run away from light. But, they often get stuck on smooth surfaces since they can’t grip and climb them. If you can get a hold of one, silverfish leave a metallic sheen on your finger to help you identify them. 

Silverfish Habitat and Diet

Since silverfish love the dark, they are mostly found in basements and attics. Sometimes, they can be found in bathrooms and kitchens since they also thrive in humid environments. They tend to hang around areas with lots of exposed, unfinished wood, which is their main source of food. Sometimes silverfish will destroy fabrics, but they mainly eat wood products and the glue that holds them together. Any places where you store cardboard boxes, like garages, are also possible breeding grounds for these insects. 

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The Dangers of Mosquitoes

If someone asked you what the most dangerous animal on earth was, what would you say? It may come to a surprise to know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the mosquito to be “one of the world’s most deadly animals”.

Mosquitoes may look like your average, annoying pest, but they are not. In fact, they can be quite dangerous at times. Let’s take a closer look at mosquitoes and the dangers they pose.

Male vs Female Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are different from other insects because males and females go after different feeds. They both require water and will feed on nectar. However, when females go through the reproductive cycle, they seek out blood to supplement their diet with more protein.

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Pest Control for Property Rentals

Pests are an unwelcome addition no matter what type of property they find their way into. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to keep your tenants and property safe. Pests can cause many problems for everyone. They disrupt your current tenants and can reflect poorly on you as a landlord. You need to work together with your tenants to help prevent and eliminate pests.

Who is Responsible for Pest Control?

When it comes to pest control, everyone is responsible:

While building maintenance is primarily the responsibility of the landlord, tenants have to shoulder some of it as well. Tenants are the ones living there and their actions may be attracting pests. If they are leaving food out or failing to take out the trash, they could be expected to pay for pest control. If the tenants' lease agreements state that they are required to clean and maintain the inside of their units, this conclusion is verifiable.

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California’s Most Invasive Spiders

The most invasive spiders in California are the brown widow spider, the black widow spider the desert recluse. These spiders are large and very noticeable, so if you have one in your home, you will definitely notice. These spiders thrive in warm climates, which is why they have spread throughout California.

The Brown Widow Spider

The brown widow spider was first found in California in 2000. Today, the species is common throughout Central and Southern California. The brown widow is originally from Africa although it does have established populations in parts of Australia, Japan and some Caribbean Islands.

The brown widow is a combination of tan and brown colors along with black accents. Its bite is very minor in comparison to that of a black widow, although humans can still experience painful symptoms. Headaches and nausea are very common if bitten by this spider, and some people need to be hospitalized because they lose consciousness.

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5 Most Common Rodents You Can Find in Your Home

A rodent in the home is never a welcomed sight. They are small, fast and can get to just about anywhere in the house. Plus, they can be a little gross. There is a reason people usually screech when they see a rat or mouse in their home. Unfortunately, they are all too common of a pest. But, how do you know what kind of rodents you are dealing with? There are all different types of rodents in the world. However, some appear more often than others. So, let’s take a look at some of the more common ones you may come across in your home.

House Mouse

The house mouse is far and away the most common rodent you will encounter, hence the name. >They have that typical “mouse look” to them with large circular ears, a small nose, and a tail as long as their body. They feed on almost anything, which allows them to survive in a wide array of conditions. A house mouse is not particularly dangerous or harmful, just fast and curious.

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Tips for Industrial Pest Control

All industrial buildings are different. Each creates different products, offers different services and employs different people. Because of this, there is no one size fits all protocol when it comes to pest control. Keep reading for five helpful pest control tips.

1-Seal Cracks Around the Building

Most industrial buildings are large and therefore it can be difficult to know if you have a pest control issue. You most likely will have unwanted critters coming into your building at some point, but you can still be proactive in keeping your building protected. An effective way to go about this is to make sure that any holes or cracks are repaired and any gaps in the walls, ceilings or around doors and windows are sealed.

2-Keep Entryways Closed

This may seem like an obvious solution, but there may be times when doors are left open for a longer amount of time due to receiving a delivery. Perhaps you leave doors and/or windows open to allow a better circulation of airflow. Unfortunately, this can allow unwanted pests inside. Rather than leaving doors and windows open, look into HVAC systems or fans to increase the flow of air.

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The Best Shampoos for Dealing With Lice

Lice are common pests that cause irritating symptoms and can be a hassle to fully get rid of. Fortunately, there are affordable shampoo products available that are specifically designed to deal with a lice problem. The following are some of the best shampoos for dealing with lice.

Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse

Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse is a shampoo that is designed to kill lice and their eggs, as well as preventing reinfestation for up to 14 days. This product is also safe to use on children that are over two months old and has the ability to kill lice that are resistant to traditional lice treatments.

