Pinpoint Pest Control Blog

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

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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The Unknown Side Effects of Rats in the Home

Throughout history, humans and rats have coexisted together to the benefit of vermin everywhere. As people moved around the world and started colonizing different parts of the globe, rats followed suit as an easy way to get plenty of food and shelter on our behalf.

These days, rats are everywhere, and they are just as much of a nuisance today as they were hundreds of years ago. However, while having rats in your home is undoubtedly an unwelcome idea, today we want to talk about some of the hidden, unknown dangers that can come from having an infestation take hold.

Property Damage

Knowing that rats are hidden within your walls is one thing, but once you realize how much damage they are doing to those walls, it can be a nightmare.

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How Spiders Benefit Your Homes Ecosystem

When people see a spider crawling across the bathroom floor, they usually don’t think of it as a natural part of a home’s ecosystem. Instead, the immediate reaction is often to kill it with the first object they find. However, spiders are not the problem people see them as. They rarely bite, they don’t destroy property, and generally, they keep to themselves. Not only that but left to their own devices, spiders can actually help you take out the pests in your house which cause the real damage.

Spiders in Our Homes

Spiders have been living in human-made structures since humans have been making structures. Spiders have been our roommates for centuries, therefore when someone catches a spider and brings it outside to put it in 'its natural habitat,' they are actually taking it out of its natural habitat and bringing it into a foreign location, as since spiders have grown accustomed to indoor environments. Spiders should not be thought of as intruders. In fact, spiders are critical for keeping your home free and clear of pests such as earwigs, mosquitoes, moths, roaches and houseflies, creatures which can cause tangible harm to you and your household.

While spiders make great and helpful guests, it is understandable if you don’t want to pass by them on a daily basis. Instead of squashing them or throwing them outside, you can create designated areas for spiders in places where you don’t have to look at them. Just clean out cobwebs in cabinets, under furniture and around lamps and blinds, delegating them to more discreet locations such as basements, garages, attics and crawl spaces. Also, caulk any openings near main entrances where spiders may be able to get through and repair broken window screens and doors. This way, you can experience all the benefits of spiders without having to deal with them directly.

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The Costs of Letting Pests Take Over Your Home

If you’ve noticed pests in your home, you’re likely uneasy with their presence. While it’s common knowledge that insects, rodents and other intruders can carry health impacts, most people don’t consider the financial implications that pests can have on your home.

F&W Pest Control would like to tell you that you’re not alone in ridding your home of dangerous, damaging pests. We can help you remove existing infestations as well as develop a regular maintenance schedule that will help prevent a recurrence.

Read on to learn how common pests can end up costing you a lot more than your peace of mind, and then contact us today for a consultation. We take pride in our excellent customer service and look forward to helping you protect your family and your investment.

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The Differences Between Mice and Rats

Mice and rats have several traits in common. These nocturnal creatures eat a wide range of foods and frequently gnaw on building materials. Nevertheless, the two rodents also differ in multiple ways. They don't look identical or engage in all of the same activities.

Appearance

An adult rat measures about 10 inches longer than a mouse. It has a thicker body and tail. Big rodents typically cause more damage and create sizable messes. However, a mouse can infiltrate your home or business with greater ease.

Mice have tiny triangular heads and pointy snouts. They also feature comparatively large ears. You might find them cute if they weren't trying to raid the pantry or shred your socks. On the other hand, most rats have big heads with a chunky appearance.

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How to Treat a Bee Sting

If you are the victim of a bee's sting, you may notice that the area becomes red and swollen. The stinger may cause you to feel sudden pain in the area where you were stung. Provided that you are not allergic to the toxins emitted by bees, an occasional sting should not cause you to experience any serious medical issues.

In the case of a honeybee sting, the sting is more dangerous to the bee. After a honeybee stings you, the bee dies. The honeybee loses its life because its tiny digestive tract, nerves and muscles are intricately connected with the stinger. Consequently, the bee suffers from a rupture in its abdomen resulting in death.

If you are stung by a bee and break out in hives or experience severe itching, you are suffering from a severe allergic reaction requiring immediate medical attention. If you start to vomit or have diarrhea, go to the nearest emergency room right away. If you only experience a mild reaction, you may find relief by using one or more of the following home remedies:

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Did You Know Some Insects are an Endangered Species?

Although bugs can be a big-time nuisance, they are often quite fascinating. Like some animals, certain insects are currently on the verge of becoming extinct. Let’s take a look at some of today’s endangered insect species.

Goliath Bird-Eating Spider

As its name suggests, the Goliath bird-eating spider is a monster-sized spider. No other spider on the planet has a larger stature. In fact, you’ll need two hands to even hold it. From mice to small snakes, this humongous spider can be seen chowing down on a variety of different animals. Unfortunately, its population continues to dwindle with each passing year.

Kauai Cave Wolf Spider

Found in Hawaii, the Kauai cave wolf spider is a bit different from the typical wolf spider. Because the Kauai cave wolf spider lives in extremely dark environments, it doesn’t need to see. However, special sensory organs enable this eyeless spider to easily locate prey. Humans have now taken over the Kauai cave wolf spider’s habitat, which has caused it to become endangered.