RID Lice Treatment

RID Lice Treatment is a three-step lice removal kit that makes it simple to comb lice out of hair. This product can also be used within your home on mattresses, furniture and the interior of a car. Simply removing lice from your hair may not always be enough to deal with the problem completely. Removing them from different areas in your home makes it much less likely for you to experience a reinfestation.

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The Best Methods for Storing Food Away From Pests

Pests that invade your home will have a high priority on reaching your food supply and eating it. This is why it’s so important to properly store your food, so pests will have a much harder time getting to it. The following are the best methods for storing food away from pests.

Invest in Plastic Containers

The cardboard boxes that most dry food comes in is fairly easy for pests to break into. Store any dry food such as cereals, rice, crackers and beans in a sealable plastic container. There are plenty of cheap options for plastic containers that will prevent pests from getting into your food.

Keep Your Kitchen Dry

Pests thrive off of environments that are high in moisture. Kitchens are notorious for accumulating moisture in ways that you wouldn’t expect, such as humidity from cooking with heat, leaky refrigerators and sinks. After cleaning up your kitchen, use a dry mop on the floor and wipe off your stoves and sinks to remove any moisture.

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Fumigation: What to Expect

A fumigation is a big job that you will need to prepare for to get the most out of it. You may not know what to expect. Read on to see what you have to anticipate when it comes to a fumigation. It will be a busy time, so it is better do the most you can to prepare.

Biggest Preparation Steps

Fumigation involves harmful gases so it is important to do everything you can to prepare. First and foremost, everyone and all the animals and plants will need to be away from the house while it occurs and for some time afterwards.

See ahead of time where you can bring your animals. Ask friends or professional pet sitters if they can board you, or find animal friendly accomodations.

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Bee Behavior in the Fall in California

Now that we are getting into the fall, you may be noticing that change in allergies that a lot of us are having here in sunny Southern California. With the changes in weather, we also see a change in the behavior of pests and bees in the San Diego area.

What’s interesting is that due to the warm climate that we experience throughout the fall, bees behave differently in Calfornia than they do throughout the rest of the country.

Bees in Southern California

What is different about bee populations and behaviors in San Diego and other regions of Southern California when compared to the rest of the country? If you are used to having bees around your house and your property, you may have noticed that your bee population is growing, and not shrinking.

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Dealing with Spiders in the Fall

For many, the onset of fall is the best time of the year. The leaves change into crisp, golden colors and spread themselves along the ground. Football games, bonfires, pumpkin spice-flavored anything, it’s all here. As we adapt and change with the seasons, however, so do our arachnid friends. Spiders change their habits just as any species does when summer turns to fall, and some of those habits aren’t thought of too fondly by humans. Let’s take a look at what spiders are up to when autumn arrives.

Mating Season

While not the true mating season for all arachnids, the San Diego area has a couple of types of spiders that seek to lay their eggs during the fall. This includes orb weaver spiders, California Ebony Tarantulas and San Diego Bronze Tarantulas as well as house spiders. Male spiders will emerge from their burrows looking for a mating partner. For the tarantula species, the females will actually sometimes attempt to eat the male spider after mating, forcing the males to flee quickly. The orb weaver females typically die within months of laying eggs, so they are alone till hatching in the spring. If there are more spiders around your home in the autumn months, it’s probably because they are looking for a mate.

It’s Not the Cold

Most people think their homes are invaded by spiders because the temperature is dipping outside. This is a common misconception. Spiders are cold-blooded creatures, therefore getting to a warmer spot indoors is not a priority for them. Again, they are simply looking to partake in mating season, which is where you will see the influx of arachnids in your home. Fortunately, there are ways to limit the invasion.

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What To Expect After You Have A Pest Evaluation

Pest evaluations can be nerve-wracking. Not only are you going to have a stranger look through your house, but you also have to worry about what the verdict will be. However, if you have a pest infestation, it’s better to have someone take a look at your problem as soon as possible, then try to delay the inevitable. When a pest control specialist visits your house to look for signs of pests, here is how the process will go.

The Evaluation

When the pest control professional comes to your house, they will usually make a brief introduction and give you some time to voice any concerns. Then they will begin their search of the home. They’ll often start with an entry point inspection, as this is the most important part of defending your home from pests. The professional will check around doors, pipes, windows, crawl spaces and any other places where the outside meets the inside.

Then they will do a yard examination and search for overgrown lawns, branches touching the house, and other potential opportunities for pest infestations. They will conclude with a moisture check, using a humidity sensor around the darker, less aerated parts of the house to see how much water is in the air.

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Safeguarding Your Home From Fleas and Ticks

Those of us with pets are more susceptible to fleas and ticks. These pests attach to your pet, which then enters your home. Once the pests are inside, it takes much more effort to get rid of them. You can take some preventative measures to ensure that fleas and ticks do not enter your home.

Flea and Tick Pet Medication

The first step in preventing fleas and ticks from entering your home is stopping them from getting on your pets. There are a couple of different pet medications that can help deter these pests. You will give the medication at the same time every month to keep its effectiveness. One type of medicine is a chewable tablet. Another type is a liquid which you place on the skin of your pet along the back. Another common treatment is a flea and tick collar. The collar contains the medication which soaks into your pet’s skin. You can purchase any of the medications from a pet store or your vet.

If you want to ensure that your pet is flea and tick free, you may want to use a combination of the liquid or chewable tablet and the collar. You will also want to check your pet frequently for fleas and ticks, especially during the peak season.

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How Clutter Can Attract Pests

Clutter will eventually spring up in just about any home. Most of the time, this occurs in places like basements, closets, attics, and other areas that we use for storage around the house. Since these are places that we keep clothing, furniture, and seasonal items for the home, it is easy for clutter to build up in these areas, not being touched for months at a time.

The downside to having packed storage areas like this in the house is that pests can often be attracted to these spaces. Here are a few of the top reasons that clutter can attract pests in your home.

1) Shelter

Pests love to seek shelter in clutter. They usually nest or hide in dark, cluttered spaces in piles of clothing, boxes, papers, or furniture. Since they typically like to huddle clutter-filled areas of the house that aren’t used by us that often, it can be months or years before we realize that we have a pest infestation.

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Your Summer Solution to Pesky Ant Invasions

Summer will soon be here in sunny San Diego. With summer comes hot days and ants. The heat has ants clamoring for water sources which evaporate quickly in the dry, warm air. So pesky ants send out patrols to find the best water source. The source usually means your home.

There are many myths about what you should do.

Here are the proper steps to take in protecting your living spaces against invading ants.

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Don’t Get Stung by Bees and Wasps

Few things can ruin time spent outdoors as much as being stung by bees or wasps. Stings are painful and uncomfortable. If you have an allergy, stings can quickly escalate into a serious medical issue. Put these tips to use to do your best to avoid being stung by bees and wasps.

Reduce Scents

Bees and wasps are pollinators. They seek out flowers for pollen, and they find flowers largely based on scent. Avoid wearing strongly scented body spray, perfume or cologne and opt for using unscented body lotion and deodorant.

Food can also entice bees and wasps to come around, so be careful if eating or bringing a drink outside. Sweet smelling sodas and juices attract bees, so pay attention to cups and opened bottles or cans.

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Spiders in San Diego: What Spiders Live Near You?

In San Diego there are two spiders that you need to watch out for, the Brown Widow, Black Widow and the Desert Recluse. If you’ve ever stumbled across these creatures and managed to walk away unscathed then consider yourself lucky. While their appearance is frightening their bite is much worse.

These are the spiders you want to avoid at all costs.

The Brown Widow

Surprisingly, this spider was not normally in our area until around 2000 but since there has become a common site in many areas. Similar to the Black Widow the Brown Widow Spider has its hourglass marking is on the underside of its abdomen and is orange in appearance. With a muted brown color to its body it’s easy to tell the difference between this spider and the Black Widow.

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Good Bees Vs. Bad Bees

Are there good bees and bad bees? The answer is yes, but it depends on the situation. If you are talking about honey bees pollinating flowers for the benefits for nature, there is no doubt that bees are good. But if you have a nest in or around your home, the answer is that not all bees are bad.

Good Bees

When bees are alone in the wild, they are good. Bees work to pollinate the flowers and trees. They help make the flowers and plants bloom. Through the pollination process, bees produce that sweet honey.

Bad Bees

When you are dealing with stinging insects, you need to approach the situation with caution. Not only do bees sting, but they can also create havoc on your home. Many people do not know how much damage occurs when a nest is in or around your home.

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Common Pests in Coastal Climates

At Pinpoint Pest Control, we have been helping our North San Diego County neighbors get rid of pests for over 40 years, which means we have seen a few things! We pride ourselves on being skillful, efficient and quick at removing all types of pests. Here are a few of the common pests we see in coastal climates.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are common in California due to the high volume of tourists that carry bedbugs unknowingly in their luggage. Some people don’t react at all to the bites while others develop blisters and painful, itchy red spots. Bites don’t have any long-term effects, but serious or recurring infestations have been known to cause anxiety, stress and insomnia. They can survive for up to a year without feeding, so you may not realize that you still have them if you try to get rid of them yourself. It’s important to protect yourself and your family from the physical and mental effects of bedbugs.

Ants

Carpenter ants are not very common in our area, but we do see issues with them occasionally in the foothills in Ramona or Julian. Commonly thought to eat wood (they do not), they actually tunnel into wood to make their homes. They are a challenge to control because their nests are hard to find. Many pest companies will kill the scout ants but not the nest, leaving the home open to more attacks.

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