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Keeping Pests out of Your Fourth of July Party

If you are looking forward to spending a fun and exciting summer with your friends and family, you are likely wondering what steps you can take to keep pests away from your Fourth of July party. Allowing pests to strike during your event will affect your guests in a negative way, and some of them might feel tempted to leave early. Since nobody wants pests to ruin the party, striving to keep them at bay is critical if you would like to keep everyone happy. You can discourage pests and secure your Fourth of July event without much trouble when you follow a proven path.

Clean Your Yard

A dirty yard makes it easy for pests to strike because they will have many places to hide. Cleaning the clutter from your yard, mowing your grass and removing standing bodies of water will reduce the number of pests that will crash your party. Mosquitoes won't have stagnant water for reproduction, and other pests will leave to find environments more favorable to their survival. If you want to get positive results when you use this step, you must clean your yard several days to a week before you plan to host your event.

Dealing With Bees and Wasps

Not many things will spoil the fun as much as getting stung by a bee or wasp when you are trying to enjoy the day. Pain, itching and skin irritation are the symptoms you can expect if you become the victim of a bee or wasp sting, but those who are allergic to the venom will have an even bigger problem. Cutting off the tops of 2-liter bottles, filling them with sugar water and replacing the top upside down creates the perfect bee and wasp trap. They will smell the tasty treat and want to get inside, but the bottle will trap and drown them.

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Treating a Bee or Wasp Sting

Those who spend time outdoors for work or fun will encounter bees, wasps and other stinging insects on occasion, but they won't always know what steps to take when they get stung. If you are the victim of a bee or wasp sting and want to reduce the pain, following the right steps and having a few tips on hand will help. Although stings will always cause some pain and mild discomfort, treating them properly will make the situation much more manageable, and this guide will show you where to start.

Bee or Wasp Sting Symptoms

Learning about the symptoms you can expect when a bee or wasp stings you is a great step in the right direction. These insects release venom into your skin when they attack, so you will notice a sharp pain followed by itching, redness and skin irritation.

You could be asking yourself how long the pain from the sting will last, and the answer depends on several factors. For most people, the pain will vanish within two hours, but swelling can last for several days. Those who are allergic to bee stings will notice life-threatening symptoms that require immediate attention.

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Prevent Ants From Getting Into Your Pantry

If you don't want to go to your pantry and discover an ant infestation when you least expect it, taking steps to keep ants at bay is vital. Ants will taint your food and create an unpleasant sight if you don't stop them from launching an invasion.

Keeping these insects out of your home is easier than getting rid of them after they make their way inside, so you must learn what attracts ants and how you can discourage them. Arming yourself with the right tips and information will allow you to protect your pantry without much trouble, and you will know you are on the right track.

Keep Your Pantry Clean

Cleaning your pantry on a regular basis is a powerful way to stop ants from causing problems for you and your family. Food sources will attract ants before you know it, and spills are like beacons that entice them. You can remove all of your items and wipe your pantry down with a nontoxic disinfectant when your goal is to avoid ant infestations.

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Understanding Yellowjackets and How to Prevent Getting Stung

A yellowjacket has a similar appearance to a bee or a wasp, but they are often much more aggressive. The sting that they deliver can also be very painful. If you're outside in the spring and summer when these flying pests are swarming around, there are a few things that you can do to avoid being stung by them. Most yellowjackets are social insects, which means that they like to swarm in large numbers. They are often seen around trash cans and other areas where food and beverages are on the ground or readily available. Avoid throwing any food outside so that yellowjackets aren't tempted to come around. If you have an event planned outside, you should keep foods and beverages covered to keep the insects away.

Know What To Do

If you do interact with a yellowjacket, it's important to stay as calm as you can. Don't agitate the insect, and don't try to swat at it or run because these actions can cause the pest to sting. If yellowjackets feel threatened, then they will usually sting. They can sting several times instead of only once like a bee. When yellowjackets are killed, they emit a hormone that lures other yellowjackets to the area. This means that one or two can quickly become a dozen or more if you are not careful in how you handle them. If there are yellowjackets on your property or you encounter several of them in one area, it is important to have them removed in a safe manner so that you and other people are not stung.

Any yellowjacket sting should be washed and cleaned as soon as possible. Monitor the area for any redness or swelling because many people are allergic to these pests without knowing until they are stung. You can put ice on the bite or an antihistamine to keep swelling to a minimum. Most yellowjackets will only live in their nest for a short time. When the weather turns colder, they tend to die off. If you see any kind of yellowjacket nest on your property, it's sometimes better to just wait until the fall or winter season if you don't want to handle the pests on your own, especially if they don't pose a direct threat to your home.

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Ant Control Myths

Are you trying to eradicate the ant colonies in your yard? Beware that unconventional solutions are practically useless, so they won't produce long-term results. What makes them useless is the fact that they are based on myths. Therefore, you can save yourself headaches by reaching out to a professional pest exterminator. Professionals are specially trained to deliver effective ant control. Here are the top myths that property owners often rely on.

The Boiling Water MythAnt Carrying Leaf

Using boiling water is like putting a small patch on a serious wound. The boiling water will help kill a lot of ants, but it won't stop the colony from expanding. Also, you will have to use this method on a regular basis to keep these critters at bay.

The Cinnamon Myth

For ants, cinnamon is totally unappetizing, so they will try to avoid anything that's covered with cinnamon. However, dumping cinnamon on anthills won't deliver a devastating blow to the colony. Doing this will only cause an even bigger problem because the ants will relocate, and their new home might be closer to yours.

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